Garden joy

Over the last few weeks, I have been spending lots more time in my garden.  We saved up a couple of years ago and last year had the garden re-landscaped to a design of mine.  It had been devastating over the last few years as the amount of rain increased and the time taken for the water to drain increased with it.  At some points I think we were flooded for several months at a time.  We even had a regular heron visitor, but the icing on the cake was when we had a pair of mallard ducks swimming around where the lawn had once been!

We took the decision to do something which had to include some drainage solution and I put together a few sketches of ideas we could work with.  It was certainly a big plan and one we couldn’t have done ourselves, but our landscaper was fantastic and he was able to do all the drainage works and (with a few modifications) put my sketches into place.

The garden has now been put into zones.  We have a patio (using stones from the original garden), a border, a wildlife area and a grassy arbour with seat (daughter’s zone).  And I love it.  It’s such a great space to be and somewhere I’m thrilled I have in the current times.

We reused as much as we possibly could from the garden -well what had managed to survive the constant waterlogging anyway and it’s been great since to see what is popping up around the place.  Some of the offcuts from the sleepers used to raise the zones were used to make a seat and a little raised bed which we planted with strawberries and they are doing fantastically this year – we planted the runners from the original plants and they are obviously happy.

Equally happy are the cats.  This is Lily enjoying the sleepers, we often find her hiding under the plants or rolling about on the lawn, which is also doing well now we have better drainage.

My wildlife pond looks good too.  I’m amazed how much life there is in it considering it’s only been there for a year.  We have found several frogs and newts too, as well as lots of little bug life – pond skaters, water boatmen and whirly-gig beetles are a regular sight.

I have taken the time to plant some seeds this year too.  We have a patio up by the house and the rest of the garden is down a few steps and as we face south it is a fabulous sun trap.  So I have decided to see what comes up from several old packets of seeds from the garage.  I love poppies and I was pleased to see this little beauty pop up in a trough of seeds for the bees – although not much else seems to be joining it at the moment.

Before we ended up in lockdown, I bought some seeds from Aldi which had several different vegetables and herbs in.  I only planted these broad beans about a week ago and they are already showing their faces.

I am so pleased with the way everything is growing so well this Spring.  And I hope I will see some more flowers soon as well as the blossom on the trees.  Fingers crossed we also get some rain to add to all the sunshine as I could do with a few days indoors catching up with all my indoor projects too!

Stay safe and happy crafting

x

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Week 1 – Social Distancing in the Sun

Well last week was a very unusual one for everyone.  We spent the week mostly in and around the house, which is not that unusual for me, but it’s been strange having my husband and daughter at home as well.  Fortunately the weather was lovely and I spent a lot of time outside, reading and doing some garden tidying.  I really love being out in the garden and I would very much like to be doing more out there, but being unable to go to a garden centre is limiting how much I can actually do.

My garden in Spring

My husband bought me a book for our anniversary last year, ‘This Golden Fleece‘ by Esther Rutter.  It’s basically a trip through knitting history, where the author travels around the country discovering knitting traditions and having a go at following old methods.  It’s quite an interesting read and as she travels somewhere new each month, I’ve been trying to read a chapter every month.  (I’m also reading other novels as well).  I’m finding at the moment, that I would like to have had a pattern in each chapter as well, but as I have plenty of patterns to work through, I don’t really need any more just now.

I set myself a New Year’s Resolution to read more and to finish my enormous reading pile.  My aim being to read at least one book a month.  So far I have finished 9 books!  I think these strange times will further increase my reading, particularly as I am encouraging my daughter to read for at least half an hour each day and I am trying my best to settle down at the same time and read too.

Crafting hasn’t been something I have felt much like doing this week.  I managed to finish off a couple of card orders before school was closed, but I just haven’t had the inclination to pick up anything at all!  I keep looking at the enormous pile of unfinished projects sat by the settee in the living room, thinking I must actually finish some of them off.  I will at some point, probably when I’ve done everything else I can think of to do instead!  Talk about procrastination.

My craft space has been transformed into a home office for my husband, so making cards is more difficult at the moment.  I really do feel like making something, but what I don’t know, and I would very much like to have my space back.  I moved my old record player from my Mum’s last year, and it’s a great opportunity to listen to some of my small vinyl collection while I peruse the various card and paper stashes.  Anyway, that’s off limits for the foreseeable future, so I will have to get to grips with a routine that includes utilising the kitchen table and includes craft sessions for my daughter!

It’s surprising how much I have wanted to bake though – I think it has something to do with the lack of chocolate in the house and the need for comfort eating.  So I have made some delicious peanut butter cookies and a gooseberry crumble.  Both very simple things to make but very tasty.

Sometimes you just need baking!

Stay safe and happy crafting.

x

 

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Summer Harvest

With all the lovely weather recently, plenty of sunshine and some rain, my garden has been a hive of activity and growth. So this weekend I’ve been in the garden again to do some tidying up and making some space for some later flowering plants.

A couple of years ago I moved our gooseberry bush from a pot on the patio into the garden as it was being eaten by caterpillars. I decided it could go to the more wildlife area and the caterpillars could have it. It would seem that the caterpillars aren’t quite as fond of the new spot and I have harvested almost 2 kilos of fruit from this one bush. I am covered in scratches from the thorns, but it was definitely worth it.

I’ve also planted up an old pot with strawberry plants and harvested a bowl full, so we’ve had a lovely fruit salad for our tea tonight. And there are more yet to ripen, mmmmm.

Fingers crossed this weather continues, I’m waiting for my spring onions and rocket to harvest in the next week or two.

Happy gardening
x

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Masculine cards

I have been somewhat pre-occupied with crochet recently. Since I managed to get the hang of reading patterns and double crochet I have spent all my crafting time with a ball of yarn and a crochet hook.

This week I’ve resolved to try not to pick up my crochet hook until the evening, and to spend some time making some cards. In particular male cards. I’ve always struggled to make masculine cards. The men in my family aren’t all into classic cars, ships and football! So on Sunday I raided my card and paper stash looking for some masculine style inspiration. I came up with a collection of decoupage from Docrafts, called Home to Roost and a Hunkydory kit, For the Boys.

I set myself up on the kitchen table, watching the birds in the garden, I really started to connect with the Home to Roost kit. I don’t generally do very much decoupage, but this is a lovely set of designs. The lovely little bird details are beautifully painted and make gorgeous little finishing touches. So here are some of the cards I made.

Gardeners Bench

Gardeners Bench

Wellies

Wellies

I then had some ideas to make some cards for boys and out came the Hunkydory kit. I was inspired my daughter’s recent school topic of ‘space’ and made the following cards for boys (or girls) birthdays.

Spaceman

Spaceman

Alien

Alien

I plan to make some more cards that can be used for men too. Any suggestions for themes for men and boys?

Happy crafting
x

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