Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Spring Bits and Bobs

Well we're truly into Spring weather now with March winds and April showers, and in between dodging the showers I have managed to get a bit of time in the garden this last week to continue with the tidying, weeding and mowing.

The camellia continues to be the highlight of the back garden with its beautiful, rich rosy pink blooms and glossy dark green leaves.

Some of the flowers are turning brown now but there are lots of buds still to open. 

My constant companion in the garden has been enjoying a few rays by the pond with his friend Frog, the battered stone frog.

Some of the tulips in pots are flowering now

and I still have a few spring plants to put in....a couple of pretty wind flowers and a sweet smelling dianthus

We are still eating kale from the garden......after years of growing our own veg I still get a kick and a feeling of satisfaction when I need go no further than the garden for some vegetables for dinner. I think it's because we had a long spell of 10 years or so when we didn't have the space or time to grow any veg other than a few pots of tomatoes and buckets of new potatoes on the patio.

The little blue scillas are up in the gravel...they seem to naturally prefer the gravel to the border.

and the first of the azaleas has started to flower...this is a small one with pink flowers.

The primulas I planted back in February are still going strong and providing some cheerful colour on the porch.

The wind has been battering the daffodils and other spring flowers, so I always seem to be rescuing a poor flattened bloom to bring indoors...this strongly scented hyacinth is in our bathroom at the moment in a battered vintage marmalade jar.

On the creative front, I've been stitching away whenever I have a few moments on the cross stitch sampler I'm making for my daughter.

I've made a start on the roof now, and embroidered most of the wording, although I need to re-do the 21st Birthday bit as the spacing ended up wrong! That's what comes of ad-libbing without having amended the chart first!

I've also added a row of birds and hearts.

With family over for tea on Easter Sunday, I spent most of Saturday baking with my daughter and amongst other goodies we made a Passion Cake with marscapone and lemon curd icing ( icing recipe from Annie Bell's Gorgeous Cakes book) and homemade scones to eat with jam and clotted cream! Yum!

Still a bit leftover to have with my morning coffee today!

Last week my daughter and I had a brilliant trip to Hastings, with fish and chips on the beach and lots of pottering around the little streets and steep, stepped passages of the old town, admiring the beautiful old houses and cottages and views of the sea. 

I shall share a separate post in the next day or so as we took lots of photos of the quaint houses.

We also poked around the old junk and antique shops although as I'd bought these two little vintage leather suitcases only a few weeks ago I was very good and only bought a couple of vintage blankets.

I need to give them a bit of tlc but they are full of nostalgia - they might have been children's cases or the larger one may have been a weekend case, but they conjure up all sorts of visions of days gone past.

I hope you all had a good Easter weekend, and are enjoying the Easter holidays if you have children. Fingers crosses for some warmer days as even though the sun is out intermittently, there's still a chill wind in our part of the world.

Edited to add we have just got back from a long country walk where we saw our first bluebells of the year!

Thankyou for visiting me here!

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Season of Changes

March and April are always a time for change. As the new season comes in, I'm wanting to get on and make changes to the garden, the house, the decor, to whatever I'm doing. So it's been a frustrating week for me as I finally succumbed to the many germs that have been around for the last few months, and so spent much of my time stuck indoors snuggled under blankets on the sofa or curled up in the chair, dozing and reading. 

No energy or will to plan or put into action any of the improvements on my list.
And I missed the Country Living Spring Fair sadly, and had really been looking forward to that.

The only upside to that was being able to progress my cross stitch sampler, after a few days of not wanting to do anything other than sleep, and to finish off one or two projects that had been hanging around.

I added a spring bunny amongst some grass........

..........and another bunny with some tulips

I stitched away at filling in half of the house.........

and finished the first stylised tree (house and tree both inspired by 19th century samplers)

I also crocheted the second little flower for the pink crochet baby slippers I made a few weeks back.

Despite a gardening free week, the garden carries on quite happily without me. The camellia is in full bloom now, but the odd morning frost has caused many blooms to go brown.

The rosemary is flowering, sweet little blue flowers.

This time last year I bought a few new spring plants and summer perennials including a tray of lupins. The muscari and daffodils are all doing well but sadly I lost most of the lupins to the rabbits before they could get established, despite my rigging up a twiggy defence.

Also this time last year we still had black paintwork which I was glad to see go...it is now white and makes the house look much lighter and more contemporary.

We also had a new picket fence put in along the front between the driveways this time of year, a couple of years ago now.

And last year it was this corner of the back garden that got revamped with my new raised vegetable beds.

This years spring improvements include more fencing to the side of the property and hopefully the removal of an old concrete bin shelter at the back, and in its place a new terrace to join up with the existing terrace. 

Also I have a new border to plant up where we had new fencing erected to the side of the front garden in the autumn last year. Apart from a couple of established azaleas, a small hawthorn tree, and a couple of newish roses, the rest is a blank canvas. I need to get my gardening books out, make a plan and visit the nursery!

So lots of plans in the garden. All I need now is the energy to get things moving!

Do you have changes planned for your garden or home this year? 
Do you find it a time when you want to make lots of changes too?

Thanks for your comments on my last post, and for taking the time to visit me here, I do appreciate it and love to read your comments!