After the bitingly cold weekend we awoke this morning to no frozen windows or condensation running down them. The sun was shining brightly and the temperature has gone from 2 degrees to 10+. Time to get out in the garden and start tidying it up for the season ahead. Snowdrops cover the bank at the back of the garden and for once I managed to clear all the ferns in the Autumn so they really stand out against the dark green of the Laurels.The Hellebores are just starting to open and the Crocus and Primroses are beginning to show their faces.
Lavender in the front garden, the bees seem to love this so I have given it another haircut so it should last another year.
At WI this week we have to bring along a favourite hat. I decided to dig out the hat I made when I first started needlfelting and finish it off! I made it some years ago but was distracted by other projects and so it has been languishing in my fabric stash for some time. It was the ideal time to do it as it was far too cold to do anything other than sew by the fire. It is somewhat naive in style, I seem to remember that I had wanted to make a hat like a fruit bowl, why I can’t Imagine! Anyway I thought I had better finish what I started and picked out some of the detail with embroidery threads. It’s quite nice but I don’t think I’ll be wearing it very often.
I have been continuing with my collage/mixed media paintings. I have been working on a triptych of Red Riding Hood, which I still have some detail to add to and I am starting to plan a Three Bears one, although that will be a single panel. When I went up to Bath the other week to stay with Vee we took in a Peter Brown exhibition at the Victoria Art Gallery. It was superb, and that set me thinking about a townscape, based loosely on one of his pictures. At the moment it is hanging in the kitchen waiting for me to decide if I need to do anything else to it or if I should just stop fiddling!
So, that’s been my weekend, I’m now looking out of the window, the sun is still shining, shall I go out and do some more gardening or shall I listen to my body which is telling me that I’ve done enough for today? Perhaps a cup of tea is called for…
PS my hat won the WI competition, yae!
I went up to Bath on Thursday to lend VJ my expertise, muscle and car! I didn’t arrive until 12 but the weather was good so we got straight to work lopping trees, cutting the lawn and removing a wire trellis. We had a break for lunch in a cafe in Larkhall which was very pleasant but the near vertical walk back home wasn’t so good! Rich and his father came round in the afternoon to deliver an over locker for Vee to have on permanent loan, it looks horrendously complicated but there is a video if you get stuck!
We had a Chinese for supper as we were too exhausted to cook, at least, that was our excuse. The next morning we went to Lacock for the garden centre and whilst it was dry to start with, it came on to rain very heavily. We did not let that deter us and bought plants, pots and sacks of compost. By the time we had driven home the weather was starting to brighten up so we quickly unpacked the car, had a bite to eat, then went into town to admire Vee’s window displays and spend her credit note at Gap.
We took a taxi back as by this time we were feeling pretty tired out. Saturday morning was spent planting out, generally tidying up (including the bench we had demolished) and then we set about reseating all of the paving stones in the garden steps. I was more than ready to go home by the time we had done all that!
Both Laurence and Verity have moved house recently, one in Taiwan and one nearer to home, in Bath. I was not able to help Laurie but he had his brother to help instead. I didn’t think that Verity needed me either as she had taken my advice and got some professionals to do the job but inevitably she had several car loads to move on top of the van load that had already been delivered so I was happy to go to the rescue. I stayed overnight so that I could take her to work the next day and get rid of the packing material that threatened to take over the house.
Matt is in Budapest for a short holiday and seems to have done very well with the apartment they have rented. Gwilym and Fiona have passed their Taiwanese driving test and are intending to purchase a car. Laurie has been camping recently and Gwilym and Fiona intend to do the same once they have transport.
Last week Hyw and I acted as polling clerks for the first time. It was a long day but it was bearable and I am looking forward to the money. Sadly the election result was a shocking win for the Conservatives with Labour and Lib Dems losing loads of seats to UKIP and the Conservatives. The result is that the SW is totally blue with the exception of the Exeter City ward. Lots of good people lost their seats and Nick Clegg and Ed Milliband have both resigned.
Laurie’s new flat
Verity’s new place
Gwilym, Fiona and Laurence
Laurence and Fiona
Verity, Matt and Mo came down for Easter and we went to Dartmouth
Dishes I created, thanks to Verity buying me a box of goodies from the spicery.
I am continuing to take Flora into the garden, and today managed to get a few jobs done out there as the weather was so good. Unfortunately it is far too wet to do any digging but I cleared the ferns so that the daffodils can grow through and I cut down all the dead flower heads so that I had several barrow loads full for the compost heap. Flora had a good couple of hours out there but came in a few minutes after me, so she is getting to know the ropes. Now she is sleeping, stretched out in front of the log burner. I wish I could take some photos of her out of doors but she doesn’t stay still for a second.
I had a tentative go at painting this afternoon. Having not picked up a paintbrush since November I am definitely rather rusty but I will just have to crash through that and it shouldn’t take too long to get up to speed.
Mum has a Tablet so she is getting used to sending emails and shopping online! I am going to see her in a few weeks so it will be good to see how she is progressing.
We went out for lunch on Thursday and this time we tried Michael Caines Abode it was really good and not too expensive. Friday evening saw us at the Nothcott for Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis, they were hilarious and I could easily have watched them for twice as long.
After much hard work the first of the compost bays was finished yesterday, I had about 10 minutes to admire it before I started to refill it! A couple of days off are now required before I start on the next one, happy days!
Being Sunday I decided to have a day of rest and just enjoy the garden. I wore my new flowery dress, soaked up the sun and read my books. Here are some of the current garden delights.
Another glorious and to take my mind off food (being a fasting day) I decided to empty the compost heaps. They hadn’t been done last year and were full to the brim, so much so that every time we mow the lawn we have to take the clippings to the tip. Well I’ve made a start but I think I was being over ambitious in imagining that I would finish the job as not only to you have to load the barrow but you also have to find spaces to put it! Hopefully I’ll finish it tomorrow.
Several days of warm sunshine and I’m convinced that the summer is here to stay. I have been going to the gym earlier in the morning so as to not waste the lovely days, on the days that I don’t go I have resumed my walking as it is such a pleasure at this time of the year.
The garden is looking splendid just now but we almost had no lawn mower just when we needed it. Luckily for us our excellent neighbour, Neil, is a dab hand at all things mechanical and before you know it the lawn mower had a new carburettor and spark plug and is going better than ever.
I don’t like using weed killer but I did today as there are some really stubborn weeds, especially Goose Grass, we shall see if it has any effect on it. It was the church fete on Saturday and as well as raiding the cake and book stall, I got some plants, in particular a Euphorbia, some bedding Begonias, and a sweet pepper plant. All good value and for a good cause.
Today I potted up some Sweet Peas as I intend growing them in planters this year, instead of in the open soil. The Runner Beans and French Beans are coming along well, if rather slowly but my first lot of lettuce are really doing well. I also planted some Courgette and Squash plants this weekend and some Swiss Chard seeds, nothing showing yet but I am optimistic.
I planted out some rose cutting that I had taken last year, they had to be rescued part way through the year as the rabbits had stated to devour them, but I judged that now was the time to put them in the garden, the only trouble was I haven’t a clue what colours they are, as I lost the name tags, so they might move again come the autumn.
Here are some photos of the garden.