Thursday 28 April 2022

How does your garden grow

Some of these photos I took a couple of weeks ago when we had lovely sunny weather, today has been the complete opposite of that,  only 10°C, overcast and quite cool, very different to earlier in the month.

The camelia, azalia and acer are well established, they were already here when we moved in and still do well each year

The acer is Mark's favourite but mine is my hosta, it's gets bigger and better every year.  I don't have a problem with slugs as there is a copper band around the pot which does a great job keeping them away.  I did have two but last year we split the other one and I sold on a fair few plants.

I kept only one of those we split and it's grown quite a lot already although I seem to have two varieties in one pot, I'll have to split it again next Spring.

The tulips are still giving some colour, I didn't plant as many last year, of those I did plant only the pink ones came up, that blue container you can see was planted up with a dwarf variety but only two produced anything.

Strawberry plants from last year are coming back, I only put a couple of plants in a hanging basket to see how they would do,

I bought two small pots of herbs from the vegetable section at Aldi a while ago, basil and parsley, they were only 59p, I didn't use them all so planted them and put them outside, they are doing really well, behind those is also mint, chives and rosemary.

The wild flower seeds I planted are doing ok, I probably sowed them too soon really because the weather changed after, I did them so I covered them with bubble wrap for a few weeks at night to protect them.  It's the first time I done these so fingers crossed for some lovely colour.

At our other house we had raspberry bushes all the way down one side of the garden, we only put in one plant but in a few years they had spread that much.  Mark picked this up when we went to the garden centre recently, It would be nice to have fresh raspberries again but I'm keeping it in a pot this time.

Most of the seeds are doing very well, I have an abundance of marigolds, I planted marigolds for the first time last year and I loved how long they lasted, plus the slugs and snails hate them ;-)

More marigolds and lots of poppies

The nasturtiums are ready to go out now really, just waiting for the weather to warm up a bit more

The only seeds I sowed that have been a disappointment are the black eyed susan, some failed completely.

Fingers crossed the weather will warm up enough for me to get some things planted out soon, I don't want things left in trays when we go away at the beginning of June.


Monday 25 April 2022

Yarny temptations

I haven't bought any hand dyed yarn in a long time but I've been lead into temptation and treated myself to three skeins this month.

I haven't got any self striping yarn so when I saw this from Stripey Cat Yarns I just had to have it.
It's a 50g skein with a 20g mini for contrast heels and toes, this is the colourway Alice in Wonderland.

Biffsugar Yarns have some lovely colourways, it's hard to choose a favourite but this selkie zebra stripe one appealed to me, this colourway is Luckdragon.

I watch Caz's podcast, The Wee Sew and Sew on you tube.  On her last episode she showed the new colourways going into her etsy shop, when she held up this one I had to pause to go and buy it right away, I thought it was so pretty.  This one is called Watercolour Garden and is on a sparkle base, I'm not usually a sparkle girl but I loved the colours so much that I can live with the sparkle.  Caz's etsy shop is called Gardeners Cottage Yarns, the last time I looked there was none of this colourway left but she does have some other beautiful skeins and notions too.

It might seem a bit indulgent to buy myself three skeins in a month but I haven't treated myself in a while and sometimes you just have to don't you :-)

I might have wound one of them up already and cast on some socks, so watch this space ;-)


Friday 22 April 2022

 The second week of the Easter holidays has been another busy one, I've had both Oliver and Bonnie for three days and they have both slept over too.  

On Tuesday we went for a lovely walk around Haden Hill park again, the house was closed this time and the ducks must have been fed a lot because they just weren't interested in our offerings at all but, the weather was better there was lovely blossom on the trees, an abundance of garlic and we heard a woodpecker, although we couldn't spot it.

The trees are starting to fill out with leaves, I took a photo from this spot about three weeks ago and you can really see the difference.

On Wednesday we went to Bewdley and took a picnic to eat by the river, we also had a browse around the charity shops and came home with a few books for the little kids and one for me, there was nothing that took Olivers fancy this time.

More blossom, I do love to see all the blossom on the trees this time of year, this is in the little park in the town where there is an orchard.

We sat and ate our picnic by the pond, it's such a pleasant place to sit and just watch the world go by.

Yesterday we had a slow start, well as slow as you can with small people.  We needed to make a birthday cake for my youngest daughter, Stevie-Leigh, she was 28 yesterday.  Wow those years have gone so quickly, it's hard to believe that my youngest child is 28, in my head she is still a teenager, lol

It's become a tradition that I make the girls a cake on their birthday, Stevie had tagged me in a post on fb with a photo of a (professionally made) Battenburg cake a few weeks ago, saying 'this years birthday cake'  Well, I had to have a go at making a copy cat one when the challenge was made!

I think she was pleased with my effort, it tasted good anyway :-)

I put the house back in order last night after the little people had gone home so that I could get up today and have a day for myself, I've caught up with some podcasts and watched a couple episodes of Life after Life on BBC iplayer whilst knitting, it's been lovely after a full on week.

Mark will be back soon and we are taking Stevie and Darren out for a birthday curry later, It's been ages since we went out for a curry, I'm looking forward to it.

Hope you have a lovely weekend


Friday 15 April 2022

Easter Birthday

 Yesterday was Arty's 4th birthday.  Because of the Easter holiday he had his party last Saturday with his friends from nursery.  Jenny organised a forest school party at a local primary school for him.

All the kids seem to love forest school, they get to play in the dirty, build dens, hunt for bugs and generally have a great time getting dirty.

All Arty could talk about all week was his party and was really looking forward to it, unfortunately on the day he wasn't very well, he was sick just before and only played for a short while, his, daddy had to hold him while he slept for the rest of it.  

Bonnie and Jacob playing in the mud kitchen.

There was face painting, Bonnie couldn't have hers done because she had just got over chicken pox.

They got to toast marshmallows and eat them around the camp fire

Me and Jacob made giant bubbles, he was very impressed

And he got the hang of it and made some himself :-)

Getting small kids to all look at the camera at the same time is a nightmare, lol

Poor Arty missed out on all the fun waking, up just as it was all finishing

He did perk up enough to open the presents his friends had bought him once they got home

He was much better the next day, just one of those 24 hour bugs. 

Yesterday, on his actually birthday we went to the zoo.  Joanne was at work so I took Bonnie and Jacob, although yet again one of them was sick, this time it was Jacob's turn.  Poor thing only managed to get halfway round before he fell asleep and I had to call his daddy to come and get him because he woke up crying for his momma and seemed like he'd got a temperature, fortunately  the zoo is only a short drive from home so he didn't have to wait for long.  
Joanne ended up taking him to get checked out at A&E because he was really hot and very lethargic.  They got home around midnight, his temperature had come down and it was put it down to something viral.  She said he seems much better today.

Honestly, these kids are a constant worry to me!

The remaining three had a great time at the zoo, nanny was absolutely shattered though last night and has spent today recovering, lol

Wishing you all a Happy Easter

Friday 8 April 2022

Two from February

 I forgot to take photos of the socks and the stitching I completed in February, better late than never eh.

 The socks have been sitting on the blockers since I finished them but I've put them on tonight as it's gone a bit nippy.

These were always going to be house socks, I wanted them slouchy, I think I ticked that box.
I think the yarn is a Paint Box one, I lost the ball band so not certain.

Whenever I see people knitting socks they always seem to knit 64 or 68 stitches, these are 72 stitches on 2.5mm needle.  Now, either I have a very large foot, although I don't think shoe size 7 Is that big, or I knit very tight, but I wouldn't say these were particularly big on me.  If you are a sock knitter what would you cast on for size 7 shoe? and what size needle do you use?  

My stitching finish was a Lizzie Kate, chart,  Dear Santa We've got Cookies.

A fairly quick stitch, although I'm not sure how to finish it now it's done.

I've had a pottering around day today, I sorted and tidied the cupboard where I keep all my threads, fabric and other bits and bobs.  Some stuff ended up in the charity bag and a few things put on one side to list on ebay.  I should have taken a before photo, I didn't think but trust me, it looks way better than it did.

knitting and crochet notions on the top shelf
Buttons on the middle shelf
Threads and some finishings aids on the third shelf

More threads on bobbins on the forth shelf
Fabric and a few finished pieces waiting to be framed on the fifth shelf
Ribbons and trims and some Christmas themed finishing items on the six shelf

At one time my aim was to have all my craft supplies in this one cupboard, ha, ha, we all know how well that went! There is a Kalax unit by the side of this which is also full of craft related things, It too needs a good sort through, I will show you when I tackle that.


Saturday 2 April 2022

A Friday outing

 I took Arty out for the day yesterday, Jenny spends a lot of time on her own with the boys with James being away during the week, she had a few different errands to run and it's so much easier when you haven't got a toddler in tow.

After the warm sunny days we were celebrating last week mother nature decided she wasn't done with Winter just yet and the temperatures plummeted.  We have had occasional flurries of snow with daytime temperatures or around 6 or 7°C and minus temps at night.  

My granny always said you should never leave your vest off until May, ha, ha.

It was bright and sunny yesterday at least so we went for a walk around Haden Hill park, ( I've posted about Haden Hill before), the cold must have put people off because we virtually had the park to ourselves.  I took a bag of bread to feed the ducks, there are two pools, one near the house and one in the parkland, the ducks couldn't get enough, some even came out of the water to make sure they got their share.

We saw a sign to say the Haden Hill House Museum was open for viewing, I've visited previously but not for many years, entry is free so we decided to go and have a look around.

The Library was Mr Haden Best's domain

This room would have been used as the dining room

The Morning Room where the lady of the house would prepare for the day, write letters do her needlework and have afternoon tea

Love the needlework station 

The Housekeepers Parlor

Upstairs was the Drawing Room, or Withdrawing Room.  After dinner this is where the family and guest would sit and talk, play games and perhaps listen to someone playing the piano.

It look like a lovely cosy room but the chairs don't look as though they would have been very comfortable.

The lady's bedroom

In contrast, the servants bedroom looks very sparse, although I do like the patchwork quilt on the far bed 

The only other room that is open was a play room, children can play with all the toys and the dressing up clothes, Arty would have happily stayed in there all afternoon.

Once we got back to the car the ice cream van had arrived, you can still have an ice cream in the cold when you're three, :-)

We went into town after our walk, I'd promised Arty to take him to feed the squirrels, unfortunately they didn't want to eat out of his hand today, but they did come pretty close and I think he was happy to see one close up.

I think I enjoyed the day just as much as Arty, it was nice to get out in the fresh air.