Monday, 21 May 2012

It's all about the garden

Well, finally we've had some decent weather and have been able to get on with the garden. It's an exciting time as it's starting to look like a garden again rather than an abandoned building site. Over the last couple of weekends we've had 3 tonnes of topsoil delivered, which we've had to wheel-barrow from the front garden to the back. It's meant we can level the garden off to lay new turf, build up the border to plant in and create my 3 new raised vegetable planters. I've been able to acquire lots of new plants for the border, from bargain corner at my local garden centre, the local horticultural society sale and from gardening friends. I've mainly gone for perennials with white, pink, purple or red flowers and varying shades of foliage.  Much to Amy's disgust I've avoided the bright, shouty yellows and oranges so I get a calm and peaceful border!

A favourite of mine- a beautiful viola

The vastly improved garden
Another favourite- a nemesia
 My vegetable planters are looking good now too- although the photograph doesn't do them justice! I have one devoted to potatoes (2 varieties), one with runner beans, broad beans, onion and lettuce (2 varieties) and one with climbing french beans (when the seeds come up that is!), purple sprouting broccoli and onions. I'm growing lettuce (3 varieties), tomatoes (2 varieties) and cucumber (when the seeds come up) in the greenhouse too, not to mention the herbs in the new raised bed by the back door. When they all grow and flourish we will be enjoying a bumper crop!

Two of my new veggie beds

There's still more work to be done at the end of the garden- probably another tonne of topsoil to fill the border (and the tree stump hole) before I can finish planting up the border. My last remaining raspberries can finally move from their containers on the patio to join the rest of the raspberry bushes at the end wall. I'm hoping for enough to make a batch of home grown raspberry jelly this year.

Knitting wise, I have done very little as my time has been devoted to the garden. I still have to finish Harry Hill's knitted character for Moira and sew up my Woolsack cushion so it can be posted off. Only then will I start a new project...strangely it will most likely be a hot water bottle cover for the flower show in July! I have just bought some lovely material to make Jubilee bunting which will hopefully be a fairly simple and quick project to make. Once it's done, it will be coming out for every occasion and celebration we have!

Even my reading has been pretty quiet as I recover from the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' trilogy. I'm still poldding with 'Mrs Dalloway' although I am beginning to lose the will to live with it, so am reading another chick lit by Trisha Ashley 'Wedding Tiers' before I get stuck into 'The Report' by Jessica Francis Kane.

Finally, it was Chris' birthday last weekend, so I gave him the day off from gardening to celebrate. We went to Cheddar and had a lovely pub lunch.

Husband and daughter in the sunshine!

Monday, 7 May 2012

May Day Bank Holiday

The perfect time of year to get out into the garden and get on with all those jobs that need doing...

Well, we are making progress, although it has been a bit slower than we'd hoped for, mainly due to the appalling weather that we seem to get every weekend! This week we had a tonne of topsoil delivered so that we could level up the back garden before laying new turf. Chris wheel-barrowed it from the front garden to the back, then we dug and weeded for hours before we could actually lay the turf. It would've been perfect weather to do this on Sunday, but we had to go to my uncle's surprise 50th birthday party in the afternoon. I managed to convince another uncle (who has a chainsaw) to come over next week to help us get rid of the tree stump at the bottom of the garden. Don't get me wrong, the party was lovely, but it was a missed oppurtunity as far as the weather went...but we carried on regardless today, May Day Bank Holiday...

Taken from inside as I managed to run in just in time- pay careful attention to the shed at the end of the garden...

Chris had to take shelter in the shed!

It rained quite a bit...

Then the sun came out just a few minutes later...

See the rain evaporating from our neighbour's summerhouse roof in the sunshine?

I managed to get some raspberries replanted in a cleared area next to the existing raspberry bushes, so that was good news! That's all we can do now, not only is it still pouring with rain again, but we need more topsoil (about another 2 tonnes) to get everything level! I will be able to start planting my flowers in the borders and my veg in the raised beds then. Hurrah!

I am not going to mention any football related news this week. I'm too upset.

Knitting news- Harry Hill's knitted character has a head, a body and one leg so far, so we're well on track for the end of the month.

Book news- I have finished the very racy 'Fifty Shades of Grey', 'Fifty Shades Darker' and 'Fifty Shades Freed' by EL James. Not quite what I'd been led to believe, it's making me blush just thinking about it! I'm almost half way through the very different 'Mrs Dalloway' by Virginia Woolf now too. My next classic will be the 'Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Scarlet' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

That's all for now, I'm going to finish the bank holiday weekend on a high by doing the ironing!

Have a good week all

Friday, 4 May 2012

New arrival

Just a little blog today as there is really only one piece of news, but it's lovely news, so that's OK! My cousin Sally had her first baby, a healthy boy, on Tuesday 1st May. He weighed 7lb 13oz and is called Harrison. He's the first grandchild of my auntie and uncle too, so it's even more special. Congratulation all!!

Sally and Harrison

I had been meaning to knit some booties for the baby (as I've obviously I've known of his impending arrival for some time) but as usual left it to the last minute. I had almost finished them by the time he was born, but was stuck on the final part of the pattern. Fortunately I saw Mrs D at WI craft club and she magnificently worked out the pattern and showed me what to do. I got home, finished the last bit of knitting, did my usual check on facebook and discovered Harrison had arrived. Mrs D is now my hero for sorting me out in the nick of time! I'll be posting the booties off on Tuesday after I've shown them off at tomorrow's knit club at The Wool Sanctuary.

'Tootsie' booties in Rowan handknit cotton

I've learnt my lesson and will now start on Harry Hill's knitted character for my friend Moira's retirement at the end of May so that it's ready in time!

Finally, I'm keeping everything crossed from 5:15 Saturday until approximately 2 hours later...not confident, but ever hopeful. Come on you reds!!