Monday, 21 April 2014

Our Easter weekend

Happy Easter everyone.Whether you celebrate the most important time of the year as a Christian or are just enjoying a long weekend, hope you are having a lovely time.
Ours has been a quiet one so far. Tony's dad was taken into hospital on Saturday so time has been spent toing and froing to the hospital. We didn't have any plans to do anything much anyway since our holiday in the Cotswolds isn't far off but they would have had to be put on hold.We have enjoyed a nice few days this week though. So far this week we have.....

enjoyed a lovely walk by the canal........
and made these......
Done plenty of favourite plants and things in the garden at the moment are these......
I love the purple of the euphorbia and the tiny white flowers and delicate foliage of this groundcover plant whose name escapes me

This rock is one of our beachcombing finds, I love how the moss has grown on it and the little holes give it an unusual appearance

These two photos are both clematis. I adore clematis and I counted that I have 15 different varieties at the moment but I'm sure I can squeeze in many more!

I love the effect of the moss here. This was a solar light but the lid became broken so I filled it with soil and a plant which has disappeared to be replaced by the moss

I sowed some seeds a few weeks back, Cleome and perennial poppies and they have now been pricked out.Unfortunately our greenhouse has been taken over so I can't put them in there for now. Taken over? Yes, Lily, the white cat has now got a bed in there! (She hasn't been abandoned by her owners we found out, she just likes to court favour among several nearby residents)

But it's not all bad news, she left us a lovely (!) present this morning.....
By looking at its pointy snout I think it's a shrew! Good job I don't have the fear of mice that I do for spiders.
And finally, Little O came to see us yesterday wearing her Easter bonnet.
She was telling us that she found 10 eggs at the Easter egg hunt that morning!
We both gave up chocolate for Lent so the first taste of chocolate on Easter Sunday was divine.
Tony is ill in bed today so no hospital visiting for him, I am planning a quiet afternoon pottering about the house and maybe catching up with a few blogs. I am only working 2 days this week.On Wednesday I am meeting up with some friends to go to a NGS garden so I am looking forward to that.
What have you got planned for the week ahead?

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Susan Branch

I have mentionned before how much I love this lady's work. Susan Branch is a wonderful illustrator and author and her career as such has spanned many years. Most of her early books are now out of print but  I have been sourcing them from Ebay and also Amazon,( whose second hand books are amazing value for money). These are my latest finds. They were shipped from America and were less than £4 each including postage.

Her topics are many and varied but all her beautiful paintings and words can transport you to a perfect, cosy world. One where you don't have to worry about day to day trivialities. They are almost a form of escapism to me when I read them. Wise words and touching poems sourced by Susan, from ladies past and present, homely recipes, tips and hints to make the perfect home. She has many fans all over the world but you do feel almost as if she is reaching out to you, as if somehow she is a long lost friend. Her blog is a joy from start to finish. She shares her Martha's Vineyard home and garden (drool) with her 'girlfriends' and lets you take a glimpse into her 'perfect world'. I do have to say having visited Martha's Vineyard last September with Tony, I can see where she finds her inspiration! Those dreamy little clapperboard houses,beautiful gardens and views that are so stunning they almost take your breath away.
I am sure, of course, that she does have her problems. Everyone does, but by sharing the nice things only, you can almost forget that horrible/mundane/trivialities exist.
One of my favourite parts of her blog posts is what she calls 'Musica' whereby she selects a piece of music that you can listen along to as you read. Lovely! If you haven't read any of Susan's work or her blog, pop along, I'm sure you will love it too.If any of you are fans too, don't be shy, introduce yourself and I will pop along to visit your blogs too!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

One down, another in progress

Just thought I'd show you a pic of my finished bolero cardigan.It just needs a button which I shall get at the weekend when I go up into town.

I've really enjoyed making it and I have just cast on another one in a bigger size.

Thank you all for your lovely comments over the weekend. The tree is Amelanchier Lamarkii  for those of you who asked and it's the ideal tree for a small garden.
See you at the weekend!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Knitting mojo back!

Where do the weeks go? Another busy week where I have barely had time to read any blog posts. I am forever trying to catch up these days!
I have been plagued by headaches and generally feeling 'under the weather' for a couple of weeks but yesterday I decided to buy some wool and a new pattern and have a go at making a couple of bolero type cardigans.
I am working from this pattern....
and have chosen a lovely cotton yarn, it's Sirdar Snuggly, Baby Speckle and I have chosen this lovely peachy colour.
I love knitting baby garments, they knit up really quickly. This pattern is easy to follow and I am really enjoying doing it.

My mother's day blooms are still looking beautiful but the tulips I had in the hallway have gone over so this afternoon popped out and cut a few blooms from the garden to display there.
The hellebores are still flowering after several weeks. I love this variety which I bought a couple of years ago from the Harrogate Spring flower show. The outer cups are deep plum in colour but the inside has a purple/green speckled throat and yellow stamens. I've added some lovely scented Clematis Armandii flowers as a contrast.
And my favourite tree is in full flower at the moment. It is stunning and gives interest from spring where its young leaves are initially bronze coloured, right through to Autumn where the leaves turn the most gorgeous orangey/red hues.
It brightens up a corner of the tiny side garden but you can only see it from outdoors so I have chopped some down to bring indoors.
Why not enjoy it inside as well?
I'm going to try and have a bit of a catch up now and see what you have all been up to. Have a great week!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Mother's Day

Hello everyone!
I haven't had chance to do a post this past week for a variety of reasons nor have I been able to read many of your blogs much less post a comment.Hopefully I will be able to have a catch up soon.
I would like to say a couple of thank you's firstly before I forget.
I won a giveaway on Susan's blog which arrived the other day from Australia. It's a beautiful handmade sewing caddy and I have already used it Susan!

And my friend Sally sent me this to add to my collection......
So thanks to both of you. 
It has been a lovely weekend. I was well and truly spoiled as it's Mother's Day.....
beautiful flowers and yummy chocolates although we will have to wait a few weeks to eat them because we have both given up chocolate for Lent.
It has been such a lovely sunny, warm weekend. The sort of weather that tempts you outdoors and we have managed to get lots of little jobs done. It's amazing how quickly the herbaceous plants put on growth and some tiny plants I bought a few weeks back from the garden centre are already spreading out.And of course now we are on British Summer Time they will romp away.

Today's bake was apple and pecan buns which have been given the thumbs up by the family.

And last but not least I promised to post a couple of photos of our finished hall now the oak flooring is down.

We are both really thrilled with it.
Have you all had a lovely weekend?

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Fairies in our garden

It's official. SPRING is here. How do I know? The garden is waking up. Little creatures and 'things' are waking from their slumbers.Do you want to see some of them?
We have fairies in our garden.......

The green man and the little owl have spotted them too.....

And the pussy cat wind chime is tinkling away to announce spring's arrival.....or could it just be fairy wings?
 The temperature gauge is going up....15C it says...

We popped to the garden centre this morning and bought lots of lovely cheery violas which have now been planted into a variety of containers and are dotted around the garden.

And just in case you were in any doubt that Spring had arrived, what trumpets its arrival better than this?....
 Did you notice my painted lavender plant pots with the hearts on? I found an old match pot in the garage and gave 3 old pots a couple of coats to spruce them up.I think they look really pretty............................
Have you been gardening today?

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Untold story

I picked this book up for £1 in Poundland. Having read the brief synopsis on the back I decided to give it a go. As I got into the story I realised that the main character in the book,Lydia, is based on the late Princess of Wales, Princess Diana. What if she hadn't died ? If she had somehow managed to fake her own death and with the help of a highly trusted adviser escaped to a new life in Midwest America where she managed to live amongst 'normal people' . Without actually naming her, the book explores how and why the most famous woman on the planet could do such a thing. Of course it's pure fantasy. There would be no way on this earth that she would ever have given up the chance of playing a part in her boys lives.
The first line of the book reads 'Some stories are never meant to be told. Some can only be told as fairy tales' and that is what this is. However it is a lovely read and I couldn't wait to find out how it ended especially as she had been 'rediscovered' by a member of the paparazzi who was about to reveal all.

How much would Diana have loved to have been a Grandma? I bet she would have made a doting grandma and she was without doubt a lovely mum to her boys.Would Kate have been the daughter she never had? I can imagine she would be very proud to have seen William and Harry as grown men. Privileged they may be by accident of birth, but they appear to have grown up to be decent caring young men.Surely Diana's influence in their young lives played a part in that. She was a flawed character but there can't be many of us who don't think of her and what may have been, had she lived, when we see her sons.