Friday, 24 March 2017

Creating Who.

This scarecrow has not been created completely from scratch.
Previously it was Tom, a nice link really.
So ..... I began with the frame already made, with its articulated arms, making the dressing so much easier. I have waited a long time to get this one started so it was good to get going.

On a wet, miserable, cold day, I made a complete and utter mess in the kitchen....I usually make them outdoors. And it didn`t take as long as expected.
A couple of days ago I made the head.
I used two layers of a jersey fabric, one thick and one of pink t.shirt fabric.
I formed the nose by putting extra stuffing and gathering round it.
The mouth is just a semicircle of chain stitch....very simple.
The head is fastened to the stake by lashing.
I reckoned that an extra bar across the waist area would make things a lot easier so after Steve screwed that on for me, I stuffed some leggings with straw and was able to use the same bar to hold them in place. In the past the whole body slips down after a while and had a dropsy kind of look.
When the leggings were on, the trousers came next.
Held on with safety pins.
In the past I have stuffed the trousers but this has a more realistic look.
Next I stuffed plastic carrier bags with straw and put them inside a t.shirt with long sleeves.
I used duck tape to hold them in place. I stuffed the arms with loose straw.
And I used bathroom buffer mitts for hands....reused. They are made of nylon and don`t rot. After lashing I stapled them as well. (They often slide off when the string loosens.)
I got some fantastic golfing shoes at the jumble sale (50p) and I wondered how I would keep them on so Steve created these "feet" with notches in two places.
I pushed these up into the leggings and lashed them with garden string.
The shoes fit snugly on the "feet" thanks to Steve`s precise measurements.
Next the polo necked sweater went on and the brown mac which came from M and S years ago.
The scarf, knitted by Paula, completed the outfit and in my opinion was the best part.
He had to wait til the next day for the wig.
I couldn`t resist trying it on.
I sewed it on. And finally the hat.
Now he`s just about ready to live in Freshwinds Garden.


Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Keeping Calm / Spring Fever

I have various strategies to overcome that feeling of being over-whelmed at this time of the year.
Number 1 .... you make a new year`s resolution not to grow so much and so far I am sticking with it.
Number 2 ..... you give yourself a do-able number of jobs for one morning/afternoon.
Number 3 .... you have no plan at all and just do whatever needs doing (this is Steve)
Number 4 .....   when you look around the garden, just enjoy the good things and mentally make a note of what needs doing next.
Number 5 ..... always remember that everything gets done in the end.

With all that in mind ..... it is still sometimes panic stations!!!!
Yoga helps.

It has been a lovely day, all the more so since yesterday was pretty dire. The new turf has been well watered and no hoses needed.
I did a bit of weeding in the honeysuckle bed.
Then I did the barley bags for the pond.
If you stay at the farm and visit the garden, do not be alarmed by these bags. They will be submerged by late spring and can look a bit odd. The idea is that the barley straw gives off natural chemicals that discourage the growth of blanket weed. It works very well.

Steve got going with cleaning the polytunnel. He did have to plan that because he had to take the soft brush.
It looks great.
I began a big tidy up inside. Lots to throw out and a few plants to sort through.
I planted 8 of last year`s dahlia tubers.`
(What a boring picture this is!!)
That`s better ....last year`s dahlias.
The rhubarb has gone mad.
Crumble for Easter Day pudding I think.

An area to develop.
Forgetmenots are just beginning to flower. They seed themselves all over the garden.
 Paula planted these alongside our new area.

A new project.
It may be filled with dahlias.
Another new project.
The damson looks beautiful.
It will be hard to prune it in May though, when the fruit has formed but it needs doing.
Some odd bulbs I heeled in, looking lovely.
I spent the afternoon pricking out tomato seedlings and cosmos in a baking hot greenhouse at home. Lovely to be out of the cold wind.

The new scarecrow has a head. Now I am waiting for a wig to come in the post!!
Happy days.



Saturday, 18 March 2017

Turfing News

On Friday the new turf arrived.
We got to the garden about 10 and Anne had been busy laying turf in front of the stable.
We set to and began on the entrance area.
There was a biting wind coming across the field.

The closest we will get to instant gardening.
Anne had ordered a bit more so we were able to do the two strips down the middle of the garden.
We decided that the rabbits were getting the better of us here.
It`s a shame because the wild flowers that grew there in the first years were lovely.
Other patchy areas in the orchard were covered.

In the afternoon, Anne and I had a check through the dahlia tubers. Though some had been chewed and bits had rotted, on the whole we still have a great hoard.


By then it was freezing, so we packed up about 4.
The first visitors arrived at the little house.
I`m sure they were cosy with the wood-burning stove.
Today we have been to the church jumble sale at the village hall.
I am pleased to say that we found all the clothes for our very specific new scarecrow.
(more news later)
Behind the first counter was the lovely Mary W, a keen follower of this blog. She helped us choose coats, jackets and jumpers.
At home after sorting through all the purchases, I began the head of the scarecrow.
He is a well-known character.
Watch this space.


Sunday, 12 March 2017

Loving the Lambs

Oh the little lambs......especially the orphaned ones.
There is nothing more special than being able to feed the lambs.

But it is quite hard to keep a hold on them, as they wriggle around with their little tails going ten to the dozen.
This one had rather shaky little legs and was fairly quiet but the other one was jumping around and bleating in a very piercing way.

They were in the garden following us round, a little nervous but exploring nonetheless.
Today my great-nephew Tom, came for a visit and helped out.

We loosened the soil and raked it down ready for the turf.

The tortoises are awake and ready to be admired.
 The damson blossom is beautiful.
The sweetpea row is in situ.....always a significant 
milestone in the year.
At home the fairy garden has had a make-over.
Some of the camellias are in full bloom.
This one is called Waterlily.
Lots of exciting plans being discussed for the garden.
Can`t wait to get started on them.