Saturday, 17 August 2019

Craft on the Side

I always take some craft to do whilst away on holiday. This year was no different apart from the fact that we did a lot of junk model making with the boys ..... pirate ships, miniature theatres etc.

Mine seemed to have a donkey theme.
Donkey keyrings.

 Crochet donkeys.
I have also been experimenting with crochet flowers.

Some time ago I made a round crochet bag.
I can`t decide whether to add flowers or not.

What do you think?
Another experiment is teeny tiny foxes.
He`s about 3 inches tall.
I`m hoping to give them matchbox beds.


At last I found some wooden motifs for Steve`s carved hearts.

You will find some of these on the craft trolley already.

I was very pleased with my birthday present from my brother and his family.
Each container holds a sedum or succulent.
It makes for a very colourful corner.

In fact colour seems to be the theme of these mid-August days.


Saturday, 10 August 2019

Windswept Winnie

Bless the campers who say the garden is magical or beautiful as they wander through. It means a lot to us.
Through the beauty I see the unkempt corners and the dozens of jobs that need doing.
The lovely comments keep me focussed on why we do it all.
 Unkempt corners do attract the wildlife that`s for sure.

We have been away for a week. Anne has very ably kept the garden going, watering the polytunnel which is in full production, and even helping out with the watering in our own garden.

Our first visit was to assess damage by the wind gusting to the point of nearly blowing us over.
Campers assured me they had been fine in the yurts.

Sunflowers and cardoons were suffering.
The huge self-sown sunflower was right over and out of the ground so that had to go .... its stem nearly as thick as my wrist.
I saved some seed.

Others had snapped right off. So sad with all the flowers still to come.
 The willow arch had parted. Maybe it is time for an overhaul.
I picked statice and helichrysum having to hold on to the bucket in case it blew away.

 We harvested tomatoes, cucumbers, runner beans and a few courgettes that were actually marrows.
Steve made our first tomato ketchup in the afternoon. 



 Some campers who came into the polytunnel for tomatoes and cucumbers, were wowed when they looked inside.
It is very pretty at the moment.

Steve tested the first sweetcorn and it was ready. 
We ate it in the evening. Delicious.

Winnie was looking decidedly windswept.
Elsewhere around the garden, lots being blown to bits, including us.

 Dahlias being broken off.

But the pumpkins continue to swell and change colour to rich orange.

The damsons are ripening.

And the pears are drooping to the ground with the 
weight of the fruit.
Apples are nearly ready.
We were glad to get out of the wind for a late lunch.


Kitchen Garden of England

Lincolnshire must be the kitchen garden of England.
After our lovely family holiday, in two converted stable cottages, I am still astonished at the sight of fields and fields of 
vegetables and flowers.
The area we stayed in was just outside Long Sutton, near Spalding. 
It is known as Little Holland.
Well it is easy to see why.
I was thrilled to see fields of gladioli in every colour. Unfortunately I could only get close to the cream ones.

But in the distance I could see red, purple and apricot.
These are for corm production.
The area is famous for its bulbs.
And once upon a time the annual tulip parade.
It is a major region for vegetable cultivation due to its rich silty soil. There are few hedges and the fields are huge bounded by deep drainage ditches.
On the left of this picture is a massive field of leeks. On our two hour walk I was wondering what it must smell like when they are harvesting.



We went to the Saturday market and purchased beautiful veggies.
The cauliflower was 60p and the Romanesque was 75p.
This was probably the cheapest meal of our holiday.
A joint effort.
The market also provided us with the cheapest bouquet of lilies I`ve ever found.
£1 for this lot which divided nicely into two jugs and filled our cottages with perfume all week.

 On our walk we saw fields of potatoes, reminding us of picking up potatoes by hand when we were younger .... very hard work,

 sunflowers at different stages 

 and wheat. 
There is nothing that gladdens my heart more than 
a field of ripe wheat.
I recall the time when the field opposite our house grew wheat and I loved to sit in my front window watching it wave in the breeze.
(Do I hear the sound of violins?)
It saddens me that fewer and fewer fields of wheat can be seen in our near vicinity. Is it the size of our smaller fields?
It also reminds me of my local searches for the right kind of wheat for making corn dollies. John Austen often obliged. 
A very generous man.
The field edges were dotted with wild flowers and we spotted two frolicking hares and a family of partridges.


I loved the walking. We did 10,000 steps.
We also travelled to the coast .... Hunstanton and Old Hunstanton on the Wash.
Much like Camber Sands with its co-ordinated beach huts ...
.... and bands of myriad shells.
And a welcome lunch in the colourful cafe, with sand underfoot, bright cushions and blankets on the benches, friendly staff, buckets and spades and  nets for sale.
What with a ride on an old train into Peterborough where we had to be Harry Potter characters, a great trip out on the River Welland where we all had to be pirates, seeming to be the only people on the river, a kingfisher spotted by eagle-eyed Paula,
we had a lovely time in an area of England that I feel I now know better.