Sunday, 26 January 2014

Stump Hunt that Never was

We were going stump hunting but the weather put us off....wet, windy and most unpleasant. 
It was a very quick visit to the garden for leeks, then home again to light a fire and complete some crafty tasks, having had too much on the go at once for quite a while.

The cob is still holding out.

Four bunnies completed. The pattern comes from

I have also completed 5 denim shoulder bags made from recycled jeans and using various furniture trimmings.

The front pockets were made using a lot of my tiny fabric scraps which I can never bear to throw away.

My next idea is a long snake knitted in the round with rainbow coloured wool.

Finally couldn`t resist this.....taking the term "footstool" to its extreme.
Found it whilst researching recycling old denim.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Gollum in the Cob

It has been cold today. Despite wearing gardening gloves my hands were still cold.
We visited the garden today to bring some chipped bark home for our own fruit net.
I dug up four beautiful thyme plants, grown from seed last year.
These will be some of the first plants for my nephew`s new herb garden.

I did a bit of weeding but didn`t want to get on the soil as it`s far too wet.
The sheep had been in the garden and eaten some lovely broccolli that was just forming. We really need a better fence at the entrance.
Steve spread more chipped bark around. I have been promised another load.
It suddenly struck me that I keep buying sacks of it for home-use and it`s expensive.....why on earth didn`t I use some from our huge pile.

Here are the raspberries, which we have tied to wires for 2014. I am hoping the bees will get to the flowers more easily and that picking and pruning will be easier too.

Some of the sedum is looking good.

Other clumps are looking a bit worse for wear.
Perhaps these will improve in the spring.

I tidied up the chives.

There are lots of self-seeded borage plants.
One idea I am keen to try in the summer is to put a blue borage flower in an icecube tray, fill with water and after freezing, use for summer drinks such as Pimms.

Gollum has been spotted in the cob shed.....looking a bit wary. 
Maybe because Gandalf is in the same room!!!

At home the first primrose is out....

......and a star shaped campanula growing in the woodstore wall.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Sock Toy Tips.

Regular readers will know that I have been busy making sock toys.
I have really enjoyed myself. There are now 20 toys adorning our living room.
Most of them are zebras but I did try one tiger with orange and black stripes.

There are lots of ideas and patterns on the web.

Here are a few tips for anyone who wants to make their own.

1. Your sewing machine will need a needle for knitted /jersey fabric.
2. Keep the sock whole whilst you do machining and only cut between the rows of stitches afterwards.
3. Stuff the toy very lightly. The toy will be much floppier and can be put into different positions.
4. Keep the stuffing at the body end of the limbs very very light which ensures 
easy movement of arms and legs.
5. Stripy socks are a lot of fun and most especially those that have a contrasting toe and rim.
6. I started off using matching wool for manes but then found a complete contrast made a lot of difference and I am sure it will be more attractive to young children. 
7. Buy socks when they are in the sales, to keep the costs down.

You will find that the sock fabric is very forgiving and mistakes are easily covered.
It`s great fun.
I hope you are inspired to have a go.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014


Recently we`ve had a whole series of gardening programmes, called The Great British Garden Revival.

Each gardener is trying to save Britain's horticultural heritage.
I don`t think the subject matter has all gone out of fashion but things have certainly moved on 
since I began gardening.
Here are some of the titles....
Ponds and stumperies
Glasshouses and shrubs
Fruit trees and ormamental bedding

You can find more information on the BBC website

I was particularly interested in the programme about stumperies and Anne and I were soon texting each other about the idea of a stumpery at Freshwinds, where it could go, and what to have in it etc. 
All quite exciting.
 After all the gales and storms, there are many trees down. We`ve seen more, on a walk in the woods today.
Anne had a walk in their own woods and found quite a few down.
I have several family members who are tree surgeons....
so watch this space.

Prince Charles gardens at Highgrove have a well-established stumpery.
I think the area will have to be damp and shady, in order for ferns and moss to thrive.
There might even be a few nooks and crannies for fairy gardens.
 This is the Highgrove stumpery. 
 the stumpery, Highgrove  I & J Bannerman - Garden designers and builders.  The Prince of Wales' garden
 Lots to keep my mind busy in these winter months.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Socks and Manure

Strange title I know, but that`s what it`s about.
We have had two visits recently, to Freshwinds. Despite the wet we have managed to do quite a few jobs.
We completely used up the first load of chipped bark and today cleared the grass in order for it to grow.
Note how the compost heaps are looking i.e two empty.

That is not to say that the ground is not sodden. I stepped into the corner of the bed nearest the compost heaps and went down quite a way.

Here is the side path by the barn newly spread with chipped bark.

Anne has spread manure on the asparagus bed.

Today I have tidied the fruit net and spread manure.

Several more jobs need doing here such as new netting and extra posts.

The cob shed has a damp patch running down its length but considering the weather that it has endured, doing well. We are debating the best time to begin the sedum layer.

Take a good look at this area.....we have exciting plans!!!

My nephew Luke, is starting a new garden soon and is keen to grow his own herbs. These lovely thyme plants will be the start of his collection. They were grown from seed last year and have grown on in the raised bed. Can`t wait to help him design his new herb garden at Easter.

The zebra sock toy, given to me as a kit, from Tim and Anne, has started a ball rolling.
I have now made 13 and I`m still going.


Here is my new nephew, Frazer, enjoying the startling stripes. He can`t have mine but I have made him one of his own which he will receive soon.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

New Year and Old Views

Well here we are at the start of a brand new in which I will be able to sing the well-known Beatles song about age, with some meaning!!!
Lots of plans and projects are planned, both at home and at Freshwinds Garden.

Anne and Time gave me this lovely present for Christmas.
Thank you.

It came in this lovely tin which reminds me of toffee tins from years ago.
Inside was the complete set of materials to make this lovely sock zebra. I really enjoyed it and of course my mind is reeling from the possibilities of further creatures, using socks purchased at the pound shop.

Other gardening presents for us both....

....loving this quote.

Some of our plans for 2014....

1. to put a sedum roof on the cob shed
2. to put up a new polytunnel
3. to have wider swathes of wild flowers
4. to enlarge the vegetable beds
5. to landscape the area around the cobshed
6. to put a living roof on the insect hotel develop the willow bed

There will be lots more as the year progresses.

Today we have walked six and a half k.m, in a huge circle, a walk I have done since I was a little girl, with my Mum pushing a pram with my sister Lee in it. 
Up Rosemary Lane and down Peter James Lane. 
At the top of the first lane is a most spectacular view across the countryside to the north.
Here we rested for a drink. 

Our village is spread out along its ribbon-like way.

A closer view of Pett Church.

This is the other end of Peter James Lane.

Looking south we can see the sea.
Just to the left of this photo is a smaller field. My Dad would take me on his bicycle across this field to visit my Granny who lived close by, after weekend gardening jobs. And yes I did go along with him. ( I can feel another special blog entry coming on)

This high point can be seen for miles around and here is the beacon which is lit on 
special occasions.

Here is the view towards Guestling where I was brought up. 
The oast house could be seen from our back garden.
This blog entry is like a trip down memory lane!!

 This is a spectacular fungi about the size of a cabbage, though its 
undulating parts put me in mind of an oriental poppy.

Some daffodil spikes just showing at the top of Rosemary Lane.

Lots to look forward to.
Watch this space.