Monday, 24 November 2014

November Lingering

Frost has come for only the second time this autumn. As we move into winter, today felt much colder.
I needed 4 layers at the garden.
I am glad to see it, as many pests are killed in the cold.
Our main job was to cut back and clear the last of the dahlias.
I have stored them in the polytunnel, half buried and covered in carpet and weed suppresant.

The polytunnel is nearly clear. Steve removed metre upon metre of courgette growth.

Here are the very last of the dahlia flowers....pale and insipid, but still a joy.

We have left the sprouts uncovered and hope the pigeons don`t go to town.

At home the leaves are at last beginning to fall.

Some flowers don`t seem to know  winter`s coming.

Nice salads lined up for winter


.....some treats.

Winston, the new pig has settled in well.

And we spent a most enjoyable hour with my brother and my newest nephew Frazer, this afternoon.
What a delightful day!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Gardeners` Delight

It`s a bit sad when your day out, is a trip to the tip and you actually enjoy it.
We got rid of several bags of garden waste and quite a few sacks from my brother`s garden.
It was very satisfying despite the rain.

Close to the tip is a garden centre, so that was our second port of call.
Recently they have sent us some vouchers as we are club members.
The place is full of Christmas decorations and the bulbs have been squashed to one side.
I was very pleased to see they were 50% reduced.
I chose tulips, daffodils and hyacinths.

At half price this came to just under £30.
However, at the till we were pretty delighted to find that the vouchers reduced the bill to just under £7......a true bargain.

Hence Gardeners` Delight.

At home, I have been knitting ..... more finger puppets by 
monica rodriguez fuertes

Last year I made the Snow White finger puppets which my great niece Macie so enjoys.

I am also trying Alan Dart`s nursery rhyme toys

Here is Little Boy Blue who just needs a feather in his hat and two buttons on his tunic.

My sister`s neighbours Tony and Angela, have given me their contorted willow prunings.
I have used some of them to make wreaths. It was hard work on my fingers but I loved doing them.

These are place markers for Christmas dinner. No names yet. I am hoping to make the names moveable so they could be changed for another year.

And finally a sight for November....
busy lizzies STILL flowering despite one frost.

Certainly a Gardeners` Delight.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Helichrysum: Growing, Drying, Using

A fellow blogger was interested in growing helichrysum and I thought a blog entry about it, 
would be useful.
I grow my plants from seed every year in compartmented seed trays.
When I put the plants in at the garden, I have to protect them from rabbits.

 Here are several trays of annuals ready to go in.


At the top left of this picture, 
you can see the plants in a row
covered in fleece.

As the plants continue to grow through the summer and well into the autumn, I pick them regularly and dry them in the summer house at home.
I usually pick before they are fully opened.

My friend gave me this covered basket for a present and it is ideal.

Statice, another flower I grow for drying, is hung in bunches.

This year I have made them up into smaller posies, held together with circles of tulle. 
These circles are often used for wedding favours.

 In the summer I used many of the flowers for decoration on our 40th wedding anniversary.
real flower headbands


threaded on ribbons

At a wedding in May, using petals for can see how light it was and drifted beautifully

They look lovely threaded on organza ribbons.

When completely dry, I store them in net bags in the summer house.

It is quite delightful to have these summer colours around well into the winter.
I call them my bags of sunshine.

Friday, 7 November 2014

One Poppy, One Life

On Wednesday 5th. November, we went to London to see the poppies at the Tower of London.

We travelled to Charing Cross by train and then took a cab to the Tower area.
The traffic was bad. The cabbie told us it was because of the crowds trying to cross the roads, all wanting to see the poppies.
It wasn`t long before we saw the evidence for ourselves.

What awaited us, was a most astonishing sight, all the more poignant for knowing that each ceramic poppy, represented one life lost in WW1. It was a most graphic reminder at this time of the year and at this time in the century.

We were able to make our way to the walkways around the Tower of London to view and take photos.
Everyone was very gracious.

Just one small area is shocking enough.

Each poppy is being sold for £25.
You can see the making of the poppies here

All the  proceeds plus 10% of every £25 poppy sold will be shared between six service charities, including Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion.
Up to four million people are expected to have visited before 12 November, when there will be 888,246 ceramic poppies - one for each British and colonial death during World War One.
(extract from BBC News)

A truly incredibly moving sight.