Friday, 29 April 2016

Storm Clouds Gathering

Looking out of the window on this last day of April, I see yet another frost.
I wonder what is going on with our weather.
No frosts through December and January but they all come now, just when the magnolia, plum and damson trees are in blossom.
 Ironic or what!

In our greenhouses things go on a-pace with the ever present problem of space, exacerbated by the inability to put anything out, due to the cold. We`ve also had a lot of problems with mice. They`ve eaten French beans and trays of sunflowers before they have even germinated.
Steve has actually planted out the broad beans and they are surviving....they are fairly hardy.
But my sweetpeas are staying under cover. I can`t afford to lose any, having lost 142 already......scorched in the propagator whilst we were away at Easter.

We have the usual set-up for moving plants on but this year instead of fleece we have used mesh.
This makes watering much easier. The water goes through.


My petunia plugs are doing very well. They came from Gardening Direct.
Some are flowering in their pots.


But the busy lizzie plugs have taken their time to get going.
I sometimes wonder if they send them out a bit too early. They are notoriously delicate.
Some carriers are not too careful with the plant boxes.


The tomatoes also seem to have come to a stop. It`s just too cold.


Likewise cucumbers.....





After arriving home from Pashleigh Manor, having seen the display of Bloms tulips, we found my surprise package of plugs......yet more begonias. You pay £5 for a pack but it is pot luck what you receive.....it uses up the left-overs.

Luckily the day before I had found a double layer of square pots hidden under water trays, otherwise there would have been a potting on problem. Square pots are like gold dust in our garden at the moment......they are economic as far as compost is concerned.


In the garden the magnolia looked magnificent against the threatening skies....




......the brilliant irises are in bloom despite the cold....




......the viburnum knocks you out with its perfume...


......and storm clouds continued to gather for rain later.



It may be cold but the air has been crystal clear with incredible views to 
the White Cliffs of Dover.
I`m sure people living on Battery Hill will have seen France on such clear days.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Little Vintage Teabox

Tracy has just completed the building of her Little Vintage Teabox from a horsebox,
 in one of the barns.
We were lucky enough to be invited along for a teaparty.
 
From the outside it still looks like a horsebox......

.......but on the inside......





 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
.....well, it speaks for itself.
 
 
 

I particularly loved the little retro touches
 inside.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




 
The tables were laid out with vintage tablecloths 
and lacy linen in the glorious afternoon sunshine.
 

 

















On the table, mismatched china, which of course is one of my passions,


generous sized scones of several kinds.... cherry, ginger and fruit...... on pretty cake stands.

 
















There was jam and cream, and lemon curd which was very nice with the ginger scones.
I tried them first....delicious and very unusual.
(Everything I tried was delicious.)


Plenty of hot tea provided.
And very welcome too.

Oh it was a lovely experience and much enjoyed by all of us.


 















 Tracy`s Little Vintage Teabox will be at 
Fairlight`s FAIRFEST 
on July 31st 2016
but hopefully you will get a chance to sample
this delightful retro experience before then.
We will be keeping you posted.


Well done Tracy.



Monday, 11 April 2016

The Lark Ascending

I`ve been busy this afternoon making pompoms from home-spun wool.
They will become owls and they will be on the craft cart down at the farm quite soon.
I am hoping to set it up tomorrow.

Yesterday we were at the garden and went to see the latest lambs.







My little nephew, Frazer, enjoyed his visit to the bottle-fed lambs.

Look who`s back.....


....trundling round at quite a rate.


The first potatoes went in.





The first asparagus spear is up.

At home the garden is full of promise....







This is my newest rose......waiting for a suitable home.
I bought it in memory of my friend Lark.


I am thrilled with my latest fabric stash, given to me by our friend Moira.
I spent a most enjoyable day sorting through it all and pressing it all into folds.





And there`s always time for tea and scones with home-made blackcurrant jam.....




......yum yum.



Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Flu Blues

I had forgotten how long it takes to recover from flu.
I`m now on day 13 and still feeling washed out, still coughing and still blowing my nose.
My appetite is not good either. 
We have managed a bit of pottering in our own garden. 
Mowing the lawns and cutting the edges, wore us both out.

Thank goodness for the lovely soft blanket I bought in Leicester, as 
I have been wrapped up in it quite a lot.

My sister Paula has been checking up on us and visiting with bunches of flowers, and my brother, Jamie, has rung every day to see how we are.

We managed a slow walk in the woods yesterday. It is looking very pretty with anemones, celandines and bluebells.




This area has had its path widened.
In a few weeks it will be awash with bluebells.

On some days I have still felt like doing some craft.


Here are some of the gifts for one of the new babies...
fabric box, crocheted polar bear, hat and bootees.

And I can now reveal the air balloon mobile to match the decor in the nursery.

This baby in a basket is for Macie when I next see her.

I have also been trying these sausage dogs in multi-coloured wool.
They are quite cute.

And finally here is Pete the Pirate.

My great nephew Aiden, has a tremendous imagination.
He told his mum and dad all about Pete the Pirate, who came at night and stole all the other toys money and treasure.
One morning Aiden woke to find that Pete the Pirate had stolen money from the toys and was making his escape up the loft ladder.
Toby, my nephew had secretly commissioned me to make Pirate Pete.
The next idea is to make a story/reading book of more adventures for him.
What a lovely thing for a dad to do.....feeding his son`s fertile imagination.