Sunday, 23 June 2019

Jam and Donkeys

Oh the joy of the June days ..... hot, sultry, buzzing with insects, and with the abundance of harvesting just beginning.
Cucumbers ....
..... raspberries ....
...... and the resulting jam, everyone`s favourite.
Last week Anne and I sat together in the polytunnel, arranging wild flowers in a pair of walking boots, for the church Flower Festival.
The completed displays were somewhat unrestrained and we thought they looked "alright."
 We left them outside because the heat was building up.
Anne went off to prepare one of the yurts and we came home.
In the meantime the displays fell over in the wind!!!
The two displays did not get to the church until 8 a.m the next day because Anne had to titivate them a bit.
I heard later that they had caused some interest and someone had even wanted to buy them. 
We found this very amusing. 

I have given the hedge its first trim and was very grateful to my sister Paula, who raked up all the trimmings.
I tried to keep the caterpillar shape.

It`s amazing what you learn from visitors.
I had a lovely chat with a mum and her two very polite and friendly boys. We sat by the pond as I fished the ever expanding blanket weed from the surface. We were all thrilled when a small newt crawled out and made its way back to the pond.
The family were German and came from Bavaria.
I learnt that cows were kept indoors all year there.
I was also interested to hear that gardens are planted differently with large spaces between plants. This means a lot more weeding.
Our flower beds are profuse, spilling out from all sides.
The only weeding I do at this time of the year, is to remove those that just happen to grow taller than anything else.

And at home I`ve been crocheting donkeys.
There are some in the little shop already.
Happy days.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Green Beetles and Fallen Poppies

We`ve had a great deal of rain in a very short space of time.
When the sun does shine it is a double blessing
And the insect life has been truly amazing.
Bees are so easy to see and hear but there are many many other very interesting insects around. You just have to spend a bit more time looking slowly and quietly, camera at the ready.


This is an Adur beetle on the erigeron daisies.
Take a closer look at its extraordinary back legs.

The poppies had been blown around in the wind and rain and I spent quite a while trying to rescue them. Their petals in all shades of pink through to red, are like tissue paper and just as fragile.

In the background you can see the beans starting to climb.

Here we have a teasel which has seeded itself right next to the tortoise run and in one of the veggie beds a very strong self-seeded sunflower is flourishing. In fact it is doing much better than any I have raised from seed.
One thing I have learned in this garden. If  something does its own thing, as far as possible let it be. It always pays off.
Unfortunately the fabulous oriental poppies that did just that, were blown right out of the ground. It was possible to see how much the potatoes had been compromised because of the poppy`s lush growth. I rescued some of the very ornamental seedheads and they are drying in the polytunnel.
We`ve had several tiny cucumbers.
Last night Steve made our own tzatziki to go with courgette fritters and salad. I enjoyed it very much.
The bigger cucumbers
are coming too.
The tomatoes are well away.
At home I have started disbudding the dahlias. Soon it will be time to start on these. There are patches all over the garden.
I was very glad that we had tied the sweetpeas before the rain.
Other things we are enjoying at the moment ....

We will have to be prepared for incredible growth after the rains and that includes weeds.
We did need the rain though.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

A Scarecrow in the Bed

A lot of my latest crafts have been made using the samples I was given a few weeks ago.
The lovely velvet samples are perfect for bean bags in a range of colours.
The owls have been made with the tweedy fabric.
And the over-the-shoulder bags and small purses are also samples.
My nephews` school summer fair has a theme of mermaids and pirates so I`ve made dolls to raffle .


The patterns are taken from one of my old books. A bit old-fashioned but I hope they appeal for that reason.
A few felt alpacacs.

Some soft pompom hedgehogs.
And then there`s the scarecrow head.
Jan and Julie asked me to make a head for a scarecrow. They want a new one at their allotment.
They came to stay at one of the yurts to help with the animals this week. When Anne prepared their yurt she put the head in one of the beds making it up with pillows to form the body.
When they arrived they got a bit of a shock but they were very pleased.
At a boot fair recently I bought a new packet of 1,000 rose petals.
I sewed these in two layers round a piece of thick felt and placed a pompom in the middle. It made a large flouncy flower.
An easy idea which took a bit of time to come into fruition.
That`s why I`m sharing it.
Anyway Jan and Julie many thanks for the bottle of wine. 
very kind.


Friday, 31 May 2019

Painted Ladies go Wild

On Thursday I was lucky enough to be in the garden when the Paynes came to release their Painted Lady butterflies into the wild.
By then the sun had come out so the nectar was flowing.
 There were plenty of lovely flowers for them to enjoy.

The Paynes raised the butterflies at home in the special cage and chose to release them in our garden whilst staying at the 
Sunrise Yurt. How lovely is that.

They were encouraged to come out, where they sat poised on hands until they fluttered off to find flowers.


Later as I was gardening, I saw several of them still fluttering around the flowers.
What a lovely experience for the children and indeed the adults.
A great way for children to learn about the world around them. 
Thank you to the Paynes for releasing them into our garden.