Thursday, May 31, 2012

A garden update

As it's a rainy day today I've got a perfect opportunity to update my blog. The garden is taking up most of my time at the minute. Everything just seems to be racing ahead and I can't keep up. The veg patch is really filling out now, it struggled a bit with the cold damp weather in April but since we have had the hot,dry spell it's really come on.

The broad beans are flowering nicely,

and I've managed to plant out the runner and french beans.There are nasturtiums growing between the rows of beans to attract the blackfly away from the crop, it seems to work well every year.

The French Breakfast radishes are swelling nicely but they are still quite small, but it doesn't stop me eating them as they are lovely and crunchy when they are tiny and they grow alarmingly quickly and rapidly become woolly in the middle. I sow these successionally, as soon as they germinate I sow another row and it keeps us going throughout the summer. I never get sick of pulling radishes for tea, and the chickens love the leaves.    

The lettuces are coming along well. I try to grow a mix of leaves so we get interesting salads. The big green lettuces in the photo are from seeds that I bought whilst in Italy last year. I start my lettuces off in the greenhouse and then transplant outside when large enough I seem to get better results that way.

The fruit cage is doing a great job as the redcurrant bush is dripping with fruit. Last year the blackbirds were stealing them while they were still green, they have got no chance this year. When I go into the fruit cage to weed the Robin likes to follow me in but he's not interested in the fruit so I don't mind.

The greenhouse is still packed with plants ready to go out even though I have planted out loads already. The Tomatoes have come on well and have been potted on a couple of times now. They will be planted in the veg patch when space becomes available. I've found that they don't do so well in the greenhouse as it gets shady on an afternoon so they take ages to ripen, and last year they did better in the open so I will try that again.  

The garden is in it's purple phase at the minute. It starts off in Spring with the yellows, then the purples and then in Summer a mix of pastels and hot shades. The purple phase is my favourite.

The large empty patch has been filled up now with Sunflowers, Nicotiana Sylvestris, Cosmos, Cleome and Dahlias. They look tiny now but my vision for later in the year is a bed of tall,colourful, blowsy, beautiful blooms. Fingers crossed.

The Stipa Gigantea is starting to send up it's tall seed heads which look wonderful backlit with the evening sun.

The Aquilegias are in full flower. Most of mine are deep purple almost black as they have all cross pollinated and self seeded, but I do have a few special ones like this. I can't remember planting it so maybe it's also a self seeded one. 

I've picked a few different ones to display inside, I think they all look beautiful together in my crocheted vase. I'm looking forward to filling this with Sweetpeas.  

I also made these a little while ago to put in my spare egg holder. What do you think? I think they brighten up my windowsill a treat.

Hope you enjoyed that peek into my garden, I know I love looking at other peoples. Back soon with my finished hot water bottle cover.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A weekend at the coast

We escaped to the North Yorkshire coast at the weekend for Hubby's annual wargaming extravaganza.

He's been preparing for it since last years event but there was still lots of last minute panicking trying to finish painting these tiny figures, which he completed the night before we left. He had great fun meeting up with old friends and has already ordered his figures for next years event, talk about keen! Still now it's all over I can have his undivided attention (hopefully) to tackle some jobs I need doing.

This year we rented a cottage in the village and it turned out to be a real gem. This was the view from the kitchen, overlooking fields and a ruined castle, and look BLUE SKY and no rain! We were really lucky with the weather all weekend, it was a bit cold but it stayed dry. 

George and I had a brilliant time,on the first day we went to Scarborough. There was plenty to keep us entertained all day, shopping, ice creams, museums and penny arcades. Then back home for tea and a film. 

On the second day George and I were out early in order to get to Whitby for breakfast. Hubby was very jealous of this plan, he had to get his own before heading out for day 2 of his game. Of course when in Whitby the best breakfast is Whitby kippers, delicious, straight from the smokehouse up the road.

Again we had glorious blue skies, so ideal for a stroll along the empty beach.

By lunchtime after all the fresh air we were hungry and it would be rude not to have fish and chips, so that's what we had. We seemed to spend the whole weekend eating! 

We had a great day in Whitby, it is my favourite place and would love to live there. Maybe one day, a girl can dream. Back to the cottage where Hubby graced us with his presence for the evening as his game had finished and everybody had left. We were all completely exhausted so we flopped in front of another film.
I took my crochet with me but didn't actually get round to doing any, I was too tired at the end of each day to attempt it.It's all that sea air.The next day we went back to Scarborough for a visit to the Sea life Centre. We were there too early and it wasn't open so we wandered down the beach and found a cafe and had a hot chocolate, it really was bracing that morning.

I had planned to buy some wool while we were away so I could make this hot water bottle cover, but I couldn't get what I wanted so when we arrived back home, before Hubby ordered next year's figures, I got my wool order in. It came yesterday and I started straight away. It is my first attempt at fair isle and found it surprisingly easy and managed to do 35 rows without any problems. However when I picked it up today and casually glanced at the pattern I realised I had used the wrong sized needles and it was going to be too small! So I haven't got a photo to show you as I had to unravel the lot and start again! That will teach me not to read the pattern properly. 

That's all for now, back to the knitting.