Snow, Art, Sparrows and Hawks.

Hello again, and where did February go to? I can not believe I only posted once here in the whole of February. But then I have been focusing upon other things.

We did not have half as much snow as in the South and further North of us had We have been lucky, yet there was still enough snow fall to close roads and schools  were closed down for three days. 

While the Winter weather has caused disruptions and chaos on our UK roads, and for some bringing tragedy, for others its been a time to enjoy snow in parts of the UK where snow has been a rarity for many years, So for many youngsters this was the first real snow they had seen in a while.

Sledging. over a bridge on a local walk we take. My Granddaughter aged 7.  Having Fun in the snow. 

The last heavy snow fall we had been in 2010 the year my granddaughter was born.  So while we have had snow,  for many this was the first significant fall they had seen in years.

Making sure the birds do not go hungry. We moved their feeders under the bushes for protection from the sparrow hawk.

Its been important to keep feeding the wild life, who have also been suffering, we moved their feeders around a bit to help shelter them. For where they were, they were more exposed.  And Since January our garden has also had a visitor looking for food.. A Sparrow Hawk.

Sparrow Hawk in January. Now he knows where sparrows feed, he’s been trying his luck at catching them in our garden and came on two consecutive days last week in the snow. So he/she is also feeling hungry. But as far as we know he flew away empty-handed.

While winter here in the UK last week got its teeth into us with freezing temperatures and snow storms, I was huddled warm indoors painting and doodling, while I continued putting my collection of poems together and managed to write my third chapter on something I am working on.

The parts of the green house model making took a back seat for a time.  though I did spend several hours creating these flowers. They were fiddly, but absorbing.

Roses, made by winding folded paper around and around and gluing onto wire.

Here you can see a collection of flowers I made

But my main concentration has been on creating two paintings, they are already hung in my home as I swap my artwork around every now and again.  I paint purely for pleasure . So this was the first I painted, a Leopard. The second painting a Lion. Both of these Animal totems spoke to me in different ways.  And I wrote more about that on my main blog.

My Leopard painting in Acrylic.

My Lion painting in Acrylics

I hope if you have been affected by the Winter weather and storms, you have kept safe and warm where ever you are. 

 I hope Spring  starts to Stir Soon,  I can not wait to reconnect with our garden. 

Take care until next time.




A Little Time for Craft.

First thank you all of you who  have recently subscribed to my Gardening blog, I was amazed to see the numbers had jumped since January.. So thank you.. If you make yourself known, I will repay the honour of your visits as time allows.. 

Many may already know this is my second blog that I use to devote more to my Gardening and my Travels and Craft more then anything else.. And it often gets neglected when I am busy with other things which has been painting recently. The results of which are found here. 


So some of you may remember just after Christmas I started upon building the model Greenhouse.  Well I am still making it.. Piece by piece, It said the model could take ten or more hours to make.. Well believe me I have spent more hours than ten on it already and its still not completed.. But it is keeping me quiet when I am in the mood to concentrate upon minute bits of paper to make into individual flowers.. 

Here are some photo’s  of what I have been up to 

If you click onto the photos they should enlarge. 

Here you see a paper seed bag at the bottom. The brown card, you can see are boxes and plant pots which also have to be cut out and bent and glued together

Here you can see me making some tiny seed bags.. Each pieces is cut out and then stuck together with paper glue. in the finished bags you see

Here you see after cutting out these leaves how they were assembled on wire before gluing in tiny bead pots.

This gives you an idea of assembling paper pieces cut out from the patterns.. This is a watering Can.. the measurements are cementers

Here is the little Watering Can which was made out of the Ten pieces of separate paper In the previous photo.. Also here you can see the plants I made.. If you zoom into the photo on the instruction page you will see how the flower are each individually made from wire, yellow and pink paper I cut out.. The Banana Palm as well as all other plants made this way.. Which took time..

Here you see books each have little pages with pictures of flowers inside.. You also see a rush mat, two bird houses and a storage box with cover.. The cloth on top also has a fringe around it.. You have to tease out the threads to make the fringes I hope if you enlarge the photo you can see this.

You can see how time consuming, but absorbing this has been.. And I already made the furniture in wood which came in small pieces too,  which I posted here   on my blog

On the gardening front.. My hubby has made a start.. He planted Shallots in separate little pots along with seeds for Cabbage and Broccoli and Cauliflower seeds in trays to start off in the green house.. The English weather is Wild and Wet right now.. Not knowing whether to snow, hail or sunshine from one moment to the next.. 

What hobbies have kept you busy over Winter? 

Until Next Time..

Happy Creating!. 


Seil Island Scotland ~ Ellenabeich.

Ok, I know, this post has sat in my drafts longer than I anticipated but here is the post I promised on Seil Island.. Enjoy, as I hibernate some more in my world of model making and painting..  


When we arrived it was a Sunday, and late in the afternoon, I gravitated towards this sign which stated that where I was standing was once the sea. But by the early 19th century, the area where I stood had been filled with the waste from the Eillan a Beitch, ( one of the old spellings of Ellenabeich. That is now the flooded Quarry behind the village cottages. The village of Ellenabeich owes its existence to the Easdale Slate.

Click on photo’s to enlarge.

Plaque containing information about Seil Island.


The village lay out of the streets in their present format dates from 1826. The front of the streets having been built upon the reclaimed land from the sea.


The cottages which are built-in slate, were the homes of the quarry workers and their families. And in their heyday back in the 19th Century they were home to more than 400 people.  The whole of Seil Island as per poll in 2001 was said to be 560.

Narrow streets between slate cottages

Cottages turned into refreshment and eating place for visitors

Slate was quarried from the early 17th century, and by the 1800 mining had become a major industry.

The introduction of Steam pumps to remove excess water came into existence around 1807 and made it possible to work in the quarries to the depths of around 80 metres.

The village of Ellenabeich Seil Island

Slate Cottages Seil Island Ellenabeich

Seil Island Hall

Over 130 million roofing slates were produced here, and at that time fetched the price of £1 to £2 per Thousand, depending upon size.  But A great storm in 1881 flooded the quarries and the slate industry quickly declined.

Part of the flooded Quarry

The harbour and slate piers were constructed for slate, at first onto sailing ships and later to steam.

Harbour Wall near Jetty just think each one hand laid.

Look at the slate used in the wall of this jetty

Easdale slate was used to roof the growing cities of Great Britain and more distant cities of the world.  The remains of the wooden steamer pier from where  this crane was removed,  can be seen by the flooded quarry.

The Crane

In 1820 Ellenabeich was a port of call for S.S. Comet, the world’s first commercial steam ship. And passenger steamers continued to call well into the 20th Century.

Seil and Easdale are but two of the Scottish Slate Islands, the other two are Belnahua and Luing, both are visible from Seil Island.

All the Islands have a fascinating history, going back to pre-Christian times.  A lovely video I  found about Seil Island Here.  Showing the crane and cottages.  I hope you enjoyed your trip around this main village on the Island, and learnt a little more about Scottish History.

Oh yes, and remember in my last post I said there was a  9 hole golf course and I walked around it..

Well here it is. 🙂

Golf course on Seil Island

Until Next Time ~Keep Warm And safe! 

A Bridge Over the Atlantic

 One of our day excursions from our hotel in Oban Scotland took us to Seil Island.

We were fascinated to learn that this island was connected by a bridge that spanned the Atlantic Ocean.This bridge was built-in the year of 1792 by Robert Mylne. When one stands close to it, you can only marvel at its construction in stonework. The bridge is called ‘Clachan Bridge’, but it is also known as The Bridge over the Atlantic.  ( If you click onto the photos they should enlarge ) 

Clachan Bridge to Seil Island It spans the Atlantic

I walked over the bridge and took photo shots  of both sides.  And aerial shot from the web, can be seen here.  And there is one also in the snow

Clachan Bridge to Seil Island.

Standing on Clachan Bridge looking North. Seil Island is on the left, the mainland to the right.

Standing on Clachan Bridge looking out over the Atlantic Ocean that flows beneath it.

The Islands main village is called Ellenabeich, it boasts its own 9 hole golf course too, which we also walked around, 🙂 But more of the village in my next post..  As I  have too many photos to show you  for one post, They show you more of the village with their neat small white terrace cottages, and can any of you remember a film called ‘The Ring of Bright Water’? about otters, well  Ellenabeich was the place it was filmed.  In my next post I will share more of Ellenabeich’s History. 

On the gardening front! our seeds arrived from the allotment association which we ordered this week. I planted my own collected sweetpea seeds in the greenhouse early in the week. Other than that, its been grey damp and chilly here in the midlands. And we have some snow forecast for midweek.. So I shall be hibernating a while longer..  

Until Next week..

as I have the next post in my drafts! Big smiles 👍 



Happy New Year!

Well I thought I must poke up my head from where it has been buried over the Holidays and put together some sort of post for the New Year. 

I wish each and everyone a very Happy New Year and I hope it holds an Abundance of Happy gardening hours along with lots of Fun, Family times ahead. 

This time of year nothing much is happening, though a  New Blogging friend over at Our Organic Veg Trials  is starting out this year on a new venture. So you may like to pay Steve a visit and see how his year progresses.. I know I will be. He also reminded me it was time to get planting our sweetpea seeds, which was a timely reminder as i was late last year, but they did catch up. 

So, just a few photos to share with you.  Back in October we put our Garden motion camera to good use, and got a few videos and shots of our regular visitor to our home garden. Our Hedgehog.  These garden friendly creatures help keep the slugs and pests our gardens do not want at bay.. 

Yet they are finding it harder and harder to access our gardens, because of the sturdy fences and gates we all have around our properties.. So as I have mentioned before, try to leave small gaps in your fences at the bottom which help them navigate via your gardens and not via the road which they often end up as road kill, as they just curl up in a ball when frightened .  ( if you click onto the photos they will enlarge )  I am hoping all hedgehogs are now hibernating and fast asleep until the Spring. 

Hedgehog in October on our back garden

Hedgehog in June

We have also lit the gypsy stove I told you about in this post. and it soon gets the home greenhouse nice and warm.. Though we have only had to light it  a few times when temperatures have really dropped below freezing.. But we are well pleased with it. 

Gypsy Stove has been lit a couple of times during the low temps in the home greenhouse.

So what have I been keeping my self busy with? Well would you believe it, but I have been model making.. Yes Making a model wait for it   a  ‘Green house’ 🙂 Smiles. 

Our Daughter bought our granddaughter her niece, a model green house thinking it would be ideal for her to play with her Barbie dolls.. However, on closer inspection, its a little more complex than a 7 year old could manage.. And to be honest, it has Grandma scratching her head at times, as I glue, mould pieces of wire in shapes as handles smaller than my little finger nail and glue and cut and stick.. 

I will give you an idea..   This is the wonderful Green house Model 

Green House model kit when it is completed Picture curtesy of Bits and Pieces  uk. co. uk.

Below you get the idea of how small these pieces are, and each piece has many pieces you cut glue and put together. This little collection took about 6 hours in total and I have loads more yet to put together.  But I am loving it, and its keeping me quiet. 

My Granddaughter was gifted a Model making kit of a greenhouse and accessories, And Grandma volunteered to put it together

Next time I hope to be sharing more photos of Scotland with you as I put together our visit to Seil Island. 

In the mean time, have a wonderful start to your New Year.. 

And Happy Gardening 


Oban~ Scotland.

This is why I have not been around my gardening blog lately.. On Holiday and Preparing for Christmas. Thank you for your patience.. and look forward to catching up with you soon.. Hugs Sue

Dreamwalker's Sanctuary

The above view  is taken of Oban Town, from the  The Colosseum-like structure of  McCaig’s Tower.  The view looks out onto the various Isles in the distance. Below is a plaque which shows you the Isles,to which the ferries travel back and forth, to Mull, and other islands, sorry the focus is out on the one below. 


Oban means ‘The Little Bay’ It is from here you take the ferries to Mull, and other islands.  I took these photos from this advantage point. The McCaig’s Tower. Which stands high above the town 

John Stuart McCaig (1824 – 1902) commissioned the build  over a five year period from 1895 until his death in 1902. You can find out why it was built by opening the link.   

Inside there is a garden and it looks like this

To get to the tower you walk the steep climb.. We took the steps…

View original post 188 more words

Storing the Dahlia Tubas for Winter

Well, we now have had our first frosts here in England, and so it was the perfect time to lift the Dahlia,s and store the Tubas.  As promised I will show the process. Those of you who live in warmer climates will not have to do this, and even in the South of England often tubas are left in because the winters are not as cold as further North.

Here you can see in the first photo how the flowers start to blacken when the frost hits them.  ( If you click the photos, they can be enlarged ) 


Now the frost has hit the Dahlias it was time to start digging up the tubas

Hubby getting to grips with the Dahlias

After cutting off the Dahlia tops, the tubas are dug up and placed into  the wheelbarrow

My job was labelling. 

Hubby made a metal grid in the allotment greenhouse, where you place the stalks side down and tuba side up, This helps to drain the moisture out of the stalks .. And here they will stay for a couple of weeks until the soil has completely dried and can be shaken off.
Then they will be stored in the shed and covered with some hessian sacking. And they will be fine until next year when we will plant them out again.

Everything now in the allotment is more or less ship shape, Hubby has now dug where the Dahlias were, and the last of the weed has been hoed from between the leeks and sprouts. Now the frosty mornings are arriving not many more weeds will grow, and what do now will be easily hoed up. 

I took some photos of a couple of plots, just showing you how when you turn your back, or they are left alone for a while just how quickly nature reclaims them back

The plot next to ours, and only a few weeks away it and how its got overgrown with weed just showing you how you have to stay on top of your allotment even in Autumn.

A vacant plot of two years three plots from ours.



This plot was a once well-kept plot, but the person who held it became ill and could not continue.


We also have a plenty of windfall apples, these have been given us by other allotmenteers who have had more than enough for themselves. 


All of these apples you see were windfalls which we had given us. And despite their appearances, most are perfect apples beneath their skin and lots of Apple Pie’s have been made and lots more apple crumbles to make too.

And today I made another Apple Pie which goes down a treat with lashings of hot custard.

Homemade Apple Pie


Happy Gardening, and Happy Eating all that you produce.

Until next time. Sue 

Allotment in November

Most of you Allotmenteers I am sure are now well into your winter digging and getting your plot put to bed for the winter.. 

Because  I have not always been feeling up to the mark recently, I have swapped my hoe for my knitting needles as you saw from previous posts.

Here is just a picture update of how things are looking now and what is growing. My hubby took these photo’s as he walked up one side of the path he had just mown, and down the other side to the sheds again..

Here you see he cleaned the path, I was wanting it to just become a grass path but hubby cleared it.. Under the cloches are wall flowers and asparagus  and broad beans in the other


Where you see the fresh dug earth, this is where we are going to put a new frames for next years carrots. As this years was a success we are extending it to grow more next year.

As you walk up even though we had a light frost the other night, the Dahlias are not get affected, when they start to blacken we will cut off and lift.. and we hope to show you how to store them. Leeks in front. 


As you pass the Dahlias the Spring Cabbage are under the long cloche.  If you look closely, you can see where our resident FOX has run across the earth. We found his foot paw marks on top of the cloche to the other week, He obviously is having fun, and is often burying eggs, that we dig up.  We see where he sits as he snuggled between the cloche . We would like to put our Wildlife motion Camera there, but as it was a Special Birthday gift to my hubby, and people are known to take things which do not belong them, we decided best not. 


Now you see purple sprouting broccoli a little Kale  and Brussels sprouts and a couple of cabbages left. 

Further still at the edge are the parsnips and behind the spouts we still have lots of beetroot. 


Walking down the other side of our path. 

and walking back past the Dahlias

The small flat cloche is where we grew the carrots to the left is more purple sprouting broccoli and Rainbow Chard. 

Here in the greenhouse are the corms from the Gladioli .. Now lifted and dried, the corms are drying off a little before we store them in the shed.. To the right you see the new seeds gathered for next years seeds from the runner kidney beans.

Well that is it folks, that is how things are looking in November.. We just now have to store the Dahlias and just tickle any weeds which might grow,, But as the weather cools so do the weeds.. thankfully.. 🙂  So next time I hope to show you how we prepare and store the Dahlias.. 

Happy Gardening.. 

Pumpkin Faces.

Hello all my fellow gardeners, I hope you had a wonderful Halloween. I  just had to share with you what we did with some of the pumpkins our granddaughter set , as you may remember from the picture I shared in a recent post 

Here are two I carved out for the Big night 

You can tell the first one on the left got more attention, by the time I had finished scraping out this one, my hands were aching, So the second one was a bit rushed on the right. ..

And if you have lots of Pumpkins over, You could make Pumpkin Muffins.

Pumpkin Muffins

The Recipe you can find here, I shared on my recipe page over at Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary.

Hope you all had Fun..  And I just want to say thank you to all new subscribers, and welcome to Dreamwalker’s Garden Blog.  And of course to my faithful friends and followers who comment and make yourself known here often. Thank YOU..

Wishing you a Peaceful weekend..