Keep Busy~ Creating!

Its been a while since I posted here on my garden blog. I have been spending more time off the internet and more time with my hobbies. 

I decided after knitting the finger-less gloves  and snood in my last post to use the same burgundy wool to knit myself a beret.  I found a pattern in our local wool shop and set about knitting it.. nearly each row was different, and needed full concentration and record keeping of where I was when I put it down.  But I was very pleased with the end result. 

Hand knitted Beret.

After the Beret was finished my next project was to paint.. Now  my usual medium I enjoy using is acrylics.. But I had been following Steve on his blog, his love of oil painting and  through his encouragement to give it another try, and already had the oil paints in stock, I gave it another go..  

One of the things which always put me off was the drying time of paintings in oils.. But it also then has its advantages of blending areas where you see mistakes or you need to change. 

So I decided to paint one of my favourite little animals who are at this time of year hibernating, which is a little Hedgehog. 

I called it Hedgehog in Spring 

Hedgehog in Spring in Oil Paints.

Here you can see one which was active in my garden last year

Today as I type this the temperature outside is minus -4°C which is 24.8°F which is cold even for us here in England, and we have freezing fog outside today 

So I thought to show you the little bit of Spring we have in our garden at the moment as some of the primroses are out, and indoors is another piece of Spring in the form of these  Hyacinths bulbs on my kitchen window. The aroma of their perfume is wonderful and greets you each time you open the kitchen door. 

Hyacinths

At the moment I am snuggled nice and warm, reading books brought from the library. While the knitting was underway, I bought audio books to listen to. But I am well into Book one, of a trilogy of books, in the Cousins O’Dwyer series  starting with the first one by Nora  Roberts entitled The Dark Witch.  And I was lucky enough to find in stock in the library both two and three at the same time. So lots of lovely reading to be doing in this cold weather. 

Dark Witch (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy) By Nora Roberts

I am also in the midst of putting a collection of my poetry together, in the hopes to get it self published.. This is something I promised my self long ago, and now feel the need to complete this particular project.   A sample of  my poems can be found mainly on my other blog over at Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary, the  link can be found on my side panel of my blog. 

I hope all of those in the USA who are in the ‘Polar Vortex’  (The link provides temps across USA, and sky phenomena with the Light and Sun halo’s)  So, keep safe and warm.. I know your temperatures are far, far, below what we are experiencing and its cold enough here and minus four, so goodness knows how you are all coping in the extreme cold..

Take care all of you thank you for reading and welcome to those who are new followers. 

Happy Creating

 

 

August Update on the Plot

Hello friends,

Here is a little update for you on how the allotment plot has been doing in August. The month of August has been hotter than normal here in the UK, and although we have had just a couple of weekends with rain, the watering has still had to be done most mornings to keep the crops from wilting.

So taking you from the top of the plot as we walk down to the sheds. You can see the Dahlias now in bloom  though this year even though they have been watered, are not as large and their blooms soon die.

( If you click onto the photos you should be able to enlarge them.. only I am conserving on space here on my garden blog with the many photos.)

View from the top of the plot looking down to the bottom sheds and greenhouse

I think I mentioned before we had taken advantage of the dry weather to paint our home fences, so as the painting bug got to us, we both completed painting the allotment sheds while the wood was dry.. 

Both sheds repainted, Hubby unlocking the sheds as we arrived.

Kidney Beans half way down the plot as I walked down the plot.

While there are many kidney beans growing, the dry hot weather has made them very stringy.. So they have been very disappointing.  Even the young beans have been affected by the heat and dry. But you win some and you lose some. To make up for the Kidney beans the Dwarf beans have been prolific and very tasty, and we have harvested lots of those and been able to freeze some for storage.  

Sweetcorn

Here you see the leeks in the foreground, sweetcorn to the top and dwarf beans to the right of the picture

This year we tried a different variety of dwarf beans which was called The Purple-Queen. 

The Purple-Queen variety have been a good harvest.

The broad-beans we have had some off, and were looking forward to the rest, when  someone helped themselves to half our crop, I am sure they must have needed them.. And hope they enjoyed them as much as we did.. It’s hard to think other who hold an allotment would come to steal.. But it happens every year, We also had a large ripe cabbage taken from under the nets this week…  So we harvested our apple tree, as they were just about ready.. I forgot to take photos of them..

The plots are mainly open plan and there has to be over 200 plots on the huge expanse of land.. It has two main gates with locks which those of us paying rent for hold keys.. How ever there are also hedges and houses both sides of the fences.. We see people take plots on never to maintain or grow anything on them.. Yet they have the key.. SO its anyone’s guess at who steals.. We have sheds broken into each year also.. So we just have to accept it as part and parcel of what goes off in the world.. 

I know if anything major hit our world food supplies, our plots would be stripped in no time, and nothing you can do.. So while its annoying others take advantage of your hard-work, we always grow more than we need and give plenty away.. You just have to look on stolen crops as giving to the needy.. And hope they don’t get too greedy.. 

Shallots benefited from the hot weather and we also had a good crop of these

Lettuce I can now see as I weeded through them.

The Blueberries I have been picking most mornings as they ripen and not only making pies with them but having them for breakfast with yogurt. Yummy.

Blackberries too have been in abundance, these we have grown from very young shoots. But Blackberries if you are not careful take over, so you have to keep them cut back and pull out new shoots which will root themselves quickly into the ground.

The home garden has also suffered from the lack of rain.. I have been watering and also using washing up water on shrubs etc to help save on using water. Here is a slide show of some plants. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And my little hedgehog family have exciting news too, one of my hedgehogs obviously likes his new hedgehog home. He has been sleeping in the hedgehog box in the day.. and only today I have footage of him carrying leaves back and forth about twelve times to his box to make it cosy for Autumn and when the time comes to hibernate.  He or she.. has been collecting the bamboo leaves to line the inside. I put a little hay in their too. So I am very pleased he enjoys our garden enough to feel safe to hibernate.. Fingers crossed!..  Below you will see the box and him going in and out over the last few weeks.  Some of the dates were not correct as I had to reset the dates. 

Hope you enjoyed  and wishing everyone abundant harvests. 

Happy Gardening! 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

 

 

Another Month has flown.

Dear followers,

Another month has already flown, and its been one of the driest here in England for a long while. We had a water hose-pipe ban in place, as some reservoirs began to dry up,  We had a weekend of none stop much welcome rain this weekend  accompanied by some strong  wind gusts. The rain gave hubby a much deserved rest from carrying watering cans of water two and fro to water our crops in the allotment. He had to go tie up the sweetcorn and my Dahlias have taken a bit of a battering.  But I forgot to take my camera with me to take photos. 

One good thing about the dry spell, the weeds have not been growing as prolific as usual. So that has saved my back a little. 🙂 

While hubby has been doing two hours of watering early every morning I have been picking berries and peas, then the task of cleaning and freezing them. We had a bit of a disaster as one of our freezers we had still some of last years sweetcorn stored and many pounds of berries I had frozen this year, broke down. We didn’t notice right away as the freezer is in the garage. With all the heat of this summer, it wasn’t long before everything was mush..  All had to be thrown out. 

But you win some and you lose some, just one of those things, good thing I kept the nets over the red currents as I was going to leave the rest for the birds, but I forgot to take the nets down, and there were soon plenty more redcurrants that ripened. These photos show what was gathered on two different early morning picking. 

One mornings worth of picking berries and peas

I have been giving my self some lengthy breaks from WP both here and on my main blog. I have been painting my fences around my home garden, and we also last week painted both sheds in the allotment, We went early to beat the heat.  As by 10 am on some days it was too hot for me at least to be working in it. 

 

I also did some different painting, our old bird feeder must have been 15 yrs old, it finally looked worse for wear.. So my hubby made me a new one. I painted it and added some decoration on it then varnished it. So it should I hope last another 15 yr as hubby build the last one. 

Painted some butterflies on it and flowers And yes my window is off kilter 🙂 

Bird Feeder Hubby made I painted. You can also see I painted a couple of fairy doors that were added to the post.. Just to let you know we have fairies at the bottom of our Garden! 🙂

Now over the winter when we are digging and hoeing we often come across bits of old Clay  Smoking Pipes, click the link to see some history about them.  Well we often find the odd broken and stem and recently I found several bowls.. Along with pieces of broken crockery. Also found a tooth, Not sure if its animal or human, hubby seems to think it could be a foxes, Anyway the tooth is on the right. 

Clay Pipes and pieces of crockery, the tooth is on the right found in the allotment plot.

It is interesting to think who tilled the land before we did, and ponder upon their lives. 

I will leave you with some pictures of our some shady spots in our home garden and some more pictures of our hedgehogs, we have several now from babies to adults that come visit and now sleep in our hedgehog box..  So hope that some decide to use it to hibernate over winter in it.  ( Ignore the dates on some of them as the web camera needs to be reset, I forget when we recharge the batteries ) 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hope you are all enjoying your Summer. Much love to you all. 

Happy Gardening

Sue

 

 

 

 

May~ The Growing Force Be With You.

I thought it about time I sat down with my Garden Blog and show you what we have been doing within the allotment.. 

I am also  so very excited to tell you we have our Hedgehog back. In March my daughter bought me for Mothers Day a Hedgehog box, and I put it at the bottom of the garden and it wasn’t long when we had a hedgehog sniffing around and going into it. 

Along with the pressie of the Hedgehog box, my daughter thoughtfully bought dried hedgehog food, and  with our Web Cam we have great pleasure in seeing our little hedgehog sniff around and explore, eating a few pieces  of food most nights in the box as well as finding slugs and snails, worms etc in the garden. He/she is now a regular visitor.  

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Isn’t he/she cute!

I took lots of pictures today in the allotment showing you how planting is going. And at last we are top side of it all before our short break.  If you click onto the photo’s they will take you to the bigger pictures where you can view their captions.

This is how we left the allotment today.  Click on each one to read the captions in the carousel  for more information. 

As you can see, we have been busy. and I have some new additions to plant into my home garden too.  These were some of the plants I got for my Birthday for my home garden.  Again click on the image to read what these are. 

Lots are going on still in the home greenhouse, We have been growing our tomatoes on our spare bedroom windowsills, and they  are yet to go into the greenhouse’  But its full at the moment with  geraniums which were taken from last years plants as cuttings, And my hubby took some cuttings from a potted Fuchsia last Summer. He is training them to become standards. 

My Husband started growing from cuttings last year and training these Fuchsias to grow into standards. They still have a way to go, but they are making strong plants.
All the Geraniums too are from cuttings from last years plants.

 

I also did some re-potting as my Aloe Vera plant was out growing its pot and had created lots of babies.. So these were potted on. 

My Aloe Vera plant was getting too big for its pot and so I transplanted all the babies.

Well that is all the allotment news, I hope you will be patient with me in replying to your comments, as I may not be able to access the internet  after Sunday for a few days. 

Have a Fabulous month of May,  

And Happy Gardening! 

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