Thursday, 27 March 2014


 The gardening has been on hold for the past week as I have hurt my back, but that doesn't mean anything to my seedlings; they still need attention! :)  So yesterday I managed to pot on my tomato seedlings.  I went rather overboard when sowing some of the seeds - looks like we will be living on tomatoes this summer! :)  This year I am growing Gardeners' Delight (lots of these will be grown on our allotment as I over did the seeding), Sungold, Harbinger (these seeds were free), Brandywine, San Marzano 2 (plum)
and new to me Black Russian.  These were sown slightly later and they aren't ready to be potted on yet.
My chilli seedlings have been rather slow to grow, even though I start them indoors on a south-facing window sill.
Also indoors I am growing basil.
Yesterday I moved my sweet peas into the greenhouse and pinched out the tops. I am growing Sugar Almonds and Matucana.
 Other seedlings are appearing in the greenhouse :- 
Mixed lettuce
 Curly kale (which this year I am thinking of keeping as a greenhouse crop, as I am fed up of white fly!  My Husband used lots of white oil on the kale last year, but some bugs still remained and one white fly is one too many for me, yuk!)
 Dwarf peas, grown in strips ready to be transplanted at the allotment.
One dwarf bean is just showing and the pumpkins and squashes aren't through yet.

A girl has got to have her flowers! :) So I am growing :-
Autumn Beauty Sunflowers 
 Ammi majus
 Poppy Dark Plum
 Daucus carota Black Knight
 Mixed Climbers
 Zinnia Sprite Mixed

 Mixed Cornflowers
 Mixed Cosmos
 Linaria Fairy Bouquet - I love this little flower!
 Last autumn I harvested some allium seeds from my garden and I am so happy that they have grown. :)  They are Christophii and Purple Sensation (?).
Not the most colourful of posts so far, so here are a few close-ups of some of the flowers out in my garden at the moment.
Narcissus Bridal Crown
Muscari Latifolium
 I have lots of daffodils throughout the garden, but there is space for a few more. :)
 A Saxifraga - I love Alpines.
 Velvet Pansies and beautifully hued Polyanthus in front of the patio windows.
The Pulminaria is spreading in the shady corner of the garden under the Hornbeam.
 A double Bellis
 Narcissus Hawera (?) in the window box.
A close-up of the French Lavender on the patio table - so detailed!

The first Forget-me-nots are in bloom.  I love the way that the raindrops magnify the centres of the flowers.
 The first of the Cowslips are also appearing
 and soon the Tulips will be opening.
This Tree Bumble Bee was resting on the edge of the patio.
 Luckily I can see all of this from the sofa, where I have been stuck most of the week! :(
Through the patio doors
 and window.
 But in case that wasn't enough, I also have a Ranunculus on the living-room window sill! :)
 I truly feel that flowers are food for the soul.
I have always liked this Persian poem :-

“If I had but two loaves of bread, I would sell one and buy hyacinths, for they would feed my soul."

Friday, 21 March 2014

Spring Flowers

Yay, it's official, Spring is finally here! The warmer weather and the longer days have brought on a profusion of flowers.  The wild plum tree next to our garden is rich with sweet-smelling blossom.
This Small Tortoiseshell butterfly was enjoying the nectar.
 When we went for a walk around the village last Sunday, a Blackbird was eating these large ivy berries as we walked past.  Unfortunately he was camera shy!
 Lots of primroses have opened their flowers and soon the woods will be full of bluebells.
 We heard a tapping on an oak tree and discovered this Nuthatch which was trying to store an acorn in the bark.
The butterflies have been warming themselves in our garden.  There have been Comma butterflies,
Brimstones, which are too quick for me to photograph and Peacocks.

 Maurice has been sunning himself on the fence.
Our back garden is looking very lovely now.  Full of daffodils, hyacinths, polyanthus, primroses, wood anemones, violets and some snake's head fritillaries.  

The patio is pretty too.
I recently found this tiered stand in TKMaxx.

 A few tulips have even opened up on the patio.

 The forsythia by the back fence is in bloom and there are buds on the wisteria.

 The lavender on the patio table invites a caress to release its scent.
 The ranunculus and narcissus in the window box are beginning to bloom and the scilla adds a beautiful shade of blue to the box.
Ella accompanied me on my tour of the garden.
 She sat by the emerging cat mint for a moment,
 before rolling in the dirt!
 Indoors the flower theme continues ... with this gorgeous bunch of flowers that I bought from the supermarket yesterday.  I am a fan of Tesco's cut flowers, they always last well and their bouquets are so pretty.
 Also whilst out shopping, I spied these Royal Albert, bone china plates in a charity shop for just £1 each!
Moss Rose, 1956
 Celebration, 1969
 And finally, my latest crochet project ... Dahlia Granny Squares for a cushion.  At least that is what I am calling them as they remind me of dahlias.  These are so quick and easy to make.  I found the pattern here.  I need to make 25 and then block them, before joining them together with double crochet (UK).
Sorry for the rambling post!  I hope you are all enjoying the sunshine too.
Best wishes, Pj x