Sunday, 31 July 2011

July Photo Scavenger Hunt

As soon as I read this month's list I went outside and got my first one, and I thought I'd be finished really early but I've ended up taking more than half of them today!  Luckily I went to a wonderful Open Garden this morning which had a sculpture trail and also ceramics and paintings for sale.  Then on the way home I called in at the 'pick your own' place.

Red, white and blue

Flip flops

Ice cream


A flag



Sea shells
these were for sale at the open garden


These are cinnabar moth caterpillars (you can just see another one lower down) which are generally only found on ragwort which is poisonous, making them poisonous as well. 

I'm showing a second one for stripes because my photo for the next category is rubbish

A kite
this sculpture looked so much better in real life with kite shaped pieces of mirror, but they haven't come out very well

Something that makes you happy (but not a person or animal)
Looking round other people's gardens!

You can find other entries for the photo scavenger hunt on Postcards from the P.P. plus the list for August if you fancy joining in.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Short lived

Yesterday we actually had blue skies and sunshine; it was like Summer once more!  But it was short lived and today is cloudy again.
These orange flowers brighten the garden up though

 These are both crocosmias but the second one is much taller and a deeper orange

These marigolds self seed each year and flower all summer long

I've been making another patchwork bag in a slightly different style to the other one.  This time I've gone for a normal shaped bag and used the semi circle part as a flap.  It's got a red lining which feels more luxurious. 

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Raising the alarm

The other week we had an unknown ginger cat pay us a visit.

The first one to notice it's presence was this robin (turn your volume up for the full effect)

Then our cat and the hens saw it (you can still hear the robin in the background)

Notice how the hens are obviously disturbed by it, but go towards it rather than run away.  I don't know if they think it's a fox or know it's a cat but these two have been attacked by a fox before, so you'd think they'd be a bit more cautious wouldn't you?
It hung around for quite a while, but I had to go away because the racket was too much!

Spaghetti (our cat) wasn't too interested in it at all

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

New hens

We've got a new hen and cockerel to keep Bree and Octavia company.

This is Olive

My daughter got them from her friend's brother who has lots of different breeds.  Olive looks like a Black Rock but she is very small so she must have some bantam in her as well.
The cockerel is a bantam, and so he is small as well.  He's not as handsome as Lotto was, in fact he looks quite comical with his small head and comb.  He also looks as if he is wearing a hand-me-down jumper with the sleeves too long, because his wings hang down.  He always has some feathers stuck up at the back of his head which nearly got him the name of Alfalfa, but he ended up being called Wilfred.

They're all getting along nicely together.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Must try harder

It's school report time and there'll probably be a quite a few with 'must try harder'.
A remark I often got on my reports was that I was inconsistent, although one time a teacher said I was consistent in my inconsistency, which I took as an improvement!

If I was getting a report for my vegetable growing this year then it would definitely say I must try harder!
The only thing to eat so far has been spinach, and that had carried on growing from last year so doesn't really count.  There is the red orache of course which there's loads of but I still haven't tried that.

Remember this from March?

Well this is what it looks like now
It looks quite lush but you'll notice there's not a lot growing up the trellis.  There are beans on the right hand side but they're only about a foot tall.  I decided to grow morning glory flowers up the other one but they're about the same height, and in between is a courgette.  The courgette and another two that I planted at the front of the house were really battered about by the wind when I first planted them and they've only just started growing again.  Behind the left hand trellis are some potatoes which are doing really well, but I can't take credit for them because my daughter planted them.

This was supposed to be my main veg patch back in March

and this is it now
under the white grille were peas, which I sowed twice but they didn't come up so I'm now using it as a nursery bed for some perennials which I sowed yesterday.
The twigs at the front were to keep the cat off radishes and lettuce but I think they probably died due to lack of water.
The grille in the background is keeping the cat off my broad beans, here's a closer look at them         
I don't think I'm going to get many beans off them do you?
I've sown other things as well which haven't materialised.  
I think my problems have been that some of my seed is years old and is probably not viable, I have neglected the watering a bit, and we had weeks of really windy weather.  I think the soil could do with beefing up a bit too but I've plans for that.

Have you noticed though that you need to water seeds that you sow, but self sown seeds manage perfectly well on their own?

What I have been successful with, is keeping on top of the weeds.
Can you remember this bed before weeding?
 and after

The following two photos are it now

Those pink poppies and the borage just appeared from nowhere.  I think the seeds must have been lying dormant under a conifer hedge that was cut down last year.

This was in March
and now

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Pocket sized makeover

When I was a kid, we had to change out of our school clothes into playing out clothes when we got home.  This of course was to keep them clean and more importantly undamaged, depending on what games we played.
I've always called clothes that are specially for dirty jobs, my (and everyone else's in the family) playing out clothes.  It amuses me to be playing rather than working.
Anyway, I got my husband a playing out shirt from the charity shop.  It had long sleeves and he wanted short, so I shortened them and made a pocket with some of the spare fabric.  I thought I would discreetly add some applique to the pocket by using the same fabric but at a different angle.

Now I'm wondering if it's not discreet enough.
What do you think, will he even notice if I don't point it out or will he think it's too girly or even childish?
Although it's not like he'll be seen in public in it, and it'll probably soon be stained.

Here's a couple more flowers that are out at the moment in my garden

                           Hemerocallis (day lily)

I noticed the other day that the Hostas are unusually hole free, but we have got quite a few frogs and toads now that must be keeping the mollusc population down.

The damage on the next one was caused be over enthusiastic weeding rather than snails!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Round and round the garden

First of all I'd like to say a big hello and thank you to my new readers and
followers, I'm most honoured by your presence!

The other day I was looking at a blog with loads of photos of flowers in their garden and I commented that I wished I had so many in mine.  
Later on I was thinking about it, and thought I'd go round my garden and see just how many different flowers there were, and do you know what?  I had even more, but when they're spread around the garden they don't look as many.

Pink Lychnis (campion)                         

Lily with unopened Echinops behind

Lady's Mantle






Californian Poppy and feverfew


Lamb's ears




Love in a mist

Night scented stock



White campion, geranium and yellow corydalis


Buddleia (this bee gets around)


The bee on this echinops was dusted all over in pollen


Pincushion flower


Marigold and Feverfew

Water lily (sorry about the net over it)