Thursday, 28 April 2011

I realise that I have been a bit obsessed with bluebells this month and playing on Wordle confirms this. The words photographs and bluebells stand out, also beginning and finished which sounds as if I am achieving something!

I like the way the word cloud gives me a summary of my past few posts, a snapshot of what is happening in my life.

You can create a Wordle word cloud here.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Woodland - late April

This is the third set of pictures of the woodland I have posted in April but each time I go I take more photographs. The bluebells are perfect at the moment.

Other plants are growing too and everything fits together like a well designed garden, bluebells with yellow archangel

and bluebells with greater stitchwort.

Its much shadier along the path now

as the taller trees come into leaf.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Easter holidays

Its Good Friday today but the Easter holidays are almost over. In the last two weeks eldest son has come home form university and now gone back again to revise for his exams at the beginning of May. We've had a great couple of weeks enjoying the lovely weather. The photographs that I'm sharing today are from a short trip to south Wales at the beginning of the holidays.

This is Oxwich Bay on the Gower peninsular which is a perfect beach for strolling along the waters edge.

The weather was so warm it seemed like summer rather than April.

On our second day we walked on Sugar Loaf hill near Abergavenny, same clear blue skies

although a bit cooler and windy at the top.

Signs of spring growth all around, bilberries just beginning to form,

leaves appearing on the trees in the valleys

and everywhere very cute welsh lambs.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Woodland - mid April

What a difference a week makes at this time of year. A week ago the bluebells were just starting to show, now there is a carpet of blue and the wood is filled with their scent.

The yellow archangel is flowering

and there is more leaf growth on the hazel trees.

finished sewing and knitting

A quick catch up with two finished items. First this bag which was the second project in Alice and Ginnys' sewing classes.  Lots of different sewing techniques were introduced while making this including my first attempt at machine applique.

The course I took was "kick start to sewing" and it seems to have done just that, now that the bag is finished I have bought some material to make two more cushions.

Next on to knitting and I have finished my waistcoat.

The yarn is Twilleys "freedom spirit" in a blue/purple colourway. It is knitted in reverse stocking stitch which softens the colour changes.

Having finished this waistcoat I have now cast on for another one, this time in fairisle knitting - photographs to come when I have done a few rows of the pattern.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Woodland - early April

We have had beautifully warm spring weather here this week and everything is growing. After work yesterday I wandered to the woodland, an oasis of calm after a busy day.

It was  lovely to see that the spring sunshine had brought out the first few bluebells, just a sprinkling of blue amongst the green leaves.

The woodland floor is now covered with fresh growth,

wood anemones,


and the first shoots of bracken.

Some of the trees are now starting to come into leaf but in April the sun still reaches into the woodland producing soft shadows across the path.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

A visit to Hatfield House

Hatfield House is the residence of Lord and lady Salisbury and the gardens were open for the NGS charity at the end of March. We had planned to meet up with our eldest son for lunch and I managed to persuade the rest of the family that this would be a good place to spend an hour in the afternoon. I am the only gardener in the family but I think they were all impressed with the scale of the house and grounds.

We wandered through the daffodils

and I looked at the hellebores in this formal garden.

Not all parts of the garden were open but we could admire the knot garden from afar

and think about the amount of work that must go into keeping this garden immaculate.

This year there is an exhibition of Henry Moore Sculptures at Hatfield and many pieces were already in place. I thought these two looked a little chilly on a cold March day.

For me the flowers were the stars, from perfect camelias

to banks of wild primroses.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

A very small vegetable plot

This is the patch of garden that will be my vegetable plot this year. I will move the hyacinths and forget-me-nots once I start planting! I think the area is about four square yards which is very different from my allotment plot which was over 100 square yards although that included my compost bins and all the paths between the beds.

I'm thinking about what to grow in such a small space, so far I've started dwarf french beans and swiss chard. I've decided not to sow direct since we have so many slugs ready to nibble young seedlings and more established plants will stand a better chance of survival.  The chard will be planted out in a few weeks but the beans will have to wait until the chance of a late frost has passed.

I also have some curly kale plants growing which will take up quite a lot of space but I am trying to include more dark green vegetables in my diet and want to grow some.

I've have planted strawberry plants in a strip of land alongside the garden shed. They are planted closer together than is recommended but this part of the garden was a favourite with the chickens so I'm hoping the soil is quite well manured and the plants will do well.

I'll also be growing in pots, this is salad leaves protected from the neighbouring cats who seem to like to use my pots as litter trays.

It will be interesting to see just how much produce I will be able to get from this small space this summer.