September 29, 2014

Introducing…Cuthbert Bunnykins!

Introducing…Cuthbert Bunnykins!.

September 27, 2014

Moving, Changing and Not Changing

Heather W:

I missed not posting for several months…

Originally posted on Heather Sprinkles:

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A sunset from a new window.

Hello!  It is several months since I last posted on my blogs.  Things have been a bit manic for me in recent months and the reason for that is because I no longer live where I did the last time I posted!

It’s been an interesting time, flushed with a bucketful of emotions – sadness, excitement, nervousness, happiness, missing old treasured places and discovering new nooks, missing old traditions and starting new ones.  One of the things I liked about the previous time I moved was experiencing every season in the new place, each type of different light, where it would creep in and reflect and refract, where I would see the sun and moon set and rise, which window I would see which constellations from at particular times in the year, to name a few.  These are all things I look forward to…

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April 21, 2014

New Seedlings and More Seeds!

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While I enjoy observing every stage of a plant’s development, I absolutely love this period of time in the gardening year when I’m hiding seeds in compost and waiting for the merest sight of any progress, filled with hope and anticipation.  Each morning when I open the curtains, I squeal with excitement if I see the tiniest of hint of green emerging in one of my little filled flowerpots on the windowsill.  This hope and anticipation I speak of is not confined to the fates of the individual seeds, either.  No, this is a hope and anticipation which seeps out into life in general.  As I’ve said before, for me gardening is not soley a way of growing food to eat or flowers to look pretty, nor do I see it as just a relaxing hobby, but also as a spiritual experience, making me feel more strongly my part in nature, consequently making me feel closer to God.

 

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Last Sunday I remembered I’d got some Amaranthus Tricolor seeds which I’d forgotten to about.  Even though I planted them on Monday, a couple of seedlings have already started to appear, along with some Mini Sweetcorn, Red Leaved Basil, Pumpkin, Watermelon and Dill seedlings.

 

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Outside, I am pleased to have noticed some actual buds on my increasingly lush Sweet Peas, leading me to continue to hope that this year will be their year.

 

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In the greenhouse, my lavender is filling out nicely.

 

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My mint, originally from a handful of cuttings from a dear friend, are coming out for the third year in a row.

 

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The lovely Lemon Balm is flourishing.

 

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The interlopers in the Pinks are most definitely identifiable as Wallflowers now.

 

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It is very nice to see the Pinks perking up around them now that winter has gone.

 

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Today I took the opportunity to plant some more of my new seeds.  Having heard that it is better to sow seeds when the moon is rising rather than when it is waning, I wondered if I was doing the right thing.  After all, I don’t want to doom these little treasures to failure, do I?  If only I knew what the thinking behind that tale is.  However, I reassured myself.  Out of all the farmers I’ve known and seen rushing about trying to drill oilseed rape between harvesting fields of barley and wheat, pulling up the tramlines in the new stubble and dodging the rain showers between July and September,  never once did I hear any one of them say, “I must wait a couple of weeks for the new moon before I continue!”  :D  So I thought I’d take a leaf from their book and carry on regardless.  Besides, you could say I’m hedging my bets.  There are still several packets of seeds I haven’t torn open yet.  Or could it be that I’m trying to elongate the overall period of germination of all of my seeds by staggering my planting process, just so I get to see new green seedling on more mornings as I peel back the curtains? ;)

 

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Whatever the truth of it all, today it was the turn of the Fennel, Melon, Marigold, Squash Turks Turban, Coriander and Carnation seeds to be planted.  Now I have the opportunity to wait for a little bit more green to appear in the mornings.  Let’s hope there will be some. :)

 

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Have a wonderful week!

Best wishes. :)

April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

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Happy Easter!

Best wishes. :)

April 12, 2014

Year 3 of My Flowerpot Garden Begins

Well, here we are, roughly two years on since I began planting My Flowerpot Garden.  I am very excited to report that as the new growing season beckons, I have a mixture of plants from last year and new seeds to try.

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In 2012 I planted: 

Cress, Thyme, Parsley, Chives, Basil, Mint, Rosemary, Rocket, Sage, Hot Chilli Peppers, Strawberries, Carrots and Spring Onions.

On the whole, apart from struggles with the Thyme, Rocket and Rosemary, most of the other seeds grew well.  Obviously, the strawberry plant, having been grown from seed, didn’t yield any actual fruit that year but it established itself authoritatively.

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In 2013 I planted:

More Cress, Thyme, Basil Minette, Rosemary, Rocket and Spring Onions, as well as Lemon Balm, Garlic Chives, Mustard, Oregano, Coriander, Flat Leaved Parsley, Basil Sweet Genovese, Lavender, Watermelons, Tomatoes, Courgettes, Radishes, Lettuces, Petunias, Pinks, Sweet Peas, Dwarf Sunflowers, and  Coleus.

With more variety came slightly more mixed fortunes.  The herbs all grew well.  The watermelons took over!  The vegetable and salad plants flourished except for the lettuces.  I could not make any headway with those at all.  Was it the extremely hot summer?  Or perhaps I just haven’t got the knack of them yet.  Who knows?  My strawberries began to yield very small but deliciously sweet fruit.  The lavender and the Pinks were not due to flower this year, but they moved through their early stages with strength and determination.  This year it is becoming increasingly apparent that leaves I mistook for being those of Pinks at a slightly different growth stage are in fact those of an interloper among the Pinks!  At the moment we are guessing the stealthy flowers are Wallflowers, but time will tell.  The Sweet Peas were a mystery, luscious leaves appearing but never a single flower.  This year the leaves are bigger and greener than ever.  Perhaps this will be their year to flower?  We’ll see.  The Petunias stole the show, even sporting a few last buds on the eve of the first gale in October of last year.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                Here, from previously, I have my crazy Thyme and my recently trimmed Sage, Oregano and Rosemary.

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So now that I have begun to order and collect new rustly packets of seeds for this year, I’m finding myself feeling very excited about the promise the little foil pouches inside those packets hold.  This week I’ve dilligently started washing up last year’s used flowerpots.  (I know I should have done it before.  Well, I did wash some, but the clean and dirty ones all got muddled up when the greenhouse had to be emptied in a hurry ahead the first of the forecast autumn gales.)  Today (aside from my experiment with planting a date stone – to no avail) I planted my first seeds of the year.  I love how some of the seeds smell of the plants that will hopefully scroll out of them.

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Drumroll!!!!!

So far we have nine pots of potential.  There are watermelon seeds taken from one of my harvested fruits from last year, just to see whether or not they might produce another plant – or should I say triffid?!  Then there is my first attempt at growing Dill.  For the second year in a row I’ve planted some Flat Leaved Parsley and Garlic Chives seeds.  This year I’m trying some Red Leaved Basil – after all, variety in the spice of life, they say, sorry the herb!  Two more firsts for me will hopefully be Mini Sweetcorn and Aubergines, if they grow.  As another experiment I’ve planted a couple of seeds from the pumpkin I hollowed out for Hallowe’en last year.  (If they grow will the previous pumpkin’s grimace prove genetic?!)  And just to jolly things up further, I’ve planted another Dwarf Sunflower seed.  They strike me such happy plants!

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Having ordered some other seeds too, I hope that they will arrive soon, but for now I’m just so pleased to have got started with another growing season.  I just hope some of each of the seeds will grow.

 

Have a lovely weekend! :)

April 2, 2014

Haberdasher’s Dashed Off

Among all the superstores and the online big names, do you have any favourite little shops you like to visit?  I have a few, spread across a clutch of small towns.  A particular favourite is a bookshop which also sells stationery and art supplies, and where the smell of coffee and the sound of cutlery tinkling on crockery in the tea room out the back welcomes you.  I used to have other favourites, but many of them have closed down over time.

Last week I intended to visit a wool shop I discovered in the week between Christmas and New Year’s.  Down a little alley, it was one of a few shops lining a courtyard.  What a delightful little shop full of cross stitch kits and fabric packs, needles and hooks, ribbons and binding, and a veritable palette of colours in the form of balls of wool of various thicknesses,.  How I kicked myself when the chap behind the counter told me the shop had been there for two years and I’d never realised!  After visiting the shop a couple of times since, I was all set to go and find me a ball of chunky yarn and a larger crochet hook than I’ve previously owned.

Having completed my Mothering Sunday shopping, I victoriously trotted down the little alley, pausing briefly to rearrange the muddle of purchases in my bag.  So imagine my disappointment when I turned the corner and saw the shop shut, large white sheets lining every broad window, all signwriting above the door gone and no sign of a notice of any kind anywhere!  I couldn’t believe it.

Though out of all the Haberdashery shops and wool shops I’ve ever known in small towns, they have nearly all disappeared, this had completely caught me by surprise.  I wonder if these specialised shops are among those with the highest rates of closures.  It’s such a shame when they disappear because each of them is such a treasure trove of trinkets for people who are very enthusiastic about the related crafts, and they’re very useful for when a tool is needed for an emergency darn or mending.

Fortunately for me, I had a Plan B – a tardis of a shop, which I only visited for the first time a week before Christmas Eve.  It may look like an ironmonger’s but it’s really just teasing you.  Among all the tools, there are watering cans, enamel paints, pet foods, toy stuffing, stationery and the cutest little corner devoted to wool and haberdashery, albeit sandwiched between the wellington boots and outdoor lights.  Some shops you appraise with a slight feeling of dread because you suspect they’re on borrowed time, in this current economic climate.  I hope this little tardis of a shop doesn’t become one of them.  At the moment it stands next to a small supermarket in a place that is hard to define as a village or a town.  With a primary school and a high school, a doctor’s surgery, a new veterinary practice, a fire station and various small shops servicing a settlement of  houses that is increasing daily, I’d like to think this shop stands a good chance of staying put and staying open.  On the wall behind its counter hangs a framed black and white photograph depicting what the shop used to look several decades ago.  I hope more photographs are taken of this shop over the decades, and that they are given pride of place along with the first picture.

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So why did I visit that tardis of a shop?  I wanted to make a Hexagon Hat!  Please take a look at my Hexagonal Hat!:)

March 30, 2014

I Finished It!

I Finished It!.

March 29, 2014

Will I Get It Finished In Time?

Will I Get It Finished In Time?.

March 29, 2014

Crocheted Daffodil Panel

Crocheted Daffodil Panel.

February 14, 2014

Crocheted Hearts

Originally posted on Heather Sprinkles:

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I recently learned how to crochet a couple of different heart patterns, so I thought I’d use them to wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day if you celebrate it or a Happy Friday if you don’t! :)

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