Spring in the Garden and a Move on the Horizon

At last after far too many soggy days we have sunshine! This time of the year often means clear skies equal frosty nights but hey, it’s infinitely better than constant rain. I even have some daffodils appearing, which I always find exciting.

I’m going through cupboards and drawers discarding 17 years of clutter. For some extraordinary reason, whilst I was whipped into a throwing away frenzy, I binned all the carefully saved bulb packets. I think it was because I had assured myself all bulbs had been labelled whilst planting last year. WRONG! The above pretty crocus is sans label, I have had to Google until I came across a name I recognised. I believe it to be ‘Snow Bunting’, that seems to ring a bell anyway.

The garden is still mine until I hand over the door keys on the last day – whenever that is going to be! It will be a sad day but until then I can’t turn my back on a much loved garden and think after Easter you won’t be mine anymore. Above is the wettest, boggiest part of the garden, however the ferns love it and the foxglove I moved during the summer looks very happy. That is annoying really as I have never had much success with foxgloves, it would decide now to behave.

Whilst lots of people love foxes, the local urban foxes are the bane of my life and love trashing my garden and digging holes. There are lots of daffodils and tulips bulbs in this bed and in order to make life a little challenging for Freda Fox and her growing family, I placed lots of little sticks as a deterrent. It doesn’t look too attractive but appears to have done the trick, albeit there are still a few places they have made holes – you can’t win all the battles when it comes to gardening.

There is one solitary brave flower on the forsythia, it is a large shrub and the flower looks as though it has been stuck on for fun. I didn’t notice it when taking the photo but the spirea is also in bud, this shrub has wonderful golden autumnal shades in the Spring, turning a boring green in the summer.

I never tire of the little red lipstick shapes of the appearing peony. In all the years I have had it, the wretched plant only ever has one flower and I have never managed to find out what I am doing wrong.

Back to the patio, the hyacinths are pushing through the soil, which looks like a boiling porridge pot and is spilling over the sides as the plant makes its way to the daylight. I must remember not to use so much soil next time.

With little sunshine on the patio at the moment, the crocuses are not opening up in the way they should, so ‘Firefly’ is not showing to its best, still pretty though.

New update: My Move

Kirstie and Phil of Location Location Location TV fame would be proud of me – compromise being the order of the day. When looking for somewhere to move to, I had a choice of a small property and tiny garden on the Isle of Wight with all the travel issues that brings, or a ground floor apartment in Hampshire with French doors facing south on to a large patio. Fingers crossed all goes to plan and I have gone for the second option in Emsworth, a pretty harbour village near Chichester. My daughter and her husband are moving there next week and with a large garden that needs a lot of work I’m gently feeding the idea that they need help PLUS the icing on the cake is I have already found someone with a plot to share on an allotment just down the road. I am really excited about the prospect and can concentrate on patio/container planting and managing a small allotment – lots to blog about. I will be so disappointed if it collapses, but I am going to be positive. Keep your fingers crossed for me please people!

To Sow v. To Sew

When it comes to the weather being too wet or cold I usually turn from gardening to needlework, hence to sow v. to sew.

A few years ago I had a small business sewing and selling cotton bags through Etsy. It started as fun but as my Thingummy bags became more popular it lost its enjoyment. I was also coping with breast cancer so my little cottage industry went by the board, leaving me with boxes of fabric waiting to be resurrected. One of the biggest hurdles was pricing the bags. The fabrics I used were good quality quilting material, but the sum of costs x time x profit made the price high in a competitive market, so I also became a little despondent, they sold well but I was not making a profit.

It hasn’t stopped me buying interesting and unusual fabrics to sew dresses for my grand daughter. I love the American quilting fabrics, especially those by Riley Blake and Michael Miller. Trouble is there are only so many dresses a fast growing 7 year old can wear, so I do have to restrain myself.

I don’t expect you need a grammar lesson but as a lover of gardening and needlework there are two words that have a tentative connection, Sow and Sew. Sewing is stitching something together, like a tailor sews two pieces of fabric. Sowing, on the other hand, is planting, as in putting seeds in the ground that you hope will grow.

With a move due in the next few months – there is something in the pipeline but I don’t want to put the mockers on it yet, so I will write more about that in a few weeks once things have progressed a bit further down the line. I will say it is in Hampshire and NOT on the Isle of Wight.

Sorting out clutter and collectibles ready for a move is quite daunting. The above Singer sewing machine I bought in the late 60’s, is cast iron, weighs ton and is almost a family heirloom but sadly has to go, it was replaced about 4 years ago with an all singing and dancing new Singer.

The old Singer was instrumental in making extremely fashionable shift dresses for me in the 60’s and in the late 1970’s, I made clothes for both of my daughters from babyhood, and it even went to university with them. It is still in working condition and I was loathed to consign it to the local amenity tip so rang a local sewing machine repair man who suggested I contacted Tools With a Mission. It was collected today, and I waved it goodbye. TWAM are a charity who collect unwanted tools, refurbish them, sort them and send them across the world. What better new life for a much love warhorse.

I will be moving with my boxes of fabric pieces and may well, now I’ve retired, start to sew Thingummy Bags again, that is when I am not sowing seeds for the new garden.