Wednesday, 4 May 2016

A Baby Girl Ripple

Hello Lovelies,
There's nearly always some crochet going on here so far this year, and it's largely baby blankets. This latest one was a commission! 
My friends daughter saw THIS blanket that I made a couple of years ago. She wanted a blanket like it but in " pink or yellow"....Ummm. 
Working in shades of one colour didn't really appeal too much. so I tentatively asked " or both?" And was happy when the reply came back, "yes please, yellow and pink" Phew.
I already had quiet a few Stylecraft shades and got going straight away.........


I always seen to have a point where I think, is this working? Is it hideous? I think that was when I took the photo above. Thankfully I got lots of positive feedback on Instagram, and carried on.

Rippling is not so easy for me. Working into every stitch and counting up to four is a lot slower than making granny squares I find. Why do I go wrong so often? Why am I always pulling back?
I know some of you other lovelies feel the same.

But in the end, it was just a small project and after two or three weeks it was done....woohoo.

and do I love it now?.....YES!

This was an early morning washing line shot and I LOVE the way it glows in the sunlight.

I did a very simple border, similar to my previous baby ripple, with a chain loop edging......


And I evened up the ripples with stitches of various heights at either end.....


The colours I used are all Stylecraft special DK.

The yellows are Lemon, Citrus and Saffron.
The Pinks are Pale Rose, Raspberry, Pomegranate, Candy floss, Fondant Clematis, and Fuchsia Purple.


I'm so pleased my friend's daughter loves the colours. And it's even nicer to hear that her six month old loves to cuddle it too.
There's no denying that the fiddle-some ripple makes a wonderfully soft and snugly blanket :0)
Jacquie x

Saturday, 30 April 2016

My Garden :: April

Hello Lovelies,
recently I've been spending a lot of time in the garden. Well not so much this past week. Gosh it's been chilly!
I had a week off with my boys earlier in the month and these days they are not too keen to go out with me. So I spent a lot of time in the garden, where they did all join me on different occasions.

I've taken quiet a few photos of the work and things that have made me smile while I was out there this month.
So now I've gathered them together as a review of April in our garden. Would you like a tour? 
This is the plot. Not tiny...well it's the biggest garden I've ever owned.......

 You can see our pond in the bottom left hand corner. I've done some work getting rid of pond weed and thinning out the more invasive plants.

Now the marsh marigolds are flowering in the water......

I love these giant buttercups. Such happy, sunny flowers

and the frogs are sitting in the rocks enjoying the sun, when it shines..........
 

A little further along the left hand side I've been busy pruning roses and digging out a huge overgrown clump of Japanese anemone. I do like it but it had got too big and I wanted to try something different. So now it has other herbaceous perennials that I've dug up, divided and replanted.....


A little further along Eldest helped me to make a new flower bed. Stripping the turf was hard going and I was very grateful for his assistance. It's all part of our "sort of" plan to make this more of a flower garden and less of a football pitch now the boys are older...........



It was lovely to go and buy a tree together and plant it in our freshly dug bed.......


It's the king of cooking apples, I do love apple crumble :0)........


I don't know a great deal about growing apples and I'm hoping the fact that our next door but one neighbour has apple trees will mean it gets pollinated ok.

Moving along, In the top left hand corner of the garden we have a "Rockery" ...well that's what it was. Lots of gravel and stones and tiny plants.
 Mr BM is dismayed that some bigger plants are taking over. I'm not. I feel like it needs some height here to hide the mass of fence.
It does look rather weedy at the moment but I have removed the weeds and left all the  self seeded Aquilegia ........

And also planted some more "big" plants...shhhh :0)

There have been changes in the top right hand corner of the garden. We were all so taken with the grey/green eldest painted on the bench he made me, that it was decided the shed should get a makeover too. Hubby added some new cladding to the side where it was warped and leaking first. We inherited this shed from my mum and I worked out it must be 25 years old. With regular TLC it's doing great....

At the side of the shed we have removed the old raised veg patch, which wasn't getting used. And hubby built a simple patio with old slabs we already had. it's all about recycling and making do here.

The little beds in front of the deck have been lovely this spring. The narsissi we planted in the Autumn have flowered for ages and had a wonderful scent. The new growth on the rose I had for my birthday last year looked particularly lovely with added raindrops........



In the other bed I have a little acer tree with has the most amazing coloured  leaves opening up.......



The right hand ( west facing) bed doesn't look too different to previous years but I am trying to add more colour. Once again I've done loads of weeding and transplanted plants. I like the lower fence here as it gives us chance to chat with our lovely neighbour..........


Even if our neighbour is not out tending her immaculate plot I never feel alone. There are always birds around . We have quiet a brave Robin who perches close to me sometimes. Other times he sits high in this tree and sings beautifully......


There he is ........


This is a little further along the right hand bed. You can see my bird feeders hanging in the tree,  which I'm still regularly filling with sunflower seeds..........


The dunnocks , amongst others, love them. And I am pretty sure they are nesting in the conifer hedge close by..........


Ha, here's a corner I don't think I have  shared on my blog before. It's behind the garage and our other shed, and is very much a working area.. There are some scruffy primroses and carnations  in the raised bed here. I've planted some more foxgloves to go with the self seeded one which is looking pretty huge already..........


The final part of our garden is a patio near the house. It's north facing and was cluttered with all sorts of stuff. I've had a good tidy up and in the corner I've made a start on some container gardening with plants that will tolerate shade.
 The large square container is the old water tank out of our loft! It was removed last year when we had a new fangled boiler, and I rescued it from the rubbish pile. I put lots of broken bricks and bits of concrete in the bottom, followed by some gravel. It has a drainage hole where the pipe used to go in near the bottom. Very handy........


The idea is to have a bit of fun creating a Fairy garden in it. There's lots of wonderful examples on Pinterest . Take a look at the board I have created HERE

Mine has a long way to go but I've made a start. I love the way my broken pot garden turned out. I was lucky enough to have a pot which had already broken in just the right way :0)


I hope you enjoyed the tour lovelies, even tough there is not much in the way of flowers just yet...(note to self, plant tulips in the autumn.)
 Would you like to pop around again at the end of may to see what's new?
I do hope so.
Jacquie x

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

An Open Garden

Hello Lovelies,
after spending most of my week off in the garden... weeding, planting, digging up and dividing I was ready for a little trip on Sunday.
Mum had kindly brought me the NGS booklet for our area and one open garden immediately caught my eye.

I do seem to be a little bit obsessed with gardens at the moment, but that's not a bad thing, surely. I'm going with it anyway.

So on Sunday morning hubby, eldest and I set off to Felley Priory.
It was only about 10am when we arrived and the flowers were still glistening with dew, beneath a clear blue sky.......



We walked past beds of spring flowers and came upon this wonderful pond, it made me gasp with delight..........





The sunlight sparkled on the water.....


And everywhere there were flowers........



How I loved it's setting, with cute old cottages as a backdrop........


Ahhh, a lovely mossy wall. And this one had flowers too!.......


This striking marginal plant caught my eye........


and from here we could see the priory it's self........



I loved this corner of the garden, with it's intriguing statue, and someone's forgotten weeding tools......


Who ever does the weeding here does an amazing job. The beds were all so well tended, full of beautiful plants, most just awaking from their witner slumber but lots looking their absolute best. If there were any weeds I certainly didn't see them.

So much hard work I'm sure, and yet large parts of the garden looked very natural...........


There were lots of these charming Fritillary scattered throughout the grass around the pond too........


In complete contrast the formal gardens near the priory were very manicured. Perfect lawns, and immaculate topiary caught the eye........


I liked these pergolas. I'm sure they will look stunning in summer, offering cool shade beneath beautiful flowers.......


I do love Clematis, but I rarely seem to have much luck with them.........


These  ducks made me smile, and in the background you can see the lovely view from the garden.........


Around the side of the priory was another spring garden.....


So many lovely Daffodils........


All these plant supports gave a hint of the summer blooms to come.......


Through an old doorway we entered the Rose garden.......


Oh, what a delightful spot. We headed straight for the bench, to sit in the warm sunshine......


And beside it I spotted a flower that's one of my favourites.......


The  old stone wall and the beautiful magnolia tree here were delightful......


of course the Roses were not yet flowering.....


They were mostly being trained up arched supports, but this metal basket looked an older and very charming way to showcase these special flowers.....



Oh look, more fritillary........


and lovely Magnolia trees........


It was good to see new areas were being planted too.........


Eventually we walked back through the older part of the garden.......



Past the nursery........


and followed the blue signs up the muddy, slippery path........


till we found the bells of blue ( or is it purple?)......


well, whichever colour, it's simply stunning........


I couldn't stop taking photos......




It's one of nature's truly magical sights, don't you think.......













From this part of the woodland you could look back towards the priory.......

I loved the pretty valley Felley priory was nestled in. 

The gardens are open all year round, but not every day.
 See HERE for opening times. I do hope to come back in the summer, but I'm so glad we travelled here at Bluebell time too.....



Jacquie x