Wednesday 25 October 2017

More garden doings....

But first some very exciting news!
I'm going to have another grandchild next year. 
My son Jiffy Jonathan and his beautiful girlfriend Josie are pregnant.
To celebrate I made this cute wee blanket, it's just big enough for a Moses basket and really didn't take long to make.
Very soon it will be on it's way to the Isle of Man, along with one or two other items from my Granny collection. 
The weather is still rather changeable here in Timaru, one day it's warm and sunny, the next we are back to cold and wet. But Tony and I have dodged the showers and spent some more time in the garden. One of my tasks has been to get my herb garden going. This year I have opted to keep it in the back porch in order to leave a little more room outside. It's a dry but grey day today and difficult to get nice photos, sorry.
Speaking of outside, things are starting to look green out there, the veges we planted earlier this month are growing well and in some cases too tall for the cat/bird/butterfly proofing.
 Behind the veg bed my Peony tree is looking somewhat overcrowded by it's neighbour. I'm not sure what that is beside it, but it's days are numbered. It is blocking sunlight from my veggies and messing with the peony, so it will be going.
 Further along the garden, behind the greenhouse, next doors clematis is putting on a beautiful display.
 And just on the other side of the path you can see some of the results of my supermarket freebies!
My little garden watermelon, cucumbers and courgette are all potted into troughs and placed so that they can ramble along and down the bank. Hopefully they will do ok there. We will need to ensure we keep up the water though
Yes, that is a bunch of old tyres you see under my greenhouse!  The back of the property slopes away to the fence line, our predecessors in this house had pulled out some of the gardens and built up a solid surface to sit a trampoline on. It was done using old tyres and crusher dust and was a great stable platform ready for us to pop a green house onto.
 Things are looking promising inside the green house too.
The tomatoes are looking strong, there were two extras which we potted, I'll find a spot outside for them once things get a wee bit warmer.
 On the other side of the space as you know, I've been planting capsicum and chilli peppers.
s well as the usual varieties of capsicum I have added my candy cane red and another one called mad hatter. 
 There are still one or two little garden seedlings almost ready to be planted out.
Back outside, we finally got the long bed weeded. Phew! That took a lot of effort.
It#s still looking a bit battered and worse for wear, but is recovering.
Mr H has finally agreed that while bare earth looks very nice, a good mulch is a great way to lessen the weeds!!
 There are even some flowers appearing!
 In other areas, there are still jobs to do. The fennel I grew from my little garden last year has survived the winter. Although we didn't really enjoy eating it, it is a pretty plant and I decided to keep it as an ornamental, it will be moved from it's current spot just as soon as I figure out where to move it too!!
And finally I went to a craft market at the weekend with Debbie and came home with plants!
From front to back I have two podophylum, a hosta and a trillium. (The mint has been there for a while) All are awaiting their instructions! I'll keep you posted on where they go in!
We have a landscape gardener coming along this evening to take a look at the front of our property. We want to make some changes and need help with that bit!! At the moment it looks like a weed infested battlefield! Tony dug out the old fence and gate posts and then we got stuck! We know it needs to be levelled off, and new path and probably a lawn. Hopefully the landscaper will be able to help us out with some ideas and make it look easy as he transforms it!!
I'm off to sort out a new crochet project.

Wednesday 11 October 2017

A Rainy Day Update

 I really do need to get out into the garden, but the weather is just awful again, so dark and wet, so instead if any one wants me today, I'll be right here, warm and dry and stitching away.
I managed to get a wee bit more done on Spring Queen this week, but I'm still not half way down the first page. She is going to take a while to complete.
The weather may be keeping me indoors most of the time, but I have popped out with the camera to get a few pictures. Do you recall I mentioned a candy cane capsicum? The plant is still tiny, but here is the label showing the expected pretty fruits
While I was shopping for lawn food I came across a pile of these pretty bags and they were filled with Daliah tubers/bulbs. There were pinky/purple bags like this one and reddish/orange bags, I'm hoping this means I will get pinky /purple flowers if I actually manage to plant the poor things.
Then I get a pretty bag to use for what ever. Bonus. 
My super market little garden is going strong and even if I don't get outside, I will have to make time very soon to go into the shed and do a little potting on, some of these are out growing their fibre pots.
I have beans, spinach, red onions, lettuce butternut and even a watermelon sprouting.
So pleased with the results so far.
On a recent trip outside I noticed some new friends. This iris was always here but has never flowered for me, it just popped leaves up each spring, that was it, show was over. I was delighted to spy this pretty flower out there and took a quick photo. Oh and as you can see, the peonies are all revved up and ready to flower too.
It's also the first time this yellow iris has popped up. I planted a whole bunch of bulbs last year and this year I am seeing some reward for that. The big strapping leaves to the left of my yellow friend are another iris that was here in the garden when we inherited it. It has never flowered for me yet, but I hope that it will one day.
The daffys may be finished, but the blue bells are putting on a wonderful display.
And so is this! I have no idea what this purple flower is, but in spite of it being pulled out last year by and over enthusiastic weeder, it's back again this year.
Do you know what it is?

Wednesday 4 October 2017

Then and Now

Just a quick update, to show my very slow progress on my Spring Queen cross stitch.
The last time I showed her she looked like this image, which I shared on 20th September.
As I mentioned last time our garden life has made a seriously large hole in our crafting time and not a huge amount has happened. I have however managed to get some stitching done and here is what M'Lady's dress looks like now.
While I was stitching away the other day I was thinking to myself that the contrast in the shading of the dress is a little extreme, yes, we would see shadows in the folds and creases of the fabric, but would it really be that dark in there, given how light the light areas are?
Then I remembered thinking the exact same thing the first time I stitched her.
I wish I had remembered sooner, then maybe I might have tried my hand at converting some of those darker shades to something a little lighter.
Ho Hum...
Although it is a beautiful day, I'm feeling a wee bit under the weather today, so I'm going to stay indoors and stitch.
Then when himself gets home, we will be bottling his third home brew beer. The last one was very, very good. I couldn't drink a whole bottle, too fizzy for me, but very nice all the same. Hope this one is good too.

Monday 2 October 2017

More garden goings on.

Tony and I took an extra day off this weekend and spent Friday together. We took an hours drive to Ashburton, where I would usually visit Annies Country Quilts. But not this time, this time we were out to look at garden stuff. We did make a couple of purchases, the most exciting of which is a candy cane capsicum!  It's only a tiny plant at the moment, but hopefully later in the simmer I will have pretty fruits to show you. 
On Saturday we applied ourselves to actually doing some gardening. This thin shady bed was a mess of weeds and old bark chip mulch. We have tried in the past to get it going with something a little prettier, but with little success. After some advice from a lovely helpful lady at a local garden centre Tony got stuck in with his shovel and removed several inches of bark, weeds and soil, then we applied a weed suppressing membrane. I know some gardeners will be horrified by that, but it's our garden! 
 It will not remain as bare black plastic, we have already planted a beautiful sweet scented Daphne who, we are assured will love her shady corner.
 And two feijoa trees. 
We plan to add a good thick layer of fresh bark chips, a large ornament of some kind and a few planters with something colourful in there too.
So while Tony was busy with the diggy, diggy, I was weeding in the lower bed and on the opposite side of the path. It now looks much more presentable. We plan to give this bed the same treatment in time, although I'll have to figure out what to do with all the bulbs that are in there. Fish them out as we dig, then into pots and tubs I guess. 
As you can see, it is still very early in the season, the daffs and winter roses are still going strong.
My fairy didn't mind the NZ winter and kept company with her pal the kiwi amid the weeds.
After Saturdays exertions, Tony especially didn't want to go back into the garden on Sunday, but it was a much cooler day and I managed to convince him it was a good day to get the veggies in.
The brocolli, cauli and cabbage are in the bed with the green net over it, there is room in there for more. Good thing too as my little garden from the supermarket is all starting to show signs of life and I'll need somewhere to plant it all! 
In the closer bed, under the black bird cloth I have spring onion, celery, beans, beetroot and raddish.
We both agreed that it felt good the get that done.
While we were busy working there I was looking into the flower bed on the other side of the green mesh, I could see that the huge winter rose I had inherited with the garden has put out a bunch of babies and is showing signs of spreading and covering the ground below the cherry tree.
Last year I had transplanted some winter rose seedlings into the same area and they are also looking good and thriving.  That was good to see. Hopefully we get a good dry summer and will be able to get outside and keep things a little tidier this year. 
We still have a third veggie bed to plant, and plan to fill it with sweetcorn. I'll need to go buy some seed. 
So that's the gardening news. On the craft front....
I really still haven't done a great amount. I managed a couple of hours with M'Lady, a few rows of crochet and I took up a pair of pants.  Not much at all really.
Maybe this afternoon I can achieve something.
But first, I'll be making cheese and herb scones, with fresh homegrown herbs.