Wednesday, 20 March 2013


Despite it now being officially spring here in the UK, we are still experiencing really cold weather with cold blasts from the north.   So, the Spring Show at the Farnborough Fuchsia & Perlargonium Society I belong to was a welcome respite from the wintry conditions outside our meeting place.  This was our first Spring Show and was a huge success.  Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera and only remembered the camera on my 'phone when I was driving home.    We had lots of entries and most members entered at least one and most two or three of the ten classes we had.  I was thrilled that I won a first in two classes, but I have to confess that in one class mine was the only entry and in the second class there were two entries.    Still it was all great fun and everyone enjoyed it.

Orchid Paphilopdilum - Class winner

 My Blue Jug continues to be filled with flowers or greenery from the garden - just now it has my standby Viburnum with blue Pulmonaria, primroses and Tete a Tete daffodils.

 The window box outside is looking particularly good just now 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

A quieter life

It was a long day on Saturday. I left home at 8 am to drive to Northampton for the PAGS A.G.M.  Only two hours drive, but I wanted to be early and you never know what traffic conditions will be like on the motorways.   As it was, I had a clear run and arrived at the hotel in plenty of time for coffee and chats with fellow members.   We had an excellent speaker for the morning session, and after lunch the usual business of an A.G.M.  We then had a committee meeting to elect various officers and attend to any urgent business, and I was able to leave at 4.50.  I was home by 7.30.  A long day indeed.

I've made a start on my latest project - it's a granny square blanket for my eldest son's girlfriend.   I noticed that when she is at his house she is often cuddled up with her dressing gown around her - not that his house is cold; she just feels the cold more than most I think.  Anyway, I thought I would make her a granny square blanket, one she can leave at his house - hence the muted grays and beiges. The squares will be edged with a very dark gray and I will join them using the join as you go method.   It's to be a Christmas Present so plenty of time to complete it.  The wool is Paton's Aran and is quite thick, so should be nice and warm to cuddle up under!

It was meant to be my holiday project - not that I would have finished it there, but I need something to do without taking heaps of yarn.   With only five balls of wool it is perfect.   However, notice that I used the word 'meant'.  Due to the severe cold weather we have cancelled our trip to the house in Normandy.   The weather there is far far worse than here in Surrey.  Not nice to drive through and also the house will be very cold as no one has been there since October.  However, looking on the bright side, it does mean I can get on with things in the greenhouse and garden - assuming the weather warms up a bit.   We will join Brian's cousin and her husband there in September.

My Blue Jug.
I am still keeping this filled with flowers and greenery from the garden and brought these in just before the severe weather hit us.  I spotted some forsythia in bud and picked a couple of branch ends - two days in the warm and they are fully opened.

We had the family here on Mother's Day, which was on Sunday.  I love having them all here, although the house is now far too small for them all really.  But the children are very good - of course they are growing up.

Friday, 8 March 2013

A busy time

I will be glad when the AGM on Saturday is over.  Life gets quite hectic in the ten days or so beforehand getting all the memberships up to date on the database as they come in the post.   There is always a flurry of late comers , but will slow down now. 

Last  weekend Brian and I went to a large charity shop in a nearby town and I found a small compact tripod at a bargain price.  I snapped it up.  I do have a larger tripod (also a charity shop find), but this one will be so useful for popping into my camera bag.  I even used it, albeit at the very short length on the table, when I went to my U3A photography group.  We were learning to use the timer on our cameras.  I did not think that I would ever use a timer, but on thinking about it I could use it for taking photographs of my pelargoniums to avoid camera shake.

On Tuesday our village garden club had invited Helen Yemm of Thorny Problems in the Telegraph to speak.  Now I love Helen Yemm's column, and if you have not read it, then I urge you to buy a copy of the Telegraph this Saturday and immediately take out the gardening section for a good read.  Helen gives down to earth advice on all manner of gardening problems.  Her talk was about downsizing your garden.  She had moved from a small London garden to a 2 acre garden which, it was obvious, she loved.  She had turned it from a field to a wonderful garden full of colour.   When she suddenly had to leave her precious garden it must have been like a bereavement for her.  However, she found a new house, with a much smaller garden, and began to grow her beautiful plants again.  In a short space of time she has created a wonderful garden  which looks much larger than it probably is. 

And a bonus – I won a prize in the Raffle – a signed copy of Helen Yemm’s RHS book – Grow  Your Own Flowers.  How lucky was that?