Sunday, 28 April 2013

Trip to RHS Wisley for coffee and lunch date.

We had lunch in the week with Brian's cousin and her husband.  We met at Wisley Gardens - not far for either of us to travel to - and had coffee and a short stroll around the lake.  Although I had my camera with me, we were too busy chatting for me to take many pictures.

Stachyurus chinensis
My dear friend from America is arriving in the UK today.  She will be staying for a couple of days with another friend in Suffolk, and then on Wednesday I am going to Peterborough to pick her up and bring her back here.  We are actually staying overnight in Peterborough as our friend is giving a talk there so we are staying to hear that and we will drive home on Thursday.

That will be the start of our adventures.  We do love our adventures.  We will be travelling to Belgium to visit a plant nursery and then stay a couple of nights in Bruge before returning here.  Then a couple of nights in London visiting the Lindley Library and gardens.  Our last adventure was two years ago when I travelled to California.  From there we flew to Ohio to stay with a friend, then back to California and then a long drive to San Diego, stopping off at various friends on the way.  Then the long journey back.  What an adventure that was.

So I have been madly dashing around the house to give it a good tidy and clean, so not very much to report.

I have been seed sowing - runner beans, lettuce, cabbage, radish, beetroot.  And I noticed today that the radish are up already.  I also sowed cucumber, courgette, chilli peppers and some morning glory seeds.

I have also written to Thompson & Morgan about the cucumber seeds - packet states average contents 4 - there were only two in packet, and only one of those has germinated.    How much did the packet cost?   £3.99.  I had an automated reply stating there was a two week delay on replies!

Here is my Blue Jug today  - it has had more or less the same flowers in it since we got back from our trip to Bournemouth.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

What a difference three days makes

Last weekend Brian and I decided that, as the weather was to be dry and a bit warmer, we would take a short break.  On Sunday morning Brian booked us into a small Hotel in Bournemouth on the South Coast for three nights.  We left mid-morning after packing our cases (and I had taken all the plants and cuttings from the conservatory and put them in our Front Room) we set off.  The journey from here to Bournemouth only takes 2 ½ hours so we were there for lunch. We walked into town and passed the balloon waiting for passengers.

The sky and sea were both a bit grey, but there were people on the beach.

This interesting memorial sculpture was at the end of the road - a memorial to Flt. Lt. John Egging who was tragically killed when his Red Arrow crashed.

The next day we went to Christchurch and walked around the small harbour there, and along the path by the river.

We came across this reproduction "Ducking Stool".  The Ducking Stool was used as a punishment for women in medieval times for such crimes as prostitution, witchcraft and for 'scolds'. A scold was a gossip, or bad tempered woman.   In the case of witchcraft, ducking was seen as a foolproof way to establish whether a woman was a witch or not.  If she drowned she was deemed to be innocent, if she floated  then she was assumed to be guilty and further punished.   I have to say that the water did not appear to be very deep here. 

The following day we went into Poole and had a walk around the big harbour there.  I loved these coloured buoys  We also went into Poole Pottery.  Unfortunately Poole Pottery is no longer made there, but they do have a demonstration of decorating the pots by their very talented artists.  We always find this interesting.

Walking back to our hotel after our evening meal this squirrel dashed across the path in front of us with a paper cup in his mouth.  He stopped and proceeded to get the lid of to drink the contents.  How clever is that?

On our journey home on Wednesday we stopped off at a Garden Centre for coffee (and a few purchases) and found this chap guarding the entrance.   He does look very fierce.

What a surprise when we arrived home in the afternoon.  The garden seems to have exploded into colour – well one corner anyway.     The tree behind our summerhouse/shed was covered in blossom, and the camellia next to it had more blossom on it than when we left.   There was a beautiful rainbow behind the tree when I took the picture.  Can you see it?

I forgot to take a photo of my Blue Jug, so will post that picture next time.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Bargains to brighten the days

I hope you all had a lovely Easter this year.  Ours was a rather quiet affair.  We did pop over to visit our younger son and his family on Easter Sunday morning, but did not see our elder son who was away for the weekend.    I took this picture of our grandson climbing the apple tree.  Don’t worry – it is not a high tree and he was only about three feet from the ground.

I've been a bit under the weather this last week- nothing serious – just a ‘general malaise’ I think.  I just could not get into anything, even the crochet went by the board and I just flaked out in the evening and had some early nights.   However, it’s amazing what a bit of sunshine can do, and these last couple of days I have felt much better


One thing that has been lifting my spirits is this Amaryllis.   I found the bulb, still in its box, in a Charity shop in, oh, early February I think.  Anyway, it was only £2.00 so I bought it.  The compost was so dry that when I lifted it up some of it fell out and then trailed across the shop floor as I went to the till!   When I got home I re-potted it into fresh compost and watched it grow!  It has four flowers and, can you see? - there is another flowering shoot coming along.  Wonderful value!

I have not been completely idle as I have spent a few days out in the garden, but really just ‘pootling’.  A few plants have been potted up and on.

I took these photos’ today of the crocus and iris in the planters.   Aren't they amazing?   I have not seen crocus like these before, so very pretty and unusual.  The iris just have to be seen from above with their intricate markings.  I bought all these bulbs in Poundland – what bargains!

Last night I picked up my ball of yarn and crochet hook and made a start on the granny square blanket I am making for my son’s girlfriend.   I am liking it more now I have the darker border round the squares.