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.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Garden Weather

Means less time for crafting.
But I am still finding time to sit with M'Lady and stitch in the evenings, and I managed to make a start on a new crochet project. Just something to fiddle with if I'm not in stitching mode.
 We have made a start on getting the garden into order. It was a dark wet winter here so not much tidying up happened over the cooler months, which means it all has to happen now.
You can see the freshly prepared beds in the background of this first photo.
 Next weekend, if the weather permits the plants you see above will all go into those beds. I have two each of Cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage. A punnet of spring onions and two sorry looking window sill parsley plants that will do just fine outside.
The local supermarket is once again giving away seedling kits with grocery purchases.
This year they have included flowers as well as veg and herbs.
 I had a few left over from last year too and have been busy planting my Little garden.
I haven't planted any flowers yet, I've been concentrating on food!!
We have once again planted our own tomato seeds which are still too small to go into the green house, but they are coming along nicely and will go out soon.
Already in the green house I have two chilli plants and two capsicum plants. 
I plan to squeeze in a watermelon!
That is one of the seedlings in my little garden. Looking forward to any fruit it produces.
Work has also begun on the flower beds, with a sea of weeds already pulled out and a whole lot more to be removed. We have some new plants to put in when that work is complete and some ideas for a problem area at the back of the house, more about that another time, when I actually have something to show.
I have a staff meeting at work today, which is always a PITA, as  once the domestics are done, I often have time to achieve quite a lot, but can't settle properly and find myself just pottering while I'm waiting for the time to leave.
I do wish these things didn't always fall on my day off!
So I'm off to finish the domestics then potter for a while, maybe make a start on some baking which I can pop into the oven once I'm home.
What ever you're doing today, I hope you have some fun time too.