Friday, 24 June 2016

Bramble and a dog rose

 Just a couple of pictures today, nothing to say.

Take care,
Sophie

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Summer plans

summer plans
Summer is what you make it; that's what I believe.
I'm planning to continue savouring every moment, come rain or shine.
The season has offered some highlights already which have been a delight so I'll first strike off a few that we've already encountered. Inevitably, there are a few crossovers with my spring goals list.
summer plans

Done


  • The wardrobe swap - This year I laundered most of my summer clothes before cramming them in the wardrobe. I really need to get my wardrobe refined so that I get rid of things I no longer want to wear...
  • Get up to see the sun rise on the Solstice - We got up, but the sun didn't. A cloudy morning but with a warm breeze (delightfully empty)

summer plans

In action


  • Planting out at the allotment - We grew so many plants from seed in the greenhouse and all but 5 are planted out (they're too small and fragile). 
  • Tending the allotment - It's a constant work in progress but we're ploughing on 
  • Cook with our allotment produce or give it away - we're about to start with the bulk of the harvesting time soon so I need to remain vigilant on using it or giving it away.
  • Taking evening strolls - There have been so many beautiful evenings already we've taken a walk. There's nothing stopping you.
  • Cutting flowers and bringing them inside - yes, I've done this often and it's been so uplifting. I'm searching out more vessels to store them in.
summer plans

To do

  • Press flowers - I have a little flower press and I'd love to get a few pressing, to see what I can manage. They would make for beautiful decorations.
  • Have a proper picnic with my hamper - This is a MUST DO. There's nothing more enjoyable than a simple picnic on the grass in the summer. 
  • Start my journal - I want to document my flower growing journal by hand. I have a book and pens.... I just need to make a start.
  • A trip to the seaside - This is a must do and hopefully it will be a hot day. 
  • Latitude festival - We have tickets so we just need to turn up!
  • Take a holiday - Or at least book one.
  • Stay up til dawn - Maybe. 
There are probably plenty of other obvious things to do over summer but we shall see what the new season brings. All I can say is that I want to make the best of it that I can and share it on here.

Sophie

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Cutting garden update and inspiration

Creating a cutting garden
Can you remember the last time you felt so excited by an idea that you feel like giggling and talking about it non-stop to everyone who will listen? That's how I've been feeling lately about flowers. Earlier this year I wrote about creating a cutting garden at the allotment, growing flowers from seed and planting them out to add colour, attract bees and hopefully to bring some home to pop in vases round the house. Even in the last four months I've learned a lot. Some things have been more successful than others.
The sunflowers are going great guns, with the tallest around 3 foot high at the moment. The first tray of zinnias never germinated. I planted some direct thinking that would be better but nothing there either. On the third attempt I got a tray growing in the greenhouse (better late than never). I gave Mum six and had about nine left for myself, three went in the boarder by the house and the rest at the allotment. I hope they're not too late to flower this year. Marigolds have taken a while to establish and have taken a fair bit of protecting from slugs and rabbits but are looking ready to flower.
Dahlias and asters look almost identical when small but now they're bushing out the leaves are totally different shapes.
Creating a cutting garden

Creating a cutting garden

Creating a cutting garden

Creating a cutting garden


Pretty much all the small seedlings I planted out were demolished by slugs or rabbits. Next year I will be alert and aware of the critical first few weeks; protect!
Cornflowers are non existent sadly, I was so looking forward to them. I won't bother with mixed packets of seeds again; not knowing what I'm supposed to be seeing is irritating and I've probably weeded out some of the things I shouldn't have and I've realised that a jumble of plants is not what makes me happy. My preference is for unity and organisation. Some of the plants are not what I had in mind, some better, some worse. The low, ground covering plants seem to be surviving and ready to flower; lobellia, swan river daisy, linaria, mesmembrythemum... None of which I can cut but the latter being an amazing show of cheerful colour in the sunshine.

Bulbs. I poo-poohed the idea of bulbs in my cutting garden but actually, I've u-turned and think they're a great addition. C bought a few bags of bulbs and I planted eight and a half bays out of the fourteen with bulbs. The ones I put in a while ago are coming up with conviction. The gladioli can be cut and there should be plenty of those.  Lilies could also be cut but I probably won't as they are perfect in situ. Not every flower will make a good cut flower.

Sweet peas are not really establishing, I'd say it's touch and go but we'll see.
Creating a cutting garden
The Cut Flower Patch by Louise Curley
C has bought me a wonderful book which has so much information, advice and ideas. My enthusiasm has been renewed and buoyed so I have plenty in mind for next year. I'm going to draw out my plan for the patch, put in new bulbs, grow some things from seeds and buy in plug plants for things which are difficult. Bearing in mind that to get flowers blooming steadily to be able to cut a few each week for displaying, there will be a different selection. It's going to be a whole new journey next year so that's something to look forward to. However, this year is going better than I dared hope; plenty is growing, I've kept things pretty tidy and weeded as best I could. There should be lots of colour on the plot soon!

The garden at home is more difficult as there is not much free space, with the empty bits in dank shady patches where nothing wants to grow and it's not helped by things almost constantly being trampled by Lincoln either.
Creating a cutting garden

I'm learning; I'm growing too.

Sophie

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Don't speak

navy polka dot dress Gwen Stefani in Don't Speak
Have you ever seen an outfit somewhere and it's stayed with you for so long? (Yes, for me, it happened with my tartan mini skirt and thigh socks combo which I fulfilled back in Autumn
I remember watching the video for Don't Speak and wanting the perfect blue polka dot dress that Gwen Stefani absolutely rocked. Twenty one years later I've done it, this is the one and it's so simple and perfect. My dress is completely see through so a slip is essential although on closer inspection I would deem this one to be a little shorter than I had in mind. 
navy polka dot dress Gwen Stefani in Don't Speak

navy polka dot dress Gwen Stefani in Don't Speak
I'm not really a fan of navy but the white polka dots have sold it to me, good and proper. A dress for summer days and warm evenings; for strolling and picnics and fish and chips by the sea. 

navy polka dot dress Gwen Stefani in Don't Speak
 Red roses. Can you beat the simplicity of a red rose? Elegant and strong and beautiful. Can you believe how long my hair has grown? It's just how I wanted it and wearing loose with flowers makes me very happy.
navy polka dot dress Gwen Stefani in Don't Speak

navy polka dot dress Gwen Stefani in Don't Speak
Sophie