Friday, June 12, 2015

Sophie, the weather & a reunion

Sophie needs to make an appearance first although I need to write a whole separate post about my journey as lots of people have asked about it in the facebook group. Without further ado here is my completed blanket:

I gave up trying to photograph it flat on the ground as someone kept coming and sitting on it…….

I distracted her with Dreamies (cat treats which they all adore!) for a few moments but then she was back again.

Mike suggested we drape it over the piano as the old throw was really tatty and was thrown away a while ago. We both agreed it breaks up the shiny black expanse of the casing so we're leaving it on there for a while to see if we like it. That was fine by me as lacquered black shows up every speck of dust!

I'll do a write-up of the few changes I made asap, my colour choices, the edging, hints and tips and anything else that's been discussed so anyone popping onto here will get the complete picture. I know a lot of people were worried about how to choose colours and the placement of them.

The weather

We Brits always talk about the weather. I don't know why; perhaps it's in our genes. The last few weeks you could hardly blame us though - we've had torrential rain, thunderstorms with magnificent lightning, great big hailstones, baking hot sun but worst of all galeforce winds which wreaked havoc in the garden.

A few weeks ago I had 7 magnificent specimens of Angelica Archangelica which I always grow because insects absolutely adore it as it is chock full of nectar. Cue the storms and here we have the last one standing:

There were 3 of them standing proud in the herb garden but now there's only one!

The other 2 broke off at the base.

This Buddleia still had very sappy growth which hadn't firmed up so many of it's branches were simply ripped off. I've pruned it back so it will just flower a bit later which is good for butterflies searching for nectar in the Autumn.

This poor little variegated Lotus bush had a third of its branches snapped off and it's roots were all exposed.

I managed to get it upright, firmed in the roots and put a stake in for support so it looks fine now.

Out of the 4 Angelica plants in the front beds only this one was saveable as it hadn't snapped, just bent over with some roots exposed. I managed to get it upright by using 2 posts either side.

My poor Comfrey plants was looking magnificent beforehand and the flowers were smothered in bees!

No worries though as I always cut it back at some stage as the leaves act as a compost accelerator on the compost heap and I've stuck some in a bucket of water to make a plant food (it stinks but it's worth it as it makes a very good liquid fertiliser).

My pretty black-leaved Elder had several branches ripped off too.

It's not all bad though and Mike commented earlier that the garden is looking really pretty right now so here are a few views:

View from the Gazebo

View from the front gate

You can't see the mini pond behind the froth of blue Campanula flowers!

Some of the foxgloves are 8' tall and the Cardoon, on the right, is getting bigger every day

A work in progress in the wilder area. I love the pale pink blossom of the Deutzia against Acer 'Bloodgood' (which lived in a pot for 20 years until we moved here)

The purple pompoms of the Alliums have lasted a long time this year

It's really hard to capture the beauty of this giant golden oat grass (Stipa Gigantea). It's ethereal and looks fabulous with the evening sun shining through. Its stems are already 5' high and will get even bigger. I'm really pleased with it as when I moved it a couple of years ago it sulked and just sat there looking raggedy but I think it's happy in its new situation now.

The gravel garden is getting ready to put on a show

I couldn't resist taking a close-up photo of this beautiful Luzula Nivea, aka Snowy Woodrush, seen on the right of the photo above.

A mitten reunited!

Remember my mitten experiment? Well after I'd posted the photos I got an email from Glenys, who lives in the village, to say it was hers and she'd lost in when her car got stuck in the snow last year! She'd been back to where she thought she'd lost it but had only looked in the mud so didn't spot it.

So for my next run I trotted out that way to bring it home. It was rather worse for having been out through the Winter though but this wouldn't be a problem for an accomplished needlewoman such as Glenys.

Mittens re-united. Gleny's slippers match them as well!

Glenys assured me that a good soaking sorted it out and got rid of the mould and algae

A happy ending.

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