Monday, March 17, 2014

Sunshine (for the moment at least!)


I'm having great fun crocheting the African flowers for my project using leftover bits of sock yarn and other 4ply yarns. I like playing around with just 3 colours and using them for a different part of the design. The motif looks so different which is just what I want.

The sun has been out intermittently throughout this week which has given me lots of time for gardening. There's always such a lot to do at this time of year and many chores have been postponed because of the horrendous weather.

As I took a photo of the morning light shining on the beautiful dogwoods in this bed I noticed something about the gazebo roof; the coating was peeling. 

On the left the yellow stems of Cornus 'Flaviramea', in the foreground Cornus 'Mid-Winter fire' and you might just be able to make out the dark red stems of Cornus alba 'Siberica' behind it)
We only made it 18 months ago but the non-stop rain that's been battering us for months has clearly taken its toll. Bother, I thought (or something like that!).

So out came my scraper and sandpaper and I got to work in stripping off the damaged bits, which included a large part of the floor. Now it's all ready to be stained and varnished again.

Last year I decorated it with lots of bunting and tea-lights and I had some embroidered cloths hanging from the 3 walls inside (I can't find any photos of it which is most unlike me!). The table and chairs also have their own summertime clothing of cloth and cushions too.

This year I'm going to stencil a pattern on each panel with a large motif I used between the beams in the music room. I haven't measured the design against the panels yet so I don't know if the whole design will fit. If not then I'll just select bits of it. Then again, I might change my mind completely and do something different; I always have lots of different ideas swimming around in my head. Now I've typed that I'm thinking that perhaps some folk art motifs would work……..

Running has been a delight this week as my feet have remained dry. Although some of the ground is still very muddy and boggy, I have managed to do all my runs off-road and that has really lifted my spirits. The other day I decided to try a riparian run and headed down to Bodiam to see what the ground was like there.

As I got to within half a mile of the village I started to get a headache. My eyes started to water and my throat began to close up. This is never a good sign for an asthmatic!

I ran past the castle and headed over to a trail that had been completely submerged a few weeks ago. You can see the edge of the waterline which is now just brown silt and sludge. Apologies for the lighting but I was shooting into the sun and it didn't show up as well when I tried to take it from the opposite direction.

There was evidence of ditch clearance all along the riverbank.

It was then that I spotted the reason for my discomfort - Satan's sputum, aka Oil-seed Rape! I hate this plant so much. The leaves smell of rotting cabbage from the moment they emerge, I can smell the flowers from half a mile away and their effect upon me is not pleasant at all. When they are sprayed, prior to harvesting their seed, the smell is nauseating.

Yes, I know the flowers are jolly and bright and fields of them look amazing when they are in flower but I'm pretty sure that asthmatics and allergy-sufferers worldwide will share my hatred of this horrid plant. I have experimented in trying to reduce my reaction to it by having honey from bees used for its pollination it but it tastes of cabbage to me and I don't like the taste of the oil either, so there!

The best part of that run was leaving the valley behind and being greeted by this lovely welcome committee as I arrived home. I think they must be some of the ducklings from last year as they didn't move away when I walked past them and they followed me to the barn for some grain.

1 comment:

Jacquie said...

Hi Suzie, I love your pretty crochet flowers and I love your gazebo. I think it will look wonderful with some stencilling.
Thanks for your comments, I hope you will share your windmill photos :0)
Jacquie x