Monday 28 March 2016

Visible Easter Monday at the Daffodil Festival.

Today we went with friends and their two fox terriers to Mells Daffodil Festival. Bank Holiday weather was forecast so we went prepared in wellies and waterproofs.

My waterproof 'Easter' bonnet was trimmed with ribbons and a swan's feather from the lake. (Very visible, Patti and handy for spotting me in the crowds at the festival.)
Easter rabbit brooch just visible.

A storm and driving rain doesn't stop us Brits for having fun!

Pig roast
Some welcome warmth in a barn
selling bric-a-brac.
There were all manner of categories for the dog show but the heavens opened before we got to, 'Dog that most looks like it's owner.'
By then we were back in the Bongo eating our picnic.

Can't get more British than a downpour on Bank Holiday
and a fresh brew of tea!
Dear Bloggers, I hope that you've had
 a joyful Easter holiday.

Tuesday 22 March 2016

More grey!

A very funny article was in the Guardian newspaper the other week, poking fun at the pretensions of the interior design squad and the names that paint manufacturers come up with.
I laughed out loud at some of the paint can labels on the accompanying illustration. 'Deepest ennui' was my favourite. But I'm a fan of grey paint, we use clay paint on the old, uneven walls of our cottage, it's odour free, thick and creamy and covers well. I had a look at the colour card to see what our choice of grey is called - 'Eyebright'.  We've painted our study walls with it and from the state of the room I think it should be called, 'Dog's Dinner.' My friend Janet (a Liverpool Art School gal) is a real colour queen and gives her own names to various colours. One example is, 'knicker pink'!
Here's 'Eyebright' looking very restful in one of our bedrooms.

It's grey outside. The 'St Patrick's Day' daffodils beneath the fruit trees have yet to flower although St Patrick's Day has been and gone.
The frost has cracked some of the terracotta pots.

I've had to repot the auricles AGAIN because vine weevils have been munching away at the roots. All the pots were scrubbed clean and a fresh mix of soil used. I'm left with about a hundred plants but quite a few of my collection were beyond saving.
But in spite of the weather the garden is slowly coming to life.
There will soon be a picking of rhubarb
And my favourite camellia is flowering, a little scorched by the east wind, but still beautiful.
I picked a few blooms for the house.
And bought some roses from the shop for company.

Friday 18 March 2016

Grey skies

I'm sorry Skywatchers, but sometimes here in Blighty there's nothing to see but a big grey sky, flat, dull and cold.
I searched for a flight of birds, any sort of action to provide a bit of lift. 
Mist and morning frost.
No gardening for me today.
There's nothing much left to eat from the veg garden, just a couple of rows of parsnip and leeks. I've been turning over the ground and the frost will break the soil nicely but it will have to warm up considerably before I can plant. 
For now it's just a waiting game. 

Sunday 13 March 2016

Seed swapping!

Yesterday I went to the local seed swap armed with those little containers for toiletries that you are given in hotels. I'd filled them with seeds gathered from the garden last year and I swapped them for the seed packets above, (apart from the 'Blue Ballet' squash and 'Cobra' climbing bean, which I bought.)
The swap has been running for several years now and is a popular event. I also potted up a few aquilegia plants to swap, seen in the left hand corner of the photo. They self-seed very freely about my garden, slugs and snails never eat them so they are on my 'good-doers' list.

Apparently it's the International Year of Pulses - who knew!
This selling stall was very well stocked with organic seeds and the owner gave me good advice. "NEVER,' she said, 'grow more than one variety of squash at any one time.' Is this where I've been going wrong? She recommended  the variety, 'Blue Ballet', a small-sized squash, as being a good cropper in our unreliable climate. 'Don't waste your time growing butternut,' she advised, 'they need far more heat than we can give them and they are cheap enough to buy in the shops.' I've had good results from her seeds before so I'm doing as I'm told. (Doesn't always happen, says Himself.)
I was also on the lookout for a different potato variety. There was a good choice to be had.
All clearly labeled.
This was my choice. Very small tubers, we'll see how they do.
It's great to get advice from experts and mix with fellow enthusiasts, not to mention the opportunity to  find heritage seed and also to save some money!

Friday 4 March 2016

The Great Outdoors - Andelli Art

It's March, spring is officially here. 
for Skywatch Friday.

"Oh the weather is something frightful' as the song goes, but this show of the great outdoors was delightful. We battled the elements this evening and drove across the Mendips to attend the preview.
Himself was well wrapped up in his old winter coat (and I mean OLD - it used to belong to his father) and his Dr Who scarf,
the nibbles were delicious
the conversation lively.

Really, so big?

And there was some very covetable art on the walls.
This was my favourite exhibit, very poorly reproduced here, my photograph not doing the work proper justice.
You can see why I love this watercolour by Simon Palmer, it reminds me so much of the countryside of  my childhood. Here's a photo of a similar barn in the dale where my parents lived.
Then we drove home through a blizzard.
Ah, the great outdoors!