Everything’s coming up …

15/06/2015 § 3 Comments

Roses!
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In the raised bed by the patio, many years ago, I planted a climber – for colour and perfume.  Last winter I really cut it back very hard, fed it regularly and I’m being rewarded with the most glorious display ever. On these still, warm June evenings the perfume is quite delicious.  Every day intensely deep burnt orange buds open into full glorious blooms then fade to pale parchment before the petals fall.

For Father’s Day a good while back, the children bought my husband a Dublin Bay rose.  He loved Dublin very much and every year returned to his grandfather’s home nation to take his students on a trip – so many who came to his memorial remember those trips as the highlight of their entire degree course! Dublin Bay rose is sublime, the colour indescribable – such an impossibly red, red!  It clambers over the workshop verandah and I love, love, love it.

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Dublin Bay

Back in the grey days of winter, I had a vision of the front of my house, covered in a pretty rambling rose and I treated myself to Albertine.  I wrote about in my 400th post, and all the other landscaping works that were done, here.  Today I gasped as the first bloom appeared …

first ever Albertine

I think it needs a bit of a drink and the rose had probably opened yesterday, but still it’s in bloom and I can’t wait for it to grow and grow all up and over the front of the house.

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Pure Abundance is a white patio rose that delivers beautiful blooms every year and today I treated myself to yet another pretty patio rose that just needs a suitable pot to plant it in (more treats)!

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I love using industrial/utilitarian pieces in the garden and at the local recycling place the other day, I spied a rusty old oil funnel and swapped it for 2 irreparable garden seats.  The lawnmower bucket came home with me over 20 years ago, with a lawnmower attached!  Last Spring it went onto a skip and then, when the boys weren’t looking, I got it out again.  It’s been hanging around for years and I’ve never known quite what to do with it but the other afternoon, after bringing my trophy oil can home, I took a pickaxe to the side of it to create a hole (and a very large dent) and created something that makes me smile – and I’m certain in the knowledge that there’s not another one of these planters in the world!

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another collection of old glass - the coke bottle is spray-painted

another collection of old glass – the coke bottle is spray-painted pink

There are sweet peas clambering up a trellis by the greenhouse, irises in the front garden and foxgloves everywhere …

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Did you spot the happy duck in the photo above?

Flora sends you all her love (from the pond) …

flora

Enjoy your garden and the sunshine

Adaliza x

 

Misty Morning …

13/06/2012 § 3 Comments

A Welsh valley on a misty, early Spring morning.  So many recent days – weeks even, have echoed these subtle hues, despite the summer cloak of leaves telling us that the sky should be blue and the season’s colours bright.

Grey light lasts long into the evening here – it’s the longest day next week and there’s warmth in the sun when it makes an appearance but I have a feeling that my abiding memory of June is going to be rain, rain and more rain!

Having completed Ripple One in bright expectant colours at the end of Spring I expected to turn my creative crochet urges towards the tub of yet unused Julia Wool by Kristin Nichols.  This is the yarn I used for Gypsy Rose – back in February, when I was even more excited about the summer days ahead!  I did make a start on a blanket – Hearts & Flowers, but there are a couple of reasons why I haven’t taken up with this one – I don’t want to finish working with the wool, ‘cos its divine; I want to make something really special with it – WOW factor in bucketfuls!

So …

the first showing of my current WIP – Misty Morning blanket

What do you think? Does it remind you of misty mornings? I’m using Drops wools – Karisma and Lima – they’re beautiful, soft and gentle wools.  I’m joining the individual grannies and the blocks as I go – I’m right ‘off’ sewing up seams (enough of that on my cushions and quilts)!  I’ve completed 2 rows of 4 blocks in just over a week. Last night I completed the first block of the 3rd row.  I don’t have a grand plan for the size – whatever feels right will be fine, I’m sure! I’m alternating the border of the blocks between grey & brown yarns and I want it to have a special border – maybe a deep lace? Who knows??

Since spending a whole day doing housework last week, we’ve been making an effort to keep on top of all the boring stuff – don’t you just hate ‘putting away’?  What do other people do with all their ‘stuff’?  Do they have a huge cupboard hidden away somewhere where it all sits – and then falls out in a heap when they open the door?  The flowers I bought, following my house-love day are still blooming beautifully and I brought in some roses from the garden too …

A silhouette of sunflowers on the big worktop in the kitchen – the fly curtain is redundant just now ‘cos the door’s always closed – it’s bright and cheery though and hides the grey skies!

Who says there isn’t any sunshine?

Reflections and candlelight – a sofa full of cushions, Mary Rose Young on the shelf, roses from the garden, pink tulips and a new foxglove in the garden …

Must be summertime!

Adaliza x

PS – see the finished Misty Morning blanket post here.

Summer delights …

04/06/2012 § Leave a comment

A couple of evenings ago, as I sat on our patio, with Flora quacking softly at my feet, the heady scent of elderflower filled the air.  Our garden has a couple of large elderflower bushes – we like to keep things a bit wild – it grows like a weed!  There and then I decided I had to capture that scent and I dived indoors for Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook. I haven’t used this book very much since I bought it a couple of years ago – it has such a delicious cover, I didn’t ever need to open it!

I can never exactly follow a recipe, but I made Elderflower Cordial, without oranges or limes, and added a couple of bay leaves – it’s amazing!

It made 2 full bottles, but I keep drinking it – diluted with lemonade and a sprig of mint.  While the bushes are still blooming, I thought I’d better make some more – this time I’d run out of lemons, so oranges and limes have been thinly sliced up instead …

Inspired by success, I decided to try Sarah’s Strawberry ice-cream recipe.  I put my trusty ice-cream bowl in the freezer a couple of days ago and this afternoon I’ve whizzed up some strawberries, elderflower cordial and double cream then poured it into the frozen bowl for 20 minutes of churning …

and then into 2 small tubs and into the freezer …

We’re having friends round this evening so I hope to rustle up a quick and pretty pud.

Yesterday we ventured out in Dolly for a day in the New Forest.  A few friends have asked why I called her Dolly – well, she’s my dolls-house on wheels!  I used to love – absolutely love – my dolls house when I was little and the minute I stepped up into Dolly she reminded me of how much fun it is to play house.  We exercised the collies, parked up and made tea, enjoyed the view, witnessed some amazing natural horsemanship, counted foxgloves and saw elephants feet …

and Belle loves chasing her ball …

She’s so damn fast that it’s really difficult to catch her on camera!  She look so pleased with herself on her way back to drop the ball at her master’s feet.

There’s bunting and the hammock strung between the apple trees.  Fingers crossed that it stays dry so we can eat outside this evening.  I’m so enjoying having this week as half-term holiday – a whole week to relax before the last few weeks of term.

Adaliza

Under Milk Wood

30/05/2012 § 5 Comments

Have you heard of Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)? He was a writer and playwright, Welsh – of course! One of his best known plays – a play for voices is called Under Milk Wood.

It begins like this …

“To begin at the beginning:

It is Spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters’-and- rabbits’ wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea. The houses are blind as moles (though moles see fine to-night in the snouting, velvet dingles) or blind as Captain Cat there in the muffled middle by the pump and the town clock, the shops in mourning, the Welfare Hall in widows’ weeds. And all the people of the lulled and dumbfound town are sleeping now.

Hush, the babies are sleeping, the farmers, the fishers, the tradesmen and pensioners, cobbler, schoolteacher, postman and publican, the undertaker and the fancy woman, drunkard, dressmaker, preacher, policeman, the webfoot cocklewomen and the tidy wives. Young girls lie bedded soft or glide in their dreams, with rings and trousseaux, bridesmaided by glow-worms down the aisles of the organplaying wood. The boys are dreaming wicked or of the bucking ranches of the night and the jollyrogered sea. And the anthracite statues of the horses sleep in the fields, and the cows in the byres, and the dogs in the wet-nosed yards; and the cats nap in the slant corners or lope sly, streaking and needling, on the one cloud of the roofs.

You can hear the dew falling, and the hushed town breathing.”

I’ve had a long love affair with this little play. It’s very Welsh – the characters are often melancholy and there’s much subtle innuendo & humour in his writing. One of my favourite characters is Mr Mog Edwards, who runs Cloth Hall, the drapery.  Whenever anything arrives in the post for me, I think of these lines that he writes to his unrequited love – Miss Myfanwy Price …

“I am a draper mad with love. I love you more than all the flannelette and calico, candlewick, dimity, crash and merino, tussore, cretonne, crepon, muslin, poplin, ticking and twill in the whole Cloth Hall of the world. I have come to take you away to my emporium on the hill, where the change hums on wires. Throw away your little bed socks and your Welsh wool knitted jacket, I will warm the sheets like an electric toaster, I will lie by your side like the Sunday roast.”

And as the postman arrived with my parcels last week …  “A new parcel of ribbons has come from Carmarthen today, all the colours in the rainbow….Business is very poorly. Polly Garter bought two garters with roses but she never got stockings so what is the use I say.”

Ha – that makes me laugh! I may share some more snippets with you – would you like that?  I’m no literary critic, but let me know what you’d like to hear about – there are wonderful characters and funny verse.  We used to name our dogs after characters in the play – we had Myfanwy Price (Fan), No-Good Boyo and Mattie!

Now what was in those parcels?

Aren’t they just delightful? They arrived, not from Carmarthen, but from the far flung corners of the globe – right round it! I’m so thrilled with them and have been working on some more cushions – patchwork log cabin with red bobbles – some are definitely for our Dolly-van!

In other news – I’m definitely having Foxglove-Love …

Every day some more trumpets open and it’s breath-taking.  In my sewing room I have a little something else to make me smile …

a solar-powered nodding sunflower! Himself bought it for me a couple of weeks ago and as the sun rises, she tips her head back and forth and her leaves bob up and down!  Isn’t she just the sweetest thing?

Happy days …

Adaliza x

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