Monday 26 August 2013

I call spring!

 It seems too good to be true for the latter half of August, but I have to call it: spring is here! We've had ridiculously warm temperatures, and blooms and bulbs and blossoms are popping out all over the place. My heart lights up when I pull into my driveway and see the gorgeous frilly pastel confection spilling out of the garden here. It's ridiculously girly and over the top, and when the camellias have a bit more growth on them it will be even pinker!

 There are a mixture of early daffodils here along with these blue star flowers that I'm never sure of the correct name for. The foliage has a very pungent smell when brushed against but the flowers are pretty enough to make up for it.

 There are also some pink hyacinths in here but I might shift them as they are being buried in all the foliage.

 Elsewhere, I have more daffodils and some blossoms on the almond tree. Not very many this year on either of the trees, I'm not sure why that would be. Maybe they're giving themselves a year off like the apples do sometimes.

 The strawberries hardly take any time off though and here is Pink Temptation ripening the first berry of the season! I'm looking forward to fresh berries in my breakfast again.

A cold snap is in the forecast for later this week. Hopefully it doesn't last long, I'd hate it if we've had all the good spring weather already! But right now, the warm air is making me happy.

This post is in memory of Granny Cosgrove, an amazing lady who will be sadly missed.

Friday 16 August 2013

Project Life - May

Here are my two May spreads in my Project Life album. I like to lay out the pictures so that the colours harmonise as much as possible in the spread, rather than enforcing a rigid chronological order. In the first spread I felt that a unifying element was needed, so I added turquoise corners to some of the photos. This creates a flow to the whole spread. In the second spread everything went together pretty well. I just picked out some of the colours to accent with patterned paper, added a dash of journalling and some simple cut paper decorations, and a crochet motif. I seem to be running at a steady rate of about 2 months behind with this album, but that's okay. It's not a project that needs to be rushed.

Thursday 15 August 2013

August flowers

I've got plenty of late winter flowers to show you this month. Over the past couple of years I've worked on building up my winter garden by planting hellebores, camellias and daphne, and every year I add a few bulbs. The shrubs are a year more mature and this, combined with an unusually warm July and start of August, has meant that there is plenty of colour and interest in the garden. And scent! Daphnes, potted cyclamen and earlycheer daffodils mean that I can perfume every room.

Today the weather was balmy and if I hadn't been at work I would have been able to capture even more blooms opening in the garden. Driving home I noticed blossom trees, magnolias and bulbs galore. I'm not kidding myself that winter is over, but it's on its way!

I'm linking up to Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens.

Monday 12 August 2013

Fresh is best

Well, winter is nearly over (she says optimistically) and it hasn't really been too bad - pretty mild really. We had a wet start to it in June though and I got out of the habit of picking fresh lettuce for my lunchtime sandwich, and it was too wet and dark when I got home at night to pick fresh things to cook tea with. So without my regular vitamin and mineral fix from the garden, I got sick. I was sick for most of July - one cold after another, which totally slammed me by the end of it. When I could stand again I dragged my sniffly ass out into the garden and picked all the fresh things I could find - mostly silver beet, but I also found a lovely purple broccoli head, some spring onions and some herbs. These were turned into various dishes including stir fry and a self crusting quiche, and I've been making sure to pick a few lettuce leaves when I make my lunch in the mornings. They may be slightly tough and a little bitter, but they are better than the sad supermarket lettuces any day! And I'm happy to say I've finally fought off the bugs and am keeping them at bay.

July was unusually warm, sadly I didn't make the most of it although I have managed to pick a lot of flowers. It's starting to feel like spring will be here soon so I need to get on with some tidying-up kind of jobs - I have done some weeding and mulching, hooray - before it's seed sowing time. In fact, I should really sow some lettuces this weekend.

How are things in your garden? Any tips on keeping the winter bugs away?


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