Saturday, 16 November 2013

Bright November Morning

Woke up to a heavy frost, but the sun is burning it off, now. All the blinds are open to let in as much sun as possible and warm the house up!

I'm on square no 53 of my Crochet Sampler Blanket:

That's out of 64 squares required, so phase one is nearly complete! I am now starting to think about the logistics of blocking 64 squares...

Sunday, 30 June 2013

The Roses in June

I do love my roses. This year the roses have flowered late, like many shrubs, so now, at the end of June, they are at their best. When we first moved here, there was a climbing  rose already in one of the flower beds, which I have been gradually training into a fan shape:

The flowers are a deep rose colour with a paler pink centre. I don't know what variety this rose is, but it's very lovely.
I also moved in with a climbing rose in a pot which DS had given me for my birthday one year. This rose is called Handel, and it has pale pink petals with a darker rose edging. Also beautiful.

Then there is this rose, my absolute most favourite rose of all. It is a bush rose called Rosa Mundi and is a very old variety. The flowers are variegated in shades of pink and salmon and white, and it is covered with blooms in June every year.

 Braveheart gave me this rose for my birthday, along with two others which are in the front garden.

This one, which is called Golden something (not literally, I mean I can't remember the second part of its name), and is a lovely bronze apricot colour.

And this purple one, Rhapsody in Blue, does look blue when the flowers first open.

And finally, this rose, which is called Tequila Sunrise, which we bought together in our firs summer here, and which has the most lovely flowers in deep yellow, hot orange and a burnt red.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

The Vegetable Garden in June

First of all, as promised, here is my new gardening sun hat:

Despite the traditional British summer weather of sunshine and showers - or maybe because of it - the vegetable garden is doing well. Here's a quick tour:

 In the greenhouse the tomatoes are doing well on the left. At the back, peppers and in the containers, aubergines.

 The left hand raised bed, which I have posted about before, now has a good crop of Lady Christl first early potatoes which, on inspection today, are ready to start harvesting. Next to those are the shallots, which are looking very healthy, and then just in front of the shallots are some winter squashes called Autumn Crown. The frames along the edges of the beds are there for the squashes to climb on once they get going.

This keeps the fruit off the ground and clean, and takes up a lot less growing space. There are giant pumpkins growing on the other side with the same system.

At the back of the garden are sweetcorn on the left and garlic to the right. The garlic are nearly ready, I think, another couple of weeks and we will lift them. The corn are minipops, designed to be cut and eaten as baby corn.

Next to them are two rows of peas, one sown a month earlier than the other. The first row is flowering and already has some pea pods.

These plants are all netted to keep cats from digging up the bed and well, you know...they are a real nuisance with young plants and seedlings.

The right hand raised bed has main crop potatoes at one end. The first two rows were sown a month before the rest because we had cauliflowers growing where they were to go and had to wait till we had harvested and eaten those. At the other end there are beetroot and turnips in containers, they are due to be moved soon and that section will have kale on it for overwintering.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

The Garden in June

I've been spending the last week crocheting a sun hat, to protect my hair from the sun and shade my eyes, after a lovely sunny couple of days. Since I started the weather has taken a turn for the worse, but I have persisted and I only have three rounds left to do. Photos in due course.

This weekend we have planted out peppers and aubergines in the greenhouse, almost everything is now sown or planted. I officially have enough salad leaves to make three salads so far last week and more are coming! This evening we had a Greek salad with feta and olives, yum!

Because May was so cold, some plants did not flower until now, so the garden is looking rather lovely at the moment, with everything in flower at once.

In the front garden there are rock roses and roses:
Foxgloves, daylilies and hostas

On this side, needing a bit of a tidy up, but a lovely purple rose, lupins and cranesbill.
In the back garden the pinks are in flower and you can see the fruit cage at the back, as the raspberries and strawberries are ripening.

 and - OMG - we have apples. This is the Braeburn. I've never seen tiny apples before. I'm just so excited!

The vegetable garden is also making great progress, so next time I will show you how that is looking.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Walk From Box Hill

Today was a lovely day, sunny and bright and  er, well, warm. We drove to Box Hill and walked a circuit of 11 miles, mostly in woodland, with a few steep climbs.

We started at the Box hill trig point:

We walked down to the River Mole and crossed over on stepping stones. The river was quite high because of all the rain we have had, so was running quite fast, as you can see.

As we walked through the woods we saw lots of these lovely white flowers. I don't know what they are!

And though the trees a patch of sunlight with bluebells.

This bridge carried a railway over the track.

 Then we reached Ranmore, with a church with a lovely octagonal tower.

And even more bluebells on Ranmore Common:

Fronds of bracken uncurling:

 We stopped for a picnic lunch at Tanners Hatch Youth Hostel, where there was a nice log to sit on.
Further on there was another bridge over the track, this one had a stone badge on it of an arm holding an axe. Stronginthearm perhaps?

These flowers look like rape but they were actually buttercups!
 This horse was very friendly and liked having his photo taken, here with Braveheart.
 More stunning views as we walked on round
 This little dragon was perched on the roof of a house in Mickleham

Another church, also in Mickleham, this time with a round tower.

The last part of the walk was mainly uphill, which was quite demanding after 9 miles, but we made it!