29 June 2008

A Bit of This and That ...

First of all, having said I was beginning to sort bits and pieces ready for the 'Just Add Inspiration' page of my website, I thought I'd show you the pile I've begun to look at - just to prove that I HAVE actually looked, and that I'm not just stringing you along!!

The two pieces below have a bird theme - can you see?

When I got home from Dairy House this afternoon Mum and I had a brief wander round her garden . Have you ever seen a snapdragon like this one? This is just one plant and is a self-seed. When Mum moved in the garden she took over a back garden that had only ever been used for veggies. The front garden was the domain of Mrs H, full of flowers and shrubs, and Mr H tended the veggies in the back. There was a very full compost heap which P and I distributed over the bare earth mid-way through the 'summer'. Mum has since planted a lot of trees, shrubs and herbacious perennials, but there have been all sorts of exciting finds due, undoubtedly, to the compost heap.

This day lily was quite possibly one that I gave Mum from our previous garden. We brought so many plants with us but I haven't had much opportunity to spend time in the garden, so I gave quite a few plants to Mum.

The clematis is Mum bought earlier in the year. I can't remember the name offhand, and couldn't see the label, but no matter. I'll check it later!

A little pot of thyme which she brought with her when she moved. Just coming into flower now.

Another temporarily nameless clematis creeping up a rhododendron!

A self-seed which I need to look up

And another. The bracts look very similar to clary, but they're not. The leaves are like a plant I had a few years ago, but I can't for the life of me think what it was called - and where are all my gardening reference books? Some are to hand, but not the ones I want!! And my memory seems to have forsaken me, too!

You may wonder why I'm showing you photos of plants in Mum's garden when I have a garden of my own ... but maybe not when you realise that Mum spends 5 or 6 hours a day tending hers and I am just never here long enough to do anything with mine ... which is quite annoying really, as I'd love to lose a lot of lawn/clover/weeds and create new borders and have the names of interesting plants tripping off my tongue again like they used to. I do miss the hours I used to spend in my greenhouse propagating everything that crossed my path. However, the photos below are just a peek of ours! A friend used to tell me that she loved our garden because I did 'joined-up gardening' where absolutely no soil showed at all. That was a garden created with green fingers and lots of love and nurturing. The joined up effect has happened here, but only because the shrubs that were here when we moved have all grown into one another!!

This is is perennial foxglove with tiny yellow flowers. I think it's digitalis lutea. I brought it from our old garden and didn't realise it had survived. I now need to unearth it from the straggle of twigs and leaves and tendrils that have all grown into and through one another. How it's managed to survive (in a pot) ignored for 2 years I don't know. I don't deserve it!

Deutzia which was in situ when we came. It could do with a good prune as it's grown about 3 feet in the last couple of years and is looking somewhat messy.

Last year we had no apples on this little tree, but it looks as if we should get a good crop this year. Another amazing feat considering this tree, too, has been left to its own devices.

A touch of joined up gardening ... berberis, heather, campanula and potentilla and maybe a hardy geranium in the background ...

The other side of the berberis is a very healthy euonymus ...

I think the spacing in this post has gone a wee bit haywire - probably because I shifted some photos back and forth. Hopefully it will look OK and everything will be in its right place when I publish the post. If anyone knows the names of the plants that I don't or have forgotten then I'll be delighted to hear from you! (Update: all seems OK with the spacing and even though I've shifted photos around I've managed to retain the enlarge facility. Do have a look at the enlarged version of the snapdragon if you haven't already. There's so much detail!!)

23 June 2008

Delphiniums, Nostalgia and a 21st Birthday

If you are a gardener I'm sure you'll have heard of Blackmore and Langdon - a family firm established in 1901 - from Pensford just outside Bristol. You can read all about them and view their website here.

When hubby No 1 and I had a nursery (briefly) 33/34 years ago in Northamptonshire we used their seed for much of our stock. You can imagine how delighted I was to find the nursery not too far away now I live in the West Country.

A few years ago I took Mum for a drive round that area as her grandparents used to live at Pensford.

We wandered round their delphinium field - isn't it fabulous? Join us in our wanderings!

We also toured round the houses where Mum lived from birth to the age of 7 before she moved to Northamptonshire with her parents and 7 siblings. This is the only one I took a photo of:

On Saturday we went back to Dilton Marsh, the village where we lived before moving to Somerton. Our next door neighbours there were great, and we don't meet up anywhere near as regularly as we would like. They've moved from their little cottage next to our little cottage into a much larger property in the village and this weekend was Rosie's 21st birthday. There was a super mix of Rosie's uni friends, rellies, old neighbours, and long-standing friends. (Gillie came too, as she got to know them well through her 'holidays' with us over the years in DM. It was good to catch up with her as we don't see much of her since she moved into her new home.)

Sadly it rained on and off all night, but we all went out quite happily to the garden gazebo for our food. Rosie's Mum and some old friends played their guitars, joined by some of the younger ones - I was quite in awe of these late teen/early 20s lads and their brilliant improvisation on the keyboard and accomplished guitar strumming. The rest of us, having lost our inhibitions through maybe too much red wine, sang along without a care in the world. No-one cared if we sang out of tune - just like the song we sang 'with a little help from our friends'!!

Helen and Mike are both ECPs (Emergency Care Practitioners) and so their rest time is very important to them. Helen is a superb artist and had hoped to concentrate on her stained glass work when they moved to Dilton Marsh about 6 years ago. Sadly she doesn't get much time, but a new shed has been erected as her workshop and hopefully she'll soon be able to do a bit more. However, her artistic talents are still being used. Look at these photos of Rosie's amazing cake! Personally I think she should give up the day job!

17 June 2008

At Last ... in triplicate

... AT LAST I think I can say I'm better. I only coughed once today, and even managed to carry a Victorian 2-seater buttonback sofa down 2 flights of stairs at Dairy House today ... not on my own I hasten to add ... but with the (female) purchaser. But I was the one going backwards and at one point I thought she and the sofa were going to push me down. I felt as if I was leaning backwards and I couldn't move my feet down to the next stair. Bit scary for a moment! My word, didn't they make furniture out of heavy wood in the 19th century!! Sales generally are quite good at DH despite all the talk of doom and gloom that abounds. I'm delighted for our dealers as it's quite a responsibility selling for other people and I hate it if I have to say 'sorry, nothing of yours sold this week'.

AT LAST I've managed to update my website with a number of goodies. I'm trying to add half a dozen or so each evening and so far have managed to add something 3 days running. It was the turn of the Vintage Variety page this evening; yesterday was more Kitchenalia and on Sunday I added some China and Glass. If I keep this up over the next fortnight I might manage to list most of the items I've photographed over the last couple of weeks ... maybe.

These embroidered Russian doll motifs were originally attached to a cloth. They'll be on the website soon - with better photos!

AT LAST my book has arrived from Blurb. I'm so pleased with it and the photos look even better in the book than they do on my computer screen. Mum has already decided she will need several to give as presents, and I keep looking through it and grinning. It's a great thrill to see something bound as a book and to know it's all your own work. Admittedly it's only photographs with no wording, other than on the fly sheet, but they're my photos and I decided what should go where. I really wasn't sure how well it would turn out, but what do you think? I've scanned these 3 photos from the book and although they look a bit odd because of the light from the scanner on the glossy paper and the fact that the book wouldn't lie flat (there are 84 pages), it gives you an idea.

This last group of photos were taken over a period of about 10 minutes of THE most amazing sunset a few years ago around this time of year. I stood in the garden and kept taking photos until it was all over. And now I shall be able to re-live it any time I like! I can't believe that it will be the longest day at the end of the week. (Dare I say ... I heard a customer in DH today mention Christmas presents. Aaaaargh!!!!)

13 June 2008

Picnic Anyone? ...

... At last I've managed to spend some time in the garden! Not gardening, I hasten to add, but taking photos of stock for the website. All I have to do now is the write-ups and with a bit of luck I might manage to get a few items listed next week!

Was it a lovely sunny afternoon in your neck of the woods?

08 June 2008

Shades of Green ...

A day at Dairy House, starting with a slight detour to take a photo of a scene I saw yesterday when I had my camera with me ... but the battery was in the charger on top of the fridge in the ... kitchen! The rest are items on display at DH which will be on the website soon.

The piccies below aren't green, but meet Rupert ... he belongs to another dealer and wasn't too keen on posing in the laundry basket ... but when a dog has to do what a dog has to do ... all in the line of duty of course!

06 June 2008

One Day ... Two Posts ...

Just thought you might like to know I've at last added some new stock to my website. It's going to take a while to list everything I've taken photos of, but for the time being you might like to browse the Kitchenalia and Dressing Up Box pages. Plenty more to add but not enough hours left today!!

Sausages Anyone ... ???

Just thought you might like an update on Pip and Squeak. They have a visitor for a few weeks ... Boy Pig!!! He's obviously 'scored' - just look how they're following him around!
Apparently any girls will be sold for breeding purposes and the males will become Sunday lunch. Pip and Squeak, meanwhile, will live happily ever after ...

02 June 2008

Here's One I Made Earlier ...

... and finally uploaded it to http://www.blurb.com/ today. After the success of the little nostalgia book I created for my Uncle's 80th birthday I got somewhat carried away and collected up all the sky/cloud/sunset photos I had taken whilst living at Dilton Marsh. A few others sneaked in and I ended up with 86 pages of book. I've only just ordered it myself today, but have offered it for sale on Blurb. Whether anyone ever buys a copy will remain to be seen, and I have to admit to being a bit disappointed with the preview pages. The first 10 or 15 pages are shown, and they aren't particularly interesting. The last one is of a black sky which is the last impression anyone sees and consequently, to my mind, is a big turn-off. It's too late to change it now so time will tell. If you want to see a preview you can find a link on my sidebar. All criticism (gratefully) received!

However, it was fun ... and so simple ... to do! So if nothing else I, at least, will have a coffee table book to browse through reminding me of some of the wonderful skies I had on my Wiltshire doorstep! Perhaps I'll go through all my floral photos next ...