Saturday, 26 April 2014

Happy post

I had a nice lay in this morning after a rotten day yesterday (hayfever overload) finally after three antihistamine tablets around 10pm I felt better! I didn't have a glass of wine just in case I fell into a coma , I've never taken 3 tablets so close together and was a bit worried. It was foggy all day yesterday but being near so much rape seed it must have been trapped in the air all day. I left for work with make up on and washed blow dried hair but by mid morning I looked puffy and had a nice red shiny nose, not a good look I can tell you.

Happy post
So onto this mornings post. I was sitting with my granny blanket having some quiet hooky time in front of the TV watching James Martin when the post popped onto the mat. The latest Simply Crochet magazine (issue eighteen) and my BBC Countryfile packet of wild flower seeds, yeah. Makes a welcome change from bills and junk mail. I'm going to scatter the seeds next to my veg patch tomorrow for some colour and to attract the bees later in the summer.
I told you I received my Chelsea Flower Show ticket (not bragging honestly) well I've also got free tickets for the Kent Garden Show at Detling on May 24th (its about a five minute drive from my house). I'm helping out a friend to man (woman!) her table for the scarecrow competition. I did it in 2012 when it was a wash out after days of heavy rain but it was such good fun talking to people and we did get some bargains. I'm taking my sister Danielle again so we can find some more plant bargains and have a picnic lunch. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Amanda x

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Chelsea Flower Show 2014 (press day)

Wow, exited, understatement of the year! I've been accredited a Chelsea Flower Show Press pass for Monday 19 May. Yes really, chuffed to bits, good news comes to those that wait they say and they were so right. After Ian's car decided to break down this week, I'm without wheels for the next 4 days because I've lent him mine. Thankfully Jack has a car now and works near to my office so role reversal, my son is now driving me about.

Toby Buckland and Amanda Hurrell

Obviously I'll be writing tons up to the date of launch and posting lots of pictures after the day. The show dates are May 20–24 2014, further information can be found here and it will be on the BBC for the whole week with good old Alan Titchmarsh. As I haven't got a car this weekend I can quite happily say you will find me in the garden sorting out the compost bin, making wig wams and generally getting on with some pottering about. I will also post details of a small gardening themed give-away. Nothing grand but useful things I've been collecting for my lovely green fingered blog friends including some Crabtree and Evelyn Gardeners hand cream (my favourite at the moment).

Monday, 21 April 2014

Easter weekend

Sunday was a wash out but it didn't stop us venturing out to walk Moss (Jack and me). The good thing about wet weather is that you have the fields to yourself!  Only the true dog owners brave wet, cold windy weather and that's exactly what it was like in Easter Sunday. Heating on, hot chocolate and drying wet clothes!

a snail on our walk on Sunday (there were lots of them out in the rain!)
welly weather

Easter Sunday walk in the rain

Moss swimming in the rain

What a difference on Monday, warm and sunny so we popped to Maidstone to walk along the river, have some lunch and do some shopping. I bought two new cushions, hand knitted in charcoal and one in biscuit perfect for one large sofa and I'm sure I saw another one in the Ashford branch of tk max, I'll pop over there next week to see if its still available. I can't take the credit for these, my husband Ian chose them. Oversized, feather filled cushions, and so comfortable that Ian is asleep on one of them as I type!!

All Saints Church next to Archbishops Palace, Maidstone

I've almost finished the large stripe granny blanket with about 3 stripes to go (six rows) to 60 stripes but I might make it a bit bigger but I'm itching to try a ripple blanket so maybe not. I'm glad it was a chilly start to the weekend (and tonight) so I could get on with it. Here's a couple of photos (lighting not very good this evening). I hope you had a great weekend too with some sunshine, crafting, getting together with friends/family and eating Easter eggs. Amanda  x 
granny stripe blanket almost finished - yeah!

new cushion charcoal

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Happy Easter

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter with lots of sunshine and lots of chocolate! Here are a few photos taken today at home and at my mum and dads in Canterbury ......

home-made gifts
tulips or my mum
one of my vintage jelly moulds full of chocolate Easter goodies
me and my mum
bargain Keith Brymer Jones diffuser bottle from TKMAX
the border we made for my mum & dad last summer
bluebells growing in the lawn

Monday, 14 April 2014

Glorious granny squares

It's like a production line every evening in my house. Lots and lots of granny squares. I can't believe how many I can now do in one evening in front of the tv

I've found that making the circles in batches makes it much easier to work on a whole batch in one evening. Last night it was chilly so I also worked on my granny stripe and liked the warmth of it I carried on. Only 10 stripes to go now so almost finished. Just need sew in a million ends and work on a border design. I'll post some pictures over the weekend 

colourful grannies

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Crochet granny squares

I'm back with my crochet mojo this week! Granny square blanket one (reworked) and enjoying it. I did some at blue water this week and today in my lunch break, join as you go along last night. I love that bit now that I've got the hang of it now! It's not as tricky as I made out and so long as you remember to chain' 1 before and after attaching to the next granny square you get into the rhythm quickly. I'm going to run out of squares so tonight I'm reworking and making more.
The colours are working well and I picked up another colour (fuscia) in John Lewis ( I love that shop) and a darker green on eBay (bargain heaven). I will add more photos at the weekend to show you some of the squares joined.

Monday, 7 April 2014

New shoots

What a difference a few days make. Last week the garden was still looking dreary and all of a sudden as if by magic green shoots and new life everywhere! I planted the three bays along near the fence on Saturday then it rained so great timing.
The marigold seeds sowed on April 1st germinated by the 4th on the dining room window, that was quick! The trays in the pop-up plastic greenhouse haven't emerged so I might bring them in for a week but then you have to acclimatise them later on. Still time so maybe I'll leave them until the weekend.
Jobs to do this week - Pot on tomato plants now they have 2 true leaves, buy a new pop up greenhouse, canes for runner beans, start courgette and beans. Waiting for my Thompson and Morgan seed delivery with some of these seeds! Lots to do at this time of year. I'm also planning a giveaway for this month. I've started getting the prize together, more news soon.
I'm still waiting for news of my RHS Chelsea Flower Show press pass - good things come to those that wait (hopefully!)
Let's have a walk around my small garden, pictures taken on Saturday evening 
chocolate flowers on my pittosporum
grape hyacinth (need to plant more this Sept)
heart made by my sister
new shoots on standard Bays
standard bays, my birthday present from May 2013
marigold seeds
next to the pond
a view of the veg patch and pond
new granny square blanket

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Gardening bug

Last weekend I visited a family run garden center in Canterbury The Gardeners Paradise that my parents and sister have started using since my parents moved last summer. Its very reasonable and well stocked too. I have a neglected area next to the veg parch that needed a bit of tlc. My sister suggested some hedging so we chose something evergreen and when pruned can be used for cutflower arrangements. the plant is the Eucalyptus (gum tree) it may go mad and grow rapidly but I quite hope it does to give a bit of screening and colour. I've under planted with ladies mantle (this self seeds all over my gravel garden) and Johnston's blue geranium that my mum gave me before she moved to Canterbury. I am also growing Calendula for this spot to add some colour oh and some French marigolds for the tomatoe plant companion planting.

Next to the pond Kerria is growing through the fence so I've gained a free plant!  I also bought 3 pots of bay in B&Q for £12 bargain. The aim is to restock the garden on a shoe string with bargain finds and cuttings from friends gardens. My sister gave me 8 pots of crocosmia montbretia that originally came from my 2nd house/garden over ten years ago. That's the way we like to garden in our family!

So this weekend I have a busy time digging in the new plants and probably sowing more seeds.

side of pond with Kerria growing through the fence
veg patch
3 bays from B&Q
Dad, sister and mum enjoying the sunshine
garden centre Canterbury, Kent
home made Victoria sponge (by me) for mothers day and my sisters birthday