Sunday, 22 June 2014

Sundays are for pottering in the garden

Yesterday I decided to teak oil my old table and chairs, last year I never bothered so it was looking  a bit shabby. After a good scrub then a coat of oil I was just getting into it and enjoying some quiet time when I ran out! So I had to wait until this morning to go and get another bottle.
I had a productive afternoon finishing the chairs and pruning and pottering in lovely warm sunshine. My under gardener helped me take things out of the rubbish bags whilst my back was turned, butter wouldn't melt! He is great company and just sits in the shade close by watching me most of the time when he isn't pinching my prunnings! Spaniels are very sociable dogs and like being with their owners as much as possible and now that he's stopped eating all my plants I can enjoy gardening again!
through the gate to the gravel garden
Moss my under gardener

veg garden
alliums about to flower
new alpine plant
 After scrubbing my hands clean I even managed to do a few granny squares in the old chair near the back door, tiny squares for a baby blanket. And I plan to sit there on Monday night with a chilled glass of wine. I hope you're weekend was full of sunshine and gardening.
new granny square blanket
broad beans ready for picking
home made hanging basket
table & chairs looking brighter and clean!
courgettes are growing
hanging basket

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Wordless Wednesday (Front Gardens)

colourful summer bedding
my little front garden
Ladies Mantle taking over

We always give so much attention to back gardens so I thought it would make a change to highlight some front gardens. Some were taken on Sunday morning when I walked into Canterbury town center through a pretty short cut with two rows of pretty terraced houses

love the green front door, house in Canterbury, Kent
house in Canterbury, Kent
front garden in Canterbury, Kent
love the twisted bay, Canterbury Kent

Friday, 13 June 2014

Happy Fathers Day

Wishing a very happy Fathers Day to my dad Michael, my father-in-law Derek and my husband Ian. This is the card I had made for Ian with some of my favourite walking snaps including lots of Moss (of course!)

hand-made (lavender bags)

Another lavender bag stack made and ready to post off tomorrow. I haven't made one for ages then this week I received an order. I still love making them and the smell of lavender in the evening in my craft room is lovely and very relaxing.

Most evenings this week have been spent watering the garden, hanging baskets and veg patch. We don't have a big garden but it still takes a little while to potter around with the watering can. I've gone mad with geraniums this year, Morrisons had them on offer so I bought some bright pink and red ones. The ones in the pot were bought in Waitrose (Fireworks Scarlet) and I am going to bring them inside for the winter. The flowers are so bright and spiky I just couldn't resist buying two plants and they have been flowering really well. I've also got one in a blue wall planter by the back door. Enjoy the rest of the sunshine. I'll be in the office all day Friday when its going to be a hot one!

Monday, 9 June 2014

tempting cakes, farmers market and lots of strawberries

This weekend in Iwade in was a hive of activity! Saturday saw the WI and local resident Nicola McKenzie's second The Great Iwade Bake Off Sale for Sport Relief. It was a lovely community event, well attended with local residents baking cakes on Friday/Saturday to donate to the sale. I got there when it opened and things were already sold out, including cheese and bacon scones but the mini quiche was delish! The cake auction raised £100 for 6 cakes! There are a lot of talented people in Iwade and baking seems to be top of the list. My favourite cake was the raspberry, very moist with fresh raspberries and icing. I'll try to get the recipe this week and post it for you, nothing better than sharing a good recipe. And I won something in the raffle, a small pack of Hotel Chocolat chocolates :-)

guess the weight of the cake (made by local resident Claire Saunders)

cute cup cakes

strawberry cup cakes

a selection of cakes I bought from the cake sale

Then on Sunday the farmers market was back after a months break with a new manager (local resident Rachel Rook) I haven't been for over 2 1/2 years so it was lovely to catch up with old friends and some neighbours. The new organiser Rachel Rook said she was quite nervous for her first market, but she needn't have been! The sun shone, hot sausage rolls tempted you in (and they were good), 50 punnets of strawberries sold out within the first hour with a steady stream of people popping in right up to 1pm.  There were lots of tempting stalls including home made cakes, local honey, fresh fruit and veg, local hand made pies, preserves and fudge and hand made items. With lots more stalls planned for August 10th. Here are just a few of the photos I took on Sunday (and a couple I've borrowed from local residents via Facebook!)

local hand made gifts

pies and fruit
gooseberries and strawberries

local  honey, great for your hayfever

Tony our local bee keeper

Friday, 6 June 2014

Sophie Conran Garden for Burgon and Ball Ltd

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Harriet at Sophie Conran who'd read my blog and asked if I'd like to test some of their gardening range. Of course I jumped at the chance, I'd had my eye on the cherry blossom flask and enamel mug for months! Last weekend Ian wasn't working, the weather was beautiful so off we set for lunch on the North Downs and walking in the woods.

I've used many flasks over the years and to be honest some offer cold tea by the time we've reached Cobham and then walked around for an hour or so. I wasn't holding out with this pretty little flask. I wasn't disappointed, quite the opposite - hot tea two hours after making it and still hot when I got home 4+ hours later!

Sophie Conran enamel mug in my veg patch

If you are looking for a pretty and practical flask for your allotment or walking adventures look no further. It fits in the side of a backback easily and it is lightweight and virtually unbreakable (not that I dropped it to try!) has a stainless steel inner to keep things hot or cold. A great tip from my husband, fill the flask with boiling water prior to filling with hot tea and it keeps it hot for longer. I plan to use the enamel mug this weekend when I'm pottering in my veg plot. I planted up my runner bean plants last week onto some lovely twisted willow canes.

I will be testing the three-pronged weeder tool this summer and I'll let you know what its like. You can find the whole range here and there is something in the range for every keen gardener.
wild flowers at the North Downs
wild Iris
wild poppies at North Downs

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Debbie Bliss Amalfi sample jumper

Debbie Bliss Amalfi Chevron Sweater

I bagged myself a lovely bargain belated birthday present today over at Stash Fine Yarns. What do you think? I just hope it fits me! I've received an email before but by the time I got round to looking they had all sold, this time I was quick off the mark and I just love this sweater, reminds me of crochet blankets and all knitted. It is much cheaper than buying the yarn (RRP £3.90 a ball) and knitting it myself, which leaves me plenty of free time to get on with my granny squares for another project.

Debbie Bliss Amalfi yarn, lovely colours

Monday, 2 June 2014

And the winner is....

Thank you to everyone who took part in my May giveaway. And the winner is Amy at

Amy please email me so that I can arrange your prize to be posted.

I will announce another giveaway during the summer. Amanda x