Garden at the beginning of September 2017

The garden is beginning to look a bit autumnal, probably because of the sunflower drooping on the lawn! 

First nineteen apples of this year’s harvest. These are Red Windsor from the half standard tree.

The Japanese Anenome is still flowering, although it’s getting harder to keep on top of the dead heading! That’s another sunflower drooping into it – we had storms, it made the sunflowers droop.

The red Pyracantha is always the first to get berries, followed by the orange and with the yellow a long way behind.

The non-Chelsea chopped sedum is beginning to flower.

Last few Alstroemeria flowers.

Sunflowers!

What signs of Autumn are there in your garden? 

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More stash

The stash diet had another wobbly in July. Not only did I end up buying the four balls of Noema to make a non-wool Conscious, which I hadn’t planned to do originally… but I also discovered some lovely yarn at Swansea Bay Yarns when I was visiting my niece and nephews. It wasn’t my longest visit ever to a yarn shop, but with two toddlers in tow we had to be pretty quick browsing. I chose three balls of Ella Rae Cozy Soft Prints in this gorgeous colourway to make a Beyond Puerperium for LO.

That makes my stash in total for July 1064 metres (oops), giving a total of 4696.4 metres acquired so far this year (double oops). Another Conscious jumper knitted in July used a total of 299.6 metres, totalling 3250.7 metres for the year so far. So, I’ve knitted 1445.6 metres less than I’ve bought so far! I didn’t get any projects finished during August so nothing new to add to the knitted up totals, although at least I didn’t buy any more stash either…

 

 

Garden at the beginning of August 2017

August has whizzed past, mainly because I was doing extra days at work so haven’t had as much time available as I do normally. Nearly the end of August, but here are a few pics I took at the beginning of the month!

LO loves picking raspberries. She is worse than the birds for stripping the plants bare.

This is one of LO’s sunflowers. It turns out that this toddler activity is very popular at both toddler groups and nursery, so we have several sunflowers to show for it. This one was the first to flower. The nursery one turned out to be five plants as she had clearly sown a handful of seeds rather than just one!

The Gladioli I got from a magazine freebie a few years ago keep coming back. The first year I planted them at fortnightly intervals to keep the flowers coming for an extended period, and they seem to have kept on doing that?! Certainly we have some that are already past their best, and others that haven’t flowered yet. I must remember to send off for this year’s freebie – allium bulbs!

The Japanese Anenome has got huge this year, and seems to have started flowering earlier than usual. It likes to spread so I often have to dig wandering new bits up from places I don’t want them. It has expanded beautifully to fill this border in though, which means you can’t see the earth, and no need to weed!

One of my containers full of flowers. This was the bargain basket bedding plant selection!

A pile of rhubarb harvested at the beginning of the month. We have been rather overwhelmed with rhubarb this year, I think the combination of wet weather and warmth has spurred it on. I ended up taking loads of it to church to give away!

This cheeky little viola popped up in a container with a rose in. I didn’t plant it there…
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That’s all for now. Wonder how long it will take me to do the September post, due tomorrow?!

Rainbows 

So I’ve been doing lots of knitting in July. In my last stash update I reported the purchase of three balls of West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley DK yarn in the rum paradise colourway.

This was intended to be knitted up into two Conscious jumpers for LO and her cousin, who is three months older. Three balls should be just about enough for two jumpers in 2-3 year size.

Here we are in progress. The first jumper I was really careful about matching stripes on the sleeves. The yarn is nice to knit with and the stripes are a really sensible size – would look lovely as a pair of socks!
Ta da, here is the finished jumper for my niece.

I weighed the yarn leftover and realised that I had used more than 1.5 balls of the Aire Valley DK already, so decided to use some turquoise oddments someone had given me to finish the sleeves on the second jumper. This is LO’s favourite colour so I thought she’d like it like that. I used up every scrap of the Aire Valley, hence the non-matching sleeves on this one.


 Then, disaster. LO and I went to visit her cousins, and I discovered that the smallest one can’t wear wool, so LO now has two rainbow jumpers!

And I now have four balls of Louisa Harding Noema yarn (a cotton/acrylic mix) to make a non-wool Conscious. It’s a good thing I enjoy knitting this pattern…

Anyone had a similar change of plan with their knitting?! 

Days out: RHS Wisley 

LO and I visited Wisley (one of the Royal Horticultural Society gardens) recently with a friend. It wasn’t our first visit, but it was our first with a toddler!

It’s a brilliant place to take a toddler. There is a huge amount of space for galloping around.

There is a playground for slightly older children, plus an indoor soft play for pre-schoolers at the Glasshouse Cafe. We didn’t actually use either of those though as there were so many things to see.

There are steep paths to climb and rough ground to scramble over. Whilst there are steps there are clearly marked accessible paths which are totally fine for a none-off-road pushchair. 

The rose garden was so heavy with scent it almost felt visible! We had fun smelling different flowers. 

In the soft fruit fields there was a strawberry tasting event taking place. LO loved tasting different varieties of strawberry, including a white one, although she seemed equally keen on all of them! 

There are good children’s facilities, including several baby changes, all clearly signposted. The Glasshouse Cafe has children’s lunch boxes which LO loved. 

Stash update

It’s been a while since I updated my stash/yarn diet tally on here. I keep a spreadsheet to track it as I go.

My stash totals for February, March and April were quite respectable. Well, I didn’t buy any yarn, and in February knitted up 300 metres and in March 182.9 metres, giving a total used up by then of 759.4 metres! April and May I didn’t finish any projects, so haven’t got any used up totals from then.

May and June it all went a bit off the rails though. I bought three balls of West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley DK cocktail collection in colourway Rum Paradise to make jumpers for LO and her cousin.

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Then I discovered that our local yarn shop/haberdashery was closing down, so decided to go along and see if I could get enough yarn for the sample jumper I’d admired in there, as everything was 20%off.

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That resulted in seven balls of Stylecraft Alpaca Tweed Chunky coming home with me to make the jumper I’d been eyeing up. Plus a couple of balls of Head over Heels sock yarn to make a shawl with (a simple shawl, that should be compatible with TV knitting).

Of course, this didn’t do much for my stash totals. But then a knitting group friend posted a link to City Knits who were offering a special edition of WYS Signature 4ply to raise money for Marie Curie. And they had suggested coordinating solids to go with it… One of my friends is having cancer treatment at the moment so…

 

Yes, I bought three balls, in the Marie Curie colourway, plus blueberry bonbon and butterscotch. I’m intending these to be knitted up into cardigans for LO and her cousin for Christmas.

That means that my stash in total suddenly became 2941 metres for June (OOPS), although someone then got in touch on Ravelry wanting to buy some yarn I had in my stash from a John Lewis sale, so that meant 1800 metres headed out again, which has balanced it up a little bit. I’m still hoping to have used up more by the end of the year than has come in.

Still, I do have plans for all of it, and am excited at the prospect of these projects, so that’s the main thing. Not like my early days of knitting when I bought more random stuff just because I liked it…

 

Garden at the beginning of July 2017 

Slight delay getting this first picture as there always seemed to be washing out on the line to get in the way! 

The lawn is yellowing a little with the hot weather we’ve been having – mostly over 30 degrees for several of the last few weeks. Luckily a storm meant the water butt got refilled so we’ve almost entirely managed to keep the garden watered from that.

The containers I planted up at the end of May have really come into their own now. I chose some cheap mixed packs of Impatiens.

The sempervivums are flowering. I love their flowers- they look like alien species! They are loving the hot weather.

Lots of things flowering at the moment. The bees can barely keep up 😉 

I accidentally got these matching pinks without even thinking about the shade when I bought the second plant!

Love this apricot coloured rose. No idea what sort it is as it was already in the garden when we bought the house.

Allium seed head on the lawn. Another candidate for alien invasion?! 

More pink from the spiraea. This was here when we moved in too but I’ve rejuvenated it with some Serious Pruning and it now flowers a lot more. Insects love landing on those large clumps of flowers.


Think that’s all for now.