Archive | Garden

Evolution of an Herbacious border

 

For several years now, our garden has been getting rather out of hand.  Until a couple of months ago, the border on the left hand side consisted of lots of overgrown bushes (mostly dead actually), with more mostly dead honeysuckle growing up them.   I decided to cut back two of them.  Well, I cut them back so much that it looked like they’d had it, and I exposed about 8 feet of soil in the process!  One trip to the garden centre later, and I had several perennial plants to fill it up.  This is what it looked like just after planting.  A bit sparse….

lots of newly planted perennials

I decided to plant some annuals in the gaps to fill it up a bit.  I got some pot marigold and some other unidentified yellow plants.

herbacious border expanding 

Then I put in an evening primrose plant I had growing in a pot on the patio – this self seeds really easily and though it is only biennial we’ve had them every year since we bought the original one about 20 years ago.  And a comfrey plant on the left.  They looked really nice when all these were in flower:

herbacious border

This was taken a couple of weeks ago – already they are starting to fill up that space.  Now almost all the red flowers have finished but there are loads of that orange one.

herbacious border

It was a wet day when I took this one!

DSCN0007

And in case you wondered, those two bushes did recover and are about to fight back – I will have to remember to prune them vigorously in future!

Compare the different Print Gocco models

Jamie Pulley has just published a very useful Gocco comparison chart which looks pretty comprehensive, so if you’re thinking of buying one and are confused by the various models and the differences between them, hop over to his blog and have a look!

Spectacular downpours!

A week or so ago, we had a heatwave here, and then at the weekend a rather spectacular thunderstorm.  It caused quite a lake on our patio:

lake on patio

I’m glad that the patio slopes away from the house because it was getting ever deeper! 

rain drops

The ever growing beans seem to have held up against it, though!

downpour on patio

Pity about the redundant hosepipe and water jug – they seem a bit incongruous!  As you can see, though, the beans and tomatoes are growing apace and I looked today and there are several tomatoes on there.  Plenty of bean flowers though no beans yet to be seen…

Fabric Bundles and Print Gocco machines still for sale!

This is just a quick reminder that I still have about 8 fabric bundles for sale… and as a way of clearing some space in my studio the next person in the UK to buy some can have 3 bundles for the price of 2! Just pay with the Paypal buttons for two and email me to let me know which other one you want and I’ll mark them as sold. I’ll post on here when they’ve gone. You can find them here. This offer will expire at midnight on Wednesday 3rd June.

Red fabric bundle

And I also have a number of Print Gocco machines for sale – I haven’t got any B6 machines but I have several PG10s and PG10 Supers. They are on my Print Gocco machines page.

If you haven’t the foggiest what I’m talking about, there’s a page of links about the Print Gocco here.

Print Gocco PG10 Super for sale

This is a card I printed with it. I really must get it out and print some more… they really are addictive once you get going!

goccoswap4.jpg

Garden progress

Well, the patio is looking a bit better stocked now;   I just hope these French beans will look as healthy after the slugs sniff them out!

French beans

And here are the tomatoes all bedded in!   The big ones are Alicante, the smaller ones Gardener’s Delight.

beans and tomato plants

Just to end this little horticultural interlude, the wisteria at the front of our house is in full bloom; it smells heavenly.

wisteria

And to get back to textile content, DH and I went and got a HUGE piece of MDF for my printing table the other day – here it is in my studio.  So now I won’t have to keep pinning and unpinning fabric and moving it along to do the next bit…

print table 

Here’s a sneak peek at my reeds hanging no.1.  The stuff on the table above is being auditioned for hanging no. 2.

reeds hanging

Tidying up the patio

This year I decided I want to grow some tomatoes and French beans – we used to grow amazing tomatoes in the last house we lived in, because the patio area by the French windows was such a suntrap, and tomato plants loved it.  But I hadn’t managed to find a comparable spot in this house, even though we’ve been here over 10 years now (having three growing kids might have had something to do with it!).  The house faces south so the front gets the morning sun, but the back, where the patio is, faces north.    Besides this, the patio was a bit overgrown a week or so ago…

patio

This is it halfway through being cleared!   Most of the pots are now empty because they were full of weeds. 

What I decided to do about the tomatoes was to take photos of the various possible areas hourly throughout the day to see which bit got the most sun. 

This is the bit that won… trouble is, that was a tad overgrown too…

overgrown patio

That is the garden path you can see in the foreground, so I had to clear that and reclaim a couple of feet against the wall so I could put two growbags there.  And what a difference!

cleared patio!

I took this before I’d cleared all the debris… but that’s all gone now so I’ll give it till the end of May for the weather to do its worst and plant them to see how the tomatoes fare there.

While I’m on the subject of gardens, I would like to draw on your expertise … in the front garden, we have some mystery plants which come up every spring.  I think they belong to the onion family because they smell of onions when you rub them, and I’d love to identify them to see if they are edible.  These are the leaves… an untidy mass of droopy plants.  I’m pretty sure they’re bulbs.

mystery onion plant

Here is a photo of them over the wall:

mystery onion plant

They have a small white flower, about an inch in size.  I couldn’t get a very good photo of it, unfortunately – I did pick one and tried to take a close up but it didn’t seem to have enough contrast to focus properly. 

mystery white onion type flower

Can anyone shed any light on this?  I did look it up in my wild flower book and wondered if it was something like ramsons but they have wider leaves and clusters of small flowers, but I think it is similar.

Inspiration Packs galore! Buy them now!!

Phew!  Just got back from a long weekend in Somerset and am now raring to go! 

As I was saying last week, I am having a big clearout of fabrics because I want to concentrate on dyeing and painting wholecloth fabric rather than using small pieces of miscellaneous fabrics for patchwork.  So, if you want fabric and thread for embroidery, patchwork, collage, layering or whatever, here’s your chance! 

I have sorted them into bags of roughly 300-400 grams (12oz to 1lb) .  The fabrics are mostly in pieces which are fat quarter or fat eighth size, some more, some scraps, some with bits cut out but still plenty of good usable stuff.  I think all the bags have at least some hand dyed cotton and/or silk fabric; there are also pieces of organza, chiffon, silk, scrim, velvet, etc.  It’s all a mixture, sorted by colour.    A real lucky dip!!

I am selling them at £18 per bag plus postage – UK is £2 and you can use the Paypal button at the end of this post. 

Here are a few examples of what you will get in a bag:

inspiration pack for sale - blue

This one is mostly blues – 340gm.    There is some turquoise metallic organza, about 5”x19”, about a fat quarter (maybe more) of grey-blue hand dyed cotton, just over a fat quarter of turquoise stretch velvet, just under a fat quarter of pale blue cotton, a fat quarter of blue-green batik fabric with fish on, about a fat eighth of blue-turquoise mottled cotton fabric, approx fat quarter turquoise vintage Laura Ashley cotton fabric, same amount blue tulle,  about half a yard of Michael Miller zigzaggy fabric (the colourful one in the foreground), just under fat quarter of blue fabric with little ferns on, piece of navy blue cotton, some scraps of indigo dyed cotton, piece of nepalese hand dyed lokta paper, about 2 metres of blue satin ribbon, several lots of thread.UPDATE – SOLD NOW

green pack of fabric

This one is 330 grams and mostly greens (veering towards yellowy or browny greens).  Here we have some hand dyed yellow-green scrim or cheesecloth, about 12” by 30”, some green cotton fabric just under a fat quarter, green tulle about the same size, hand dyed green velvet roughly 12” square, acid dyed yellow-green silk dupion about 8” square, about half a yard of green rayon fabric with little diamond pattern, fat eighth or so of green cotton fabric with watermark effect, three pieces of various shades of green cotton, one with swirly pattern, hand dyed green-brown felt about 20” by 8”, strip of hand dyed cotton oranges, purples, turquoises, 4”x28”, hand dyed green silk rod, 4’ 1.5”wide green organza ribbon, various hanks of thread.

green fabric pack for sale

These are 330 grams, again, and more greeny purples.  There’s about a metre of green metallicy lace with daisies on it (very glittery!), some funny shimmery green/purple fabric, four different hand dyed green cotton fabrics (fat quarter to fat eighth size) … can you tell I’m getting bored with measuring things?!! – about a fat quarter of silk crepe which I bought in France, hand dyed with green and flecks of magenta and orange, some silk dupion, a very spectacular 9” square piece of silk habotai which I painted with pink and green silk paints using salt – it looks a bit fireworky, scraps of hand dyed silk rod and silk fibres, about a fat quarter of hand dyed green/purply-pink butter muslin, some very shimmery greeny polyester organza good for dragonfly wings, about a 9” square piece of hand felted fibres with silky threads trapped in it (green), some darkish green cotton fabric with a black overall swirly pattern on it.SORRY, SOLD!!

That’s all I’m going to describe because I can feel myself wanting to put it all back again and keep it for myself but I must clear it to get some space to create more!!! 

£18 plus £2 postage (UK) – if you are overseas, email me and I’ll send you a Paypal invoice with amended postage. Give me your colour preference in the ‘Message to seller’ box. Or leave a comment if you have any problems!

UPDATE: I have now put photos of all the bundles with Paypal buttons (postage to UK only) on this permanent blog page.

The colour combinations I’ve got are: yellows/greens; red-purples; blues/blue-greens; yellow/oranges; reds; golds/browns; purples; orange/blue; black/white; reds/dusky oranges; blues/browns; sea greens/blue; greens; and blue/turquoise. Ask me if you want to know more about them.

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