Sunday, 2 May 2021

More to enjoy in the garden

 Despite the continued night frosts, the garden continues to grow and change.  The days have been sunny and the garden has appreciated this, although it has been very dry. I think that is due to change tomorrow (a bank holiday, of course it will rain!)

The always lovely combination of Magnolia Susan against the lilac and a bright blue sky.
Tulip 'Danceline' in the border - I have three of these which have come back for two years so far.
A pot of tulip 'Ronaldo' which I love.  (My favourite Ballerina tulips, bought new and planted in a pot last November have been really disappointing, stunted and not happy, unlike the ones in the border.)
My patio apple tree has beautiful pink and white blossom which lifts the spirits.  Tulip Brown Sugar and Ballerina are in the background.
I removed the flowers last year as it was a new plant but have left them this year. I may even get an apple or two.
An unnamed double camellia which had its earlier flowers attacked by a marauding caterpillar (rude!).  However, this one makes up for the loss of the previous ones.
Finally, a touch of sunshine at the front door from this pot of tulips.  I have been busy in the garden this morning, repotting a saxifrage and a palm; broadcasting some annual seeds, just to see whether they will grow anyway, despite not having carefully drawn rows to be planted into; planting some hardy geraniums and watering a few things.  I also removed a couple of roses in pots which were not happy and which had black spot already.  Sometimes, you have to admit defeat. but on the plus side, it gives me more planting opportunities!

I hope May will bring some rain and good growing weather.

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Enjoying Spring in the garden

Even though we are having lovely sunny days, the nights are cold, with a bit of frost sometimes.  However, this is not stopping the garden from celebrating Spring.
The tulips in the border are flowering - above is Ronaldo.
Clematis is in bud.
Daffodils are still blooming.  This one is Narcissus Triandrus.
My favourite tulips, Ballerina, are opening out in the sunshine.
They are beautifully scented and such a joy!
Here is a pot of Tulip Brown Sugar, my second favourite.
Clematis Alpina Blue Dancer, with long elegant flowers.
Clematis Rosy Pagoda....
...and a close up.
The ever reliable Lathyrus Vernus, in pots, in shade, but providing a lovely splash of colour.
Lathyrus vernus Alboroseus.
Finally, the cheerful flowers of a saxifrage which is a new plant and needs to be potted into a bigger pot.  I think the garden is enjoying the sunshine, just like we are.

Saturday, 17 April 2021

Wanderlust 2021 - weeks thirteen to sixteen - Silhouettes

I am so pleased I signed up to Wanderlust this year as it is bringing me a lot of joy.  I am loving using different techniques and media and learning a lot.  Week thirteen was about using a gel plate to manipulate a print and image, adding colour to it to look a bit like an Andy Warhol silk screen print.  The second technique was tracing over the image and then blotting it carefully on another piece of paper, then painting it in. Both of these techniques were new to me, so it was a learning experience.  I think the end result on the right is more Matisse than Andy Warhol though!
Week fourteen was one where I needed to take my time.  We had to choose an image of a tree.  I did look through my photos, but none appealed so I went on a free images site (unsplash) and found the one above.
We created a watercolour background and then added the tree in white gel pen.  It was a very calming activity.
The words were found in a book - I looked in Dickens and a book on forestry, thinking either of them would be perfect, but no luck.  I then looked in a Hammond Innes thriller (The Trojan Horse) and these words just jumped out at me. Serendipity was certainly working for me!
Week fifteen was about alcohol inks on a gel plate, or a brayered background which then had a silhouette placed on top.  I used some die cuts as my silhouettes.  The alcohol ink background is on the left, the brayered one on the right.  The alcohol ink background has a stencilled tree hiding behind the die cut and the  brayered background has stencilling and stamping added to it, with a bit of doodling for good measure.
I enjoyed using the alcohol inks on the gel plate so much, I made a couple more prints.  I should have worn my gloves though, as I manged to get very inky fingers and they are only just clean again (despite copious amounts of hand washing!)
I made myself choose warm colours for week sixteen.  I really enjoyed this class.  We used a baby wipe to apply the background colours, then stencilling and stamping, and added doodling.  Stencils and masks were the focal points.  

Recycling is the theme for the next four weeks.  I'm so looking forward to it!

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Latest card makes and looking like Harry Potter

 I have been making various cards for friends, family and colleagues.

Here is a stencilled design for my brother-in -law.
Some thank you cards, after my birthday...
...and here.
A card for my work colleague - this is a stamp I have used before and which always looks good.
I also made her a bookmark tag. The front...
...and the back.
Mothering Sunday cards.
More birthdays...
...and bookmark tags, front...
...and back.
My sister-in-law's card - she is a very keen and good gardener.
I added some interest on the back too.
A card for a friend who has recently got into gardening and has an allotment.
I added some extras on the inside...
...and the back.
Here's the bookmark I made for her.
Snarky cats made an appearance again!
Finally, Easter cards. 

In other news, I, like a lot of the UK, am desperate for a haircut!  At the moment my usually short and under control hair is crawling down my neck and tickling my ears. 

(image from https://www.bbcamerica.com/anglophenia/2014/06/daniel-radcliffe-done-acting-coach-harry-potter)

In fact, I think look a bit like Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, which may be a good look for him, but isn't for me! I have an appointment on 22nd April which can't come soon enough.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Easter weekend

From temperatures around 20 degrees C earlier in the week, it feels as if we are back in Winter this weekend here in the UK.  However, the garden is coming to life and seems to be coping with the downward temperatures.  My standard cherry Kojo-no-mai is flowering well.  I treated myself to it last year, at the beginning of lockdown, but it had just finished flowering when I received it.   
A year on and it is looking lovely.
Some tulips in the border are starting to bloom too - i am not sure if this is Brown Sugar or Cairo!
A little self seeded purple primula is flowering  under the patio table.
More tulips.
Bright blue scillas.
The beautiful native primrose which has seeded itself at the base of a rose in a pot.
A violet which has seeded itself everywhere, but is welcome nonetheless (unless it is where I really don't want it to be).
Beautiful Lathyrus vernus which is a joy every year.  This one is in a pot and features on my blog every year, because it is always a delight to see it.

Happy Easter to you and keep warm. I believe snow is forecast for tomorrow!