Sunday 28 April 2019

Progress with the patchwork

I have made progress with my first ever patchwork quilt.  I have completed the top and will now need to create the quilt sandwich with wadding and backing fabric, before quilting the layers together.  I do like the material, which has been the saving grace for this project.  I still do not like using a rotary cutter (however, I did find that if I slowed down and took my time, I did get marginally better results).  In the end, I cut card templates for the squares and rotary cut around them, but they were still far from perfect.
I have decided that I am not going to worry about whether the seams line up (they don't) and am just going to celebrate the fact that I have made this!
I am looking forward to cutting the binding strips but this is because I have an Accuquilt Go Baby fabric die cutting machine which will ensure perfect strips every time.  I may make another quilt, but just using the strips...

Sunday 21 April 2019

Happy Easter (and more tulips, clematis and the odd fence panel)

 Happy Easter to those who celebrate.  We have been enjoying wonderful sunny weather over this weekend and the tulips have been enjoying it too.  Above is Ronaldo in a pot with Ballerina.
 Here are Ballerina and Red Shine in the border.  Red Shine is from several years ago, but has decided to come back.  They do look lovely against the brick wall.
Ronaldo again, in another pot, showing the grey bloom on the petals.
A view inside Ronaldo with a black centre. 
 Tulip Danceline is also flowering and is really beautiful.  I saw Monty Don raving about this tulip last year on Gardeners' World, so decided to grow some myself. 
 They are blowsy, but in an elegant way (if such a thing is possible). 
Clematis Blue Dancer is also in flower.  I bought this last year and it is only a young plant.  I hope it will grow up the metal arch in time.
 Clematis Rosy Pagoda is still looking lovely.
 I am really enjoying the flowers.
 Tulip Danceline again (just because I can).  The buds start with a green tinge and then turn creamy with little pinky-red stripes.  The cream colour reminds me of Cornish Vanilla ice-cream...
I think I may need to purchase more of these for next year.  I am not sure whether they will come back again, but will plant them in the border anyway.
In other news, I have been spending time painting the fence panels which I hadn't painted last year , so that they tie in with the ones I had painted.  Even though the panels themselves aren't in the best condition, they look so much better now.  The black (which in real life is darker than in the photo) really makes the green leaves show up beautifully.  I have an aching shoulder today, but it was worth it!

Friday 12 April 2019

First tulips and other Spring plants

This quite a photo heavy post, but it's not my fault - there is so much happening in the garden!  Tulips in the border are making an entrance. These are all ones I grew in pots originally and then transferred to the border.
Yes, this is Ballerina, with an unknown white variety which I don't remember planting, but must have done.  It is welcome all the same.
 Tulip Brown Sugar from last year and planted in the border.  I was most impressed with this one and wanted more this year, but it wasn't available.  I shall have to keep a look out for it this year.
 Some of my daffodils are still flowering - this is Toto.  I really like this one and it has been in flower for a while.  It is also multi-headed.  More needed for next year, I think.
 A Camellia bought a year or two ago.
 Narcissus Minnow looking very elegant and dainty.
 Tulip Danceline starting to bud up.  I am looking forward to seeing this one - a big peony-type flower.
 Lathyrus Vernus looking pretty...
 ...alongside Lathyrus vernus alboroseus (these are all in pots).
 Unfurling Ginkgo leaves on 'Mariken'.
 Buds on a little philadelphus (Little White Love, I think).
Bluebells (also in a pot).
Plant of the moment has to be this Clematis alpina (label lost, but I may have made a note of it, so will check.  Edited to add: indeed I did make a note of it - Rosy Pagoda).  It got squashed when the wall fell on it and so I cut it right down.  It seemed to struggle to get going last year, but this year it is looking the best I have ever seen it.
Here it is flowering beautifully and enjoying the sun we had yesterday.
 So pretty.
 Erythronium Pagoda is starting to flower too.
 Here is my 'artistic' shot trying to look into the flower.
Magnolia Susan is also starting to flower.  The nights are still a bit cold, so I am hoping it stays in bud a little longer.
Finally, blueberries in flower.  Above is 'Northland'...
...and this is Blue Pearl.  They fruited really well last year but so far, this year is a bit dry for them.  I need to keep them well watered.
So much to enjoy - no wonder this is my favourite time of year (up until June).

Wednesday 3 April 2019

I see the moon...

I went to the local museum yesterday to see the Museum of the Moon exhibition. This is a six metre diameter, 1:600,000 scale model of the moon featuring NASA imagery of the moon's surface.  Each centimetre of the sculpture represents 6km of the moon's surface. (That information was taken from the brochure above). 
 The sculpture is internally lit and is presented in a darkened space, adding to the ethereal quality.
There is a soundtrack alongside the sculpture which features various sounds such as astronauts talking and rockets blasting off.
 The best moment for me was when the soundtrack featured Clair de Lune by Debussy.  The music and the moon worked so well together and it was a magical experience.
It does look as though you could reach out and touch it, but there were barriers to stop you getting too close.
While contemplating the sculpture, I was thinking back to the first poem I had to learn at secondary school which was Silver by Walter de la Mere.  I think it is appropriate to include it here:

Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep
Of doves in a silver-feathered sleep;
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws and a silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.
 The other piece of writing I thought of was from The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge.  This was a written comprehension exercise at school:

It was all silver. Upon each side of them the trunks of tall trees rose from grass so silvered by the moonlight that it glimmered like water. The trees were not thickly planted, and beautiful glades opened between them, showing glimpses of an ebony sky set with silver stars. Nothing moved. It was all quite still, as though enchanted under the moon. The silvery tracery of twigs and branches above the silver tree trunks was so delicate that the moonlight sifted through it like a fine film of silver dust.

But there was life among the trees, though it was life that did not move. Maria saw a silver owl sitting on a silver branch, and a silver rabbit sitting up on its haunches beside the road blinking at the lantern light, and a beautiful group of silver deer . . . And for a fleeting instant, at the far end of a glade, she thought she saw a little white horse with flowing mane and tail, head raised, poised, halted in mid-flight, as though it had seen her and was glad.
While I did enjoy moments of calm and contemplation, these were only while I was on my own.  My cue to leave was when a group of rather excited ladies came in and proceeded to take selfies and speak loudly as they walked round.
The other thing was that I felt the space was just too small to do the sculpture justice.  In other places where it has been exhibited,  the moon has been suspended in a huge space, such as a church or cathedral, so that people could sit or lie underneath it (people walking underneath it can be seen on the brochure front). I think that would have been fascinating.   However, I am pleased I managed to see the moon - the closest I will ever get to the real thing.