Friday 28 May 2021

Rainbows and plants

Last week, during one of the many rain showers we had, there was this beautiful double rainbow.
It was there for about half an hour and these were the best photos I could get.  I think it's always magical to see a rainbow.
The plants have loved the recent rain, except when it gets too heavy and batters them too much.  This little geranium sanguineum striatum is shyly starting to flower.
The astrantia above was bought at one of the only three RHS Chatsworth shows there were.  Sadly, the RHS have decided not to hold the show there any more, but to focus on the bigger and more well attended shows.  RHS Chatsworth had only just got going really, but there we are.
I think this one may be 'Star of Love'. 
Galium odoratum (woodruff) seems to be making itself at home at the back of the border and is giving a froth of little white flowers.
Geranium Phaeum is always reliable and is loved by the bees.  The alliums and roses will be next to flower.

Friday 21 May 2021

Wanderlust 2021 - weeks seventeen to twenty - Recycling

Week seventeen was using a magazine image and keeping the pages around it, cutting them away to reveal the image, adding gesso, other images and colour.  I wasn't sure about this one and I'm still not. The original image is the jewellery piece.
Week eighteen had us looking in our stash for napkins, magazines, tissue paper, old books.  I was quite pleased with how this one ended up - judicious amounts of gesso in the background and shadowing the main images with black watercolour pencil to make them pop more. 
Week nineteen encouraged us to raid the recycling box for junk mail.  I used pizza leaflets, a politicial card, and the inside of security envelopes.  This is how it started...
...and this is where it ended up.  I used new stencils, outlining in black and white and some stamping too.  If you look closely, you can just see the security envelope patterns in some places.
Week twenty was about recycling material.  I used material left from sewing projects, including making facemasks.  The focal point was a photocopy transfer onto material.  However, to do that successfully, you needed a laser print, which I didn't have, so had to think about alternatives. I came up with a gel plate transfer print.  I had done these before onto paper but not onto fabric.  I looked at a Youtube video and then had a go.  It took a few goes - too much paint, the fabric too wet, but eventually it worked - the material was just damp and I used a thin layer of paint on the gel plate.  The stamped words were from a Visible image stamp and I masked off the rest of the quote.

So, a few challenges for this topic.    We move on to 'Poems and Quotes' which sounds intriguing.

Sunday 16 May 2021

The garden in May

The garden has exploded in colour and growth after the recent rain.  It is a joy!  There are quite a few photos in this post - I just can't help myself when there is so much to look at.  Above is rhododendron Tinkerbird and her flowers have opened seemingly overnight.  
What you can't get from the photos is the delicious jasmine scent from these flowers and the scent wafts around our little enclosed garden when it is sunny.
The flowers are so pretty with their delicate flush of pink.
This is a real Spring view - apple tree, bright green foliage and tulips.
The lewisias are coming into flower too.
My favourite Ballerina tulips after last night's rain.
The pink fringed tulips which I didn't plant, but which have flowered on and off for the last twenty years.
This narcissus (Pheasant's eye, or Narcissus poeticus recurvus) was one of my Granny's favourite flowers.  She would be so pleased that I am such a keen gardener.
Granny used to walk to collect us from the bus stop and walk the mile or so home.  She was a fount of knowledge about wild flowers, shrubs and trees.  That is a wonderful memory which I treasure.
Aquilegia or Granny's Bonnets. I think this is a self seeder from another plant further up the border. 
Self-seeded bluebells, but such a lovely blue, I am very happy for them to be there.
Tulip Ronaldo, still in flower, looking lovely with the raindrops.  
These have lasted really well this year.
Raindrops on roses, well, raindrops on rose leaves.  This is Olivia Rose Austin.
Another lewisia.
Finally, (well done if you have made it this far) here is Magnolia Fairy Blush.  So pretty, so reliable and really needing a bigger pot now.
White flowers with a tinge of pink, just like the rhododendron at the start of the post.  I love this time of year! 

Sunday 9 May 2021

I'm making a journal

I have been watching lots of Youtube videos from people who make junk journals and this is something I like the idea of.  I am not sure what I would use them for, but creating something like this appeals.  Then I saw a small journal kit  (Lilac Haze) from Janie's Originals  and decided to buy it.  It arrived quickly and I waited for a few weeks without getting on with it (not sure why).  Eventually, I did get it out of the box and make it.  The original has a soft material spine and I decided I wanted a hard spine, so deviated a little from the instructions to create one.  The front is shown above.  In reality it is a brighter lilac than the photo would suggest.
Here's the back.  It has three signatures, sewn into the spine using three hole pamphlet stitch.
The pages are kraft card and recycled cartridge paper.  The most difficult bit was cutting the papers to fit (it took a while and they are nowhere near perfect.  However, I decided I can live with them as they are).  The third signature was the trickiest to sew in, but I got there in the end.
The kit gives you everything you need, including beads and ribbons to add spine dangles.  I haven't quite decided what I am going to do with them yet.  It also gives you some tags in the same patterned paper as the covers. The extras you need are glue, fabric glue, an awl/pokey tool and a craft knife/pair of scissors/paper cutter.
It was a very enjoyable project and I think I will be making some more of these, perhaps a little bigger, more of an A5 size. 

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.