Happy Birthday To me

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Green Girl Gardener is a whole one year old today! Where has that year gone? I knew it was coming up because about a month ago my iPhone calendar reminded me to ‘cancel WordPress if not using’. I just swiped it away, and that made me happy because it meant I’d been successful in my venture.

After I published my first post, hubby turned all Del Boy and declared that ‘this time next year we’ll be millionaires!’ Well I haven’t been successful in that way  (not that the intention was ever for that to happen), and I don’t even have that many followers/regular readers, but it still feels like an eminently successful year to me because I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every second of blogging. I’ve always been a closet writer (I still think there’s a novel in me somewhere) and this is a fabulous way for me to express myself creatively. It makes me happy to play with words, find the most amusing way to express myself, to conjugate to my heart’s content.

I think the blog has had its main focus on my gardening adventure, but I’ve also managed to bring other passions into it – crochet, cats, holidays, teddy bears, tennis. Hopefully I’ve provided some light entertainment on otherwise dreary days, and maybe I’ve even provided a little bit of education along the way (although probably not in gardening because I’m still right down the bottom of that particular learning curve).

I’ve found lots of fellow bloggers who blog on all sorts of subjects from crochet to mental health to cooking to travel, but most of all I’ve found fellow gardeners. Luckily (for me) most of them are far more experienced than yours truly and they’ve helped me identify mystery plants, they’ve offered tips and tricks either directly or through their own writing and they’ve opened my eyes to different kinds of gardening. I can honestly say that starting my little bloggy venture was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’ve complemented by space here with a Green Girl Gardener account on Instagram (@greengirlgardener if anyone’s interested) which allows me, when I don’t have time to blog, to share those random photos that I take when I pop out to check the garden before work, or when I spot a beautiful plant while I’m out and about or when I’ve created something scrummy with my own homegrown goodness.

I’m going to celebrate my first birthday by sharing some of my favourite photos from the past year.

I’ve tried to pick one photo from each month, but I’ve got so many photos that I love that I think I’m going to have to do another montage!

Above we have for July my Eupatorium (that had to be in there, didn’t it), Olive and Tink, our furry girls for August and my birthday planter for September. Then there’s the fox cushion I made for my mother in law in October and hubby and I in a cenote in Mexico during our November holiday. Next row shows my Hellebore flowering in December and my Christmas present greenhouse housing a hubby (a husband hut as my friend on Facebook quipped) in early January. Penultimate row is us with a friendly falcon in Malta in February and the Palace of Holyroodhouse during my trip to Edinburgh (which was also in February but I must’ve written my post in early March) and finally one of my raised beds all planted and netted in April, the iconic Universal globe on our fantastic holiday to Orlando in May and last but not least, the Confetti Fields that I visited in June.

Here we go again. Top row shows a Gazania which was the first sale table find that I blogged about back in July 2018 and an Eeyore house at Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens which we discovered in August. Jump down a row to a wild pony in Sutton Park which we came across in September, I still remember how happy I was to have seen one because I was starting to think they were a myth, and my set of Clover hooks which revolutionised my crocheting life in October. Next up is a white feather in November which I think is my gardening expert Grandad popping down from heaven to check I’m not messing up the garden, followed by our yummy Christmas dinner in December, our furry girls keeping warm in January and me meeting my new baby niece in February. Fourth row shows a mountain of bears in March (that’s been added to since then!) and an elephant that I crocheted as a leaving gift for my boss when he retired in April so he doesn’t forget me and lastly a Gringotts vault at the Harry Potter studios in May and the start of my love affair with overnight oats as I started Slimming World in June.

It’s so nice to look back at these photos – yet another benefit to my blog. I also take more random photos when I get an inkling of an idea for a blog post and I find that quite often they evoke the strongest memories.

I’ll finish with a thank you. To all you lovely readers – friends, family, colleagues and fellow bloggers – thank you so much for reading, liking, commenting, complimenting and educating me for the last year. I really do appreciate it every time someone takes time out of their busy day to read my musings and ramblings, and I hope I can continue to entertain and perhaps amuse for a long time to come.

Little Box of Crochet Advent Calendar

A really quick post this evening because I want to share the fact that I actually managed to finish all my Little Box of Crochet advent calendar before Christmas is officially over!

I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up with one a day throughout advent, but I’ve got the finished articles now for Christmases to come. Some of the days decorations were quicker than others, but I was so busy in the run up to Christmas that I think I only managed to stay up to date until 4th December. I’m not the only one though – I’ve been following #lbcadvent on Instagram and other people are still posting their makes now. As they say. It’s not winning the race that matters, but taking part.

Anyway, here they are in all their glory.

I bought a special little tree just for these lovely little home makes.

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I think I should apologise for my dubious attempt at the baby Jesus (the one with the bizarre yellow bits sticking out that is actually supposed to be straw in the manger). It really did look better in the book.

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I’m not really sure where I went wrong!

Anyway, must dash – have a very important CAL (crochet-a-long) from Attic24 to get going on. I’ve been impatient to start all weekend, but needed to get these little Christmassy makes done first.

 

The cutest greenhouse in the world

Happy New Year! I wonder what 2019 will bring for us all.

Well, for me it’s going to bring homegrown fruit and veg because the greenhouse is done! 154 screws, seven hours and more than one or two rude words later my new greenhouse is erected! It’s really little, six foot by four foot, and it’s super cute. After I’ve published this post I’m going to peruse Pinterest to find ideas to make it really pretty (as well as functional).

Hubby had to work yesterday so I asked him to take the box out of the garage for me so I could start building it while he was out earning a crust. When it arrived I couldn’t believe how small the box was.

I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if there had only been half a greenhouse in there, but amazingly it was all there.

It’s actually a green greenhouse!

I got the first few bits together quite quickly and easily and it was starting to take shape quite nicely.

I had to abandon ship (or greenhouse) when the light faded because I couldn’t see what I was doing, and I was also cold right through to my bones because I’d been out there for five hours. My poor fingers were so cold that I was struggling to actually hold the screws and nuts. I’d managed to get most of the greenhouse in place though, all that was left was the opening window in the roof and the door.

We headed back out this afternoon after we’d had an epic snooze after the new year festivities last night, and it’s a good job there were two of us for the last bit because the door in particular was quite tricky to keep together until all the components were assembled, but with a little bit of teamwork (and a few more rude words) we got the job done. I nearly fell out with the door because we just could not work out how to attach it properly, but we worked it out with a bit of lateral thinking.

Here it is in all its green and cute glory!

I love it! Isn’t it cute?

Hubby has bought me some staging to go inside for Christmas, but because I was so busy at work and sorting out Christmas preparations, I didn’t actually get chance to choose it so he could order it until a couple of days before Christmas so it hasn’t arrived yet. It’s green as well! I’m really excited to put everything into use, but I need to be patient – we’ve got the cold months of January and February to get through first before I can start sowing seeds. In the meantime I can start beautifying it!

A lot of my Christmas pressies were garden and/or greenhouse related so I can put them to good use now.

I can’t wait to grow purple carrots! Do you think they’ll taste any different? I actually googled carrots last night because I had a feeling that they weren’t always orange. I was right, they used to be naturally white, yellow or purple but in the seventeenth century a strain was produced with higher beta carotene content which made them orange.

I’m excited to grow coriander too. It says on the packet that it’s a spice, but it’s a herb isn’t it? Either way, I love it. A curry isn’t the same without coriander and it’s lovely in a salad as well. I looked for coriander plants a few times over the summer and didn’t find any, so now I can grow my own.

Did you spot my environmentally friendly bamboo pots and saucers? I’m really going to try hard to cut down on the plastic that we use in our house and garden this year. It’s heartbreaking to see all the images of sea life swimming around with plastic in the ocean, crabs using yoghurt pots as shells, birds with their beaks bound to their breasts by plastic drinks rings.

Well, I’m off to surf Pinterest now for greenhouse ideas. Got to make the most of my last day of freedom before going back to work tomorrow. I’ve had such a lovely break (even if it did include solving a work crisis on Boxing Day!) and I’m sad to go back and lose all my free time again, but I’m excited to see what the working year ahead will bring, although I’m a tad nervous about what effect Brexit will have on my company. 2018 was very good for me professionally, and I’m hoping to build on that in 2019.