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.

Six on Saturday 1st June

1st June! Does that mean it’s officially Summer? It feels like it today and we’re off to my Dad and C’s this afternoon which, if the weather holds, means we can sit in their beautiful garden and get some tips.

Right, this needs to be a speedy six today because I’m writing it in the hairdressers whilst my hair ‘cooks’ and then I’ll be busy for the rest of the day.

1. Roses.

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The top picture is ‘Hot Chocolate’ and was a house warming present five years ago from my Mum. It lives in the shade, but seems perfectly happy and flowers every year.

The middle two were from a sale table last year and I watered them religiously while they were establishing and I’m so happy they made it through the hot Summer. One of them was called ‘Teen Spirit’ but I can’t remember the other. They could do with a prune to retain their champagne glass shape but I’m not chopping all those buds and flowers off .

The bottom one has just appeared in our rather unruly front garden. I don’t remember it in previous years. It looks somewhat Camellia-like (and is actually underneath our Camellia) but it’s definitely a Rose. I should’ve included some foliage to prove it.

2. Peonies

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We inherited these Peonies and they are absolutely beautiful. I’ll definitely include them in a future six once they’ve bloomed. It’s a shame they’re so short-lived. I should really stake them too because it only takes one heavy fall of rain and they flop! As you can see, they’re not far off revealing the gorgeousness inside.

3. Summer Bulbs

A couple of months ago I planted about twenty summer bulbs …. and then promptly forgot what I’d planted and where! D’oh! These two above are now emerging, but I’ve no idea what they are. There’s various leaves appearing around the garden that may or may not be other summer bulbs! While it makes it difficult to know where I can plant my new planty acquisitions because of the unknown bulb location, it is quite exciting wondering what’s going to appear.

4. Funky Veg

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These are the successes from my Funky Veg kit. Two Purple Carrot plants, which I’ve been advised to plant on keeping them in the cardboard pot, two Stripy Tomato plants which seem to be doing well. Not sure how big they need to be before I can plant them on and the Yellow Courgettes. These were very successful. I’ve gifted three plants and have another one to give away shortly and I’m keeping two for us. I bought new pots for them this week so I’ll plant them on tomorrow.

5. Diascia Cherry Blossom

I’ve been wondering what to do with this for a few weeks now. It was new last year so I wasn’t quite sure how it would cope with the Winter and how to care for it. You can see in the first pic that it’s got quite quite leggy but is well and truly still alive. The second pic shows some tiny new life appearing, so, I’ve decided that the best course of action is the Chelsea Chop on the rest of it. I’ll do that tomorrow.

6. Another Mystery Plant

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I wondered whether this was a Foxglove but now it’s started to develop a bud which doesn’t look very Digitalis to me (although I may be wrong). It could also be Dock because we do have lots of nettles (although not near here) but I’m not sure if Dock flowers. Or is it some sort of Primrose? I really don’t know but it’s not unattractive and is taking up space which otherwise could be filled with unwanted weedery, so I’ve left it and will eagerly await the bloom to try to identify it (unless anyone can do so already).

So there are my six. It was hard to narrow down. I could’ve talked Geums or Lilies or Euphorbia or any other number of garden wonders, but in the end I plumped for these and hope it makes for an interesting read.

I’m about to set off for Worcester now to deliver a special package to a special person who is having a round number birthday on Tuesday – keep your fingers crossed for light traffic.

Enjoy your weekends – TTFN.

 

A whole new generation

Last Sunday hubby and I headed over to Worcester to my Dad’s house. We always look forward to a trip to Worcester, but this weekend was destined to be even more special because we were going to meet the newest addition to our clan. My youngest brother and my sister-in-law have become parents! How exciting!

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Isn’t she beautiful? This is the first time my hubby has held a baby for seventeen years, and hence the first time I’ve seen the phenomenon! If I was troubled by the ticking of my biological clock this probably would’ve advanced it a few hours (I’m not – someone forgot to wind it up!) He did a pretty good job of it, she slept like, well, a baby, perfectly happy in his arms.

I chartered my ship in quite the opposite direction, and it was the right navigation for me, but there is something so special about welcoming a new little life into the family, and I did so enjoy little baby cuddles.

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My hair looks weird! No idea what happened there (I’m going to the hairdressers tomorrow, all will be rectified). I’m sure I don’t normally look this old either, I blame the comparison with the youngest recruit! Anyhow, I’m not the important one in the picture.

Also meeting baby E for the first time was my oldest (but still younger than me, as most people are these days!) brother, my other sister-in-law and their little girl, my other niece, V. V is absolutely delightful! Like, really, heart-miss-a-beat amazing! I’m annoyed that I left without taking any photos of her, so I’ve pinched one that someone else took.

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There were lots of giggles caused by some of the completely innocent things that little V said (very eloquently I must add because she’s a very bright little girl – must run in the family 😉) but by far my favourite was when she addressed hubby as Aunty Colin. Brilliant!

I’m so glad that my Dad and C are Grandparents twice over because to see them with their two Granddaughters is really special, and they are so obviously relishing their new roles. Just look at how Dad’s looking at V above. Makes me feel really nostalgic because I can remember him looking at me just like that (not that he doesn’t still, but, you know, I’m a bit too big to hang out with him in a den these days!)

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Again, this isn’t my photo (hope it’s ok that I’ve used it) but I just love it. I almost feel like I can remember being held like this in those very arms. My earliest memory is at eighteen months old so I think what I’m probably half remembering is one of my brothers being held like this, or maybe one of my younger cousins.

I’m aware that I’ve used the word ‘special’ a few times in this post, and normally I’d go back and replace some instances with synonyms to avoid repetition, but I’m not going to on this occasion because special is the right word in every case. I know the weekend was very special for everyone, and I’m so glad we could be there. I’m a very proud Aunty (as is my hubby!)

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