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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2018 Review in Pictures

I should’ve probably written this post on 1st January, but I was busy finishing off my greenhouse and since then I’ve been back at work and feeling somewhat tired. It’s amazing how quickly you get out of the habit of getting up early and doing proper adult things. Every January when I go back to work I struggle to keep my head above water because I’m so tired and suffering from the January blues. I always manage though, and soon we’ll be through January. February’s not much better, in my humble opinion, but its saving grace is that it’s closer to Spring and you can finally see that the days are getting longer. The end of Winter is in sight!

I downloaded the top nine app which makes you a collage of your nine most liked photos on Instagram.

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I like all these photos (as, apparently do the people who follow me on Instagram) but I didn’t feel that it represented my year as I remember it. Of course, I only started my blog and the accompanying Instagram account (greengirlgardener for anyone who’d like to follow me) in July so it’s not representative of the whole year, but there’s not one gardening photo on there and that was a massive part of my 2018. I also realise that I need to be careful not to use a photo I’ve already posted as my featured blog picture because that’s how I’ve ended up with the same photo twice. 

Anyway, I thought I’d look back on my year and try to select my personal favourite pictures, and maybe you’ll find them interesting.

We managed to keep our fur babies healthy and happy in 2018 – this really isn’t a chore because they are just so delightful. I couldn’t not include my favourite pics of the gorgeous twosome from this past year.

How do I choose my favourite pictures from the garden? Honestly my phone is full of pics of plants and garden paraphernalia! I’ll try to narrow it down.

This is what really sparked my enthusiasm for the garden when we had the jungle chopped down and I could really see what we had to play with!

It inspired me to create our bistro.

I soon added other features to give character to our space.

My wheelbarrow planter.

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My planter which was made by my Dad for my birthday which I love.

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My raised beds ready for growing fruit and veg in the summer.

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More recently my greenhouse which I’m really excited about.

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The garden gave me so much pleasure this year. I can’t possibly show you everything that I planted or managed to nurture, so I’ll try to narrow it down to a few of my favourite photos.

When the cats were kittens it was impossible for me to crochet because they would run off with my yarn, but this year, now that they’re the ripe old age of three, I rediscovered my love for hooking and I also resubscribed to Little Box of Crochet. Here are some of my makes.

I also met Amanda, the owner of Little Box of Crochet at the Grand Sale Event.

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I went on three holidays. Lanzarote at Easter with hubby’s side of the family.

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Sandybrook Country Park near Ashbourne with some of my best and oldest (in time, not age!) friends for May Bank Holiday.

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And Mexico in November with hubby.

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2018 saw the last of my school year turn 40. My birthday is at the beginning of the academic year so I turned 40 in 2017, but my best friend celebrated her milestone birthday in style in 2018. We went to London, saw Les Miserables in the West End and had afternoon tea at the Dorchester.

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I don’t even like tea, but I was in the Dorchester and I was drinking tea whether I liked it or not! I look thin in this photo – might print it out and stick it to the fridge to motivate my New Year diet!

This is really not in chronological order because this happened in February. It’s just in the order that it’s fallng out of my head! We finally knocked our teeny tiny kitchen through to the dining room to create a big kitchen diner. It’s the best thing we’ve done to the house – we no longer fall over each other when we’re trying to cook, and we no longer risk going up in a puff of smoke like we did using our old dodgy cooker!

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Hubby and I went to Thorpe Park with two of my work friends (one of whom made a rollercoaster fwiend – sorry, in joke!) Until I went to Orlando for the first time in 2016 I’d never been to a proper big theme park. I used to go to a local theme park when I was a kid, people can’t believe that I’ve never been to Alton Towers! I loved Thorpe Park. It was so much fun.

My youngest brother got married in August and I gained another sister-in-law. It was an amazing day and really made me appreciate time with family.

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Oh, almost forgot! I got a promotion and became an Account Manager. I’ve tried to embrace my new role and am enjoying the learning process. It’s not always easy, and I’m spending a lot of time outside of my comfort zone, but I’m relishing the challenge and am determined to succeed and prove myself. That reminds me, I must ask for new business cards!

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I think that’s the major events of 2018 covered. So, what’s to come in 2019? If all goes according to plan, then I’ll travel to Orlando and Spain. I’ll return to Sandybrook with the girls. It’s highly likely that I’ll visit the south of Italy with work. I’ll visit the Hippodrome to see Peter Pan and the Alexandra Theatre to see Thriller Live. I’ll pay an extortionate parking fee at the NEC when I visit Gardeners’ World Live with my best friend. There are tentative plans to go to Kew Gardens, do pub quizzes, visit Tallinn and to remedy my not having been to Alton Towers. I’ll take part in my first CAL (crochet-along) with thousands of people around the world when I follow attic24’s sweet pea blanket pattern. I’m planning to decorate the downstairs loo, redo the bathroom and obviously there will be exploits in the garden. I did briefly toy with the idea of a huge PVC igloo on the lawn today when I was daydreaming (and imagining myself to have won the lottery) but I’ll satisfy my gardening dreams by beautifying my greenhouse and growing my own fruit and veg this year.

I hope you all have plans for 2019, whether big or small. Life’s for living!