Sunday, 8 April 2018

Front border

The weekend forecast wasn't good, but it stayed dryer than expected yesterday so I was able to get out for a while. The edge of the grass was a bit higgledy-piggledy, so first job was to straighten it.

Then the fading crocuses (that I picked up for next to nothing) were put in, along with a few daffodil bulbs for next spring, a few gladioli bulbs for this summer, and a large sprinkling of summer meadow seeds, and hey presto, one tidy looking border.

Friday, 6 April 2018

I may have . . .

. . . just spent a couple of quid on stuff for the garden

Monday, 2 April 2018

The gardening bug

Friends and my blog follower will know that last year GM and I moved house to be closer to the granddaughters. The house we bought was only two years old, but despite that it still needed quite a lot doing inside - the previous occupants were tenants and left rather a mess. Therefore not much time was spent in the garden apart from keeping the grass cut and some of the weeds at bay. So, basically, the garden is almost an empty canvas for me to work on, and now that April has arrived, so has the gardening bug.  Here is my blank canvas at the back

Last spring I dug over a couple of small areas in the raised bed, fed them and successfully grew some runner beans and tomatoes, which lasted us through the summer. I also attempted to clear the bed of weeds, and apart from the area on the left where you can see grass, I was fairly successful. But this year the gardening bug has already taken hold. Easter weekend was too wet to actually go outside for any prolonged period to do much but I've created a little potting bench just inside the french windows where I've sown strawberry, tomato, runner bean and sunflower seeds ready to plant out when(if) the weather improves.

The front garden isn't exactly a blank canvas, but it is typically just the same as most of the other front gardens on the estate, with pretty poor soil and planted with pretty low quality plants, so is rife for improvement, as you can see.

Easter sunday morning was dry for a few hours, so after taking this shot I spent an hour cutting back the lavender growing in front of the window which had completely hidden the plants behind.

So this is where I'm starting from and I'm hoping to show a great deal of progress over the course of the year.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Giggles, 52-58

I have to be totally honest, Giggles has just got fed up with spending all her time closed up in my handbag except for when I pull her out to have her photo taken, and she has asked to be released. Being an advocate of animal welfare, I have made the decision to honour her request, so these photos will be the last of the dailies, although it's possible she may want to accompany me now and again when I visit the granddaughters.


Helping me to prepare a batch of vegetable soup


At the London Eye on our recent trip to London


Outside the Festival Hall on Southbank on the coldest Saturday of the year (I think the cold got to her that day, which is why she doesn't wish to accompany me any more!)


On the bank of the Thames with St. Pauls in the background


That's more like it, a warm cuppa in the cafe at the Tate Modern


Enjoying people watching while BF Kate and I gossip and trough, in The Arch Duke bar and restaurant.


and finally, just about to enjoy a fantastic concert of Beethoven music at the Southbank Centre. 

Monday, 26 March 2018

Never before . . .

. . . in the history of Shallcross-kind has the first day of the gardening season been as late as 26th March.

As this was the first real day that the temperature has risen above freezing for about the last 18 months, and also the first day without any rain for about the same period of time, it was essential to GET OUT and ENJOY the day.

The poor garden was in desperate need of attention so I went out for nice long walk and took lots of practice photos with my new all-singing, all-dancing camera. Ooops. By the time I got back and had had some lunch, what with the clocks changing and all, there wasn't a lot of time left, but I managed to get out for half an hour, and turned this

into this.

Lets just hope spring has really arrived, and that the mythical Beast from the East goes back into hibernation.

This will be an ongoing saga, which I think will be entitled "How to turn a chalk- and rock-filled ex-building site into a half-decent garden in 1853 easy stages."

Watch this space.

Winter Photographic Scavenger Hunt

Many thanks to all who entered, including those who don't blog but joined in via the FB page instead.

After an initial good start I ran out of steam, but Eileen has posted up the final linky for those who would like to round things off. I've had problems with the previous monthly linkies, so haven't attempted this one. I hope you've enjoyed the hunt.

My blog (like myself) is currently suffering a bit of an identity crisis, so I'm rethinking the whole thing and will be taking a bit of a break. I may return with a different emphasis and a changed name and appearance, when I've figured out why I blog and if/how I want to continue. In the mean time, please rest assured that I'll carry on reading the blogs I follow, even if comments are a bit thin on the ground.

Enjoy Easter.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Giggles, Days 45-51

Day 45

Sitting with GD5 while she sleeps in the car

Day 46

With Jane Austen, one of our favourite authors, in Basingstoke

Day 47

A visit to the local nature reserve, and a walk around a couple of lakes.

Day 48

Oh no, snow!

Day 49

Snuggled up in a blanket

Day 50

Still snow out there

Day 51

Saying hello to one of the elephants in the room.