Friday, 25 July 2014

Just padding about.

Well guess what I've gone and got? 
An Ipad air. 
I don't need it. I can hardly justify buying it but its so lovely and I used my birthday money.
 I am a gadget freak. 
When we went to the Apple store I was overcome and also bought a RIDICULOUSLY overpriced case for it. But its so beautiful. Duck egg blue leather. 

Anyway it takes brilliant pictures. You can get tons of stuff in one shot so I took a load of garden pictures.

Now....ever since I started this blog I've been moaning on about my poor gardening skills and terrible results. But that was  before I discovered the joy of compost. It was also before we had a major hedge chopping and light- enhancing session. And several major weeding sessions. And a few garden centre spending sessions. 

Its not exactly Great Dixter, but now we have a garden with a passable bit of growth..well when I say growth I mean planting of course. I haven't grown many of them, and it remains to be seen whether they will survive the marauding army of slugs that appear here every time it rains a bit. I think the danger time will be when they start their new and tender growth next spring. The plants, not the slugs.
Well thats if we get any sun. This summer is great in that respect. 

I've moved my precious flag iris into a space where the tall yellow iris have come unbidden, in the hope that they'll flower again.

I'm a bit obsessive about it, as with everything I do, except dusting. 

I grew those teeny cosmos from seeds, but not the big ones.

I go out at night and seek out the slimy fellas and poke them into a bottle of Guinness. One I found last night was so FAT I had to get a stick and push it in. (I keep missing and that only makes it more dangerous for plants when they escape nearer to the blooms.) or if they have a shell they get whizzed over the substation fence behind the house.

 Don't you just love nasturtiums? I actually poked a few seeds in this big pot which holds a jasmine, and they did the rest. Fabulous and very vintage in that they always remind us of our separate childhoods.. I love them with a bit of dark blue lobelia (which I bought)

 I must draw your attention to a picture from a previous post in about 2008 where I failed miserably with them.

So you can see why I'm delighted.

I've composed tubs.
The little tiny blue star on the right is pratia. As soon as I saw it I snapped it up because I remember once visiting a garden and asking what it was . The owner said it gets everywhere so I bought some. And guess what? EVERY NIGHT its covered in tiny dark slugs. I have to pick them off by torchlight with my gloved hands.

And we've cut a bit of grass out to add planting space. This is my favourite bit with three different Monardia, or Bergamots; Phlox, Astrantia, Verbena bonariensis bought for me by a greenfingered friend, and some pale lemon daisies I forget the name. Most of these came from a lovely garden centre near Clitheroe called Holden Clough which has a super cafe and I had my birthday lunch there and then went out and spent too much on plants.
The hypericum might have to go, to make more space.

  I went to a super and very inexpensive garden centre not far away for most of the rest of my plants. Aren't these exquisite? Brown flowers? Wow.
The structure of the gold one is amazing.

 My Mum bought me the calla lily for my birthday. 
The white thing is a little delphinium. I would love to see it flourish and increase next year but ..slugs...hmm...I have to be vigilant.

 Hetty came out to check on me i-padding around. (Thats Ed Redfeathers lying prone.)

 Now can you see those pale pink candy-tuft type things? I GREW THOSE FROM SEEDS!!!!

I bought the heuchera and the delphiniums, and the lupins but I must say I put the lupins in quite some time ago and I consider it a triumph that they've got through to July, despite the window cleaner snapping them with his hose, and the slimies gnawing at them.

I put two post worth of sweet pea plants in quite late but I have hope. Two lots are in tubs, and three lots are dotted about the garden. Nowhere is always sunny so its tricky. They're doing ok but no flowers yet.
The thing about taking pictures with an ipad is that you shouldn't put your finger in front of the lens. Still I love these cosmos .

I can't remember what the other pointy pink thing is called. Verbascum?

 Does anyone know what this  shrub is? My mother-in-law took a cutting from a garden of a house we stayed in in Charmouth about 20 years ago and this is it now. Huge. It has glossy leaves and gets little pompom type greenish white flowers, then in Autumn it has peculiar orangey berries.

 And just because they're lovely, hydrangea flowers.

 This little bunch of 'weeds' is so cute. Feverfew.

 But what is wrong with Agatha? 

My rose that I got for last years birthday. 
She arrived in November and I stuck her in the clay soil and when I dug the hole she was standing in water. 
Nevertheless she did well. Then we did a load of weeding, added grit and compost and raised the level of the soil surface, and ..this might seem a bit creepy...I had two cremated dogs ashes in the house...yes I said weird but I thought it would be nice to have Daisy and Willow buried at last with a rose on top.

I moved Agatha. 
She seemed to like it. 

Before we went to Venice she had a few large buds one almost open. 
When we got back, they looked sort of 'petrified'. On some of them the stems went brown just below the neck, and the bud fell off.

Oh dear. Dare I move her again? Into a tub?
Can anyone offer advice? 

Its been a real pleasure to sit and enjoy the lovely weather in a garden that is no longer full of weeds. 
I finished reading 'The Luminaries' while I was outside today. I was a bit baffled by the end. I've read some reviews and found that what I thought had happened, had happened. but it wasn't very clear.
It was a great read though.

Here's a bit of textile content. 

I went to a talk by Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn which both inspired and depressed me. I felt as if I have no right to call myself an Artist. I tried to combine my work with their technique, working on water soluble fabric. 
I didn't like what I did.
I haven't done a thing since except started a small commission. 
Its too hot to sew.

I also got a lovely new rack for spools for my birthday so I'll finish with some eye candy for sewers.


jinxxxygirl said...

My goodness i hardly know where to start! When you write a post you really WRITE a post. lol!

Love all your flowers! I'am so,so green with envy. Space is really limited where i'am living right now....I have trouble with slugs too and snails... i spray for them but i doubt you can find what i use where you live. As long as i'am diligent i can keep them under control.... I have heard you can lay little saucers of beer around and they will crawl in because they like it and can't get out.... I tried that once with no luck..... my snails/slugs are not beer drinkers...... :)

Now your rose... i do know that roses do not like wet feet.....They like to be watered deeply then be allowed to dry out...not moist all the clay soil definitely does not work for them... you could add some sand or peat moss....

Now about artwork. You know i think what you do is incredibly lovely....exquisite really... i have the same trouble as you ...questioning my talents . Mine usually comes from when i surf around the internet too much ...looking at other people's art work and i find myself comparing myself to them...and i fall very, very short..... Thats when i give myself a quick kick in the pants and get off the computer and make art...MY art...

So nice to have such a long wonderful post from you! I hope you'll show us later how your garden grows..:) Hugs! deb

Anonymous said...

I really wish I had my thread spools that neat... Mine sometimes end up in a big multicoloured knot when they're all in the box.

And I really, really liked the your leafy artwork. It really is amazing. We artists must stick together through those 'omg my stuff isn't good!' moments!


Jeanette, Mistress of Longears said...

I am in love with my iPad - don't know what the model name is, but it has that extra great screen and is the smaller version...have not taken a laptop anywhere since I got it. And of course you NEEDED the protective cover! Sounds yummy.
Do not beat yourself up over the class....if you are not an artist, I don't know who is! Your work continues to evolve and inspire!

Estella Star of the East said...

Your garden looks lovely, you seem to be winning the big Slug War :)
I can relate to your feeling depressed by the work of others. Pinterest is a blessing and a curse in that aspect. So many talent out there!
But there is a place for all of us! Maybe there is not such thing as a bigger artist as long as we work from the heart?

Maggi said...

What a post Jackie. Your garden is doing very well. I wish that I could go out at night and deal with my slugs but I have such phobia that I can't beat to be anywhere near them. Just have to grow plants that they don't like!

Rachel said...

Don't judge your artistic abilities in contrast to people who may be more accustomed to analysing and discussing what they do than you are!
It's very possible that just as you didn't like the effect of combining your techniques with theirs, they wouldn't be able to do what you do!

Heather said...

Your garden is looking beautiful and your new 'toy' is obviously giving you a great deal of pleasure.
Why aren't you pleased with the piece you made on soluble fabric? I like it. You can't compare your work with Jan and Jean's as they use totally different techniques and probably wish they could to what you do.

Heather said...

One more thing - I think you should start using slug pellets next spring especially round the lupins and delphiniums. I believe there are some which aren't harmful to pets.

Jean said...

The brown and yellow flowers are rudbeckia, I think, I grew some last year. They're beautiful things but mine did tend to fall over a bit. Your garden looks lovely, and so does the embroidery, as always :)

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Well at least the slugs are going to die happy - not so sure that fans of Guinness would approve of quite that use for their brew though! We used to pour (cheap!) beer into shallow tins (lids, mostly) and leave them about the garden. The slugs would crawl in and drown overnight. And, my dear, comparing your work to that of someone else is not the way to go. Your work is you and so, therefore, is special and spectacular. So there.

Terri said...

Love your garden - lots of pretty flowers. Did you know that nasturtiums are edible flowers (I don't know about the leaves) they have a peppery taste and are great in a salad.
Thanks for cheering my day.

Thimble Fingers said...

Your garden is lovely Jackie, so much colour and variety. I hope it all survives well for you and gives you an abundance of flowers in the future. If you leave a jar on its side with beer in it the slugs will go in there on their own and leave your plants alone. As for Jan & Jean, I love their work too, just as I do yours, because both theirs and yours are individual and like nobody elses, don't beat yourself up, you're definitely a stand alone textile artist and your individuality is what makes you so inspiring to others. We don't want to all do the same kind of work, we all need our own special touch. Just keep doing what you do, in your own inimitable way.

Gina said...

I got an iPad Air for my birthday too and I love it. I wasn't quite so impressed with the book my husband bought me to go with it... "IPad for Seniors". Your garden is looking lovely.

WendyCarole said...

The garden looks beautiful.

FeltersJourney said...

Jackie your work is stunning... always! You are a wonderful artist! Please don't doubt yourself.
Deborah x
p.s.Your garden is looking lovely :)

vintagerockchick said...

I found a toad in my garden this morning, and apparently he eats slugs. I hope he's a hungry greedy little b******!
Looks like you've worked very hard in your garden - and next year can I suggest antirhinums? From one little packet I have four million litle plants. I know, I counted them x

Annie Cholewa (aka knitsofacto) said...

Your garden is looking fabulous! We used to bait slug traps with beer, until one day one of the dogs drank and ate the trap contents ... an inebriated dog is a sight to behold, but however amusing not something we ever want to repeat!

I just bought an iPad Air too, although I've not tried the camera yet - I've been too busy getting to grips with the one on my iPhone and just wrote a blog post about that - but I am using the iPad for all my photo processing now.

Sarah said...

Gorgeous garden, I have blue hydrangeas in my garden I love them! I to am an iPad fan, its nearly permanently attached to my right hand!

Raggedy Angels said...

The garden is beautiful, and to keep it that way, if you don't already have one, a small pond will help. Frogs are the crucial element here. Someone once told me that since getting a pond, her hostas were fantastic, where previously they had been decimated by slugs and snails. I don't think that pretty pink thing is a verbascum. I recognise it but can't recall its name. Now of course is the time to sit an chill in this lovely weather and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Kim said...

Try the nasturtium leaves and flowers in salads, they're delish. I bought my nasturtium seeds from Jekka McVicar's herb & salad shop this year for that very reason!

Kim said...

Try the nasturtium leaves and flowers in salads, they're delish! I actually bought my nasturtium seeds from Jekka McVicar's herb & salad shop this year for that very reason!

Twiglet said...

Such a lovely colourful post. Your latest work is lovely and that spool holder is just perfect - I love it! x Jo

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