Monday, 25 June 2012

Fundraising and Other Challenges!

Sorry to have been away from my blog for so long but I've had a very busy and tiring week. Eldest daughter Emma arrived home from uni the Friday before last with enough stuff to fill a house! I'm still stepping over boxes in the hallway which she can't fit in her room but it's lovely to have her home.

On Thursday evening I helped her with a charity fundraising stall at a local school.


We made tea cup candles and lots of homemade cakes. 
On the wall of the school hall was a painting of the Queen that made me smile. The sun streaming in through the windows made the jewels in her crown sparkle and it looked so pretty!
On Saturday Emma had a stall at 'Chistlehurst Rocks', an open air musical event that went on into the early evening. 

 She had cakes, plants, jewellery and bric-a-brac for sale.
 The music was fantastic and there was a great community atmosphere.
We sold out of all the homemade cakes and biscuits.
 A really long, tiring but enjoyable day.
The high winds were a bit worrying at times but we managed to hold onto our gazebo and bunting...just about. Emma is now a little closer to her target fundraising amount. She has another open air event booked for July and she's hoping to squeeze a boot sale in if the weather improves.

On Friday I had my hospital appointment and was told I have breast cancer. I have further surgery this Wednesday and the results will let me know if the cancer has spread and what further surgery/treatment I might need to have. Fortunately the cancer is small and the least aggressive kind so I am thankful that it looks as though it has been caught early. I'm so glad I went for my Mammogram!
It's going to be difficult having further surgery as I'm still recovering from the first surgery but the sooner it's done the better!
Here's a picture of one of my Dahlias flowering in the garden with a lovely bumble bee visiting. I hope you all have a lovely week with lots of sunshine. 

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Felt Hearts

These are two pretty felt hearts that my lovely, creative sister made and sent to me in the post last week to cheer me up. The larger one is a pin cushion and the smaller one I have made into a brooch. 

On Wednesday I had to go into hospital to have day surgery to remove a lesion from my left breast. A routine mammogram (my first one) came back abnormal and after further tests I had a biopsy which came back inconclusive but showing suspicious cells. I'm due back at the breast clinic next Friday for my results. I'm feeling rather bruised and uncomfortable at the moment but my main frustration is not being able to garden or dig my allotment. The surgeon was a little surprised when I asked how long I would have to wait until I could start digging again! I'm sure all the gardeners out there will understand how I feel as I have so much to do! 
Anyway, I shall stay positive and try to be patient and let you know how things unfold.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Charity Shop Finds

Here are a few of my charity shop finds from the past few weeks.
A Meakin Studio design coffee pot,
 a silver metal gravy jug which I plan to use for flower arrangements,
 two pretty fabric covered clothes hangers,
 a small, rose painted tin in the style of canal barge painting or folk art but I have no idea of it's age. The rose is also painted on the underside of the tin.
 A pretty rose crocheted doily,
 three dresses for patchwork or sewing projects,
 lace and crocheted doilies. The three at the front are very finely made. 
 A linen tray cloth,
 a set of 4 Meakin blue and white side plates with a design of peacocks and flowers
and a few more doilies which eventually I hope to use for my next bunting project.

I'm sorry if I haven't been able to comment on many of your posts recently but I have been having a few health concerns taking up my time. I hope to catch up on my reading and commenting over the weekend. I'm also really looking forward to seeing my eldest daughter Emma who returns home from uni tonight.
Enjoy your weekend and I hope the sun shines for you!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Flowering Allotment

It's surprising how many flowers are at the allotment. When I visit I try to spend the first 10 minutes or so having a cup of tea, having a little wander and taking a few photos before the hard work of digging and weeding begins. Although there are always a few people around it is such a peaceful time especially if I have been up early and rushing around beforehand. 
 The foxgloves I started from seed last year have started to flower.
 This variety is called 'Pam's Choice' and is white with a pretty dark crimson throat.
Some of my other Pinks are also now flowering and add a lovely splash of colour to the plot.
 On my wanders I found pretty blue Cornflowers,
 yellow and deep orange Californian Poppies and Marigolds,

 a double Poppy (I think it's called a Paeony Double Poppy),
 Blackberry blossom,
 Red Hot Pokers and single Poppies 
and this pretty rose bush on the plot next to me.
It's smothered in buds and flowered for months last year.
 This week I planted more tomato plants, potatoes (a bit late) and my beetroot seedlings.
 In between the beetroot and courgettes I planted lettuce seedlings. 
Unfortunately, my first lettuce seedlings at home got eaten by slugs and snails. They've also eaten a whole row of Coriander plants which I grew from seed and totally stripped the leaves off one of my Dahlia plants last night so I was not very happy!
  I have used beer traps at home (as I don't like using slug pellets) but they don't seem to have been very successful this year. I've resorted instead to collecting them early in the morning and putting them in a bucket of salty water! My Dad suggested I put slug pellets under a plate slightly lifted on one side so the birds don't eat the dead slugs.
 If anyone has any useful tips I'd be glad to hear of them as I would like to plant my Dahlias out at the weekend and for them to still be there the following morning!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Sidcup Place (Mansion House and Gardens)

A short distance from where I live is Sidcup Place which is a Grade II listed mansion house built c1750 and owned by English Heritage. It is currently used as a restaurant and pub.
 It has a pretty walled garden adjoining the house which has free access (this photo was taken a few weeks earlier).

 When I walked through last week the roses were beginning to bloom and the scent was lovely in the warmth of the sun.

Pretty purple Alliums punctuating the greenery.

 Close by is a private house which I often pass and admire. I love its quirkiness, the sage green door, the twisted topiary bushes either side of the doorway, the picket fence and its restrained but attractive planting. The Lavender lining the pathway will look very pretty when it flowers in a few weeks time.
These attractive Alliums caught my eye in the front garden.

A bit further along these pretty pink rock roses were growing through a front garden and tumbling onto the pavement. 
It's lovely to walk around and be surrounded by so many pretty flowers at the moment.