Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Spring Flowers and Sandbags

I went on a lovely walk from Shoreham to Otford in Kent on Sunday. 
So many pretty spring flowers along the way.

Browsed the lovely antique shop at Otford and then had tea and cake in one of the tearooms before following the path back along the river. As you can see the arches of the bridge at Shoreham had almost disappeared as the water level was so high. The bridge and ford at Eynesford nearby were closed a few weeks ago as the river level was even higher then.
You get a sneaky peek at some lovely houses and gardens on the opposite side of the river as you walk along which I can never resist.
I wouldn't mind a stroll around this garden with all its beautiful topiary.
Don't think I've ever seen as many Snowdrops. There seemed to be large clumps and drifts of them everywhere. Very beautiful.
Some of the houses near to the river had sand bags outside the doors. 
I just hope they didn't get flooded.
A big hello to my new followers and I hope everyone has a lovely week.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

I'm so excited!

 Just received my tickets to see James Blunt in concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Sunshine on the Allotment

So nice to wake up to a calm, sunny day yesterday with blue sky. I packed a flask and lunch and headed down to my allotment to catch up on some digging.
The soil drains pretty quickly on my plot which made the digging and weeding easier.
These daffodils on a plot at the far end of the allotment have been in flower for about 3 weeks now. So pretty.
I had my usual stroll around to take some photos and have a chat.
Lovely to see the beautiful pink stems of Rhubarb pushing through the ground. I'm hoping to make a Rhubarb meringue pie soon with my first pickings! I made a lemon meringue pie for the first time last year using a Bramley apple lemon curd made from apples I had been given. It was scrumptious and didn't last long. 
An old grass roller that sits on the allotment.

I introduced myself to this chap (below) yesterday but he didn't reply. Some people like to keep to themselves. I thought he was a tad over-dressed though!
I visited the allotment shop which opens for a couple of hours on a Sunday and bought some potatoes (Estima, Nicola & Albert Bartlett Vivaldi), onion sets (Red Baron) and shallots. I shall also be growing Charlotte potatoes again as they are one of my favourites and Desiree which are good for storing.

 An experienced plot holder told me you can feed the potato tubers while they are chitting by spray misting a few times a week with a diluted feed! This helps the potatoes grow larger once they're in the ground. I've never heard of this before but bought some liquid organic seaweed fertiliser to give it a try. I've since researched this online and have read that you should only start spraying once the potatoes have chitted  and the stumpy shoots start to throw out small air shoots. I suppose the danger is not to dampen the potatoes too much so they end up rotting.
Hope everyone has a lovely week and we all see a little more sunshine to cheer us up.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Laura Ashley Cups and Saucers

I found these lovely hand-painted Laura Ashley flower cups and saucers in the charity shop last week.
The colours were so perfect I just couldn't resist them!
 I also found the pretty vintage hand embroidered tray cloth and table cloth.
 As you can probably imagine I was over the moon when I found this exquisite vintage hand embroidered picture. It had been pushed right to the back of a box of old picture frames (lucky for me). It was quite hard to get to so I nearly didn't bother. So glad I did.
 Isn't it beautiful?
 I can just imagine the hours of work that has gone into it and as a gardener I love trying to identify all the different flowers.
 The yellow Mimosa is lovely and reminds me of home as my Mum and Dad used to grow one in our bathroom. I loved the little yellow pom pom flowers and the leaves that used to close when you touched them.
 Last but not least this 1950's hand- painted plate (the date stamp is 1953). Again I just couldn't resist the colours and design. Hard to believe it is already 60 years old!
We've had a little break in the rain this afternoon and the sun is out. It makes such a difference but we have more bad weather on the way! Just got to make the best of it when you can.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014


 Another miserable day so I thought I would brighten it with some photos taken on a day trip to Hastings back in summer 2012.
Just seeing the bright colours and thinking about being by the sea has cheered me up. The 'Little Treasures' shop above is a lovely vintage boutique which also sells vintage lampshades, cushions and accessories. You can also take a trip on the cliff railway (above) for great views.

There are lots of antique, collectible and gift shops to browse in Hastings Old Town and some really interesting buildings.
This blue painted house looks as though it belongs somewhere in the Mediterranean.
Hastings is one of Britain's oldest fishing ports and at the east end of the seafront it's lovely to stroll around the boats and the old net houses. 
There are about 50 of these tall, black, wooden sheds on the shingle beach originally used by fisherman to dry and store their nets.
Of course you can't go to the seaside without having fish & chips can you? 
Just watch out for those pesky seagulls though!
Can't wait for the warm, dry weather!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

A Stroll Around The Allotment

I managed to get down to my allotment on Monday for  a few hours. I still have more digging and weeding to do before the new growing season begins but with the wettest January on record it's been slow going.
The high winds over the past few months have partly taken the felting off both the sheds so the rain is coming in. Relatively trivial though compared to the flooding in the south west and other parts of the country.
The weeds are still growing strong because it's been relatively mild in the south east of England but I'm still picking Curly Kale, Cabbage, Spinach & Chard and at home I have Squash & Potatoes as well as fruit and veg in the freezer from the summer.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Bird Cage and Pink Geraniums

Looking for decorating inspiration, I came across this photo of a shopfront in Hastings I took back in August 2012.
 I just love the combination of beautiful turquoise blue paint, the birdcage and the potted plant in its lovely weathered clay pot.  Painting my front door a lovely shade of blue and making the entrance a little more attractive will have to go on my increasingly long 
'To Do' list!
Do you have any decorating plans for the Spring? 

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Goodbye Holly

 My brother and sister-in laws dog returned home yesterday after 6 months with us.
It feels very strange not seeing her in her basket this morning.
She came to us in July when two of my nephews were admitted to 
Great Ormond Street Hospital for bone marrow transplants.
They are both doing very well after many months in hospital and were so excited about Holly returning home yesterday.
She is 8 years old and a mix of Staff and Jack Russell and loves sitting in the sun.
I have always been quite nervous of dogs as I had several bad experiences with them as a child but walking Holly has made me much more confident with them now.
After one of our many wet and muddy walks! 
My brother said I was spoiling her.
Unwrapping presents at Christmas and hogging the fan heater.
She did make us laugh a lot.
Although I'll miss her I'm so happy that my nephews are well enough for her to return home and that they are a complete family again. I'll be borrowing her in the future though for some long, country walks....I might just wait until the rain stops first!