Monday, May 19, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

This weekend saw us heading back to Gloucester - or rather should I say Tewkesbury (just a little further up the M5) - for a friend's 40th Birthday Lunch - a lovely idea as lots of the guests had small children. The birthday boy is of Irish descent so his wife had arranged for an Irish band to play throughout.

We also took the opportunity to follow that by calling in on our closest friends in Gloucester so all in all this ruled out virtually all of Saturday - but it was lovely to revisit our old haunts - amazing how things change in under three years - buildings springing up everywhere especially round the Docks area.
It was the Malvern Quilt Show this weekend and had Sarah not been revising for her exams we might well have carried on up to Worcester on Saturday evening to stay with the out-laws and enable me to get a serious quilt fix on the Sunday but alas this year it wasn't to be - her exams are more important than my quilting at the moment.

I'm just hoping that Siobhan and Tonya will show their favourite quilts as they went on Friday

I guess there'll always be next year, sighhhhh

However at least having Sunday at home combined with a bit of sunshine meant that Nigel and I could get some serious work done in the garden

Lots of villages in the vicinity seem to hold plant sales around this time of year, often to raise much needed funds for say the local church etc.

We went to one last weekend and again another on Sunday morning buying plants and more importantly gleaning very useful information about them from their growers for relatively small money. A much nicer and usually cheaper way to stock the garden than using the big impersonal garden centres and DIY stores.
Our garden is a typical modern English estate garden - precious little space usually laid to lawn with a couple of boring shrubs around the edge. When we first moved in we put borders around the fencelines and planted up several climbers which are now pretty well established. As our children are no longer of an age to need to play in the safe confines of a back garden and as we took up all the previous patio space with the conservatory, eventually - maybe this year, maybe next - we will lose all the lawn and turn the back garden into a paved courtyard with lots of climbers, shrubs and perennials in the deep borders. We're aiming for a little fragrant oasis to sit out in during the summer and enjoy from the conservatory in the winter with colourful plants that encourage birds, butterflies and bees.

So yesterday we enlarged one of the borders and cleared out all the old weedy tubs ready to take some of our plant sale booty.

Next weekend is a bank holiday again so we have three more days with precious little planned to get done except more gardening.

This is me playing with the macro setting again on the new camera showing the very first rose in the garden this year - It's a David Austin rose - Shropshire Lad - very apt as Nigel was born in Shrewsbury in Shropshire and it's one of three beautiful climbers the children bought for me for my first Mother's Day in this house (with some fairly strong direction from yours truly I might add). It opens out into a beautiful rich peach blowsy bloom.

Here's a columbine (aquilegia) awaiting planting - I'm a great fan of cottage garden plants - I already have the pink and deep purple varieties

One of last years foxgloves which has very obligingly reseeded and somehow managed to do so in the front garden too - don't you just love freebies? There's also a very pretty, more unusual, peach coloured version along side it.

Meet Hagley Hybrid - the clematis which climbs up the washing post - we had just the same clematis in the same spot at the old house but this one will have more sunlight as the old post was under a large lime tree.

And another clematis further round the fence whose name escapes me - this picture really doesn't do it any justice - in real life the flowers are just like velvet. Clematis of all shapes, sizes and colours are, I think, my very favourite plants - in my opinion you can never have too many.

Finally a hydrangea who looks happy with its new home after being planted out yesterday - so far so good

I did get some stitching in over the weekend - here's a glimpse of two more completed heart quilts - the black one will go to Clare and the pale pink one to Julie

And finally these two photos show the lovely fabric Julie sent in exchange for her quilt - some of her own hand-dyes and a selection of Moda fat quarters with a Japanese theme - I shall enjoy playing with them. Ladies your quilts should make it into the post before the weekend - work permitting.
I have a germ of an idea for my Four Seasons Summer Quilt which I'm mulling over in my head - I just need Margaret to let me know which of the other 99 quilters I'm making it for and their preferences so I can adjust colours and fabrics to suit and get cracking with that next.

I found out today that I've missed my two year blogging anniversary on the 15th of this month. However this post is actually my 392nd so I am coming up to my 400th post.
Therefore I shall be having a little giveaway for the 400th in the next week or three and it will be something of a stitching summery nature - so watch this space.....................and get ready to comment.


hortenzita said...

The keyboard is under my fingers... :-)

Mad about Craft said...

We've been in our estate house for 16 years now. We built our conservatory last year and as a consquence 'lost' our lawn. It has been liberating not to have this patch of green to have to look after. The Oh! Bearded One is now busy replanting.

I am also at the ready at my keyboard!

McIrish Annie said...

I need to spend some time in my garden this weekend. We have a long weekend coming up. Hope the weather holds and

yippeee,,, I love when people have blogaversaries!! can't wait for yours!

Karol-Ann said...

I'm sorry to say I glazed over when you started talking about plants LOL. My fingers are definitely not green (sadly) Nice pictures though!

Clare said...

I love Clematis too. Given half the chance I'd have lots of varities climbing and tumbling over everything. Alas, the snails love them too!

I'm getting fidgety - can't wait to see my quilt and won't be commenting on your giveaway post as you've given me so much already. So happy blog birthday in advance.

jovaliquilts said...

What a shame to have to miss the quilt show, but as you say, sometimes other things are more important. Just gorgeous flowers -- I love this time of year!

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Always ready to comment ;o)

I missed Malvern this year too..perhaps next year will make it and perhaps even meet up!

YankeeQuilter said...

Love the photos of the flowers. Can't believe you were only a few miles down the road! Hope all goes well with your DD's exams...

Libby said...

As time goes on, I'm finding my need for lots of lawn to grow smaller and smaller. It's much more fun to have a variety of plants to fiddle with and look at than an expanse of green.
Enjoy your time making changes - can't wait to see it all come to life in photos *s*

meggie said...

You have been very busy!
Love the look of your garden.
Those little hearts quilts are so sweet.

Gypsy Quilter said...

Really love the beautiful flower pics. Would you consider showing some pics of the lovely villages you visit also?

julieQ said...

Thank you, thank you! I love the little pink heart quilt and look forward to it arriving. I hope you love your fabrics, I thought they were so pretty too. Your garden is shaping up...will be lovely with some more of those lovely flowers!