Thursday, June 09, 2016

Giveaway Winner & Pottering Around the Garden

I had hoped to have another podcast up on my YouTube channel, but to be honest it's a time consuming venture and time is not something that I have an abundance of in this season of life. My time and energy is taken up with homeschooling my teens (well one now as my eldest wrote her last exam today so she's officially 'done'), caring for my family and home and taking what little moments I can for knitting, sewing etc.

 Oh - I've also started exercising regularly and am loving it! I have to tell you that I have been someone who hates, but HATES to exercise. I hate getting hot and sweaty and out of breath. I would be the one who would scoff at those who choose to run somewhere instead of just get into the car and drive lol. But I really want to loose a few kg's so I knew that at 40-something exercise would have to accompany a good diet. Anyhoo - turns out that once you get going on the exercise lark it's actually quite addictive! It feels good to feel my body get stronger and fitter AND I've lost 3kg's so far. Whoo-hoo!!

Ok - back to the podcasting thing... so I have realised that I simply cannot commit to doing a podcast every two weeks, or every X weeks even. Also, I have other things I want to talk about, which I think I mentioned in the podcast. I would love to share some thoughts on homeschooling and issues that come up with that. I would quite like to share some seasonal things, nature things, whatever-I-feel-inspired-to-share kind of things. I don't know, I haven't got it figured out just that occasionally a new video will certainly go up. It more than likely will be a much shorter production that my initial 47 minute episode :)

BUT... I do have a winner for my giveaway. I made a lovely project bag for the occasion, the colours are soft and muted, reminiscent of long hazy summer days. The DPN needle cozy that I showed you on the podcast and a little sachet of Yorkshire grown Lavender to pop into your drawers or closet are squirrelled away inside the project bag.

First I found a fab 'name picker' tool on the web, I typed in all the names of those who had joined the Under an English Sky Ravelry group.

Then I hit the 'pick a Random Name' button and....

We have a winner! It's Amy from Love Made My Home. Amy I have messaged you on Ravelry so if you leave me your address I'll get that off to you asap.

Now, will you come with me out to the garden for a little potter? ....

Last year I had to forgo my veggie garden due to our move. It felt rather strange not growing anything I have to say, but this year I was excited to establish a garden that we will hopefully benefit from later on in the year.

I have two raised bets and an apple tree. I felt that this space was not really enough for what I wanted so I have - for the first time- used A LOT of containers. they line the steps down into the garden, are decoratively arranged along the warm south facing wall on the back top patio and there are even a few pots flanking the garden shed. Here's what we can expect to harvest this year (that's if the slugs are kept under control!)

* Mangetout
* Sweet Peppers
 * Sweet Corn
* Pumpkins
* Marrows
* Tomatoes - 2 varieties
* Cucumbers
* Apples
* Gooseberries
* Potatoes - 2 varieties harvest times over 4 months


* Mint - for lots of summery lemonades and salads
* Sage

In addition to what I can grow myself I fully intend to buy produce in season when it's all 'glutting' (my own word perhaps?) and do some preserving. I'm needing to make some more onion chutney and fruit jams. 

As is usually the case here in England, we seem to hang on for the longest time in spring for the garden to 'get-going'. Then all of a sudden the garden springs into life and flourishes in a week. Everything is lush and full, the hedgerows are bathed in cow parsley (Queen Anne's Lace) and wildflowers and those teeny-tiny Devonshire lanes are suddenly feeling rather closed in and smaller again. My garden is no different and is providing us with great joy as we spend lots of time outdoors enjoying warm sunny day after day.

As you can see we have our first roses of the season. I love this little bush as it's flowers are of the scented variety. There are loads of buds waiting to open so I'm looking forward to that little spectacle.

Our hedge is also heavily laden with the most beautiful white Clematis flowers at the moment that give off a lovely warm honey aroma.

There are 5 Fuchsia shrubs all doing their thing right now and will continue to do so right into the autumn. They are all large, healthy plants and again are laden with flowers. It seems to be a bumper flowering season this year (and slugs, I've had to implement the slug pellets sadly, but it was either that or have them devour all our growing food :( )

I've potted up two bright red geranium plants and they flank either side of the summer house's doors, the Iris's are in flower too adding a splash of yellow, and the hydrangeas, of which I have two substantial plants and one little one, are all developing healthy flower heads which should peak in July and flower well into the autumn.

My lavender plants that I grew from seed are doing well and have just started to flower. These are great bee attracting plants so I'm looking forward to hearing more buzzing action in my garden ;)

Finally, this grass is in 'bloom' right now. 

It really is so pretty. It's softness adds a fluidity to the garden and when you get up close the little 'flower-heads' have a delicate beauty all of their own. 

I've never been one much for grasses, but having them in my garden for the first time I am beginning to appreciate that they have their 'place' in the garden.

Well my friends, that's a wrap for today. I am off to pop supper into the crockpot and hopefully sit down for a while with a good cuppa and my new Country Living mag in the garden. Until next time...


  1. It was lovely seeing your garden. We have a slow start up in Northern US (Maine) once the flowering trees pass in May before the next round of flowers start. My irises are next up and I just love them! Good luck with summer veggies! My tomato plants are off to a good start, can't wait to bite into the first one!

  2. Congratulations to your daughter on finishing her exams! I hope that she gets great results and really enjoys whatever life brings her and wherever it takes her next! Your garden looks to be doing very well, I hope that you enjoy it. After a weeks break from podcasting and then doing a longer episode this week I have decided that I am going to do a fortnightly rather than weekly episode. You are right, it takes so much time and is a lot of work isn't it. I do enjoy it, but it does take time! I hope that you will do more videos because I really enjoyed your first episode and will look forward to more in the future, whatever the subject or length of them! You will figure it out I am sure. Thank you so much re the giveaway, I have already messaged you on Ravelry and will look forward to receiving the package. I think that DPN cosy is really telling me that I must learn to knit this year! Thank you again, hope you have a good weekend!

  3. Such a lovely post, you are blessed with a beautiful garden. I grow a lot of fruit/veg and herbs in pots and containers the trick to a good crop is to not overplant. We have rain yet again so sitting in the garden is not an option.


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