Wednesday, June 14, 2023

A Simple Summer Garden Catch-Up

Hello lovelies, I hope that you are all well. 

How is June panning out for you? We have had weeks of the most wonderful warm sunny weather. I almost feel like I'm back in Cape Town it's been so sunny!

The Summer Garden



The garden is looking incredible at the moment. I've had to stake up the roses because they are so heavily laden with flowers. 


Everything is just exploding. 



I love how summer seems to take ages to arrive and then all of a sudden it wakes up and everything happens at once, almost as if it has to make up for lost time or get as much growing and performing in during our short summers.


The vegetables are doing equally as well. I don't grow a huge amount because I do not have the space. Everything I grow is in grow bags or pots. I have 3 recycled plastic bins with holes drilled into the bottom to grow potatoes. As you can see int he photography above they have just started flowering. I think we may be about 4 to 6 weeks away from harvesting this lot and I'm hoping for a good crop.


The tomatoes are growing alongside the mangetout and both are doing well. I planted two types of tomatoes this year, large salad tomatoes and small cherry tomatoes. Both have just started to flower so I will need to start feeding them weekly to support the formation and development of the fruit.

The mangetout started flowering about two weeks ago and we have already started harvesting the pea pods. I love throwing these in salads or eating them straight from the plant. They are so sweet and crunchy. The nice thing about mangetout is that you only need a few plants to give you an abundant harvest. We often cannot keep up with the harvest!


Finally I decided to try growing broccoli in pots on the deck this year. Some of the plants are doing really well so I will be interested to see what they produce this year. 

In an ideal world I would love a bit more space to dedicate to growing fruit and veg but as you can see you can still grow veg that you enjoy in containers. They just require a bit more watering and care.

Garden Drama's



We were sitting in garden having lunch over the weekend and heard and heard lots of crying coming from the ivy-clad fence. Our kitty had gone exploring and couldn't get down. We left her for a little while to see if she could figure it out but after the pointed eye-contact and meowing that she kept up the cat-father went to her rescue.


Attracting Birds to the Garden

Our garden is alive with birds which is so lovely to see. I have to say that with this past year being so all consuming with my degree studies I have not been very vigilant in keeping my bird feeders stocked which has resulted in a drop in feathered visitors.
 

However, word travels fast in the avian community and since finishing my degree I have once again switched my attention to those simple things that bring me so much joy and feeding the birds is one of them. I started diligently filling up the feeders twice a day and sprinkling food on the lawn for ground feeding birds.

And wouldn't you know...after just a week of regular feeding word got out and now we have scores of feathered friends visiting us.


In both these pictures you can see a little female blackbird. She has a damaged leg but she does not let that get her down. She visits numerous times a day and isn't a bit scared of us. She hops about on her good leg and even goes to have a bath in the pond.

We also have a rather tatty crow that visits each day, mostly to shout at his reflection in the summerhouse. Sadly he is looking worse for wear. He has lost almost all of his tummy feathers, his tail looks like it got caught in a lawn mower and he has a few bare patches on his wings. I feel really sorry for him but he is still flying about, eating and generally displaying his crow-like behavior so he can't be feeling to poorly.

On and Off the Needles

I cast on a pair of Hermoine's Everyday Socks while at the Buxton Wool Gathering. It's been a little slow going because I've been spending so much time gardening but I'm nearly there. 

One sock is complete and I'm about to turn the heel on the second sock. Once I've finished this project I think I am going to look to knit an autumnal jumper. I haven't actually knitted a big project in a long time to I'm quite looking forward to making something other than socks.

Yarn: The Magic Faraway Tree - Under An English Sky Yarns

I finished my Aestlight Shawl a few weeks ago.


I really enjoyed knitting this shawl. I last knitted it 10 years ago and gifted it to my step-mother when she was going through a really tough time after my fathers death. It's a beautiful simple pattern to knit if you have some experience in knitting. I'm really looking forward to wearing it this autumn.


I finally bought some proper blocking mats and pins to block this shawl. Previously I've used a towel and dressmakers pins which tended to yield mixed results. After seeing how well the shawl blocked I can't believe that I have waited this long to purchase them.

Having the correct tools is an interesting point to consider. One of the beautiful things about knitting is that it is a useful craft that does not require a huge amount of investment in expensive tools. 

Once you have your needles you are pretty much good to go. I am very much a make-do-and-mend person and tend to try and do things in age-old ways which is lovely but sometimes treating yourself to a tool of the trade that makes getting the job done more effectively makes all the difference. For me it halved the time of pinning the shawl out and it gave a much more satisfying shape showcasing the design to it's absolute best which is what I want after having spend so much time in knitting it up.

After getting such a great result I will definitely be knitting more shawls to wear over the autumn and winter months.

Well lovelies, I hope that you are all having a marvelous week. If you received my newsletter this month don't forget to take advantage of the discount code for any purchases made in my Etsy Shop this month. That code expires on the 30th of June so you still have a week and a bit to use that.

Blessings to you all...

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