Saturday, 26 February 2011

O, Amaranthus ! How I love thee...

Time to look with glee and anticipation on internet sites of Garden Specialists and in seed-catalogues .
I visited this lovely garden here above last year ( a garden open for Charity in the National Garden Scheme ) and was stunned by the colour in their borders in late August- usually the time when most gardens grind to a halt apart from some Dahlia's and Phloxes.But this was full of glorious colours.I wish I could remember the name.. but when I do I will include it in this post.
I particularly liked the colour combinations of the pops of colour of orange, and dark purple and red...and had not come across an upright Amaranthus before( the dark-red lead and flowers below).
It is really something I would like to re-create this year.
 I was already working on a border full of hot colours which you can see in this post .

The house would be nice too, hahahaha.

But especially it has made me determined to grow Amaranthus again.
So I am going this year for Amaranthus cruentus Oeschburg( see below).Then I just need to find the spiky orange Dahlia's.
and also for Amaranthus caudatus Red.(Because I just love it )

 And while I am at it, I think I will go for the green version, Amarantus caudatus Green as well, as it will look great in diplays.
It will set me back about £6,- to order this up...and I have already found the site for it : Jungleseeds.
Do you know what you are going to grow this year ??
I look forward to your comments!!

I am linking this to The strut your stuff link party
 outdoor wednesday

and to the Sunday favourites 

Millie and Maud.

If you would like to follow their latest adventures , you can find the link to their blog here


Can you help -Zippy needs a home with someone as soon as possible -a one dog home immediately.
Ideally with a single female...
You will see the story of Zippy on Nita's blog called Modern Vintage Life
You can contact Nita on the following email :
Thanks everyone.Please spread the word.Have a great weekend and hope you can help.

Just to let you all know, this story has a happy ending.
Zippy has found a home !!
Check here for the update on Nita's blog.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

A rustic wreath

After Christmas , my front-door always looks so bare without a wreath , so I decided to see what I could come up with as a wreath on an almost zero budget.
Here is how I made a rustic wreath to cheer up a dull day and a dull door.

I look around in the garden , and saw some potential in the bare branches of my miniature weeping willow.
It is vastly overcrowded and would not miss a few branches.
If you don't have a garden , you might take a trip to the country-side and seek out some willows...they grow very fast and will have lots of branches...just leave enough for other people !!!
So here was my fabulous for-free starting material.
I had some help of course with making the initial wreath...
Tilda is always fantastically helpful....she felt the branches needed trimming...she was right of course !!
First, you tie some branches together with twine , then form it into a circle , and attach the two ends by overlapping and then also securing with twine, like below.

You now have your willow wreath and you can start decorating.
I decided to add some moss and some ivy for a rustic effect.
Ivy is almost like a weed -you can find it practically everywhere- in cities as well as in the countryside.
It makes for a pretty decoration so you can always have a few ivy tendrils on top of your basic wreath.
Just tuck the ivy between the open bits of the wreath and secure the moss with twine to the wreath. I added some dried hydrangeas..which I had from last year-( this is why I grow them- they're a bit boring but perfect when they dry, as the colours are nice and faded).
You can then add a pretty ribbon and some more fresh flowers if you like.I added some hellebore from the garden.I just love the speckled insides and the flowers are so pretty and early in the year.

I made a posie with the hellebores , wrapped some damp kitchen-towel and aluminium foil around it to keep the flowers fresh, then wrapped moss around it
and added them to the wreath like this.
 Then it was time for a pretty ribbon- I decided to go for fuchsia, but a gingham ribbon would be just as sweet.
And then it was time to hang it on the front-door..
Here is a detail..
and some more detail..

And here is the final result.
You could also use it for a a nice spring flower display indoors like below.
Have a go- it's great fun !!

I am linking this to
Show and tell Wednesday
Wassup Wednesday
Transformation Thursday
Opne House Party Thursday
French Inspiration Thursday
Junkin Finds Friday
Frugalious Friday
Flaunt it Friday
The friday Flair link party from Whipperberry
the charm of home
At the picket fence
 Pink Saturday
saturday mornings strut your stuff
  smile with me saturday blog-hop 
A lovely crafty weekend link party
Make it Yours
Amaze me Monday
and Wow us Wednesdays link parties
I'm loving it Link party

Sunday, 20 February 2011

A quick spring display

I just wanted to share a quick idea with you for some spring colour in your own home.
This is provided you have your garden with some bulbs already peeping through the ground, like for instance, snowdrops.
If not , you can usually get some ready grown bulbs from a flowershop or garden centre.
First, get a nice bowl.
Line it with a bin-liner which you cut to the right size, so your bowl won't be stained..
Get some early spring bulbs - either dig a bunch of spring flowers like snowdrops out with bulbs and all from your garden or get yourself some ready grown bulbs. Place in your chosen bowl.
Get some moss ( my lawn is full of it- but you can also get moss when you go on walks, just take a plastic bag- don't take too much though and leave some for other people )- and use the moss to cover the plastic lining.Done!
Then just have a look around where it  will look best...
Are you just like me totally in spring mood? Let me know what you think !!

I am linking this to Friday's Remodelaholic Link Party

Millie and Maud

The latest link to their most recent adventure is here

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Happy Valentine's day !

Wishing you all a very, very happy Valentine's day when it comes around !!!
Hope you have a great day, whether you are with someone or if you are single.
We don’t always necessarily find love where we think we will. Sometimes it finds us,” 
 just read this really sweet story which you can read here.
I send you all much love wherever you are.
Have a great day.
Still time to craft a quick card which I did here with some old cards!!!! :-)))

Just crack open that bottle of fizz and be happy !!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

A posie of pretty flowers for the weekend

I stumbled on this on our walk with the dogs today and that it would be nice to send you all a little posie from the countryside.
So here you have a bunch of spring flowers from me with a very warm wish to you all to have a wonderful weekend.
There are wonderful places to walk in this part of the country, and you can come across unexpected hidden woodlands covered at the moment in glorious drifts of snowdrops.
The countryside is so beautiful here , and I am so thrilled spring is showing it's first signs .
I have managed to pick up an enormous amount of bags of spring bulbs,like crocusses and early tulips which had all sprouted , for practically nothing and planted them all yesterday.They were all like this or worse.But I  know it will be fine as they are now nestling in nice brown soil.

It really is worthwhile to give it a go, if the price is negligible.I picked up bags of bags of lilly bulbs last year and the bulbs practically all were perfectly allright and produced lovely lillies for a fraction of the price.
 I planted them at the time in deep tubs with lots of nice dark compost and manure to give the a good start, as the lillies were in a much worse state than the spring bulbs I picked up this week, and had sprouted at least 15 centimeter!!They all recovered..
So give it a go if you come across some poor bulbs that should have been planted earlier and give them a chance !!
Happy weekend !!!

Millie and Maud.

If you want to keep upwith the latest adventures of Millie and Maud, you can find out by going to their blog here

Thursday, 10 February 2011

My garden- a look back over the year

I am so looking forward to the spring and summer, and thought to share a few pictures of my garden, and how it looked last year.
I have felt a bit under the weather and have not worked on any projects for my blog .
I just did not have the energy-. These are the sort of glasses I could have done I could have a nice snooze without people noticing........hahaha.. I am sure a rest would do me good!!

 Above the glasses picture is the view you see from the French windows that lead into the back garden.
The statue with no head is a statue of Flora, the goddess of flowers, something which had been throw away.
I thought it perfect so saved it and it now stands very happily amongst the geraniums and the mint.
 This is the terrace with a view to the back garden.

I have plans to replace the horrible concrete slabs and would love to make a concrete and pebble floor like this which I saw in the grotto in Stourhead
It's just a matter of finding the time, as I know more or less how I would do it.
Here below is the arch leading to the back garden....
And here is the front and the side-garden can read about how I made this garden here.

This is to the side as well. The wicker screens are all planted with a vigorous and quick growing rose, "Albertine".So I am hoping for masses of pink roses soon as possible!! You can tell I am a very patient person, right !!
And here is one of the three apple-trees I planted. Apples and roses, what more do you want !!
I just wanted to let you know as well I was very much delighted to receive an Blog Liking Award today from one of my sweetest blog friends, Mariette, who has a lovely blog, called Mariettes back to basics
Go and check out her blog, she is so interesting and has so many lovely posts on her blog!
Thank you so much Mariette, it's so lovely to be appreciated and liked!!
  This is the logo for the award ..Those that receive the award are required to do three things:
  • Posting this blog liking award photo on their own blog (click on the photo to get its URL)
  • Tell about 'that' day you began blogging...
  • Identify other bloggers for passing this award on.
I will have to think about all this when I feel more rested but in the meantime would like to thank Mariette very, very much.

I am linking this to