Thursday, 3 May 2018

The Last of the Daffodils


Thank you for your comments and suggestions around my herb planter; I hadn't considered raising it off the ground slightly for better drainage, or the differing needs of dry Mediterranean herbs versus the softer ones, so I really appreciate your tips. I am already anticipating that I will need to move some of those herbs into another planter as they grow, so perhaps I'll separate them by type then. I am an enthusiastic gardener but I am constantly reminded of how little I know. I love our garden, I love spending time out there, whether that's working on it or relaxing in it, and if I manage to grow something and keep it alive then even better. Half the appeal of gardening for me is the therapy, the way hours just disappear and I feel so much better after some time working out there. And thank you for the suggestions for uses for lemon balm! Tea, cake, salads, vinaigrette, lemonade, to fill a vase. All sound wonderful and I am already planning and thinking. 


We've been working so hard in the garden over the last few weeks. A section of decking has been removed, the trampoline moved to a new and well hidden corner of the garden, borders have been dug and planted, turf laid. This weekend I plan to jet wash and treat the decking area outside the patio doors from the kitchen, and possibly paint the pink bench if I feel inclined. John has been making me some fabulous outdoor furniture - a table and two benches - and I cannot wait to show them to you. 



The weather has been completely all over the place here. Monday was so foul, so cold, wet and windy, that if felt like we'd stepped back into winter. I wore a woolly hat, for goodness sake. But it seems like we have a dry, settled spell ahead which is perfect for the bank holiday weekend, and the huge amount of washing I always seem to have to do. 


The daffodils have finally finished blooming in their big planter on the decking. I cut the last few fading stems and brought them indoors to enjoy on the kitchen windowsill. Some don't like the smell of daffodils but I absolutely love it. I plan to pull the wilting plants up carefully, leaves intact - something to do with nutrients going back into the bulb I think - and store them somewhere dark until I replant them next autumn. Which leaves me wondering what to plant in their place. Last year I had sweet peas there, and they were wonderful but I'm pondering something different this year. Dahlias perhaps? I'm not sure. I did love those sweet peas, they are one of my favourite flowers. 

Life rumbles along quite peacefully here. Bella is a little preoccupied with her Y6 SATS tests in a few weeks although I wouldn't say she's worried, more just wanting to do them and get them over and done with. I tell her that I don't care what score she gets but I'll be cross if I think she hasn't made any effort, mainly because she has worked very hard and deserves to do well. We recently went to a welcome evening at the secondary school she'll start in September. My little independent learner, how she grows. Angus meanwhile is consumed by the prospect of turning nine in a couple of weeks and has asked for a drone and a Swiss army knife. Ziggy continues to be a challenge and a delight, but more the latter. I can't imagine life without him now, the naughty, chewing pup. John turns forty soon, and has booked some time off work over half term so that will be nice. He's asked for a petrol chainsaw for his birthday, or a nice coffee machine. We are so middle aged, and happily so. I am very nearly finished with the My Sweetiepies ABCs cross stitch sampler. I enjoyed stitching that folksy little kettle very much and have saved the bit I most wanted to sew, the bed, until last. Now my thoughts are turning to gifts for Angus's birthday, then a patchwork quilt perhaps, and lots more embroidery. And possibly a crochet summer sweater. Decisions, decisions. 

Have a lovely bank holiday weekend. 

15 comments:

  1. On the daffodils...would it be better to let the leaves make sugars for the bulb and next years flowers and then die back at their natural time before you dig them out to store? Maybe you already had this in mind and I just read your 'timeline' for action incorrectly. Helen

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    1. Oh Helen, this is why I need you all to give me advice and tell me what I'm doing wrong! Yes I probably should do that but I'm really impatient by nature. And I don't want to look at a planter full of dying daffs. Hmm. A conundrum!

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    2. Can you move your daffodils into a bed and leave them there? You could do that now and let the leaves die off there and provide the nutrients for the bulbs.

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    3. Yes - I have a number of pots that live behind the garage, full of dying/dormant bulbs - they do their thing where I can't see them!

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    4. Once the leaves start to die back I believe you can move them to where you think they would be good next year and plant them and then remove the leaves. Once they aren't doing their job they can come off. As for the SAT's, don't fret, not only do the senior schools take no notice of the results, they don't continue the teaching, so grammar will never seem so complicated or arcane as it does now. They are a complete waste of time!

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  2. Dahlias would mean lots of flowers for cutting over a long period. While I adore sweet peas they don’t always look good a get a bit straggly.

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    1. Cutting flowers would be absolutely lovely.

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  3. Oh you are so lucky to have a man who is handy about the place. Mine, although brilliant in other ways, is useless in that way. All the tools in this house belong to me! Anyway, you’re right, it’s so nice to be having a bit of sun to look forward to at the weekend. I can’t wait for some warmth and to hopefully get out in the garden too. I usually have to drag my lot out, kicking and screaming!

    S x

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  4. Cosmos are a nice cheery thing to have - flowering for months and months and the bees love them. Sarah Raven is very good for inspiration. My youngest likes a nice Swiss army knife and a drone too. In fact I have no doubt he would love a petrol chainsaw. He has been hankering after an axe for a long time as well. I half thought we could try and make a bench together in the summer holidays. I'm not sure if that way madness lies though... CJ xx

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  5. Great post and lovely pics.
    Wish you a happy weekend.
    Hugs from Oporto, Portugal
    Nina

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  6. I always enjoy reading your posts: your home, crafts, family and garden are so lovely.

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  7. I read through your post and possibly missed it, but what kind of loaf cake was that, Gillian?
    Dahlias would be lovely, but sweet peas ... ah, that scent! Can't you grow both? Is this an impossibility?
    Can't wait to see the garden furniture. As we speak, husband is renovating our steamer chairs as we've managed to find lovely new steamer chair cushions from an online company, just the ticket for them!
    Margaret P
    www.margaretpowling.com

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    1. It's a chocolate banana loaf cake. I seem to make one a week lately!

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  8. It used to seem to me that old people had the most beautiful well groomed gardens because they just somehow naturally did. Now I realize that you FINALLY get a beautiful and well groomed garden when you are old because it takes you that long to get the hang of it!

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  9. I'm finding early middle age to be very exciting, which has been a surprise. Here, we can join the city's "senior" program when we turn 50. It's very inexpensive and the activities are endless and really fun. I always imagined it would be all shuffleboard and Bingo, but it's not! And maybe for the first time ever, we could afford to belong to a gym because the rate is very low if you are of age and use the ones in the senior centers. We're actually looking forward to turning 50 now! :) It sounds like your garden is coming along nicely, and I'm looking forward to seeing your new furniture, it sounds lovely. How exciting to be sending Bella to secondary school soon. We have two more years and L will go to high school. I think the levels are broken up slightly differently here. He'll be 13 this year, which is just incredible to me. Hope you're all doing well, take care.

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