Month: August 2011

A garden and a surprise

 

Last week we went on a little camping trip to Oswestry. As National Trust members we like to get our monies worth and we went to a couple of nearby properties to look at the gardens. We like a garden. One that’s perfect and pristine so it makes you feel totally inadequate as a gardener!

We took in turns to wander around and take some pictures. As ever the challenge of that camera keeps you on your toes and I have to remember to actually enjoy the garden rather than simply photograph it. I’m really bad at not living in the moment…..

Anyway here is a selection of pictures we took.

I love brick walls in gardens it immediately conjures up images of old fashioned kitchen gardens. In fact this probably was just that! I also like the shadows in this picture too and the contrast of the bright white sunlit gravel path.

Cute tiny little gate hurdle things just placed on the edge of a flower bed.

There was an event taking place on this Sunday afternoon based on Alice in Wonderland. We were there quite late so it was winding down (thank goodness!) but there were still a few dressed up characters from the books wandering about which made the wander through the garden strangely surreal but added to the charm of this place.

It made me want to rush home and read the books. 

Just as I was walking Buddy around the car park, which was in the old orchard and also surrounded by a beautiful brick wall I spotted this hanging from an apple tree. I looked into the other trees and found more of this stuff. I almost jumped for joy as I’ve never seen it up close and in person before.

 

What is it?

Mistletoe, that’s what. Just hanging from the trees doing it’s thing. It is apparently a parasite as it grows by attaching to the tree but it doesn’t harm the host tree at all. I had to take a picture and rush over to make Gav come and look at it. He wasn’t impressed but I didn’t mind. I was, and so glad to have seen it in person.

We left the pretty orchard surrounded by rust coloured brick walls happier for the look at a lovely garden, some good pictures and the memory of mistletoe.

In denial

There must be some kind of mistake. I will not, am not, cannot be looking at autumnal colours. It’s still August for heavens sake!

There I was rambling on the other day about how wonderful the garden is with a little helping hand from Mother Nature and bam she goes and pulls the carpet of mossy grass right from under my feet.

On a side note our grass is not mossy, honest Gav it’s perfectly beautiful blades of lush green grass and cut to perfection, um… with added moss.

The Acer in the picture was purchased last year as a reminder of Lewis. It sits beside his little grave looking perfect and is apparently showing definite signs of the onset of autumn. But we never got a summer.

Hey ho. I really should be used to British weather by now but I’m always in denial of the nights drawing in and the early morning nip in the air.

I’m definitely in denial.

Skirts and my tootsies out on show. Mmm, maybe we’ll have an Indian summer this year……

In the garden

There are some stars about in the garden at the moment. Stars not only because they are giving their all but because I have had nothing to do with their rise to stardom.

Take this amazing sunflower. I grew a lovely group of sunflowers last year but when I came to sow seeds this year I had run out and never got round to buying more so I missed the boat. And was a tad disapointed as sunflowers are my second favourite flower and I love to grow them. So I was jumping for joy when I spotted three seedlings emerging from the soil right around the spot I grew them last year. Mother nature had helped me out. In fact so well had she performed that Gav complemented my positioning of the sunflowers this year!

Plums. We bought this tree several years ago not knowing quite what we were going to do with it but we stuck it in the ground and hoped for the best. It took off in it’s second year and we had a couple of handfulls of plums. We pruned it a bit and suffered no fruit for a few years. Then we let it go again and it went crazy this year. But this time we have bowlfuls and bowlfuls. And this picture which, although isn’t that great, reveals exactly how they are nestled on the poor little tree dragging the branches down with the weight of the fruit. It will have to be pruned again or else it might snap and then we’ll wait and see if it gives us the goods next year.

The poor old tomatoes are also trying their hardest to give us a crop even though we planted them really late and have left them to their own devices. I pinched out the tops of the plants and removed any flowers in the hope that the fruit that has set will ripen.  It still looks the part though.

I’m not so sure I can call this path a star yet. Oh boy is it taking some time to lay. But it is getting closer to being finished and I know it will look fantastic…. one day. (I do love how neat and tidy my husband is with his construction jobs.)

I’m sure I have waxed lyrical about our apples before but never will I tire of seeing the glorious red fruit patiently ripening up on the tree. There are lots of apples this year too – maybe it’s just a good year for fruit trees. I am not being very patient as I wait for them to ripen. I’ve already pulled one off knowing full well that if I have to tug it off the tree it won’t be ready but oh, I can’t wait. And as each day goes by other little critters take nibbles of the apples also checking for ripeness so it’s a battle out there.

Here is a look down the garden from the pergola. Gav plans to move the gate out into the wood, it’s just out of the shot in this picture, to the end of this grass path. I think it will look even better then. The purple Michaelmas daisies are doing really well as is the clump of self sown Calendula right at the top of the picture.

When I look at photos of our much loved garden I do wonder how we managed to get it looking so good when really we don’t put that much effort in.  And then I remember Mother Natures little helping hand and it makes me love gardening even more than I did before.

Three is a magic number

Here is another challenge from Shimelle’s scrappy weekend. The challenge here was 3’s. So I have three photos and three little stamped arrows.

Those arrows are from a great stamp set from the Girls Paperie and I bought them from a scrapbook store in Las Vegas when we were on our big trip last year.

The story is from a holiday we took many years ago when I drove about 2,500 miles in two week from Leeds to Switzerland to Italy and back through France. We called in at Monaco to see the Gran Prix track as Gav is a huge F1 fan. 

Thank goodness he passed his test! Now I make him do all the driving…….

Let’s go retro

 

Some people who scrap don’t ever scrap themselves. There is a tide of well known scrapbookers out there that are trying to change this concept and I think it’s probably working. I have never had a problem scrapping myself. Something to do with vanity………………….lol.

Here I am all young and sweet. Well I think so. This picture was from a set that my Uncle took of my sis and I in my Gran’s beautiful garden. Were going back to the seventies here. I mean look at that dress! It was a midi and I adored it. So glad times change. If my seven year old niece saw that dress now she’d laugh her socks off. (not that she wears socks but …….you don’t need to know that right now).

This challenge was a challenge indeed because I forced myself to cram more and more stickers from a lovely sheet of Basic Grey onto the page. Not a fav I have to admit although it’s good to move out of your comfort zone and I love the photo so I’m glad it has a place in my albums.

Colour Story Challenge

 

This is one of my favorite pages. Ever! Made in reply to this challenge. I would never ever have combined these colours but when I look at my page I immediately think of peppermint rock. And then I can taste peppermint rock and that takes me back to my childhood. All from a colour combination, amazing.

I know I stuck more or less to the example page that Shimelle gave but it was lovey and had to be lifted.  I thought the cool picture taken from the top of the Empire State Building on our first trip to NYC went well with that really really old Anna Griffin damask-y paper. Been waiting to use some of those papers that I loved when I bought them but they seem dated to me somehow. Anyway I’m so glad it looks okay here.

I have tried to link my pages to the challenges but can’t get it right somehow. I asked for help on the comments section and a kind lady answered but it still didn’t work – but thanks. Then I checke my email and I had one from Shimelle too who is going to try and help me out. Hope it works. And thanks in advance Shimelle.

Second challenge

Another prompt, This time to use stickers. Hmm… I don’t seem to own as many scrapbooking supplies as Gav thinks I do. I had a tricky time finding stickers I liked (some are about 7 years old how supplies have changed).

So I’m not sure if my choice of sticky things fits the bill. I adore the graph paper from October Afternoon and I inked the edges of my page – woo hoo. Just like Shimelle does. And I like it!

I picked these pictures because they were filed away waiting to be scrapped in my storage binder. All courtesy of Finding Photo Freedom from Stacy at Big Picture Classes. I’m so pleased I did this course and am getting there with all the photo organising.

But enough of that there are more challenges to scrap……

Eccentricity

I’ve been wearing skirts recently, you know in honour of our great British summer. The other day our summer decided to have a major blip (rather than it’s constant minor ones) and rain and rain and rain. I was wearing my denim skirt and had no intentions of hauling my butt upstairs to change when I walked Buddy so I did possibly the most eccentric clothing choice ever and pulled on my wellies and my furry red socks and called it good.

That teeny bit of bright pink skin visible takes me right back to my childhood. I’m sure I got some strange looks on my trip to the park but my feet were dry and toasty warm. It may just become the look of the summer.

Scrappy Weekend of challenges

I’ve been participating in the weekend of scrap heaven over at pretty papers true stories. It is such a boost to the scrapbooking brain to have a few prompts and a fun environment in which to create and share. And I love Shimelle’s style and take on life.

This page is in response to this prompt. I know the photos aren’t great but when you want to scrap an event it makes no difference, to me anyway, if the pics are blurry or dark. They are a reflection of what went on and that’s fine by me and often the point of the page!

Two of the five

There is something about fruit or pictures of fruit that make you feel wholesome as though if you devour a bowl of strawberries and blueberries you will instantly be healthy. The fruit in question here was 50% home grown. Nope not the strawberries but the little blue berries that I picked from our measly pot bound bush that sits in the shade of next doors ash trees and produces a couple of handfuls every year. Poor little bush it must be re-potted and moved to a more selubrious aspect before the autumn sets in. Maybe we’d get four handfuls next year?

I was considering if this bowlful was actually two portions of the five fruit and veg I’m supposed to have a day and thought it was probably shy of two portions – how those extra berries would come in handy! But nevertheless I did feel virtuous especially as the blueberries were air mile, road mile and any other non eco-green tax free. They tasted like I’d just picked them too which is a double bouns in my book.