Month: July 2015

Bloom 2015 – sweet lemon balm


Still managing to eek a few more stems from the sweet williams.


Here I added Alchemilla, Knautia seed heads and lemon balm along with a mystery plant. The long pinky stems that I think might be a type of Spirea. Whatever it is I liked the different shape it added to the arrangement.

Photo a Day – week nineteen


Saturday Latte.


Blue tits of the bird feeder.


I took a similar shot a few months ago. Love to see the season’s change.


Salad for lunch.


I was so lucky to catch this photo. I disturbed this fella snoozing in the wood but he only retreated a little way and because I had the big lens on the camera I managed to catch him. (I did zoom in a little in Photoshop.)


Quilted clouds and a Red Kite right at the bottom of the photo.




There it was.

We’ve been on a little get-a-way


We took my younger niece to London for the weekend. Normal service will resume here when I have recovered for playing ‘mum’ for 48 hours……….

The breakfast love affair continues – cream cheese and tomato bagel


I found this recipe on Pinterest but the original recipe is over here. (And they quote Midlake! What’s not to love about that.) Their tomatoes are fancier than mine but I didn’t let that put me off this concoction.


I followed the instructions and turned the cut bagel flat side down, scooped out some of the middle of the bagel and filled it with the cream cheese. Then I added the tomatoes and sandwiched the two halves together. Butter was spread on the outside of the sandwich and it was ‘fried’ for a few minutes on each side, just to get it toasted and golden and warm through the cheese and tomato. It was really good and I can see many variations of this on the horizon!

Read 2015 – Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor


I read this novel, the final instalment of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, on the kindle while we were in the US.

I’m still having a love hate relationship with that electronic gadget but it worked out very well while we were away and didn’t hinder the enjoyment of the book.

I was only partially looking forward to concluding this series (read my mini review of the second book here) but I got on with it as holidays are perfect reading opportunities. I do admit to being a bit confused by the first couple of chapters maybe I rushed through the second book just to get it done??!

Anyway overall I liked it. She told a unique and interesting story with quirky, loveable and terrible characters. And she does build very scary worlds. It’s quite a few weeks since I finished this book and I definitely think fondly of some of the characters so that’s good.

Overall worthwhile if you like your YA a little gruesome!

Bloom 2015 – elegant roses


You know I said last week that my heart was softening towards roses for cutting? Well here must be the proof. I was cutting back a couple of roses that climb the pergola. Neither grow very well and we are thinking about replacing them.

After I loped a few straggly branches off I didn’t have the heart to throw away two stem that were blooming so I made this arrangement.


In with the roses are Alchemilla, Antirrhinum and Dianthus barbatus. The vase is from Ikea and looks like an old fashioned milk bottle.  Totally different from my usual style and I absolutely love it.

Photo a Day – week eighteen


Lots of food this week….

But first coffee at a new breakfast spot.


Making little Summer Puddings.


English countryside and lovely sky.


At least I ate something healthy…


Bright and zingy arrangement.


You just can’t beat a white bread roll.


I know it’s blurry but Churros! They were delicious.


And that was another week.

The breakfast love affair continues – scrambled with mushroom and tomato


Simple this week. A plain bagel with cooked mushrooms and tomatoes and scrambled eggs.


Need to push those flavours a bit more but sometimes it’s nice to go back to basics.

Bloom 2015 – garden update


The summer is in full swing. I’d like to say it was wall to wall sunshine here in Leeds but alas that is not what we get, well not very often.

We have had a few good weeks and one great week where the temperatures were in the twenties for days. The plants seem to be growing regardless of sun.

The sweet peas have recovered from the fox incident. I have two rows of these situated along the edge of one side of the ‘allotment’ and am hopeful for lots of wonderful flowers.

Here is a photo I took a couple of weeks ago showing the patch of land we tend in the wood behind our garden.


And here are the sweet peas the other day.


I once again placed netting horizontally over the cutting patches as support and the plants are merrily growing up through.


Really don’t know why I didn’t use netting years ago. I said the same last year and am sure I will next year too!


Here are a few flowers I gathered yesterday.


As well as these blooms we also have Scabious, Helianthus, Rudbekia and Dahlias growing away.

I also sowed Salvia, Larkspur and Malope but they were unsuccessful. I mostly put this down to the fact that we were away for three weeks and couldn’t tend to the seedlings.

I would like a few longer stemmed plants to harvest for bigger arrangements but all in all so far so good.

Bloom 2015 – sweet as roses


The climbing rose at the bottom of the garden has run wild. I shall cut it back but only after the abundance of flowers stops.


I always find this colour pink tricky to photograph but liked it here against the dark green foliage. I am coming round to roses for cutting and might even be tempted to grow a few more plants.

I did sear the stem ends of the roses in just boiled water for 20 seconds or so and they lasted really well.