Month: August 2015

Photo a Day – week twenty two


Here we go with another week.

Gav tinkering with the watering system and Bud just sat watching.


Mow time.


I love this tree. It’s round the corner and Bud and I walk under it almost every day. It is huge and when it rains hardly any of the ground is wet underneath so dense are the leaves. Nature rocks.


Waiting for the bus…..


An early evening cup of coffee with my BFF.


Waiting for the bus again I spotted this amusing sunflower.


My work desk. Tools of my trade.


And there we have it.

The breakfast love affair continues – Veggie chorizo and red pepper omelete bagel


There was some Quorn chorizo in the fridge so I could not resist trying it in a breakfast bagel. Gav came up with the idea to add red pepper and he wanted mushrooms too but I cooked those separately.

Fry the sliced mushrooms in butter.


Fry the diced pepper and veggie chorizo.


Lightly toast the bagels then make the omelette and add the cooked pepper and chorizo to the eggs when they have set a little.

When cooked to your liking slice it up and place on your warmed bagel adding the buttery mushrooms as the final flourish. I was going to add parsley too but in the end left it off the sandwich as I liked it just as it was.


The combination of the red pepper and chorizo was great maybe with avocado next time too…..

Sunflower watch


We are growing a new sunflower this year. Helianthus ‘helios flame.’ I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to sunflowers and didn’t fancy growing this bi-coloured variety but Gav wanted to try it so we did.

So far I must say I like it. It has produced blooms quite early for this garden which is good and it’s not too tall and the flowers are bright and cheery.

The first bloom began to unfurl on 4 July and I took a photo, the one above, using the macro lens. When I was looking at that picture I found that I’d already taken a picture of the same bud a few days earlier and I thought why not capture this bloom as it develops and then wains.

So here is the sunflower watch 2015.




We had quite a warm day when it was unfurling because it went from the picture above to the one below in 24 hours! Pop and there it is.


Lives up to its name.


Here it is at a distance. Shining out all on its own.



It is starting to wilt a little now as if it has had enough of this showing off. You can also see other buds are getting ready to flower too so that’s good.


As the petals fade the centre seems to get bigger. We had lots of rain and I think that speeded up its demise but it did give a good week of floriferous wonder.



This last photo was taken 3 August which I think is amazing. For almost a month I have had pleasure from this one little bloom.


I’ve told Gav he did well picking this variety to grow and they will be added to my list for next year a lovely addition to my sunflower growing obsession.

Bloom 2015 – sweet snaps


I look forward to all flowers that I grow starting to bloom but snapdragons always make me smile just that bit more. I have struggled to grow them in years past so getting success is all the sweeter. And speaking of sweet the last of the sweet-william made it into this little arrangement alongside some sweet pea ‘cupani’ stems.


The Antirrhinum are ‘Liberty Classic Crimson’ F1 and I got the seed from Sarah Raven. I really love the dark voluptuous colour of these and will definitely be growing them again. Great to have some deeper colours to use in arrangements too I think mixing the dark colours with zingy lime green is great and I have my eye on more of the snapdragon to go with the lime green Nicotiana. Watch this space……

Photo a Day – week twenty one


Something different this week. Looking down…..

The bright orange of Calendula flowers.


Coffee and socks and rain outside.


Dry washing.




Favourite shoes and shadows.


Foxglove seeds and flop flops.


His and mine. (How uninterested in this is he?)


I thought it would be interesting to capture just one aspect of the week, if you know what I mean. I really should have waited to do this idea for Week in the Life which is coming up soon I particularly liked this recent post from Ali where she talks about telling stories.

Okay, be back with more next week.

The Garden – planting combinations


If you are a gardener or a lover of plants I’m sure you have leafed through books or wandered around other gardens and thought how wonderful the planting combinations are that they have created.

Over the years I have been visiting gardens I’ve taken so many photos of colour and shape combinations thinking that I’ll look at them for inspiration when planting up a new area of the garden. But I never do. I forget. And that is a shame, to waste all that information.

So in the spirit of trying to learn and remember to look at all those photos I thought I’d share a few planting combinations from here in my own garden.


This one I love for the contrast between the yellow/lime of the Alchemilla and the blue of the Campanula with the added interest in both leaf and colour of the Senecio.


This combination was a total accident. We bought the creamy white Lavender recently and just sat it down on the patio right next to the hosta. The tiny purple flowers nestled within the flower spikes pick up perfectly on the traditional lavender flowers you can see in the background and the hosta pulls the two together. So pretty and cottage garden-y.


In design terms you wouldn’t put two plants side by side with the same sorts of flower. These two, Sisyrinchium and Linaria have spikes of flowers so both similar in shape and form but I adore the delicate pink and the buttery yellow together. Sometimes you have to break the rules.


Here is another total accident as the foxglove self seeded but I think the vibrant blue of the Delphinium and the pink of the Digitalis go together great with a subtle white tinge in each flower that ties them together.


And finally more of a foliage group although the Spirea is flowering its socks of at the moment. Spirea, Cotinus coggygria  and Pieris japonica. Each leaf different and proving a contrast for the others.

What combinations do you love in your garden?

Read 2015 – Erased by Jennifer Rush


Here is another book I read on the Kindle and again when we were away in the US.

I thought it was the second in a trilogy but from my point of view the first on along with this one formed a complete story as it brought you to a satisfying end. That was a happy surprise as we all know how I hate a dragged out YA saga!

I found this one just as enjoyable as the first. Easy to read, interesting story and some character development. Overall good. I probably won’t get the third book, at least not right now as I think it is all about one of the other characters and to be honest I liked the ending of this one so why run the risk of is changing that in the third……

Bloom 2015 – Orange and Purple


Although I dream of having great big long elegant stems of flowers to arrange I am (almost) satisfied with short little ones. And really who am I to complain when I can make arrangements as pretty as this?


Simple jam jar filled with ammi, calendula, stocks and the purple version of cannon went. Lovely right.

Photo a Day – week twenty


On the train headed for London. Yes, I still say Alex if asked for my name in Starbucks. H is used to it as her Mum started the deception……


At the Transport Museum in Covent Garden. Great fun place to visit full of stuff for kids to do.


A selfie of the tube.


We have apples on the tree this year. Yay. Lets hope a few manage to evade squirrel and wasp attack so we can eat them!


Love me a cornflower. One year I’m going to have a huge patch of these just for the wildlife and to look at of course.


Anything milky and he appears in the kitchen doorway. I know I shouldn’t encourage him but that face.


I ordered a mini water melon. this is a bit bigger than I anticipated but delicious.


Off we go into a new week.

The breakfast love affair continues – Mushroom omelette with hollandaise


After last weekends trip to London and an over indulgence on the breakfast front I didn’t think I’d be ready for anything more than cereal for a few weeks. Turns out that the jar of hollandaise in the back of the fridge cannot be resisted.

So I whipped up a mushroom omelette and added sliced raw tomatoes onto a lightly toasted bagel then a dollop of the sauce to top it off. Delish.