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Homemaker and Mama to 4 beautiful children. My daily journey through life on our farm.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Never cast a clout till May is out! ..(warning-huge post)

Hi girls, i know it seems like aaagges since my last interesting post, that probably because it has been! Hopefully i shall now redeem myself. You may want to make a cuppa and get a packet of biscuits before you get comfy-this is a long post! I'll try and be heavy on photos and light on words, feel free to skim!

Lots has been going on with us over the last couple of months,ive lots to show you(and a couple of things i'll save for a soon to be written post).
The sunshine has certainly raised my vitamin D levels, but as they say 'never cast a clout till May is out', in other words, dont put you winter woolies away just yet!
Ive been starting the weeks off doing the school run in linen trousers and flip flops and ended them in jeans, jumper and rigger boots!...Another old saying i was recently taught by an old farmer(Mr P senior) was 'Oak before Ask we're in for a splash, Ash before oak, we're in for a soak' And judging by the beautiful oaks heavy with leaves in my garden we could be in for a nice summer but typically of this country we probably shouldnt hold our breaths for too long!

Firstly, my brother came over last week and he and i spent a whole afternoon power washing this little patio at the back of the house, i know it doesnt look like much but this small space is a lovely place to sit in the summer or of an evening, its a nice place to sit to be near the children whilst they're trampolining.....

Now the space is clear i can start to show some of my nicer things off- one of the things on my to do list is to plant up all of my little terracotta pots and a few tin ones to add to my wirework shelf...

This is one end of of our little herb garden, ive had to put the little row of bricks in as the oregano is so prolific that it takes over everywhere! We also have thyme, flat leafed parsley, Rosemary, mint and chives, Last week my dad gave me four sunflower plants he had grown for the girls to have a little competition of whose will grow the tallest...we shall see...

This huge teacup is yet to be planted up, i quite like it...its unlikely to last through a frost but im not worried.
This is a little glimpse of something which i hope to reveal the completion of shortly..(in a rolf harris style voice 'can ya tell what it is yet')?!!

Shall we move on to the weekends boot sale purchases?!...This fab bread bin(now planted with a Geranium on the table) was just a pound-brand new, my mum was quite confused because i already have one which i love!

I think this is my favourite purchase of all, this wooden step ladder set me back a whopping....two pounds, LOVE IT! I might paint it and use it to display small plant pots or i may just use it as an actual step ladder, what d'u think?

This tiny very old enamel tea pot set me back just 20p, i think the lady let me have it because its lid was missing but again, i'll plant it up, ive always looked out for unusual items to plant up for my garden. Mr P senior has promised me a couple of old milk churns from the farm and my Mr P is trying to get me another or an iron feed trough for my birthday.

Now, some of you may think this planter isnt too pretty, well, right now it isnt but it only cost one pound fifty so i couldnt leave it behind for that! I used old carpet underlay to line it as that was all i had but as soon all the petunias have grown over it it should be hidden and looking beautiful.

The birds have their own hanging basket, its right outside my kitchen window so that i can watch them. We have some sweet little goldfinches visiting daily and i keep hearing that familiar 'cuckoo' but im yet to spot one as they rarely perch. We also have a woodpecker, 2 barn owls lots of blue tits and a few robins. I want to encourage as much wildlife into the garden as possible, we cant have a pond as it isnt safe for kids but i have a bird bath, log piles for creatures and hanging feeders-although they're draining my finances as the birds empty them every day! We have an unwelcome visitor who im cautiously aware of, an adder, who hopefully has moved on to seomwhere new-i dont fancy a bite from him hiding in my log shed!

This is a kitchen roll dispenser which i bought for my kitchen, it needs a little makeover but i fell in love with it.
I was really pleased with myself when i spotted this little gem, just 20P!!!! And its ful of pins!

I adore this jug ...one pound...i also got a lovely pink one which is by J.EG Meakin-Rosa collection, silly blogger wont upload the photo of it though im afraid.

A few more gorgeous prints for the girls flower wall...

A kitch babycham deer...

This Redoute print is huge and really lovely, was meant for the girls flower wall too, but, just for now of course its found a new home above mummy's bed!

I completely adore Anemones and managed to get this huge picture from the bootsale, plus another from the charity shop last week, this one is in the lounge for now(sorry again girls!)

This year i promised Poppy that we'd grow our own strawberries, so, grow them we shall, i bought some and popped them in a basket-plants are so SO cheap at car boot sales i really cant reccomend enough buying them there!!!! As well as some of the plants shown below i also bought a tree Peony, for just three pounds-now that is an amazing bargain.

This is me, in gardening mode, its been cold today, well, windy i should say, very. All of my poor little blooms wont last long if it carries on like this, rain tomorrow down here so at least that'll do some good.

This is my fave reversible gillet which Mr P's mum bought me for xmas, i LOVE the spotty green fabric! (its by Puffa and available from all good Scats stores!)

Now that its garden season i can share with you my love for various plants. Ive never had a big garden until now, so i really am in my element. I think i get my green fingers from my granny and my father, i used to love helping dad at the allotment, although my mum could never understand why you'd want to dig up and bring home dirty old veg when you could get clean ones from the supermarket! Although she loves her plants, and flowers,she's no Barbara Good! My granny always had a greenhouse where she grew amazing toms and cucumbers...ive been scouring the local ads for a bargain one but hopefully i'll get some birthday money to add to the fund. This year id like to create a big veg patch, plant some fruit trees as we already have a pear and an apple tree, then create lots of deep borders.(not much eh?!)
Here are a few of my fave plants...Firstly Hostas, i think i love them even more than the slugs do! I discovered one last night which id completely forgotten about which had just started to wake up- and also another foxglove too!
My mums friend told me a couple of years ago that 'you know you're getting old when you fall in love with geraniums'...need i say more?
All spring ive enjoyed my ppp's(pretty potted primulas) Now its the turn of the geraniums...

I rescured this little Primula Aricula from Homebase last year for a few pence, i love it but Mr P doesnt seem to share my appreciation for it! Id love to start a collection of them.

I know i promised you some photos of my visit to the cuckoo fair but truth be told i had so much to carry that i couldnt take any!!! I had a lovely day though, parked the car at 10 and got on the little bus that they lay on for the day. I mooched all round the wonderful stalls, i bought tons of plants, some fudge(a girls gotta eat!), and a lovely old enamel wash bowl for four pounds from my favourite stall(see below). That was all i think but it was great as usual...

A new aquilega and primula....

Can you see the mint green metal busket in the phot below?(mentioned as a tk maxx bargain a while back) Well, while at the cuckoo i discovered something id never seen before, chocolate mint! Yes it smells exactly like after eights! Its wonderful!!

What do you think is hiding in amongst all this green??

A huge oriental Poppy head, almost ready to burst, i bought this from the Cuckoo Fair last year for my daughter, it didnt flower at all last year but this year it looks fab. Today i counted over 12 heads on the one my granny planted many years ago in my anuties garden so with any luck mine will do as well as hers...

I bought three Ranunculas from the cuckoo fair for just a pound a pot-i love the way they have layers and layers of delicate petals, like heavy poppy's, they remind me of making tissue paper roses at school when i was little.

This little fern has decided to find itself a home in the base of my Acer tree..

Until this week i never realised that this beautiful shrub is white lilac, if you look closely you may be able to see a lilac-lilac in the distance. This photo was taken last week, almost all of the blossom has died off from it already. I have no idea what the shrub with white petals next to the lilac is but its gorgeous, like apple blossom but it all hangs over like a willow...

I know you cant see this geranium very well but its got the most delicate little candy floss pink petals-just beautiful. The bucket its in was a boot sale buy from this weekend for pound.

Gorgeous Lupin, another boot sale buy for two pounds, i do already have some but they're not out yet.

Rubys crocs, a perfect match to my forget-me-not!

Just look at the beauty of this delicate poppy head...

I got this Hidcote lavender from the cuckoo fair-they were very cheap there in comparison to nursery prices, i also have a large white one by my front door.

These are a few shots of Mrs P's garden at the farm, her amazing clematis, she also has a wonderful rose arch which id loke to recreate in my own garden, i'll try to remember to photograph it when its in bloom.

Now, wallflowers-love them or hate them? I personally dont like them but i thought these were pretty colours, i think its the orange/red ones which put me off as they grow like weeds in country gardens.
This is the veg plot at the farm which we all take bits and pieces from, i must pop by and get some rhubard today! Its a huge plot-stan the gardener looks after it luckily though, there's not much he doesnt know about plants and growing...Theres also a huge cooking apple tree in the foreground which is heavy wth frut every year, perfik!

This photo was taken just a few weeks ago from my dining room window, i havnt seen another morning like it with the mist rising off the field...

And now that most of this is done, hopefully we can wait for it to come up and focus on other things, Mr P's been so busy drilling(planting)all the seed that we've hardly seen him.

We've been very lucky, two weeks ago our beautiful cat Darcy gave birth to three kittens, the girls are besotted with them and we've had tears before school when they dont want to leave them. Shes very peaceful in this basket in my bedroom, a very good mother.

This little lady is my favourite(am i allowed favourites?)...shes tiger striped and has just opened her huge eyes!
We've named these two Molly and Monty-we're not keeping any of them but the girls like to name them.

After pre school today Ruby and i decided to bake a cake for nana mandy as shes not feeling too good, Roo loves to bake but she eats so much mixture that she feels ill halfway through and has to go for a lie down!

TA DA!!...
With such lovely weather lately Roo and i have been making the most of our time together before she heads off to big school in september, with lots of picnics, mainly with daddy when hes working at farms nearby, i feel we're really lucky to be in these huge machines looking over the countryside, we see all manner of wildlife and really appreciate everything, she even gets to drive tractors and forrage harvesters like this one!

A couple of weeks ago we were asked if we had any toy lambs and baby bottles we might be able to bring into pre school as one of the nvq students wanted them for role play with the children, i thought we could go one better and take some lambs in so the kids could have a hands on experience-they were a big hit!(Roo was quite proud that her daddy had come in too!)
We set up a little pen and i supervised 2 children at a time coming in to pet them, the only drawback was that they didnt want to take turns, i think they'd have stood in there with them all day.

I knew my truck would come in handy for something-oh why did i bother to clean it out?!!

Now, i know easter seems like a very long time ago now but i thought id show you a few pictures as i never got round to it at the time. You may spot some of the fab gifts i received from my easter and heart swap partners....

Hope youre all still awake and have enjoyed this post....Lastly i'll leave you witha photo of my girls enjoying the sunshine in our garden....


marble rose said...

What a fab post! Your girls are so cute - I have 3!!! Which car boot do you go to (I live on Hampshire border) - got to get myself there - that step ladder is great, my fav though is the kitchen roll thingy!



Sal said...

My what a fab abundance of photos..I loved them all. I won a Dorcas pin tin like yours,on ebay recently...


Wonderful garden goodies too!

Mummy Boo Bear said...

Wow you have been a busy bee. What a lovely idea taking the lambs in for the children.

Love all your different planters, maybe you could come round and sort my garden!lol. Its tidy but at the mo not many plants.

Your easter looked really pretty too. And i am sooo love your new little kittens, keep seeing blogs with so many cute animals its making me hanker for some pets of our own, (well we do have two fantail fish but I dont think they would appreciate a cuddle!)

Lovely pictures all that nature and greenery you are so lucky. Have a great rest of the week.


Country Bliss said...

Pheww that was a long post, a great one though! The photos are all fab and I love all your planters.
Very cute kittens too!
Yvonne x

bekimarie said...

Phew, you weren't wrong, that was a long post!
Lovely piccies and great buys. Especially love the babysham deer, we've been looking for one for Jess' room, shse's really into the whole kitsch look at the moment.
Beautiful kittens, if you want to pop one in the post to me, I won't mind 'hehe'!
Give Mandy a hug for me when you see her and tell her to get better soon.
Take care
Beki xxx

Shabby Chick said...

Busy lady!!! Am loving the unusual planters, I hadn't thought of using different things like that. Wish my garden was as up together as yours, my mother in law usually mows our lawn (shameful I know!) because I refuse to do it and my husband's too lazy! In our old house we used to garden and yes, I had loads of geraniums so I must have got old at about 21, oops!

Your girls are beautiful :)

Mel xxx

Mandy said...

Oh my god three hours later I have finished reading the post! I loved my cake it was gorgeous thank you Ruby xxxx
The pictures are great xxxxx

lou said...

I loved every minute of that post, so many things I loved, you have got great taste!
The garden looks beautiful and I love all of your planters, I am always using all sorts of things too plant up, I like things too look quirky.
Is it the car boot sale at Winchester you go too??? If so it must be you who is getting all my bargains! ;0)
Love Lou xxx

funkymonkey said...

Great photos. Your garden is looking lovely. Here's hoping you are back to the linen trousers and flip flops very soon and that it's warm enough for you to sit and enjoy your garden.


Devon Dumpling said...

Super mammoth post! Love all your pots and especially your kitchen roll holder, the fruit garden at the farm looks fab! I fell in love with geraniums when I was 21.....oh dear!!!! x

bex said...

welcome back!! i really really enjoyed reading this post...such lovely pictures and cheery thoughts!!