Container Gardening – potting up and planting out

I can honestly say that I have a new found love of gardening! I spent Saturday enjoying the dappled sunlight and warm weather, potting up new plants and rearranging our courtyard garden with the hope that some plants will grow well this year! Being out in the fresh air, getting mud under my fingernails and handling little plants made me appreciate the joy that gardening brings to your life and it made me really happy…gardening is a great chance to escape and think…

Having spent last week looking longingly at the plants I bought the previous weekend…Saturday finally arrived and I got up super early to start gardening!! I started the gardening by getting things tidy…I swept up the clematis petals and pollen stamens that have now all dropped into our courtyard…

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Container planting – my gardening inspirations

Gardening is something that I have been itching to learn more about. I dream of owning a house in the country with a garden where I can grow wild flowers, have a little herb garden, grow vegetables all year round and maybe a fruit tree or two. I’d love to have borders of flowers and a tree to sit under just like those lovely gardens you see in Country Living magazine and gardening books. A big dream but perhaps I can do something on a smaller scale within our courtyard and grow similar plants in containers…

You may have noticed over the past few weeks I’ve been writing a number of gardening posts…well, as part of my goals for the year I wanted to start gardening again. I know that I need to learn the basics to make it a success and have spent a bit of time trying to learn from books, asking friends and family for advice, and looking at gardenersworld.com.

Last year Mr C and I had a delivery from the wonderful organic garden company called Rocket Gardens. We were given a generous gift of a Patio Container Garden…ooh it was so lovely getting the delivery of lots of baby plants, carefully placed on a bed of hay in a huge box. We planted the plug plants in our containers and watched them grow…however shortly after they arrived we had an unwanted visitor that managed to dig up lots of the plants. Following this many of the plants died as they didn’t have chance to establish themselves…our little visitor put me off our garden space a little! However after the visitor was no longer able to dig up our remaining crops, many plants did grow thanks to the dedication of Mr C who took it upon himself to tend the tomatoes! We had a constant supply of rocket and mixed lettuce as they grew really well in our containers. We had one huge courgette, some green tomatoes and we had a few French beans!

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Making cards using fabric and a touch of spotty bunting!

As well as getting stuck into knitting my cushion cover and starting my top secret project, I got stuck into making a few cards to try something a bit different…Spurred on by the fact that I couldn’t find cards that I liked, I decided to make my own! On my commute to work I found the ideal time to plan out in my head my ideas for each card, I wanted each to be personal and special for those who were going to receive them.

Early this week the cards safely arrived at their destinations so I can now share them with you! I made two cards to celebrate two big milestones. My friends were celebrating the birth of their baby girl and another friend celebrating her 30th birthday. Having procrastinated over the draft designs I finally sat down and had a play with my paper stash!

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Crafty work in progress

The weekend before last I had a burst of creative energy. I’ve been wanting to share with you what I’ve been up to but I’ve had a nasty bug and didn’t feel like writing. I’m much better now and I can’t wait to tell you what I’ve been doing and making!

With the sunny weather arriving my desire to create bloomed! I had chance to have a blitz on my knitting project. At the start of the year I wanted to make a cushion cover…well here it is so far! My cosy cable cushion is coming on rather nicely!

I’m so pleased that the cables are now finally taking shape. It took a while to see what was going on…as I knitted, moving stitches onto my cable needle and off again, in different combinations for each row. I can finally start to see what it will look like…I’m feeling more confident reading the pattern and using a cable needle, I can’t wait to finish it. I’m loving the way that you can really see the cables forming. It feels such an achievement to know that I’ve understood a pattern and managed to knit something that looks quite complicated! The kitting of the cushion cover takes lots of concentration, in comparison to the scarves I made, so I think I’ll just pootle on with it when I want to knit and do a couple of rows at a time.

I was lucky to have quite a few spare hours over that weekend so I made a real start on my top secret project! I’m hoping to share with you my finished project in June/July but for now I’ll tell you how I’m getting on…

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A sunny weekend in the courtyard

 

Oh what a sunny weekend we have just had! After weeks of grey days and so much rain, finally the clouds cleared. Enjoying the rare chance to get outside, I bounced round the courtyard looking at how things were growing. The clematis has bloomed making our courtyard space look so spring-like and pretty…

 

 

There are hundreds of delicate pink flowers hanging into our courtyard space. I feel very lucky to be greeted with this beautiful display of pink flowers each day, however it doesn’t stay this way for long…I will try and make the most of it while the flowers last. It wont be long until the petals start to fall and litter the courtyard with a carpet of pollen and petals. It has already begun with the heavy rain and wind we have had recently.

 

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My fabric stash grows…a new project begins!

Over the past few months I’ve found that my love of colour, patterned fabric and hand made things has massively grown. Everywhere I look, whether it is a magazine, fabric shop or even online, I think about how I want to inject my home with more pattern and handmade things. To brighten up rainy lunch hours I have taken to going to my local fabric shop and looking at all the fabrics I could use and adding a few pieces to my fabric stash. I’ve added to my collection and now have about 40 fat quarters of different fabrics!! A little bit extreme already I know, however I’m only touching the surface of all the options out there.

I have a little work in progress project that is starting to take shape in my head at the moment. I’ve even got out my colouring pencils to try and work out a design. It involves patterned fabric and so I’m thinking carefully about the colours I choose and also the functionality of the piece. I love the creative fun I’m having selecting fabrics to work together. I’m not planning to use a pattern to make the item so it really will be something made by me. I can’t tell you too much right now as it’s a topic secret gift!

The problem with this project is that I feel I have a big responsibility to get it right. It isn’t for my family like previous projects have been, creating something for my Mum is a little different than making something for a friend. I wonder whether the recipient will like it, will it be to their taste, will they use it? So with these things in mind I’m being slightly cautious about getting started. I’ve washed the fabrics, ironed them, grouped the chosen fabric together to see if I have what I need…and now I just need to take the plunge and cut! I find cutting fabric really nerve wracking especially if it goes wrong and I only have bought a small piece of each pattern. If you cut something inaccurately it seems to knock everything else out! It needs time and concentration, something I haven’t had for a few weeks.

Over the next few days I hope to take the plunge and make a start with the making. I know when I make a start I will be hooked. Wish me luck!