Tag Archives: lensbaby trio 28

December ‘Gardening’ in the Rain – 8 December 2018 – Six on Saturday

The weather has been wet, very wet, in Manchester this week – but it’s still mild for time of year. There’s hasn’t been too much gardening by me except for bulb planting in pots in the porch. My Chap has the unenviable task of putting them out around the garden. The wet weather makes my arthritis ache which makes me tired – ho hum.  But we have been making plans, plans for the garden, plans for #ChristmasatDunhamMassey, plans for relaxation and self-care.

So I nipped out today with the ‘big coat’ on to take photos for my #SixonSaturday and then retreated indoors to take some more 😉

1. Hacking around

We’ve been out doing some pruning today in the Rain – mainly because it’s so windy we’re worried it will damage the shrubs and the privet tree. Well, My Chap has been chopping things down – he’s a trooper.

Me? I was hacking down the grasses and the ends of lavender (there are about 20 bushes so it takes a while). And making mugs of tea.

This hand hoe is just great – very sharp. It’s comfy to use too – I’m terrible with tools as I’m so clumsy. I won it in a Twitter competition earlier in the year 🙂 Whey! I was gobsmacked to see Burgon and Ball were founded in 1730. They made agricultural shears in Sheffield – Steel City. It’s good to see a family business still going strong.

2. Bulb love

Most people go to TK Maxx to buy cheap clothes, random homeware, and weirdly flavoured chocolates. Me? I come back with cheap pots and bulbs – I’ll be potting these up tomorrow, in the porch 🙂

3. Violas and Pansies

Orange Pansy

Pansies in the rain

Orange pansies are taken with my Lensbaby #Trio28 – sweet effect. This a sharp focus with a soft, dreamy focus to the edge (So no cropping as you’ll lose it).

The violas and pansies are looking more chirpy, especially if they’re out of the rain.

4. Roses in the Rain

The orange rose is STILL flowering – all through the summer had a rest in September and it’s been flowering since late October…

My Chap says it needs pruning so I think that’s tomorrows job apparently.

Red Patio Roses – Lensbaby #Trio28 – twist

I’d moved the patio rose into the porch out of the wind and rain – it obviously liked its new spot as it flowered again. I moved it to take this photo as I wanted to see if I could get a good twist shot. In poor light, I thought this was a good effort.

5. #ChristmasatDunhamMassey

#ChristmasatDunhamMassey two giant reindeer made of lights in the woods with red and blue lights

#ChristmasatDunhamMassey – giant reindeer in the woods

These reindeer are about 40 foot high – plenty of other deer in the woods.

I had such a good time at #ChristmasatDunhamMassey* I booked to take My Chap and some pals next weekend. There are still places left especially in the week – it’s on until 30 December- book online for #ChristmasatDunhamMassey here. I’ll write a more detailed post next week – I’ve got the video to edit first.

Or check out a light show near you – they’re spectacular.

*I was invited free of charge to the preview evening for National Trust Staff – in return for social media coverage – I always give my honest opinion.

6. Indoor gardening 😉

Since the weather is so grim outside, I’m mostly reading these magazines. I learn so much from both titles – especially Gardeners’ World.  I believe you never stop learning so and I’m far from an expert when it comes to gardening.  Bit rubbish at remembering Latin names… oops – could be the E in ‘O’ level Latin to blame.

I might just have ordered a few plants for next year…double oops.

I joined RHS a few years back as we go to Tatton Park or another RHS show every year. So you can imagine my excitement when it was announced their 5th Garden – RHS Bridgewater will be two miles up the canal from us in Worsley, in Salford (right by the Junction 13 on M60 for the locals).  It’s coming along nicely – I’ll be going for a look round soon I hope.  The Garden and membership are handy because Wisley is near my mum house’s so we go when we are visiting her. She goes with her pals every month – they have a nice lunch and a good walk round to see what’s flowering – and buy a plant or two.  I get my love of gardening from my Mum.

Reading the magazines, listening to the rain hitting the windows, I’m planning and thinking of high summer and all the plants I’ll grow next year…how my bones won’t ache, how everything will grow and bloom just as it should – reality isn’t usually like that… but hey gardeners are optimists at heart.

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As usual, I’m joining J from www.thepropagatorblog.wordress.com with #SixonSaturday – he’s got many cuttings, seedlings and tiny plants under his care – definitely living up to his name this week. Gardeners from around the world join in – there’s usually some tropical flowers to lift my spirits at this time of year.

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My Self-care when I can’t garden

I’ve written often about how gardening and being in the garden is my happy place, it lifts my mood – it’s vital to my self-care.

So what do I do when it’s hurling down and I can’t get out into the garden?…

ln daylight, I sit so I can see out into the back garden – I have plenty of violas and pansies by the door. The porch and path have viola pots too 🙂 I check the small flowers as I go in and out. Concentrating makes you focus on the moment – that’s a good thing 🙂

During the week, when I’m at work, there’s no chance of getting out in the garden as it’s dark when I get home – what do I do then? I go for a walk at lunchtime even in the rain, noticing the plants, birds and animals as I walk around Oxford Road in Manchester. It is surprising how much urban wildlife and plants even in places they shouldn’t be.

Find YOUR self-care

Everyone seems frazzled and stressed in December – it seems as if they’re rushing around trying to please everyone else…so many expectations and meanwhile forgetting to take care of themselves… it’s a quick way to burn out 🙁

Here are some of my self-care options when the weather is grim and I’m hunkered down in our house – usually with music in the background 😉

  • Yoga
  • Sewing – I’m making Christmas tree decorations from felt.
  • Making soup – I like chopping things
  • Baking biscuits – quick 🙂
  • Soak in the bath – with candles –
  • we light candles every night in the lounge too – scent is a powerful mood enhancer
  • Mindfulness – breathing apps 🙂
  • Audiobooks
  • Writing postcards/cards to my friends – Everyone loves real post.
  • Listening to My Chap play his guitar.

Please don’t forget about YOUR self-care… and find what helps you… everyone is different so you need alternative self-care options.

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What are you planning for next year? We’re planning our Cornish holiday too.

Have you been to a garden light show like #ChristmasatDunhamMassey? 

What’s your self-care when the weather is horrible?

Carpe Diem

Love Bec xx xx xx

December 2018 SMART Goals – Focus, Reflect, Relax

I’ve written a few times on my blog about how I set goals in December, not in January so avoiding all those ‘New Year, New Me’, New Year resolutions. I think it’s easier to make changes in your life at another time of year.  I started making changes in December over 10 years ago – it seems to work for me, as the run-up to Christmas has always been a time of reflection and regrouping for me.  I’ve always had a diary, used reminders or to do lists either on paper or electronically. It really helps me to be accountable to myself. Last month, I started writing my SMART Goals on my blog, as it helps me to see what I’ve achieved over the month, the quarter and going into 2019. It also makes goals more real, realistic and accountable if they are public goals shared with your friends and family.  In December, I’m concentrating on my photography especially with my Lensbaby and my working life.  So I am focusing, reflecting and relaxing.

If you’ve ever been on any marketing, project management or planning courses they’ll have mentioned SMART objectives. SMART goals are:

  • Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-bound (i.e.What is the deadline or timeline for your goal?)

I wrote about how to set your SMART Goals last month:

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Let me know in the comments how you get on?

How I monitor and record my progress:

I have a diary/journal where I note daily activities. Also, I use alarms on my phone to schedule activities. I use the Pomodoro method – timed 25-minute work sessions and then a timed five-minute break – every four or five 25 minute sessions you have a longer break. This method really helps me focus. Continue reading

poppies in a wildflower meadow - using Lensbaby Trio 28 - twist

Firethorn, pansies, Remembrance Day poppy wreath, Six on Saturday – 10 November 2018

It’s been a windy and cold in Manchester this week. There’s still some summer flowers hanging on, but mostly it’s full-on autumn colours reds, orange and yellow. I’ve not been out in the garden to do any jobs as the weather has been foul.  Planting tulips in pots in the porch have been my main focus this week.  Also, I’ve been busy crafting felt poppies for my Remembrance Day Poppy Door Wreath.

There are many poppies too – as there should be at this time of year.  There are some stunning installations near Churches and memorials, in parks and in railway stations.  Our WI sent poppies to one of our sister groups out in a small village in Lancashire who was making felt and wool poppy wreaths for their war memorial – I made 16 felt poppies.

1. Viburnum

small white viburnum flowers on a branch with green privet bush in background
This is one of two standard viburnum trees that came as a wedding gift to us last year;  they were in full bloom for our wedding in September 2017. Since then – they’ve flowered at very random times – I think the very cold weather in March and boiling heat in June/July has confused the plants. They’ve been re-potted so I hope they survive the winter OK.
I don’t know the variety, as M and S didn’t admit it.  I’ll take some bud photos next time it’s sunny to help me identify it – no scent though.

    • Do my gardening pals have any ideas what variety it might be?

Continue reading

Using SMART Objectives for November Goals - consolidate, learn, balance

November 2018 SMART Goals – Consolidating, Learning and Balance

I’ve never written one of these posts before on my blog, even though I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a list of goals/plans written down – it is achieving your goals that’s the tricky thing.  But, I thought I’d start doing writing my SMART Goals every month on my blog, as it will help me to see what I’ve achieved over the month, the quarter and going into 2019.  It also makes goals more real, realistic and accountable if they are shared with colleagues, friends and family.  It also helps me to think of some words which sum up what I want to achieve – Learning, Consolidating and Balance. 

postcards a black wooden background, scattered around one says Dream Big, another 'Live Simply, Be Grateful, Give Love, Laugh Lots', another a 1-10 list on a grey background, A large letter B card, four orange/yellow roses and a pair black garden snipper sissors

Dream Big, Live Simply, Be Grateful, Give Love, Laugh Lots – and have a list 😉 – and flowers in your life

I’ve been thinking over the last year or so about what really matters to me.  The affirmations in the picture I took for the header sum this up too.

I took this photo at the BlogOn conference in Manchester in September.  It was part of a photography session with Lucy from ‘Captured by Lucy’ who as well as being a very talented writer and photographer sells her own very high-quality backdrops for photos – I didn’t take this photo on an old wooden painted floor – it’s vinyl. Continue reading