It’s the first day of Winter today according to the meteorological calendar. The older I get the quicker the time flies by and the more rubbish my memory becomes; this is one of the reasons I started a blog – to record what was happening around us, in the garden, days out and what adventures we got up to. It’s certainly done that, I’ve rediscovered my love of photography. It also gives me a chance to see how the garden changes from day to day and year to year. But, I really do sound like a broken record mentioning often what odd weather we’ve had this year – it’s been very, very mild, temperatures often 10-15 degrees – and not getting anywhere freezing overnight. Here beside the Bridgewater Canal, in Monton, in Salford, quite a few of my plants still haven’t realised it’s December. Usually, the garden in December would be looking rather leafless, bare sticks and trees, the odd evergreen plant and a basket or two of winter violas and pansies – with frost and cold, wet soil. Instead, there a couple of plants flowering that really shouldn’t be…
1.Margarite – ArgyranthemumFrutescens
I have three of these plants in pots, in the front garden, and they are still flowering – they’re proper sun lovers. I love daisy style flowers, so I have many different plants – dahlias (Bishop styles), Leucanthemum, these and cute alpines. Continue reading →
I’m getting set for Winter here in Manchester – a biting East wind was buffeting Manchester and sky looked like we were stuck inside a Tupperware bowl. V grey 🙁 Time to get ready for Winter… blankets, soups and stews, making objects and food for Christmas – my husband was muttering about making a fruitcake – and Hygge…
This word has been all over the internet for the last few years but there’s a lot more to it than you’d imagine…
Hygge (pronounced hue-guh not hoo-gah) is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cosy, charming or special. – Alex at www.hyggehouse.com/hygge
Alex (who has a Danish Mum and a French Dad) writes that Hygge isn’t really about ‘objects’ or ‘food’ it’s a state of ‘being’, being in the present, taking life a bit more slowly, spending time with friends/family, forming memories… This resonates with me. Do have a look around her blog as she has some good suggestions for the ‘slower’ life.
salvia petunia wallflower bee jug with a hygge sign
Time to get a little ‘hygge’
Here’s the full list on this lovely print 🙂
Time to get a little ‘hygge’ Woolly blankets and thick socks – Yes A mug of hot chocolate and with cream and marshmallows – well a lacto-free one would go down very well right now Creating future memories – yes, we are making plans for December, Christmas, and January (a trip to London) Blazing logs – no fire in our house but there are plenty in the country pubs in Lancashire Preparing a favourite recipe – Christmas fruitcake? Taking a Nap – yes we all know #selfcare matters Closing the curtains – the thick winter curtains are up 🙂 Belly laughs – always 😉 Reading by candlelight – Always candles in our house anytime of year Evenings with friends – Bring them on 🙂
So what are you doing to get a little ‘hygge‘?
Salvia, petunia, wallflower and snapdragon with a bee jug. 19 November 2018
In a Vase on Monday – salvia, petunia, wallflower and snapdragon
I ran out around the garden looking for flowers – it was surprising how many flowers were still around… as I’ve said before the weather this year has been so odd this year. I picked a bright, summery vase too because I saw a couple of bees around the front garden at the weekend (when it was warmer). Here are my flowers:
petunias – dark purple and purple with a yellow edge 🙂
snapdragon – this lovely white one arrived in a pot last week when our neighbour moved away. He’s a lovely guy and we’ll miss him very much, but moving is definitely the right thing for him. We’ll still be meeting up though and I have a feeling he’ll be drinking wine in our garden next summer 😉
salvia – a red dwarf one and Armistead (purple!) – both appeared before:
wallflower – purple perennial wallflower – it has been flowering all year long! check out the hashtag #wallflower
The Vase looks as if it was picked in late September not November. There are some hardy fuchsia flowers around still so they may make it into next week’s vase… but we’ll see what the weather brings this weekend. Snow on the hills around Manchester for definite 😉
The jug is made by Sophie Allport (www.sophieallport.com/uk/); I bought it on our first visit to The Lost Gardens of Heligan in 2015. It has a quote inside the rim (Busy, busy bumble bee). This jug has appeared before too:
I thought you’d like to see the same vase taken with my ‘Lensbaby’ – central focus and softer edges. I’m pleased with this photograph.
salvia, petunia, snapdragon, and a wallflower with a bee jug 19 November 2018 – taken with Lensbaby Trio 28 – sweet
Note – this photo is my copyright so please don’t use or download it
As usual, I am joining Cathy from Rambling in the Garden – this week she has some Viburnum in an ikebana-style arrangement (Japanese). There are some glorious arrangements around the world – Spring in the southern hemisphere too.
Making Winter – A Creative Guide for Surviving the Winter Months By Emma Mitchell – A Review
I bought this book in 2017, and I’ve dipped in a bit last winter, making a couple of recipes, but my focus was on getting healthier. It gets a mention here:
However, I wanted to write a proper review. The short answer is – I really love this book. It’s a beautiful book with stunning photography and drawings.
Emma writes about living in Fens, the countryside, changing of the seasons and collecting wildflowers and plants from her daily walks. She also writes about how nature, being outdoors and crafting have helped her mental health and wellbeing. I can’t tell you how much this chimes with me. Emma also writes about the science – serotonin.
The book has recipes, crochet patterns, making hawthorn gin, wreaths, and drawing/paintings – each has stunning clear photographs and instructions. Everything I’ve tried has worked fine. Even though I’m, not a crocheter, my pals who are said these patterns are fairly straightforward to do – with clear stitch instructions.
I’m feeling the need to make some plum, orange and ginger blondies:-)
There’s a section on silver clay too – how to make jewellery pendants using leaves and other natural materials. I loved making a silver clay pendant when I was at Denman College in October, with my Mum.
Emma’s book reminded me I need to start reading Nigel Slater’s Christmas Chronicles – full of recipes and preparation for Christmas and mid-winter. I need to look out our Booth Christmas book (get our food order in) and then re-read the mighty Nigella – we saw her ‘In Conversation’ a couple of weeks ago – she was as fabulous as you’d imagine 🙂
So what are you doing to ‘get Hygge’?
Have you read Emma’s Book? if you have – what did you think?
Do you any Autumn crafting?
Do you do anything special at this time of year? or is it all full speed for Christmas?
Life is very hectic at the moment – in a good way. Various plans seem to be coming together but it is tough squeezing everything in – I feel like I’ve been chained to the laptop. Most things I’m writing are things I want to write about – so that helps. I’m working on various different projects and activities – some crafting projects and courses too. I’m hoping my plans are coming together and I’m remaining positive – carrying on with mindfulness, yoga and daily walking. This quote resonated with me – I’m keeping going…
‘One of the things I’ve learnt the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.’
Lucille Ball (1911-1989) – actress, comedienne and producer. She was the first woman to run a Hollywood Studio in 1962.
My birthday is in October and My Chap’s a week later – these follow quickly from our first wedding anniversary – so there’s been plenty of adventures and weekends away as well – he’s been running for the motor neurone disease association at half marathons too.
One of the things, I’ve been doing is taking photographs when it is sunny – here’s my vase from Monday. The weather has been sunny and warm most days; even when it’s overcast it’s still too warm for the time of year. It was 22 degrees on my birthday last week. This vase looks like one from August, not mid-October.
pink pelargonium, purple and red saliva, purple wallflower and fuchsia in green/blue stoneware jug
Flowers in my Vase
pink edged pelargonium – Crimson Flame
purple perennial wallflower – this bush has been flowering continuously since about March – it’s appeared in the IAVOM often too.
fuchsia – it’s a hardy one, grows is about five foot high at the moment and flowering profusely – I think it’s magellania
This weekend, some of the plants in the garden are fading away and some are reaching their full glory. We’ve had sunny, warm weather in Manchester (20C degrees) – though it’s been windy. I’ve been happily reflecting on the year that’s gone by. It’s our first wedding anniversary this weekend, so we’re away.
I’m joining up with the Propagator and his band of gardeners from around the world for Six on Saturday (though I wrote and photographed this post on Friday – I hope the scheduling works = oops it didn’t). Here’s his latest post for 29 September 2018,
It’s very simple – take photos of six things around your garden or locality and write about them – it can be anything from plants, to new projects, disasters or wild successes. I’ll be catching up with all the posts next week
1. Arbour on the decking
Arbour with Salvia Armisted
This is the new Arbour finished – we used some of our garden centre wedding vouchers 🙂 We’re thinking about painting it to match the fence. What do you think?
As you can see, they’re in front of the arbour at the bottom of the garden. The salvia came from B&Q so the label was less than helpful – Red. It’s about 18 high at the moment and is enjoying the late September sunshine.
Yoda arrived in the garden about six years ago – he moves around but has been at the bottom of the garden all year. I love yoda and he’s appeared many times on the blog – #yoda. I’ve loved Star Wars since I saw it aged 11 in 1976, so it’s been mentioned a few times too – Star Wars
4. Sunset? Rose
orange rose with thorns
This beautiful rose was one of the few flowers in my front garden when I bought the house nine years ago. Its bud is a deep orange, opening and then fading to a faded red, orange and yellow – like watching a sunset. It has a fairly strong rose scent so I think it’s an older style rose. It usually flowers in two bursts in June/July and September but depending on weird weather conditions it’s flowered in November and January (in different years!)
I hope you don’t mind that these pictures are from a year ago, but my wedding bouquet had lavender flowers we’d grown in our garden. All the flowers from my wedding bouquet had special meanings for us but I’ll write about that another time. Lavender is my favourite flower and My Chap loves it too. We have about 15 lavender bushes around the front garden – it loves the full sun and rubbly conditions.
The lavender bushes in our garden have looked just as stunning as they did this time last year. Every time I walk past lavender or smell the scent it reminds me of the BEST DAY.
At Abbeywood Estate, Cheshire – 28 9 2017 – My Chap jumping for joy – Photo by Sara Porter Photography – our awesome wedding photographer
We had a flower, love, laughter and music filled wedding – I wore a dress in my favourite colour purple, covered in flowers. We got married in a beautiful garden on a glorious September afternoon with our family and friends from near and far – We had an afternoon tea, two wedding cakes and dancing til very late. When you get married at our age you do exactly what you want 😉
Here’s some lyrics from a special song at our wedding –
You and me were always with each other
Before we knew the others was ever there
You and me we belong together
Just like a breath needs the air
I told you if you called I would come runnin’
Across the highs the lows and the in between…
Gosh, it’s been windy this week. It’s been throwing down with rain for most of the time, here in Manchester – two storms Ali and Bronagh in quick succession, so my north facing, shady garden is a squelchy mess but the two water-butts are overflowing. The weather cleared on Saturday morning so I ran out to take some photos for my ‘Six on Saturday’ joining up with the Propagator and all the other gardening bloggers around the world. It’s a simple idea to photograph some of the ‘action’ around your garden and its surroundings. The weather’s been warm despite the rain so my petunias are still looking good.
1.Salvia and our new Arbour
salvia Amistad purple flowers and new arbour in the background
I’ve got a couple of other salvias in pots around the gardens. They’re good for Autumn colour and seem easy to grow. I like them as they come in many shades of pink, red, purple and different sizes too. Hopefully, they’ll survive the winter OK.