In a couple of weeks, I’m off to a blogging conference run by the team at BlogOn (BlogOnuk.com) – it’s only down the road at Hotel Football, in Old Trafford, in Manchester – about three miles from my house.
I’d heard about these conferences which have been held twice a year since 2013 – everyone said how great it was. I went to one of their Conferences in May; it was really well run and very useful. I learnt so much that day, especially about photography and editing It was lovely to meet people I’ve known on Twitter/ Instagram face to face too.
Day three of snowy Salford – currently minus 6 at 4pm #windchillfactor – #beastfromtheeast. So my #wellbeingWednesday is to stay indoors, on the sofa under a blanket. But don’t forget to feed the birds – their wellbeing matters too. Making a suet bird feed batch is easy – my pal at WI Pippi made it.
A house with daffodils in it is a house lit up, whether or no the sun be shining outside.
Mini daffodils in a pot – 2 March 2015
It was horrible weather here at the weekend so I wasn’t out in the garden at all – which made me feel glum. Instead, I’ve been thinking about positive things. I’ve been waiting not so patiently for more bulbs to flower… not a lot is happening though. But every year is different in the garden, as well as in life.
Here are the same pots one year apart in exactly the same place – no sign of daffodils and a lot less crocuses this year than last year.
Yoda and the daffodils 1 March 2014
Daffodils and crocuses – 1 March 2015
If I was a more organised person I’d have posted these pictures on 1st March – St David’s Day. Instead I’ll just wish you ‘Dydd Gwŷl Dewi Sant hapus’.
The Met Office have said it’s been the sunniest winter on record (but not in Manchester clearly – we are one of the grey areas on the Met Office maps) – News release. It just goes to show how much I know, as I thought last winter 2013/14 was cold and wet and that it had been milder this winter.
I’d love to have a meteorological station in the garden, but I’d need it to email me the results as I’d forget to take the measurements every day. I grew up in a town where people knew a lot about the weather so I’ve always been fascinated by this topic.
P.S. Don’t worry Yoda is still around… he’s been at the bottom of the garden at the moment. He makes me smile everytime I see him. I’ll write about Yoda and my other garden ornaments another time.
P.P.S. I gave in and bought a pot of tête a tête daffodils from a supermarket – A A Milne would approve.
Have you got daffodils flowering yet? or do you have different flowers to signal Spring where you live?
I said in my previous post, Spring makes me think of change and new or different things to do. One thing I decided to do this year was some sewing projects. I can sew; I did plenty as a child and teenager, it was just one of those things you learnt to do in the 1970s. My mum made clothes and knitted jumpers for us. She taught me to do a lot of different crafts. I wasn’t any good with a sewing machine – I remember the look of disappointment on my teacher’s face in 1st year of senior school when I made a right mess of a simple blouse pattern. I can knit and crochet too but not done any for over 35 years and I can’t see me starting again.
But, I’ve not done anything except buttons and hems in over 20 years. I decided to have a go at small projects so I didn’t have stuff hanging around making me feel guilty that I’d not finished it. I’m pretty sure the last major project was a cross stitch lighthouse picture – in 1989ish. It’s probably lurking somewhere at my mum’s house.
How to make lavender filled cotton hearts
A pal at work was making lavender ‘bags’ sell for Red Nose Day so I asked if I could make one or two. Here’s some my pal has made – aren’t they great. Lovely material too.
Lavender bags – my pal made these
I made this lionheart lavender bag – Feb 2015
1 heart cookie cutter – 10cm long or more
Cotton material – anything you like really or one side could be felt.
A length of ribbon – I have a ready supply of ribbon
Thread and needle
Cut two pieces of material pin inside out and hem carefully 5mm in from edge. Start sewing from left side. Double over a piece of ribbon so that loop is inside the material and ends sticking out. This is because it’s turned inside out before you stuff it. Sew all the way round leaving a 3cm gap. Turn inside out with pencil. Then stuff with kapok – make sure you fill in all the edges and it feels solid. Spoon in a couple of tablespoons of lavender. Manipulate it a bit to make sure it’s not lumpy. Carefully sew up the gap you’ve just pushed kapok and lavender through and you’re done.
And hang up on a door knob or in the wardrobe (or sell it for charity?). I think I’ll make some more…
This took about 45mins to make – though there were lots of us chattering away.
More about lavender
I’ve always loved lavender – the plant and its scent – it’s supposed to be old fashioned but I prefer to think of it as timeless. The scent also helps you sleep too; I have a lavender oil spray as I have a problem with insomnia. Traditionally, it symbolises devotion and was often included in bridal bouquets especially in the 19th century. There are lots of different kinds of lavender but you usually find French and English Lavender in garden centres. French has fat looking flowers and English tends to have thinner flowers.
Two summers ago, I planted English lavender along the edge of my front garden which gets full sun all day. The plants have thrived and it’s surprising how much scent comes off the silver/grey foliage throughout the year. It flowers from June/July through to late August depending on how sunny it’s been. I love coming home and smelling the scent and seeing the flowers – purple is my favourite colour after all.
I’ll take some photos this summer I promise. I think I’ll also write more about lavender another time too – lavender biscuits anyone?
I really must have a go at drying lavender this year – it looks easy.
This week in the garden
A couple of the tête-à-tête mini daffodils flowered in the garden yesterday (21 Feb 2015) – they look lovely and are definitely a sign that spring is on the way. We’ve also got a fair few in a couple of pots which should flower soon. I know we planted a lot of these bulbs around the garden last autumn as I’d never had mini daffs before and I liked the look of them. Not many are showing signs of growing let alone flowering – they might have rotted or the squirrels got them will have to wait and see – oh well.
Tips from an amateur gardener
lavender likes full sun and doesn’t mind drought/lack of water.
bees absolutely love the flowers -so please do your bit for the bees and plant some.
it loves gritty, poor quality soil but it needs to be free draining – so no compost.
it will grow in pots but be careful where you put it especially in the winter. It’s hardy but I’ve had plants in pots die over the winter when it’s been below freezing for a few weeks.
trim scraggy looking parts in the autumn after it’s flowered.
If you want more information – have a look on Royal Horticultural Society website – lavender – they’re the experts.