Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Reasons to love Spring

Reason Number One:
The walk to our town centre is made much brighter by the endless blossom trees en route - pinks, whites, creams... against the bright blue sky they provide photo opportunities that could be straight out of the Country Living calendar!

Reason Number Two:

Life in the undergrowth - once Spring has arrived you can find lovely little things in the most unlikely places. We walk through an old subway to get to the shops, which is surrounded by trees and bushy banks - one solitary bluebell has decided to make it's home here, along with a ladybird who was sunning itself on a leaf!

Reason Number Three:
Sowing and growing - it's always easier to get up in the morning during the Spring when it's light and sunny (even when you've been ripped from sleep by a toddler who's excited to start his day!), and even more so when you've got plants and seedlings to investigate.
My beans are doing so well that the first batch have now been planted out on the balcony, and the front of the house is starting to look more the way I want it to every day. (My neighbour also likes growing things, so she's fine having to battle her way past the foliage - but I'm waiting nervously to see whether anyone else complains...)

I'm so looking forward to the geraniums blooming, and the lavender flowering - I'm going to have a go at making dried lavender bags this year, it's one of those things I've always wanted to do, but never got round to. The corn and courgettes are also doing rather well, although aren't quite ready to move to a new outdoor home just yet - when they are, I'm going to mix them in with the beans in 'three sisters' planting style. Apparently they'll help each other out - and being a new gardener with only a mediocre amount of space, I need all the help I can get!

Inside, meanwhile, my potatoes are chitting away happily, and I've planted a clove of garlic which I also accidentally 'chitted' - it's recommended that you use garden centre garlic to grow your own, though, as shop bought edible garlic isn't very good at growing, but we'll see...

Friday, 23 April 2010

Growth Spurt

Being my first year of properly attempting to grow things (previous flats with no balcony and no garden equaled a distinct lack of green-fingered action), I decided to really go for it with supersized propagators and a bulk buy of flowerpots. The results? Nine tomato plants, six cucumbers, five runner bean plants, seven corn-on-the-cobs and one courgette plant.

Baring in mind that I only have a balcony which already houses lavender, salad leaves, geraniums and busy lizzies, I'm at a bit of a loss as to where they're all going to go! I know I'm going to have to choose the strongest looking ones and thin out my crops, but I'll still have a rather abundant amount of plants to find homes for! I'm looking forward to all the flowers coming into bloom so I can finally post pictures of the balcony - it's starting to look just how I wanted it. Even though, if I'm honest, I'd much rather have a lovely Alys Fowler style terrace garden!

In other news, I work around the corner from Whittard, and tend to pop in every week, just to have a little look around and to see what lovely bits and pieces they have on sale. This week, I was in luck - a stripey milk jug, extra large heart-print mug, gorgeous teapot and beautiful ceramic coasters, all for a teeny tiny £16! The milk jug is already earning it's place in our home by being a wonderfully useful place to display my beloved carnations....

Monday, 12 April 2010

Spring has sprung!

I've got some lovely new things that I've been just desperate to share, even though I'm not convinced I actually have any readers yet!

First of all, I was lucky enough to receive some beeeyoootiful flowers for Easter from my other half and the little man, and they've lasted a wonderfully long time. A week now, and they're still going - there's a lot to be said for supermarket flowers!

Secondly, I've been lucky enough to get some lovely new Spring clothes and accessories to wear in the dazzling sunshine (fingers crossed it's here to stay!). My new floral coat...

...my pretty print dress....

...and my new spotty cotton shopper...

The thing I love most about Spring is the sense of freshness and all things new (not only clothes!), which means a vast array of photo opportunities, like this gorgeous tree just brimming with new blossoms and buds (how's that for some alliteration?!)

My kitchen is looking rather like a greenhouse - our lack of garden means that I have to sow everything inside in propagators and then transport them outside to larger pots once they're established. So far, the salad leaves, cucumbers and tomatoes are looking rather good, and the geraniums are well underway, and threatening to take over totally...

I'm also excited about all my new projects I'm starting to prepare for (after stockpiling the equipment a rather long time ago!) - from fabrics and wool to decoupage and paint, there's a bit of fun in every medium!

Friday, 9 April 2010

Here we are, then!

I've been blogging for a while now, and Carnations and Crochet will be my third active site that I'll be (hopefully!) regularly updating. While I am, and probably always will be, a lover of all things fashion related, I felt that my craft and home-making required its very own space to show itself off. My Boy has an entire blog dedicated to him here, and all my clothes related musings will be sitting tidily over here, which left my main hobbies without a proper place to live - and so Carnations and Crochet has been born.