Friday 25 September 2009

Thank you!

I have been so touched by all the messages of support. While writing this blog over the past months I’ve so enjoyed all the comments and would like you all to know how much they have meant to me. The trouble I have now won’t be cleared up quickly but it is made better by the knowledge that I have friends out there. And I was so thrilled to see that I have been nominated for an award. This was quite unexpected! Thank you all so much.

I have been cheered in these sad times by the beautiful moth orchid which lives on my kitchen windowsill. I have had it for eighteen months and suddenly it has produced a new shoot and is in bloom for the second time. Such joy!


Wednesday 23 September 2009

Hard Times Ahead!

I’m sorry I haven’t been blogging lately but I’ve been having some personal problems which have knocked me for six. As soon as I get them sorted I will be back!

Wednesday 16 September 2009

Fabric pictures from Dyeing in the Garden plus - Drying Herbs!

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These are just a few. I was going for fabrics that I could use in appliqué, especially greens and flowery effects!

How to Dry Herbs

If you don’t know what to do with your herbs now that autumn is here then why not dry them to use over the winter. They can be used in cooking or to make herbal teas.

The best time to cut the herbs is in the early morning when the sun (ha! ha!) has dried off the dew!  Make sure that the leaves are clean. Rinse in cool water if necessary and then pat dry. Remove any dead or discoloured leaves. Then tie into bunches and tie the ends together with string. Sometimes I use a rubber band to make life simple! Then hang the bunches upside down in a cool dark place, which is dust free and well ventilated. An attic or airing cupboard is good. After two to three weeks the herbs will have become dry and brittle. Strip the leaves from the stem and lightly crush. Then store in small glass jars with closely fitting lids. Plastic bags can be used but I prefer glass jars. Leaves can be left whole, especially leaves such as bay.  And I have to say that failing an attic or a large enough airing cupboard I have hung the herbs on the curtain rail in the kitchen and they have been fine.

Dry seeds by putting the seed heads into a brown paper bag – well a paper bag, and leaving until the seeds fall off the seed heads. Then collect and store in small glass jars. Coriander, fennel and caraway spring to mind immediately as herbs that seed well.



Sunday 13 September 2009

The End of Summer!

The sun was shining but the beach was deserted. The beach huts shut up and the visitors gone home.DSCF0044 Such a sad sight! But look at that immaculate garden behind the beach hut. So tidy and organised.DSCF0041 A complete contrast to my own patch.

So when I went home I started to clear and tidy. I pulled up all the wilted and finished borage and put it in the compost bin along with the contents of numerous tubs and pots. I also pulled up some of the remaining courgettes and put those into a blue bag for the collection on Thursday. I didn’t think the mildewed leaves would do the compost a lot of good. I also chopped and pruned various shrubs and plants around the garden so that the soil could breathe before I dug it over. And what did I find? I found slugs and snails. DSCF0003 It seemed like hundreds of them. And not small one’s either but giant slugs just waiting to lay waste the remaining greenery and the few small courgettes still to be picked. Ugh!  I loathe slugs. Slugs and bindweed! The banes of my life. Martin put down some bird friendly slug pellets and it was like the killing fields DSCF0007 with dead and dyeing slugs everywhere. And yet still they appear. They must have a death wish! 

Saturday 12 September 2009

Dyeing in the Garden!

Today was lovely and sunny again. Did I go in the garden and do some weeding? No! Did I go in the garden and start tidying up ready for the winter? No! Did I pick the last few courgettes and the remaining green unblighted tomatoes? No! So what did I do? I did some dyeing!

Since we have had a wooden floor laid down in our kitchen Martin has been very against me doing any major dyeing. No laying out the acrylic boards and dyeing 60 inch lengths of fabric on the kitchen table. No I am restricted to working around the sink. Which is fine but a bit hampering when I want to do larger pieces. So I took it all into the garden and had fun. Here are some views of what I did!






Tomorrow I will press them and see what I have got. Some lovely stripey pieces I hope!

Thursday 10 September 2009

Berry Nice!

My car is in the garage so I had to walk to work today. A tedious walk along a fairly busy road but with an amazing lot to see! 

DSCF0598DSCF0597DSCF0591 There were small newly formed pine cones peeping over the fence of someone’s garden. And in the verge thistles waiting to shed their seeds everywhere.

DSCF0592 Berries galore and of so many different varieties. These were on ornamental trees planted in the verge and were most attractive. Could they be rowans?

DSCF0594 I couldn’t resist taking a picture of these lovely roses looking over the fence. They had the most delicious scent!

DSCF0596 These white blossoms were in profusion along someone’s fence and looked lovely.


DSCF0603 Holly berries on the variegate holly. Still working up to being red!

DSCF0606 Draceana blossom which is so common around Falmouth at the moment. It has a slight honey like scent and is very attractive to bees.

DSCF0610 Even more berries of a different kind but I have no idea what they are.

DSCF0612 Lovely hydrangea blossoms turning colour. These grow most profusely along the road.

DSCF0614 A lone apple! Whether it was a bad crop or one that didn’t get picked I don’t know. But it looked very edible!

DSCF0616 Very attractive berries growing against a wall. Again this was a very large bush with lots of berries.

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Views of the countryside on the other side of the road looking across to Maenporth. The cows seem delighted to have some sun!

More berries! These seemed to be extremely juicy and were a bit like yew berries but in clusters.


DSCF0625 I know the name of this berried bush but can’t spell it! And as I don’t want you to laugh at me I’m not going to try!

DSCF0627 I have pink Japanese anemones but I have always wanted white ones as I like them better. They look good against the deep purple of the bush.

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Lots of rose hips with blackberries and late blooming honeysuckle in amongst them. There were lots and lots and I was very tempted to pick some for rose hip syrup!

This is a view of the allotments on the other side of the road. They have only been going since the spring and yet look as if they’ve been there for ever!


DSCF0644 These berries were most attractive. Earlier in the year the bushes were a profusion of small white flowers.

DSCF0646 I just liked this pot with it’s blue flowers and just had to have a picture. If only mine were as good!

Russion Vine which is a terrible plant for climbing over things to the exclusion of everything else. It looks lovely but is really destructive if not kept in check.


This is tree in our close which is covered in cherries at this time of the year. Unfortunately they are ornamental and not good for eating. Even the birds seem to leave them alone!


And last but not least the lovely changing colours on the tree opposite our house. This tree is a picture in the spring with pink blossom and then in the autumn runs the gamut from green through yellow to red in the leaves. If you are still with me after all this then you might like to know that the walk home takes twenty minutes but longer when taking pictures!


Wednesday 9 September 2009

Fennel Seeds

Of all the herbs I grew this year fennel was one of the most successful. DSCF0016 It was covered with blossom which in turn became seed heads. I wanted to harvest the seeds as fennel seeds are so useful in cooking. However the spider’s had other thoughts. They wove their webs into the flower heads and set up their larders. DSCF0022 I have tried to show this by taking photographs but the light wasn’t good and the pictures arn’t clear. But here is one which I think shows what I’m talking about. DSCF0014 Not to be deterred I picked those heads that hadn’t been despoiled and put them in a paper bag to dry and drop their seeds. DSCF0020 I’m hoping that I shall have a fair number.  I went out and bought dinky little pots to put seeds in and hope I won’t be disappointed.DSCF0001 I managed to collect some from the coriander but not in any great quantity. The kitchen now smells of liquorice from the fennel.

Sunday 6 September 2009

A Walk to the Beach

Today the sun shone, the lawns were mown and I walked to the beach. It only takes 7 minutes to walk down the hill to Swanpool.DSCF0069 DSCF0038 The sun on the water was lovely and the sea was like a mill pond. DSCF0037 It is definitely autumn with seeds and berries everywhere and the leaves with their autumn colours. I was amazed at how many flowers were still showing their face. I found periwinkle,DSCF0035 self sown sweet peas,DSCF0028 vetch, DSCF0024 Monbretia which always shrieks Cornwall to me,DSCF0078 ragwort which the Victorians introduced to this country and is so poisonous to cattle, DSCF0061 and also some campion DSCF0021 still blooming. DSCF0032 There were blackberries galore but too high up in the hedge to pick more’s the pity!

I love the ferns that grow at the side of the road in profusion. DSCF0036 I am never able to work out the difference between a fern and bracken though the slipper ferns are obvious. DSCF0040

The going back was harder as it is quite a steep hill but I stopped and spoke to the ponies and caught glimpses of the poolDSCF0044 which gives Swanpool it’s name. It is now part of a nature reserve and there are still swans as well as many other water birds.

Some of the trees had lovely red leaves DSCF0070 and there were oak galls and acorns on the oaks plus hawthorne DSCF0063 berries in profusion. DSCF0079 DSCF0077 Columbine was everywhere! The ivy was full of flowers DSCF0057 which were attracting the wasps and the lacy cascades of Old Man’s Beard was over everything.DSCF0072

All in all a lovely walk, although it was longer on the way back,DSCF0041   and lots to look at and remind me of why I love Autumn!