Friday, 16 January 2015

Signs Of Spring

Well, it's a glorious spring morning here- bright sunshine, blue skies, sharp air and birdsong. 

The Great Tits have been singing Spring in for the last fortnight, all dressed up in their ebony-striped finery, and now all the others seem to have decided to add their voices to the symphony too. The Thrushes sing their fluting, repetitive melodies high up in the trees at dawn and dusk, the little Coal Tit who has just appeared on the feeders outside the door has been issuing sharp calls to let me know he is there and our Robin spends much of his day perched up high in the apple tree puffing out his chest and singing for all who will listen.

Buds are appearing in the garden, with the Camellia looking set to have her best year yet, probably largely thanks to us liberating her from the strangle-hold of surrounding overgrown, ancient and decrepit shrubs...



The Pulmonaria is flowering...


As is the Daphne (wish I could blog you the smell, it is heavenly and washes over us whenever we walk past it on our way out or back to the front door)...

 

There are daisies in the lawn....

 
Hellebores about to burst into flower any second....

 
And the Witch Hazel M bought me last year is also in glorious orange and red flower. Aren't they amazing blooms?



I think I've been sub-consciously responding to all this potential for colour by buying lots of new fabric. My in laws gave me some money for Christmas. I considered putting it in the bank then decided to spend it on material instead for my stock pile (and let's face it, you can never have enough material :o) ). Ma and I spent a lovely hour yesterday morning in Salisbury at Fabric Land where the prices are reasonable and they carry a huge amount of stock. We both came home with some lovely bits and bobs and a new pair of needlecraft scissors each, which are so sharp they make working with them a breeze. I made a shopping bag with some of mine last night and tried out some of the other stitch settings Phyllis has. I even lined it :o)

 

And then this morning I popped over to Winch to C&H Fabrics and got some more pieces, which I brought home in the new bag :o) 

Every time I go fabric shopping I end up having lovely conversations with people I meet in the shop. This morning it was a young mum who was buying material to make some dresses for her baby. We had a lovely natter about fabric and quilts and handmade things in general. She has made clothes for all three of her kids and I was very in awe of her! Last time I met a lady who told me her friend made quilts for her children as leaving home presents, creating them out of fabrics that held special memories for them, like old items of clothing or blankets. I thought that was such a lovely idea and now rather regret having given all L's old baby and small clothes away.

Here's the pile I returned with...


 



I also splurged on ebay last night and so am now waiting for a huge parcel to arrive :o) I can't tell you how excited I am! I think that'll probably be it for a while as I've now bled the coffers dry and have got a number of projects to work with. 

L's quilt is almost done (should be finished tomorrow) and then I'm going to make one for J for when she goes to uni this Sept. I will also make one for F so he doesn't feel left out and M has asked for a summer quilt so that's on the list too. Then I need to make a peg bag and some more shopping bags, so there is plenty to do. I am really enjoying it.

In between all of that there is course work, lectures, voluntary work, committee work, practicals at college, reading to catch up on and keep abreast of, work in my practice, plus all the usual home stuff and cooking, cleaning etc. I also have ideas for a new book starting to form in my head. I haven't written a proper long story for a couple of years now and am starting to feel one growing again, along with the need to write something more than essays and blog pieces, so at some point I will need to put some time aside for that. Perhaps at the start of the summer before L breaks up. Never a dull moment, eh? :o)

I'll leave you with a pic of Miss Poppy, who soon sniffed out the 5 brace of pheasant my father in law has delivered while I was out and left in the shed. She was delighted to find a feather and shot off into the garden to chew it on the wall just in case I tried to take it away from her :o)



And here's one of Poppet, my little one-legged Dunnock friend, who tells me she quite approves of the new bird seed layout arrangement because she can hop from the fence to where the feeders are and back with minimal inconvenience, as it's next door to the rough area of ground we have left wild for inverts which is where she spends much of her time. You wouldn't believe how close to me she comes. I think it probably has something to do with her poorly leg. She has learnt to assess danger more thoughtfully than her fellow Dunnocks and so as a result she doesn't waste energy by flying off every time something startles her. I've watched her duck and wait as large birds fly over the garden while all the other Dunnocks scarper. She's been around for the last 3-4 years, is a dear little soul and I love her to bits.


Wishing you all a good day. Very nearly the weekend, hooray!

CT :o) 




















 



 

34 comments:

  1. Well CT your garden seems far more advanced than mine, then again I only started on it last year so a lot of stuff was either moved, pruned, removed and new stuff added including about 250 bulbs which I'm hoping will bring a riot of color to my small back yard....we'll see. Love the pic of the Dunnock...I have one taken up residence in the recently installed log pile...the idea to attract invertebrates such as ground beetles but the Dunnock is a lovely and busy bonus.

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    1. I'm sure yours will be glorious once the weather warms up. I think we may get Spring sooner here on the south coast than you do in Wales. I have a soft spot for Dunnocks because of Poppet :o)

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  2. I believe that the technical term for what you have there is a stash!! A very nice and incredibly yummy stash in fact!! Such wonderfulness. I am sure that I am supposed to be looking at the flowers and birds, but no, I spent more time with the fabrics! Oh, and Pops too of course! xx

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    1. A Stash! Yes indeed :o) I had SO much fun choosing it all. Now just got to work out what to make :o) M is already asking why I need all this fabric. I think I convinced him that you need a critical mass before you can make things, because different types of fabric don't always work together, so you need a lot to choose from :o) (sound familiar?). xx

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    2. I've convinced myself in a similar manner, but about stone!

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    3. That sounds eminently sensible to me, Jennifer :o)

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  3. Wonderful set of winter blooms CT. A Daphne is notable for its absence in my garden and is something I must rectify, especially for that fragrance.

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    1. You would not regret getting one. We have two, one either side of the path and the smell is quite amazing. They bloom for at least a couple of months and in March time they are alive with bees.

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  4. My dad gave me a Daphne plant, every year when I smell the beautiful flowers I think of him. It really is a gorgeous scent.

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  5. No obiviouse sings in my garden, although some bulbs are coming through, still haven't cleaned up from last year !
    Your " stash " of fabric is lovely, I spend to much on fabric and wool, some I like to have even though I might not use it :)
    Amanda xx

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    1. Warmer here on the South Coast I guess.

      I'm so glad you said that about fabric and wool (I'd also add cotton thread), because that's exactly how I feel. I love looking at the colours and patterns and enjoy them for their own sake. It's a nice warm feeling seeing them all stacked up in the fabric box. My Great Great Grandfather was a clothier in Hawick and I have wondered recently whether this love of fabric comes from him. xx

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  6. Not a peep in our garden CT. Still very depressing and still a few patches of snow! My favourite fabrics are the big stars and those little sprigs on the dark blue. Gorgeous. HOW ON EARTH DO YOU GET EVERYTHING DONE????? You make me feel totally inadequate! Have a great weekend and I'm about to reply to your last email.....xx

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    1. You're higher up than we are, I guess that keeps temps lower? And you most certainly should not feel inadequate! I know how much you do with your days- caring for the family, trigger, your mum, your drawings, painting, photographs etc etc. We're all superwomen I reckon :o) xx

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  7. It's lovely seeing the signs of spring in your garden. It reminds me of all the lovely plants I left behind in my last garden! Sarah x

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    1. Ah but just think what you'll be able to do with the new one, like having a blank canvas. Knowing you it will look beautiful come summer xx

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  8. I've done so many oohs, and aahs, nods and smiles whilst reading this, the Witch Hazel looks amazing, how sweet of Miss P - I love that naughty dash and furtive fast chewing, there'd be a bit of a wag of tail too I suspect - and clever Dunnock, no surprise that you are so fond of her.

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    1. A permanently waggy tail :o) And a very naughty look in her eye too!

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  9. Your little Dunnock is so sweet. I had a Magpie with a sticky out wing and a very wobbly walk that was my favorite garden visitor for a few seasons, haven't seen him now since the summer. Hope he is ok where ever he is.

    Jean
    x

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    1. It is so easy to get attached to the creatures that regularly frequent your garden isn't it? You become friends in many ways. x

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  10. I also wish we could smell your Daphne.Love your little 1 legged Dunnock and all those fabrics are fabulous. Have a lovely weekend.

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    1. I look forward to this time of year for the smell of the Daphne. Everyone who comes here comments on it. I think they are fantastic plants. Have a lovely weekend yourself :o)

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  11. What a cheerful post with those colour splash photos :-) I'm the same with wool as you are with material! Infact, I want to own my own wool shop just so I can stroke and look at all the shades of coloured wool!! I'm not even joking!!

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    1. I'm a woolaholic too! Have bags and bags sitting upstairs at the mo and a sofa blanket made of different colour squares (all heathery shades of flecked greens, purples, blues, browns and creams) on the go. If you get a wool shop I will be the customer sitting in the corner staring avidly at them all! xx

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  12. Oh yes my dear, you can never ever have too much fabric. Or wool, seeds, plants & in fact gin! What a fabulous stash you are building. I've splurged too this month a few sneaky purchases whilst Mike has been in work. I got caught out when Mike came home Wednesday afternoon sick & told me he was taking the rest of the week off. No prizes for guessing who took delivery of a rather large box from Emma Bridgewater! Isn't Ebay fab! I am currently waiting to win on a brooch & some wool. I do so hope Mike is back in work next week. xx

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    1. Or wine and chocolate either :o) I see we are of like mind :o) M has seen my recent purchases, but not the enormous pile due to arrive from ebay any day! I used to get into trouble with Emma B too, until I discovered the seconds. Tell Mike he needs to go back to work immediately (well, perhaps give him the weekend at home) xx

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  13. My Camellia never flowers. Are there male camellia's? Great photos yet again!

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    1. Hi Dave. I found these two links which might explain it: http://www.harrodhorticultural.com/non-flowering-camellia-pgid1250.html
      https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=771

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  14. The witch hazel is just beautiful - I really would love one of those here and also a Daphne. Our camelia has quite a few buds too - one of the few signs of Spring here.

    Love all the fabric - such beautiful patterns. It almost(!) makes me want to sew!! :)

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    1. I am so pleased with the witch hazel, have wanted one for years. Lovely to see it flowering happily. Ah ha! I will inveigle you into sewing yet :o) How is the blanket coming on? x

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  15. I really don't know how you find the time for all the things that you do. I've come to the conclusion that you never sleep! Nice to see your flowers - my purple hellebore is already flowering, but no sign of life yet from the pulmonaria. Snowdrops in fat bud. But just those few are nice to see in mid Jan. :-) xx

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    1. I just do things quickly :o) Buds in Jan are cheerful little souls aren't they? And so very welcome xx

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  16. The Witch Hazel is one of my favourites but I've never had one. I saw a great specimen just down the road so know they would grow well here...expensive but so worth it. Love all your fabrics-I have a bag full too, but will wait until we are settled to decide what to do with them.

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    1. I was so pleased (and lucky) to get one. They are lovely trees. Would love to see your fabric once you're settled :o)

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x