Happy Ramblings

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Flowers in my garden today - Lots of smiles

I took a lovely long stroll in the garden with my camera this afternoon to see how my flowers are doing. It was surprising at how many flowers are blooming at the moment. The plants flowering today are dotted around here and there, along the drive and around the house, not en masse. My photography encouraged me to walk far and to look close.

The scent from the roses was delicious. I took my time breathing in deep breaths to take in the different floral smells as they wafted by. Then I became aware of the gentle buzzing of the bees as they hurried from one flower to the next, busily gathering their pollen. It was blissful, despite the wind and the grey clouds heavy with rain to come.

The flowers in the top collage of photos that I took are:
- yellow daylilies, Chinese forget-me-nots, soldier poppies
- lavatera, cotoneaster, pink carpet rose
- red bottle brush, nasturtioms, white and purple echiums

I don't mind the rain, we desperately need it, especially for my wildflower garden. I was hoping that by going out with my camera it would encourage the rain to fall, just like hanging out the washing does! Instead it remained dry, but the light was great for taking photos. It hopefully may rain tonight.

The flowers in the bottom collage of photos that I took are:
- sycamore helicopters, light pink carpet rose, white Wedding Bells carpet rose
- dark pink carpet rose, Californian poppy, feverfew
- white ivy-leaf pelargonium, lavender and erigeron

This morning I read a lovely book called "The Art of Hygge" by Johnny Jackson and Elias Larsen. It is about "how to bring Danish cosiness into your life." The word Hygge is Danish and encompasses feeling cosy, comfortable and at peace with the world. What a great way to live. Most of the ideas in the book are for the colder months, but I think they can be adapted and enjoyed all year round. I felt hyggelig during and after my walk in the garden :) I would like to think of some more Hygge things for the summer months.

I hope that your week will be full of Hygge :)

See you again soon.


Rose x

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Photos from my South Island trip - New Zealand

A cloudy glimpse of Mitre Peak. The water from the little stream here is so pure that people were filling their drinking bottles with it.

A stop on the way to the Mirror Lakes.

The Mirror Lakes. There was a slight breeze rippling the water when I was there, so I couldn't capture the mirroring effect of the mountains on the water very well.

A waterfall on the way to Milford Sound.

Queueing for a cruise on Milford Sound.

A colony of baby seals.

A peak at Mitre Peak. Then back to Queenstown.

A panoramic view of Lake Wakatipu from the Skyline Restaurant in Queenstown.

View from the Skyline restaurant down to the gondolas, Queenstown and the Remarkables mountain range.

The gondalas are the only way up to the restaurant unless you want to climb! You can get down by mountain bike, luge or gondola. I chose the gondola ride there and back. It was terrific.

Now back down to earth from great memories.

See you again soon.


Rose x

Friday, November 11, 2016

My vegetable garden has gone wild

After spending so much time establishing wildflower beds, my vegetable garden has turned into a wilderness. My parsley and coriander have bolted ready to set seed. And my herbs have been taken over by buttercups. How did that happen?

The perimeter of the vegetable patch is full of wildflowers, including lavetera (mallow), Californian poppies and Chinese forget-me-nots.

The mallow has taken over the fence where I grew runner beans last year. It is so pretty that I don't have the heart to remove it.

The only veggies left in this area are fennel and artichokes. The rest is full of weeds including feverfew, nasturtiums, echium (viper's bugloss) and buttercups. I like the feverfew, nasturtiums and echiums, so I will let them stay.

The soil has dried out a bit now to allow weeding and digging over, so that is my next task. Dad is great, he will be helping me with this. Then I can sow my vegetable seeds for this year. All the seed that I ordered has arrived. Now I need to plan where to grow everything.

That's me finished for the day. I am going to snuggle into a comfortable chair, read my book, which is due to be returned to the library on Monday, and have a cup of hot chocolate.

Bye for now.

Love Rose x

A new garden bench seat - very happy

Here is a photo of my new garden bench seat as promised. It came in kit form, so dad put it together for me. I am so happy with it. I can sit out in the garden again with my cats and enjoy the view. This is my favourite place to sit under the trees. Sometimes I read here and take a picnic.

The ixias in the wildflower bed, that I see from my garden seat, have finished flowering now and have been succeeded by wild oxeye daisies. The daisies planted themselves very generously here. They are lovely to look at. There are lots more coming up in the field too.

When my new wildflower bed is in flower I may move my garden seat over to that area. There is a tree near there where I could put it. My fingers are still crossed that the wildflowers will be flowering by Christmas.

The rain that the weather forecast promised hasn't arrived yet, but the clouds are heavy and grey this afternoon. Hopefully it will rain tonight on my newly sown seeds.

See you again soon.


Rose x

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Another wildflower bed in the making

For the past week I have been busy preparing another wild flower bed. This new one is 200 metres squared (4 metres wide by 50 metres long). We marked out the area in the paddock first and then dad mowed it with his ride on mower. We then paid a contractor to rotavate the area by tractor. The area was too big to tackle by hand.

There was a delay in sowing the wild flower seed due to rain and high winds for a few days. The rain was much needed though to settle the soil down. When the rain stopped I divided the wildflower patch into eighths with markers. Then I used 780 grams of wildflower seed in total mixing 98 g of seed at a time with 2 L of fine pumice stone in 8 batches. I then sowed the seed by hand.

This morning I finished sowing the wildflower seed, yaaaay! It was a fun job to do, if a little bit back breaking. I felt like a farmer of olden days sowing a crop by hand. It was quite therapeutic.

The birds have found my seed to be irresistible to eat, especially the doves. The blackbirds have been turning over the soil looking for worms. And the rabbits have been digging holes at the edge of the wildflower bed. Sighs. Luckily I sowed the seed densely. Dad and I covered the seed finely using eight 40 L bags of compost, so hopefully this will slow the birds down.

Now it is a matter of keeping my fingers and toes crossed that the seeds will germinate. We are expecting light rain over the next few days, so that will help. Because the area is so big we aren't able to water it ourselves, so it is up to nature to do its thing.

It is exciting waiting for the flowers to pop up. The seed was a mixture of 30 different types of flowers which were un-named on the packets. I recognised poppies, cornflowers, calendula, French marigold, cosmos and scabious seed. I hope that the flowers will be blooming by Christmas time :)

Time now for a cup of tea and some more colouring in.

I hope that you have a good week.

See you next time.


Rose x

Monday, October 31, 2016

A Day in Johanna Basford's Enchanted Forest

I couldn't think of a better way to spend a rainy Spring day than by absorbing myself in painting in my Enchanted Forest colouring book by Johanna Basford. So I dug out my tin of watercolour paints and my very tiny size 2 sable paint brush and set to work at my desk while the thunder, lightning and hailstones did their own thing outside.

The photos above are snapshots of portions of the pages that I was working (playing) with. And the photo below is of the middle section of the picture.

I just love colouring-in books for adults. The drawings inside are exquisitely detailed and I enjoy losing myself in the pages as I colour them in. There are little things that aren't noticed at first until you look closely and see little creatures hidden amongst the foliage.

Now I am quite happy and relaxed and looking forward to my next session of colouring in.

Two more recently released colouring books arrived in the post last week - I couldn't resist buying them - Johanna Basford's Magical Jungle and Millie Marotta's Wild Savannah. The pictures inside are just as delightful. I have quite a collection of books now to enjoy.

Happy colouring.

Love Rose x

Sunday, October 23, 2016

From 50 Ixia bulbs to thousands of flowers

I started this wild flower area many years ago and planted just 50 ixia bulbs in it. Now the ixia have taken over. It is surprisingly one of the last surviving plants in this spot. It gives a splendid display of thousands of flowers now and takes little, if no, looking after. I let the plants happily seed themselves after flowering and just mow around the edges to keep the garden in check.

This is a view from the ixia bed across to the pond. It is my favourite place to sit in the Spring time. I like to watch the flowers blowing about in the gentle breeze and watch the birds flying overhead from here.

And this is my old garden seat which has now been put into retirement because one of the legs rusted through.

Yesterday we bought a new garden bench seat which dad assembled today. I will have to photograph it to show you, it looks great in its new position. I am very happy with it and so are my cats who like to sit with me.

I am hoping that the flowers will continue putting on their show for a few weeks more.

See you next time.


Rose x