Monday, 14 July 2014

In the garden...

It's been great weather for the garden this past week, hot sunshine and lots of showers. Thursday night the heavens gave the garden an overnight treat as torrential rain bounced down with such force it woke us both up. We were able to lay and hear our new 'deep flow' gutters doing their job very proficiently. By morning the water butt to the back of the greenhouse was two-thirds full!

Found some great plant bargains, the best yet, as had I paid full price they would have cost nearly £46.00 as opposed to the paltry £1.20 I parted with. The attractive collection included 3 Red Robin Photinias, a French Lavender called Encore and two deep red Primulas, all marked down to just 20p. 

All well watered and ready to be planted out.

The new flower garden has been an exercise in stocking the borders as inexpensively as possible. We have moved shrubs, lifted and split perennials from the front garden, taken advantage of all the special offer plug plants free in gardening magazines and scoured the bargain shelves in all the stores. Plus earlier in the year I planted up lots of annuals to help fill in any empty pockets in it's early stages of development. The next challenge is to move a 10 foot Rowan tree. This has set up home - probably from a bird dropping - at the side of our driveway and as we are about to erect a new fence there it has to go. Rather than just chop it down we would far rather make use of it in a large gap we have at one end of the large curved floral border. With the mind set that 'things just want to grow', we will endeavour to move the little Rowan tree to a new and much improved home.

A colour palette of Dahlias, Hebe and Lavender
Bargain Passion Flower - happy to flower in sun or shade

Other garden activity has been accompanied by the sound of sawing, hammering and nailing, all care of Gary and his recent project - building log stores for all our winter fuel. He has cleverly utilized old wooden pallets plus off cuts left over from the new gable ends to construct the first of three stores which will sit on the patio. Now begins the Herculian task of splitting all the logs to fill up the new stores.

The roof is level with the window and will be filled with pot plants

Having recently read an article about superfoods I was inspired to make something including oats. Decided on flapjacks and as we both don't like things too sweet I reduced the sugar drastically but instead added a couple of tablespoons of chopped stem ginger and 50g of dark chocolate. It very nearly turned into a kitchen disaster as the oven temperature started out too high and checking them after just 10 minutes the baking tray was a bubbling mass of oaty lava. Turned the oven down and hoped for the best. What turned out was a chocolate and ginger oat bar which might not win in the looks department but certainly wins on taste.

Chewy, chocolate and ginger oat flapjacks

Back in the Studio another floral print is almost ready to be added into our online shops. It is being mounted for photographing today and will be uploaded this evening, but here is a sneak preview of it drying on the rack

Oxeye Daisy hot off the press

We have another busy week in store. I am pondering over my next floral piece and Gary is working on a very detailed landscape alongside another feline and hound print. We have just taken delivery of some new soft lino and vegetable oil inks so we will be experimenting with these. The ink looks fabulous and will help especially with reduction printing as it has good overprinting qualities. Can't wait to try them but first we need to cut lino plates...

'Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can'
Danny Kaye.


  1. Chocolate and ginger are two of my favorite flavors so I suspect I might have loved the "mistake" more than the original! I love the new print and your garden is fabulous. I do love this season.

    I just wanted to thank you for all your visits to The Marmelade Gypsy. I've been away and with unpredictable internet, unable to visit but hope to catch up here and now. Thanks for your lovely comments.

  2. Love the log store, great colour, nice and fresh and a growing surface too!