Back in August I took some geranium cuttings for next year. I usually take about twelve with one or two spares and I try to pick cuttings from the different colours so that I get a continuity. I currently have red, white, pink and peach. I am always on the look-out for that elusive blue, which hasn’t been invented yet (as far as I know).
The cuttings stayed outside until last week when I brought them in to keep them safe against the risk of frost damage. I put them on a window ledge. This one faces west, which is ideal because they get the evening sun but not all day sun. They all have well established roots now and every one has started flowering. You can see in the picture how they like to grow towards the sun. Each and every one is leaning towards the light and the sun.
So my babies are indoors now. I will water them once or twice a week until April when they will go back into the borders and make a colourful show. Yes, I could go and buy plug plants from the garden centre, but this way is just so much more fun!
The next stage is for me to bring in the medium sized plants, which were the babies last year. We have been promised frost! soon so I need to get on with it.
I am a big fan of Tone Finnanger who designs the most delightful things. I just bought two of her books, which I can show you another time. These garden angels are from a previous book, ‘Crafting Tilda’s Friends’.
If I was a little girl, I would love to play with these little farmers and there would be endless possibilities. As it is I am a big (old) girl but I still like to play.
A few days ago Larry, Jim and I went to visit the Tiggywinkles Wild Animal Hospital near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. That’s about 18 miles west of where we live. The hospital is set in the countryside and cares for wild animals who have been injured in some way. A lot are injured on the roads but there are also lots of natural casualties. The ultimate aim of the hospital is to release the animals back into the wild, but this is not always possible, sadly. If they cannot be released, then they will spend the rest of their natural lives in the beautiful grounds of the hospital. The first picture is of a Red Kite bird of prey (red tailed hawk if you are American!). Larry has helped me out with a lot of these sorts of words and descriptions being American himself. I also learnt a lot while I was living over there. It was quite sad to see how many of these beautiful birds were remaining in captivity but at least they are safe and they have a very large area to fly around in. They look wonderful as you can see from the picture.
Caring for wild animals is quite unlike caring for domestic creatures and requires a lot of skill. Tiggywinkles is a charity which relies on donations and benefactors and is always pleased to receive a gift.
Quite a few of the animals are nocturnal so we didn’t see all of them, e.g. the badgers and foxes but they are there just curled up in their burrows and forms etc. If we went back at night I’m sure we would be aware of a lot more, although I doubt if we would see much!
Interestingly there were lots of gulls that couldn’t fly and three legged deer and others.
In the beginning, Tiggywinkles was set up to care for injured hedgehogs. Hedgehogs used to be very common in England, but over the last thirty years their numbers have reduced so much that now it is a delight to see one let alone have them living happily in the garden. Here at the cottage we used to have lots of them but for the last few years we have had none. Here is a video showing baby hedgehogs. I’m sure you’ll agree that they are just delightful.
Tiggywinkles was named after a Beatrix Potter character called Mrs. Tiggywinkles. Here is a video of her if you are unfamiliar:
Well it’s nearly Sunday again and Sunday is gardening day here in the cottage. Today we had some much welcomed rain. In fact we had today half the total rainfall for the whole of September. Amazing!
The picture above shows the fifth dog blanket I am making for Battersea Dogs’ Home. This one is going to be in different shades of blue and is made in an ever popular blanket stitch. The home likes this because the dogs can’t get their paws caught up in it.
My new quilt is finished and now on my bed, ready for the cold nights ahead, which we have been promised!
Lucky me! Larry is making me a tabard on his weaving loom. Here is the pattern from the weaving book…
and here it is in the making…
I can’t wait to see how it comes out.
On my spinning wheel is some of the white Polworth fleece and I’m already making a jerkin with some of it, see below. Millie likes it because it is so warm so she is usually to be found curled up underneath while I’m knitting.
So another busy week and tomorrow we’ll be in the garden.
ps there is a little good news about my son. He has found someone to share a flat with, albeit on the sofa! and he is training for a job in customer service with a well known bank. I have hope !
It’s pickle time at the cottage so I’m putting my cares and worries away for a little while to wallow in the smell of salted vegetables and vinegar. Yum!
We always make mustard pickle at this time of the year and I have to add here that this is really Jim’s forte. I am just a helper. The ingredients are mainly, shallot onions, cauliflower, marrow, runner beans, a little flour and mustard and vinegar. We use the ordinary sort of malt vinegar, not the one with spices in it, but that’s just a personal choice.
The vegetables have to be prepared and salted, then left overnight with a tea-towel over the top. This process extracts the excess moisture. In the morning, the vegetables are washed off and put in a large pan to cook. When cooked (imagine delicious smell), they are thickened with a flour paste mixture and then put into prepared jars for Christmas.
Here they are, all ready to give as gifts (just need the labels) and to eat ourselves:
I’ve just recently finished a patchwork quilt for my bed, see above. After working on Larry’s American themed quilt at the beginning of the year,
I was ready for something ‘girlie’ and this is the result. It’s pink, red and flowery!!! Of course since I’ve finished it, the weather has turned warmer so I haven’t actually used it yet but the time is coming.
It was hard to get a picture of the quilt because it is quite big, but in the end what worked best was Larry holding it up for me. You can see his feet at the bottom!
So now I’m (almost) ready for the colder weather.
What about you? have you started squirrelling things away for the winter yet?
Sorry about the quality of the picture. I haven’t mastered my I-phone camera yet!
Larry has been in England over a year now and is still very much enjoying his life here. Here he is barbecuing in the rain. Look how much weight he has lost since he’s been living in England! He is really slim now and looks much better for it. I have been quite strict with him because he admits to eating junk food when he was in America, living on his own. I don’t really know what junk food is. Food is food, right? However, I suppose it is obvious that some foods contain far too much sugar and fat for our health.
Next month we are going to the doctor’s for our annual check-up and it will be interesting to see how Larry’s blood tests come out. For the last few years he has been borderline diabetic and took tablets to readdress that. Here in England, the NHS (National Health Service) does not give preventative treatment for that condition so when L had his blood tests, obviously the results were good because he’d been taking the tablets. However, now he’s had a year without those tablets and only been eating the food I’ve been giving him, I’m keen to find out what the difference will be. Do you take any preventative medicines?
Actually, we have had a lovely summer but over the last week or so it turned cold. Now this week we are going to get a heatwave. Our weather certainly is changeable!
It’s been a very good year for rhubarb in my English garden this year. Above is a picture of some stalks I picked the other day, and was glad to give away because there is only so much rhubarb you can eat as a family!
The leaves were gigantic as well. Here I am holding up two of them. They look like umbrellas, don’t they.
It has also been a very good year for runner beans:
and we have been eating them for a couple of weeks now. They are really a colder weather crop and so long as they get plenty of water, they always seem to do just fine. I prepare them as I was taught when I was small. My mother was very particular about the cutting process and I had to get them just right. The thinner the better. Later on when I got married, I bought a bean slicer, but it never did such a good job. Now I buy a new knife every summer and use it for the first time when the first beans come in from the garden. That way I get the best cut, just so long as it’s not my fingers!!!
We have lots of tomatoes, but they are not ripening very fast. We need more sunshine, please?
Lots of people have been clicking on a post I did last year about propagating geraniums. I’ll tell you how this year’s babies are doing next time.
Tapping at the window and crying through the lock, Are all the children in their beds,
it’s past eight o’clock?
The explanation of the words to Wee Willie Winkie was to teach children to associate every day tasks with their own lives. Before the days of the wireless, television and the Internet great reliance was put upon the Town Crier to pass on the latest news and information. ‘Wee Willie Winkie’ was the children’s version of the Town Crier! The author of the poem was William Miller (1810 – 1872) and the first publication date of the words to Wee Willie Winkie was in 1841.
I stop by in front of a pond,
listening to the humble frogs’ songs.
The melody tells of tales,
as I listen, the whole story unveiled.
There’s a story of a boy and his dream,
frivolous, helpless, and all that he seems.
There’s a story of a boy and his shoes,
the path and the destination he is to choose.
There’s a story of a boy and his book,
poems, stories, and all things you can look.
There’s a story of a boy and his hope,
for the Time’s willing, for a while it stops.
There’s a story of a boy and a pond,
tears, smiles, and hopes he lives on.
There’s a story of a frogs’ symphony,
flowing is a memory of the melody and me..
So I am here for the song that they sing,
in this old pond there’s a hope that I cling.
I shall care of nothing more else,
nothing, but myself and this once, childhood place..
poem from PoemHunter.com
We have a new pond in the cottage garden. Larry has worked very hard this summer, digging a large hole in the dirt and putting in this delightful addition to our surroundings. Already we have had a lot of activity from the wildlife.