Friday, 16 May 2014

Catching Up ...

Last week it was our daughter's 22nd birthday.  She is still away at university so we didn't get to see her until the weekend.  I baked a chocolate cake (recipe from "Apples for Jam" cook book by  Tessa Kiros) and decorated it with purple buttercream roses, as purple is Fay's favourite colour.  I then sprinkled it with blue edible glitter.
 Next I made some paper bunting to top the cake with.  We knocked on her front door, cake in hand and sung "Happy Birthday to You ..." when she opened the door. :)
 It only seems a short time ago when they were this small and now look how they have grown!
 The four of us went out to lunch at The Bear Grill in Stafford, Fay's choice.  She looks a little bedraggled in this photo as it poured with rain and none of us had umbrellas!  Jay said that if Laura Ashley opened a restaurant it would look like this one.  He makes me laugh with his observations!  We sat at the front of house and the decor was rather Laura Ashley-like.
 The food was good.  I am supposed to be on a diet, but I couldn't leave my chips could I? :)  They were served in a cute chip pan basket.
 After we left Fay, we travelled back to Jay's accommodation and started the task of packing his gear into the car as he has now finished his first year at uni.  We will need to make another trip for a few odds and ends that didn't fit into the car and to do a final clean up.  He is hoping to live somewhere else next year as he didn't like the accommodation - mostly because two of his flatmates were so messy!!
On the way home we were treated to a beautiful double rainbow.  It was hard to photograph whilst travelling down the motorway.
 Since we have been back my laundry pile has seemed never-ending!  I have managed to escape into the garden a couple of times.
 Last week these arrived in the post.
 This is my first attempt at growing chrysanthemums.
I potted them up and they seem to be doing well in the greenhouse.  Next week I will need to pinch out the tops of these to encourage the side shoots to grow.
Everything is growing like crazy in the greenhouse.
I have to keep pinching out the flower buds on my cosmos and the linaria, busy lizzies and verbena are in flower.  The nights are still chilly, so I will wait a couple more weeks before planting out in the garden.
Not that there is any room in the garden at the moment!  In a couple of weeks I will pull up the forget-me-nots and that will make a little space for the summer bedding plants.  At the moment the borders are very jungle-like!
The alliums are now beginning to flower.
 I love the intricacy of these flower heads
 and their jewel-bright colours.

 I think a pop of bright colour really sets off the pastel flowers in the garden.
 The first foxglove has come out.  I have many of these dotted around the garden.
The first clematis, Niobe, is open
 as is the first rose.  This one is Geoff Hamilton.
 Soon I will also have bearded irises in bloom too.

 On a rainy day last week I was blog hopping and noticed that Lucy at Attic24 was requesting Mandalas for Yarndale.  I needed a break from making my Dahlia Squares Cushion, so I got out my bag of acrylic leftovers and crocheted a mandala using this pattern by Zooty Owl.  I'm calling it my Memory Mandala as it is made from leftover yarn from when I knitted matinee jackets, toys and crocheted my first blanket for Fay.  That is how long I have held onto some of this yarn!
Lucy has asked for the mandalas to to customised, so I designed a snail - well I had to, didn't I?! :)
I have lightly blocked the mandala and now need to stitch the decorations on.  I may add a little bling, but I'm not sure yet.  Then I need to stiffen it with PVA glue, gulp!  I usually stiffen crochet with a spray starch, so using glue is a little scary.
Wish me luck! Pj x


Mac n' Janet said...

I envy you your greenhouse! Your plants look fantastic.

thesnailgarden said...

Thank you Janet. I've been working in there this afternoon. I'm desperate to get the plants outside, but need to wait another couple of weeks. Best wishes, Pj x