Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Shades of Autumn




Pruning some overhanging branches of acer in the garden gave me some glorious autumn foliage to bring into the house. I'm loving the bright, fiery red colours, and mixed with some other dark foliage and honeysuckle berries it makes a lovely mix of autumn colour.

The hint of autumn in the air, despite the last few days of wonderful Indian summer weather, has had me reaching for my crochet hook and finding some autumn hued wools.

I have ideas for a hexy scarf to go with my new green raincoat......

and the colours on this velvet backed tapestry cushion from Ikea a few seasons ago have given me ideas for a few autumn coloured textured cushions for the sofa.

Four 8  inch squares of simple double crochet joined together.......

and I tried out bobble stitch for another cushion - again I will make four squares

The cooking apples have already been picked in the orchards nearby, and every walk we do now through the orchards and fields, instead of harvesting kilos of blackberries for the freezer, we are now picking up the few dropped apples left behind.

Lots of lovely apple cakes and puddings to come! I made a Tarte Tatin last week, and an apple cake the week before. Many of the apples I will cook and freeze ready for pies and crumbles.

Spending more time in the kitchen now that the weather is changing, I couldn't resist these two pretty Greengate tea towels from All Tea Towels - Al sends these off from Ireland as quick as a flash, free postage to the UK and they arrive the next day - perfect!


With the warm weather we've had these last few days, I got back into my shorts and back into the garden to tart it up a bit for the autumn. It had been looking very sad, dry and colourless the last few weeks of summer, and so I have put in a few autumn flowering plants - some lovely bright Asters, lots of pretty violas in lemons,  orange, pale blue and purple ( I have always preferred these smaller and more delicate flowers to pansies, they seem to go on and on forever) , some gorgeous pink chrysanthemums in pots, and some purple platycodons that I have never tried before.




violas in hanging baskets

Platycodons - just love the clever way they open up like a box - they make me think of origami, or japanese omiyage


I found a bit of time the other day to do some sewing - a little bit of  machine quilting....

these hand sewn hexies will eventually be transformed into a bag! 
Really?? Oh yes they day... I have bought the leather straps ready to finish.. just need to cut to shape, sew together, line it, and sew on the straps... just waiting to be in the mood to finish it!

Out on the terrace the geranuims are still flowering.........

and we have been busy painting the back windows and doors.......getting rid of the black paint that we are fed up with (here when we moved in) and replacing it with white windows and duck egg blue doors

still another coat to put on the French windows

having had the climbers removed from the back walls (they have left all sorts of little clingy bits where the plants clung to the wall as well as discolouration) these are now in dire need of paint too, and we shall replace the white with a pale cream.

this hollyhock is still going strong - photo taken this morning - a sign that summer is hanging in there just a little bit longer

Thanks for all the comments on my last post, I'm glad you enjoyed the photos numerous though they were. Enjoy this lovely weather whilst it lasts!

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Thursday, 19 September 2013

Summer Gardens

Hello to all of my regular blogging friends, I'm back! I hope you're still out there???

Sorry to have just disappeared off the face of the earth without warning, but what with one thing and another I have been busy and not really in a blogging frame of mind. I hope you all had great summer holidays with your families - I'm looking forward to catching up with all your news.

As we ease into slightly more chillier autumnal weather, I thought it would be nice to experience a final blast of summer heat and colour with photos of the gorgeous gardens we came across on our Devon holiday - the hottest two week holiday in this country that we've ever experienced! 

It was wonderful, waking up each day to clear blue skies and warmth, temperatures in the late 20's and 30's the whole time. Staying in a converted stone barn in the middle of a 200 acre farm, we could almost have imagined we were in the heart of Provence.

So for all those non-garden lovers, my apologies - you have been warned so you can skip this post, and I promise I won't be offended! Next post I should have a few photos of my latest makes / works-in-progress, including some crochet and hand-pieced hexies.

On with the show then!

Arlington Court, a National Trust property near Barnstaple in Devon.

 hot house flower

 cutting flowers in the walled garden at Arlington Court

 view of the walled garden - it was huge, and well planted with fruit, vegetables and cutting flowers

 view through the rose arch with views to the formal garden and glass house beyond, set in front of the vast walled garden

All the previous photos were of the beautiful gardens at Arlington Court, where there is a large Victorian walled garden as well as formal gardens, a lake, and the National Trust Carriage Museum - they have an excellent permanent exhibition here - a good day out.

Dogs are welcome throughout the gardens, and even in the courtyard buildings where they house the Carriage collection - they even thoughtfully had a bowl of water for thirsty dogs!

The following photos were taken at Castle Drogo, another National Trust property, where dogs were not allowed in the formal gardens but there were plenty of areas where they could go, including woodland walks surround the grounds.

 sweet little woodland childs play house with its own miniature cottage gardens 

 wonderful views beyond the garden gate


Well done for getting this far!

A Big "Welcome" to all my new followers who have found me via Bloglovin' - so happy to have you along on the ride.

And a big virtual hug to all my long term blogging friends - I have missed you all and your cheery comments here, and missed visiting your creative and inspiring blogs - soon to be remedied!

Thanks for bearing with me with the photo-heavy post - and huge thanks too for all the supportive and caring comments on my last post. They were so very much appreciated. We miss dear Bessie every day, and still haven't got used to her not being here. 

Bessie enjoying the sun on her favourite bench just a week or two before.