I'm big into snow flakes this year so we have plenty - some of which still need stringing up! The big fancy ones are from a post that Kate at M is for Make did last year. In fact, I cut them out last year and they sat in a cupboard for 12 months before I managed to make them up (sigh). I wanted to make tiny little ones out of tracing paper but joining them up was so fiddly that I gave up - next year perhaps...
I'm always a big fairy lights fan so we have plenty of those too, and because I rather short-sightedly threw out the branch which has been our xms tree for the last few years last month, we have very few tree-ish places to hang decorations. So some baubles on the fig trees, and my lovely Dutch porcelain ornaments over the fire place.
Have a lovely Christmas everyone xx
Young Stashlet and I had a spare afternoon last week and went for a quick dash round the Botanic Garden in Dublin. It's a feast of late perennials at the moment and the bees and hoverflies were busily feeding away and completely oblivious to my camera.
The one downer was that we had to go without our usually indulgent coffee and cake: the indoor cafe was horribly stuffy - there don't seem to be any openable windows - and the outdoor cafe is unfortunately unsuitable for parking a baby in a buggy while perusing the cake counter, so whoever designed it gets my thumbs down. Shame really, that meringue roulade was really calling my name...
And I discovered this chap hiding in the trees...
Firstly, I'm glad you like the Sanseveria flowers. I don't do anything special to these plants at all - they really seem to thrive on neglect and a south facing windowsill.
Secondly, I want to say that blogging is not going well at the moment (as you have probably noticed). Looking after Baby Stash full time has really taken it's toll on my me-time, and when I do have a few hours while Staslet is at the childminder, my brain is in such a whirl that I really can't concentrate on crafting. I did get some lovely linen in Germany but I need to sit down and decide which patterns to use with it and I don't want to screw it up. So all I'm managing at the moment is a tiny bit of knitting in the evenings.
Also, I'm trying to house hunt and simultaneously look for a job, both of which are pretty much going nowhere and therefore somewhat demoralising. All of which makes blogging not a very enticing prospect at the moment. So, apologies! Hopefully something will sort itself out and I'll be back to my old self sooner rather than later.
Oh and a small piece of Stashlet news: his third tooth made it's appearance on Saturday morning (why do they always arrive at 4am?). And I still haven't managed to take any photos of the bottom two yet though it's not for want of trying!
One of my myriad of Sansevierias is flowering. Never seen them do that before. They look very delicate and a teensy bit orchid-like to my mind.
I didn't do much with the garden over the winter and spring, except plant out some things in pots, because I was thinking we would have moved by now, but we're still here, and the garden is just a little bit crazy but at least it's not overrun by nasturtiums this summer.
I have a kind of ad hoc herb garden (because some previous tenants had planted rosemary and sage) but the mint is (unsurprisingly) taking over the chives...
One of the Phormiums is flowering...
They always remind me of miniature bananas.
What remains of the Buddleia (the wind snapped a lot of it off) is flowering...
This variety is called Harlequin and is supposed to have variagated (green and white) leaves, but they all fell off about a year after I bought it, and it's never shown any interest in becoming re-variagated since.
Another plant put in by previous tenants is this Leycesteria.
We have a west facing garden and it had been planted against the south wall. This meant it faced north and got no sun. I moved it to the other side of the garden and it seems very pleased with the relocation; it grew nearly 6 feet in the first summer after I moved it. The birds love the fruits in the winter too.
These geraniums came with us from the UK, and I planted them out earlier this year...
They seem to be glad to be out of the confines of a pot.
I love Lobelias. They're just so blue, they're fabulous. I bought some in the spring (I have to buy plants and seeds even if I know we're moving - I think it's something genetic), and this is the only plant that didn't succumb to the slugs.
Raspberries. Delish. These were also in the garden when we arrived, and I didn't prune them back because they didn't seem to be doing very well (another victim of the north facing wall).
Well, this year, they've perked up and we have a raspberry jungle. And lots lof raspberries.
Double yum. I feel a pavlova coming on...
I have nearly as many pots indoors as outdoors. A large proportion of them are Sansevieria (Mother-in-law's Tongue). In retrospect, I was far too soft hearted. I bought one plant. It liked the windowsill so much that it produced a load of new shoots. So I divided it and repotted the plants. They all liked the windowsill too and produced new shoots of their own. Awww. I divided them and repotted them too.
Now I have TWENTY pots of Sanseveria. I will not be doing any more repotting, I can tell you! So if anyone is in Ireland and wants a free pot plant, you know who to ask.
And this one is about to flower...
I've never seen Sanseveria flowers before so I shall be interested to see how they turn out.
So not a nasturtium in sight this year. I do like them, but a garden is so much more interesting and rewarding (ummm, pavlova) when it has more than one plant in it, don't you think?
ooh! p.s. Second tooth through this morning!
... here at Stash Avalanche. By which I mean, the frosty cotoneaster banner has finally made way for these lovely clematis flowers.
Baby S and I had a wander round the Botanic Garden the other day looking for comething nice to photograph for the banner. It seems like the last time I was there was at exactly the same time last year, with the tulips out and half the daffs over already, but the mini bluebell wood was fabulous.
Baby S had a great time, alternately chorteling and snoring through our walk, and I exercised great restraint and managed to only have a cup of coffee, and not a piece of meringue roulade which waved violently at tme when we were in the cafe having Baby S's elevenses.
I was especially looking for Clematis montana or apple blossom to photograph for the banner, but in the end the best photos came from a front garden down the road from Stash Towers.
Anyway, I have resolved to go more often (that roulade keeps calling) but in the mean time, here are a few snaps from our walk.
It's really worth a visit, even if you're not the plant-y type. There were plenty of families just pottering around on the grass, and as I keep saying, the cafe is pretty good too! Just don't go this weekend - if the weather is nice it will probably be heaving beyond imagination. And there won't be any roulade left.
This has been my view for most of this week and a lot of the last one too. I'm in a medium study frenzy as I want to get my (distance learning) course done by Christmas, and of course I lazed away at the sewing machine over the summer and didn't do half as much reading and note taking as I should have. Bad, bad, bad.
And I know that I fervently vowed in the spring to pull out all the nasturtiums in the garden this year (after they smothered every other plant in the flower bed last year), but you know how it goes, the weather gets colder, you go out in the garden less, but the little buggers still germinate and grow. In fact I am quite surprised that I still have nasturtiums coming up this late in the year.
But my early de-nasturtiuming as not in vain, and the ones I have now are being considerably more civilised than their parents. So now the flower bed is gently dotted rather than choking.
And here's the thing, they make good cut flowers, even though they don't last very long. You can pick them in bud to open indoors, they have a good long, clean stem, and they have a lovely perfume which I sniff between bouts of note taking. Last year I had great enormous vines of them in a large vase and they grew roots and kept flowering for quite some time. The vase looked like it was having a bad hair day but better that than taking over the lawn!
The added bonus: for evey flower in the vase, there'll be at least one less seedling germinating in next year's flower bed!
Eee missus! It feels like I've been away for ages!
We got back from Germany late on Sunday night and spent yesterday in a haze of shopping, unpacking and making up for lost time in the ear scratching department with the Grey Cat. We didn't have a super fantastic time as Mr G spent the first week with a cold, and the weather was very variable to say the least, but we did catch up with some friends and of course, it was nice to have a change of scenery.
So on the subject of scenery, here are just a few pictures of why I like Germany...
Perhaps this doesn't happen everywhere, but where we are urban grass verges often get planted up with perennials, even in the inner city, and to my mind look much nicer than endless grass (and are more cost effective, but that's just the landscape architect in me coming out!)...
And people respect these and do not trample through them as I cynically expect would happen if you tried this in the UK or Ireland.
Within a 10 minute walk of where we stay is the edge of a forest which stretches about 20km to the south east through the city suburbs. It is fabulous for biking and running (and of course, walking!), and can be quite knackering depending on which route you take, as some tracks are seriously steep!
There are the main routes through...
... and then lots of little side paths, some of which are marked as trim trail routes (yellow for easy, orange for medium, and red for oh-god-I-think-I'm-going-to-die)...
And every so often you get little information signs telling you about the plants and animals you might encounter...
(Sorry, this one is about Sycamores - I should have found something a bit more interesting, shouldn't I?).
We also went to the zoo but some how I had no interest in taking any photos, I think perhaps because photos of captive animals don't really do any justice to the animal itself.
So anyway, now we have to mentally stumble back to the real world, put away the suitcases and wake up at a sensible time for Mr G to go to work (poor him!).
Tomorrow I'll show you the results of my little German stash-building shopping spree.