Wednesday, 26 May 2010

In my element!…..

No..I haven’t fallen off the planet!! I have been otherwise engaged…outside in the SUNSHINE!!! What a fabulous week of glorious sunny weather we’ve had here in the UK!

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I’m a Leo, an August baby…the fire sign defines me perfectly! I love hot weather! I have spent every spare daylight moment out in the sunshine…plus a few that shouldn’t have been spare at all!!

On Wednesday, I dropped the boys to school & headed straight back to the back garden…this was a job that is waaaay overdue!!

At Easter 2007 I started experiencing pain in my shoulder, which then became ‘frozen’ & I was unable to do anything gardening wise. I didn’t have my surgery until November 2008, so that summer the garden was neglected too!! Then, last year, after making a start on pruning & clearing in the spring, I injured my leg while on holiday (see here, here & here!!) so once again was only able to sit in the garden & watch nature take over!! 
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My good friend Karen always say’s that gardening is a husbands job…she doesn’t have my darling hubby to contend with!!  He cuts the grass…end of story!!  He is a techie type…anything computer related or ‘gadgety’ & he’s your man… but DIY or gardening…a no go area!!!!  He does, of course have the latest, state-of–the-art lawnmower to complete his one task!!

Anyway…back to Wednesday…with the sun warm on my back I set about my first task…clearing that ‘gone to pot’ border…

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…revealing Marmaduke, the stone cat that sits in the shade of the Acer tree!

(Note the ‘granny kneeler’, I’m afraid if I kneel for any length of time, I find it hard to get up, so this was a valuable investment!!)

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At this point I had already pulled what felt like miles of bramble roots & had had to perform autopsies on a Clematis & two Heathers & pronounce them victims of murder by neglect!

19May2010 036Halfway there & I have evicted a colony of snails from the Euonymus & decided to let the Lavender have another season, even if it is very woody at it’s base…I’ll cut it hard back in Autumn & see if it shoots again next year.

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I stopped for Elevenses!!…& of course, sat with my face to the sun (with SPF 50 for protection I might add…don’t want to age prematurely! LOL!!) & then it was back to grafting! The garden refuse wheelie bin was almost full… 

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….& the border clear of weeds! There were a few gaps where I had been ruthless & cleared the poor straggly plants that had barely survived. I cut back the Jasmine & cleaned out the birdbath…all in all, a good job done!

19May2010 028 I sat outside to eat lunch ‘Al Fresco’ & a flash of bright pink caught my eye…a butterfly flitting around the garden…I tried to catch a shot of him in mid flight but didn’t manage it…I did capture him when he settled on the lawn for a while though. I’m not sure I’ve seen one with these markings before…we normally only get the usual Cabbage Whites & Red Admirals!

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I’ve never been squeamish about snails…I just don’t like what they do to my plants! This little one has just munched his way through half a Euonymus leaf in the time it took me to eat a ham sandwich!!! So he joined his fellow snails over the fence into no-mans land!!

On Thursday, I met up with Karen & Hilary to discuss our trip to Chicago. Karen had drawn up a fabulous itinerary, so we are sure not to waste a single moment of our visit!  There were a few ‘rules’….#4 was “If Sandra injures herself whilst on holiday, a taxi will be arranged, with all costs to be met by insurance. Hospital visitation will be scheduled into itinerary where possible”!!!  Do you think I have something of a reputation?!!! We had a lovely lunch & discussed what to pack….in fact Karen brought along her packed suitcase to show us just what she’s taking! How comical was that?!!!

On the way home from lunch, with Lee doing the school pick up, I called in at my favourite garden centre & picked up a few plants & some bark mulch…all ready for another day of gardening on Friday!!

On Saturday we learned that our local branch of Burger King had burnt down! Apparently the fire was caused by a faulty extractor fan unit that overheated. You will be pleased to hear that it all kicked off during the night when the place was empty & judging by the remains I hate to think what might have happened if it had been during trading hours!

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On Sunday, enclosed with our  Sunday newspaper was a book of vouchers, to be used for various discounts at Burger King!

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Oh the irony!!!




I spent almost the entire day on Saturday out of doors! I was up with the lark & pegged out a line full of washing…all of which was dry within the hour!! By 9am I was working on the front garden, pulling weeds & trimming the little willow. I had my back to the sun & didn’t realise till I went in for a drink at 10.30 that I had lovely red shoulders, arms & a strip across the back of my waist where my 
T-shirt had ridden up as I worked!! I never thought that I would burn in the morning sunshine…just goes to show how hot it was!!

So, I slapped on some Factor 15 & carried on!!  I planted up all those Thursday purchases, replanted my hanging baskets & the pots for each side of my front door, mulched the two borders & freshened up the gravel in my ‘coffee corner’!! (Photo’s to follow!) It was very gratifying to sit back & see just how different everything looked!

At 6pm, Lee fired up the barbecue & we stayed outside until the sun went down!

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I had to go into work on Sunday, so I was trapped indoors from 11am-5pm!!! I did manage to spend my half hour break on the terrace though & took a rain check on the cinema after work!  Who would choose to sit in the dark on a glorious evening like Sunday’s was?!!

Yesterday started off hazy so I set about housework & chores with a vengeance!! By the time the sun was out, I was all done indoors & back in the garden!! It’s amazing how quickly I can move with the right motivation!!!

This time I tipped out the outdoor toy chest & sorted out which water guns still worked & threw out the rest….reminisced about all those buckets & spades & the holidays they were bought on!…& did battle with another legion of snails & a whole platoon of eight legged monsters!….I won!!  After hosing out the chest, I relocated it & replaced all the unbroken toys/balls/water guns & dropped off a bag full of sandpit toys to the village pre-school. Another good job done!!

That brings me almost up to date! Today has been fresher, sunshine & cloud in equal measure, which is just as well as I really needed to get the food shopping done!!  I still managed a couple of hours in the garden after the school run this afternoon though….phase two…to make sense of ‘Fruit Corner’!! The only things looking as if they may crop this year are the strawberries, so I think I’ll have to be ruthless & throw out the Blueberry & Raspberry plants!!    

I don’t know whether that’s our summer almost done, or if we’re in for more, but I sincerely hope it’s the latter! 

Thanks for stopping by…I promise to do my best to catch up on all of you very soon…a week is a long time in Blog Land!!!! have a great week!! xx 


debs14 said...

Goodness, I feel exhausted just reading what you have been up to! The garden is looking beautiful though and it's good to sit back in the sunshine with a cup of coffee and admire your handiwork. Beautiful butterfly too, I've never seen one like that before either.

Sian said...

Wow! You have done a lot. It's so satisfying when you can see the difference like that though (and sorry, this is so tempting, I'm just going to have to say it...hosing down your chest must be great for keeping cool :) )

Denise said...

Nice to have you back and goodness you have been a busy girl. Just been catching up on your poor leg and I really know how painful and miserable just cellulitis is so you must have really been suffering.
laughed out loud at Karen taking her suitcase to Yuva - bet you can't wait xxx oh and your garden and the butterfly look lovely x

Jocelyn said...

Oh the garden is stunning and your hard work has paid off!!! I have never seen a pink beautiful!!!

I love spending time outside...and that is where I have been no time to create!!!

I know you must be getting so excited for your trip!!!

Wishing you a Fabby day...I am heading out to do some watering!!!

humel said...

So good to catch up with you :-) I'm glad you've been enjoying the sun - I'm an August baby too but while I like a bit of sunshine I prefer to stay in the shade myself....

Cheryl said...

wow you have been busy and the garden just looks gorgeous x

scrappyjacky said...

No wonder you haven't had time to blog!!! An amazing amount done...and it's looking great. Lets hope this is just the beginning of the summer.

Anna said...

How productive you've been! :) All sounds far more enjoyable than what I've been up to since my last post - sanding and gloss painting all my exterior window frames (whilst watching gas men dig holes in the garden!)

M.L. @ The House of Whimsy said...

Hi Sandi,
I've been MIA for awhile too! But it sounds like you got a lot done last week. I love it when all the yard work/garden work gets caught up. You did a great job. I see that you're only about 7 days away from "take off". I can hardly wait to see all the photos when you return.
Take care,
Mary Lou