Sunday, March 29, 2009

General Catch Up - Sunday, 29th March, 2009

Yesterday morning I went upstairs to feed the cats and there was a large hooded crow sitting on Jim's shelf looking at me! I thought at first that Sandy must have brought it in through the cat flap but it now seems more likely it flew down our large chimney and headed upstairs to escape! The room was in total chaos as the cats must have been going mad trying to catch it. There were bags everywhere and Jim's papers were scattered around the floor like confetti! I opened the skylight and it flew out, none the worse for it's adventure.

The extension now has the final layer on the flat roof. I have taken a photo but you can' t really see it. I'll have to take one out of the skylight. This is the progress so far:

Notice in the right front corner, BlackJack.

A couple of chaps appeared midweek and measured things. I think they must be the guttering men. Excellent news.

Jim went to the UK for a meeting on Thursday, so it was the 4am rise and airport run. I think I had about 3 hours sleep. He returned on Saturday and had been visited by all 3 children. Oh, the Friday night booze up was in a pub with Russell. He rang me when he's arrived home and sounded decidedly 'jolly'. Poppy is growing like mad and here is what I think is the best photo ever of any Granddad and Granddaughter:

Isn't it just wonderful? That's Poppy's 'kissing' mode. She looks as though she's about to chew Jim's nose off. Jim's daughter Ali (Poppy's Mum) took this on Jim's recent trip to the UK.

Jim took quite a few photos and I'll post those in the next few days. Jenny, Poppy's Aunt, we now know is having a boy. So Jim will have a grandchild of each variety in August.

I have taken a photo of my Bundle to show you how it's disintegrating. Unfortunately, not very well. I think the bag I've placed all my bits and pieces into is too strong. The outer wrapping is decidedly soggy though:

My hanging parcel.

It doesn't have to be taken down until May 1st, so another month to go yet.

Stampmaiden, a blogger from America, has asked to swap some ATCs with me. She has made me 5 so I have been making some new ones and she also picked a couple of the old ones she liked (from photos I'd put on here). I won't post photos of them until she has received them. I have really enjoyed making them. I used to waste an awful lot of time playing a mindless egg collecting game on Facebook. I made the big decision a couple of days ago to delete it so I had more crafting time. What a relief.

Friday around tea time, the light in the garden was wonderful, ideal for taking photos, so I had a wander round and this is the result. I think one or two of them are superb, which I guess I shouldn't say, but it was the light at the time that helped.

This arrow head arum Italica has a story behind it. My first piece came from a friend in Derbyshire and settled well into my garden there in Matlock Bath. When I moved to Jim's house in Worthing, I took a piece with me, and it, too, settled in well. Of course I had to bring some to Ireland, I thought it had died but look at it now. I'm so pleased.

This is just to show that the red dogwood I transplanted to the edge of the wood has taken. I put in lots of sticks and they're all growing, plus the willow sticks I put in too.

Looking to the left from the fairy hill over the arboretum and towards the little wood where the arrow head plant is situated.

This lovely little prunus has such pretty blossom, below is a close up. We planted it last year.

Shiny, glossy holly leaves

Where ever I go, BlackJack follows. Here he is on the bench on top of the fairy hill.

The forsythia is now fully out

I was admiring the beauty of this primula the day before. Now look at it! The birds obviously loved it too and have eaten all the red bits of the flowers!

This is my favourite primula, a double white. It was in the garden when we came here, just one plant. I have now split it into about 6 and they are all doing well.

The first showing of this primula is almost over, but they still look pretty

Another lovely white primula, this one with an orange centre

Contorted willow in the evening sun

The front garden looking to the fairy hill and the Clare hill, Maghera, beyond.

Honesty from the group below

You'll laugh when you see where this bunch is located, below

It's in the compost heap, just left of centre! The corrugated iron behind it is part of the cow defenses!

The lake through our front gate

This magnolia is covered in buds and blooms. It'll be wonderful

One of the first blooms, it's a magnolia stellata which we brought with us from the UK.

Underneath the magnolia are these gorgeous tulips, almost out now

These primula are quite phenomenal, I have never seen one with so many flower heads

Naturally I've split them many times and now they're all over

There is a bunch on this little rockery wall I made last year, it's by the black gates. It's really coming on now. There are quite a few violets in flower amongst the primulas too. If you click on the photo and enlarge it, you can see them.

These narcissus have the most glorious scent

This pretty quince is on the vegetable section, I took a close up too.

It's such a lovely rich colour

One of the many old shoes we have found and some grape hyacinths and a single cream viola.

The red bracts of the pieris forrestii are just coming out

Here are the gorgeous scented white flowers, plus more of those primulas!

Lovely red miniature tulips in the sunshine

Crimson and, below, cream saxifrage. One of my favourite rockery plants.

Another tulip just about to flower

These tulips seem to have arranged themselves beautifully

The daffodils are just fading as the tulips come into bloom

They are just perfect buds at the moment

This little crop of violets are really more blue. They are on top of the fairy hill.

I do hope you've enjoyed today's tour. We haven't done much in the garden today as it's been cold and drizzly, but tomorrow promises better weather.


Bea said...

Your photos turned out beautifully. We had a Thundersnowstorm yesterday and got four inches of spring snow. Today, most of it has melted away but we are still in closed bud mode. I am soooooooo wanting to see spring. Your photos did that for me, thank you. :)Bea

BT said...

Bea, thank you so much for your lovely comment. Crikey, what a horrid lot of snow! I hope your buds burst soon.

Leatherdykeuk said...

What a fabulous bunch of photographs!

Son1 said...

Great pics. Spring has sprung. Nice to see the building work progressing. Looking forward to seeing it.

The eggs are dead, long live the crafting!


BT said...

Thanks, Rachel.

Thanks Jason. Hoorah for crafting eh? I've been doing 'pots', re-cycling, covering, varnishing, having fun!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Love that blue primula BT - and the rest of your photos. You may be right about the grandpa/granddaughter photo - the facial expressions are fantastic.
I am envious that you get hoody crows there - we don't get them here and I love them.

Sam said...

The photos are beutiful, especially the double white flower - it looked like a nice warm evening too. We look forward to seeing it, all 4 of us XX

BT said...

It is beautiful, isn't it Weaver? The hooded crows are huge! They are all around here and once almost stripped the apples off our trees!

We look forward to seeing you too, Sam and all. No builders today. Grrr. At least it's warmed up this afternoon but is cold now.

MargaretR said...

What wonderful photos! You have lived a wonderfully varied life and obviously love Ireland.
my fave is that photo of Jim and Poppy. It's one that should have pride of place in your cottage! thanks for your lovely comments on my blog. i'll trade ATC's with you when I'm a little less busy. That would be lovely.

Bella Sinclair said...

Oh my goodness! Such an explosion of color and gorgeous blooms! I'm green with envy. :) I remember the forsythia near our home in New York. So bright, even in the shady nooks. Some people thought they were too prevalent, but I just loved them and had to plant some in our yard. And your tulips! So you don't have any deer roaming nearby? Sometime always came by to eat my tulips. I love that the area by your house is called fairy hill. How romantic!

BT said...

Hello Margaret, thanks for the visit and I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. That one of Jim and Poppy is just gorgeous, a real moment captured, but not by me, by her Mum Ali! Look forward to trading ATCs later.

BT said...

Bella, I'm honoured to have you visit! I'm so glad you enjoyed my photos, I thought you might. I've always enjoyed forsythia, though it is though of as a rather 'common' plant! There's nothing like it for colour in the spring.

Aha, the Fairy Hill is in our garden and we named it because it was obviously where the little girl of the previous owners played with her tea sets and we found all sorts of toys up there. I just said one day it looks like a fairy hill and it stuck! If you did but know, it's the heap of soil left when they dug out for the poo tank, so it should be called 'cess pit hill' or some such!!!

We do have deer, but have managed to discourage them by hanging plastic bags on the trees! They mostly came into the meadow area and ate the small ash trees, but the bag theory seems to have worked. Doesn't look very pretty but I'd rather have the bags than no trees or plants! We did have an invasion of cows a couple of weeks ago though and they caused quite a bit of damage! Country life for you!
Do call again,

Heather said...

I have loved the tour of your garden - so many lovely flowers and blossoms. You have many of the plants we have in our garden. Thankyou for visiting my blog, or I wouldn't have found yours. We both like similar things - I like to make rag rugs too. I love your raggy bags and your hanging parcel is very intriguing. Love the photo of Poppy and Jim. Happy gardening and I'll be back, your blog is so interesting.

Heather said...

It's me again - forgot to say I also like trading ATCs. If you are interested you could email me: with your postal address. Hope to hear from you.

Anonymous said...

A Cat Door or Cat Flap gives you and your cat the freedom they deserve.

soulbrush said...

what a glorious place to live. and yes, that's one of the best granddad and granddughter photos i have ever seen. sweet poppie.

BT said...

Heather, I'm so glad I found your blog too, your textiles are stunning. I don't know about trading ATCs, yours will put mine to shame!! Of course, I would be more than happy to do so, but I am a bit of a beginner.
I'm so glad you enjoyed the photos. We don't do exotic plants but like the tried and tested ones, as you obviously do too. It's too cold here for much else. I had a mimosa tree but that has given up due to the harsh frosts this winter.
Do come again.
Anonymous, we do have a cat flap!
Soulbrush, thank you. Actually my step daughter took the photo of Jim and Poppy. I love your blog.

Renee said...

BT the garden is divine and the little baby with your husband is so adorable.

I have to tell you I can't exactly remember the comment you made on Ces's blog the other day, but I laughed my head off.

Love Renee xoxo

BT said...

Renee, thanks for the compliment. Isn't Poppy gorgeous? Then I would say that! Glad I gave you a laugh on Ces's blog. She's a star too!

BT said...

Well, Renee, my curiosity got the better of me. I think it must have been this one:
'Could it be Magic, come, come on...'

But I like Mary Bandilegs....

Come back Ces, all is forgiven. Will somebody please pay that ransom. I want the cake that's been round the bottom half.....


A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Your garden is a treasure trove!! I hope to visit your part of the world some day :)

mansuetude said...

i think your spring is bounding out in all directions! You are way ahead of us here in the USA south...

love the little bee like thing on your package parcel out in the tree--its just like your humor (which i enjoy so)!

have wonderful day.
Hello to that georgeous dog of yours, too.

-Ann said...

Great pictures! Can't believe you have some many flowers blooming. We've only got some daffodils and some little blue thingies. Forget-me-nots maybe?

Love the cat.

Not to be dense, but what's an ATC?

jinksy said...

Oh, how I enjoyed your tour of the flowers - a fairytale garden you have there!

BT said...

Thanks A Spoonful of Sugar. You'd be very welcome here if you do come.

mansuetude, so glad you dropped in, I'd lost your link. Now I have you back. My little bee is cute, isn't he? He's not suffered much from the weather either! Buster just grunted. I think he said 'Hi'!!

Hello Ann, our little cat's cute but very stupid. He gets stuck up trees!! Your little blue things could be forget me nots but it's a bit early for them. Or speedwell, if they sort of trail! Sorry, Ann, an ATC is an Artist Trading Card. They are little pieces of artwork. They have to be a given size (playing card size) and have to be given away or swapped, not sold. They're like calling cards I suppose and people love to swap them and collect these little art treasures from all over the world. You can do it too.

Thank you jinksy, it's getting sorted gradually, but with 5 acres, it's always a race.

marianne said...

Wonderful post Gina!
Can´t wait to see your ATC´s
Jim with his granddaughter look so great! perfect picture!
And your garden it is like a fairytale!
love the story with the crow! I can see the choas behind my eyes! And see the 2 cats chasing the bird in that room!
Lucky you helped him escape!
I´m off now to start with my fence!
I will show you pictures later.
I will be back later to react on your other post, right now I have to work,,,,,,,,

Love >M<