Friday, April 29, 2011

Mostly Garden...

One of my favourite parts of The Deenery garden.

William and Kate's Wedding Day

Did you watch the wedding? I did and thoroughly enjoyed it too. It was fun seeing all the guests arrive and the fashions. Then William and Harry looking splendid in their uniforms. Finally, the moment we were all waiting for - Kate and the dress! She looked wonderful with that waist nipping flattering choice. The pretty lace top showed just enough and her hair was beautifully natural. A lovely ceremony. I have a feeling this royal marriage will be a total success.

Around The Deenery

Our washing machine finally gave up the ghost, so we had to buy a new one. I love new white goods! Then our fridge/freezer (which was here when we bought the house) started leaking water over the floor, so that provoked a rethink of our kitchen design. As it happens, we had a larder fridge up in our barn, which Jim manfully cleaned until it sparkled like new. We thought we'd try it out in our utility room, which is just off the kitchen, and see whether it's too much of a pain going in and out of there. It fits a treat next to the new washer and it's no trouble to use, so there it will stay.

We took the old washing machine and an old big television to the tip on Thursday, just the old fridge/freezer to go next - then we'll have more space in the little lobby off the kitchen/diner. Jim has plans for that area.....

New Knitting Group

Jim spotted details of a group of ladies who meet up each Thursday morning in Scarriff (not that far from us and where the tip is), to knit and sometimes do other crafts. We went along 2 weeks ago. It's a lovely flexible group of women who simply knit and chat and learn new things. I loved it and bought some ridiculously expensive wool and a pattern to make with a cable running down one side. I've never done cable stitch before so I've now learned a new skill already.

The 2 'leaders' of the group also do other courses and in 2 weeks are starting a course on mixing felting and fabrics, which I have signed up to join. It's for 6 weeks and should be great fun. The weather's been so gorgeous that we've sat outside for the 2 weeks I have attended so far.

The Garden

Again, because of the weather, we have spent a lot of time in The Deenery garden. The biggest project has been the back 'yard' area, left in a complete stony mess after the builders had finished the extension. We have kept putting it off because it seemed such a daunting task.

Easter seemed a good time to attack this job and after 4 days of hard shovelling, mattocking and stone shifting, a new lawn has been made and seeded. Here are some photos - no grass yet of course!

A 'before' photo! The rockery (also part of the project), was half built here but we hadn't done any levelling or brought any of the many many barrows full of our home made compost down from the allotment area. Jim did the barrowing and dumping of the compost and I sorted it and spread it out.

Jim had just moved a large stone for the rockery. Can you see Sandy on it? Since BlackJack's death, Sandy spends a lot more time with us. He's more like a dog and if we're working outside, he's usually not far away!

Me working on the lawn - about half way.

The grass in the foreground leads to the arboretum. The rockery needs some plants now!

The view across the extension.

There's me at the end of the house to show some perspective. We also have a new bird feeder - that pole on the right!

Here is the view from the other end of the extension, from behind the wall we built last year! Jim's also finished the steps from the 'patio' to the gap in the wall. I am now on the bench at the other end. We had a large sherry to celebrate! Now we have a large pile of stones to shift then we can finish the corner where the stones are. We may gravel that area as the ground there is very solid and my washing line is also there. I can't wait for the grass to grow!

Other Garden Stuff!

We have moved the arch from the centre of the arboretum to the side. It's much better there and already has a clematis growing up one side of it.

The cherry tree on the right has been absolutely weighed down with blossom.

Jim's Photo Session

Lots of photos as Jim had a walk around the garden a few days ago.

Dazzling scarlet tulips and pretty narcissus

The Fairy Hill on the right and path down to the arboretum

Beautiful lilac - and it smells wonderful too.

Rose bed, rhododendron bed and cherry tree bed

The rhodo flowers are enormous. They start pink then gradually turn yellow.

The cherry blossom

Gorgeous new maple leaf

A lovely pot of bulbs. The white and green tulips are particularly special

I love my black tulips

Tulips galore and yellow alyssum

A bee on the white cornflower

I think that's enough for one day. I do hope you've enjoyed this garden catch up.

On Wednesday Jim and I are off to the UK until the following Tuesday. My granddaughter Kirsty is getting married to her partner Kerry on Saturday May 7th so it's a big occasion for all the family. Oh what a lot of photos there will be!!

Just a final note. I am thinking of all my blogging friends in the South of the USA. Such awful suffering from the 'twisters'.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chichester Photos, Catch Up

Gosh - almost a month since my last post - that's terrible. The trouble is, once the weather improves and the days get longer, I spend so much time in the garden, there isn't much left for blogging.

I spent 2 weeks in Worthing, travelling to Chichester and back each day on jury duty. It was a very interesting if rather harrowing time. The case to which I was assigned was domestic violence - and pretty nasty. Still, it was good to see how the British justice system worked and how different it all is from the tv court cases. The jury were a lovely bunch of people from all walks of life and mixed ages.

The weather the first week was amazing. Really warm and I had to buy some new clothes as I was too hot in my jeans! I took advantage of the late afternoon sun to take some photos around Chichester, which is a lovely old Sussex town. Here are a few examples:

An unusual view of Chichester Cathedral.

Behind the cathedral is a lovely garden, called 'The Bishop's Garden'. I spent quite some time walking around it:

A tower in the corner of the garden.

The cathedral from the Bishop's Garden. The sun has turned the bricks a wonderful colour.

The bell tower is close to the cathedral.

Also in the town is the Market Cross - a splendid piece of architecture with lots of carvings around it:

The Market Cross. Below are some of the carving around the cross:

There were plenty of super shops in the town. This pretty window caught my eye:

I stayed at our Worthing house, where Jim's daughter Jenny, husband Matt and son Sonny are staying. Poor Sonny had an awful cold that went to a chest infection and felt very sorry for himself:

He slept a lot on the settee. The day I left he was showing signs of improvement thank goodness.

I also saw Poppy, Ali and Jo and we went and fed the donkeys, which Poppy loves to do:

Poppy has grown quite a lot and is a real charmer:

Ali and Poppy. We indulged in rather a splendid cream tea!

In stark contrast to our 5 acres in Ireland, this is our tiny little garden in Worthing! It goes as far as the large pink flowering tree. There is also a paved area at the side of the house and a small front garden. I spent the time I was there rediscovering the front garden, which had disappeared under a sea of weeds! I took this through the upstairs window so there is some reflected light, but you can see the results of my labours:

Jim and I have been very busy in our garden here in Ireland, but I'll leave that for another post. I'll try and make it soon!