Wednesday 27 April 2016

Garden activity, painting, piecing and baking

We woke to a sprinkling of snow again this morning - April has been very unpredictable weather wise. It doesn't seem to have deterred the wildlife though. We think these mallards are biding their time in the garden while the females are sitting tight on their eggs nearby. 

I couldn't resist making a start on an oil painting, trying to capture the iridescence of the neck feathers. It's the only time I ever use viridian!

I have to wait for this initial layer to dry before I can add glazes and more detail.

Not everything was doing as well as the duck population sadly. I found this tiny chiff chaff in the garden. Not a mark on him but I suspect he'd flown into a window. They fly at great speed and don't stand a chance if they mistake glass for open space.

Tragic as any death of a beautiful creature is, I find it a great privilege to be able to study them in such detail. In fight they are so speedy it's impossible to see the colouring - they are just a brownish flash. He's actually quite olive green with cream and lemon yellow. You can see how diminutive he is cradled in the palm of my hand.

It's that time of year when we start thinking of our stomachs! After hours perusing seed catalogues, he who gardens has been laying chippings on the paths between the veggie beds. A final bit of weeding and we'll be ready for all the plants that are currently in the greenhouses.

The only thing we're eating from the plot right now is rhubarb. The makeshift bucket arrangement means those stems will be pink and tender for puddings. I use the coarser stuff in chutney.

Up in what we laughingly call, the woodland walk but what is really a neglected bit of the orchard, the bluebells are making a lovely show. Piles of rotting wood, weeds and nettles are good for insects and wildlife generally aren't they? That's our excuse anyway.

It's all very well spending time in the garden but I like to have some stitching on the go too. This week I've raided my scrap boxes and sorted out some cheery colours for a bit of piecing. DMTV subscribers will see what I'm up to in next week's video.

Of course all this activity does give you an appetite so a batch of gingerbread is just what we need with a nice cup of tea!

Thanks for dropping by the blog today. 
Bye for now - Linda x


  1. Your gardens look wonderful (as do your cookies!) Thanks for the garden inspiration.

    Poor little chiff chaff.

    But like you, I do like to see them up close.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. A fabulous garden Linda! Stunning!! You live in a wonderful part of the world and your veg beds look as though they've stepped right out of Gardeners World!

  3. Thanks girls - the beds will look much better when they are full of plants! If this weather ever warms up that is.

  4. I am envious of your rhubarb. Growing up outside of Seattle, I took it for granted. Now living on the desert side of the state, my poor rhubarb has spindly stalks. I haven't given up. Nothing that a good compost and crossed fingers can't fix. The poor little bird. It always breaks my heart to find one in the garden. Taking a tip from you & Laura, they are photographed, drawn, and used for inspiration. As you have snow, we are suffering from heat about 3 months early. Keep toasty and those cookies look delish.

  5. We have a lemon tree in a tub just next to our lounge window and in the last week our chiffchaff has been sitting in it literally inches away from us on the other side. They are so beautiful - but much better live than dead!

  6. Oh what a beautiful bird, I've never seen one of those before. And I have veg plot envy. I only have one small raised bed in my garden but then again I would struggle to find time to garden all those beds. Love the fabric colours, I look forward to seeing what you do with them.

  7. Dear Jeannie - what a pity you are so far away - you could have as much of our rhubarb as you could eat. With all the rain it's shooting up. I can almost see it grow.

  8. Hi Liza - Wish I could say I do lots of the gardening but truth is, I have a man for that! He grows, I cook. I am allowed to weed however!

  9. Hi Jinnie - I totally agree they're way better live. How lucky to are to see him so close. Our live ones seem to only have one speed and that's a hundred miles an hour.