Thursday, 30 June 2016

My Spaces: Studio, Home, Garden...

Well, the main thing that's happening in the studio is that I'm actually able to get in there! Since Otto arrived on the scene, time in here has been somewhat limited. I can however report, that he no longer tries to chew everything in here, I am still some way to actually making anything in here whilst he's with me yet, but I'm so pleased he can be in the studio with me now! Wonder what he will think to the sewing machine?!
Not even sure where to start on this one! My home has been sadly neglected since all my efforts have been put into the garden. It's in real need of some tlc at the moment, and a good clean too if I'm honest! Our bathroom revamp has been delayed so I will need to decorate in there soon, at least then I can live with it for another year. We have been enjoying delicious strawberries and salads from the garden just lately, it's so much better to eat food straight from the garden.
We've finally lifted up what was left of the grass in the kitchen garden. I'm hoping to get the membrane down this weekend, then order the slate chippings. This will make the whole area much more manageable for me. Everything is romping away, we've had so much rain here in the uk I've not had to water the garden hardly at all. I've got shallots and a couple of garlic bulbs to eat, beans and courgettes will be next I think. My cutting patch is a little behind but everything is growing well. I'm looking forward to cutting a huge bunch of cosmos.
I will try and do this again in a couple of months, hopefully then I will have something more to show you. There is such a lot of turmoil and uncertainty here in the UK, as well as around the world at the moment. It's been a real effort over this last week, but I'm trying to focus on what's positive in my own little world, on my little plot of land. Hope there's lots to be positive about in your world too.
Amanda :) xxx


Friday, 17 June 2016

Where Are You Mojo?

I seem to have lost my blogging mojo. I'm not sure if it's the grey rainy weather we are having here in the UK, the exhaustion of supporting a little troubled soul in the night, or all the awfully sad things that are happening in the world right now. Whatever it is, I can't seem to find any words to share.
So here's some images that have made me smile this week:
Bees on alliums.
Rununculars finally budding up, it's been a long wait.
Bee on a peony.
More old stuff to put plants in, even better that some were gifted.
Wishing you all a really lovely weekend,
Amanda :) xxx


Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Down The Garden Path: June

Sorry...never got around to May. It's been a bit hectic, but anyway, here we are in June, June already! Here in the UK we are only really just starting Summer, it's been very cold and grey so far, this week however is glorious, so I'm making the most of it and practically living in the garden.
I was going to underplant my wobbly box hedge, but decided on low maintenance slate chips instead, I've only just finished this today, I've recycled old chips we had and it's been a very messy business cleaning them all up.
I'm really happy with how these top beds are filling out. I've lost most of the peonies, but they were in the garden 15 years ago when we moved in, so perhaps it's time to get some more. The roses are ready to open, and the poppies have popped. I've filled a few of the gaps with annuals, and there's loads of Verbenas in there too. I'm not sure yet if I've stuffed it too full, might need to move things around a bit next year. There's still not enough colour but I think my garden is behind, what with replanting everything and the cool Spring.
The pond area is looking lush, more pond plants are needed, hopefully some frogs might then move in. I really want to look at how I can encourage more wildlife into my garden.
All the vegetable beds are now planted up. There's strawberries, raspberries, salads, shallots, beans, courgettes, squash, tomatoes, cucumber, garlic, carrots, parsnips, beetroot, chives, phew! I've got some cut flowers growing too, although I've not really had the time to do a proper planned cutting patch...I've cheated a bit and ordered a few plug plants. I'm hoping once I've got a greenhouse I can plan ahead better and get seeds sown earlier.
I've made myself a little potting area too, and picked up lots of old terracotta pots for just a few pounds at my local antiques place, do love terracotta pots. The dustbins house the compost and a few little hand tools. Well it's got to look pretty too. I've put my old table on some slabs we had left over so it's a much better height now.
And I'm finally, after years and years, getting around to sorting out the dumping ground of a patio! I've turned the shed around to block the seating area off, it still needs another coat of paint, but we are getting there. It's shady here in the morning, but a brilliant place to watch the sunset. I need some planters, and I'm wanting to grow a fragrant, shade loving climber up and over the fence. Any suggestions?
So jobs for the month ahead:
Continue with the patio area, a climber, pots of flowers, lights for the evening, and make some cushions too, I've got some lovely vintage barkcloth.
Get to grips with the cut flower patch, better planning needed!
General maintenance, following the 1/2 hour allotment principles.
Look at feeding areas for the birds.
Eat some delicious food, straight from my plot!
Joining in, as usual with Sarah...think there's a few of us now, do take a look!
Amanda :) xxx
I know he shouldn't be on here but he does love a snooze!


Saturday, 28 May 2016

Hello Weekend...

Here in the UK we have a bank holiday, a long weekend, plus it runs into May half term! No alarm clock for 10 days!
This weekend we have a birthday to celebrate, my little daughter isn't so little anymore. A big, very bouncy party is planned for later. Tomorrow I will be pooped, so I'm really hoping some decent weather to sit out in the garden and relax. I'm way behind with any blog posts, there's Venice, studio happenings, and another garden update...and it's the end of May! I think it will all have to wait now until June ;)
Whatever you are doing this weekend, I hope you are doing what you love, with those you love.
Amanda :) xxx
His dirty smelly cone has gone, thank goodness!


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Half-Hour Gardening...

I can do this again. I can. It's no longer overwhelming. No longer a weight pressing down on me. I can garden again. MS has changed my life unrecognisably. It's took away so many things, it's took away so many of the choices I once had. Don't get me wrong, it's given me things too, time, an understanding that my health should be a priority. It's given me this blog too, this community. I would never have had time to blog before MS. So it's not all negative...there are the positives in there too.
A couple of years ago MS threatened to take away my ability to garden. That was scary, well it is for someone who loves her garden. My garden is my sanctuary. When I went out into the garden, my heart would sink. I would look at the weeds, the untamed shrubs, the uncut grass, it made me feel so sad. My beautiful garden, that I loved so much, felt like a huge burden. A constant reminder of what I couldn't do anymore. Salt in the wound, so to speak.
It feels very indulgent spending my little pension pot on my garden. We need other things, what family doesn't? Indulgent perhaps, but essential too. Essential to my health, both physical and mental. I'm certainly being more active, and it's enabled me to feel positive about my future too. I can do this, I'm thinking...I can still do this.
The Half-Hour Allotment by Lia Leendertz, has also been pivotal in enabling me to feel I CAN garden again. Yes there's been the physical changes made, but my mental approach to gardening has changed too. I no longer think of my garden in terms of a whole space, but small manageable chunks. Half hour chunks, little chunks. Even on those bad days, I might still just be able to achieve a small task. This book is a must for those who are time, or like me, energy poor.
I now set myself small attainable tasks, prioritising what needs to be done. I've put lots of little rest areas around the garden too, I can just sit if I need too, my bottom is never that far from a chair! I've still got things I want to get done, but these can all be done one small step at a time. It's been expensive, but has it been worth it? Yes every's given me back some hope, and positivity, and for me that's priceless.
Over on Instagram I've changed my name to Happy Little Plot. This little plot of mine, with it's kitchen garden, it's beautiful studio, and easy peasey flowerbeds is making me very happy. And maybe, if I can workout how to change my blog name, I'll change that too, who knows. Happy Little Plot reflects WHO I am, and WHERE I am right here, right now. Vintage sheets and colourful yarn will always make me smile, but there's a spiritual calm I get from being in the garden. It strengthens my body, calms my soul, connects me to nature, and reminds me of my's in my genes. I'm very happy in my little plot.
Amanda :) xxx
Stitches are coming out soon!