When the World Wearies
And Society ceases to Please
There is always
The Garden.

Heres wishing you all a merry Christmas and hope one and all has a happy, healthy New Year for 2010.

Here are a couple of pictures of my fireplace and tree, an artificial one, as pine needles in a dogs paw can be fatal (dogs are allergic to them I believe) My animals have to come first! My dear old reindeer and sleigh on the mantlepiece has been with me since I moved here about 28 years ago. I rescued him from a neighbours bonfire in November, and since then he has been on my mantlepiece every Christmas.He is rather threadbare now, but it wouldnt be Christmas without him! I made some little Joyeux Noel hearts for the tree and garlands and a stocking each for myself, Damon and Kate.

I had a nice surprise on Christmas Eve, a parcel arrived and I excitedly opened it to find an Andy Murray Fred Perry Tennis Shirt from his own collection! I had donated £15 to Malaria No More the charity Andy is involved with, and the first 100 people to donate would get a shirt from his collection. As I hadnt heard anything I was sure I would not be one of the lucky ones....I havent had much luck over the years so it was a lovely surprise.

 Kate and Damon think I am mad, they know how much I admire Andy as a tennis player, and even Kate is warming to him now he is girlfriendless! Damon noted that he was the same size as Andy and the shirt would fit him (normally I would give my son the world, but he is not having my Andy top!)
Well merry Christmas to everyone, and I hope you all get some peace and happiness this Christmas and for 2010. And roll on a Grand Slam for Andy, thats my wish for 2010!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all
love Elizabeth (Betty) xxx

Heron has eaten 11 of my fish...... 17:00

Fell rather sad and guilty today as a couple of herons or cranes have eaten 11 of my fish.  Noticed this morning that rather a lot of water was missing but didnt realise the fish were also. Then as I was waiting for my cousin Deb to pick me up to take me shopping I noticed one heron/crane on the rooftops. I had netting over the pond but when I had replaced the pump in the summer I hadnt put the netting back on properly.... When I returned from shopping I thought I had better refill the pond, only to realise that there were only 8 fish in the pond instead of 19. Daughter Kate then heard strange noises from my dads garden which we later identified as a heron. Then son Damon saw two swooping down on the field at the back of us while he was walking Max our German Shepherd. I caught sight of them in the distance and thought that was the last of them. So I refilled pond and put new pond protection net over and thought that the fish would be fine now... Then this afternoon my dad came home and came running in to tell me that there was one large and one juvenile heron on our roof! I rushed out into my garden to make sure the fish were alright, only to find the fish in only about 6 inches of water...the herons beaks had cut into the butyl liner without me realising it. So now the poor remaining 8 fish are in a temporary plastic box in the garden with lots of metal grilles etc over them to protect them. My poor fish.... I feel really guilty. If only I had put the old netting back on properly, Ive had the new netting for about 2 months now and hadnt bothered.... I love birds, and normally see the cranes or herons fly over my garden early in the morning on their way back to the Thames marshes and never see them in the middle of the day. Just hope they leave the remaining fish alone.

My gingham and linen makes 13:47

Well its been weeks and weeks since I started sewing my lovely raspberry gingham, powder blue/duckegg
gingham and laura ashley linen bits and pieces and finally today got around to photographing some of them.
Shame I didnt iron the piece of gingham on the left of this pic......

I printed words onto white and natural linen, the one above has faith, a silver hope charm, and then charity
Some are hop and lavender pillows and hearts

I also made some sweet little bags with Laura Ashley Clarice and lined with cream polka dot lawn, and these have appliqued faces or scenes on with vintage mother of pearl buttons and guipure lace Also some little brooch pillows or can be used for pin cushions.

I love this red gingham one, with faith and charity words and a rose printed pocket
I made loads and loads of victorian style hanging boots (my mum used to call these Luton boots that she wore when she was a little girl-shame she is no longer here to see what I have been sewing recently)

Am keeping some bits(made far too many, got carried away! And am running out of friends to give to!) So might put some on ebay later as it is free listing today, thats if I get time, West Ham are playing Man United, so will be watching the match, then its tea time for the hordes (dad, brother,son and daughter) so I might get to list some before midnight! Come on You Irons and beat Man Utd today!!

Link to French Larkspur giveaway 13:17

Well I still havent had chance to photograph all my makes - migraine and weather have been too bad, and daughter Kate has been playing Modern Warcraft until all hours (she goes to bed when I get up) since her break up with boyfriend Matt a month ago she has taken again to sleeping in my bed.
The weather here in Kent (as all over England I expect) is terrible, very gusty and torrential downpours, so I have been looking around blog land and have found  a lovely blog http://frenchlarkspur.blogspot.com/  by Tracey, and she is having a marvellous giveaway. It includes some lovely textiles with french wording on, which I love (a lot of my recent makes have English and French words on so I am going to enter Traceys giveaway- i have never entered one before) So click on French Larkspurs link and have a look! What a lovely name too, roses, larkspur, geranium and poppies, my most favourite flowers. I grow larkspur every year, most of it self seeding, some from an original sowing from my parents house back in the early 1970s.
Hopefully tomorrow I can pull Kate out of my bed and start photographing my lovely linen and gingham makes! Hope the weather isnt too bad where my blogger friends are, Betty x

Honouring all our Servicemen, past and present on Remembrance Sunday 09:05

I just wanted to post in remembrance of all our servicemen past and present who have died for our country and other countries far and wide. Coming from a long line of military men on my fathers side (his grandfather and great grandfather were career army men from 1860s to 1920 between them, and dad like most men of his age spent a good few years doing his bit, and both my grandfathers were in the trenches in the 1st World War)
I cant bear to listen to the news lately or read the papers to see how many of our young men are dying still in foreign fields. Let us hope they will all return home safe one day soon.

Kate as Belle 08:55

Goodness its been a while again, but I have been busy sewing if nothing else! My daughter Kate loves going to game expos. In May she went to one as a female warrior type with scanty costume and huge sword, but decided she wanted to go as something more pretty for the October expo. So I made her a Belle dress from Beauty and the Beast.  Kate said that hundreds of people took her photo, but we havent any of them! When she arrived and dressed in the toilets of the expo in London a girl took her photo and luckily posted it on the net, so here it is, rather blurry, here is my beautiful Belle

The picture doesnt do her any justice and she wants to do a photo shoot, but I think it is rather too cold at the moment. I suggested a shoot at Greenwich, on the steps of the Queens House would be nice, maybe when the weather warms up in the spring! I just wonder what outfit I have to make next time! Her favourite game is Call of Duty, so no doubt it will be something military!
Next post hopefully will be pics of  all my sewing I have been doing. I really have been going mad!

Pretty Paper Roses Giveaway by my cousin 07:33

I havent blogged for a month or so as I have been getting terrible migraines every time I look at the screen, so I have been busy sewing (which also has been giving me migraines! I think I have been eating too much chocolate and cheese....) I am going to post my creations next week as I am busy this week helping my brother Bill who has been recovering from a heart attack who has and still is quite poorly.
But my main reason for coming on is to give a link to my cousin Debbies Wednesday giveaway for a wreath of her pretty paper roses - view her blog and websites, she makes beautiful lifelike roses and is such a lovely person - so please visit her and post a comment and be included in her giveaway. I would if only I wasnt her cousin.... Cant wait to photograph all my new creations, I really feel in a sewing mood. I have to make my grown up daughter Kate a Belle evening dress from Beauty and the Beast before next Saturday, so wish me luck!

6th September 2009 10:49

I made some cushions,tussie mussie and stocking sets last year, but then got rid of them on ebay - regret it now as I have decided I like them after all....time to get the sewing machine out I think and make some more! Feel in a sewing mood but hurt my back last night taking my socks off before playing Wii Fit with Kate...should be called Wii Unfit for me I think!

4th september 2009 15:03

Well she moaned.....more up to date photos of Kate - as you will see, she changes her hair colour by the week almost. I think we look quite alike, heres one of me at the age of 16

4th September 2009 14:09

My daughter Kate is moaning that there are pics of the pets and andy murray on here but none of her. So stop moaning...although she will moan more now because they are not her favourite pictures and none are up to date, latest about 6 years ago! Picture of Kate and Damon on Millenium night, and my fav one of my dad and Damon at Christmas when he was about 5 or 6 about 1978 ish

4th September 2009 13:15

It was very windy yesterday so decided to bring some flowers into the bedroom.I dont know why but I dont normally have cut flowers in the house or houseplants for that matter.When they look so beautiful in the garden I just hate to cut them I suppose. I have one single houseplant, a mother in laws tongue that I bought when I was 16 in my lunchbreak when working at Grand Buildings Trafalgar Sq. I still have it,although i always forget to water it (up on bathroom cupboard,too high to reach, but it still survives) Put lovely roses,echinops,golden rod,annual asters and some herbs on my bedside table, but removed them when I got in bed. Table looked bare this morning, so I am going to have to replace them with something floral when they start drooping.

Thats stimpey on my bed, I am going to have to watch my lovely antique white cover, its so beautiful and i have had it years,but stimpey does tend to drool....
Andy Murray is playing tonight at the US Open, but at least at a decent hour this time(went to bed about 4am after watching his last match!) For people who say he doesnt smile much, look at this lovely pic of him during his match with Gulbis. For a lovely short smiling video, click on the link below.


Andy Murrays Epic Match 30 June 2009 09:11

Am totally exhausted this morning after watching Andy Murrays epic match at Wimbledon on TV last night. Lasted 4 minutes short of 4 hours and I swear I played every shot with him! Poor Andy, I hope he managed to get a good sleep last night ready for the quarters on Wednesday. Talk about Braveheart, he showed immense courage and looked very emotional at the end. Well done Andy!
Must try and get in the garden today (was far too hot to stay out for more than a few minutes yesterday, and it looks like it is hotter today) Have bought some expensive strong mesh to make covers for my veg polytunnels, hoping to keep the slugs and snails off my lettuces. They have managed to get inside the greenhouse and demolish many lettuce plants. Havent managed to find the right size covers for my tunnels, so decided to make some from the enviromesh i bought from http://www.gardening-naturally.com/ Will have to get the sewing machine out today I think before I dont have any salad crops left. My tunnels are 2 metres long x 1 metre wide and about 32 inches high, and I have looked everywhere for replacement covers (fleece and mesh). I also have some cheap smaller tunnels I bought from the Pound Shop, which are about 2m long but not very wide or high, just right for lettuces, so I think I may use the metal arches from these to make smaller tunnels for the lettuce, and make sure I dig some of the enviromesh down into the soil to stop those pests! Photos to follow hopefully!

Heat & Hail 12:12

lower photo is a californian poppy, either champagne and roses or summer sorbet. Others are all papaver somniferums.

Has been very hot and stifling and at tea time when I was settling down to watch Andy Murray at Wimbledon on the tv when it decided to thunder down golf ball sized hail for at least an hour. Thunder, lightning and floods later, managed to wade through the water and take Max my German Shepherd into the garden. The garden was devastated by the hail and most of my poppies and roses were snapped off or bedraggled. My potato patch was completely flattened as I havent been earthing up as much as I should have but amazingly the sweetcorn is still standing upright. Luckily took some photos of the poppies yesterday morning so have a record of whats what. Will just have to be content with seedheads for next year now :( Well at least Andy Murray won and very convincingly too! :)

What a month 12:01

Havent posted for a month because I ruined my camera..the usb lead was squashed and I forced it in only to ruin the camera port and losing all my photos on the internal memory. So have bought some memory cards now. But lost beautiful pics of some of my newer oriental poppies.

Last Sunday went to Brighton and spent 5 hours on a one hour coach journey. Two accidents and 27,000 bike riders on the London to Brighton Bike Race later.....Only 2 and half hours to come home, no accidents, just 27,000 bike riders put their 27,000 bikes on top of their 27,000 cars and all decided to come our way. Have you ever been on pavements and piers where all 27,000 bike riders seem to be going in the opposite direction to you? It wasnt nice...I was prodded and poked with more pieces of bikes that I care to remember!

Went to Royal Pavilion with dad and son Damon. Been before with Kate years ago. Cant take photos inside which is silly because it is so beautiful and striking. Took photos outside but doesnt do the building justice as you just cant fit it all in, but managed to get dad in front of one of the domes!

Fish,Rain and Gertrude Jekyll 17:02

Torrential rain this morning and at 6 am I had to get 19 fish out of pond as pump was broken and they had been gasping poor things. I looked a sorry sight when I finished at 6.45, soaked with rain and dirty pond water!

The roses are looking lovely in the very strong breeze today. Gertrude Jekyll has about 100 blooms and buds,and Madame Gregoire Stachelin is so gorgeous. Souvenir du Dr Jamain is out, only two lovely dark roses so far (which are much darker than the photo), as I moved this rose along with several others earlier in the year. Constance Spry is just beginning, but Max my german shepherd chased a fox over the fence last night and the fox broke two large stems off.

Two slow worms decided to have a rest in the shade yesterday (beautiful and hot yesterday, what a change from today) One, the male I assume, has the females neck in his mouth.
Planted my courgettes and cucumbers into the ground in the greenhouse and potted on tomatoes, aubergines and various peppers today. Cant wait to try out my own produce this year.