Friday 8 July 2016

TGI Friday ...

... and the last Friday of the school term at that.

Boy I'm glad we're almost done, but kind of sad all at the same time. It always feels the same as we trudge towards the last day of term. Back in God's Own Country we wound up for the school holidays at the end of June, so this business of plodding on to the middle of July is a bit of a faff in my book, and by now it feels like the end is long overdue.

But today I'm feeling thankful that I managed to untangle this mess I found all over the carpet this morning.

I've got a hunch that the culprit was this guy, who left a collection of his squeaky toys at the scene of the crime. It's hard to be mad with him when he does the puppy eyes thing, but I would have been a little bent out of shape if he'd pulled my knitting apart. I've got a complicated stitch decrease operation going on over patterned sleeves that I'm finding tricky. So watch out, WonderDog, your card is marked!

I'm also grateful for the odd interlude of summer weather. It feels so good to get outside and soak up the rays. I've got my home office permanently set up on the terrace just outside the kitchen door. The sun awning sometimes doubles up as an umbrella, but that's just par for the course with our barmy British weather.

My nematode treatment seems to have done for a lot of the slugs and snails - either that or they've already eaten everything they like the taste off, and buggered off next door. Whatever the way of it there's plenty of colour to admire in their absence. I'm only saddened by the pathetic-looking stalks that are all that remain of my lupins.

I've noticed that slugs don't seem to like geraniums very much. Even at the height of my slithery, slimy epidemic they didn't seem to come to much hurt. That's more than can be said for the nasturtiums, which flourish on my clay soil until they're chomped by the slime-brigade. I'm loving the rusty red of these babies, which self-seeded from last year.

I'm also loving this pink and white trailing geranium that I've planted with a standard hibiscus.

I'm not sure how the hibiscus will over-winter, but for  now it's looking sweet.

And then there's this Acanthus that I moved from a north-facing position to my south-facing garden. In the old days he suffered from leaf-mildew, but now he's really enjoying the summer sunshine.

And, of course, I can't not mention my wonderful Munstead Wood, which is throwing up plumes of glorious scented blooms. In those sunny interludes when my terrace heats up a little their fragrance is such a summer-time treat.

And I'm also really pleased that I've managed to train a passionflower vine to grow on my East-facing garden wall. I'm normally not that good at getting climbers to climb along wires in the direction that I'd like them to grow. My jasmine often ends up in an unregulated top-heavy mess that topples over and needs radical surgery. But, so far, this chap and I seem to be getting along okay.

I'm grateful that little Emi is taking an interest in photography. We got one of those funky Gorillapod tripods the other day, and a remote control for his camera that made us both giddy with delight. I send him out into the garden from time to time with the camera and the instruction to photograph whatever catches his eye. Find something interesting, I tell him. This is what he brought me last Saturday.

I had been hoping for some colourful flower or interesting seed pod - he's studying seed pods in science at the moment. But, no. I got tanks! Totally not what I'd been expecting. Looking on the bright side he's taken the photo from an interesting angle playing with the perspective to make it look like we'd got some full-size tanks parked up on the terrace outside. The bits of tissue have been attached with sellotape to look like smoke plumes as though they were caught in mid battle. Hmmh ... we may need some work on special effects. Maybe it's time to introduce the kiddo to Photoshop.

And we have been able to do a bit of seed study from the specimens to hand. My favourites are these wonderful bluebells, which rattle when you touch them.

Although the pepper-pot seeds of the oriental poppies are pretty cool too.

Anyway, wishing you all a fabulous weekend,

Bonny x

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