Open Gardens, the appreciation of other peoples hard work.

It was Wymondham’s Open Gardens last weekend, an annual event that I love. For a small fee which goes to charity you get a map and gain admission to lots of truly hidden gems. There were around thirty gardens included this year.

I’m not a great gardener, or even a good gardener, but I pride myself in being able to appreciate the ability in others.

I’m attracted to white flowers and the green veining on these is beautiful. I think that they’re Scabiors but feel free to correct me, I’m always open to being educated.

Silver Birch is another love of mine, and this group of three planted in a flower bed really glow despite the lack of sunshine.

The garden below is my favourite. The photograph above was taken from the bottom of the garden, combine that view with moss covered brick steps, meandering grass paths through billowing boarders, and all of it just the right side of left to it’s own devices and I’m smitten.

Mm mm, I wish I was there now.

Happy Gardening, be it your own patch or someone else’s, enjoy.

Shelley

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A red red rose

I started knitting a while ago and my little one was desperate to get involved. Remembering a wooden knitting doll from my childhood, I told her she could have her own doll to knit with and after finding one in the shops, buying it and bringing it home, we sat down to have a go.

This is when I remembered just how fiddly these thing are, and needless to say my head strong three year old soon gave up.

So, now I have a new toy!

I found some very red, red wool in Sainsbury’s of all places, and started to play around with the idea of making some roses.

I think they turned turned out alright, very rose like. I’ve been wearing this one as a brooch. This is how I made it.

I found it a lot easier to use a crochet hook to do the french knitting instead of the large wooden “pin” that was supplied with the french knitting doll.

I also found that I could get a nice rhythm going by holding the wool under a little tension with my little finger and rotating the knitting doll with my left hand.

It’s important to leave plenty of wool at either end of your french knitting once you cast off as this is what you use to stitch it all together. (I didn’t leave enough in the photo below, so leave around 70cm)

You need around 1 metre of french knitting to make one rose that will end up being about 6.5 cm across.

Make a small loop in one end of the knitting and stitch it together using a darning needle, at what will now be the back of your flower.

Add three or four slightly larger loops around your small starting loop, stitching in place at the back as you go. Now you need to build up more loops around the outside, try to overlap them as you go.

Continue to loop the knitting around.

You may find it easier to roughly lay out the last couple of loops in your hand before stitching to ensure that they are even and you have finished with the  end of your knitting at the back.

Once you have all your loops stitched in place and the end attached at the back then you need the tighten the whole flower up.

To make the petal shapes and tighten it up, stitch from the center out through the whole flower to the middle of the petal loops and pull them back in towards the center, don’t pull this too tight as you could just end up with smaller loops rather that pimpled petal shapes.

Take your time and make sure you are happy with the shape, then tie off your lose ends but leave them attached so you can use them to simply attach your choice of fastening to the back.

If you have a go I’d love to see your results and what you use them for.

Have fun.

Shelley

Simple spring table decoration

My very simple spring table decorations make the most of some vintage willow pattern tea trios that I’ve collected.


I blue tacked a small pot in between the side plate and the saucer to make room for the eggs and feathers and also to give the hole thing extra hight.

I left the band around the daffodils but moved it towards the flower heads to help keep them in shape and added some small pebbles from the garden to the cup to keep them central.

This makes a very cheerful centrepiece, great for afternoon tea this Easter and a good excuse to buy more tea cups.

Shelley.