Showing posts with label potting bench.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label potting bench.. Show all posts

21 April 2014

Leaving my garden to look after itself.

Not done intentionally , but sometimes things have to happen that way.
I'm back after my stay in hospital, having treatment on my back.
Although not completely sorted due to a little hiccough with my blood pressure,
which on the last day of my treatment decided to shoot sky high,
which meant I was unable to complete the full treatment,
 and will have to go back in a months time.
It is greatly improved, but I still can't do any gardening for awhile.
Fortunately his basket was planted up some time ago
so we did have a few nice things to see
 Tete a Tete daffodils
So regretfully I'll have to leave things to Mr France.
Gardening is not his thing.
 Not so very long ago he couldn't tell a weed from a cherished plant.
He does all the hard ground work and I do the planting.
I'll be giving advice and asking him just to do the most important things.
My big new flower bed will not happen this year.

At the moment it's looking like this.
But it's not important.
I'm thinking when the soil is levelled off, I'll just lightly rake in some seeds
which were gathered last year and hope for the best.
This is what they looked like last year when my niece collected them for me,
 it's where we go on one our favourite walks.


Our communes have been sowing wild flower seeds en-mass in certain areas for the past few years.  
They're left to grow on their own amongst the grass with no attention what so ever .
 but look so pretty, and as my garden is on the rustic side in places
I think they should fit in quite nicely.
This is the view from the front of our house.

Shall we start with the potting bench, where most of the preparation  begins.
Trailing Fuchsias which we over wintered indoors, coming along nicely
 Something I could do was watch & nurture
some of the cuttings growing, that I took back in September.

So what's been happening around the garden, naturally and unassisted?
I'll take you on a tour showing the good the bad & the ugly.

Work in progress, hopefully this will get finished.
Mr France loves to build rustic stone walls,
 using the stones left over from the renovation he did when we bought this old ruin 20 yrs. ago.

These Tete a Tete miniature daffodils are new
 they were planted last year in the work in progress new bank area.
Muscari  bulbs in bloom planted last year.
Two different varieties. 
and the ones in the trough appear every year
a little on the small side due to neglect, put a pretty blue.
These big blousey Tulips were planted here by my Danish daughter in law
over 15 years ago. They come up every year, but this year I think this is the best they have looked.
Maybe they put on a special show for me, to cheer me up for when I came home.


No seeds have been sown this year, I will be buying trays of plants this summer.  

Some trays of summer plants already bought for the window boxes & baskets.
This year not as many as usual.
Could be a sitting down job next week.



Hopefully, slow but sure I'll be back to my old self soon
doing what I love best
 pottering about in my garden.
Before I went into hospital I bought myself a new Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook.
so while I was passing the hours in hospital I did some water colour sketches.
I'll show you some I did later in the week.
and maybe work in my garden will have progressed.
Thank you to all my friends who have sent me their kind wishes for my speedy recovery.
Some of you are also suffering with back problems, so I hope things are improving for you too.
 Even if I didn't leave comments on the usual blogs I follow I've loved reading your posts,
 keeping up to date with some of the things you've all been doing.

à bientôt

Barbara Lilian


06 November 2013

No Gardening, so I'm painting.

It's been raining for days and the forecast is more for the next few days, which means our garden project has been put on hold ! So what do I do with my time after the daily chores have been completed.......
Well, now I don't have any excuse not to be working on  the painting challenge I gave myself.

Before the rain I'd collected a selection of different leaves so thought I'd start off with a little bit of Autumn.

and a couple of cones from the many I've collected
waiting to be used in decorations for Christmas.

I have various watercolour painting books on 'How to  ....... '
and the many techniques on how to use aquarelle in the style I like.
.However that day my mind was blank
 I had no idea what to paint, should it be scenes, buildings or flowers ?
Being so undecided I thought I'd sketch a few things in my journal

I started with what I could see in front of me on my work surface.

Then I saw my journal. !
 I only started  it at the beginning of this year 2013
 Unfortunately I'm not disciplined enough and only make the odd entry every now and again.

My journal has brown paper which is like wrapping  paper.
and it's a very different surface to paint on which I don't find  easy.

  so I usually just sketch.

then use my watercolour pencils.

I will state this is not meant to be a self portrait ! 
but it is my usual style of dress for gardening on cold drizzly days.

We had a break in the clouds and it had stopped raining for a short spell
I decided to get outside and divide up a few plants &  re-pot a few others, also
 I'd just bought a tray of pansies to brighten up the window boxes and they needed to be planted.
so that turned out to be my subject for sketching.

I do like to paint pansies.
I put one in a little blue glazed, terracotta pot.

This one below is one I did during my first period of painting in 2008
Mr France was so proud of me, he made a mount and framed it .

I had a period of busy family life and painting was shelved for quite a few years.Then when I did have the time, I found it difficult to begin again. I felt I'd lost my way, and was never happy with what I produced.  My art teacher at that time gave me a very good piece of advice, 'never throw away any of your paintings, otherwise you'll never have anything to compare your recent painting with' 
I'm glad I listened, as I took out some of my early paintings, and saw I had improved, and now feel I have the courage to gradually slip a little painted sketch into my posts.Some of my lovely followers have asked, where I've been hiding my talent. I don't see myself as producing good work or being talented. I enjoy painting, but always want to paint in the style of others.
I received an email from one of my follower friends, telling me I should be chuffed at what I'm producing in my own style..That was the best encouragement I could receive and I take it as a compliment.

Slowly I'm gaining my confidence again. 
and trying to paint as often as I can.
I hope you like what I've dared to share.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

06 October 2013

Working at my potting bench.

I don't usually do another post so soon. but just had to share what I saw 
while I was working at my potting bench this morning .
take a close look at these pictures 
What can you see in each one ?

I apologise for the poor focus.
I had my camera out taking a few shots of a corner we are planning on making some changes to,
grabbed the camera to catch the lizard as he was just climbing out of the trough,
thinking he would slither away as soon as I clicked the shutter. As you can see he hung around popping in and out of the wreaths on the warm stone wall, stopping to do a spot of sunbathing. 

He must have spotted  something ! 

he disappeared for a moment
then I saw him on the paving slabs
 he shot out his tongue and grabbed it !

A nice juicy insect for lunch.

I was supposed to be potting up cuttings at my bench
but couldn't resist a few moments distraction.

Just in case you're wondering , I did finish potting them  later.

Enjoy your weekend what ever you're doing.

à bientôt
Barbara Lilian