Thursday, September 28

Pumpkin patch

We've grown some rather hefty pumpkins at work - the one above is 22kg or over 49lbs and I was inspired to have some at home - but smaller and quicker and easier to 'grow'. 
Then having made one, fancied another, then a third and now four mini-kins along the line I wondered if you'd like to have your own 'pumpkin patch' of mini-kins too!
This is not so much a tutorial as a ... this is sort of how I made them, hope it helps you make them too!

You'll need:

Some suitably coloured yarn (I used quite a thick ply carpet wool)
Scissors and crochet hook or large tapestry needle
A card roll - I used the inner of a silver foil roll, but loo rolls, kitchen towel roll would work just as well.
Mug of tea or coffee or something stronger.....

I cut the card roll into 2cm/1 inch lengths, then snipped a notch in one side to tag the yarn in to. Wrap the yarn round until the card is hidden and the centre almost filled (this is where the tapestry needle or crochet hook come in handy).

When I reached a nicely full mini-kin, I knotted the thread leaving one upward to form the stalk and the other I tucked in and out of sight. The stalk yarn I then trimmed a little shorter.

It was at this point I thought I would add a little bit of green yarn as foliage, tying it around the 'stalk' then knotting it to give a quirky texture - voila !

I might just have to make some more - I can feel a garland of mini-kins being added to the pumpkin patch!

Post script: Thursdays are my 'work at home day' - where I have to pretend to like housework.... the weather has not been that conducive to gardening so in the absence of my usual entertainment - I have crafted (but with a gardening theme!!)🎃🎃

Thursday, September 21

Below the water line

The last couple of days have been rather wet - although not as wet as above. Yesterday I spent most of it hunkered down in the glasshouse at work with a couple of diehard volunteers who despite me suggesting they stayed home and dry still arrived bringing with them grins and good company. 

I've spent most of today (not as planned) working my way through the house which has been somewhat neglected of late. I seem to fill my life then - when I do have downtime - I have to profess to sliding in to a state of slothdom where just making a mug of tea needs effort. Thanks Covid you are still making your insidious presence felt. Hey ho! But! On to more pleasant things - We have our boys and their lovely girls home this weekend, there is a birthday to celebrate and kittens to play with.

Despite today's promised dreary and wet weather not materialising, I've a line full of freshly washed laundry outside - it's going to smell aired and feel wonderful, there is something rather satisfying about airdried washing. Here is to Friday and a family filled weekend xx

post script : the watery photos are of our small pond - I've a new camera I am trying to master and it has a 'dunk your camera in water' option and I was rather carefully trying it out .....

Tuesday, September 19

Epimelides Dryad*

Sunday was different - Sunday meant driving to work wearing twisted twiggy horns, with wild green tinged hair and elf ears poking through the tangles. It meant having a green face with sigil-esque marks on my forehead and cheeks. 

It also meant a lot of fun and a lot of hard work. 

Sunday was a special festival for adults with learning difficulties and/or autism and we all became magickal folk for the day - there were dryads, butterflies, fairies and wizards.

I am lucky that where I work - the volunteers and staff are amazing folk and step up to the mark when asked. 

And the title ? Epimelides Dryad? - a tree sprite specifically associated with fruiting trees in particular apples, now seeing that Hawthorns are the same family and what I do for a living, it felt right.

PS when I finally returned home ready to wash my hedge-backwards hair and fae-face I found out that Himself has switched the water off while he was tacking the dodgy plumbing in the kitchen .... oh well - might as well be green a little longer....!

Tuesday, September 12


The weekend was overcast and sultry. The air heavy and treacle thick whilst we worked in the garden. Unusually we had no commitments, no plans - nothing scheduled, just us, the cat and the garden.

Quietly over the years, the garden has strived for 'world domination' - especially the rambler and climbing roses, so this year they have been served antisocial behaviour notices and benefited from a slash and burn style cut back. One - a Madam Alfred Carriere climbing rose - which according to the blub is 'exceptionally tall' had certainly lived up to the hype. She is(was) a big lass. 

Our garden is heavily shaded out by the neighbouring trees as well as a couple of our own which will be taken down a peg or two sometime during the winter months. This has meant my preferred style of planting - my own take on a prairie mix - fails to thrive beneath the treed canopy. 

I've doggedly struggled, in vain, to have my dream planting hence me falling out of love of my garden. Recently Himself and I returned from an all too brief break in Dumfries and Galloway where we lingered in the garden of Broughton House, Kirkcudbright. My ears were opened to the most sublime ( shady - very shady) and beautiful garden.

I am invigorated!

post script - why does, on one of the warmest, most humid of days in this topsy turvy summer/autumn we are living in - why does the cat choose to nap in a metal wheelbarrow, in the glasshouse...?

Friday, September 1

One brief weekend

 It must be something about the melancholy of approaching autumn that makes me return to blogging.

I started my first blog in September 2009, which after a few years morphed into my second version mid November 2012 and now this one - my third. 

Why the changes?  Well, like changing the carpet or the car, it felt that it was time to move to 'pastures new'.

I suspect I am a landlocked mermaid - we spent a glorious long weekend up in Dumfries and Galloway and at every opportunity I stared at that liminal line between sea and sky.

Watching the last of the late summer swallows tumble in the evening sunlight was magical and heart breaking in equal measure, when they go, then so does the last of the summer's warmth. 
Plans are being made for a garden make over - I struggle with mine, I can advise and design a garden for anyone - except me. This autumn will be different and my garden will evolve into something new. I am actually excited at the prospect - something I can't say I have felt for my precious little piece of earth for a very long time. 

Here is to turning the earth and tuning in with the turning of the seasons.

PS why are weekends the fastest/shortest days of the week?