I started a new garden journal this year that I plan to fill with collaged pages of photographs, sketches and journaling. These are the first pages. I’ve added some embellishments from Graphic 45s Time To Flourish collection, which has lots of pretty floral stickers, scrapbooking papers, chipboard tags and journaling cards. On January’s page I included a layout plan of our veggie garden to aid in planning for crop rotation next season.
Our summer, so far, has been very hot, with not very much rain. The flowers, veggies and weeds are all growing well! Some of my favourite flowers in our garden this year are the foxgloves, snapdragons, asters. . .
. . . and the good old-fashioned hydrangea, which is a beautiful blue colour with tiny flecks of red.
I love the soft blue and lemon of the newly forming blooms.
These pretty blue cornflowers self-seeded throughout the garden.
Here are a few pictures of our veggie garden. Although it is small, made up of raised beds tucked away in a corner, we manage to grow a lot in it.
I picked our first zucchinis last week.
The climbing beans have lots of flowers, so shouldn’t be too far away.
I have bottled several jars of beetroot and there are lots more coming on.
We are picking radishes and lettuces and spring onions, and we had a really good crop of strawberries this year.
I hung shiny things over the spinach and chard to keep the birds from eating it, and surrounded the small plants with grit to deter the snails and slugs.
Finn keeps me company in the garden while I plant, weed, and harvest.
I have been collecting vintage greeting cards for three or four years now, browsing antique shops, visiting stamp and postcard shows, and poring through boxes of old cards when the Cartophilic Society fair visits our local town. I love the vintage pictures of a bygone era, and the handwritten sentiments inside or on the back of the cards.
The oldest one I have, that is dated, is a Christmas postcard from 1907. Wonderful to see how the women are dressed!
I have a collection of Easter, birthday, Christmas, and New Year cards sent from a father, stationed in Italy during the Second World War, to his daughter back home in New Zealand. I think it is so lovely that his daughter kept the cards all these years.
Postcards were hugely popular in the early twentieth century, when improved printing technology meant that high-quality colour images could be mass-produced cheaply, and postcards were cheap to send. For a few years, postcards replaced the earlier, elaborate, Victorian-style Christmas cards. Sometimes the postcard would show a portrait of the sender, along with a festive greeting.
By the 1920s, the traditional folding Christmas card and envelope had returned.
Our puppy, Finn, is 9 months old now and has become a beloved member of our family. He is very different to our last dog, Cody, who was very gentle and affectionate. Finn is much more strong-willed and demanding, but he has great character and is an awesome, fun-loving little companion. In the last few weeks he seems to have calmed down a little, and sometimes, now, he will even let us sleep later than 6 a.m. in the weekends!
In the mornings I take Finn for a walk at a local reserve, beside a creek, where he sometimes meets up with his furry friends, Jess and Sam. They have a wonderful time playing together and it is a good opportunity for him to socialize. Finn is very friendly and loves to play with other dogs, but he hasn’t learned yet that some dogs are old and don’t want to play. He can be a little over-boisterous, so I have to keep him on his lead until I can be sure that other dogs we meet are happy to play with him.
Now that the days are longer, we take Finn to the river when Nick comes home from work, where we can let him off his lead, there is nobody around for him to bother, and he can run and run to his heart’s content. He loves the water and has learned to swim, although he is still a little hesitant about going in out of his depth.
In the weekends we go for long walks in the country, along rivers, or sometimes to the beach. During our explorations, we have found lots of new places to take him.
We have a beautiful sandy beach about a forty-five minute drive away, and if we go there on a weekday, sometimes we are the only ones there.
We still have a long way to go with training him not to bark at the hose, the vacuum cleaner, or the neighbours, not to jump up on Grandma and Granddad, not to dig holes in the lawn, chase baby birds, steal socks, or chew the edges of rugs, toes, or watering cans.
Yes, he is a handful, and can be challenging at times, but we wouldn’t be without him.
Our early spring garden is looking pretty this year. A friend gave me a packet of tulip bulbs for my birthday. I had never grown tulips before, so I was excited to see what they would turn out like. They are a mix of colours and look stunning in our front garden amidst the wallflowers, calendulas, bluebells and purple alyssum. Nick took these lovely photos.
I love the faces on these pretty blue pansies.
I have got some seeds on the go in our little shade house – tomatoes, peas, beetroot, spring onions, zucchinis, lettuces, marigolds, phacelia, echinacea, stevia, and bergamot. Nick has built a fence to stop Finn getting into the vegetable garden, so I’m able to start planting seedlings again. Finn was jumping up into the raised beds, digging and pulling out the plants. He developed quite a liking for broccoli and demolished most of the plants just before they were ready to pick. At the moment I can only garden in short bursts while Finn lies on the other side of the fence, patiently watching through the palings, until he becomes bored and starts barking and whining. Hopefully, over the next few weeks, he’ll get used to being on the other side of the fence as I spend more time in the garden.