Time for Some Optimism

seed cataloguesWell, the decorations are down and it’s time to start thinking about spending more time in the garden. I would be out there now, but it’s raining hard and the wind is blowing. Instead I have lit the fire and gathered together a big pile of gardening catalogues. I am definitely going to plant cucamelons and sweet potatoes again, they were such a huge success and so easy. Check out James Wong’s website for details and where to buy. I want more flowers, that means heading over to Sarah Raven for inspiration. The sweet peas I bought last year did us proud, flowering right through to October and so they will definitely be on the list.

But, as for what else to grow…. I am lacking inspiration. As poor students and then even poorer new parents, our garden was  built on the rule that everything planted (except seeds) must be evergreen or edible. Finally, after more than 25 years together Mr T has agreed that gardening can be more indulgent. He bought me garden vouchers for Christmas and I hope that some of my floral ambitions might be realised at long last. I want huge blousy peonies and Hydrangeas, scented roses which bloom all summer and masses of cut flowers for the house. Such grand plans require serious thought and I foresee quite a few garden visits on the horizon.

This still leaves me with the problem of what to plant in the vegetable patch and what to add to the cutting garden I planted last year. Time for strong coffee, then a long wish list to be written. There are few better ways to while away a wet January afternoon!

Where do you go for garden inspiration?  I’d love to hear your favourites, especially if they’re in the North West of England.

Already I have these on my list:

Stonyford Cottage (just up the hill)

Bluebell Cottage (another local favouite)

Walkden Gardens (never been, but much recommended)



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  1. Definitely Bluebell, some wonderful ideas there. No gardening here, about a foot of snow covering everything and supposed to be minus 10 F tonight. Howling gale too, just lovely!


  2. Tracey

     /  January 6, 2014

    How lovely to hear from you Gillie, have been thinking about how cold your winters must be!


  3. The Editors of Garden Variety

     /  January 6, 2014

    Hello there. I like to stop by and visit Seeds Savers Exchange’s catalog. I love to have a bit of history with the seeds I buy to share with the kids!


  4. Tracey

     /  January 6, 2014

    Thanks, I love to swap seeds – it’s a great way to discover new varieties – and many you just can’t buy!


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  • A throwback to when @andreaellisonphoto & I visited the guys from  @nine_meals_from_anarchy in 2014. So much has changed since then, but I'm still wearing that granny square cowl, coat & wellies combo for gardening! Oh and I lust after a greenhouse this big - think of the possibilities!!! I'm still not comfortable in front of the camera, but Andrea always brings out the best in me. I ♥ all the photos she's taken of me and my crochet!
#grannycoolcrochet #grannysquaresrock #grannysquare #instacrochet #crochetgirlgang #30wears #girlgardener #permaculture #organicgardener #ninemealsfromanarchy All the rhubarb!  My neighbour's crop is showing promise! I'm thinking gin, crumble, maybe some rose petal and rhubarb cordial, rhubarb and ginger jam ... more gin.......I do love rhubarb!!!! My creative space. Today I had a bit of a spring clean & tidied my desk . I took this photo to remind myself how tidy I can be! By Friday it will be a chaotic mess again. You can also see some of my "must haves". Flowers (from a gorgeous posy bought last week in a beautiful posy bottle made by Victoria at Little Wren,  handcream, lip balm and a scented candle - this is a new @willowandhoneyuk candle  bought today from @thelittlecraftcompany it smells divine and the wooden wick crackles in a very satisfying way! I'm working on a new commission for Inside Crochet using super bright shades of cotton, using a lovely wooden hook bought from Beyond Measure at Woolfest last year. On the notice board, a few favourite photos, some paperwork & the ladybird pattern that came free with issue 99 of @insidecrochet . I've put it there to remind me that once this book is finished I can have some fun! There are lots of people tagged in this post - too many to mention - but I love buying lovely things from real people & my workspace reflects that admiration for women who run their own businesses & do it well! Explore the tags and you might discover some new favourites! Flowers everywhere! Bunches of cut flowers in my kitchen, blooms in the bathroom and a desk covered in crochet florals. This spring my designs have been influenced by love of the outdoors.  This is a sneaky peek of a new design, commissioned for issue 100 of @insidecrochet , believe me, this is an issue you will not want to miss!!! #instacrochet #crochetflower #girlgardener #knittersofinstagram #grannycoolcrochet #haaktechniekenbijbel #uncinetto #horgolás Goodbye winter, hello spring! I spent most of the weekend in the garden, tidying and prepping the greenhouse, pricking out seedlings & watching the first Gardener's World of the new season. The greenfinches are skirmishing, the sap is rising, buds are forming and it's light enough to step outside when I wake up. Happy days!
#girlgardener #badbirdwatcher #instagarden #morningslikethese #littlestoriesofmylife #slowliving Happy Mother's day! My Mum (in the headscarf), my Granny, my Auntie. All no longer here, but every mother's day I think of them with love and admiration. And that photo - you can't beat a cheesy 1960's beach holiday photo booth!
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