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Archive for May, 2010

Crocheted dishcloths


Recently I have been spending a lot of time crocheting things for my new house.  Above is a dishcloth made out of cheap cotton bought in car boot sales or on ebay.  The inspiration and the pattern were kindly given away for free by crochetspot here. I wonder if I will ever get the courage to use it for something as mundane as wiping the surfaces?

There is something so satisfying about making your own stuff around the place.  I have always loved making things, and growing somehow fits into that.

When I lost my right little fingertip in November, overnight I realised how lucky I had been to be healthy and  able bodied.  The ability to make things was temporarily on hold.  I realised that I had spent the best part of my life taking this for granted .  I had moaned and whinged every time things didn’t go my way.  I somehow felt entitled to have a job that wasn’t stressful, for everyone in my life to do things my way, all the time.  For everything to work out just as I believed it should.

Today I am back to that restless feeling of hurrying round my busy life, even the spare time when I seem to feel obliged to do something useful or constructive.  I find it very hard to just ‘be’.

This is why gardening has always been a great panacea for my soul.  It’s a way of doing something but nothing.  Even five minutes on the allotment seemed to refresh my spirit.  It makes me slow down.  Although sustained neglect is a recipe for disaster, a bit of neglect often yields unexpected rewards.  Gardening, and in particular growing your own crops is a fantastic way of seeing a little investment of time reap a harvest.   Since I have got the use of my right hand back, I can’t seem to fit enough life in, gardening, knitting and crochet, amongst a busy job, house, husband and children.  But how lucky I am to have that full an in-tray again.

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Springtime flowers – Irises

I am so proud of these irises.  The plants were bought from the Hampton Court Flower Show in 2008.  It was the first time we had been to a big flower show like that and I was overwhelmed by the choice and variety of plants available.  As I wandered round the specialised nurseries I found it near impossible to choose which plants to buy.  Two irises caught my eye, this one, and one which looked like its opposite, with purple centres and white edges.

I took them home, I lovingly planted them, and then I watched and waited.  And waited, and waited.

Last year they looked half dead, and at times it seemed touch and go whether they would even survive.  We supposedly have near perfect soil type and conditions, with our chalky soil being reliably alkaline and well drained, with British rainfall to keep it watered.  As if to compound this, someone in a neighbouring allotment has a whole field of irises which do brilliantly well.

Just a month ago, this is what it looked like, with a load of manure on in the hope it might do better this year.  You can just about see its partner, buried under manure next to it.

Then a few weeks ago, this:

You can imagine my reaction when I saw that it had actually flowered. Despite a month with very little rainfall, they have flowered prolifically.  I’ve got three vases round the house already, pairing them off with some bamboo from our new garden.

Yet again, patience and a touch of neglect works wonders in the garden.

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