Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Getting down n' dirty

Spring is in the air
For me, Spring is not officially here until after Easter. Despite my battle with the squirrels (am I the only one?), I set about making my back garden look pretty. I won't start on about the front garden, suffice to say, it's a work in progress. I live on the ground floor of purpose built flats and feel it's my duty to make sure my upstairs neighbours have something other than dirt and Shea's play things to look at!! The soil has an abnormally high clay content, so after 10 years of unsuccessful planting (trust me, I tried everything), I bark chipped over the whole yard and now have a growing collection of pots and tubs. I'm not into fancy and ornate, they are just more difficult to clean. I may have mentioned that I have no colour sense, this also applies to plants and flowers. Over the years I have made so may faux par's it's not funny. I had no idea mother nature could clash with herself.
This year I am trying not to let the colours clash too much and have tried to go for soft pastel colours, or so the back of the packets tell me. I've also sewn herbs from seed -hopefully, I'll have a herb garden to die for. I cook all food from scratch and have in previous years hard little luck where herbs in the garden are concerned. But of course, it was the poor soil!!

I'm also giving bulbs one more go. We have 2 very persistent squirrels in the area. They have no shame. They will literally look me in the eye while digging in the garden. I can even hear them laughing and tittering away at me - where those squirrels are concerned, I'm not far away from a straight jacket. Digging in the potted plants today, I came across unshelled monkey nuts and acorns. At least now I know why they are digging up the garden every two minutes - and all this time I thought they were after my bulbs. What I don't understand is what they have done with the bulbs. It's not as though they dig them up, bury their treasure and put them back. All trace of the lovely daffodil, lilies and tulips to be, completely disappear. So this year, instead of planting the bulbs, I bought tulip plants. They are delicately variegated and look like they will be red. My neighbour gave me a bleeding heart that she split from a bunch. I'd forgotten all about it and couldn't work out what it was when it started to sprout, it almost ended up in the compost bin behind it. What a loss that would be, its beautiful. The lovely black background is my compost bin. See I'm doing my bit for the environment. not sure my neighbours agree though - it can be mighty pongy at times.

Poshyarns, you must visit her blog, it's beautiful - asked if I like working in denim. Not anymore. It makes my hands tired, I can usualy knit merrily away for hours (regular breaks in between), but with the denim yarn, and I have to say this is only with Rowan(but the difference in the finish is so much better), I can only do a couple of hours at a time and that's with regualr breaks. Not to mention what it does to my skin, talk about dry, AND, it leaves a great big huge dent in my right index finger because of the way I wrap yarn around it. I won't even talk about the dye!! Having said all of that, thank you for your encouragement over Mary. I am getting that old feeling back and will be picking her up shortly. The problems are more to do with the pattern (which means me) than anything else and thats what's putting me off finishing her when I really want to. I knowit will all be worth it if I can finish it with no more problems. More knitting news soon.


dawn said...

Hi Johanne - I didn't know you had a blog, must add you to bloglines! And see if I can beat you with number of wips and stash!

We do not talk about the **@*ing squirrels here. They've learnt that this block of flats has FOOD in, so we have to keep the windows shut. I very nearly caught one last w/end -it got away with a few inches to spare!

Poshyarns said...

I am chuckling about your squirrels. I'm also plagued by them although I have a certain fondness for them too, the bare faced cheek of them drives our dogs crazy.

I'm pleased to see you've sorted your archives, I tried to work out why I had them and you didn't but I haven't a clue! Hopefully I will master links in my sidebar soon. Husband has told me what to do....

I'm pleased you like Gudrun Sjoden. It's a Swedish company and I would say environmentally aware, they use eco jersey for some things, the catalogue is chlorine free and I guess it would be fair to say they are trying. The clothes are excellent quality and she does some very good offers through the year, the sale tends to be pretty good too. Sizes are gennerous but be warned, these Swedes are tall. I usually have to take up the trousers.

Interesting to hear that someone else finds the Denim hard going. The results had better be worth it.