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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

News from The Willows




I thought I would share the picture  with you first of all.  At the beginning of Spring I planted this herb called Cardoon. I had never heard of it before but I like to plant unusual herbs around the garden as well as having the usual Mint, Rosemary & Thyme and so on.  Over the last month it started growing the globe shaped spikey ball as in the top left hand corner and it eventually reached the size of a tennis ball.  It stayed like that for a couple of weeks.  It was only whilst watching Monty Don in his garden at Longmeadows, on Gardeners World, that we suddenly spotted our plant in all it's glory, but his had beautiful purple almost like thistle heads. We then realised what our globe was about to transform into. Sure enough over the next week or two it has now burst forth into what you see above.  Once I realised it was starting to open I tried to capture a photograph every couple of days to track what it would eventually turn into.  I liked the fact that Mr. Bumble also likes this plant.  It has been visited by the bumbles and butterflies everyday since it started to bloom.  It's only had the one flower this year but looking at Monty Don's it should start to have more as time goes on.  So who knows how many it may have by next year.   

Well I don't know about anyone else but I cannot believe we are nearly at the end of August already.  It doesn't seem possible that school will be opening it's doors shortly to begin another school year, which means number 3 will be going into year 5 this next term. Having passed all her first year exams daughter will also be returning to Uni for her 2nd year.  Having spent last year in halls her and a friend from Uni have decided to share an apartment this year so I think it may well be 'Girls behaving badly' over the next year. 


Meanwhile much to the amusement of my son's, who laugh at the fact that I still have what they class as an antiquated mobile phone, I have become the proud owner of a Kindle Fire HD.  Number one's response when I told him was to ask whether I had fathomed out how to turn it on yet.  Cheeky bugger......................




I informed him that yes I had found the on/off switch and in fact I had managed to download app's, books and managed to organised my emails.  Although number 3 did help along the way with some of the apps  as he uses an iPad.



D then inquired as to what I was going to do with the books currently residing on the book shelf that I haven't read yet.  To which I replied 'I'm going to read them of course'.   I have decided until I work my way through the non read section that I will alternate between the kindle and books.  Being a bit of a dinosaur I did wonder how I would go on with the kindle as when I have reports and things to read at work I do have a tendency to print things off to read through, but so far the Kindle has worked out just fine. 




The first book I downloaded and read was Amanda Prowse's 'Something Quite Beautiful' which is a Kindle exclusive.  You can find out more about this and all the other books I have read on my blog 


I think that I will always like to have the option of having an actual book in hand so I can't see the numbers of to be read books diminishing anytime soon.  And there will always be those books that may not get put on a Kindle store  and those which don't get onto the Kindle store until a while after the release of the hardback/paperback versions. I think I would also miss mooching around the book shelves, reading the back covers and as per my criteria above I do like to be able to read a sample page to help me decide if I like the sound the story, although with the Kindle you can download a sample usually the first chapter to help make that decision before downloading the whole book to purchase


Well that's all the news from The Willows until the next time. Take care and enjoy the rest of Summer.


M


Sunday, 11 August 2013

Down at the Duck Pond


It has been fairly busy down at the duck pond of late. Not that these two would have noticed the world passing slowly by,  when I realised what a picture I't taken I just couldn't resist sharing it with you all. It just reminded me of granddads and dad's having an afternoon snooze following a big Sunday dinner.

And of course mum is left running around after the kids as per usual (sorry I know there are some very hands on dads out there) my D being one of them.




This week I had a few days annual leave that I was really looking forward to. Myself and D celebrated 13 years together this week by going out for lunch. We were due to have some good weather and we were hoping to spend the rest of my leave enjoying the garden. Unfortunately I came down with a stomach bug and spent the next 4 days in bed. I've not felt so poorly in a long time. Thankfully I appear to be on the mend now and hopefully the leave I have booked for next week will be better spent.  I almost feel I have lost a week somehow.

Still the butterflies and bees continue to enjoy the garden in my absence.




Hope you all have a good week.

                   M
                                                                             

Sunday, 4 August 2013

The Secret Garden



This year the garden has really come into it's own and this blog is going to be a bit of photo extravaganza so I do apologise in advance.



It's become a butterfly haven  this summer.




































And then of course there are the bumbles of all shapes and sizes and I love them all.















And lastly are my beautiful Sunflowers







Not quite a year ago we lost a good friend and colleague to ovarian cancer and her favourite flowers were Sunflowers. Fran had been a children's Macmillan Nurse for many years. After her funeral we were all handed packets of Sunflower seeds to grow in her memory.  I planted two this year and needless to say the bumbles love them too and once the seeds appear they will be there to feed the birds. 




Thank you for stopping by.

Hope you all have a wonderful week.


M