Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Quick update!

I have not posted in a long while as I have been working full time and then catching up with a long list of things that needed doing. Here is a photo of my garden (half of it) so you can see it has changed a lot. Sadly still no changes in the house so that's another reason I have not posted updates as we have not renovated the indoors yet, aside minor cosmetics and the new boiler.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Where does the time go?

I have been so busy with work and family things that of course the DIY has taken a back step as I barely manage to clean the house.

Outside it's another thing as I love to spend time in the garden as much as I can. There is still a lot to do. Last week I managed to finish off a paved area by myself using a pickaxe. You should see my muscles now.

The old glass MiniBrite greenhouse has been dismantled and taken away (class of 1963, gone to a good home at a neighbour's allotment) and my partner is erecting the new child-friendly polycarbonate one, which is not an easy job. He took over the job and he is progressing slowly but surely as he is only around at weekends.

I have not photographed the back of the garden yet as I have not planted much outside. Seedlings are still inside the wooden summerhouse, which is serving as nursery for the time being. However the apple trees are all in bloom and the rhubarb is growing well. Strawberry plants are dotted with white flowers, let's hope we get a nice crop soon.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Happy Christmas - homemade decorations

This year I made my own Christmas wreath using the garden's greenery and berries. We even have some mistletoe! The base is made with forsythia stems, which bend without snapping. All I needed then was gardening wire and a screw-on hook for the door!

I also made a tree decoration using wire and plastic beads. You need six pieces of wire and enough beads to do a pattern. The pieces of wire are joined in the middle. I used a cheap jewellery tool to make the loop that keeps the beads in at the bottom of each strand.

I am entering both makes in a competition sponsored by Able Skills. If you wish to enter, details are here

Happy Homemade Xmas!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The garden in October: marvellous mushrooms, berries and flowers

Regular readers might have worked out by now that the garden is taking more space than the house itself in this blog. This is because we have stalled our improvement schedule until next year. My partner and I are very busy with work and family commitments and the winter weather is not that suitable for DIY or building anyway.

So here are a few photos of my garden. I hope some mushroom and plant expert can help me out to identify a few specimens. 

Is this edible? I wouldn't like to be guinea pig!

What about this one: edible or poisonous?

Another mystery mushroom. I only know Porcini,
 which are not to be found freely in the UK, at least not
 in Cambridge

This looks really like an edible one but wary...

This looks nice, edible?

A cat or other animal uprooted this, edible?
Still a few blackberries against the fence...

...and a few strawberries.

No idea what this plant this, it has followed me
 from London garden as very easy to propagate

This is my massive strawberry tree,
 which I have recently identified
This is under the strawberry tree, berries
 are edible but not great tasting

Foetida lily, it's everywhere in my garden, lovely seedheads

Michaelmas daisies and another curious mushroom on dead
 stump, we get massive shelf one earlier in the year but would
 not dare eating it

This is a Victorian plant, very easy to propagate, so it has
followed me from London garden. I got the parent plant
from museum garden sale - the local E17 museum in the
Walthamstow village: Persicaria Red Dragon

A truly curious plant, no idea what it is

Identified this thanks to the Botanic Garden, common name is
Butler's Broom, edible when young, very bitter though

A primrose, already!

A few bought plants awaiting a place in
flower border or decorative pot

Sunday, 12 October 2014

What can you do with a central heating's copper pipe?

We changed our boiler last August and I kept all the good pieces of pipe that the plumber discarded.

I made these two items with one piece of pipe, hammered flat, sawed into shape and then soldered to create a big and bold jewellery set... 

Extra materials include scrapped silver and a rough emerald I was sent with a junk mail letter - my teacher told me they are real but not precious as flawed and uncut.