Friday, 22 August 2014

Friday: Frogs, flowers and fresh air

It's Friday! 

Apologies if my posts seem a little up and down at the moment. They're reflecting my state of mind I suppose: sometimes a bit sad and melancholy, sometimes happy to just be here and able to enjoy the little pleasures in life. And I'm celebrating the latter today.

We've been taking advantage of the cooler but still light evenings by walking and, more recently, having a bit of a seasonal clear-up in our garden. It's technically a back yard but it feels somehow like a glorified version, and we have raised beds over the low wall at the back so there's a bit of everything. Except a lawn. Oh, and a shed. And pond too - but that doesn't seem to have put off the frogs. When we moved the pots out of the way so we could sweep all the leaves up (a result of the past week's high winds) there were a few little visitors.

The one above was the bigger of the two. The other was very tiny indeed and had made itself at home behind some wooden crates planted with peas.

Our little space is pretty easy to keep on top of. We pulled up some tired-looking bedding plants and freed up pots ready for autumnal planting. I want to buy some spring bulbs too: maybe miniature daffodils, muscari and snowdrops.

I put some Alpine grit on top of the soil in some of the pots (those housing more permanent plants like the Magnolias and succulents). Joe couldn't keep away. Fat little hands scooping up my carefully-spread grit and scattering it over the just-swept ground. He wasn't interested in the little pile I put in his tipper truck. It's as though he likes being told off...

Another visitor: a Peacock butterfly. We generally seem to get Cabbage Whites and Red Admirals so I was pleased to spot this one feasting on the Buddleia flowers. The tree's starting to lose its flowers now. We've had some very cold nights lately so I'm thinking it won't be too long before the ferns and hosta start to die back. Although that's apparently a good time to divide a hosta so I'll be getting a lot of new plants.

I also like to collect seeds where I can. I bought these little envelopes from the Post Office - I think they're for wages - and stamped them. They might make good stocking fillers at Christmas (with seed names and instructions written on the reverse).

The tablecloth underneath is actually some of that PVC-backed fabric. I picked up a few metres of it today and am quite taken with it - I'm considering putting it over my desk instead of the dining table.

Seasonal flowers of the indoor variety. The Asters I bought last week are a bit limp now but I like to make the most of every bunch of flowers I buy. The little stems with buds usually get snipped off and put in a tiny vase (or in this case, a shot glass).

My office/workspace is at the front of the house and doesn't get the sun until late afternoon so feels chilly most of the time. The heavy winter quilt's on the bed and that's been topped with a woollen blanket. Yesterday I pulled a bag of cold-weather clothes down from the top of the wardrobe. Maybe we'll have an Indian summer, maybe not. But I do love the fresh feel to the air right now. 

Speaking of which, we're off to Wales tomorrow. A day trip with Joe - we're riding a steam train on the Snowdon Mountain Railway. Fingers crossed the weather holds (I daren't check the forecast). Joe will absolutely love it and so will we. I suspect fish and chips may be involved.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.


  1. I love the way to notice small happy things Sarah. A good helping of your gentle optimism would do me good! It never occurred to me that I could collect seeds from my plants but now that I have seen your sweet envelopes, I am really determined to collect seeds myself. I also have a serious moment of stamp envy :) Enjoy Wales! Steam trains and little boys are just meant for each other. Cx

    1. Hi Christina. The stamps were a gift and I've used them a few times for cards and so on - I do enjoy stamping :)
      Wales was... OK. The weather not so much!
      S x

  2. A few cooler weather things are out here too, and I'm starting a new quilt. Your butterfly photo is amazing, the wings are strikingly beautiful. I do hope you have a lovely time on the Snowdon railway tomorrow and a good weekend. CJ xx

  3. I hope that you have a nice day in Wales and enjoy the trains! xx

  4. Have a good trip, enjoy the trains with Joe.

  5. Love your seed envelope gift idea Sarah. We have a few frogs around at the moment too. I was standing quietly on the grass verge on our lane taking a photo of some wildflowers when a big frog hopped onto my foot. It made me jump! Enjoy the steam train. The local steam train preservation society run Santa trains at Christmas time. We've been twice and our little ones loved it. My eldest was sure he was on Percy from Thomas the Tank Engine. Great memories! Bee xx

  6. Hope you enjoyed the train and the weather was kind to you. It's reminded me to look up the Santa steam train that runs in west Yorkshire. I love the seed envelopes - what great idea!! xxx

  7. I adore the idea of your seed-filled, decorated envelopes for Christmas presents. How lovely. I hope you had a wonderful day out in Wales and that you are all ok and hanging in there. xx

  8. It's fun collecting seeds. Last year I collected lots of marigold seeds, but I needn't have bothered, they self seeded and now the garden is full of marigolds!

    The weather here in North Wales has been a bit glum, what a pity you didn't see much sun.

  9. That's a really lovely idea for collecting seeds. I'm sure they will be well received as presents. We've had our frost frost this year! Hard to believe.

  10. What a beautiful idea for a Christmas present :). Hope you had a lovely ride on the train and the weather was kind to you!


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