How delighted was I to pop up to the supermarket and discover a whole row of new pop up shops!
New Windows on Willesden Green is a pop up project run for local crafters to promote and sell their stuff. There are the expected shops – lovely handmade kids clothes and beautiful handmade soaps – and also a great emphasis on artists in the area.
One of the shops is a gallery space with workshops for artists, and another space is a screen printing studio with workshops for only £10. I love screen printing and am really keen to give this a go!
The soil at our little allotment is very poor, but thanks to some lovely Capital Growth funding we bought some manure to fertilise it with! This lovely waste from the stables is full of rich nutrients that plants love. We dug it through the soil and are leaving it for the time being to break down.
Already we have seen improvement – water goes straight into the soil instead of washing off – and there are plenty of very healthy worms so the goodness should make its way through the soil soon enough. What a treasure horse poo is!
We reckon Belgium is the perfect place for a holiday from the UK because it’s so easy to get to Brussels on the Eurostar and you can get free fares on to any city in Belgium.
My favourite city in Belgium is Ghent. It’s near Brugge and has the best castle, a design museum and loads of independent boutique shops – perfect ingredients for a holiday! There is a great atmosphere in Ghent, and you never know what you’ll see around the bend. The coffee and food is great too.
And aren’t these knitted hats on the bollards adorable?!
My attempt at guerilla gardening last year didn’t really flourish, particularly as the council garden man can’t tell a flower from a weed and ripped out my plants! But the bulbs soldiered on, and in their current stunted state they called my attention back to the bare earth under the trees.
I learnt a few things from my last attempt. The soil in these pots is extremely poor for flowers, compost is needed for the plants to flourish. Secondly, it’s very important to plant the bed up and make it look very deliberate.
I bought a tray of seedlings half price from B&Q and had some home made compost, filled with worms. I kept the base of the tree bare to avoid disease but planted the rest up.
I received lovely smiles from our neighbours; people like flowers! Let’s hope this little patch fares better this time and I will expand my efforts down the street in time
This lovely squirrel pattern has been making its way around the Internet. Isn’t he sweet! I have a single possum merino glove that will be perfect for this project, watch out for an update featuring a squirrel soon!
Photo by Miyako Toyota
This winter is so mild that there is plenty of growth even in mid-January. The tulips are peaking above the soil and the herbs are doing very well, especially parsley, oregano and thyme. It certainly feels like Spring already – I wonder what will happen to the new growth if a last minute cold snap visits?
I used to have a knitting machine. My sister and I bought it in hopes of being able to whip out jumpers in a few hours. In reality, we could only do one kind of stitching and it was really fiddly and still took a long time, so we sold the machine on.
Before we got rid of it, I used it to make up the body of this cushion. I thought the pattern was so cute I had to have one! But I was working on a bunch of other things at the time and tucked the cushion away in a box to finish later.
Finally, 2 years later, I have finished his arms and legs, bought his eyes and stitched his mouth – and isn’t he lovely! Always so cheerful, he happily sits in our room all day and greets us when we get home
Posted in Making
Another tip from my helpful gardening books, I discovered I was meant to prune the berry bushes in August when they had finished fruiting. Surely it’s not too late?!
This is my first time owning these plants and I had no idea what to do, so trimmed the branches just above a bud and also removed the raspberry branches that had fruit on them last year. Apparently raspberries produce fruit on branches that are 2 years old, which means this year will see a huge amount of berries if I’m lucky!
For Christmas I was given a number of useful books on what to do and when to do it in the garden.
Looking at January it said to ‘force the rhubarb’. Sounds rather nasty, but all it means is putting a pot over the root of the rhubarb so that it warms up over January. Doing this means you can start picking stems in March and enjoy yummy rhubarb baking a little bit earlier. I’m all for that!