Sunday again

Is it Sunday again?!  🙂

I’m sitting at the kitchen table with big daughter; she’s working away on her computer and I’m looking at the photos on my phone, getting ready to add them to my blog post.  “I can’t believe we’ve got to the do the weekly food shopping list again already,” she says to me, out of the blue, and she’s right.  It’s food shopping list day again!

So what have you been up to this week?  Anything exciting?  It’s been a bit same old, same old here, much as it has been for the last few months, with the addition of endless rain and some gusty winds.  Even the dog hasn’t looked too excited at the thought of going out of the door, but we have managed some walks between the rain showers and he’s enjoyed himself once we’ve got outside.

It was lovely to get back to Bewsey Meadows near Callands in Warrington – this is one of the places that inspired my Wildflower yarn and I had forgotten how many of the flowers would be out at this time of year.  It was all looking a bit gloomy when we set off, but it was warm enough, and the colours of our surroundings seemed even more vibrant against the dull sky.

A photo showing a terracotta coloured gravel path through a meadow. The sky is grey and the path is bordered by grass and trees

I’m not sure what this plant is called but there was an abundance of it as we walked along.  I like the way the flowers seemed to look fluffy once they were open …

Cream wildflower heads on red stems against a background of green leaves

And the blue Chicory was out too.  This flower was most definitely an inspiration for the Winwick Mum Wildflower yarn …

Blue chicory flowers growing in a grassy meadow

It definitely doesn’t seem a year (and a bit) since the yarn was launched, along with the others in the West Yorkshire Spinners Winwick Mum Collection, and it’s been lovely to see on social media that so many of you think that Wildflower is just the right yarn for this time of year too!  I think that blue is just beautiful!

Close up of blue chicory flowers against a green leafy background

I can remember posting about this flower last year – it’s called Orange Hawkbit or Devil’s Paintbrush and as lovely as it is, I took the advice of not encouraging it into my garden as it is very invasive.  Oh but that orange, it’s so pretty, isn’t it?

Orange hawkbit flowers

There were lots of teasel plants too.  It reminded me that I used to have those in the garden but I haven’t seen any at all this year.  Teasels are biennials so they spend the first year growing the leaves and then flower in the second year of life, scattering the seeds ready for the next generation.  Foxgloves are the same, so in theory, to get a continuation flowers, you need to sow them every year but they will only flower the year after you’ve sown them.  I’ve obviously managed to miss a year with the teasels (to be fair, they were growing in the flags where the dustbins go and as they are huge plants that grow up to 6 ft tall and are pretty spiky, it’s not unreasonable that I pulled them up!) so hopefully I’ll spot a plant next year, otherwise I’ll be hunting down seeds to start again.  I think they’re lovely, if rather tall and spiky, and the bees adore them.  (I must confess, though, that the way the flowers grow in a stripe does make me think of certain headband-wearing celebrities … here and here 😀)

Pink teasel flowers in a band around the spiky teasel heads. The stems are also spiky, and in the background are a number of green trees and bushes

Further along the path, we spotted the swans with a huge brood of cygnets this year – in recent years the cygnets haven’t made it past a few months old thanks to “predators” (I don’t like to think what they might have been).  Fortunately, I spotted them before the dog – it was the couple with the bag of food that alerted me as I knew that the dog would feel obliged to help them out and that would have been a BAD idea – and I managed to get him on his lead and past the swans without him noticing.  The picture is fuzzier than I had hoped, but I took it from quite a distance away and zoomed in rather than trying to get closer and risk the dog spotting either the swans or the couple with the bag of food.  It’s like walking a big, hairy, very greedy toddler sometimes!

White swan with a number of grey cygnets at the water's edge. They are surrounded by trees.

Once we were safely past the swans, the dog was able to go off his lead again and was delighted when we made it into the woods.  There are all kinds of smells that keep his tail wagging here, and a small stream that he likes to paddle in, grinning at me with his big doggy grin as he stirs up the mud at the bottom and then shakes himself all over my trousers.

A woodland path through some tall trees, with a heavy leaf canopy

Back home, the sun had come out for a few brief moments so I rushed into the garden to see what was new.  The calla lilies (Zantedeschia) had come out since I last looked.  I do like these very much, they always seem very exotic to me and I am always delighted to see them – it feels like a bit of an honour that they bothered to grow and flower again.  Yes, yes, I’m not getting out enough, you don’t need to tell me! 🙂

Deep pink calla lily flowers against green leaves in a terracotta pot. The pot is in a garden border surrounded by green leafy plants with some rockery stones in the background

Look!  My globe flower (Echinops ritro) has flowered too. I love that it goes from this spiky ball …

Close up of a spiky globe flower before the flower petals have opened

to this … and it’s another one that the bees adore so I am always very happy to see it in the garden.

Close up of a purple globeflower opened up into flower

Do you remember a couple of months ago I spent some time digging up Crocosmia that was threatening to take over the garden?  The plants that I left have started flowering now and are much nicer now that there are less of them!  It really is a pretty flower, it’s just a shame that it feels the need to take over the whole garden to show itself off!

Orange and yellow crocosmia flowers against a background of green sword-like leaves

And look at these too … broad beans straight from our garden!  It’s lovely to be able to go outside and pick something that you’re going to eat within a short time.  I’m willing the tomatoes to grow faster but they’re just doing their thing so I’m having to be patient and let them get on with it!

Close up of broad beans in a pod

And that’s me for today … I have done so much knitting recently and I can’t show you any of it just yet, which is very frustrating – although it’ll be great when I can!  I can tell you, though, that I found these two videos on YouTube which have been extremely useful as I have been knitting so much that my arms have been feeling the strain … this one for stretching the extensors in your forearms and this one for stretching the flexors.  There are lots of exercises both in internet and YouTube searches for knitters, so if your hobby is starting to become a bit of a pain, then you need to do something about it before it gets really bad!

So on that happy note, I’m going to love you and leave you … have a wonderful week and I’ll catch up with you again soon! xx

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19 Responses

  1. Heidijo says:

    I'm more or less back to work, just not as busy as before, but hopefully picking up slowly. Here in Essex the harvest has begun!

  2. MidgePorterDesign says:

    Lovely to see your pics and glad you are ok. Husband goes back to work today and we both have mixed feelings. Crafting and juggling the kids will see me through. Good tip on the pains. I have noticed this for the first time ever due to an increase in crafting. Normally rotating between knitting, crochet and stitching helps. Not recently sadly. I’ll try some stretching and flexing. Take care xx

  3. Maggieann says:

    Lovely to read your blog just waiting to take hubby fishing, then I am coming back home and going back to bed for another hour.
    Love your flowe4 pictures we cut the lawn and tidied up yesterday unluckily no flowers in our garden.
    Look forward to next Sunday.
    Regards margaret

  4. Sandra Dain says:

    I just happen to be wearing my wildflower socks today!

  5. Ariane20 says:

    Celà fait beaucoup de bien de voir toute cette verdure. Ici, en Corse, tout est tellement sec et nous sommes tellement heureux lorsqu'il pleut!

  6. suskwatch says:

    Thanks Christine for your lovely blog. I felt I was there in the woods with you and the dog. I'm knitting a flax light jumper at the moment and it's taking AGES! Round and round I go on 3 mm circulars willing it to measure 16 1/2 ins from the armhole but we ain't there yet. I didn't think I was a particularly slow knitter but I must be! I get the impression that you have something to announce in your next blog so I will look forward to that. All the best to you and family

  7. Lynne says:

    I think that flower is Meadowsweet, Astilbe

  8. Pat Williams says:

    Hi there, the plant you didn't know the name of is called Meadowsweet and is a member of the rose family. I'm sure it has a fancy Latin name, but it's such a pretty plant that suits it's common name I've never wanted to find out! Regards, Pat Williams

  9. valerie3812 says:

    Hi Christine – lovely to read your blog as ever. Your white fluffy plant is meadowsweet, and it does indeed smell sweet, doesn't it?

  10. Nanpantanpeach says:

    The fluffy cream flower is meadowsweet. It lives up to its name, having an almost sickly sweet smell on a warm day. I love its light fluffiness too.

  11. Unknown says:

    I love your flower pictures, I am not surprised that they inspire you. Beautiful!

  12. selina says:

    lovely post & loved all those wild flowers! cygnets are adorable chicks!
    yeh, have to exercise my hands & fingers fairly often cos of the carpel tunnel, & some days i just can't knit but i have finally learned not to push past the pain & go rest them
    can't wait to see what you have for us
    thanx for sharing

  13. happyneedles says:

    You are so talented .. and inspiring. Have a great day!!

  14. sustainablemum says:

    What a wonderful selection of wildflowers! The frothy one is Meadowsweet but I expect someone else has probably beaten me to identifying. It is sometimes called queen of the meadow. It is from this plant that aspirin was formulated from the salicylic acid that is found in the plant. If you make a tea from the flowers or leaves it is good for alleviating headaches – not surprising!

  15. ml says:

    The headband wearing plant really made me laugh! I shall thing of the hugely talented Mark Knopfler every time I see them from now on! I have just eradicated the Invasive Orange Hawkbit from our garden – it’s taken quite some doing. I do admire it in the local churchyard though. A lovely post, thank you.

  16. Marteke says:

    Your white flower is a Spirea

  17. Carolyn hann says:

    I enjoy your weekly updates. Your spring photos remind me of what we are missing this year as we can’t visit the UK. It is winter here in Brisbane but temperatures mostly low 20’s and cooler nights. A relief from our summer heat and humidity.

  18. elaine allerton says:

    Love all UR flower pictures!!!
    We have the chicory right now out in our wildflower meadow,,,wow,,,what colors!, and bees!!!
    Thanks Christine,,,

  19. Angelina Dorian says:

    Incredibly beautiful nature in your photos. These pictures fill with life.

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