July days

I’m not quite sure how we have arrived in July when I am sure it was much earlier in the year the last time I looked!

I think that being off the blog for 3 weeks whilst it was moving platform has somehow made the time flash past more quickly – probably because usually, when I am taking photos and writing about the week or so just gone, I’m much more aware of how the time is passing.  Anyway, I have PLENTY of photos stored up so today is going to be a bit of a catch up.  It’s been really lovely whilst I was moving bloggy home and to read through my old posts again as I was updating them, and I was reminded of so many times that would have passed by and been forgotten if I hadn’t written them down.

I do love seeing what I was up to in the garden in previous years.  This year, I was so pleased with how it was looking as the Spring moved into Summer and I am very glad that I took so many photos – we had a large tree cut down last week and as the logs were cut from the tree, they crashed down into the borders and so many of my plants were squashed.  I’m hoping that they will recover, and thankfully most of them had flowered earlier – plants are mostly resilient things so I am sure they will grow back next year.

Six photos of Oriental poppies - top left: pink Fruit Punch; top right: close up of Fruit Punch; middle left: yellow Welsh poppy and orange Oriental poppy; middle right: pale pink Coral Reef; bottom left: close up of red Turkenlouis; bottom right: group of red Turkenlouis

Six photos of Oriental poppies – top left: pink Fruit Punch; top right: close up of Fruit Punch; middle left: yellow Welsh poppy and orange Oriental poppy; middle right: pale pink Coral Reef; bottom left: close up of red Turkenlouis; bottom right: group of red Turkenlouis

My Oriental poppies bring me so much joy every year.  My “Mrs Perry” ones that were eaten by slugs or possibly the rabbit that we have seen visiting the garden never recovered but it has been amazing to see the others which have seemed to be more prolific in flowering than usual – have you found this in your garden too?

Also flowering prolifically were the roses outside the front door – this is my climbing rose Emily Grey …

and Félicité Parmentier which is an old rose and has a scent that almost knocks you over when you come out of the door.  I didn’t know whether either of these would flower very well this year as I was a bit heavy-handed with the secateurs earlier in the Spring, but although Emily Grey might have had fewer flowers than usual, this one has been incredible!  It must like me being heavy-handed with the secateurs! 🙂

Elsewhere in the garden, the Centaura montana is as beautifully blue as ever …

A blue-petalled flower against green leaves with a yellow flower in the background

and the Allium christophii that I planted years ago and thought were never really going to do anything have surprised me this year as well.  There were loads of them!  Far more than I originally planted, I’m sure, and they look so fabulous when you’re close up – like little stars!

The foxgloves have been stunning as well, and have been alive with the sound of bees buzzing inside them from morning till night.

Spikes of white and pink foxglove flowers

I don’t want to bore you with too many garden photos but here’s just one more of one of our Aquilegia.  We didn’t seem to have so many of those this year although I see the leaves popping up everywhere – perhaps I just missed them!

Pink Aquilegia flower against green leaves

Elsewhere in the garden, I have been busy installing a new irrigation system into the greenhouse.  I’ve had the same system for years which involved a tank of water and terracotta probes but last year I noticed that even more of the probes had cracked and it was super-expensive to replace them – added to which I very often forgot to fill up the water tank so it was a bit pointless having them anyway!

I found this system instead which draws water from the water butts next to the greenhouse and I like the idea of using the rainwater straight from the butt and not having to keep filling a tank myself!  This is what the system looked like when it arrived.

A plastic bag on a wooden table containing some black pipe, a hosepipe connector and a timer

It’s a click-fit system that fits onto your water butt tap and then you put the pipe where you want it to go around your plants.  Excellent!  Ten minutes and I’ll be done, I thought.  I headed outside.

And then I saw the water butts.  They’ve not been used for a while as I’ve got another one closer to the house that I use more often.  I’d better just clear the vegetation away, I thought.  Another ten minutes.

A green water butt between a shed and a greenhouse, surrounded by plants

That’s when I looked inside the two water butts connected together and thought I’d better just give them a quick clean out.  That won’t take long …

Two empty green water butts lying side by side on the grass

And it won’t take me more than a minute or two to change the tap on the water butt so that I can attach the timer …

Two plastic taps resting on a black lid.  The left hand tap is green and the right hand tap is black

Oh My Life.  It took me four days to get those water butts connected to the irrigation system.  Four days!!  It turned out that one of the butts had a crack in the bottom but because they were connected to each other, it was going to be a proper faff to disconnect them and seal the connection … as luck would have it, our new neighbour is a builder and is a handy person to ask all kinds of DIY-related questions that I don’t know the answer to.  Unfortunately for him, I don’t think the people selling the house warned him that I might have lots of questions or he might not have bought the place, but I am being careful (I hope) not to assume that he is Building Wikipedia and we’re getting along with him and his wife very well 🙂

Oh, and in case you want to know how to repair cracks in water butts, Duck tape is the stuff you need, along with some waterproof sealant.

So here it is, my new irrigation system, all fitted and working in the greenhouse and keeping my tomatoes watered.

A blue timer attached to a water butt tap.  There are two black dials in the centre with numbers marked around them.  To the right is a loop of black irrigation pipe on the soil around a tomato plant.

I am very good at completely underestimating how long things are going to take me, but even I wouldn’t have expected it to take as long as it did!  It’s rained for most of the last week and the butts are filling up nicely now, so hopefully the tomatoes will be well-watered for the rest of the summer!

Phew, I was very glad when that was over!

So what else?  Well, I’ve been back to Yarn Lane TV – I wasn’t quite organised enough to let you know when I was on but you’ll be able to find the show on YouTube now if you want to look for it.  This one was about the Winwick Mum Seasons yarn collection and I know that I’ve already talked about that on the show, but it’s always nice to talk about it again! 🙂  I’m going to back on the show on 26 July – they’ve got a busy all-day line-up and I don’t know what time my slot is yet, but I’ll keep you posted!

I’m not really any further on with the sock that I showed you in my last post as I’ve been busy doing behind-the-scenes knitting.  It’s all very exciting but frustrating when I can’t show you any of it just yet!  Not long to wait, hopefully!

I’ve also not forgotten that I promised to write a tutorial about yarn pooling around the gusset when you’re knitting with hand-dyed yarn (this was the sock I was knitting at the time) – I had an unexpected blog house move which got in the way but it is on my list and I’m hoping to get started with it soon.  It’s only 2 weeks until small daughter breaks up from school for the Summer holidays and I have grand ideas of the amount that I am going to be able to catch up on whilst she’s off.

Have I mentioned that I am very good at underestimating how long things will take me to do …? 🙂


Have a lovely weekend, I’ll see you soon! xx

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19 Responses

  1. Ali S says:

    Beautiful photos of your flowers Christine, and well done for your perseverance with the irrigation system! Be interested in the tutorial about the ‘pooling around the gusset’ when you manage to write it. Have a lovely weekend x

  2. Bobbie says:

    Gorgeous flowers, Christine! Enjoyed your watering story which, unfortunately, took you four days (but worth it)! Have fun with your daughter! 👍 P.S. I enjoy your writing, “whilsts” included.

  3. Chris Hailebaxter says:

    This is the first of your blogs I’ve seen and I had to laugh as gardening is my husband’s field of expertise. I look forward to receiving more.

  4. Gillian Edwards says:

    Lovely photos. The flowers are so beautiful Christine x

  5. Pat says:

    Enjoyed reading your adventures in the garden. You are not the only gardener who underestimates time required for “simple, quick” projects! Love seeing your many flowers!

  6. Mairi says:

    Christine what a lovely blog. Knitting and gardening are a couple of my favourite things. What beautiful flowers you have. My poppies have not yet flowered, being in Scotland things are a little behind in the garden.

  7. Love those poppies. Most pictures in my blog are when the flowers are going gang busters. 🙂

  8. Tina O'Keefe says:

    Hi…this is the first time I have read your blog and I really enjoyed it. You could never put too many garden pictures for me – your flowers are beautiful, especially the poppies. Thank you for a lovely blog, I will pop back again to read! Tee. :o)

  9. Marthe says:

    The poppies and all other flowers are giving such nice ideas for patterns, if you even look at the different rings of color inside. AMazing. this year was in the East Coast of the USA a terrific garden year so far. SUnshine and rain. I grew gray marrow peas ( dutch capucijners) from dried peas I found in my cupboard. That is a nice surprise.

  10. Lenore says:

    Your flowers are beautiful Christine. Great to have neighbours that you both get along with and do helpful. Enjoy the school holidays. Xx

  11. Anita Pearson says:

    Lovely marathon catch up, thank you Christine

  12. Margaret says:

    I notice you have yellow welsh poppies in your garden – I have loads which self seed at a rate of knots. I dead head them every time I walk past but they still multiply. But they are pretty and keep colour in the border all summer.
    Your photography is brilliant.

  13. Kath says:

    You’ve reminded me that I need more flowers in my garden – now where to put them… I always underestimate how long something is going to take. Mind you, if we knew how long something was REALLY going to take, we probably wouldn’t bother! xx

  14. Ven says:

    Love the flower tour and nice to get a name for one of our regular poppies at our allotment X

  15. Tina says:

    What a wonderful blog post and all those beautiful flowers make me so envious. Thank you so much for sharing 😊

  16. Anne says:

    Love the poppies, Christine. I’d love to get more in my garden but it’s run away from me since I broke my hip at the end of March cos I can’t get out there to do a thing.
    Loving the blog as I have more time to sit down and read and to knit. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us all xx 🤗 😘

  17. Fran Baas says:

    Your flowers are beautiful and delighted to discover your blog. The photos are stunning.
    I try to be a gardener but the only kind that seems to be working for me is a small vegetable garden.
    I am all about knitting and interested in the pooling around the gusset tutorial when you have time away from your garden. I look forward to reading future blog instalments. Have a wonderful day.

  18. Margaret Downs says:

    Love all your plants & look forward to your knitting stories. However, since you moved platforms I am not able to read your blog on my iPad – can only access on my computer . Is it something I’m doing or have other people experienced this problem?

    • winwickmum says:

      I’m not quite sure why that would be, Margaret, and if others are having the same problem then nobody has mentioned it (perhaps they can’t see the blog to ask!) I’ve Googled to see if there’s an answer and it came up with clearing your cache on Safari on your iPad which you can do through Settings>Safari>Clear cookies and data. It might be that your iPad has stored an old “picture” of the blog and is trying to load that up rather than the new files. It’s a good idea to clear out your cache on a regular basis anyway, whether on your iPad or computer, as it usually frees up lots of space and makes everything run better. You might have to sign in again on some websites but hopefully that won’t cause you any problems. I hope that helps! xx

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