Thursday, August 30, 2012

Old Margate

 One of our day trips on our recent holiday in Kent took us to Margate. We headed to the old town which is has a number of vintage shops and cafes.

Sorry I  had to include a kiss me quick type postcard!

It was a good day, sunny with some cloud but at least it was dry1

The window displays  were great . This one was in a shop front for a community project.
 There were lots of cafes including The Cupcake cafe seen here in the pedestrian square
 Sadly on this visit the vintage shops were shut. So guess what. we had to make another visit the next day!
 Oh and we found our favourite-  an old fashioned sweetie shop!
There were  a number of gift type shops.
 There were lots of lovely buildings and alleyways.
 and some lovely flower displays down near the seafront!

 And yes we returned the next day- to visit the Vintage shops- two were open this time . I bought two vintage  yellow flowery pillowcases for one of my daughters room.

 We also visited the Turner Contemporary museum to see the Tracy Emin exhibition which was certainly  thought provoking. It had a definite sexual undertone!
 We then stopped and had a coffee and cake outside on the terrace in the sun. As you can tell we love our coffee/ tea stops. I was relieved to see that not only do they offer mugs of tea  for those that like it but also  pots of tea too! I love my tea poured from a pot into a china cup and so I was a happy bunny. I am  very easily pleased. How do you like your tea? Are you a mug or a china cup person?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Taking stock

Time away often results in moments for reflection and taking stock. At least I find that it is so. Just being away from home and all the inevitable chores, things that need fixing, cupboards that need clearing, helps clear the mind! and allows other thoughts to circulate. In this case my thoughts this week turned to gardens.

My  summer this year seems to be a full of gardens. I have forgotten how much I love roses.....
Can you smell this rose, the scent is intoxicating and every time  I see this photo I can smell the heady notes. Its clever how the senses are all intertwined!
This rose scrambled up by the front door- close to my favourite seat
and this one was in a border closeby;
Whilst away I studied the gardens around in the vicinity. Our garden at home is on the edge of the South Downs which means it is mainly chalk with a very  thin soil layer on top. This means it drains well but is not particularly nutrient rich. These gardens also are on thin soil above deep chalk. So I thought I would see what grew well here and perhaps try them at home.
This Acanthus was found growing in several gardens.
The hibiscus came in blue pinks and white.

Not forgetting the fuscias- they grew everywhere ! If you look closely there is a fuscia plant nestling under the hibiscus.
 More roses- fabulous in a border!
 The palm tree- in a neighbours garden. I think this might look out of place away from the coast but it  did made me feel like I was on holiday.
and the Verbena bonariensis and the Agapanthus- lovely combination ! to die for!!! I will be trying this! I also noted cosmos, japanese anemones and even some calendula in lots of the gardens. I hope to include a lot of these in my garden for next year - so back to the planning!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Escaping to the seaside

Some of us have managed to escape to the seaside for several days. North Kent coast - near Margate to be precise. Unfortunately some had to stay at home due to work commitments and cat feeding duties !
Some how or other  only half my post got posted - I always have difficulty when posting from my phone- I either loose half a post or it takes forever to send. Such is the joy of electronic devices.

To finish my post:
This is the corner of the garden in Kent where I have been escaping to at different times of the day. Either with my cup of coffee (a.m), tea (p.m) or glass of wine and if lucky a magazine in hand! Hoping you manage to escape even if it's only for a minute or two!
Looking forward to sending you more updates soon !

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Waiting receiving then waiting some more !

This week has  been all about work and waiting for exam results and the odd cup of tea! And next week we will be waiting again. It's a very stressful time for the youngsters in our house at the moment. So whilst we wait and take stock on what's happened so far I think we will have some days out some family time ,so forgive me if my posts are a little sporadic in the next week. Enjoy the sunshine..........

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Jam and Pickle making

You can tell summer is here when I  start jam making again. It started several weeks ago when I made my hedgerow jelly. That was instigated after reading  Nostalgia at the stonehouse's blog where she was making chutney using her frozen produce from  last year.

 My family had been bemoaning the fact that it was impossible to fit anything in the freezer. When I looked it was full of produce from last year- I had filled the freezer, with a promise that I would make things when I had more time! The crab apples were taking up a lot of space - hence the need to make jelly1

I used crab apples , raspberries redcurrants and blackberries. The redcurrants give a little sharpness to the jelly. I noticed on someone else's blog ( Mrs  Thomasina Tittlemouse I think! ) that they had a nifty red frame for their jelly bag. I remember my  Mum always made jelly using a jelly bag and a heath robinson affair involving an upturned stool and so I have followed suit .
 ta da! the finished product:

 This week I found some bargain gooseberries in the supermarket and as my  own plant bushes saw fit  not to supply me with any fruit this year. I had to purchase them to make this jam:
  I added a little vanilla stick and some cinnamon stick to the gooseberries to give a depth of flavour

 Do you like my new jam jars? and the lids? I think they go well with my dotty theme don't you?

  I have also been busy pickling beetroot and made four jars like this last night

This is always popular in my house. I can't seem to keep up with the supply

Any way back to the hob, Plum jam is on the go and I've nearly let it burn already once so must dash....... happy cooking!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Forgotten gardens

We had  a few days spare so part of the family went visiting to a house with a forgotten garden. My mum has worked hard on the house and garden. Who would know that this garden is within a ten minute walk of the town centre!

 This house had been owned by the same family since it was built in the 1930's. There was lots of character in the house. It felt welcoming and very homely from the first step we took inside. Almost like it was welcoming the next era in its life!
 My girls started weeding! Unheard of! Who would have thought that  teenagers would enjoy gardening!
 These columns were the gateway into the lower garden-aren't they fabulous?. I think there are 12 columns in all- mostly overgrown at the moment but gradually being uncovered.
 My Mum has dug an area for vegetables- Her courgettes are much better than mine! and her beans are doing well too!
 Her potatoes are going great guns- very little evidence of blight unlike mine which succumbed to blight  some weeks ago!
 This her pond area - its teaming with frogs- the raised bed is earmarked for veg and some herbs next year!
Waterlilies in her pond

 Remnants of the old greenhouse! together with Mums current tomato plants!

 Her Buddhlias are a little overgrown but the bees were happy!
and the butterflies........

Her current herb garden _ complete with goblin- on the bottom right hand side
The goblin is called Lugh , after a celtic god.

Garden shed with watering can!

Stained glass in the front door.

Original tiling in the kitchen and bathroom!
And lastly an afternoon of daisy chain making!

Hope you enjoy our visit as much as we did!