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Final Chelsea Pictures.

Here are my final pictures of the Chelsea Flower Show for 2019. 

Below is the Pennard Plants stand which is all about edible plants and vegetables and set up like a war time garden. 

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The two pictures below is a stand where every plant is edible mainly herbs and spices as well as the few plants.

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Above is the Memorial to David Austin of David Austin Roses who passed away last year.

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The pictures below were all from the Birmingham City Council stand which was developed by Floella Benjamin who has had a very long career working with Children, beginning with presenting “Playschool” on BBC1.  The theme for the stand was to do with re-cycling things and protecting the Earth.

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There were several clay figures on the stand and here is Floella presenting the “Playschool” Story with Humpty Dumpty on her knee.

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It was a stunning stand with lots of colour.

My bit of information today on my calendar is this :

27 Million: The number of people in the United Kingdom who report participating in gardening activities – more than 40 percent of the total population.

The big message from the Chelsea Flower Show this year was to do with mental health and the benefits that gardening can have for people who are suffering with any form of mental trauma be it ever so mild or a huge thing in their lives. 

Being out in the fresh air and creating something with their hands can help people to focus on wellbeing and ease any trauma.  Thus the RHS are promoting gardening at every opportunity and for everyone from young children to the elderly. 

Our Boys loved gardening with us and had their own patch to plant and grow whatever they liked.  They would spend hours outside in the garden during the weekends and holidays and like Treacle, it would be hard to get them in, in the evening!!!!  I love gardening which I got from my Grandfather when I spent my holidays with them and helping him doing all sorts, including vegetable growing.

I hope you enjoy the last of the pictures, a few of you have commented how much you have loved seeing them.  DH and I are planning on going to the RHS Flower Show at Chatsworth next year which is just up the road from us and perhaps Gardener’s World show in Birmingham too.

Treacle has let me have today’s blog so she will be here tomorrow.

Hugs, Susie xx

More from Chelsea.

Here are a few more pictures of our Chelsea visit.  This display, below, was not judged but a display to represent 75 years of the D-Day Landings in France, particularly the British forces, which began the end of WWII.  After the show the whole garden will be moved to France and rest on the hills overlooking the beach where the British landed.

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This is sea thrift from Britain and France, a link with the two countries.

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The picture below depicts the men coming off the ships and onto the beaches.

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This (above) is the M&G Showgarden which won a Gold medal and also Best in Show. 

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There were a lot of retailers showing their wares at the show and some incredible greenhouses.  Of course they also had some fantastic plant displays too.

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I loved this one as it was very much cottage garden.

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There were a lot of garden sculptures as well and I think this company, which makes them out of drift wood, was cashing in on the Game of Thrones series with the dragon as their main display!

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The Eagle was also very good, although DH did not like them at all, he thought them creepy looking!!!

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The stand, above, was selling very nice summer buildings as you can see and they had a lovely old Bentley on the stand and it was surrounded by Hostas.  Unfortunately we cannot grow Hostas at home due to all the slugs and snails, they think they are Sunday dinner!!!!

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As you may have seen and heard the Duchess of Cambridge helped design one of the Feature Gardens, which are not judged, with the RHS and the queue to see this was long all the time.  DH and I did not go in and see it as it was very hot to stand in line and to be honest it was not very big.  I took a couple of pictures from the edge, the tree house above which was circular.  Below are the trees which were featured.

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The above, as you can see, is one of the Fuchsia growers whose stand was a carousel.  What you cannot see are the lights on it, it was so pretty.

Tomorrow I will show you my final pictures.

DH and I had a very busy weekend.  We got into our Garden on Saturday as the weather was warm and not too sunny.  We got a lot done tidying things up after the winter and checking on the new plants we put in last year which are all doing well. 

Sunday and Monday we spent trying to finish the Spring Cleaning!  We got four big rooms completed but still have our Den to do (which is our office) and the kitchen, laundry and downstairs bathroom which are also all big jobs!!!  We are going to get some done this week and if not finish them off next weekend as well as carrying on with the garden.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

Hugs, Susie xx

More from Chelsea!

As well as the Big Show Gardens at Chelsea they do have some smaller ones, more like most peoples’ gardens.  These are called The Artisan and Space to Grow Gardens and although they are smaller, they are still packed with plants and other features. 

This is one of the Space to Grow Gardens called “The Harmonious Garden of Life” designed to explore different ways we can help regenerate our ecosystems.

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The planting was very natural and quite wild.

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Below is “The Manchester Garden” which was designed with plants in mind to fill in urban spaces and make green statements.  All the plants were chosen for their resilience, adaptability and suitability for the climate and space in a city environment.

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The gentleman in the tie (below) is Adam Frost, one of the presenters of BBC Gardener’s World and he was doing a segmant on the show about pathways and how they can be used in any size garden to great effect.

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One of my most favourite plants is Rhododendrons and they do well in our soil and they are mainly evergreen so really do help during the winter months to provide some cover.  There were many exhibits but this was our favourite in the Great Pavilion.

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The one above has quite large bell like flowers.

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The peach multi-coloured one was so pretty especially against the pale cream one. 

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A little model train was running around in amongst the plants.

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I also love the Azalea being so much smaller but a lot of flowers for not a very big plant.

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This picture does not do this plant justice really.  Again bell like flowers and it is a miniature Rhododendron.  I have ordered one to put in under the large Rhododendron we have in the border already.  If it likes it I will take some cuttings and put them with our other Rhododendrons.

Along the same vein, I love Hydrangeas too, but again you have to have the correct soil and position for them to grow.  I have put one in our garden to see how it gets on and at the moment it is growing but we shall have to see.  This Hydrangea (above) was stunning as it is actually an arched flower spike so really tall as you can see from the second picture above right.

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We have one area in our garden at the right hand side of our patio which is perfect for a small cottage garden area.  Unfortunately the woman who owned our home previously thought she was a marvelous gardener but all she did was put hundreds of hardy geraniums in.  This resulted, because our soil is so wet and does not drain easily, becoming home to every slug and snail in Derbyshire!!!  The first time it rained after we moved in the whole of the patio was covered with slugs and snails! 

We have frogs in the garden and they try their best to keep the slugs and snails down but they are so fat they can hardly hop about!!!  Of course slugs and snails just love cottage garden plants, especially my favourites; Lupins and Delphiniums and I am so tired of buying plants just to feed the horrible things!!!  However I do keep trying!  The displays of these two plants were amazing.

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The Lupin display was just stunning.  My favourites are the lighter colours as below rather than the more vibrant, darker ones.

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However I love all of the Delphinium colours and would have all of them in our garden if they horrid things didn’t eat them as soon as they are put anywhere near the soil!

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If I had to pick a Delphinium colour it would be this blue.

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I also love the fox glove and all the colours that comes in and the slugs and snails do leave these alone so I am trying to cultivate more of these! 

I hope you have loved Day 2 of the show pictures.  I still have more to show you.  We are in for a busy weekend with jobs and things to do and hopefully the weather is going to stay nice tomorrow so DH and I can get things done in the garden.  At the moment, as it is Bank Holiday, it is due to rain on Sunday and Monday but that is fine as we have plenty of things to do inside as well.

Have a great weekend, whatever you are up to.

Hugs, Susie xx

Our Day At The Chelsea Flower Show, London, #TBT.

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Yes it is Thursday and I am doing #TBT to yesterday!  DH and I had a really lovely day and I took 160 photographs!!!  Yeah for digital photography!!!  I will split the pictures over a few days otherwise you may get overloaded! 

Like the Quilt Shows I only took pictures of what I really loved and what interested us otherwise it would have been over 1,000 pictures!!!  The weather was perfect; warm, sunny but some cloud cover so it wasn’t baking hot.  The crowds were not too bad as it was an RHS day so it was not jam packed and you could walk around without any problems. 

There was always a lot of people around the Show Gardens, which obviously you get to see all of them on the TV, but what amazed me about them is how on TV they are described as being big but actually in person, not so much!  We did not stop at all of them just the ones we wanted to see and our favourite was the Yorkshire Garden, which won a Gold Medal.

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The garden featured a miniature canal and lock gates with the lock keepers cottage next to it and his garden. Above is the cottage.

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The path leading to the lock and cottage.

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The lock through the trees, above and below.

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The lock and water with the planting around it, above and below.

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Whilst we were stood waiting to get to the front to see the lock, a bumble bee came to visit the fox glove where we were standing.

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We got to the show at 8.30am having driven down the night before and stayed just outside London.  We completed the last twenty miles in the morning, fighting our way through London traffic.  When we arrived we had a walk around the show gardens and then had breakfast.  After we went into the Main Pavillion, which is the size of two football fields and has displays by nurseries and specialist growers and also by associations/companies etc who sponsored a display. 

DH and I liked the Pavilion the best out of all of what we saw.  There was plenty of room to move about between the displays and some of them were absolutely amazing and despite the heat of the day it was surprisingly cool inside.

My favourite display in the Great Pavilion of them all was the National Dahlia Collection stand which obviously featured all the different types of Dahlia intermingled with lots of other plants, fruits and vegetables.  It was a very large stand in the centre of the Pavilion.

When I took some of the pictures I got the names of the particular plant  with it, so we can hopefully add some of them to our garden. 

This display was a large rectangle and the colours flowed around it as you will see and they were stunning and the smell was just amazing.

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It started with quite pale pinks and blues with the dahlias, fox gloves and delphiniums.

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The above is a native, very small, sweet pea called Lathyrus Sativus and is tiny but so pretty and I defintely am going to find this and add it to our garden.

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The pinks and blues are my favourite colours.

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As you can see below the stand moved around from the pinks into the fire colours

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The opposite end to the where the pinks and blues were was a full vegetable plot and fruit trees.

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This was definitely my favourite.

I learnt about plants and gardening from my Grandfather, Frank Knight.  I used to help him in the school holidays in the garden (IF I wasn’t sewing with my Grandmother!!!!).  He loved his garden and it was worthy of Chelsea Flower Show.  He had specimen plants in it, as well as trees and fruit trees and behind a neatly trimmed hedge a huge vetable plot and his greenhouse.  He also had an immaculate lawn where I was not allowed ever to do cartwheels on!!!!!!!

Two of his favourite plants were Clematis and Roses in every variety and there were several growers in the Pavilion with these plants.

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Clematis in all shapes, sizes and shades.  Unfortunately they would not do well in our garden and it would mean growing them in containers.

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DH and I planted a climbing rose last year at the top of our garden and so far it seems happy where it is.  I love Roses (they are my Birthday Month flower) and the main stand was David Austin Roses.  Mr Austin sadly passed away last year but his company is going strong and they had a large stand in the Pavilion and also there was a main tribute to Mr Austin for all his work over the years.

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I have a few more ideas where we can plant some roses in the garden now.

There are still a lot of pictures to see, so I will be back tomorrow with more and what else we got up to on our day out.

Happy Thursday Everyone.

Hugs, Susie xx

Busy Day.

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I got all my work done this morning and then had to dash to do some grocery shopping as DH and I are going to Chelsea Flower Show tomorrow!  Can’t wait.  We have been watching it on TV and seeing all the gardens being set up and a view of the Great Pavillion, where there are displays of every flower you can think of.

We are going down tonight and stopping half way and then finishing the journey in the morning as you cannot bank on the traffic and we have to get through Central London and across the River Thames.  The weather tomorrow is forecast to be warm and sunny.

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The show opens at 8.00am so DH and I are hopefully going to be there when it opens and get a good look round and I have packed our picnic.  I have charged the battery on my camera and cleared the card off so I can take lots of pictures. 

Youngest will be in charge whilst we are out and looking after Treacle for us.

I will see you back here on Thursday with lots of pictures.

Hugs, Susie xx

Tuesday Quilting Thoughts.

I have been trying to decide what type of block to make a new project from and have come across, at the MSQC You Tube channel, the Basket Block.  However there are many, many versions.

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I love the colours in this block and the way it has been styled but I do think that the colours can make it stand out very well and also for it to fade into the background as well.  I will need to go through by stash to see what I have.  I also have a few other ideas for some quilted items as I have a few Birthdays coming up!!!!

As DH is busy all weekend it will be the ideal opportunity to get these done.  I have just done May’s Block for the Kathleen Tracy Mystery Quilt this year.  We only have June to go and then we get the instructions in July to put it together.  She is known for her small and miniture quilts so it will be great to see how it turns out.  I am going to use this to do my first piece of hand quilting.  So far all my projects have been done on my Janome so I thought it would be a good idea to have a go at hand quilting but on something small!!!!  It will give me something to do in the evenings after the sun  has gone down!

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Today it is very sunny and warm again so we will be getting the plants put in and the grass cut.

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Chelsea Flower Show begins next Tuesday, May 21st, until Saturday May 25th and DH and I are going on Wednesday.  They have eleven show gardens set up as well as other gardens to give you inspiration and these are usually sponsored by companies or charities and then the planting is moved after the show to help others.  There is also the biggest Pavillion ever which hosts different suppliers with just about any flower and plant available. 

This year the Duchess of Cambridge has, with the help of two professional Gardeners, designed one of the feature gardens to show how gardening can help all ages and to help with mental health issues.  “Inspired by childhood memories and with families in mind, this woodland garden is a place to retreat from the world, to play, learn and discover as well as create special family memories.” (from the RHS Website and the picture below, a drawing of Her Royal Highness’s garden).  SO because of the Duchess’s involvement the show is now sold out!  We actually got our tickets last September and I am so glad we did!

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One of the other gardens I want to see is this one :

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Sponsored by The Donkey Santuary, who are 50 this year.  I really like the look of this. 

I am going to make sure my camera battery is fully charged and also I have plenty of room on my memory card to take lots of pictures.  I will probably have to do several posts on our visit!!!!  The show opens at 8.00am and we are intending to be there for when it opens and the weather so far is for a warm day but light cloud which will be great for seeing the flowers and plants.  We are also going to take a picnic lunch!!!!

I have been doing my taxi service for both boys today (!) getting up at 5.00am this morning!!!  I do manage to get lots done on these days.  I am just off to get Eldest from work now and when I get back it will be time to get dinner!!!

I hope you are having a Terrific Tuesday.

Hugs, Susie xx

Monday, Monday, so good to me!

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I am loving the fact that I am able to watch the Game of Thrones episode with my breakfast on Monday mornings, albeit at 5.30am this morning!!!!  I had to take Eldest to work as his car is in for a service, as is DH’s truck!!!  All these things come at once.  So I was back home by 7.00am and it is amazing how much you can get done before the phones start ringing!

DH was busy over the weekend and I stayed home and got a mixture of Spring Cleaning and quilting done as well as the ironing basket emptied!!!  We did get to go to the garden centre yesterday morning and got some new plants and some plants for the summer bedding, pictures of which are below. 

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My planter from our friends.  The daffodils have finished now but the other plants are still going strong.

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Plants we bought waiting to be put in.  I have to empty the pots of the winter pansies and then wash and refill them and then plant them up.  The next few days are going to be warm so I will get these done one evening.

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I put this in last year and it is doing so well this year.  I am going to take some cuttings to grow some more.

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This has appeared and I don’t remember planting it but it really is very pretty so again I am going to take some cuttings.

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The pink Rhododendron is just coming out (sorry its blurred).

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The Vinca Major is busy flowering.

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The garden furniture is back out and we need to re-stain this, this year.

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As today is the first really hot day for a while I have washed three pairs of curtains and got them dried outside.

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Treacle loving the weather and being outside all day.

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This is my new Rhododendron we planted last year and it really is a beautiful lemon colour.  I love it.

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Below is one of my tree peonies, the flower is massive.

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Our pond in a barrel which we are going to clean out this year and re-plant with some new water plants.  The Reindeer is now keeping it company and our Wisteria is just coming out.  It is sulking as we chopped a lot of it down last year!!!!!

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I wanted to show you my Christmas Cacti, it flowered at Christmas and has now come out again as you can see.  When it has finished flowering I am going to re-pot it into a bigger pot.

We also did another good job yesterday when we tidied up and made a list of all my food stores in our room off the garage.  This is tins of food etc which I buy when it is on offer and then use it from there.  A very good friend of mine in the US only goes grocery shopping twice a year and then buys fresh things weekly.  Of course she lives in the middle of nowhere and is not able to pop to the shops like I can.  However when I was first on my own I used to shop once a month and then just buy the fresh things weekly, perhaps I should go back to doing that? I will show you some pictures later in the week.

I have also been buying a little extra each week because of Brexit!  I know we are told not to stock pile food but I do think that whenever the stupid thing is sorted there will be those who try to take advantage of the situation and put prices up whether it is needed or not, so I am just getting a little ahead of the game!!!

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(Picture from Bravo TV)

Speaking of shopping I don’t know if you watch “The Real Housewives of Beverley Hills” (it is the only one I watch) but did you see them going “camping” in last week’s episode!!!!  Firstly they went in a huge RV, secondly when they got there, their tents were set up like a hotel room and thirdly they were there for one night!

They went shopping for this one night and managed to spend over $700!  I spend that sort of amount for a month for four of us and Treacle including all the cleaning/washing/toiletries etc!!!!!  How can you spend that much money for one night?  Also the amount of clothes they had taken for one night and two days!!!!!  Good grief.  I have always thought that when they travel abroad for say four days and they each turn up with about four suitcases!!  I mean what planet do they live on?  They must always have to pay excess baggage charges!  I took one, admittedly big, case for a fortnight which in fact turned into three weeks.  Their lives are just not in the real world at all, but that is why I like to watch!!!!!  tee hee!!!

Anyway having got all my work done this morning, I have done a few little Spring Cleaning jobs this afternoon before I need to fetch Eldest and then start dinner.  DH is out, again, tonight at a swimming meeting but I think I will be going to bed early, having got up early this morning.  Tomorrow I have an appointment to get my hair cut and run some errands.  Next week DH and I are going to Chelsea Flower Show.  More on that later in the week.

Have a Wonderful Week.

Hugs, Susie xx