Thank you for all the good wishes and queries I have had on the blog and on social media about the Princess. She will be having an operation at the end of next week to remove her bad eye but we are hopeful that it won’t keep her down for long and she will soon be back stalking the hedgerows and climbing the apple tree.
You may be wondering what I have been up to since I left my old job at the end of March. The next phase of my life and career has definitely begun, as I have jumped wholeheartedly into self-employment as a curtain and soft furnishings maker. It’s all very exciting, if hard work – much more physically demanding than my old role. I’m loving getting stuck into my first project though and I’m already planning a regular soft furnishings blog too. I intend to keep the New Simple Life blog about home, garden and family though so, if you would like to know more about the business and what I am up to, please pop over to www.hammertonsoftfurnishings.co.uk to have a look. Don’t forget to follow the company Facebook and Instagram pages too!
I went away for the weekend last week and the garden seems to have exploded in my absence. Rain prevented D doing much while I was away so the grass needs cutting but, after reseeding it a few weeks ago, it looks too green and lush for me to want to touch it. That’s my story anyway and I’m sticking to it! The reality is that I am terrible at mowing the lawn – it’s definitely one of D’s jobs. The beech hedge, which looked dead before I left has suddenly turned that luminous shade of green which takes me by surprise every year. The photinia is glowing red and the new dogwood is starting to sprout new bright green leaves. Sadly, though, the variegated hebe which was growing splendidly last year has succumbed to the bad winter and even cutting it back has not saved it. We need to dig it up and replace it with something else. It’s sad to lose a plant, especially one we have had for some years – it travelled down from Scotland in a pot when we moved here – but it’s all part and parcel of becoming a gardener I suppose.
Of course, it’s not just the plants we want which are flourishing. The dandelions are starting to flower already. Last year, I dug up every dandelion I could find. This year, I am torn. The ones in the lawn and paths will have to go, but I am tempted to leave some of the ones in the kitchen garden, especially up behind the summer house near the compost bins. Apparently, bees prefer pollen from native species so, if I want to continue to encourage them, I may have to accept a few dandelions here and there. It’s a risky strategy – we all know how successfully they spread and root everywhere – but we have worked hard to encourage pollinators with the flowers we have grown and the bug hotels we have dotted about, so it may be worth the risk. We’re also considering branching out into the world of ladybird breeding. Who knew that you could buy ladybirds and larvae through the post? After our roses were attacked by aphids last year, we are hoping to thwart them this year – all without chemicals, of course and ladybirds seem to be the way forward.
I’m showcasing the New Simple Life garden on Instagram this month, having a go at the #mymonthontheplot challenge, posting a new picture in response to a daily prompt. Day 2’s theme was “Love It” and I chose the pieris in the featured image above – just look at those gorgeous colours. All the pictures will appear on all the blog pages in the footer or the side panel or of course you can find me on Instagram or Facebook.