A tidy up in the garden

After starting to put the garden to bed last weekend, when we spotted the sun shining again this Sunday we headed out to do a bit more. The plan was to put the umbrellas away, and move the hibiscus (finally). But as it was warm in the sun, as often happens a little bit more was done. I took the opportunity to plant out those Lords and Ladies from the greenhouse in my gabion basket planters - I think they should do pretty well in there, as that's the most woodland-like area of our garden.

Lords and ladies in my gabion basket planters

As I was pottering about I couldn't help but notice that the chrysants are starting to fade - and I think they look better this way.  They are ultimately destined for the allotment, but we're enjoying the burst of colour they bring. Usually though they don't have much company for colour, this year with its wacky temperatures there's still some bedding about.

The chrysants are fading

And of course the hibiscus. It still has buds. Bonkers hey?

The hibiscus is still in bud too

We did move it though into a much more sheltered position alongside the agapanthus which have the shelter of the conservatory, and the warmth of two boiler outlets (ours and next doors, we don't have two boilers!)

There was also some time for some weeding. Remember my much loved corner from the summer? Well it looks a little different now - it looked different again before the weeding too!  The lavender has filled out, and the petunias are done. 

The French lavender has been trimmed and my favourite spot is visible again

The lone strawberry plant growing between two paving slabs has filled out quite a bit too.

The lone strawberry plant between the paving slabs has filled out too

And the begonias seem to be in competition with the small Christmas tree.  Hiding amongst the begonias (on the right) are some more Lords and Ladies,  I hadn't seen them there before, so they must have been one of the tubers I planted hopefully.  I could - if I'm lucky - have a whole pot of them we'll have to see.

The begonias are still growing and flowering

Further along the sleeper bed, I spied this pretty leaf and while these were destined for the compost, this sole pretty leaf gave them a stay of execution. I'm expecting to be repaid with more pretty leaves!

A pretty begonia leaf further along the sleeper bed

As I was clearing more weeds from around the circle I spied this discarded flower head and was struck by its vibrancy, even though it's clearly decaying.

a burst of faded colour

The sedum are turning their jewelled colour and the winter jasmine is clambering through them - these are more usual plants for this time of year, and it's good to see them.

the burgundy of the sedums against the grass

While I faffed about and took pictures, MOH was mowering up fallen leaves and feeling all smug with himself for using the lawnmower. It worked well, but won't be an option soon as the grass will be too wet. Which is a shame as picking up leaves is back breaking work, and something I'm happy to leave to him, which of course he's spotted.  

Fatsia flowers are almost like christmas baubles

And still the fatsia wows me, with it's delicate bauble-like flower heads. I'm glad it's one of the plants we can see from the window. Exquisite isn't it?

But guess what? It was windy overnight and the cherry tree has deposited another dusting of leaves, all over the grass. I'm pretty sure MOH thinks the trees in collusion with the squirrels (who continue to dig up the lawn just to annoy MOH!)

How's your garden, have you ventured out there recently?

Feathers, berries and glitz at Homesense

Back in August Homesense invited me along to take a look at some of their Christmas range. You might think it strange to immerse yourself in all things festive at that time of year - and it is - but the weather did its best to make it feel like winter, as it was on one of those days where it rained and rained, and rained... so we didn't need to stretch our imagination too far at all!

You only need to glimpse at these pictures to see there is much loveliness in the Homesense Christmas range, but choosing, now that's the difficult thing - but they've put together this fun quiz to help you identify which festive trend is the one for you.
A black feather wreath with a jewelled bird from HomeSense

I loved the black feather wreath above and the jewelled bird that adorned it.  You'd think something that rich would work best on a plain background but the almost William Morris-like wallpaper worked equally well.  In contrast the white and gold plate setting appealed just as much, I'm not quite sure what that quiz will make of me!

A gold place setting from HomeSense

I'm not one of these people that completely change their Christmas decorations each year, I much prefer to add to my collection each year and as in the rest of my life there's often quite a bit of colour. And I'm fine with that. These metal stars are something I'd happily add to my collection, I think they could be most versatile and used throughout our house. My trouble of course is convincing MOH we need more decorations, though he's often the first to say that our living room doesn't feel that Christmassy. Hmmmn.

Metal stars from HomeSense

The feathered bird wreaths were great though, and there's plenty of colourways to match your theme.

a bird in the wreath, surely there's a saying for that

This year I'm very tempted to go with more rustic and natural elements and eucalyptus leaves are high on my wishlist.  Whether I go for the natural or glittery sort, or home-glittered sort I'm not sure yet, I'll see how it goes.  I'm planning to use some greenery from the garden and this could be the first year I take some trimmings from the small Christmas tree.

Eucalyptus leaves are on my wishlist this winter

The pink glittery bird is clearly no fool, he (she?) has found a wreath that will see them through the festive season!

berries and birds on this festive wreath from HomeSense

These lights made an impression on me too. I think MOH would rather have the drinks trolley though if I'm honest. I'm fine with the drinks, but could happily skip the trolley element - I wonder in years or months to come if I'll prove myself wrong with that last statement?

Glitzy lights from HomeSense

So plenty of glitz and quite a few feathers and berries in the Homesense Christmas range, I think I may need to pop along just for another look, and maybe to see what pops into my basket.

Do you have a theme to your Christmas decorations, or like me make additions as you go?

* Thanks to Homesense for the invitation to view the Christmas range.

Reflecting on my week #11

Winter is definitely marching towards us, isn't it? It's felt chillier on the whole, my hands are suffering (dry, swollen and sore cuticles, which isn't a good look) and instead of packing things away, warmer clothes - and my gloves - have been coming out this week. I've worn the heaviest blanket-type wrap and although I was too warm I think it'll be getting more regular outings.  I'm not quite in a coat yet - I'm not a fan, unless it's very chilly, and I normally succumb at some point, but not yet I hope!

I've been mixing up my walking commute, both with routes and modes of transport.  There's been more late nights at work than there should be and so there's been more buses home too.  I know a walk would do me good but often when I'm done, I'm done and just want to get back, so if there's a bus that suits me. If there's no traffic too, then that feels like a win!

Theres been more park walks too then there has been for a while - I think the autumn leaves are calling me back. When I looked at my phone I realised I'd taken plenty of photos, so my subconscious must have been missing the autumnal views across Greenwich Park.  

AN INVITING PATH

AN INVITING PATH

It's not hard to see why, is it?

LOOKING UP, AUTUMN LEAVES

LOOKING UP, AUTUMN LEAVES

LOOKING DOWN, FALLEN AUTUMN LEAVES

LOOKING DOWN, FALLEN AUTUMN LEAVES

It's also felt as if we've made that turn towards Christmas in the past week too. It's even more prevalent than before in the shops, there's been the Christmas adverts (which I've seen none of) and even I've secured a Christmas delivery slot and ordered a turkey.  

This week I've been tired too, mentally. My to do lists are ambitious (as always) and with planning they're doable - but I've also realised I can be a last minute kind of girl, which seems at odds with the ultra-planner I am too. Hopefully there'll be a sensible dose of the kick-ass and get things done going on too. 

There's been more gardening - the hibiscus is moved into a sheltered spot - and a meal cooked by MOH, which I appreciate however it'd be much more relaxing if I wasn't up and down to answer his questions, find a suitable dish or an ingredient, or needed to do the onion, prep the veg or dish up. That said a meal cooked for you tastes all the better for it, doesn't it?

This week I've a full week ahead, with a conference in town on Tuesday, plus a blog evening out and a memorial rugby mtch at our local ground. I'm also hoping there'll be time to catch up on some blog reading (I worked out just how poor I'd been as a linky host recently - so have quite some catching up to do) and some Christmas crafts. I'm also heading off to the Ideal Home Show at Christmas next weekend, leaving MOH at home to tackle his Christmas puds - they've become tradition, and this weekend I've remembered its best if I'm out!