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Friday, 6 April 2018

The Blended Blog asks: Spring

It's officially spring and finally the weather is co-operating. My favourite time of year! So much promise: beautiful flowers, long languid summer days, a glass of wine in the garden in the evenings, not having to wear coats, jumpers or tights.

The Blended Blog has set us some questions about April:

What three colours remind me most of spring?
It has to be green, yellow and purple. Green because the trees suddenly regain their leaves;  yellow because of the daffodils, and my forsythia hedge;  purple because I love purple tulips in the garden.

What is the first thing I want to add to my wardrobe in the spring?
I've been a bit slow in adding anything this year because winter kept coming back.  But I did buy (unexpectedly) a white bouclĂ© jacket which is something I wouldn't wear in winter.

What is the first wardrobe item I ditch in spring?
Not so easy to say in the UK, because we may still need raincoats and heavy coats in May.  But I'm always pleased to put the heavy jumpers away.

Who mows the grass where I live?
No-one, because our grass is artificial! We only had a small patch of grass in the back garden, which is north facing, so it was always damp and full of moss.  Now it looks good all year round. It doesn't deter the wildlife.  We still have a garden full of birds and visiting squirrels and foxes. See the before and after pictures below.
Image showing a small London back garden before its makeover. The border is full of dry poor quality soil after Leylandii trees have been removed and the grass is in bad condition.
2012: the garden before 

A London back garden after its makeover. Artificial grass has been laid in the north facing plot and wooden sleepers edge the border. Fruit trees have been planted and pots are full of spring bulbs.
2012: the garden after its makeover

What's spring like where you live?
We live near Epping Forest, one of the largest ancient forests in the UK, so the changes are huge: first the trees green up, then the canopy appears. Bluebells bloom in secret places and the birds are frantically building nests.  It's wonderful.

What's your favourite thing about spring?
The promise it brings! Starting with Easter, a wonderful occasion. Far better than the sloth and commercialism of Christmas.

Are you a spring cleaner?
I would like to be, if I had the time. But working full-time, the weekends are full of chores as it is and I can't find the hours to do a massive spring clean, much as I would like to do it.

Are you a baseball fan?
No, I'm British so it isn't a thing here.

Daffodils or tulips?
I love both, but daffodils have the edge. They're easier to grow in the garden and come back year after year, and I love that the early varieties appear around February.
Image showing a small garden in London ablaze with purple and pink tulips and daffodils.
My garden in spring 
Favourite outdoor spring activity?
Walking. It's so joyous to be able to walk in warm sunshine after bracing yourself against cold winds. We usually go to the Lake District and it's wonderful to see all the new born lambs in the fields, and all the daffodils.

Flowers in the ground or in pots?
Both. As I said, my garden's quite small, so I grow what I can in the ground but also have a lot of pots for tulips (which I treat as annuals) and, after they've finished, summer bedding like sweet williams, lobelia, verbena.

Favourite bird?
This will sound odd but it's the wood pigeon.  I love these gentle, beautiful birds. I had a pair for several years who ran to me for seed everyday. They mate for life.
Image showing two woodpigeons preening themselves on a garage roof. Copyright:
Car wash or wash vehicles at home?
Definitely wash vehicles at home, as long as J is doing it. He spends a fortune on "car detailing" equipment - snow foam, polish, wax, specialist stuff for the wheels - and likes to give the cars a wash and wax.

When do you pull out your sandals?
Sandals have to be worn bare legged, with a pedicure, so May is probably the first month when we can go bare legged in the UK  (albeit with fake tan).

Sharing this post with Weekend Link Up at Claire Justine,  Fake It Until You Make It at Fake Fabulous, Saturday Share at Not Dressed as Lamb and #BloggerClubUK at My Random Musings


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  1. That was fun! Interesting that you have fake grass - our friend in France has it too and like yours It looks fine - must save you a lot of work and effort, good for you! And good that you do so much walking. We walked a lot on our trip round Spain but don't do enough in and around Brighton. I'm hoping to find some new long country walks near where I live in the Spring and Summer.

    It's great you're continuing the blog despite the full-time job - excellent! And daffodils win for me!

  2. Thanks Penny - a lot of people still seem appalled by the idea of fake grass! Good luck with the walking. I find that a lunch walk is quite do-able. But I've put on, rather than lost, weight. How did that happen?!

  3. Hi Gail, I love the thought of fake grass, but my husband would probably weep (he loves his lawn mower too much). It sounds like you live in a beautiful part of the UK, Epping Forest is not a place I have ever been to. I also had no idae that wood pigeons mated for life, a bit like lobsters!

    Popped over from #weekendbloghop


  4. How lovely your yard looks after the make-over. There are quite a few artificial lawns in our neighborhood because it is just too hot and dry to afford naturally green grass.

    In much of the U.S., winter keeps popping up again and again. I am still in east Texas until Sunday and tonight's temperatures will be below freezing. Just hate that the buds and plants that have begun to green and bloom may get frostbitten tonight.

    Surely spring is not far behind for all of us!

  5. You have such a beautiful garden Gail. I really need a garden makeover. Loved reading your post. Thanks for sharing at The Weekend Blog Hop #Weekendbloghop


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