Home Tones: Daffodil yellow

daffodils on a tray on a tablecredit

Both Gardener’s World and Springwatch were praising the beauty of daffodils on the television last night – and we’ve got some lovely swathes appearing in the local countryside. They really capture the vitality and optimism of spring. So, with the clocks going forward tonight, what other colour could we possibly have chosen for this week’s Home Tones than daffodil yellow?

It’s a fabulous highlight colour – feature walls & doors, chairs, lampshades, cushions and bed covers can all provide that flash of zingy, life-affirming colour without overdoing it. It lifts cream based neutrals & blond wood – and contrasts wonderfully against the much in vogue grey palette. In the case of daffodil yellow, it certainly is possible to have too much of a good thing. But, when used skilfully, it’s hard to beat for impact.

daffodil yellow painted open doorcredit

Yellow painted kids' bathroom with yellow tile strip in the shower enclosurecredit

Yellow kitchen cabinetcredit

Pair of yellow chairs in front of a firecredit

Twin beds with yellow pillows in an all-white bedroomcredit

Yellow painted pantry and kitchen unitcredit

Allotment Diary: April & May

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cow parsley growing on our allotment

We’ve not done an Allotment Diary post for quite a while – that’s not to say we’ve not been busy.

Working on our allotment in May 2015

We’re bringing you what we did in April & May… all in one go!

Justin digging beds on our allotment in May 2015

We cleared more overgrown areas for planting crops.

Adelle securing tomato plants on our allotment in May 2015

Some lovely young tomato plants donated to us by Trudi next door went into this bed.

Making pots from newspapers for potting on seedlings

We’ve also been planting lots of seeds at home where we can keep an eye on the young plants. Adelle spent an afternoon making these little pots out of old newspapers to accommodate some of them…

Growing radish seedlings for our allotment in April 2015

…and seed trays are full to bursting.

Growing bean seedlings on our allotment in May 2015

Young plants are then taken to the allotment to plant out – French beans in an old bathtub here!

Growing squash seedlings under a cloche on our allotment in May 2015

And these little butternut squash seedlings have found a new home under their cavernous cloche.

Chitted seed potatoes being planted in trenches on our allotment in April 2015

The potatoes we chitted and planted a few weeks ago are doing really well – no frost, thank goodness!

Potato plants thriving on our allotment in May 2015

We have them dotted all over the place in beds & bags – Jersey Royals, Maris Peer and King Eddies.

Strawberry plants flowering on our allotment in April 2015

Strawberries are developing flowers that should become nice juicy fruits. This is another bathtub project which we’re very hopeful of – keeping them slightly elevated under nets should keep slugs and birds at bay.

Last year's celery still growing on our allotment in May 2015

We left these celery plants in their beds at the end of last year – they seem to be growing nice new stalks this spring, so we’ll see what happens.

Currants on our allotment in May 2015

Fruit bushes are looking very healthy this year – these redcurrants should be full to bursting come September.

Creature proofing our allotment

We’re started putting up protection after last year’s crop devastation. Also, a network of canes are in place along bed edges at the moment. This is an attempt to teach our dog Fudge to walk along designated paths like Nigel the Golden Retriever on Gardeners’ World!

Woodpile on our allotment in May 2015

Other jobs included sweeping the very last of autumn’s leaves and cutting back overhanging branches which shade the plot. More sunshine for the plants and a bit of firewood for us!

Flowers on our allotment in May 2015

We like to keep some areas on the allotment over for flowers – they look pretty and are great for wildlife. Many of them self-seed, so it’s just a case of giving them loose boundaries and transplanting where required.

Training a rose bush on an arch on our allotment in May 2015

We inherited a rather tangled and untidy rose bush which grew almost horizontally through the undergrowth. This metal arch should give it more structure and opportunity to flower – the brick path will eventually be extended beneath which should look great.

Robin perched on a spade handle on our allotment in May 2015

One beneficiary of some natural areas are the birds. We might not want them eating our strawberries, but there are plenty of insects that they can get stuck into. We get all kinds of finches, tits and thrushes. Our friend the robin has been a permanent fixture on our visits. You can’t leave your tools unattended for long without it using them as the perfect vantage point for freshly uncovered worms. We do have one bird problem though. We’re fans of Mark Radcliffe & Stuart Maconie on 6Music. Unfortunately, we caught one episode where they said that the wood pigeon’s call sounds like “My toe hurts Betty”. It drives us nuts now – we just can’t get it out of our heads!

Picking stinging nettles on our allotment in May 2015

It’s not just wildlife that benefits from the untouched corners of the allotment. These nettles are growing in a rusty old trough at the far end of the plot. The young tips make great soup… and nettle bread was one of our recent Cakes & Bakes posts.

The robin perched on a fence on our allotment in May 2015

It’s certainly been beneficial to get going a bit earlier this time round – hopefully we’ll reap the benefits later in the year!

Etsy List: Spring Clean

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'Spring Clean' Etsy List curated by H is for Home

It’s the official Organise Your Home Day in a couple of days – and at H is for Home it’s well overdue!

It’s been full-on round these parts for the past couple of months; what with Christmas then straight into preparing & filing our tax returns. We’re sorry to say that housework has been severely neglected for far too long. With what feels like non-stop rain since November, walking boots and paws have been traipsing mud through the house many times per day.

A thorough spring clean is the only thing for it!

Spring Clean
Curated by H is for Home

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Allotment Diary: A new adventure!

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our new, overgrown allotment

As of this week, we have a new allotment – and a new adventure!

our new, overgrown allotment with other allotments beyond

There’s plenty of work ahead. The perimeter fencing is in a bad state and the plot is a bit overgrown in places. It’s full of potential though, with plenty of space and good-quality soil. And we’ll be inheriting some well-established shrubs & fruit bushes.

our new, overgrown allotment with its broken fence

We’re full of ideas – what we want to grow and how we’d like it to look (we love that allotment chic!!). It’s already got a nice feel to it – quite enclosed with an almost secret garden quality. We hope to develop this a bit further – natural, pretty, and yet productive – that sums it up really.

our new, overgrown allotment with tumble-down lean to and plastic garden chair

In this series of posts, we’ll share the journey – the new projects, successes, failures, the produce grown and what we do with it. Along with a spade, we’ll always be sure to pack our camera! Feel free to share your own comments, ideas & tips as we travel along the allotment road.

Gimme Five: Spring bulbs

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selection of 5 spring bulbs

Hasn’t this past week been lovely? After a long, grey, damp squib of a winter we’ve been enjoying the ever-lengthening, brighter, warmer days.

We’ve just spent quite a lot of time in the garden, sweeping away the rotting leaves and moss. We plan on making a trip to Gordon Rigg’s just down the road and investing in a few different types of spring bulbs.

Our garden is fairly small, mainly set with cobblestones that we’ve filled with plants in a mix of terracotta pots and galvanised metal containers. We have a few raised beds that we’d like to plant up with bulbs, with the promise of orange and white late-summer/autumn flowers appearing year after year.

Our soil is acidic and the beds are short on sunlight so we’ve had to research our floral options very carefully. Here’s what’s made our short-list…

  1. Eucomis autumnalis: £6.99 for 2 bulbs, Suttons Seeds and Plants
  2. Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’: £3.99 for 10 corms, Crocus
  3. Large-flowered Gladiolus ‘Peter Pears’: £5.75 for pack of 25, Spalding Bulbs
  4. Spider lily ‘Zwanenburg’: £12.99 for 10 bulbs, Thompson & Morgan
  5. Japanese Anemone ‘Blanda’ white: £9.99 for a 1 litre pot, Jersey Plants Direct

Tuesday Huesday: Japanese peach blossom

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orchard of peach trees in blossom in Japan
image credit: JARL Ohashi

Spring is finally springing so we’re looking forward to the ornamental cherry tree in our garden to begin flowering in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, have a look at the fantastic colour range of the peach blossom on the trees in this orchard in Japan.

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