Tag Archives: spring

Shameless self promotion

Because I just want you to love me, love my photos.¬† ūüėČ

Well and because there is some relevance to this one today.¬† I’m just heading out to the garden centre to buy Amaryllis bulbs to flower in my own and my daughters’ houses over the dull months of¬† Winter.¬† Over the last couple of days I find I’ve been thinking of Spring planting, Spring bulbs and working on photos very much with a Spring theme.¬†¬† I’m spotting a theme here. (If I don’t even think about Winter, maybe it will just go away).¬† By the way, if you’re looking for advice on planting Spring bulbs to flower over the Christmas and New Year season, I recently wrote a little piece over at my other WordPress site: Voix Douce.

Afore I go….please don’t forget my photo/art comp… you’ve got to be in it to win it!

Amaryllis

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Spring flowers at Christmas

Grape hyacinthsWhen the days are short and the weather is dull it’s lovely to have some Spring bulbs in the house,¬† blooming and filling the air with their sweet scent to remind us that the warmer weather is really just around the corner.¬† If you’d like some hyacinths in your hallway or daffodils on your dining table for Christmas then now is the time to think about exactly what you’d like to have and how you will display them.

Once you have decided on what flowers you’d like, think about the containers to put them in.¬† Baskets, of all sizes, lined with thick plastic to make them waterproof are the most obvious but any container given a similar treatment would look equally beautiful.

You will need to buy ‘prepared’ bulbs for Christmas flowering – bulbs that have been specially treated to speed up their growth.¬† I’d recommend using commercially prepared bulb fibre for potting, especially for containers where there are no drainage holes.¬† (If you want to use regular potting compost make sure that it is open textured and free draining).

Pink HyacinthPut some well soaked bulb fibre (or potting compost) into your pot or container, leaving enough space to allow the bulbs to be placed inside with the tips just below the rim of the container.  The bulbs can be placed close together but should not be touching.  Cover with bulb fibre and water well.  The container should then be placed in a cool spot such as a shed, or in a shady corner of the garden.  Darkness is not essential but a cool temperature is. Do not put in a black plastic sack as this only encourages mould.

After 10-12 weeks young green shoots should start to appear (these will be paler if the pot has been kept in the dark).  When the shoots have reached about 5cm (2 ins) in height, bring the pot into a cool room and they should flower in time for Christmas.  Spring flowering bulbs at Christmas, planted in pretty containers, make a lovely gift.

Caution: The bulbs of Daffodil, Hyacinth and Narcissus are poisonous so please practise basic care by washing your hands when you have handled them.

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Filed under Christmas Countdown, Gardening

Milan Fashion Week, June 2009

Here’s a heads up on what men will be wearing next year – these are part of the Alexander McQueen collection being shown in the current Milan Fashion Week. In the collection are suits¬†smeared with paint, crumpled and worn¬†trousers and knitwear that comes with ready-made holes. I guess we may all be on skid row by then so it should be a pretty easy look to emulate …just head down to the local charity shop.¬† There’s not much more to say about that really, is there?

AlexanderMcQueen, Milan09i

AlexanderMcQueen, Milan09ii

Photos from Vogue UK

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Midsummer's Day: a conundrum

AliceWhite_01Hey, here’s a question for you:¬† Why, in the northern hemisphere, do we call 21st June ‘Midsummer’s Day’ when 21st June actually marks ‘the start of Summer’?¬† Aha…

Did you know that in meteororololololgical terms Spring begins on 1st March, Summer on 1st June, Autumn – 1st September and Winter –¬†1st December?¬†¬†Those dates¬†make¬†more sense to me in terms of what the weather is actually doing, certainly where I live, and in my own mind this is closer to how I think of the year. (That still doesn’t make ‘Midsummer’s‘ day on 21st June mind you).¬† Confusing, innit?

Well, just who went and confused things by willy nilly declaring¬†the start of the seasons as the 21st of March, June, September and December?¬† I bet it was those pesky Christians (no hate mail please – to all intents and purposes I’m one of them …which doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m currently a fully paid-up member of the club).¬†¬†¬†If you know the answer, do tell.

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Happy Fathers’ Day to all the Dads out there.¬† If you haven’t already, check out the videos I posted yesterday:¬† A funny (and wincingly painful) clip from the brilliant Paul Merton’s trip to India, and maybe my favourite ad of all time (well…so far), the Guinness surfers and white horses ad.

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Cooking with the seasons – Spring*

salad-bowl1To cook the best food you need to use the best ingredients, but this needn’t involve huge expense if you buy with the seasons.¬†¬†Local produce is obviously the freshest and most cost effective but even food that has to be imported from elsewhere follows seasons when it is at its best, is more readily available and therefore cheaper.¬†

SPRING

Seasonal Vegetables 

Asparagus, Avocado pears, Beetroot, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Butter beans, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Chicory, Chives, Courgettes, Leeks, Mint, Mushrooms, New potatoes, Parsley, Peas (beginning in May), Peppers, Purple sprouting broccoli, Radishes,  Salads, Spinach, Spring greens, Turnips, Watercress

Seasonal Fruits

Apples, Apricots, Bananas, Gooseberries, Grapefruit, Grapes,Pears, Pineapples, Rhubarb

Seasonal Meat

Hare, Rabbit, Lamb

Seasonal Fish

Cockles, Crab, Lobster, Mackerel, Mussels, Oysters, Pollack, Salmon, Sardines, Sea Trout

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*(Seasons and availability of produce obviously varies from country to country depending on geographical location.   This list is primarily based around location in the UK & western Europe).

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No words necessary

One of the nice things about taking photos regularly is being able to look back on other years at any given time period. It’s a bit like a visual diary – no words necessary. Last year I became enamoured¬†with Flickr and it gave me all the excuse I needed to start taking photos on a weekly basis. The legacy is many, many files that I’m still struggling to work my way through, deciding which to keep and which to dump – a pruning job that is proving very difficult¬†because I’ve always had trouble throwing photos away. A distinct advantage, however, is the fact that I can look at a photo like the one below and even if today’s weather¬†isn’t too terrific, images from past years will tell me that by now winter is receding. Another three weeks and I can go down to the little valley where I shot the photos below¬†and the beautiful and very old magnolia trees should be in full bloom. As someone who sometimes struggles to stay cheerful during the winter months, this is just the¬†news I need. When I see colourful blossom starting to appear, I know that I can come out of my virtual winter hibernation, better weather is just around the corner.

Pink Magnolia

 

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Please note: All my photos are watermarked and copyrighted and therefore should not to be downloaded, used, copied, reproduced or distributed in any way without my prior consent

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Filed under Home, Photography, Smile / Humour

Shoe Fettish

There have been some incredible shoes on the catwalks of the Spring fashion shows.¬† As pieces of art they range from dynamically different to …¬†interesting.¬† I can appreciate them as¬†design concepts,¬†as shoes they are¬†pretty useless really.¬† Too high in the case of Galliano, the angle of the foot is, I think,¬†too steep in the case of Dior.¬† If you don’t topple over and break your ankle therefore, the muscles surrounding the arches of your feet will go into spasms within minutes causing you hours of pain thereafter.¬†¬†‘For serious students only’ I would think¬† – of which I am not one…but then I do have to admit, I have now reached that ‘sensible shoes’ age.¬†

Shoes, Spring 2009

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