Tag Archives: Pimms

In a Vase on Monday – in the pink with Pimms (and tennis)

This week I’ve been watching a lot of tennis.  It’s definitely part of my summer schedule to watch Wimbledon, I’ve watched it since I was a child.  My Mum loves watching tennis, so I caught the bug from her.  We went to Wimbledon in 1977 when I was 11 – Centre Court tickets. We saw Billy Jean King and Martina, Ile Nastase, a very young John McEnroe. we had a brilliant day. I’d love to go again, need to remember to apply for the ballot 🙂 A friend told me she won ballot tickets for the Ladies Final in 2009, when Serena beat Venus, so it’s worth a go.

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So for today’s vase, I thought I’d do a Wimbledon theme.  There’s always plenty of flowers and plants around the Wimbledon site – and it all looks lovely from what you can see in on the TV/  I picked some dianthus (commonly known as pinks), some  purple perennial wallflower (which is still flowering!), white pelargonium and a different lavender from last week. These colours sum up summer for me – pinks, reds, purples and whites.  My strawberries are over so I couldn’t include them 😦 The plants aren’t looking very happy in the heat even though they’re in the shade.

It is very dry in our garden, as we’ve only had significant rain one evening last week and once in June.  The temperature has been in mid-20s for a couple months now – with no cloud cover.  Our houses aren’t designed for this level of sustained heat.  I have the curtains at the front of the house and I am grateful for once for a north-facing back garden.  I’d been gardening in the shade when I can too. As well as a lot of watering using the watering can – the water butts are full again from last weeks rain so that helps.
The huge moorland fires at Winter Hill, by Bolton and Dovestones, by Oldham are only a few miles from me – the smell of smoke hung across the city centre for a few days two weeks ago.  The firefighters are still dampening down the peat, many footpaths and a few roads are closed.  Grim.

The flowers are displayed in a small jug with roses on, that I bought at Bodnant Garden, a National Trust property, where My Chap and I got engaged in June 2016.  We have picnics often so one of my small hampers is a prop too. I’ve written before about Bodnant, and the jug has appeared before, too:

I don’t have any dainty teacups to put in this shot, as I only have chunky big mugs for tea but I’m sure you get the idea with the mini jug, and the sign is a nod to the scoring in tennis and the small picnic hamper.

Do have a look at Cathy’s post in Rambling in the Garden – she has zinnias this week which I’ve never attempted to grow. Maybe next year.

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Pimms 
I love Pimms – I drink it all year round, usually in pint glasses without fruit just mint and Ice.  Drinking pints of Pimms is my Dad’s fault as he couldn’t be bothered to go back into the kitchen to pour more Pimms when we were sat out enjoying the sunshine in the back garden.  I like the Blackberry and Elderflower Pimms too – it tastes like alcoholic Ribena.  Yoda likes Pimms too 😉  For those that don’t know Pimms was invented in 1823 by James Pimm who owned oyster bars in the City of London.  It’s a gin-based drink and even now the herbs and spices used are a secret recipe.  He went on to invent a number of Cups based on different spirits including No. 6 Cup (vodka),  No 3 Cup (based on Brandy) now available as Winter Pimms.  I drink Winter Pimms too and that’s lovely as a hot drink on a cold, wintery evening.   All the other Cups are phased out at the moment 😦

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Here are some of my favourite Pimm’s recipes in addition to Pimms and lemonade.  My dad used to put borage in our Pimms but mint is fine too.

Pimms and ginger ale

  • 1 part Pimms and 3 parts ginger ale over ice

My Chap particularly likes this one with a quality ginger beer.

Cranberry Pimms 

  • 375ml  Pimm’s No.1 Cup
  • 1litre sparkling lemonade, chilled
  • 200ml cranberry juice
  • 1 sliced lemon as garnish
  • Mint leaves as garnish
  • Redcurrants or fresh berries, as the garnish

yoda collage with pimms

You can see that Yoda has aged a few years in these pictures too…

*****

Do you have any favourite summer drinks?  We love gin and tonic too. My Chap has a collection of gins.
What do you have planned for the week?

Carpe Diem

love Bec xxx xxx

 

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My ‘Mindful’ Garden – I’m in the moment

To Dwell is to Garden – Martin Heidegger, (1889-1976) German philosopher

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. Albert Einstein (1879-1955), Physicist and Nobel Prize winner for General Theory of Relativity

With mindfulness, you can establish yourself in the present in order to touch the wonders of life that are available in that moment – Nhat Hanh (1926 – he’s 91!), Buddhist Monk

For me, Gardening is mindful, being in the moment. It doesn’t have to be me ‘doing’ things, it’s about the scents, the rustle of leaves, the birds, the hum of lawn movers in the distance. For me, when I’m in the garden, I’m in the moment – I find watering, deadheading and weeding relaxing – and planting too. For me, it’s about peace and recharging.

About my garden – it’s small, it’s rubbly soil and north facing; the neighbour’s have huge conifers, which make it even more shady at the end of the garden.

I love it – our small, sanctuary from the hussle and bustle of the world

I’m content in the garden.

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Before I bought my house – Summer 2009

In high summer 2016… some of the conifers on the right have gone now – but those on the left are even bigger 😦

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My garden is a work in progress – like me. I’m 51 – I definitely feel I’m in a new chapter with My Chap (my new husband) holding my hand, metaphorically too. To be fair, he does all the digging and heavy work as I have osteoarthritis. It’s a team effort in the garden.

and there’s always time to eat and relax.

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Many pots planted (and watered), and always Yoda – any season… Yoda (and Star Wars have appeared many times on this blog).

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I love lavender too – it figured very heavily at our wedding in September 2017 (it was our ‘confetti’ too) I have about 20 different plants around the front garden which gets sun all day.

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Lavender and a cabbage white butterfly

Many crocuses and violas too. Always something for the birds too.

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It’s not all purple flowers though – there’s lots of colour around the garden. Orange and yellow life my mood in Spring. I love tulips too.

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Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul. Luther Burbank, American Botanist

Meanwhile, you’ll find me in the garden, drinking Earl Grey or a Pimms… you’re welcome to join us if you’re in the area 😉

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What do you do that’s mindful?

Originally, I wrote about what my garden means for me for the April competition at Cottonopolis Women’s Institute. We were asked to suggest our mindful activities, there was a vast range including knitting/crochet, sewing, baking, art or drawing, listening to music, and a few people like me loved walking or being in the great outdoors.

Our speaker in April was Deb Connor – an all-round star who led some mindfulness exercises and stretches. She’s a trained mindfulness teacher, an acupuncturist and is a vegan too.

I’ve been doing mindfulness for a couple of years now – which combined with over 10 years of yoga has really helped my mental wellbeing. I’ll write about this another to

Women’s Institute – Cottonopolis WI

We have such alot of fun at WI meetings, in June we made beauty products from lavender, peppermint and coffee skin scrubs.

Our next meeting on Tuesday 3rd July (730 at St Micheal’s George Leigh Street, Ancoats, Manchester) is tea tasting. I can’t wait.

If you’re local come along…

Let me know in the comments what you do that’s mindful? Do you have a garden? What does it mean to you?

Carpe Diem

love Bec xxx

#100happydays challenge 14-20 food, music, Victoria baths

An update on my  #100happydays challenge – http://100happydays.com/ from last month. In mid October, I went back to my normal life after a lovely week in Lisbon – and it was eclectic.  Some gardening, music, good food with friends and visiting the Victoria Baths in Fallowfield, Manchester.

birthday meal in Smiths (14/100), fushias in my garden (15/100), editors tickets (16/100), lunch with my pal E (17/100) #100happydays

birthday meal in Smiths (14/100), fushias in my garden (15/100), editors tickets (16/100), lunch with my pal E (17/100) #100happydays

14/100 – Our birthday meal in Smiths, Eccles   My birthday and my chap’s birthday are a week apark – no pressure then when it comes to presents and celebrating 🙂  We went for a lovely meal at Smith’s in Eccles; it’s a bistro style restaurant with an excellent, ever changing seasonal menu.  It’s an Eccles institution and I’ve been going for at least 18 years.   It was a great meal as usual, the bubbly was just lovely.  I had some fish – what a surprise 😉

15/100 – fuchsias in the garden – mid October 2015 The fuchsias are STILL flowering in my garden (and it’s mid November when I write this post) both the tender and hardy ones.  We are having very odd weather this Autumn, it’s been 12/16 degrees most days/most of October and November so lots of the summer bedding plants are still flowering away. I love fuchsias – When I was a child they always reminded me of ballerinas.  My mother always had a lot of fuchsias on her patio both hardy and tender.  She’s still got plenty and she’s bought us quite a few over the six years I’ve lived in my house.  I’ve got a huge relative of ‘tom thumb’ outside my kitchen window which reminds me of the lanes of West Ireland which have miles of tall fuchsia bushes.  I’m surprised fuchsias aren’t in ‘My in a vase on Monday’ more often – I think it might be because I’ve not got the right vases. There is time yet this year though 🙂 Continue reading

1st day of Spring

Primroses - 20 March 2015

Primroses – 20 March 2015 – my mum gave me  these

Today is the first day of Spring, International day of happiness and a rather cloudy solar eclipse (more about that soon). I was working at home today,  due to a long and boring electrical saga at work.

There’s more flowers out in my garden including these primroses (primulas). Primulas like a semi-shady spot; they’re happy under trees but don’t like the soil too soggy.  Mine are along my left hand fence in my north facing garden so don’t get any afternoon or evening sun. Primroses are traditionally yellow or shades of cream, but now the hybrids come in many colour combinations – yellow and purple, crimson and yellow for example. I’ve got some really pretty salmon pink and yellow ones in my front garden.

i’ve been planning more adventures – watch this space.

All In all, a very good day, and I have a pint of Pimms too.

 

 

 

I waited a long time for a garden of my own – well into my 40s

It was worth the wait.  It’s only small.
I bought my house because of the garden –  I can sit on my sofa and look at the view. The view has changed a lot in five years mirroring the changes in my life.
My garden has been my sanctuary and escape from the aggravations of life in a busy Northern city.
Planting, weeding and watering is my relaxation, but most of all, I love sitting in the garden usually with an earl grey or a pint of Pimms.
All sorts of wonderful things happened since I got my own garden including an inspiring, energetic, incredible Chap storming into my life and staying.
I plan a lot of our adventures sitting in my garden.

I think this blog is going to be about:

  • where we visit – I love history as well as gardening – there are many wonderful gardens nearby like Tatton Park, Dunham Massey and Bodnant
  • what’s been happening in our lives
  • the odd bit of cooking and crafting too.
  • my thoughts and dreams for the future
  • many pictures of the garden, plants, flowers and the veg plot.
  • And maybe, just maybe, some campervan adventures…

I am most definitely an amateur gardener though – I’m rubbish with latin names.

Currently, I’m waiting for the daffs to arrive (Feb 2015) – Spring is nearly here.

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tete-a-tete daffodil and english lavender in my front garden – Spring 2014

Carpe Diem

Bec