Sunday, 29 July 2012

The day today

Just some of the things I did today...

Plaited up our dried garlic which is now hanging in the kitchen ready to use
Went for a bike ride, got completely soaked but did find a pair of lovely oak chairs that someone had thrown out on the pavement (can you believe?!). So went back for them in the car and I'm now dreaming of how to do them up and what fabric to use for the autumn project methinks.
Picked a few more flowers from the garden

Hope you had a good weekend too!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Oh Danny boy

Thank you Mr Boyle for the tribute to the NHS at the Opening Ceremony of London 2012. It's nice to know that we are valued. Here's to everyone who works tirelessly to provide for the health of the nation.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Mirror, mirror, on the fence...

Our house is a corner plot with a big, somewhat overlooked, front garden and a teeny, tiny, triangular back yard. When we first got the house, it was a tip, a dumping ground really with hardcore and rubble on the ground and just generally horrid. Bit by bit we've done it up. First the ground was levelled, then the fences painted, then beds made and plants planted. This week Mr Sabs has been really busy putting down gravel as a finishing touch. Initially we thought of using white gravel to make the area appear brighter but when we went shopping, they'd run out so we got a few bags of "Mellow Cotswold" - a creamy-goldy-yellow, which when laid down, made the whole back garden look not only brighter but warmer. Good thing, given the awful British weather of late!
We have a raised fern bed (just out of shot in the photo above) and herbs in pots along one fence and a bed with climbers (including clematis, grapes and morning glory), camelias, evening primrose and euphorbia to name but a few along the other. The house makes up the third side of the triangle.
I'm not sure how well you can see them all in the next photo, but my favourite idea has been to hang old, random mirrors along one fence, again to reflect the sunlight and make the space seem lighter and bigger than it actually is. And it works!
There are mirrors at the bottom along the back of the bed too!
The aim of all the bamboo cane structures (see the arch?) is to grow roses up high so that we're not overlooked. We've chosen a couple of fast growing, nicely scented and coloured roses (which haven't been planted out yet) - Crimson Glory and Crown Princess Maragreta, both David Austins that I fell in love with.

So now, we have a serene, private area to sit and relax in, which when the roses are out in bloom, will hopefully smell heavenly too!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

I did...

A few of the official photos from our wedding. It seems but a lovely, distant memory now...

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Forza Italia

Some photos of our honeymoon...
Fontana di Trevi, Roma
Colosseo, Roma
Basilica di san Pietro, Vaticano
Tuscan countryside
Cinque Terre, Ligurian coast
Cinque Terre
Vineyards along Ligurian coast
Mr Sabs with our hired "speed bikes"
Fiat 500 up the mountains
Me in the botanical gardens, Villa Monastero, Varenna, Lago di Como
Vernazza, Cinque Terre
Varenna, Lago di Como
This is just a very small selection of all the 600-odd photos we took! We packed so much into two weeks, it was fabulous. And lots of adventures too, with some scary was definitely a trip we'll remember forever.

Flower power

Don't flowers out of the garden just brighten up the whole room?

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Me and my sweet tooth

We had a glut of raspberries in the garden this week. So I thought I'd make a tart. In my new Le Creuset pie dish. Confession: I cheated and used ready made shortcrust pastry. I was going to make my own but (a) was running out of time and (b) couldn't be bothered. Mostly (b)!!

The filling was low fat, soft cheese mixed with granulated sugar and vanilla essence and I layered this with more raspberries in the middle before decorating with them on the top. I actually added way more berries than shown in the photo above in the end as I had so many.

With more berries on the top. Mmm, most of it's gone!
I also had a bit of extra pastry left that didn't fit in the pie dish so I bunged it into a large mug and made a mini, 1-person-portion tart too. I was going to make a glaze with raspberries and strawberries to finish both tarts...but unfortunately (b) above applied here too!

We also had a good harvest of red currants, white currants, strawbs and gooseberries so I made a mixed berry jam too. It turned out really nice, just the right amount of tang while still being sweet enough for toast.

I'm feeling very domesticated recently!