Sunday 12 June 2022

Pictures of nice things

Handmade lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

First up, beads. These ones are called 'Fiesta'.

I absolutely hated these when I took them out of the kiln. I was like, "What the hell was I thinking with these colours?!"

Handmade lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

I still disliked them as I was cleaning them but when I’d got them all strung together I changed my mind. They're very bright and zingy.

Handmade lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

Those were all the beads I got made this week. I've had one of those wasting-a-lot-of-gas-and-glass weeks where I sit there trying to make something but my mind doesn't know what to make so I end up making rubbish and getting annoyed with myself. Hopefully next week will be different.

I'm still pootling about in the garden. Things are growing and doing stuff.

The sweet peas have produced their first flowers:

Sweet peas in the morning sunshine

One of my sea holly flowers has got a definite blue tinge going on:

Sea holly - 'Big Blue'

Remus, my dwarf lupin, has yet to flower but I reckon he'll bloom any day now. The wind snapped his first flower clean off so he's a bit behind, you see. Anyway, his leaves are very pleasing to look at, especially after rain:

Raindrops on lupin leaf

My tomato plant is doing a tomato:

Tomato plant - 'Matina'

My little lavender plant that I got from the local greengrocer is looking and smelling lovely:


And the Hungarian Black chilli plant that I got from the local health food place (a lovely little cooperative that smells of hemp, dried pulses and smugness) has a few chillies on it which start off as these fabulous glossy purple flowers:

Chilli plant - 'Hungarian Black'

I've also got various seedlings growing in trays on the windowsill and I've become ridiculously obsessed with them all, making sure they're happy and warm and not too dry or too wet. I have been reading SO much about gardening it's untrue. I said I was taking gardening seriously this time and I am; I'm determined to create an actual garden. 

When I'm not concerning myself with my garden I'm nosing about at other people's gardens. The lady who lives opposite us was in her front garden planting out some seedlings last weekend and then she went away somewhere. (Yes, I’m one of those people who notices things like neighbours going away. I like to think of it as ‘being vigilant and observant’ because that sounds better than ‘being a nosy cow’.) Anyhow, yesterday morning I was doing the washing up (our kitchen looks out onto a footpath and then her front garden) and I noticed all the new plants she'd put in were looking beyond droopy. I went and fetched my watering can and headed over the way to give them a drink. I don't even know what this neighbour's name is but I felt so bad for her plants, and I felt weird for interfering in her gardening matters, but I couldn't bear to see those little seedlings dying of thirst. After I watered the neighbour's garden I popped out to Homebase to get some pots for my lavender and rosemary and by the time I'd returned all of the neighbour lady's wilted seedlings were upright and looking happy again. Hurrah!

In crochet news I'm still working on the Twister blanket. Nigel, who never used to be a lap cat but is now sometimes a lap cat, likes to come and inspect the blanket proceedings from time to time.

Nigel helping with my crochet blanket

I said I was reading lots about gardening, and that's mostly reference books and websites, but I'm also currently reading a non-fiction book about gardening called Rhapsody in Green by Charlotte Mendelson. Marian Keyes mentioned it at the end of her last book Again, Rachel (which is absolutely wonderful, by the way) and I cannot put it down! Charlotte's book is so engaging and funny. If you like gardening, and even if you don't, I highly recommend it.


  1. Hi Laura! Your plants are looking great - gardening is a great respite from the world at the moment. I would have done the same with the seedlings - can't bear to see a plant in distress!
    A joyful set of beads too.

  2. Hi Caroline! I hope you're OK. I'm glad you understand about the lady's seedlings; I felt like I was intruding but those plants needed help!


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