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Category Archives: Outdoor living

BBQs, picnics and general chilling outdoors

Harrogate show

On Thursday I went on a coach trip to the Harrogate show.  Last year I had gone on the Saturday.  It was nice to be able to go on the first day as everything was nice and fresh and most of the grass hadn’t yet become the paddy field that I am sure it was by the weekend.

The day didn’t get off to the best of starts with the announcement that the coach had broken down and another was on the way; this meant we were half an hour late leaving.  The delay did mean an unexpected bonus for me though as the friend I met at the coach stop said she had  a present for me:

Rudbeckia Herbstonne

This is a really tall yellow daisy which I have been trying to find for a while.  It is for my yellow border and will go next to my Solidago (Golden Rod).

So, first plant of the day and we hadn’t left the village.  I did reward my friend for her generosity, more of that later.

En route we stopped off at services and we availed ourselves of the Costa Coffee there.  We got to to the showground at 11.00am.  The plan had been to leave at 3.00pm which my friend and I (by a long way the “babies” of the bus) thought was far too early.  It was eventually extended to 4.00pm.  We had to stop off at a garden centre on the way back though so that people could sit down for something to eat…..

Having had our latte fix we decided to head straight for the plant halls and begin shopping.  I had euphorbias on my list and possibly hostas, though I am concerned that I am just providing slug and snail food by continuing to plant them.  As it happened my first purchases were a really tall euphorbia and a poppy which just looks a lovely colour.  It reminds me of a Pulsatilla.  Crocus have them on their website if you fancy one:

Euphorbia characias wulfeniiPapaver orientale Patty's Plum

My friend bought some plants at the same time and with the Euphorbia being so tall we dropped them all off at the plant creche to have our hands free for the next lot of shopping.

The outside stands included plant stalls but also lots of home and garden “things”.  Some very nice little “pods” for the garden, though for the same price you could have a wooden garden room which I decided I would rather have (both were around £6,000 so this was only a pretend purchase!).

A few mentions:

James Wilkinson the blacksmith had some heavenly gates which were a commission.  On a more moderate budget I bought my friend a leaf keyring!  I was very tempted my the ram’s head pokers.  Do have a look at his work, it is amazing.

For lovely shabby chic home and garden treats have a look at – some lovely bits.

We had just got inside the marquees when the heavens opened.  It was an absolute downpour.  A lady was demonstrating flower arranging and trying to explain what she was doing but was drowned out by the noise.

We had a quick look around the flower arranging but the “floor” – boards on grass – had us feeling seasick and the floral art comprised too many accessories for my taste.  We did enjoy the daffodils and tulips though and had a quick skirt round the crafts and foods.  I got myself a lovely hook made from an old fork.  I have “lent” this to a friend and given him a bag of old cutlery….

Not wishing to lose plant time by stopping for lunch we had tea and flapjacks on the go.  After a quick break at the “gardeners questions” it was time to head back to the creche with a stop for more plant purchasing on the way.

I added two anemonellas and another euphorbia to my collection:

L to R Anemonella thalictroides Betty Blake, Anemonella thalictroidesAnemonella thalictroides, Euphorbia polychronum

L to R Anemonella thalictroides Betty Blake, Anemonella thalictroidesAnemonella thalictroides, Euphorbia polychronum

Barbecue Seasoning

Barbecue Seasoning

I like that play on words!  I’m so looking forward to warm weather.  On a shopping trip on Monday my friend and I failed miserably as far as shoes were concerned but she got a picnic basket and I added some melamine to my collection.

I like to buy my plates in 3s and couldn’t resist adding a butterfly dish (Bhs).  The ice cream bowls are from  Primark – £2 for four, with spoons.  Same thing in M&S £7.50!

Roll on Summer