Thursday, 19 May 2011

Happiness is....working in the garden with Billy

Today was bliss, yes real bliss.

Thursdays are not work days for me (lucky me) and the sky was clear blue when I woke this morning. The sun, even by 9am, was warm on the skin. It's so good when what I had planned for the day fits in with the weather. Today I had decided to go up to the nearby small holdings and buy some more summer bedding plants. As the weather was so glorious I could also start to plant them up in my garden.

I came home with no less than 3 trays full of plants.

These are just one tray of them. We are lucky to have very good local growers and I am able to buy good quality plants quite cheaply.

Amongst my bargains I bought some herbs. I bought dill, parsley, garlic chives and I spotted a cinnamon basil, which I have bought at Hampton Court Flower Show in the past. I bought 2, one for myself and one for my daughter. At £1.30 they were rather cheaper than the £4.99 I paid last year! Cinnamon basil has the most fantastic smell, I really do recommend it if you can find it. It also has very interesting red/brown leaves.

I remembered I had a lovely old terracotta planter, which my Dad had given me some time ago,which would be perfect to use as a herb planter.

My Dad had been given some of these years ago by a friend who worked at the time for a Council Parks Department. They are Victorian and were being smashed up for crocks as in the 1970s no one thought they would have any further use. Dad could only bring home a few, it's lovely he was able to rescue some, they are such super heavy quality and totally frost proof too. I also rather like the fact that they have some history to them. I often wonder what grew in them in their past life? I have 2,  one deep and one shallow.
Here it is before I gave it a good scrub clean...and yes my assistant was at hand to check!

Billy had a good sniff and then sat on the wall of my raised bed until I got out the water...he is not a great fan of water so at that point he took up another vantage point..

It was also a lot cooler for him in the shade of the table.

After potting up my herbs I needed to decide where to put them.

As we often eat out in the garden during the summer I thought they would look great near the table and also their scent can waft around as you move past them.

They are also near enough to my back door so that I can nip out and cut bunches while I am cooking. I LOVE using fresh herbs in my cooking. I adore snipping chives onto new potatoes and adding dill to salmon...yum! I also use lots of basil, I think that is my all time favourite herb. It goes into all my pasta dishes. I also have mint growing in the garden so that is always at hand too.

After I had finished the herbs I planted up a few other pots of bedding plants and then had a good sweep of the patio so that we are ready for dinner tonight...

 yes we will be eating in the garden...
and yes our darling Billy will never be too far away...
O what a blissful day!

I hope you are enjoying your gardens too? The prolonged sunny weather we have been experiencing here since early April has been quite extraordinary and I will confess, I just love it. The gardens are so advanced for this time of the year. I had to stop cutting my lawn as it is so dry. Grass does not like being too short when it is lacking water. Billy also loves it slightly longer.

 It's work for me tomorrow and then I am off on my stamping masterclass on Saturday, I will be back with news and photos next week. Have a great weekend and enjoy doing what you enjoy doing!! ;0)

Bye for now,

Jane x (and Billy)


  1. Hi Jane, thanks for having me visit your garden, and giving a pet to Billy too. We're having gorgeous weather yesterday and today. I'll be doing some tidying inside and out today. Hugs, Teresa

  2. I have had such a lovely day out there Teresa.I'm glad you are also enjoying the sunshine, enjoy your day pottering.
    Jane x

  3. Hi Jane! What a great way to spend the the garden, with warm sunshine, and potting fragrant herbs! I'm still trying to decide where I'll put my herbs this season. I'm competing with two other gardeners and two dogs- available space is becoming scarce, you see. A snazzy, portable vintage planter like yours would be perfect! Please pat Billy for me, (despite my pups' protests)!
    Happy creating! :o)

  4. Michele I think you could do with borrowing my would be pretty dog proof and could sneak into any space in your garden.I am so looking forward to tomorrow! Billy sends a big purr :0) Happy nearly weekend,
    Jane x

  5. Hello Jane I do so agree that a garden equals happiness! It's wonderful to get the weather you wish for on the day you want to garden too, isn't it?! Your new plants look beautiful, and I loved the old containers. And of course sweet Billy there to keep you company. Have a happy weekend.
    Helen x

  6. I was so lucky to get the perfect planting day Helen.Billy is the sweetest companion out there. I have lots more plants to put in but they will have to wait until Sunday at the earliest. Enjoy your lovely garden this weekend,
    Jane x

  7. Hi Jane, your garden is looking lovely, as is the gorgeous Billy!! :)
    I love the old planter!
    I'm afraid we've come home to horrible weather, although my garden plants have really grown in my absence. I'll have to get my summer bedding in too, if I ever warm up enough to go outside, you soon become used to 30+ deg C !!!
    Have a great weekend. :)
    Vivienne x

  8. Yay, welcome back Vivienne. Sorry your weather at home is not so good, we are really having problems with the lack of rain in the south. Hope your holiday was fun, you obviously had lovely weather. Have a great weekend,
    Jane x

  9. Hi Jane, My your garden is looking lovely. I also love herb gardens for snipping while cooking. I love basil probably the best too, followed by parsley, dill and rosemary. Oh what the heck I love them all. Billy looks so happy to be outside with you. Jack is the same way if I am outside gardening on just on the deck he seems the happiest and most content. That makes two of us. So happy you are having such great growing weather. We are really spring now and I have lots to do, the weeds are doing GREAT. : ) Have a wonderful weekend! xoRobin❤

  10. I'm so glad your weather has picked up now Robin, Spring was late arriving for you..glad the weeds are doing great-LOL! Pets are such fun to have around and Billy just loves the garden in the sunshine.
    Have a wonderful weekend,(and I hope Jack does too )
    Jane x

  11. Dear Jane&Billy,

    Happy gardening! I have been on little holiday (getting a massive amount of wool and enjoying some wonderful weather) and visited many cities in southern Finland and wow! how summery it was there. Nothing like your beautiful garden, though, it seems just perfect! We're getting there, eventually, it should be great this week...Ah!

    I wish you the greatest and sunniest week and a kiss to that sweet boy!


  12. Hello Jane and Billy! How nice to enjoy garden planting herbs! Your ceramic pottery is fantastic and a real treasure!
    Have a lovely time!
    xxx Teje & Nero

  13. I'm so glad you had a great mini break Mia and that the sun shone for you.Good to see those pink toenails again this year, it must be spring! What a lot of lovely wool you have bought, looking forward to seeing lots of new makes.
    Have a great week,
    Jane x

  14. Hi Teje, I used my herbs this weekend and we even ate again in the garden, bliss!
    Happy Monday,
    Jane x


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