Tag Archives: Garden

Coming Out From The Cold

The Warmth & The Rain,Rocking Dog

The Warmth & The Rain

I realise I have been quiet. Words have not come easily and reading words has not come easily. The brain fug is beginning to clear and cheer, I need to get back into the saddle!

I have not been idle. There was a little baby in the house for a little while. My role as Biddy (as in old) was enjoyable and even keeping Sorrel company in the depth of the night was a privilege. That’s not to say I don’t now feel as if I have been run over by a steam train! He really is such a sweet little fellow and we are going to have such great fun in coming years.

More parenting is currently going on in the Victorian gas lamp in our back garden. The blue tits have returned, having built a nest in the lamp post. Every twenty or thirty seconds mum and dad bring back grubs and caterpillars for their hungry brood. They remove waste from the nest and diligently look out for predators. Frankly it is exhausting watching them. Until the chicks fledge I cannot get on and garden … drat, oh it’s such a good excuse!

The warmth and the rain have made the rambling roses simply explode. I can say that the dark sinister conifers that they replaced have been missed not one little bit. Honeysuckle, forget-me nots, penstemons, ¬†iris’s, comfrey, borage….. everything is burgeoning. With the garden in full summer throttle it was wonderful to awake to a doorstep gift, a David Austin “Vanessa Bell” Rose. Full of buds, it promises wonderfully creamy voluptuous scented blooms. Thank you lovely Robsons!

The meadow behind the house is ablaze with buttercups, clover, moon daisies, bluebells, vetch, cow parsley, dandelions, may blossom and grasses. I never tire of the meadows beauty and look forward to seeing the swallows dart & swoop over the expanse of verdant vegetation. Soon the mad cows will be put out to pasture and sadly the meadow will be off limits until the autumnal nights start drawing in.

Still on a plant theme I trot off to the Chelsea Flower Show next week which i’m wildly looking forward to. Maybe this year will be the year I finally set my mind and body to creating a garden with less weeds and more order!

There has been sewing, and cooking, baking, spring cleaning, volunteering and decluttering. There has been Real Live Rocking Dog to walk, travels to London, and wedding plotting & planning. There have been forays into Bath and down to the harbour, an afternoon tea and lots of hugs to give.

Thank you to all those of you who have said they have missed my blog, I hope i’ll slowly and carefully start writing again.

Special birthday wishes today for Sorrel, I hope you manage a glass of bubbly in between the demands of a hungry little nestling! To all, have a wonderful weekend whatever joys it brings.

Love from Rocking Dog x

PS. Date for the Huddlers diary -Wednesday 31st May (7-9pm) for the next Rocking Dog Creative Huddle. New Huddlers welcome. Donations into the teapot with a generous proportion going to Fine Cell Work, supporting prison inmates to skilfully sew and embroider.

Parenthood,Rocking Dog


Wildflower Meadow,Rocking Dog

Wildflower Meadow

Walk With Mr Dog,Rocking Dog

Walk With Mr Dog

Asparagus Season,Rocking Dog

Asparagus Season

Rhubarb Season,Rocking Dog

Rhubarb Season

Always Cake Season!,Rocking Dog

Always Cake Season!

Heading To Chelsea,Rocking Dog

Heading To Chelsea

Good Year For The Roses,Rocking Dog

Good Year For The Roses

Spring Cleaning, Rocking Dog

Spring Cleaning

Rocking Dog’s Lots Of This & That!

Morning Pick Me Up Bags, Rocking Dog

Morning Pick Me Up Bags

Life has been busy with lots of this and that for Rocking Dog. With less than three weeks to go now before The Boy’s Big Day the sewing machine has been whirring away frantically. Soon Beloved Bernina will lie silent when needle and thread is swapped for the heat of the kitchen. Please tell me why I agreed to cook for 120 guests at my own sons wedding! Not one of my better job offers, and i’m not even on the minimum wage! I have been busy telling friends with adult children to encourage their offspring to simply elope!

One of yesterdays projects was to sew some covers for plump feather cushions. Thankfully not 120, just a generous pile for little ones. I made the covers out of Ikea tea towels and added a Petersham ribbon bow. Less than ¬£1.40 to make they’ll hopefully be used as cushions for outside chairs when the wedding is all but a memory. Other wedding projects have included picking out pretty logs from the wood pile… don’t ask!

It was also time to make the first and largest tier of the wedding cake. The house is thus smelling very Christmassy…no Michael you really can’t come out yet! Nigella’s Easy Action Christmas Cake was chosen, lots of fruit, chestnut puree, spices and huge lugs of dark rum. It was stirred well and lots of wishes made before being poured into a lined tin and encased in brown paper. As my Mum taught me, it was also sat in the oven on a wad of newspaper. How I love the smell of cake and baked news print. Also in the kitchen I finally pickled that 2kg bag of shallots whilst watching a documentary on escapes from Alcatraz. Bathed in balsamic vinegar and a myriad of whole spices the onions will accompany cheese. They won’t be for the faint hearted or any guest looking for lurve!

My life is a series of lists and at times it has been good to escape into the garden. It is an absolute picture of flowering weeds. I keep telling the garden I will give it some attention in less than a month, until then i’ll enjoy its natural wildness. Real Live Rocking Dog loves the garden, but boy is he tired after a trip to London at the weekend. Tubes, trains, dodging crowds he’s pleased to get back to the boring old Rocking Dog kennel and the flowering weeds.

In between all of this and that there have been gifts to make and deliver, and lovely friends to love and support. They really are in my thoughts so very much of the time.

Granola To Bake, Rocking Dog

Granola To Bake

It's In The Bag!, Rocking Dog

It’s In The Bag!

Friendship, Rocking Dog


Cake To Bake, Rocking Dog

Cake To Bake

Wishes Stirred In !, Rocking Dog

Wishes Stirred In !

Tea Towel Cushions, Rocking Dog

Tea Towel Cushions

Wonderful Weeds!, Rocking Dog

Wonderful Weeds!

Pretty Logs, Rocking Dog

Pretty Logs

Dog Tired!, Rocking Dog

Dog Tired!

Taking A Moment In The Twilight Garden

Garden Mannequin, Rocking Dog

Garden Mannequin

Life has been a bit stressful over the last few days, so taking a moment in the garden at twilight was calming, heart slowing and magical.

On Saturday evening our boy managed to get his finger stuck to some barbed wire, just as Andyman and I were heading to Bath. A phone call from Alex’s girlfriend Kylie, bought us swiftly home. By the time we arrived back, we had a paramedic’s car in the driveway, and close by, on a public walkway Alex was indeed harpooned to a fence post! Andyman was summoned to try and find a neighbour with wire cutters, meanwhile Alex was “enjoying” some nitrous oxide. In amongst all the mayhem Real Live Rocking Dog felt short changed in that he hadn’t had his walk. Thus, the lovely paramedic was kicking the ball for convalescent dog in-between treatment of shocked boy. It all seemed like some far fetched “Casualty” script! Alex went off to the new super hospital at Southmead with barb still embedded and so the long night began.

It is very funny to be handing over the responsibility of our son to his future wife, and she coped brilliantly despite not liking blood, gore and sleep deprivation ! Finally, with barb removed everyone got three or four hours sleep. A minor op’, lots of waiting and a tiny sticking plaster Alex arrived home on Sunday evening. It literally was 24 hours in A&E! We joked as to whether the couple had put a First Aid Kit on their wedding list. Believe me Kylie with Alex you’ll need it!

Yesterday, because of the swollen stitched finger I drove Alex to a prearranged meeting in Alton, Hampshire where Channel 4 were conducting an interview with World champion para athlete Georgie Hermitage. What an inspirational woman with the most adorable toddler. It was lovely to spend time with my son, but he really didn’t “get” my enthusiasm for Stonehenge as we passed it by.

After lots of stressy stuff it was great to venture out yesterday evening to enjoy the peace of an autumnal woodland garden. The whites of open conker shells and foxgloves almost luminously glowed in the twilight. The garden took on an air of mystery, magic and romance. The very best bit was that the weeds went unnoticed.

Imposing Inula, Rocking Dog

Imposing Inula

Chelsea Digitalis, Rocking Dog

Chelsea Digitalis

Artichoke Ancestor, Rocking Dog

Artichoke Ancestor

Garden Guardian, Rocking Dog

Garden Guardian

Thriving on the Wood Pile, Rocking Dog

Thriving on the Wood Pile

Conker Harvest, Rocking Dog

Conker Harvest

Looking Forward to De-Grinching!

christmas lights, Stockholm, rocking dog

Christmas Lights, Stockholm

Am I the only one who is desperate to get de-Grinching? There is a point when I crave the light and space back after a period of chaotic Christmas frou! Thus, I am already thinking of retrieving the boxes from the attic – to stow away the baubles, putz houses, fairy lights, snowflakes and garlands for another year. I’m also thinking of the massive decluttering plan I want to iniate in the new year, i’ll never be minimalist, but I can try tidy! The list includes kitchen cupboards to de-hoard of never used gadgets. What was I thinking when I bought an ice-cream waffle cone maker?! Another project is the scaling down of fabrics and untangling of ribbons. 2015 WILL be the year I tackle the garden- so lots of decluttering there, with dilapidated sheds to dismantle and Ground Elder to eradicate. Oh well these projects are for starters… the list is seemingly never ending. Happy spring cleaning when the New Year comes about!

beautiful baubles, rocking dog

Beautiful Baubles

de-grinching desired, rocking dog

De-Grinching Desired