Friday, May 6, 2022

An overdue finish and the garden in late autumn...


I am all recovered from the sore throat and achy limbs which had me resting early in the week, and am back to swimming my laps every afternoon in the pool. I find it incredibly refreshing, especially now that the water is cooler and not 'hot and soupy' from the blazing spring/summer/early-autumn sun. Swimming late in the day also helps me sleep better at night. 

This week I also browsed my tub of completed stitchery designs, the ones which had not been displayed in a  frame or project (my goodness, at least a hundred), and chose a few to work on in the coming months. Some will be sewn into a quilt layout, others may become table runners, but this one shall be displayed as a pillow cover for our bed. 

The floral fabric border was cut from a very old faded cushion which for many years rested in my outdoor chair. It has faded in many areas, but I still love the print so I cut what was still usable and sewed them as a final border around the Isaiah 40:31 stitchery. In fact, a few years ago when I first designed this pattern I used a tiny bit of leftover fabric from that cushion and fussy cut it as applique for the wings. 

Hand quilting is so restful, especially when there's no hurry. Just a calm rhythm of needle in and needle out as I listen to an audio book or some music. I might hand quilt some cross-hatching around the stitchery, but for now I'm going to complete the borders.

The pattern, if you'd like to make it for yourself, is HERE

Though our days are still hovering around 31C (88F), they are getting shorter and the nights are a bit cooler at last. I still have the ceiling fan on medium all night, and only need a thin linen sheet for cover, but it's only three weeks until winter and I'm getting excited to hopefully, finally, put a quilt back on the bed.

In the garden there's new growth, and the tomatoes, herbs, and spring onions are doing well, and now the pumpkin seeds have sprouted so in a week or so they can go into the ground and out of the pot. 

We've put cardboard down around the raised beds to minimise weeds, which we find works very well. Just need to add some sugar cane mulch over the weekend.

I'm picking from the lemon balm (below) every night for my herbal bedtime tea, which also contains some of the ginger I dehydrated last month. 

The sage (below) is coming along beautifully since planted a couple of weeks ago, and soon I'll add sage leaves to a jar of raw honey to make a winter cough and cold tonic.

Elsewhere in the garden I've done some fun things, like planting petunias in some old colanders I found at garage sales. This one hangs from the guava tree...

...and this one sits on the little table under the Poinciana tree. 

A gift from Rosie, this Dendrobium, (sometimes known as a tree orchid according to google) is about to flower and I'm excited to see the blooms.

Our roses will be pruned the first week of June, but there's other colour in the garden now to keep my eyes happy.

And there's nothing more fragrant or prettier to see right now, than the Maraya tree, also known as Mock Orange, with it's highly scented white blooms which fall and create a carpet of snowy white petals across the grass below.

This weekend we'll do some more pottering around in the garden and plant a few more things out, but the best thing will be having Blossom, Ross and the children over for a Mothers Day morning tea on Sunday. 
I can't wait for the girls to see the new flowers, and they want to check on those six cocoons they found back in March.
Little Charlie will most likely want to get into Poppy's tools as he's not much for toys, but absolutely loves a tool or appliance! 

God bless you, and I hope that you take time to ponder Isaiah 40:31 because it's one of my go-to verses when life gets hard (and Mothers day, for personal reasons, can be a very difficult day for me, and perhaps for you too - sending a prayer for all of you who find this day hard xxx).

Biggest hugs


dwortman said...

Lovely post, Jennifer! I too, love to hand -quilt, and I find it to be very relaxing. I would be interested to know your method, since I currently quilt by rocking the needle, which is sometimes painful given that I have some arthritis in my hands. I have also noticed that you use perle cotton, so I'm guessing that your needle has a large eye. Any information that you share would be most helpful. Many thanks!

Kim said...

It's good to get to see some tropical flowers again. I grew up a missionary kid in the Philippines, but now live in northern Michigan - quite a difference of climate and flora and fauna. :) I, too, sometimes have difficulty with Mother's Day, but as our music pastor explained recently, he chose the song "Because He Lives" for this Sunday to offer hope to moms who are praying long and hard for their kids who are making unwise life choices, like his mom did for him for so many years. My heart is with yours.

Suzan said...

Happy Mothers' Day Jennifer

Donna P. said...

Thank you so much for the free pattern. This is one of my favorite verses.
I love looking at your garden...I live vicariously though it. We're full time RVers and I'm lucky to have one or two plants.
A Happy and Blessed Mother's Day to you.

Christine M said...

Such a beautiful project. So glad to hear you are feeling better Jennifer. xx

Lin said...

Lovely garden pictures Jennifer, so nice to see all the colour coming through. xx

Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,

It's so lovely to visit your garden ! So many colours and scents to enjoy!
Glad you are feeling better and enjoying your refreshing swims :)
Thanks for a beautiful start to the weekend !
hugs, take care,

Little Quiltsong said...

Happy Mother's Day, Jennifer! Loved taking a 'walk' through your garden of flowers and other beautiful things. Our Spring is just starting here (late this year), and we just might have to cut grass for the first time this year. Robin baby birds will be hatching soon, love, love hearing and seeing all the noise and activity that comes with this season. Enjoy a lovely day with Blossom and her family!

Tammy said...

Dearest Jennifer your garden is so beautiful . My herbs are doing well and producing wonderfully. All except for my chives . They almost died from the late freeze we received, I have very few blueberries also as a result of the freeze. But I have more chives planted ; seeds for regular and garlic chives. 4 pots worth. Hoping they will all germinate and thrive.