Monday, 27 June 2011

A Weekend in the Garden

My word, I've already been out for my "morning constitutional" round the garden in my nightie and it is roasting out there! All this heat has been fabulous for ripening the delicious raspberries.

Before the heatwave descended late on Saturday, I spent the morning jamming our homegrown raspberries which have produced a jam sooooo delicious, it's going to be even better enjoyed in the depths of Winter.

We've had about 10 lbs of raspberries so far this year, all from ten canes which cost £9.99 a few years ago. They take very little tending and so are ideal for our rather "hands off" approach to gardening!

Chores done, we all took time to do our own thing but the lure of the beautiful weather meant it had to be done outdoors. I set myself up under the dappled shade of the old apple tree.

A spot of gentle crafting was called for...

As were elevenses, a spot of Victoria sponge made with that delicious raspberry jam!

On Friday, I treated myself to this book. I have always loved Jane's book, The Gentle Art of Domesticity, she produced The Gentle Art of Quilt Making last year and now it's this one.

If you are thinking, hang on, Hen can't knit, well you'd be right! However, I can crochet and a few crochet patterns are included at the back. No matter though, because maybe I'll learn to knit too but mainly, I just love Jane's books for their lovely photos and in particular, her wonderful style of writing. A bit like Nigella's cookery books which offer great recipes as well as great writing, I like to just read Jane's words as she writes really well. Who else will give you ideas for films to watch while making flowers or wine to drink whilst knitting socks?

There is a vintage bias to some of the patterns and to the styling throughout the book.

How can you not want to knit when you see these cushions?

The Munchkin meanwhile, is taking time to recline, seemingly even reading his beloved Railway Modeller mag is too taxing!

It's not often you find Mr HenHouse without railway reading matter in his hands.

A furry friend decides to wedge himself in alongside me on my little bench; hmm, just what is needed on a scorching hot day, a furry purry hot water bottle!

After a few lazy hours, my little woolly flowers (pattern in Jane's book) have become a '40s inspired brooch.

I've also managed to complete another crafty project in the form of this Country Calico quilt.

I've made a few of these before, in fact it is the same as the quilt on our bed (just minus tons of kitty fur) and it is really lovely, a mix of vintage and modern fabrics in mainly blue and red for classic old fashioned country style.

Just the thing layered with a top sheet on these warm Summer nights (perfect atop your duvet in Winter, too). Find it waiting for a new home in my blogshop here.

As the heat cools a little in the late afternoon, the stumps come out and the boys indulge in a spot of cricket practise.

It's all too much for Vorey who has flopped in the shade on the patio.

Finally, it's time to use our new BBQ for the first time, having had it for several months now and not having good enough weather to use it!

Even better possibly, is when we get to pudding or rather its accompaniment, our homemade cherry brandy made from the cherries we pick from our own cherry tree each year.

Meanwhile, Charlie Boy is not daft. All that fur means he just has to keep out of the sun and he spends the day watching the goings on in the back garden from his favourite spot, on his cushion in the window of my Den, Bagpuss style!

Hope you had a lovely weekend too.


  1. What a relaxing way to spend the weekend :) I think the cats have the right idea, stay somewhere cool! the raspberry jam looks soooo delicious :)
    Sue Xxx

  2. I can't believe the very talented Hen, who sews the most pretty quilts, makes her own jams and cherry brandy can't knit, you must learn as I'm sure you'd love it. Love the brooch you made I can just see you wearing that on one of your gorgeous dresses, thanks for an insight into your lovely weekend, Lucey x

  3. I hope you are not disappointed that my favourite part of the post was the summery dappled light on green lush grass. A little summer temptation for my winter-logged brain.

  4. Hello Helen,
    I've been out in my nightie too! Picking blackcurrants for my cream cheese bagel!It is properly roasting out there!
    Love your new quilt, so pretty! Your jam and cherry brandy look delicious too!
    Rachel x

  5. What a beautiful weekend, it all looks so relaxing and your quilt is fabulous!

  6. I loved this post Hen and am sure your beautiful quilt will sell very quickly. Our cherry tree is great this year so may try some brandy too. x

  7. This is my first time visiting your blog and I loved it. I am Brazilian and a 40-something. I lived in London from 8 to 10 years old and I love everything related to England. I'll return. All the best!

  8. hi Hen, Great post! Love the 40's knitted flowery brooch. What a beautiful way to spend a summers day! lizzie xx

  9. What a lovely weekend you had! I will reveal in a post about Tuesday/Wednesday as to what we did on a hot summer Sunday!
    Yummy Raspberries and Jam, may I come to tea.....? Wish I lived closer to you I would teach you how to knit.
    Loving that quilt.
    Julie xxxxxxxx

  10. I've had my eye on that book for quite a while now - so think I will have to buy it.

    Love the brooch.

    Have a good week

    Leah x

  11. I love your little spot under the tree. Looks perfect for knitting or napping!

  12. What a lovely weekend, Hen. You all look so relaxed despite the very hot weather.
    Another wonderful quilt.
    The Rasberry jam looks very tempting.
    Carol xx

  13. Love your quilt - beautiful colours! And that is one of my favourite books - I have knitted some hanger covers already - good starter pattern for a beginner?

    Pomona x

  14. oh hen you set the most beautiful scene of british sunshine in an english garden- so heavenly xxxx
    i love your quilt ;0)

  15. truely another beauity


  16. Hi Hen

    My neighbour gave me some Rspberries that she had in the freezer and on Saturday I decided to make jam with them. On trying it on my toast Sunday morning I think the constitution of it could be described as tacky, to say the least. Could probably hold wallpaper up with it apart from the fact the pips would show through....Mind you it tasted good so I gues thats what counts, remind me not to leave it boiling so long next time.

  17. Oh those raspberries against the vivid green leaves are stunning. I almost feel as if I could reach out and pick just the one...

    And then there is the photograph of your garden haven with drink and yarn basket beside such a comfortable seat....

    I LOVE all Jane Brocket books and so far I have resisted buying this latest one however your pictures are luring me towards another purchase...


  18. What a beautiful weekend, full of loveliness!!!
    the cats do know how to relax and we can all learn a thing or two from them!

  19. Looks utterly blissful and relaxing. Just the ticket after your recent busy weekends. Love your brooch, just fab. I can see you making more of these!

  20. Dear Hen, absolutely LOVED your summer day.. we had something similar here in Oregon.. I just posted photos.. I'd love for you to pop over and see. We had our youngest 4 grandkids here and they had so much fun.. we had a BBQ for several family members.
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  21. OMG, your little spot in your garden looks just perfect!!

    I've just ordered that book, am hoping it'll come tomorrow. I've just learnt to knot - have so far done a pair of socks and a hat.

    Your quilt is gorgeous too!!

    What a lovely, lovely post - I always find things to add to my Pinterest board in your posts, you're very inspiring....

    S x

  22. ooh Hen I just want to squeeze that Jacky ginge.. it's his little furry face!
    Love the brooches you've been making and wearing lately and the latest quilt is just lovely..fabulous colours! x

  23. Is there no end to your talents Hen?! Gorgeous brooch.We've been cooling off by the sea today. :0)

  24. What a gorgeous way to spend a weekend! I wish we had matching weather but that band across the North part of the country just won't play ball :(. Today, though the sun is out for an hour or two but the temps are still struggling! Love all your crafty makes. I have been eyeing that book too...might have to succomb! Cx

  25. Sounds like a beautiful weekend. Your garden looks like the perfect place to relax with a good book. Victoria x

  26. I love reading your blog and seeing your work. I've give you an award - The Versatile Blogger so I hope you don't mind. Pop over to to see what I've said. Congratulations!

  27. That was lovely reading and the photos are fabulous :)

  28. Your photos were all so lovely, especially the jam. What a beautiful weekend. I feel very relaxed now. :)

  29. Wow! I have just founf your blog and Wow! What a beautiful blog, read it start to finish. Beautiful pictures :)

  30. What a lovely sunny day! Your photos are beautiful!

  31. Dear Hen, the jam looks very delicious! Reading your block makes me feeling so relaxed. Many, many thanks! Nicole


You are warmly encouraged to leave a comment here. Your comments are emailed directly to me so rest assured I read and treasure every one. Thank you for supporting my blog with your comment. X