I've had a couple of manic weeks getting some stock ready for myself and my two lovely friends Amy and Tracy to have a stall at a craft fair at my local garden centre. Its the first time that we have ever done one, we meet up every couple of months and try out a new craft. We've had a go at making soap, candles, cards, jewellery, mosaic pots and had a go at silk painting, sugarcraft, glass etching and glass painting. Its great fun, some crafts have been more successful than others but we decided that between us we could make the things we most enjoyed and try and make enough to fill a stall. So I've spent many a recent evening decoupaging pots and picture frames, I've made some soaps and bath bombs and a few cards. Amy is fantastic at making cards and had a wide selection, including a lovely personalised one which was popular. Tracy made some delicious jam, some chocolate bath milk, some leather notebooks and some brooches. A bit of a mixture of everything, hence our name the Dolly Mixtures!
Here is our stall.
It wasn't quite as busy as we were hoping and we did sell quite a lot to people we knew but it was a start and I think it will get easier if we decide to do another one now that we have a bit of stock and we saw what people liked. We are not going to make our fortune but crafting is a lovely way to spend time together with your friends.
It was a beautiful day on sunday when we did the fair and part of me was yearning to be at the allotment or in my garden.....
However I have managed to get to the allotment a few times and busy getting the plots ready for the big sowing and planting season ahead. I can put all my efforts into this now.
I've had a couple of seed sowing sessions, chillis, aubergines, some half-hardy annuals on the propagator in the back bedroom. Some broad beans, peas, salad leaves, sweet peas, nasturtiums, chives and some annuals in the cold-frame mini-greenhouse outside.
Bob loves to help.
In my garden there are two star plants, the euphorbias and hellebores. I have a gem of a plant called Euphorbia amygdaloides var robbiae, which grows in dry shade and is spreading nicely in the soil under the rhododendron bush at the bottom of my garden where nothing else seems to grow. It maybe a bit thuggish in some gardens but for me it grows where I need it to.
But I love Hellebores and I have three plants in my garden, all varieties of Helleborus x hybridus (the Lenten rose) one cream flowered with purple speckles, one a dark purple almost black flowers and the last a smaller plant that I got last year a dark pink flowered.
They never seem to self-seed in my garden so inspired by Carol Klein I collected some seed from my first two Hellebores last year. I thought I had made a mistake as I collected it while it was still green and not black which I read later was what you were supposed to do. I sowed in compost and just left them in a sheltered corner of my garden. I was very excited earlier this year to see some small seedlings. Anyway I have just potted some of them on into trays. Lets hope they are Hellebore seedlings!
I know that it will be a long time before they actually flower and they may turn out to be less good plants than the parents but you never know. Maybe I will try taking proper crosses of my three plants next year and see what happens.