Sweetbriar Dreams

So where shall we go on our journey today?

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Mary Mary Quite Contrary

Has it been hot round your way?  It certainly has here, even the occasional rain is not bringing the temperatures down.  The skies have mainly been blue with wispy clouds.
And I have been doing some people watching when able to get a break in work.  Look at these guys with their mobility scooters in Peterborough!

I walked around my garden this week on the sultry, hot, bright evenings and the famous nursery rhyme popped into my head...Mary Mary quite contrary how does your garden grow?  Well my garden is growing with the help of these wonderful, furry, busy bundles.
The enormous number of these amazing insects is partly due to the fact that my neighbours house is up for sale and they have had to move on leaving the place empty and the garden being completely left alone.  A queen bee has made a nest and there are literally hundreds, if not thousands around.
We love bees and find them no trouble at all so we are leaving them 'bee' for as long as possible and hope that no one will view just yet.  My lavender is a favourite of theirs along with the various flowers that have burst into life. 
   So, do you want an update on my garden?  Thought so...you know what to do...get that kettle on and the tea cups out.  Have you got a nice cake to munch too?  Ready?  Let's see what the end of July is like at Sweetbriar Dreams...(sorry for the amount of bee shots too...like I said they are everywhere and I am in heaven...

This is my main flower bed that the bees are thoroughly enjoying.
The shasta daisies had a beautiful creamy bee that happily posed while it got drunk on the pollen.
The buddleia has now bloomed and is full of butterflies, so many red admirals decorated the huge shrub...
...and the cabbage whites are adorning the smaller flowers...
The earlier busy activity from the insects has produced so many plums on the tree - we can't wait to start picking!
There is some growth in my kitchen window baskets with the tumbling tomatoes.
My peppers are beginning to swell in the greenhouse, but that's about the only activity in there unfortunately unless we get another growth spurt next month.
The reading corner is more colourful with the hanging basket and the ever creeping ivies.
The foxgloves are welcoming their ever returning visitors.
Alongside is the sweet rocket, another popular plant!
Overhead we heard the buzzing of the small aircraft engines from the local airfield,
but then we heard a much louder sound, that of the Lancaster that occasionally flies over...
The day was finished by us driving to one of the reserves and watching the sunset over the fens.  A quiet and reflective time.
Now, you may have noticed the shots are a little different this week.  I've been a bit naughty and bought ANOTHER camera!  I change cameras like I change shoes!  I loved 'Val' but in the summer months, and on the rare occasions that the sun has been out,  I found the lack of view finder really hard to contend with, and being a certain age I needed reading glasses to see the screen to line up the shot.  So, with a bit of research I found the Fujifilm Finepix HS20 EXR and got a fantastic deal on Ebay.  As normally happens, I have fallen in LOVE with this camera and all the additions you can get with this.  For a bridge camera this is great as you can screw on filters and additional lenses.  A few hours/days/months of playing is on the cards!  My poor SLR camera is still waiting for me to pick it up again but I like bridge cameras as there isn't so much to carry around, so perfect for trips out.  Trouble is it is black and not that beautiful red of 'Val', so tomorrow I am buying stickers for it to 'pretty' it up a bit!!

I also received something beautiful in the post this morning from Annie at The Tartan Bee, just look at this wonderful bag she has made with one of my favourite things adorning it...the VW Campervan!!  Please take a look at her gorgeous blog and Etsy shop (the link is here).
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you all so so so much for your beautiful comments on last week's post.  This was a particularly hard post to write as anything to do with my Grandad is still so hard to deal with.  I bore my family with it really so I don't mention it, but my blogging friends have really come to the fore as to why I blog, you were so gracious with your comments and touched my heart so deeply.  I know I'm gushing here, but THANK YOU all.  I am going to put a page together on this blog to put updates on the dolls house and the things I manage to learn along the way with the documents, so you can dip in and out as you please.  I have replied to all the comments made via email, and I am sorry I haven't replied to those that are 'no reply bloggers', so can I say again, thank you so much, your comments were so lovely and mean the world to me.  Right Chel, enough gushing, get a grip and get this project going again!

Have a wonderful weekend and week, we're off to Greenwich, London next week for another trip down memory lane!

Take care.


(Remember that if you want to see a larger version of my photos just click on one and a slide will appear)


  1. A viewfinder was a must when I bought a replacement camera earlier this year; I like to know what I am taking pics of! Your pics are lovely. It is so encouraging to see all the bees, and this year there seem to be a lot of butterflies too.
    The Lancaster going over must be very impressive. Is it from Duxford?

  2. Hi Chel, your summer garden is glorious with all of your fuzzy little friends visiting and the butterflies and those luscious tomatoes and plums - everything is lovely. I love your street 'capture' of the two gentlemen getting around - so sweet. It's so nice hearing what you have been doing and thinking, it really is like a little visit. I have been sipping my morning coffee and having a good time. I hope you have a good time at Greenwich and bring us back some visual treats. Hugs, xo Karen

    1. Thanks Karen, the two men are regulars in Cathedral Square and from a quick glance can look like Hells Angels! I love the one whose sign at the back says 'Grumpy old git on board', and his skulls hanging from the back. Just brilliant. I'm now sitting outside listening to the evening come to a close and enjoying the fresher air. Have a wonderful week Karen and I'll be sure to do the next post on my favourite part of London, Greenwich! xx

  3. Oooh Chel your garden is - I'm going to use a posh word now - truly 'bounteous'! I'm not surprised the bees love it! Our plum is also looking good this year (rubbish last year) so we're hoping for a good crop - I love just being able to eat them straight from the tree. It's funny but I was on Anne's blog earlier and commented about how popular the camper van bags must be - they look great (clever lady that she is)! Our skies have finally broken this evening and the garden has had a nice drink but no sign of any of the storms we were promised as yet - sigh I do love a good storm! I'm sure your new camera will soon make friends with Val and they'll both slip in to their respective roles. Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend x Jane

    1. Hi Jane, it is getting to be a bit of a jungle though but we don't want to touch too much due to the bees that are loving everything that we have planted. The bag is beautiful, and the polka dot lining was an added treat - very clever lady. I am sitting outside now enjoying the fresher air but waiting for the promised storms (like you I love a bit of bang, crash whollop from the skies!). Have a great weekend and a fantastic week. XX

  4. I love the insect shots. I have been trying to take some butterfly shots myself, and it is so tricky, as they never seem to settle for long enough.

  5. Excellent collection of photos. It's difficult to pick out a favourite.

  6. Gorgeous shots! I love the ones of the bees -- they are so sweet with their dangling legs. Your foxgloves are stunning! And a plum tree! How lucky you are to have that!

  7. Great photos - so enjoyed them!

  8. Great shots of a beautiful garden! I've just come in from a couple of hours of weeding and dead-heading - a little break and then back out for more. If only the work week were two days long and the weekends five!

  9. Oh my Chel! Once again I am in awe at your beautiful photography...and gardens! The little bees are so cute...I could look at them all day. You'll have to update with info on your new camera and let me know how it is working out. I am still wanting to purchase one...eventually! You sure took some spectacular shots with it! Oh...and I can;t wait to see updates on the doll house tribute to your Grandad too...:)

    Blessings, Vicky
    Life On Willie Mae Lane

  10. I just want to dive head first into your flower beds and fill my nose up with the scent. It's so great to be able to visit summer in blogland in the middle of our winter. Yay for the internet.

  11. Love the photo of the bee with it's undercarriage down!

    Our buddleia was swarming with bees and butterflies yesterday but no red admirals. We had lots and lots of peacocks, whites and tortoiseshell, a couple of commas, a couple of gatekeepers and a skipper. Maybe the red admirals will make their way to us eventually

  12. Your garden is looking so very pretty at the moment, and all those wonderful bees. Lucky you a new camera what fun.

  13. Chel, your garden is looking beautiful. I love tomatoes. Lovely shots of the flowers, bees and butterflies! And the last shot of the sunset is gorgeous. Wishing you a happy week ahead!

  14. I'm so glad the bag arrived safely, Chel. Thanks again for buying it! And many, many thanks for the free advertising! :oD

  15. I love it when bees go on the daisies. They make the flower look huge. You're so lucky to have that many tomatoes. This year, the weather was so weird here that I don't have any.

  16. Look at those busy bees! I can see why they love your garden so much - so many beautiful blooms! Now that the rain has cleared off I am looking forward to a day with my blooms today - a few too many weeds in there right now! Congrats on your new camera. you have certainly captured some striking shots with it so far!! (PS. Did you get my email?)

  17. Hi Chel, your bee shots are amazing as are the butterflies. I love close up photos so that you can see all the wee details! What a great new camera you have! :-)x

  18. thanx for your lovely weekend flowers! :)

  19. I love the bees and the butterflies.

  20. Nice photos of the bees! And I say you can never have too many cameras! :)

  21. Your summer garden looks so lovely and I am always happy to see the bees in the garden since they are beginning to get scarce in the US. Take care and enjoy your trip to Greenwich, London.

  22. Great series of photos! I have used Fujifilm cameras in the past and they are great!

  23. It looks like your garden is growing very well. Beautiful photo's!

  24. Your garden is looking super! I can almost hear all that buzzing as I read! Enjoy Greenwich. Try not to buy any cameras while you're there ;-)

  25. Hi Chel, I see that you have changed around your blog layout again and I like it! Your garden seems to be holding up with the hot weather and I love the closeup shots of the flowers and bees. It will be nice when you can eat your tomatoes and peppers and I do love it when it comes from your own garden! Have fun in Greenwich and I look forward to hearing and seeing all about it.
    Take care, Julie

  26. Hi Chel, love seeing your beautiful garden! We have had lots of bees here too. I think it's because some people in our area have hives. One of our neighbors up the street is a beekeeper. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  27. It's HOT here but we've had some of the most gorgeous big billowy clouds! I love your butterflies and bees! It's so hard to get good photos of those! Enjoy your week! I'm off to look at the shop! Sweet hugs!

  28. Dear Chel,what a lovely garden!!!
    Gorgeous shots!!!!Exellent photos!!!
    I like those with the flowers and the bees!!
    Have a nice new month!


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