I got back from all the time away in August to find the neglected garden was doing very well with brambles, that had acquired triffid like proportions, creeping, crawling and scrambling over and through everything. One bramble had sent a branch soaring upwards, through the crab apple tree (at about 8ft high) and was just touching the ground on the other side. The lawn had almost totally disappeared. So, I’ve been hacking (loppers are a girl’s best friend), shredding and mowing to slowly return order to a large proportion of the garden. There is still much to be done, but today I bought a wide variety of spring bulbs and some winter violas to plant in the recently cleared herb bed. I’m looking forward to the garden being a real treat in the spring.
About half of the garden has been neglected for a much longer time and is under a frightening scramble of brambles. I’ve been ignoring this and will continue to do so until I have the rest under control. I then have plans to work on it over the autumn and winter and eventually to plant a range of fruit trees to make a tiny orchard.
Despite all the gardening I managed to do some dyeing one evening last week. I dyed up some BFL tops and BFL, kid mohair and Wensleydale fleece. I did all the dyeing in the oven in some large roasting pans. The pans fit (just) two at a time in the oven and mean that I can dye four batches of fibre in one session.
The fleece, despite the warm weather, took two whole days to dry on the line. I hang the fleece in net laundry bags, but I shall have to find a much better way to dry it in the future. The BFL top was completely dry, fluffy and airy after just a day.
I’ve started using the mohair, and it’s the first time I’ve used this fibre. Initially I thought I’d felted it, as it was very difficult to tease apart the locks, but, I think it had compacted during the dyeing. The mohair doesn’t have the elasticity or bounce of wool and I hadn’t understood how it would behave.
I’m currently teasing the mohair apart and carding it with hand-cards to get fluffy coloured clouds. I have a plan, but that shall be in my next post…