Wednesday, 15 April 2015

All things garden'ey

Happy Easter Peeps!!

I hope you've all had a lovely time out and about during this gorgeous little spell of sunshine.
Unfortunately I've been battling a horrid cough the last couple of weeks so have had less 'studio time' than I'd like, but it has given me the chance to do a spot of much needed gardening at home.

I found out today that it's 'National Gardening Week' so I thought it quite apt to do a wee post about my gardens. I'm lucky enough to have some outdoor space at home, and a lovely plot in the walled garden at the National Trust's Gibside Estate, where my studio is based.

My lovely Botanical Plot at Gibside Estate

My home garden has seen lots of weeding and clearing happening this week, in between bouts of coughing!! I'm planning to make up a couple of raised beds to grow veggies this year, making space by expanding my meagre herb bed and getting rid of some gravel and (sadly) a tree...but it's blocking all my veggie growing light, and the lovely evening light that dances in the sun catchers hanging in my window. I've always grown herbs, spuds (in re-claimed tea chests), and the odd crop of chard, carrots and salad greens but nothing substantial. Hopefully this year will prove more fruitfull (veggiefull!!). The spuds are in, spinach, shallots and sweet pea seeds are in the propagator, and the tree felling should hopefully happen next week, then I'm good to get really cracking. Watch this space.

Do you Pinterest? I love to gather inspiration for things here, take a peek at my gardening board if you's a bit of a guilty pleasure.

Follow Oakwood Soaperie's board Garden gubbins on Pinterest.

Meanwhile in my botanical plot at Gibside, the ground is being cleared ready for the lovely ripe seeds of blue and red cornflowers, marigolds, chamomile, poppies and lots of lovely lavender plants going in over the next few weeks. They are all organically grown without the use of any pesticides or artificial fertilisers specifically for me to use in my soaps, bath salts, bath bombs, truffles and bathing bubbles..

Natural and handmade bath bombs.

Gibside Gardener's soap with my beautiful botanicals lashings of fresh honey from our bees, clays and pumice.

Soap making in action...freshly poured and decortated batches setting overnight.

The real heroes (apart from the beautiful blooms) are the National Trust gardening volunteers who do all the hard work tending and tidying the plot and generally looking after them for me. I'd love to be able to do more in there, but running my little soapmaking business takes over. I do however help with the weeding, watering and do all the harvesting and drying later in the year.

Frosty spring morning looking towards the Chapel

Garden Cottage at Gibside in the morning sun

Here's a little shot of the plot earlier in the year, and then once it was in full bloom last summer, fingers crossed for lots of sunny summer days ahead.

Flowers flowers everywhere

Cornflowers and Calendula

The studio, festooned in drying blooms

Continuing on the garden theme of this post...a date for your diaries...I'll be holding a stall at the beautiful Blagdon Estate just north of Newcastle on Sunday 17th May as part of their National Garden Scheme, garden's open for Charity. The event runs from 1 - 4pm. I'll have lots of flower related soaps, bathing goodies and more on my stall, pop along if you fancy a day out, hopefully the weather will be kind.

Well, that's all for now, I'm off to make candles...Enjoy your garden time folks...I'd love to hear what you're planning in your gardens this year.