Sunday, 8 June 2008

Orchids, swans, terns and buttercups

Northern Marsh Orchid See how the orchids are thriving!!

A swan too close - boy, can they hiss!! It wasn't us - a dog (not ours) got too close to the cygnets
The weather has been warm and sunny so a couple of days ago we had a short stroll around Watergate Park which was built on a former colliery spoil heap. You may remember that last year around this time I spotted a beautiful flower which turned out to be a Northern Marsh Orchid! Well, I am pleased to report that the orchids have multiplied and we spotted them in various locations on the side of the lake. Also, we discovered that the swans had 4 cygnets and two Terns were nesting on the lake - very difficult to photograph and after looking through 350 pictures tonight, I have selected the one below. Taken with Andreas Cannon 400D Digital SLR Camera

One of a pair of Terns (not sure which type of Tern) which swooped back and forth over the lake - very graceful, but very very quick and not easy to photograph.

Yellow iris around the pond and below a group of Buttercups

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Wedding Cakes and flowers ......

Isn't this bluebell a gorgeous colour?

As far as the title is concerned, I am including some pictures my sister took of me decorating a wedding cake in her kitchen for a friend of hers. I made the pink sugar roses a while ago (see previous posts) and my sister made the cala lillies. She wired them into the sprays which were attached to the cake. By the way, the cake will be travelling from Newcastle to Gretna Green for the wedding next week so we both hope it arrives in one piece!! Above is the finished cake, with sugar flower spray on the side of the bottom cakes, a small spray within the clear plastic stand, a final spray on the top cake. The bride requested very pale pink tiny sugar hearts sprinkled about the cakes. The bottom two cakes were 'stacked' with dowels in between to support the weight (my sister makes very deep, heavy rich fruit cakes and we used 5kgs of almond paste and 5kgs of sugarpaste). The top of the middle tier was dowelled to take the weight of the top tier which was placed on a clear plastic divider.
Affixing the trim around the base of each cake - not very clear as Jackie (my Sister) wasn't used to this camera
Pale pink ribbon around each cake board
A flower spray affixed within a plastic flower 'pick' to gently swirl to the bottom board
Affixing the tiny pale pink hearts which were sprinkled over all cakes
1st June to-day and it has rained for 12 hours non-stop - at least it's good for the garden!! I've been very busy hence no blogging for ages, but here are a few pics of flowers - needless to say everything is coming on a treat. I have planted out what seems like hundreds of busy lizzies in pale pink and lavender petunias - I'm going for a green, pink and lavender theme this year - however, I'm sure to have patches of yellow from perennials !! If the rain every stops I will take some photos of the bedding plants and post them next weekend
I spotted this lilly of the valley growing behind a hosta, underneath the big pink hydrangea bush - I didn't plant it, so think a bird may have dropped a seed or a tiny bulb - wherever it came from, I am certainly very pleased to have this in my garden!

The ferns which grow at the bottom of my rockery corner are now unfurling themselves for the summer. The large clumps of purple heather are now going over so I will have to clip over the plants to keep them from getting too leggy