Thursday, November 17, 2011

Autumn in the garden

We are having lovely autumn weather in Sparta. Lots of sun, nice temperatures and no rain. That it doesn't rain isn't exactly good, because we need the rain. Especially the olive trees are desperate for water. The mandarines in my garden are ready to eat, but I realized that some of them weren't as juicy as other years. So, I immediately started watering the tree.
I cut down the hedge, which I have between the flower- and vegetabele garden, till 50 cm. It had become too thick and high. Now the hedge looks rather bare, because there are hardly any leaves on it. But, when spring comes, I'm sure it will look fresh and green again. Now I can overlook the whole garden, which I like, for a change.
Here some pictures, which I made a few days ago.

The Lagerstroemia gets beautiful red leaves

I love the Abutulon because it's so airy

The birds love to eat the berries, and they look lovely in a vase.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Some of my patchwork bags

It was a long hot summer, and it's still not over. Next week the temperatures are supposed to drop, and the lovely fall weather will start. Due to the heat I stayed a lot inside, so I had ample time to make patchwork, bags, cushions, and quilts. The moment the sun  went under, I went into the garden to water, weed and prune. As a matter of fact, it was and is to hot to prune, but bushes and plants are growing so fast and big, that I just had to.
I'll post a few of the bags I made and then I'll go on washing little pieces of material that the mother of a friend of mine gave me. Some lovely batik material!

Friday, August 19, 2011


I asked the Mediterranean Garden Society about the lovely caterpillar in my garden and they sent me a picture of the butterfly it will become. After that I saw a lot of these butterflies in the garden en finally managed to get a picture of one. Wasn't easy, would this butterfly sit quiet for a moment...!
The caterpillar especially likes dill and ruta, which I have both in the garden. I have enough dill, so they can eat as much as they like.

The vegetable garden isn't doing so well as I expected. The temperatures are too hot. For nearly two month it hasn't gone down from 33 degrees, and mostly it is 35-40! The courgettes and beetroots are doing great. While I thought that beetroots are a winter vegetable and wouldn't florish in summer! The cucumbers did great for the first month, but now they became all yellow and I had to take the plants out. The rest is surviving, but doesn't give much fruit. Luckily the days are becoming shorter, so the plants recover more during the night.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Yesterday's beach bag in the garden

This is the bag I made yesterday. I"m going to give it to my friend Margarita, who had her birthday a few days ago. I'm sure she'll like it, because these are the colours she loves.
I have this little spot in the garden, that has shade in the morning. It's a lovely place to have a cup of coffee, read a magazine and just relax.

From here you can see nearly the whole garden, up to the hedge. Behind the hedge the vegetable garden is flourishing; lots of courgettes, aubergines, peppers, cucumbers and beetroots. The string beans and ocra are growing, but no flowers yet, so we still have to wait some time to eat "φασολάκια λαδερά" or "μπάμιες".

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Beach bags

Yesterday evening it rained! The first evening in two months that I didn't have to water the garden. It is still hot, though, and very humid. But for the plants it was great.
In the morning I went to the farmer's market. Besides the vegetables, they have now also a stand with second hand duvet covers, sheets and curtains. It's very good quality cotton and some lovely old-fashioned designs.  So, I bought a few to cut up for my patchwork. I love vintage materials and look for them everywhere. Here in Greece I still find some shops who have old stock. I also recycle fabrics and cut pieces from shirts, dresses and whatever cotton I can lay my hands on.
I made a few beach bags. A bit late in the season because the summer is half gone, but I was busy making other stuff before. Summers here are long, so there is still enough time to go to the beach with a nice bag.
This patchwork one is big enough for what two people want to take to the beach.

This vintage material I found in an old shop in Areopolis, in Mani.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Busy, busy!

How come I don't have enough time to do all the things I would love to accomplish? Maybe I just want to do too much! I was going to write every day, but..... I must say that the garden is a lot of work now in the summer. I so enjoy looking out of the windows, seeing all the colours and shapes of the flowers, butterflies, birds and my cat roaming around that all the work is worthwile. It is extremely relaxing!
I also had a lot of sewing to do. I made some beach bags for my daugher to take with her to America. She is going there for a holiday with her boyfriend and is going to stay with my other daughter and visit some family. Of course, when she saw the bags, she also wanted one for herself! 
I just made a plaid, beach bag and little hat for a baby, so she can look nice on the beach.

This little pink hat may daughter took to give to  a friend and she asked me to make some more because she has more friends with babies.

Baby is ready to go to the beach and I'm ready to go to have my afternoon nap, so I will be refreshed for some new projects.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Beautiful caterpillar in vegetable garden

The first time I saw this caterpillar, about a week ago,  was on the dille. It looked so pretty, but what would it do with my plants? So, I destroyed it. Today I found two more on the ruta graveolens. I don't think they can do much harm there, so I left them. I just have to check my vegetables and keep things under control.
In my Guide to Garden Pests I saw a similar one, which is called the redheaded pine sawfly larvae. I don't have a pine tree any more. Had to cut it down 4 years ago, because the branches (4 metres length!) started to break. It was an enormous Umbrella Pine which gave beautiful shade but it became to dangerous.

And this caterpillar doesn't have the red dot, so who knows what it is? I'll keep following it and see what happens.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Too hot to work in the garden

A friend of mine ordered a patchwork plaid for her little goddauchter, to take her to the beach. With it she wanted a beach bag and little sun hat. I nearly finished the plaid. It looks great! I love the colours. I'll post pictures when it's ready.
The weather will be extremely hot for a day or four, so I will be mainly inside the house. Lots of time to finish my orders. I work in the basement, which is really cool and has a nice view of the garden. I desperately need to prune my hedge, but it is too hot. It will get scorched. So, tonight I better just sit in the garden, relaxing with a glas of wine and a nice magazine or book.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I always loved patchwork. The first skirt I ever made was in the 70's and it was a patchwork one.  Big fashion at that moment! A year ago I started a new project: a quilt; and then another one, and then a bag. From the moment I made the bag, things started to happen! Friends liked it, and asked me to make some for them too. So, I started a "business"!
I made 55 bags with the same pattern, but they're all different. I recycle materials and buy new fabrics, wherever I am. That is mainly Greece, Holland and America. Besides bags, I make quilts, cushions, placemats, tablecloths etc. I really enjoy expressing my creativity by selecting colours, materials, designs and making patchwork goodies.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My garden

This morning I went to the farmer's market to buy some ocra plants, because tthis spring I decided to have again a vegetable garden. I had forgotten how much work this is !! That's why I probably stopped planting veggies! Anyway, the zuchinni plants are enorm and are doing very well. Every other day we have to eat squash, and I'm giving loads away to friends. Unfortunately, that's the only vegetable that produces fruit untill now. The other ones; peppers, eggplant, beans, beetroots and leeks are just growing. They look nice and green, but that's it. I hope the ocra plants will catch  on because it is very hot at the moment. I'll plant them after sunset.
For 20 years I only kept myself busy with the flower garden. I have a cottage style garden, without a lawn, because a lawn in Greece needs too much water. Water was a problem when I came here 30 years ago. Now it's not, but the summer's are getting hotter and hotter, and it might become an issue again.

Here is a part of the garden. Behind the hedge starts the vegetable garden.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Where to start?

I'm Ada and I'm very new to this. I just started this blog and shall see where it leads me.

I live, with my husband, in a small cottage style house in Greece, with a rather large garden for a house in the centre of  town.  My joy is to dig in the soil, plant, replant, prune and just be in the midst of nature, arounded by buzzing bees and wasps(!), caterpillars and butterflies. And of course my cat Flopsy, who follows me wherever I go. Flopsy is a champion catcher of grashoppers, lizards and every now and then a mouse. He tries, together with me,  to keep the garden in balance. We're organic gardeners and I just bought a book about companion planting for the vegetable garden. I realize I have to do some redesigning, next season! This all needs some study.

My second hobby is making patchwork items. About a year ago I made two quilts for the beds in my house. I used old materials, as well as new, and some pieces from white-on-white embroidered pillows covers that my mother-in-law made for her dowry. My friens loved them and told me to start a business.
My next project was, making a patchwork bag for myself. Since then I haven't stopped making bags. I love being busy with colours, designs, different structures of materials, making nice compostions.

Enough for today. It's watering time in the garden!