The sun shone yesterday and I took myself to the Derwen. We are so lucky to have this most excellent garden centre (and its sister company, the Dingle Nursery) a 10 minute drive away. Their range of plants is fantastic, as it the staff's knowledge and enthusiasm. A big plus for me is that they have not - for the most part - deviated from their core business - that of selling plants. The perennials were shrouded in fleece but there were spring bulbs and polyanthus - those welcome dabs of colour; a few early flowering shrubs and plenty of seed potatoes too. I got the impression that the world of retail gardening is not roused from its winter slumbers. The benches which held herbs and small pots had been cleared, for refurbishment perhaps. A solitary Pole armed with a pair of secateurs was pruning roses; he nodded behind at his progress to date and gestured expansively and disconsolately at the work yet to be done - 20 or 30 mega-spiny climbers and the display gardens. Rather him than me.
I went and looked at the trees - and that's a triumph of hope over experience. At this time of year they are mostly a collection of dry brown sticks but it occurred to me that if you know what you want this is a really good time to look at their structure and choose a good one on that basis. I wanted a Tulip Tree, a Liriodendron tulipifera, and there was the tree of my dreams - sturdy and well-shaped. I bought it. It was destined to come home with me.
It didn't get planted today - the weather has been foul and sitting indoors has been far more appealing.
But what about the sox I hear you ask? And the joy?
Ah yes, the joy of sox - my winter projects. The nasty knitting has been cast aside yet again. (I notice that it is now at least 3 years since I started - with great enthusiasm I'll admit - this wrap-around cardigan.) The final piece, the tie/waist band, lies half-finished at the bottom of my knitting box, unwanted and unloved. My excuse is the beastly yarn which is horrible to hold and worse to work with.
But the sox have been great fun. After my initial 2 needle attempt I moved onto the real thing using 4 needles = no seams and sufficient interest and complexity to keep someone (me) with the attention span of a flea occupied.
We have sox 1:
Am not too sure why the stripes didn't work out the same on both. These are rather too redolent of the hippy stall on Welshpool Market for my liking.
Next up, sox 3:
Finally sox 4, a work in progress.
I must remember that these are meant to be worn - so far I've mostly shown them off.
On a miserable winter's day to sit with my wool and neat little bamboo needles, in front of the woodburner, glass of wine to hand and a gripping play on the radio has been a joy. What's there not to like about that?