Crochet Granny Garden Flower Cushion

crochet granny flower

I had my last crochet class yesterday… and now I feel a bit sad.

It was so lovely to indulge in a morning’s crochet with a fab group of ladies. We would chat, make mistakes, laugh at each other and talk about Dachshunds (of all things)!

Most of all, I am completely in love with crochet.

In. Love. With. It.

I love the bright colours, the endless things that you can make and the look of amazement on Mr DF’s face when I present him with another cushion (I obviously ignore the eye-rolls)!!

Currently, I’m working on a ‘granny garden flower cushion’ and have used this amazing pattern from Attic24. I wanted it to fit a 46cm x 46cm cushion pad so this meant completing 4 ’rounds’ of each the granny squares, joining as I went, until I had 9 squares in total. Although I am using Stylecraft Special Chunky yarn, I was still a bit far away from my 46cm target, so I finished the sides off with a border consisting of 2 rounds of half trebles and 1 round of double crochet.

See…?

crochet granny flower cushion

…a happy, cheerful, bouncy, robust cushion front!

All I now need to do is start on the other side!

Have a great day…

Chickens in Hot Weather

Steve's happy face

I posted this picture on Instagram last week, as I always find Steve’s *cheerful* expression quite funny!

Although the hens have space to roam, food to peck, a dusty dust bath, shady places and lots of cool water, they still dislike the hot weather and it leaves them irritable!

This post, on the Omlet forum, gives useful reminders of how to ensure that your chickens fair better in the warm weather.

I especially like the thought of putting cucumber and grape pieces into their water and letting them enjoy a poultry form of ‘apple bobbing’!

The Sweet Smell of Garden Roses

photo

{a rosebud from the Finca garden…

…you can find more like this on the DF Instagram page, if you’re as obsessed with photographs as me!}

The roses are in full bloom and are seemingly doing very well this year.

I tried specifically to train them last summer to produce horizontal stems – as this method produces the most flowers the following year.  I have also been keeping the aphids at bay using the old favourite of:

1 x sprayer filled with water

2 drops of olive oil

2 drops of fairy liquid

…and so far so good.  Whether I can still have a flowering rose at Christmas time (yes, it is still my mission), remains to be seen.

Have a great week!

Add a Pop of Colour with Crochet

crochet mat collage

The Finca is decorated in a limited palette of greys and whites, and although this is the look that I love, I do find myself hankering after a pop of definite colour in every room.

I am also currently right in the middle of my obsession with crochet! Although a skill that I severely struggled with as a child and subsequently hated, I now find that with the right teacher and easy projects to start off with, it is a very addictive hobby!

So, as crochet is the perfect craft to bring colour into your home, I decided to use cup coaster patterns, make them up in a range of colours and use them as pot stands for the variety of plants and terrariums that have taken up residence.

If you fancy embellishing your cacti with bold stripes, I can highly recommend this lady, who not only taught me how to crochet in her fab crochet classroom, but also has online courses available.

Hope you have a fantastic rest of the week! I’m off to grab my hook!

Happy 3rd Birthday!

happy birthday air plant

The Dorset Finca blog is 3 years old!

I can’t believe how much has happened during this time, it seems like only the other week when I was writing my first post.  Recently, life at the Finca has been evolving and we are busily creating stylish houseplant arrangements and terrariums to go into homes, shops and offices, providing hassle-free plant joy!

There is also a new website being developed, to showcase some of the things on offer.  The blog is such an important part of The Dorset Finca and will continue to be an outlet for all the musings that usually materialise on here!

A massive thank you for all the support and blog-love over the last 3 years… it means a lot…

…but I’ll stop gushing now and will just mention that there will be a giveaway to celebrate the new website, within the next few weeks and of course, I’ll post the link on here, so you can drop by and share your thoughts!

Quick Catch-Up

airplant terrarium in situ

{One of the Dorset Finca terrariums with architectural air plant, sitting in its new home}

I had the best of intentions to be prompt with my posts last week, but time ran away with me.

It’s been a bit terrarium-tastic at the Finca over the last few days (actually, Lithop and herb-tastic too)…

…but I have got something lovely to show you (and it will make you giggle). However, I’m waiting for the rain to stop before trying to take a good picture.

So I’m afraid, for today, I’m going to have to leave you with this cute little guy above.  I had fun taking pictures of him with Instagram (yes, I have just re-discovered it, and yes, I am obsessed – you know me so well)!

Find me here:  http://instagram.com/thedorsetfinca if you want to keep up-to-date with my other plant-based pics.

Have a lovely day!

Celebrate Easter With An Easy DIY Bee House

Bee House

Happy Easter!

To celebrate the warm springtime weather we’ve been having… I had a go at making some new bee houses.

These little hole-filled boxes provide safe sites for lots of insects, especially solitary bee species, who love to lay their eggs in the pre-drilled tunnels.

Using some spare wood, I drilled holes using a 7mm drill bit to about 6 cm in depth. I fixed a small bracket to the back, so that they could be securely hung outside.

In order that they looked extra smart, I painted the sides and a border in Farrow & Ball’s Pigeon. I took care not to get paint anywhere near the holes, as although this paint is very low in fumes and nasty bits, I didn’t want to take any chances.

As soon as I start to see little leafy/muddy stoppers in the end of the holes, I’ll know that the bees have started laying their eggs.

If you want to know more about these bees and their habits, have a read here…

The Garden Smallholder – Mason Bees

Inspiration Green – Insect Hotels