December 11, 2018

Caroline’s Garden Diaries 28.11.13: Planting bulbs and autumn thoughts

At last got round to getting bulbs in the ground, better late than never. But all in a rush, and for the first time, haven’t bothered to record where I put what. This feels strange and rather risky not to do usual obsessive note-taking, but what could happen? Either the bulbs come up next spring and I’ll get a nice surprise because I’ve forgotten they’re there, or they won’t come up in which case, because I’ve forgotten, I won’t know they haven’t, so it doesn’t matter.

I think I’m getting old.

I did actually take some notes in the spring e.g. “put more Leucojums near purple hazel” but come October there weren’t any in the shop and instead got a rather random set of tulips. Then, planting late November, main aim was not to let them rot in the shed so just had to guess where they might look nice in the garden. There might be a general lesson here (as I often think about gardening and life), which is, rather than trying for perfection and failing, just do what you can now. I am getting old.

But getting old brings its glories, at least if you’re a leaf; haven’t the autumn colours been wonderfully gorgeous and warming this year? The changes in leaves as they die and fall have been so dramatic; they really shout about the significance of seasons as context for our lives. They’re also far removed from our fiddling around with plans for the garden, there’s a much bigger picture out there. That’s my excuse, anyway.

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The next meeting of Claxton & Sand Hutton Knit and Natter is on Monday 2nd December. 10.00 to 12 noon. Rachel will bring copies of the pattern examples shown at the W.I. meeting for anyone who wishes to try them out.
Everyone, knitters or not, from far and wide are welcome to drop in for a cuppa and a natter.
Further info. from Rachel 01904 468336

November WI Meeting

This month’s meeting started with the annual meeting where the current committee (with Helen Webster as President) were re-elected for the coming year.

The evening’s talk entitled “A Life of Loops and Looms” was given by local knitting Guru Rachel Hirst who brought along a wide selection of looms and knitting materials to show us.

Rachel told us how ‘Grandma Hirst’ first inspired her life long passion for knitting although two Aunts, an Uncle and her Father also taught her knitting and weaving craft so you could say it is in her genes.

We heard about the delights of French knitting (who amongst us doesn’t remember the cotton reel with 4 tacks knocked into it?) Of course these days, the health & safety brigade are much happier with the plastic version that doesn’t snag the fingers! Rachel still teaches children French knitting –making finger puppets, spiders and snakes.

We also heard about Rachel’s favourite shop ’Fred Aldous’ where she used to go as a girl and still goes whenever she’s in Manchester. We were shown weaving looms made out of simple cardboard, peg looms, indeed looms of all sizes – Rachel is always on the look out for them. Then there were weaving sticks which are great for making bookmarks and we were even shown how to use our hand as a loom.

Rachel showed us examples of her knitting work from fine lace knitting to rug knitting and even a knitted carrier bag made out of ……..old carrier bags!

The evening was a fascinating insight into the fascinating life of a lady who knits and Rachel concluded her talk by presenting the WI with another example of her trade craft – our very own knitted ‘WI’ bunting; a truly magnificent gift.

Sand Hutton School Christmas Fair – Friday 29th November

Everyone is invited to the Sand Hutton Primary School Christmas Fair! The fair will run from 6pm to 8pm on Friday 29th November and is based at school.

The activities will include Festive Raffle (excellent prizes), toy and book stall, children’s craft making, Phoenix cards, gift stalls, cracker tombola, whisky roll, reindeer racing, music, snowball scavenge, tasty hot food and lots more.

Free entry to fair, all proceeds from evening will go towards school equipment and books
Come along for festive fun and to find some treats for your friends and family!

RAY – Touch Stones : Funds available to establish Credit Based Exchange Scheme : Action by End November

FROM John Short :


Touch Stones is a ‘credit based exchange scheme’, which Rural Action Yorkshire are setting up. They see it as a major project and have some funds to support its set up. From a quick perusal it seems like an exchange for goods, service and time without involving money.

They’ve addressed their letter to ‘Village Halls and Community Buildings’

Attached are scans of a letter about the scheme. If anyone is interested in setting up and running such a scheme they should contact Tania Weston (numbers, e-mail in the attachments).

more info is at

Calling all winemakers

Winemakers – free bottle racks!
Now autumn is upon us and you’re home made wines are being bottled here’s something you really need.
I have a set of interlocking bottle racks perfect for the many bottles you now need to store before drinking. Each rack holds 4 bottles and you can stack them in as many tiers you like, there are 20 of them so that’s 80 bottles!


CALL ME ON 468470

Women’s Institute

Ladies of Claxton & Sand Hutton! Don’t forget next Thursday’s (21st) WI meeting – 7.30pm in the village hall. Our very own local knitting guru Rachel Hirst will be giving the talk – “A Life of Loops and Looms”. It promises to be a very entertaining evening so why not join us – just £3 on the door for non members.

Saturday Social Penny Pots

Somewhere lying around your kitchen surface, you may spot a jam jar with a Saturday Social Penny Pot label. If so, please fill it up with those spare coins from the darkest areas of your wallet / purse / settee in preparation for the next Saturday Social on 7th December.

Bring back your Penny Pot and we will pass it to the chosen charity which this time is North Yorkshire Music Therapy Centre
(more info on this link = )
but the charity will vary each Saturday Social.

If you did not pick up a jar last time, please feel free to join in and find a jar or an envelope to pop some pennies in. Small change to us but so valuable to the charities.

Look out for some more information about the festive Saturday Social very soon.

Parish Council meeting Monday 7.30pm

The next Parish Council meeting is on Monday 11th November at 7.30pm in Sand Hutton Village Hall. Everyone is welcome to come along and hear the discussion and there is a public forum section near the start of the meeting if you want to raise an issue.

The meeting will cover current issues for the villages, finances, maintenance, planning applications (there are 4 this time!), plans for the Saturday Social etc. The relaunch of the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme for Claxton and Sand Hutton is an important topic at the moment.

Agendas and minutes can be viewed on the Parish Website here :

Caroline’s Garden Diaries 9.11.13: First frost

Death of nasturtiums tells me we’ve had frost; could tell anyway from white grass but the nasturtiums keeling over is a give-away. Sad to see them go, although still a few hanging on in more sheltered bed. Confirms what I’ve been realizing over recent years, that certain beds are very exposed to weather – I’ve been trying to put in tougher small shrubs, but maybe the two hebes were a mistake since all hebes succumbed in the Awful Winter.

Nerines completely unfazed by approach of winter; despite looking so fragile they’re actually proverbial old boots. I was given a few bulbs years ago, and they’ve been marvellous, never failing to give weeks of colour, blocks of bright pink. Strange plants, they put on leaf early in the summer but then all vanish without trace leaving stumpy bulbs from which thick stalks emerge that then flower. I divide them occasionally, and try them in other places, but foot of walls seems to suit best.

Nerines in front garden are growing next to a golden fuchsia, another imperturbable grower. I tend to take it for granted but it is a treasure that never fails; gorgeous chartreuse-yellow foliage in young shoots with red veins, red stems, and then the buds you can pop open to find beautiful folded purple petals with long magenta pistil ending in its teardrop stigma. What a flower! Apparently liked by humming-birds; I did once see a humming-bird moth in that bed that maybe lived up to its name; well, someone’s pollinated flowers so there are a few dark purple fruits that Google tells me you can eat, just trying one now – quite nice but won’t bother to try fuchsia pie. Have enough apples to use up.

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