Sunday, 5 December 2010


The snow is good, and the perfect excuse to be lazy. All the plants that I have been too lazy to clear are looking good. My sunflowers in the front garden look great with snow on them, I would have kept the teasels anyway for the birds. My sunflower excuse is that I left them on purpose too. It's all for the birds. Sometimes its good to be lazy.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Mulch time

Hope your November went off with a bang.

I have been very lazy lately. So lazy that I even got my neighbour to bag up his leaves for me to make mulch. Well, he was sweeping them up anyway, might as well put him to good use. I think he thought I was a bit nuts. Today I have been very good and swept up mine too. They are bagged up and ready for mulching.

Monday, 1 November 2010


Happy halloween, hope you have been treating your pumpkins unkindly.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Sleepy tortoise.

Flash is very tired, so we took his house away on Monday and put him on the soil. He still had his eyes closed.
The green manure is working. Clover.

Grazing rye.


We've got some kale happening.

The tortoise food is what seems to be growing best. He won't be needing it for a while now.

Went to check on him and he had dug down ready for winter. Good night Flash, see you in spring, it is officially the end of summer now.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The pear harvest is in

Massive pear harvest of one pear. It was the best tasting pear ever. Shared between four people.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Cinderella your carriage awaits

Success! Our first ever pumpkin. Small is beautiful.
Got my over wintering onions and garlic ready to plant from the allotment shop. The onions are Senshy, I think the garlic is solent white.
We put in some green manure, it is starting to come up now. We planted winter tares, grazing rye and phacelia. Hopefully this will help keep the weeds at bay over the winter and do some good to the soil when we dig it in next year.

Monday, 6 September 2010


We've been to Dorset for a couple of weeks. The place we stayed was up in the hills and we saw birds of prey like the one above just sitting on telephone poles by the side of the road.

We found lots of fossils like this ammonite at Charmouth Beach.

And had a little visitor in the garden every day, a hedgehog, ahhh! At night there were loads of bats swooping down (I think I saw the teeth of one it came so close) and the owls hooting.

I wasn't quite quick enough to get a good shot of the birds of prey that we saw every day but trust me they were amazing. The village was called Powerstock they had a great pub there but no shop or phone signal, just the old church. Makes you realise how you get used to having so much on your doorstep.

This is the one track lane was like to get there. It went on like this for miles. Nice to escape from the world for a week or two.

Very peased

Not updated things for a while. I've been busy! We got real peas, that actually look like real peas this year so I was pleased.
Autumn raspberries are doing really well. They seem to be always a lot better than the summer ones so I'm glad I planted both types.

Here are the remains of our raspberry ice cream. It went down very well! Half a pint of double cream, a pound of raspberries, juice of a lemon and 4 oz sugar, puree all the fruit then bung it in the ice cream maker, very nice.

Here are the visitors that we had for a week, courtesy of the school to look after. Thank goodness they survived the week with us.

I picked my lavender and had some bunches of it in the hall to combat the stinky guinea pig visitors, worked a treat. They needed cleaning out every day. They were quite cute though, for a week anyway....

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


Look at our apples. I'm pretty chuffed with these, it's a dwarf tree but we only planted it last year so it's done pretty well. There are lots of apples on it this year.
Look, real apples! This one has even got droplets of morning rain on it.

The blueberries are really fat as well this year. Must be all the recent rain that has swelled them up. Since we got the hosepipe ban here it hasn't stopped raining.

I've grown teasel this year, we have got them all along the back fence. They are lethal, really spiky, probably not the best plant to put in a garden with children but they are pretty and are attracting lots of bees and hoverflies. The seeds should attract goldfinches too later on, we'll see. So if you are thinking of scaling my back fence be prepared to get spiked. Ouch! Serves you right.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Recipe for raspberry and white chocolate muffins

Hi Rob the recipe for the muffins is:

150g (5 oz) self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
100g (4 oz) soft brown sugar
50g (2 oz) melted butter
1 egg lightly beaten
125 ml (4fl oz) milk
half teaspoon vanilla essence
100g (4 oz) raspberries
50g (2 oz) white chocolate chips
half teaspoon demerera sugar

oven gas 4, 180 degrees C

Mix the dry ingredients, lifting with fingers to incorporate air. Melt butter, beat together egg, milk, vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients to wet mixture (don't beat).

Fold in the raspberries and chocolate chips. Spoon into muffin cases. Sprinkle sugar over the muffins. Bake 25 mins until well risen and just firm.

Eat them!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Raspberry muffins

If you've got a glut of raspberries and you've done jam and crumbles, I recommend making some raspberry and chocolate muffins. The raspberry melts inside the cake and goes all gooey. Delicious.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Ooo matron what a lovely pear

Don't know if you remember my pear tree last year. The leaves had some wierd stuff growing on them. I moved it down the side of the house for its final chance. There have been a couple of yellow leaves this year that I have had to pluck off but it has managed to grow a pear on it.

It will probably be like the poisoned witches apple from snow white so I'm not sure about eating it though.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Tip of the day, please try drunken gardening. It is a good experience. Get out the watering can and a cold beer and enjoy. No pruning though please.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Poor Tina

Tina Turner is going to be so upset, she can't stand the rain against her window but I am very pleased with this weeks showers. Sorry Tina but my plants need a good soaking but it makes it super easy to pull out the shocking number of weeds that I 've cultivated.

I am on a mission to get things back on track weed wise despite the rain. On Sunday I had planned to weed my brassica bed but was shamed into doing the raspberry bed instead as the man in the plot next to ours was glancing over at my weed jungle. The wet ground made it an easy job and I came home all covered in mud.

This is the first crop from the allotment, I've had lettuce and salad leaves from the plants at the house but it's nice to pull something up from the ground, even if it is a radish.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Impressive Things

We went to London at the weekend. This is the wisteria at Kew Gardens. It is over 100 years old. They have trained it so that it forms a huge den that you can go and sit inside. How fantastic is that? It is slightly more impressive than mine. I started growing it last year, it is a spindly little thing, but in one hundred years time who knows, or dares to dream...
The children planted these tulips.

Oh yes, check out my prize winning parsnip. I haven't put soft focus on this picture by the way because I have fallen in love with the parsnip. Someone, possibly a small child put a big thumb print on the lense of the camera. But the parsnip is impressive is it not? It is good when you are as easily pleased as me, there is a lot to be happy about.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010


There is blossom everywhere. I like it. The cherry trees at the back of the house are really pretty in spring. It is their way of giving us compensation for blocking out our sun for the rest of the summer.
Our cherry tree was on its final warning. Last year it was an embarrassment to us all. There was one tiny bit of blossom hanging off a branch and it has produced a total of 2 cherries in three years. We told it, you're getting the chop if you don't buck up. It has heeded it's warning. Our amateur pruning may have worked, we no longer have to hide our faces in shame when we come out of the front door. It may be too much to ask for to actually get cherries but we have the flowers so there is hope.

Do you remember my disgusting mangy disease ridden pear tree? I moved it so that it didn't spread its gross diseases to everything else and look, it has not only come back to life but has got blossom on it too. Fingers crossed.

When the wind blows all the petals from the trees behind the house fall all over the garden. It's like confetti.

I put my bean poles up too, including swirly bird scarers on the end which just look pretty and don't scare the birds. The world is good this week.

Monday, 19 April 2010

The spuds are in (finally).

Friday, 16 April 2010

lotta broccoli

Here is the entire broccoli harvest. It was enough to feed two children one meal. It was worth growing for a year. I did rubbish with all the brassicas this year. I am going to take care of my little seedlings better this year and there will be muchos broccoli next year, oh yes there will be.
The asparagus has survived the winter. Not sure if I need to protect them from the slugs and birds though. It is only their second year this year so we will have to wait a bit before we can eat any. Don't want those filthy slugs ruining all my efforts. Have planted out some lettuce, spring onions, radish, beetroot and perpetual spinach under a cloche. A good day at the allotment with no dead animals to find and no fellow allotmenteers arguing with their spouses. Just nice sunshine and wonderful silence.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Lovely Muck

These are the bean seeds that I saved from last year. They have since been planted. They have got a Jack and the beanstalk feel to them. I love these big fat seeds, they are really tactile. I probably would have swapped the cow myself.
Mmmmm delicious. This is the compost I've been fermenting. It is good stuff I am so happy happy. Hurrah!

I made it in my whirly turny darlik compost maker or Blackwall Composter if you want to get it right. I chose this one because we had a rat once in a compost heap and I don't want a new resident in the garden. Although if you keep poking at the compost it deters rats I'd rather be safe. The rats can't get in here. I wouldn't have such a posh one for the allotment we've just got a pile there and a plastic bin.
I can now refill it and start turning again, I'm happy. Compost is good.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Spring has sprung

Spring is here. The primroses are out. I love these wild primroses. They do really well and they keep their colour. If you plant these you will soon have them all over your garden, they seem to clump up quickly. Yellow flowers in spring really cheer me up. I'd have a garden full of these if I could.
Look who stuck his head out yesterday. Yes flash has decieded to wake up. Spring is officially here. This is a sure sign that the weather is perking up.
Today he emerged from his hole and had a sniff around.
Then later on this morning he emerged fully.
He looks a bit grumpy but he's had a long sleep and he's an old bloke. Don't judge him. Bet you don't look brilliant in the mornings either.
Hurrah spring is here! Best get planting.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

I've done it, the onions are in! I have dug and scraped about in the dirt until my fingers literally bled. That's dedication for you, or brambles for you actually.

Felt great to get back there doing a bit, although there are too many lovely broad bean plants on other peoples plots for my liking. And did I mention that the dead mouse has gone? It must have been snatched by another animal. See, it does pay to be a coward sometimes.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010


Had a look at what I was doing this time last year gardening wise. All my seeds were a lot further advanced than this year. Maybe I was too keen last year though, it has been cold cold cold. My seeds have started emerging though so I am not a total failure. Potatoes are chitting away in the porch too.

Flash the tortoise was also out of hibernation by now, hopefully he will be waking up soon... It's probably the coldest winter he's ever endured so hopefully he will be alright.

Note to self. Must plant onions this week!!!!!

Thursday, 25 February 2010


We went to Wales at half term. Going on holiday in the British Isles in February is a good idea. One day it is like this.
And the next day it is like this. Brilliant. You can't beat it.

I thought I had been restained this year in my seed buying. Until I got out last years seeds and put them with my new ones. I guess I wasn't so restrained after all, oh well, some women buy shoes. I buy seeds.