Thursday, June 30, 2011

Leave is granted!!

Remember the sad little mange tout plants I rescued from Homebase a couple of months ago? They are doing well and have finally produce something worth eating. I reckon this lot would have cost more than the 98p the plants cost. And it is only the first picking!! Lots more flowers starting to open up and they didn't travel from Kenya either! Food yards, not food miles.

A little update on Simon the Squash. Yes, I have named him. Growing slowly, but as I have said before, cucurbits and I don't really get on. The cucumber plant Mum gave me has been attacked by slugs, my 3 courgette plants are looking tatty (Most annoying, when others post about their piles of courgettes and mine aren't even in flower), and the one pumpkin I planted in the compost heap has vanished.

I bought a couple of tiny Nasturtium seedlings from the garden centre a couple of months ago. 'Banana split' they were called. The plan was to make poor mans capers from the ripe seed pods. I had no idea it would spread like this!

You can see Mum's poorly Cue on the left hand side. Only a couple of leaves left.....

Seeing as the house is now on the market, I thought the patio bed could do with a tidy up. After I pulled out most of the weeds, it all looked a bit bare, so off to the garden centre I went (like I need an excuse). A couple of trays of dahlias and some bark, the bed looks much better. However, Earwigs love dahlias (as do slugs, but will come on to those slimy things later). I read about earwig pots, so decided to give it a go....

You do have to empty the pots every couple of days, but it is surprising how many you find.

I have buried jam jars in the soil and filled them with lager to entice the slugs. I refuse to use slug pellets as I don't want to hurt the resident hedgehog/wild birds. So far, the traps are working ok, but it is a vile job emptying them. Especially on a sunny day.

The garden is looking good, with the rose arch starting to come into flower.

...and poppies coming up everywhere in the front garden. No idea where they have come from, as I didn't plant them, but they are huge!

Earlier in the year we hacked away at the plum tree in the back garden. It was a mess and needed severe pruning. I didn't think we would get any fruit this year, but Mother Nature has been kind. Not as many as last year (thank goodness, as we had too much) but still a sizeable crop. More than enough for jars of plum jam and plums in syrup to add to crumbles in the winter.

My blueberry plant that I bought from a mail order catalogue a few years ago is really doing well. It is in a separate bed with ericaceous soil/compost and a few low growing cranberries. I keep it guarded by chicken wire and netting to stop the blackbirds eating their fill.

We had our first viewing yesterday. I sat in the garden reading whilst strangers walked around the house. Very odd feeling. No feedback as yet, but it just takes one person to love the house as much as we did.....time will tell.

Back to work tomorrow for a 3 day trip to Geneva and then Aberdeen. Managed to get leave for the 4th of July, just to wipe a God awful stand by from my roster. Also enquired about the 24th of September as I have been trying to get leave for that day for weeks. It is finally available, so I can definitely do the Michaelmas fair that weekend now! Excited or what!?!???!!! Panic mode will now set in, as I need to plan things to make for the fair.

As always I need ideas. Things that will sell well. Am doing jams and jellies as they usually do ok. Someone suggested kindle covers like the one I made for myself, but not sure? Ideas on a post card once again please readers....

Jase ordered some clothes for our holiday. They arrived in the post and I tried on a pair of his shorts. Size 32" waist and THEY ACTUALLY FITTED!!! I am not talking 'muffin top' either. Proper fitted. Sorry, sounding Welsh there, but they were a perfect fit. Have I mentioned they fitted properly?? I don't think I have been a 32" waist since I was 12. Needless to say, I was straight on t'interweb and ordered myself 2 pairs. Plus 3 polo shirts, in bright colours. Only a couple of weeks until Faro beckons. Can't wait.

We are getting one egg a day from Elsbeth. The others are on strike. Pru laid a soft shelled egg last week and was looking really bad. I thought we might lose her. Her knickers feathers were filthy, so I gave her a warm bath in a tub trug, then a set and blow dry. Still not happy. A dose of 'miracle vitamin drops' and she was right as rain. Still no eggs though. Agnes was broody for a couple of days, but has now snapped out of it. Cornelia thinks that as she is so pretty, she can lay when she feels like it. Looks like Waitrose might be getting my business soon.

Right then, time to clean out the hens, and get organised for work tomorrow.

C x x x


  1. Actually, I have about 6 more cucumber plants because I thought they were courgettes! Your can come and take your pick! Mum x

  2. Great post once again.

    Martin :)

  3. .....and that's what Mum's are for, lol (reading through comments)

    We really need to look into getting some berry goodness growing 'on the plot'! Congrats on the clothes fitting,'s been years LOL


  4. Hello Christian love the blog and your plants are looking great. I am a little envious of your bluberry plant as I too have one and clearly saw just the two little blubz on there the other day and today they have been stolen. My hens are prime suspect but the geese are a close second due to the way the bush is now a sad looking stick - worse than your mum's cue. My hens are also not doing much in the way of egg production but they are similarly large girls and they only have to sit down for a rest in the sunshine and they think they have to stay there for 21 days! As for your stall why not go down route-shabby chic and get some rolls of wire make large heart shapes and tie a few together with little gingham bows or raffetta at the top for hanging on kitchen hooks/knobs. Failing that I have 2 destructive pesky non-egg laying geese you are welcome to see how those go down!!


  5. Hi Christian - I have a poorly looking chicken called Molly, sounds a bit like your Pru and wondered what your 'miracle vitamin drops' were?


  6. Hello Jen!
    I got them from the Omlet shop online. Blue box, about £8 I think. Good luck with Molly!

    C x

  7. Thanks Christian!

    I've ordered the drops, though touch wood she has perked up a bit over the last few days. Been giving her a combo of brown rice, homeopathic pill & garlic powder - yum! I'll let you know how she goes though.

    Looking forward to your next installment.

    Jen x


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