Sunday, June 19, 2011

Robinson's have nothing to fear...

Only a couple of days left until I am back at work, so time for a blog entry.

Been a strange week. Weather has been awful, torrential rain and wind hitting the house. The garden is looking lush now as the ground was parched, but thankfully it remained dry today for my Chicken keeping course.
Once tea and scones were finished and all chicken related chat exhausted (if that is possible)?? They left and I cracked on with the garden. The small bed outside the kitchen window needed sorting, so on with the kneeler pads, garden fork in hand and mustered the energy to get some weeding done. I planted several dahlias, seed grown mini sunflowers and zinnias. I am hoping the slugs don't find them. It will take a few weeks, but should be in full bloom by July hopefully.

You remember the tiny weedy mangetout plants I rescued from Homebase weeks ago? They are finally in flower! Absolutely stunning flowers, a lovely deep purple with lilac edge.

The pear tree is heavy with fruit and I will need extra support soon. The pears are only a couple of inches long, but already dragging the branches down. Looks like it will be a bumper year!

I picked the first of our strawberries this week. Only a handful but enough for breakfast with yoghurt. The plants are now growing everywhere and have taken over a corner of the veggie garden, but I don't mind. I can dig them up and pot them on when they have finished fruiting. You can never have too many strawberry plants.

The hanging baskets I planted up with petunias and tumbling tomatoes are doing well. One has been attacked by snails but is recovering slowly.

The currant bushes I planted along with the raspberry canes and now in fruit. Fruit can be singular or plural I suppose?! The fruit on my blackcurrant bush will not scare the Ribena industry.

That's it. Just a few. I think the wild birds have been at them. *Mental note to net the bushes in future*

Egg laying is still good, but the hens don't like the constant rain. You can hear them run for cover, boking away when the showers hit. The privet hedge provides them with plenty of cover and they spend most of their time digging around under the bushes, but when the rain is heavy, they head for the safety of the run.
I can never seem to get good pictures of the hens. They are as camera shy as I am.

Cornelia with her post broody bald tummy -

Elsbeth with that moody look of hers -

Now, when it comes to veg growing, I don't do too badly. Your basics, like courgettes, beans, spinach, potatoes, chard, tomatoes etc grow pretty well for me. In truth, even a badger with learning difficulties could grow runner beans, but you catch my drift. However, when it comes to pumpkins and squashes, I never seem to do well.
As soon as the sun comes out and the need for a fleece is a distant memory, I get the seed catalogues out. Cute little squashes and pumpkins stare up at me and i dream about harvesting hundreds of them and stacking them up in the shed for winter meals. In reality, I can't grow them. Sad, but true. Easy they are, apparently (without wanting to sound like Yoda).

I planted 8 'Sweet dumpling' seeds back in March. Nothing for weeks, so I left the pots outside as they were taking up valuable greenhouse space. Imagine my surprise when I discovered this little beauty yesterday!!

A lovely little plant only about an inch high, but a squash plant! Overjoyed, in my own sad little head. Simple things and all that!

The Estate agent came round on Friday to take pictures for the brochure. Felt a bit odd, well we both did, but it has to be done. The weather was awful, so he said could I take some outside pictures and send them to him when the weather was better?

This is my favourite picture. I have always liked the view from this corner of the garden, showing the brick work of the old part of the house against the new.

and this picture of the front garden, garage and outbuilding is nice -

Really pleased with the front garden, as it was all grass when we moved in. I put the path in along the outbuilding and garage and filled the beds. Hopefully, if the sweetpeas ever decide to grow, the hazel rods will be covered in blooms in time for viewings!

I think the house will go on the market tomorrow or Tuesday. Mixed emotions, but I am hoping that it sells quickly and for a decent price. I would like the new owner to look after Farm Cottage. Daft as it may sound. You all know I am a bit quirky and that comment just proves it!

C x x x


  1. i like quirky. quirky is good! nice words & pix :)

  2. Hi Christian hope u don't mind I thought I'd leave a post saying hello and that I enjoy your Blog rather than just click the follow button. I am new to blogging and although I produce my own meat I am now venturing into the very scary world of veg growing so am after all the tips I can pickup! I fear a disaster may be looming when harvest time arrives otherwise!!!
    Speak soon Leanne

  3. Your cottage and girls are lovely. Hope you get to eat some of the veg you've grown before you move. Ali x

  4. Thanks Jan!

    I think it will take a while Ali, so should get to eat some of the veg....will leave the rest for the new owners.

    Thank you Leanne! My advice is grow what you like to eat. Start slowly, a small area at a time, close to the house and work further away when you get time. Starting a new plot can be daunting,but you will get there! Oh and plant little and often - something I still haven't got my brain around. You want a steady supply, so sow thing every couple of weeks.....

    C x x x

  5. Good luck with the sale.

    I hope you get to enjoy your own veg before you move, especially that little squash plant.

    Have a good week!

    Martin :0)

  6. Gorgeous pics CHristian. I hope that the cottage sells quickly so that you can get on with the next phase of your adventure whilst you are both feeling positive. All the best, Hazel xx

  7. Christian, the house looks fab, I am sure you'll get a quick sale. I love moody elspeth, she reminds me of my belle (in mood, not appearance!)who'd have hens eh? (oh yes, us!!)

    Leanne x

  8. Hey Christian,
    Just wanted to say that I am an avid reader of your blog. I too have chickens - 5 - and attempt to grow my own fruit and veg too. Though I have to say that you are much better at it. I am very sorry that you are having to leave Farm Cottage, but sure that whatever you do next you'll do well. Are you looking to stay in the same area? Any plans for more animals?
    Jen xx

  9. What fabulous photos Christian - home is looking perfect - and is sure to attract a buyer asap.

    If I won a fortune I'd buy it for sure! You could of course rent it then and not have to move.

    Keep blogging though won't you - I'd miss you too much if you stopped

  10. Good luck with the house sale! Hope a gardener purchases it. Where are you off to?


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