Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Dancing with Joy!

Well that is strange you say something one day and poof there it is the next! Whilst inspecting and watering the garden earlier you will never guess what I found. Yes a little round courgette! Nestled amongst the foliage   I noticed a little smaller than a golf ball my first courgette of the year. All the courgettes have produced an abundance of flowers but so far all have been male. Typical as this house is over run by males, as if there isn't enough already!

And that is not the only surprise I have had today take a peek at the next photo!

Yes melons! There are about five little pearl sized melons on one of the plants. And yes as usual I had my little dance of joy! The other plants is also full of flowers so things are finally looking good.

I picked the first of the green beans today, there was not enough for dinner so I have frozen them until more are ready. The ones I picked today were quite fat and if left on the plant it would halt the plant from producing much more. I also picked some peas which I think will probably be the last. With all the wet weather the plants have mildew on them.

Unfortunately the above photo is a bit blurred however I am sure you can make out the little pepper. This plant has about five little peppers and is still producing more flowers.

Outside grown tomatoes
As I was picking the green beans there were a few bees busy around the runner beans. These are full of flowers and it is looking like we may have another bumper crop of these again this year.

The girls had a fun time digging in the pile of soil that I had emptied out of the potato bags. I left it there for them to keep them away from the raised beds and vegetables. My plan seems to be working, however they are making a right mess. I just get the broom out and sweep it into a pile again for their release tomorrow.

That is it from me for another day, I hope you have enjoyed reading. Until next time x

Monday, 30 July 2012

what a week

Well after a very hectic couple of weeks hopefully I can slow down a bit. The craft fair went quite well considering it was my first. I made a few sales not as much as I would have liked but there is always next time. I am hoping to do another one in a couple of weeks so I shall keep you posted.

Now back to gardening! We have had a fair bit of rain over the weekend so the water butts are full up again and the ground is nice and moist. The courgettes are full of flowers but no fruit as of yet. The melon plants in the greenhouse are also full of flowers. I am eagerly awaiting any sign of a mini melon! The tomatoes are on the turn in the greenhouse and the ones outside are also now full of fruit. I just hope the dreaded blight stays away.

I think the girls will be enjoying all of the cabbages this year, they are full of caterpillars which have munched right through all of them. It is my own fault for not netting them I thought perhaps with the rotten weather we have had and hardly any sightings of the cabbage white I would be safe. However we live and learn and I will be sure to net them next year. There is no point doing it now as too much damage has been done.

There are only four more bags of potatoes left and all that we have had so far have been great tasting and of a good size and quantity. I will be growing the same varieties next year and maybe a new one too. The pumpkins I replanted seem to have recovered from their move, now all I need is for them to produce some lovely large pumpkins!

The leeks are growing quite well too this year. I am going to go and put a cover on them shortly so as I don't lose them to the leek moth like last year. Leek and potato soup is a family favourite and it would be nice to be able to make it with home grown leeks. The onions are still in the summerhouse drying out. I should be able to get them strung up by early next week.

With all the rain the rhubarb has grown to huge proportions I will be taking the last few stalks of that later today and then leave the rest to die down ready to move onto the vegetable plot in late autumn/early winter as this is the best time to move fruit when it is in a dormant state.

The tayberry bush has managed to survive after the damage the girls keep doing to it. I will not need to worry about pruning it that's for sure. The blueberry bushes don't appear to be growing much but hopefully I will get some fruit from them next year.

I have sowed some more lettuce in boxes up on the decking, the girls have as yet to get on there so my lettuce should be safe from their greedy beaks!

Well that is it from me for today. I hope you all had a great weekend. Until next time x

Saturday, 28 July 2012

The big day has arrived!

It has been an extremely busy week. However not much gardening has been done except some harvesting of potatoes, peas and my first ever carrots! And they were rather tasty too. The green beans will be soon ready for picking and the tomatoes are beginning to swell.

I had an escapee this morning. Dory had somehow managed to get through the run and found herself amongst my prized vegetables! I went to give them their scraps and I noticed that Dory was the wrong side of the fence! She had been busy digging amongst the green beans and peas, managing to break four green bean plants in the process. As you can imagine I was not best pleased and trying to catch her was a feat! 

It is now 4am and in less than six hours I shall be setting up my first craft stall. I have been busy getting everything ready and I am finally as ready as I will ever be. I am a bit nervous but hopefully all will be well.

For those of you that live locally the craft fair is at The scout hut in 12 Acre close, off Bell Lane in Kesgrave and it is on between 11am to 4pm.

Well that is it from me for now. I am off to try and get some sleep. I will post later on today to tell you all about my day x

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Hook, line & sinker!

One of the melon plants
The weather has been fantastic the past few days, wall to wall sunshine! We had a pleasant day fishing, well Jay fished I crocheted. It was really sunny but very windy and I think I caught a bit too much sun as I felt a bit under the weather yesterday. However I would say that I caught more than jay did fish! I think it was a combination of too much sun and trying to do too much as I slept for fourteen hours solid!

It is the twins nineteenth birthday today so we have all been out for lunch on the waterfront. It was lovely to sit there and watch the world go by with the sun blazing. They had all trooped off to the pictures to see the latest batman film. I came home as I wanted to get out in the garden and I am not a batman fan either.

And it was a very productive if sweaty few hours! I weeded the whole of the vegetable plot, weeded the fruit border with the help of the girls of course. Every time I put my hand out to grab a weed it was pecked by one or the other of the girls.

I emptied out the big compost bin onto the vegetable plot as I have a large area that is empty. I have now planted out the two pumpkin plants that were in growbags in the little greenhouse. At the moment they look a bit withered but fingers crossed in a few days they will look healthy again, especially with all the rich compost that is now surrounding them.

I have scrubbed out the coop and given it a good clean as the girls were running about the garden, they ravaged the salad box which was full but all that remains are a few stumps! They also decided they wanted to empty the soil out of the raised bed that I had just harvested the onions from. Matilda is the main culprit, I keep taking her off and as soon as I turn round there she is at it again!

Not much left of my salad box!

I was quite pleasantly surprised by the size of some of the onions. It was a much better crop than the over winter ones. However I think I will still grow some over the winter again this year.

Just half of the harvest

The tomatoes are looking very good especially the ones in the greenhouse. After I had taken these photos and I was watering I saw a lot more and bigger than this one.

Greenhouse tomato

Sweetpea pot
One of the pepper plants you can just see the flower

Well that is it for another day. I hope you have enjoyed reading and seeing what is going on in my vegetable garden. Until next time x

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Has summer finally arrived?

It has been a glorious weekend weather wise, hopefully our British summer has decided to arrive! Most of the children have broken up for their longed for summer break and will be able to enjoy being outside rather than cooped up indoors because of the rain.

As always when the sun shines Jay always wants to start up the barbecue! So we had one today with just us and the boys. We went round my sister in-laws yesterday evening for a family barbecue, it was nice to all get together again. It certainly feels like summer has arrived.

I have had a very busy weekend but only had a small amount of time in the garden due to other commitments. I am hoping to have Tuesday as a gardening day this week and I am planning to get plenty done. I have fed and watered everything earlier. The tomatoes are coming on nicely and both pepper plants are also in flower.

The pumpkins are growing at a considerable rate as are the ones that are in the little plastic greenhouse, I might get more than the one solitary pumpkin this year! The courgettes are slowly growing, however no sign of any fruit yet.

One of the strawberry plants has once again bloomed with lots of flowers so there maybe some more of those on the way, that is if I can keep the girls off them. They seem to have a penchant for my strawberries! Octavia promptly plucked one from the plant and went scuttling off up the garden with Dory in hot pursuit.

The French dwarf beans are now full of flowers so it will not be long before we are enjoying those. The runner beans are growing like the clappers and are at the tops of the wigwams I have pinched out the tops so they will become more bushy, well that is what I am hoping anyway.

The front flowerbed is blooming. I have some large burgundy poppies that  look quite striking. The dahlias are also looking rather pretty even though they are still covered with black fly! The sweetpeas are continuing to provide a gorgeous scent.

Well that is it for another day, I have some crocheting to do. I am off fishing with Jay tomorrow and no I am not doing any fishing, just tagging along with either a good book or maybe even my crocheting in tow along with a picnic. Until next time x

Friday, 20 July 2012

Bring me sunshine.....

I really need to plan my day in a different order. Yesterday I had done the house chores and some work on the computer and was just about to pull on my boots and the heavens opened! So the only gardening that I done was to water the greenhouse.

Today is not a good day weather wise either, it looks like it is going to rain at any moment but so far it hasn't. I have had an hour or so out in the garden. The soil is sodden and I don't really want to tramp all over it whilst weeding and a hoe is no good with the soil being so wet. I have weeded the path that runs along the edge of the veg plot and pulled the ones within reach, however there is still a lot that still needs doing.

Warm dry weather has been forecast so fingers crossed it will be then I can get the rest of the weeding done.   I have picked some peas for dinner, the pods are nice and fat. There is still plenty out there just waiting to fill out.

I have cleaned out the girls coop whilst they had a run around the garden, well actually stayed under my feet! They know once they come out that they get meal worms when it is time to go back in. So now they just stay on my heels the whole time.

I wanted to go and pick the peas, I picked up the small bucket to collect them in and started to walk down the garden and all of a sudden I heard this pattering clamour of feet. I turned round and there they all were, heading for me at quite a speed. So I had to go back otherwise they would devour what is left of the cabbages on the vegetable plot.

The cabbages are riddled with holes, I had an inspection and could see tiny caterpillars munching away. I have sprayed them with my rhubarb solution and hopefully it will start to work.

I have been busy with my crochet hook and yet still have plenty to get done before next Sunday.

This is just a small selection of what I have been working on. At the moment I am making a bumblebee hat.

Well that is it from me for another day, the dogs are waiting to go for a walk. Until next time x

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Lettuce for lunch, dinner and tea!

Pumpkin/squash in the raised bed

Hello everyone, apologies for the delayed post. The weather has been awful again so far this week so no gardening has been done. I noticed that the weeds are getting bigger and bigger everyday as I look forlornly out of the window.

I am hoping it is going to start drying up within the next couple of days so I can get out and have a good weeding session. Everything is growing quite well. We have had endless lettuce. I cut if all off last week and it had all regrown so we had some for lunch yesterday and there is still plenty there so I cut some off for the girls.

The pumpkins have had a big growth spurt and are filling up the raised bed rapidly. However the same cannot be said for the courgettes. They have grown a bit but nothing compared to last year.

I am going to lift the onions at the weekend as they have nearly all started to seed. I will put them in the summerhouse to dry out many are already a decent size compared to last year and the overwinter onions.
You can just see the seed heads on the onions

The runner beans are also coming into flower so I shouldn't think it will be much longer before we will be enjoying these with our dinner.

We had a few more strawberries too yesterday, they have nearly finished fruiting as no more flowers are coming. It was a very poor year for those too.

I have the first tomatoes forming in both the greenhouse and on the ones growing outside, lets pray for some warm dry weather so I don't lose them all again this year!

The girls have spent most of the week getting soaked and then hiding under the coop. Poor things it cannot be much fun for them either with this wet weather. We are getting three or four eggs a day still which is good.

I have got my first craft stall booked for the 29th July. I'm quite excited even though I am working until the early hours every morning to get things made.

We had our youngest son Ben's sports presentation evening yesterday. He was nominated for sportsman of the year, rugby player of the year and athletics. He won the rugby player of the year award, we are so very proud of him and his achievements.

Well that is it from me for another day. Until next  time x

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Finally a bit of sunshine!

It has been an awful week weather wise, however we woke up to a sunny day so we thought we would make the most off it and do a bootsale which we had been wanting to do for a while. It was a late riser bootsale which meant we did not have to be there until 10.30am for a 12 noon start. We made £60.00 and we were home again just after 2pm so not bad for just a few hours. And we have now got a bit more space in the garage!

I sold a few of my excess plants and got chatting to this lady and we were saying how awful the weather has been and how it is affecting our crops of vegetables. She also had very poor germination results too, which did make me feel a bit better about all my failures this year.

I had more courgettes than I could shake a stick at this time last year and we were eating runner beans. The only crops that seem to be doing well are potatoes. I had a wander around the garden earlier and the snails and slugs have been feasting on my greens. They are just full of holes. I checked them over and there is no evidence of any caterpillars.

The runner beans are nearing the top of the wigwams and the dwarf french green beans now have some flowers on. There are quite a few peas of which I have picked some to have with dinner today. With all the rain the lettuce had really grown so I cut some for the girls to enjoy rather than let it go to seed.

I have strung up the onions that were harvested a few weeks ago. Some which had gone to seed are in the vegetable basket to use up now as they will not store. I have hung the onions in the garage. It is not a large string but more than last year. The onions that are still in the ground have started to seed too. I have been chopping the seed heads off but there is just no stopping them. However many are a decent size and we do get through lots of onions so they will not go to waste.

The strawberries are starting to rot before going red so the girls are getting more than we are. The tomato plants in the greenhouse are huge and have plenty of flowers on them. The ones that I have grown outside are no where near as big but they do have some flowers on them. One pepper plant has a couple of flowers developing hopefully they will turn into fruit and not just drop off.

There are still no flowers on the courgettes or melon plants as yet but they are growing strong so I might get lucky and have them produce something. The rhubarb plant is one again huge but it is now too late to take any more off so I will just leave it to die down then move it to the vegetable plot out of the way of the girls.

The girls have enjoyed a banquet today, they had a bowl of kitchen scraps earlier a load of fresh lettuce and a handful of strawberries. They all seem quite content and as I write are enjoying the late afternoon sunshine whilst having a good preen. We have had eight eggs over the weekend which is the first for a while.

I have made a couple more hats one is a panda and I'm not sure what I am going to do on the other one yet. I might have my first craft stall in a couple of weeks. I am just waiting for someone to get back to me as to whether there is a space available. I will keep you posted. My apologies for there being no photos as once again my battery has ran out of charge. I think maybe there is something wrong with it as it just does not seem to hold a charge. I will put some on for you next time.

Well that is it from me for another day. I hope you have all had a great weekend. Until next time x

Saturday, 14 July 2012

And the rain came...

We have had very heavy downpours during the night for the past two days. My water butts have overflowed! The weeds have grown at great speed but fortunately so has the vegetables. The ground is sodden and far to wet to walk on to get to the weeds. It does not look like we will be having a summer again this year. Will the tomatoes survive I wonder...

Clyde is back to his normal self thank goodness. He is gobbling up his food and constantly on the hunt for more! We have had to place a bag over the bin to keep him out of it!

The girls could all do with a pair of wellington boots each, their run is a quagmire of mud. I don't think we will be able to sort out the coop again this weekend. It looks like it is slowly sinking into the ground as the girls have dug so many holes.

As it has been to wet to get in the garden I have been busy baking in the kitchen and made this oh so yummy family fruit cake.

I have also been busy making new things. I have finished the cupcake bag and I am now making a panda hat. My stock is building up nicely.

Well that is it from me for today. Hopefully the weather will start to improve. Until next time x

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Latest update on Clyde

I just thought I would give you an update on Clyde. We went back to the vets today and his temperature has come down. They seem to think he has some gastric infection. He had another two jabs today and has to have a Gaviscon type liquid before he eats and he is also on antibiotics.

He seems a lot perkier today, his eyes are bright and his tail is waging once again. He has his appetite back but he is only allowed two spoons of food like rice or scrambled eggs about five times a day. We have to go back to the vets again on Friday for another check up.

No gardening again today as such, I just watered all the pots and containers. We have had plenty of rain so everything is growing quite well. We even had hail earlier and the girls were running around in the run trying to eat it! It was quite amusing to see. We had the one solitary egg today, hopefully we will have more tomorrow. 

Yesterday when I emptied out one of the potato bags I poured the soil out into a heap and when the girls were out for their rampage around the garden they had great delight scratching about and putting the soil everywhere. However Matilda still insisted on hopping onto the raised bed for further digging!

Well that is it from me for today. Until next time x

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

A Small Harvest

It has been raining on and off all day and we have just had a heavy downpour and the sun is trying to shine through the clouds. I managed to clean out the girls and gather some potatoes and peas before it really came down.

That is the last of the first earlies potatoes and I have six more bags of earlies left and that is all the potatoes harvested. There are lots of pods on the peas however not as many as I thought were ready for picking but there is just enough for dinner tonight.

The onions have almost dried out and will be ready for stringing together at the weekend I should think. The Spring sown onions are really starting to swell now so they will hopefully be a better crop.

I picked another handful of strawberries and some more sweet peas that smell wonderful.

I forgot to mention that Clyde has been to the vets, they are not sure what is wrong with him. He had a couple of jabs and has got to go back again tomorrow to be checked over again. Fingers crossed it is nothing serious. He is still not himself however he did perk up when he had scrambled egg for his dinner.

Well that is it for another day, until next time x

Monday, 9 July 2012

Twit Twooooo

I have finished the hat so I thought I'd quickly post it. Nothing done out in the garden today as I have been out most of the day.

I have just let the girls out for their exercise round the garden whilst I watered the greenhouse and the pots that are scattered about the garden. I have harvested some more potatoes for dinner and tomorrow I will be picking some of the peas!

I'll hopefully have more to tell you as the week progresses.

Until next time x

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Where has the time gone?

Adam ready for his prom

Well it has been another busy week. My son Adam had his school prom on Friday. It does not seem that long ago he was toddling around the garden and riding his tractor up and down the garden path. Time seems to be passing by so quickly.

Sorting out the chicken coop has been postponed as it is raining quite heavily. The run is now a swamp once again. The girls are looking rather forlorn and miserable sitting under cover. Clyde is also unwell, he is off his food which is very unlike him so a trip to the vets is in order tomorrow.

The tomato plants are full of flowers, I just hope we start to get some nice warm weather otherwise they will be lost to blight again this year. We are having some more potatoes from the garden with dinner today. This is the last batch of first earlies and the second earlies are now in flower so they are almost ready.

The cornflowers I sowed have come into flower, they are white and they are the only ones so far that have started to flower in the flowerbed in the front garden, hopefully it will not be much longer and the others will also bloom.

I have been busy making more things for the craft fairs. I am presently making an owl hat for a child. I will post the photo when I have finished it.

Well that is it from me for yet another day. Hoping for better weather in the coming week. I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend where ever you are. Until next time x

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Jamming in the heat

Phew it's hot hot hot! The Olympic torch came through the town today , however I did not go to watch. I know it is a historic occasion, but I will settle for watching it on the TV. Jay and our son Lewis were in Southwold on the pier to do a spot of fishing when the Olympic torch arrived.

Lewis got to hold the Olympic torch

I have been busy making some strawberry jam today, unfortunately not with strawberries from the garden but from Aldi's They were doing a lb for 99p which is a great price and perfect for jamming. As I have said it has been a very hot day and probably not the best day for making jam! I made eight 1lb jars Which now need labelling and pretty covers put on the lids. 

I have not had much time in the garden even though the weather was scorching. However I cleaned out the girls whilst they ran a mock around the garden. Max kept guard by the gate so that there were no escapees, whilst Clyde was lolling on the door step panting and waiting for another ice lolly! He had one yesterday as it got dropped and now he thinks if he pants enough he will get another.

I harvested a bag of the potatoes for dinner today. It was not bad for just one bag there was just over 2lbs in weight. I did label all the potatoes however the rain has washed all the writing off, but I'm sure these were swift. I also harvested some of the cut and come again lettuce and a hand full of strawberries. And as you can see four luscious eggs!

Well that is it from me for another day, I have some crocheting I need to do. Until next time x

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Just a beautiful day of gardening

It has been a super sunny hot day today, the dogs have been panting as it is so hot and they will not just go and lay down in the shade but have insisted on following me around the garden to pant in my face every time I get down to pull up the weeds.

My water butts have refilled due to the heavy downpour we had in the early hours of the morning, that's what I call perfect timing. I had almost emptied the last one and if we are in for a mini heatwave the garden is going to get rather thirsty.

I had a bit of a sort out in the greenhouse today. I have discarded some plants that had not done well and also the coriander which has gone to seed when it was only a couple of inches high. I have never had much success growing this from seed. I think I will admit defeat and purchase a small plant from the garden centre.

I have planted up some pots with some of the flowers I had grown and I still have not managed to get rid of yet. I still have quite a few and don't know what to do with them. I have offered them to my neighbours however they have no room or need. My dad has taken lots and has no room for any more either. It seems such a shame to just dump them in the compost heap but I'm sure I will think of something or someone that will take them.

The snails have been nibbling on my courgettes and pumpkins. I have picked several snails off and the girls had great fun cracking them and eating them. We have had seven eggs over the past two days. Things are finally back to normal.

The swedes have started to come through. They were a bit close together so I have thinned them out. There is not point trying to replant the seedlings I removed as they will just not grow as they do not like to be disturbed once they have started to grow.

The sweet peas are growing and smelling wonderful. I picked some more today and they certainly brighten up they day. My dahlias are full of black fly so I have given them a spray with my rhubarb solution to hopefully get rid of them. They were covered in them last year too and I need to get rid of them before the flowers start to appear which by the looks of things will not be much longer. 

I have planted the French marigolds either side of the cabbage patch in the hope of deterring the wretched snails! I have more holes than cabbage leaves at present. I also sowed some more lettuce, little gems and a round lettuce which  I have already forgotten the name of, but you are probably getting used to me doing that by now.

I re-potted the melon plants into their final growing pot, hopefully they will start to grow like the clappers now. I must admit they do look rather healthy so I must be doing something right! The strawberries had grown more runners so I have removed them. They seem to be growing more runners than strawberries!

The girls have dug so many holes under the coop it is now "sloighlty on the huh" which to everyone else who is not from  Suffolk means it is not straight. On Sunday Jay is going to give me a hand to move it out and refill the holes and lay slabs under it. I'm sure the girls will not be amused but they will have to learn to dig holes in the run.

I have booked a table for my first craft fair. It is not until October however I still have lots to get done and my fingers are very busy most nights. 

I have taken a few photos for you all too see.

Melon Plant
Cut & come again lettuce
Sweet Smelling Peas
Beans are growing well

 Well I hope you have enjoyed reading my gardening activities. I'd like to welcome and thank my new followers. Until next time x

I'm not sure why some of the text is highlighted, I lost connection halfway through and I can not fathom what is wrong. I think I should just stick to the gardening! 

Monday, 2 July 2012

Mission accomplished!

Where did the past week go? Time seems to be flying by so fast, no sooner have I done the house chores on a Monday and it is the weekend again.

Not much has been happening in the garden, apart from everything is growing nicely even if it is behind compared to last year. We had about a dozen or so strawberries over the weekend, which I ate! The cut and come again lettuce is ready to have now and I think the some of the potatoes are too. I have not checked them yet but the flowers have come and gone on the second sowing. We shall be having those later on in the week.

Nothing much is happening with the courgettes yet they are starting to grow so fingers crossed some fruit will start to grow soon. There are lots of pods on the peas I noticed that they are starting to fill out.

It has been quite dry this past week and I was hoping to get outside for a couple of hours this evening, however mother nature had other ideas and sent in the rain. I did clean out the girls though and they had a run about in the garden. We have been averaging three eggs a day. I'm convinced it was due to them eating the rhubarb that halted egg production. Matilda was the only one who would not eat it and she was also the only one laying. Since I have sectioned it off we are having eggs again. I will move it once it is dormant on to the vegetable plot.

I have been busy writing up new articles. One is the Best Fruits to Grow in the Garden and the other ones is Home Craft Ideas. Which you can access through the following links


I have always enjoyed home crafts since I was a child and this has developed in to another one of my passions. I have finished my project. I have now made several as I am going to be doing craft fairs and I am building a stockpile of items ready for the run up to Christmas.

My first attempt!

Well that is it from me for another day. Until next time x
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