When the boy turned eight whilst we were living in the garden, it was only natural to hold a campfire birthday party for him. It seems so long ago now but the evening was fantastic and the boys all loved it.
We had a birthday tent for sleeping…
We had a campfire tea and breakfast. This was cooked mainly by the boys: some had only ever seen a BBQ before so looked quite startled when we told them to make a fire if they were hungry.
They toasted marshmallows on the campfire too.
We went on a night hike with torches. The boys ran off loads of steam and were tired out when we got back and certainly ready for bed.
We had a donut cake tower for supper and everyone was asleep by 9.30pm.
It was a great concept for a party and one we will all remember for a long time. Partly because of the building work, partly because it was so different, and partly because the boys loved it so much.
Posted in Garden, Kids, Outdoor adventure 2012
Tagged 8th birthday, birthday, birthday ideas, birthday party, boy party, campfire party, campfires, camping, camping party, children, family, ideas, ideas for a boy's birthday party. Party ideas for boys, kids, outdoor party
Phew! Well, it’s been a busy nine months or so, but we’re pleased to be back in action on what seems to have been the first sunny and warm(ish) day of the year.
Where have we been? Well, we mentioned a while back that we were going to have some building work done. We had great plans in place to blog our summer living in the garden. We had a bit of a go, then the building work took over…
The rain finally stopped and after a few weeks house-sitting for friends on holiday and sleeping on the living room floor at the in-laws me managed an impressive six weeks under canvas in the back garden.
The builders thought we were crazy, but were very good at leaving things like a pipe for water (operated by spanner), a toilet (open to the elements) and an electric socket so we could boil the kettle or operate the slow cooker (but not at the same time).
We had some particular highlights: the boy’s 8th campfire birthday party (no toilet access for the night but a bucket covered ably); drinking wine from jam jars because we packed all the glasses; and just generally going to sleep when the sun went down with the sound of Nature around you.
Lowlights, on the other hand, were: toilet facilities (for girls in particular), washing (people and clothes) and there are only so many variations on slow cooker food that one family can possibly enjoy (crunchy rice a particular favourite).
We’re pleased with the results…but just looking forward to getting back to the garden.
Him and Her x
PS. We’ll add some posts from garden adventures soon
This rainy weather has been upsetting the greenhouse. We are finding that this year growth seems to be slow and spindly. Despite this we are pleased to announce the arrival of our first red tomato!
This is a plum variety called Roma. We are very proud parents and hope to have many more to follow this one.
The greenhouse looks very different to this time last year.
I feel that I am still waiting for it to grow. The tomato plants are covered in flowers but look very ‘thin’ despite a weekly feed. Any suggestions from fellow gardeners on why this is?
Maybe it is these ‘organic’ grow bags, or the cool temperatures or something else.
I am sad to say that my cucumbers died. They were looking so good and then they were attacked by black fly. I thought I would spray them with some soap mix. I must have mixed it up too strong as the next day they were past recovery. I have managed to source a couple more plants that I will put in and watch what happens. It is sad to see empty grow bag space…
Posted in Greenhouse
Tagged allotment, black fly, cucumbers, food, garden, garden update, gardening, green house, greenhouse, grow bags, grow your own, GYO, how to, how to grow your own, plants, seedlings, soap spray, tomatoes, veg growing, veg patch, vegetables
The berry patch looks like a jungle; all the rain has produced loads of lush green growth that has tangled together. The fruitcage looks like it may fall down at any moment, but it is doing its job. The birds seem to be leaving the berries alone and despite the weather the berries are ripening.
Picking them is not for the faint hearted as you really do need to fight your way in. During a break in the rain this afternoon, I braved the jungle and was rewarded with a fine selection of produce!
There are still many un-ripened berries on the bushes with no sign of any blueberries yet. I picked a few from each bush but the glut has still to appear.
I think the first berry crop needs to be eaten as it is, fresh and unaltered. Others I will jam, freeze, stew and jelly but these I think will just be enjoyed in the pure form – yummy! I love the taste of fresh summer berries and hope this harvest will be the first of many more.
Can you spot the glimmer of berries hidden in the bushy, wild and overgrown fruit cage?
The only pests we have are slugs! They have been having a wonderful munch on my strawberries that I having lovingly tended all spring. The straw surrounding them is very soggy, probably providing a cosy home for slugs and snails. Hubby suggested a beer trap – I think I will give it a try!
Posted in Allotment, Food, Garden
Tagged allotment, beer traps, berries, blackcurrants, food, fruit cages, garden, gardening, gooseberries, grow your own, GYO, how to, how to grow your own, plants, raspberries, redcurrants, slugs, starting a vegetable garden, strawberries, strawberry plants, veg growing, veg patch, vegetables
The garden is soggy but productive. We have not spent as much time out there as we would want to; the rain has been horrid and the packing has kept us busy. I thought I would have a wander down the garden this week to see what I could find.
I was delighted to pick the following selection of lovely garden yummyness.
If you look carefully you may spot courgettes, baby carrots, celery, fennel, spinach, purple sprouting broccoli, new potatoes and spring onions.
This all inspired me to turn it into a hearty minestrone soup.
I only added some tinned tomatoes, chorizo (to provide a depth of flavour), ready cooked leftover pasta and some stock. The result was delicious and is always a favourite in our house. It’s never the same twice and is a great way of using up a vast selection of pickings.
This is even better the next day, so we make plenty!
To top it all, as I was picking the spinach I noticed a glimmer of red in the fruit cage, could it be? Yes, we have our first ripe strawberries!
The other berries were not quite ripe but these tasted great as they were.
Posted in Allotment, Food
Tagged allotment, family, first harvest, food, garden, gardening, grow your own, GYO, how to, how to grow your own, ideas, minestrone, plants, recipe, using up garden veg, using up garden vegetables, veg growing, veg patch, vegetables
It has been a hectic few weeks. We have been living our usual everyday lives as well as fitting in all the extra tasks of packing, setting up a base in the garden and liaising with builders.
We now have a house full of boxes.
…most of them packed with the contents of our cupboards.
But the camping stuff remains in the bag. The weather is just rubbish. We have had so much rain that the builders have delayed the start of our build!
So here we are, living in chaos, ready to move into the garden at a moment’s notice, waiting for the weather to improve. Come on summer, make an appearance soon! The children are raring to start living outside, the outdoor adventure we talked about was supposed to have started by now. Instead, we are in a semi-camping state, living in our house with everything packed away.
I picked a bunch of garden flowers today, then realised I had packed all the vases. I had to make do with a jam jar, they still looked pretty and cheered up my empty kitchen.
Birthday cakes in our house are long thought about creations that the birthday child gets to choose.
Last year’s cake had a long story behind it. It was a wonderful creation produced by a lovely friend. This year it was going to be hard to beat it, so I didn’t even try, I just let my daughter decorate her cake herself. She did a wonderful job and the end result was fantastic.
We had bought some food colouring pens that provided the initial idea. We made a chocolate cake and iced it with a plain ready roll icing. The rest was up to her…
She was so careful and creative. It was a wonderful way to involve her in the party preparations and the other children have already requested a decorate- your-own cake for their next birthday!
She also made some thank you party biscuits to give out at the end of the party.
It was a great day and a great way to celebrate a 10th birthday!
Posted in Food, Kids
Tagged baking, birthday, birthday cake, birthday cake ideas, cake, children, decorate your own cake, easy birthday cake, easy party ideas, family, girl's 10th birthday cake, girl's cake, girl's party ideas, ideas, kids