It’s been more or less a decade since we moved to Willow Cottage and in all that time we’ve never had a house name on the building.
We’ve been through several postmen and postwomen and, after several trips round the village locating parcels, the’ve all learned over the years that we’re the ones tucked away in the corner.
One of our friends has just set up a new business creating beautiful bespoke signs from cut steel – so we thought this was the perfect chance for us to solve the house sign problem.
We comissioned a couple of signs – one smaller one for the house front:
…and one larger one for the garden (naturally):
We think they’re lovely. You can see more of Lucia’s products online at Wild Ink.
I managed to get out and take a few pictures in-between rain storms today. I thought you might like a look.
The borders are looking full and green. The roses, lavender and cosmos are flowering well.
The orchard is recovering after a hard winter. We were unsure whether the grass would come back. The chickens and ducks are enjoying the growth and if you look carefully you can see that it was actually long enough to mow a path down the middle.
Lots of change in the veg patch. That scarecrow is in desperate need of a makeover.
The spinach is already going to flower, the potatoes are cropping well and the courgettes are huge! The only thing not looking great is my runner beans.
Do you remember that I am trying to grow my runner beans along side my sweet peas? Well, so far, neither look great. They are about 50cm high and still have a long way to climb up those poles we put in! You can just see the purple sprouting broccoli plant down the middle. They are doing really well.
We have a new addition to the garden – a rather handsome rhubarb forcer.
Here’s hoping the sun shines…
Posted in Allotment, Garden
Tagged allotment, chicken, ducks, garden, garden update, gardening, green house, GYO, how to, how to grow your own, july garden, plants, starting a vegetable garden, veg growing, veg patch, vegetables
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