Thursday 24th July 2014 – A view of my garden.

Several of you have asked if I can show you what my garden at home looks like, well, I’m now going to bore you with several photos now, and hopefully you’ll find them interesting. I thought this would be a more interesting way of doing it, rather than making a little film. So I went out early this morning when the sun wasn’t too hot and snapped away. My garden at home is only 17 feet by 48 feet, so very tiny. In fact my allotment is over 4 times larger than my garden!! So hear goes. Firstly down the right hand side I have a flower bed about 3 feet deep and about 20 feet long. In there are a variety of flowers and plants from Aquilegia, heather, lavender, Agapanthus to Climbing roses.

My main flower bed full of all sorts of goodies.

My main flower bed full of all sorts of goodies.

Then moving further on up the garden is my herb patch, which consists of a huge variety of herbs from Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Marjoram, Bay and loads more. On the far left of the picture are some Crocosmia that I planted last year. They seem to love it there are the flowers are either deep red or yellow.

My herb patch, full of all sorts of fabulous herbs.

My herb patch, full of all sorts of fabulous herbs.

Then we come across the greenhouse where I had a bit of a tidy the other day so now it’s all beautiful and tidy. In here I’m growing Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers, Cucamelons and Melons. They all seem very happy and are growing really well. I know that it looks a bit like a mad house, but they seem to be all getting along.

My happy little greenhouse.

My happy little greenhouse.

Then at the end of the garden I have a small Apple tree. I’ve had it for about 10 years now, and every year it produces some lovely eating apples. I can’t remember what variety they are, but they do taste wonderful. Behind it I have a compost bin, but you don’t really want to see that, the tree is much nicer to look at.

Apples will be ready soon.

Apples will be ready soon.

Then coming back down the other side of the garden I have a narrow thin bed where the Honeysuckles, more Climbing Roses, Clematis and various other climbers grow. I’m trying to create a lovely piece of privacy between us and our neighbours. I had to cut it all back this time last year as we had new fencing put in, but it seems to be growing back well.

Hopefully by this time next year I will have a wonderful privacy screen.

Hopefully by this time next year I will have a wonderful privacy screen.

And finally my patio where there are either Tomatoes growing in pots or flowers growing in pots. In the white container are my White Strawberries (Pineberries) that didn’t flower this year they just sent out runners. These I’ve potted on, so now I have loads of little plants growing. Next year I’ll cut off the runners and hope that fruits will grow.

Excuse the water butt and the hose. Both are in constant use at the moment.

Excuse the water butt and the hose. Both are in constant use at the moment.

So that’s it. My little garden at home. With that and the allotment that’s loads to keep me occupied and out of any mischief that I could get myself into. It keeps me busy, but it’s great fun. Here’s the view I have of my garden from my back door. The tree at the very back of the picture (that is actually in my garden, just) behind the trampoline was bigger, until yesterday when it was hacked by my neighbours father. I wasn’t told, and needless to say I got incredibly cross!! But that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Please excuse the washing on the line.

Please excuse the washing on the line.

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Tuesday 22nd July 2014 – Everything is awesome!

Today I continued with my garden tidy. I did the front garden which didn’t take long as it was fairly sorted anyway, then I moved on to have a good tidy of the wooden shed. It’s been a little while since I’ve had a good sort out of this, and I was very wary of any spiders as I was wearing my flip flops (I didn’t come across any thank goodness). I got rid of various bits that I just don’t need any more, and have started to make a pile in the garden of bits that need to go down the tip. This I’ll keep adding to and then take it down to the tip on Thursday, as tomorrow is a bit of a stressful day in one way and another. I won’t bore you with the details, but as soon as that day is over I will be very pleased. After I’d completed the wooden shed, I had a good sort out of the greenhouse and harvest some wonderful Cucamelons. There are loads more growing and the Tomatoes are growing really well too. No sign of any Melons growing yet, but loads of flowers, so I’ll have to find a paint brush and start to tickle the flowers to move the pollen about. Then it was time to tackle the bike shed. Tackle is a slight underestimation of the word! I was not looking forward to this as I knew it would be rather tricky. Still I’ve started it, but not quite finished it. There are a load of plastic pots that I just don’t use, so I’ll take them to our local garden centre where they recycle them. My old strimmer will be going to the great lawn in the sky, and various other items that I no longer want. I didn’t quite finish the bike shed, so will have to continue that tomorrow when I finally get home. Later in the evening we watched the Lego Movie. Now when this was on at the cinema we went to watch it with the kids and somehow I managed to fall asleep (don’t ask). Unfortunately I did the same this evening, not sure if I fell asleep in the same place. One day I’ll get through the entire movie without nodding off. What I’ve seen it’s a very good film, but I’d worked very hard in the garden so I was tired!! Everything is AWESOME!!

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Monday 21st July 2014 – Tidying the back garden…again.

It’s an on going job, but I don’t mind really, you get the garden tidied a few weeks back and then it gets all messy again. Plants are like children they keep growing!! The kids have now broken up for the summer, so I won’t be going down the allotment as often as normal, but still a fair bit. They’re old enough for me to leave them at home for a couple of hours while I pop to do some weeding and watering, which is fabulous. I’m only just up the road and it would take me 10 minutes to get home if I walked, so I’m not far away. But today I spent the day in the back garden tidying the plants and dead heading (the plants not the children). It now looks lovely and tidy. It’s all growing well, and a pleasure to sit in and enjoy the sun. All that hard work is done and it’s just a case of titivating now. I was in and out of the garden for most of the day, fitting in the gardening around making bread, waffles, lunch and various other things. It’s all done now, so tomorrow I’ll start on the front garden, which shouldn’t take long as it’s rather small, but you never know what you’ll find. I came across a frog once, which was a bit of a shock especially as I was wearing flip flops at the time!!

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Sunday 20th July 2014 – To Ham House and back again.

Now I didn’t walk as far as I’d planned this week, but still a fair way. I’d been on my feet for most of the afternoon ringing a peal of Rutland Surprise Major in celebration of a fellow ringers wedding. This meant that we rang constantly for 2 hours and 42 minutes, this will not mean anything to many of you, but those who know about bell ringing, it’s a massive achievement. So having done that, I was a little tired, but I still managed to walk a decent distance. So after bell ringing on Sunday morning (with still rather sore fingers) I walked off to Ham House and Gardens. I’ve taken the kids here before on several occasions and as it was just over 9 miles from my starting point I thought it would be a good distance and somewhere I could stop and have lunch before heading back a different way (just to make it more interesting). When I started my walk it was cloudy and lovely and cool, but as I walked on, the sun came out and it became rather warm. I’d stupidly not taken my sunglasses with me or my head scarf (it was in the wash) so stayed as much in the shade as I could. When I got to Ham House I sat down for about 20 minutes on a bench in the main gardens and had my lunch. Then went for a loo break and then headed back. The journey back was just over 8 miles so it was great to feel that I’d done over half before I stopped. When I arrived home I was rather hot, so after a pint of squash I went and showered and then felt much better. Next week I plan to walk to Winkworth Arboretum, which is 22 miles I think, and that will be without a stop. It should take me about 5 and a half hours!! I’d better take plenty of water for that trip, sunglasses and my head scarf (it’s lovely and clean now).

The rear view of Ham House and Gardens. What a lovely view whilst I had my lunch.

The rear view of Ham House and Gardens. What a lovely view whilst I had my lunch.

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Friday 18th July 2014 – George missed all the fun.

At 2am this morning, (no I wasn’t down the allotment weeding), I was woken up by some wonderful flashes of lightning and some rather substantial cracks of thunder. It lasted for a good hour, and stayed over head for a good half an hour before it slowly moved away. We had some torrential downpours, so all in all it was rather loud. George however, slept through the entire thing! How he managed to do this I don’t know. Mark and Emily also were woken by it, and we all enjoyed it in our own little ways. George can sleep for England, and when he’s in a deep sleep nothing will wake him. He was quite miffed that he’d missed it all, but we’re supposed to get more tonight, so I’ll make sure he doesn’t miss it again. Today was another hot and muggy day, it got up to 32 where we live according to the cars thermostat. Phew!! So I only spent a couple of hours on my allotment before I decided enough was enough and came home. I managed to harvest a load of Purple Teepee French Beans, the rest of my Broad Beans, and some more Sugar Snap Peas. This weekend I’ll sort out the Broad Beans and then weigh them to see how much I harvested. Quite a few if the pods are anything to go by. After lunch I then went into Sainsbury’s to do some shopping and wished I could have stayed in the store. It was so cool and refreshing. Still, I got the paddling pool out for the kids to play in of course, but went and stood in it to cool down myself. Very refreshing it was too!!

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Thursday 17th July 2014 – Can it get any more humid?

Apparently yes it can. Poor Emily has her sports day today, so I made sure she had sun cream on, lots of drink (non alcoholic of course as she’s only 14), a hat and an umbrella to keep the sun off, with her before she left for school. She does burn very easily so we have to be very careful. She’s doing the 1,500 meter race, apparently they all have to do it. “I’ll be walking it!” was her comment on that. To be honest, a very sensible one. Emily is not a very sporty girl, not like George at all. A quote in George’s report from his PE teacher says: “The sight of George ‘warming up’ in full PE kit and on crutches was a joy to behold!” This was earlier this year when he broke his ankle and was in plaster. So as Emily has sports day and George is at the Tower of London on a school trip, I continued on my allotment. I wanted to stay for a bit longer, but it’s very, very hot today. There is hardly any breeze which makes it worse. So some gently weeding and watering was on the cards. Then I dug up some Potatoes for dinner and have harvested about half if my Broad Beans. The leaves are loosing their green colour now, so it’s time to get them in and sorted for the freezer. So I had to do a bit of digging, but nothing too taxing. I also harvested some Climbing French Beans, so that’s dinner sorted, although I do need to pop to the shop by us and get some sausages or something like that. I expect the kids will come home exhausted, but tomorrow is their last day and then they break up for the summer holidays. Now they’re older it’s very enjoyable, as they’re very self reliant and I can still pop to the allotment for a bit to keep things ticking over. I’ve not planned anything, but we’ll go out to places of interest, and maybe pop to the beach for a day trip. We’ll just take each day as it goes. But a massive sort out of their room is really needed…..That’ll be fun!!

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Wednesday 16th July 2014 – I could have stripped some more!

I only had a couple of hours down the allotment this morning as I had to collect George from school as he was coming back from camping with school since Monday. I don’t think it would have been fair to expect him to walk home carrying his camping bag that I’d so carefully packed for him. The big questions being, “Will he have used his flannel and/or soap for those 3 days?” The answer “No!” but I’m not surprised really. He did promise me that he’d cleaned his teeth though. He can have a good scrub tonight in the bath so hopefully he’ll be clean by the time he goes to bed. So with only a couple of hours on my plot I continued with my weeding and watering. I also stripped some of my Rhubarb which has been growing fabulously this year. I don’t need any, so what I picked I will share around to those I know. I’m sure I’ll get a few takers. My sister has had some, and the rest I’ll take with me tonight. I could have stripped some more Rhubarb, but the bag was full and very heavy, and I was unable to squeeze any more in. Still it’ll grow quite happily till next time. Another hot day with temperatures at 9.30am at 22 degrees. Now as I’m typing this it’s reached about 25. It’ll be even hotter tomorrow, so plenty of water will be needed for me on the allotment, as I plan to spend most of the day there. I supposed I’d better go and start tidying the garden table now as it’s covered in pots and trays. Once it’s done, then it’s done.

Some rather tasty stalks of Rhubarb.....custard anyone?

Some rather tasty stalks of Rhubarb…..custard anyone?

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