Garden Project 2012


In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;


It’s nearly February!!!! So it’s time to think about what crops we want where, to give in to my daughters desire for flowers and get out in the garden and be an Earth Mother.

I quite like the planning bit, given a cup of coffee and a quiet hour to work out what we are planting, where and when it needs to go in.

This year I have been much aided by Sutton Seeds, as a bit of a novice to the gardening world, I have found their seed packaging to have been most helpful. (Yes, it’s all down to the packaging, clever people!) We don’t have an allotment, just some large vegetable boxes and this year we are enlarging one of the side beds for a bit of extra room, plus potatoes & tomatoes in large bags… It’s quite a lot of space when you add it up!  But it is area restrictive, so the fact that Suttons clearly label their seeds so well is a win/win for us.

I am of the attitude that if you can’t eat it, don’t grow it, vegetables have such lovely flowers that I don’t feel I need to cultivate flowers for aesthetic purposes, my 5 year old daughter is of a different mind, she badly wants LOTS of flowers, so we let her choose some seed packets, I told her to look out for the packets that said “Easy To Grow” 😉 but we will see.

We have a bed in the garden that is along the edge of the Koi pond, during the summer we can’t see it from the house due to the mammoth  trampoline, just now it can be seen and will be until after Easter, so we had a bit of fun choosing Spring flowering bulbs; snow drops, crocus, daffs, tulips and the like, all dwarf varieties but in a few weeks we should see a splash of colour.



My hands were shaking from the cold a little there…

So we have begun, right now the potatoes are Chitting. I’ve gone for First Earlies and a Main Crop this year instead of our usual just first earlies, mainly because I love digging up the spuds and they taste so much better!!!

My next job is digging the hell out of the bed!

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

The Gallery : What I’m grateful for…

I’m so very totally and speechlessly grateful for my beautiful children… For all the hard work, noise, taxiing and nagging, they are supremely lovely, well behaved, gifted and loving.  My daughter dances like a angel and my son ‘huggles’ like a prince.

But you have seen them soooooooooooooooo many times! *yawn* so I thought I’d change the angle. Today (Tuesday 31st) my small people were given a camera for the first time. It’s Daddies birthday and we visited the New Forest Wildlife sanctuary, apart from arguing about who took what they did a pretty good job.

I present to you, today, a family outing as photographed by my children, who I am pride burstingly grateful for…

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Please take the time to visit The Gallery at Sticky Fingers (Wednesday)

Silent Sunday – New Buds

Silent Sunday


I use carrots a lot…  It is one of the few vegetables that Daddy will eat happily.  Our home grown carrots were a bit of a disappointment this year there was loads of greenery but not much carrot, I think I shall choose my seeds with great care next year.  I cleared the vegetable beds out at the weekend, here is the last of this seasons harvest…

Although the little man is having a vegetable standoff at the moment there are ways to get him to eat some occasionally, he will quite often have a good go at a soup.

As the winter days are drawing in, soup is a great way to get some warm nourishment into the smalls, they are especially keen if it appeals to their sweet tooth…

Carrot and Honey soup.

2 tbsp Butter

2 small leeks

800g Carrots

2 tsp clear honey

1 bay leaf

2.5 l vegetable stock

small pinch of dried chilli flakes or a good grind of black pepper (optional)

sour cream or yogurt to serve


  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the leeks to the pan, then cook for 3 mins until starting to soften. Add the carrots, honey, chilli (if using) and bay leaf, then cook for 2 mins.
  2. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer for 30 mins. Blend the soup in batches, return to a clean pan, then season to taste. When ready to serve, bring back to a simmer, then ladle into mugs. Add a swirl of soured cream or yogurt and serve.

Please stop by Chelle’s Place to see some other great carrot ideas.

Food! Nonononononono…. #The Gallery

Just over 4 weeks to go until my birthday and I’m doing well, 14 tiny weeny little pounds left until I hit the target weight I set for myself and I’m beginning to think of food in a good, nurturing my body is a temple kind of way that will make this journey easier for me…

So dear blogging community please forgive me if I don’t visit your bacon sandwiches or blueberry muffins this week…..

This food is truly mine, one of my favourites that I grew myself from seed.

I expect this month to be a droolathon for all the foodies out there so pop along to Sticky Fingers to get your fix 🙂

Smug Satisfaction (The Gallery – Emotions)


Dwarf Bean


Dwarf Pea




Little seed, falling from my daughters tiny hand.
Carefully covered with soil, patted to keep you safe and warm.
Given a drink with such joyful relish.

Little plant, a cause of excitement and wonderment,
small fingers pointing and much squealing,
water sloshing out of a forcefully wielded watering can.

Little flower, delicately unfolding to the light
gazed upon with respect an awe
scooped up water from the paddling pool administered.

Garden project…

This weekend we kicked off our horticultural project in the garden. It all started with a discussion about the need for a wall/fence along the edge of the grass, our son is not always aware of things around him and we were concerned he would fall off or run off the edge – he could make that happen easily! So rather than just putting in a fence we thought we would put in a long box to grow veggies in.

I’d like to throw in a disclaimer about here – I have no idea what I’m doing and I’m referring to websites and library books left right and center and I feel totally out of my depth – It will probably all be planted wrong, too close together in the wrong soil and fed all wrong and won’t grow but hey ho, I’m trying!

We are not going all “Good life” (I could never be as glam as Felicity Kendal in wellies) because in our semi detached estate house you just don’t get enough garden for that, of course if Daddy hadn’t built a 6ft deep Koi pond across the back we could have had a bit more veg!!! Still, I thought it was important that our children knew that vegetables and fruit doesn’t magically appear at Morrison’s but takes care and time to get there.

The boxes themselves have been constructed out of old pallets that Daddy accumulated via work so they were free, which is just as well because the compost has cost a fortune! They look very rough at the moment because he didn’t quite have enough to finish them and he intends to sand them and stain them (not holding my breath btw..) Some of the soil has been shipped up from the Mother in Laws (MIL), Daddy and the Little Miss have been working hard digging her a pond recently, the rest and majority of it is compost and well rotted farm manure.

My daughter loves planting seeds, we have some tomato, cucumber and pepper seedlings from her sowing activities, the more tomato plants the better as I need plenty of green ones for green tomato chutney later this year. We also have various lettuces, sweetcorn, cauliflowers, sprouts, courgette and pumpkins to go in and have sown potatoes, carrots and beetroot. Little Miss loved the beetroot seeds they look a bit like cartoon moon rock – bizarre! We have 3 gooseberry bushes, due to limited pace we have to keep them trim hence having 3, a raspberry cane and a tayberry, A cherry tree hidden behind the trampoline which means the birds leave it alone. In pots we have Rhubarb and the most gorgeous patio Blueberry which I have to say is my favourite, if chocolate could grow on trees it would be as good as that. There is also horseradish, chives and mint and I have basil to sow too.

Hopefully I should be able to potter out there for 30 minutes to an hour a day to keep on top of it all and I’m really looking forward to the children picking something they have helped grow and then helping me cook it. Yum yum!