Category Archives: Family

Happy spring

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Whether it’s your Easter, or just a Sunday. I just wanted to say have a ‘happy day!’

Take time today to enjoy the flowers, plants, insects, animals and people you share this planet with.

This blog is now a year old, thank you for taking the time to share it with me.

Much love to you and yours.

Vix…xxx

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

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It’s tastes and looks amazing! And now is the time to start sowing it for your bumper harvest next spring!

It’s easy to grow, and just gets on with it’s business throughout the year. But then next spring it will explode with amazing sprouting fab purple stalks.

I have never understood why the supermarkets charge so much for it, as it’s so easy to grow and just a few plants will give you such a tremendous harvest. Freshly picked, gently steamed it’s simply wonderful!

I have about 5 plants and today I harvested so much we had enough for our dinner, as did all of my neighbours (I’m very popular today!)

But that’s what it’s all about eating super fresh, no silly chemicals and sharing your harvests with your friends and family!

Happy spring to you!

Guess what I’m about to do…

The sun is out, but the wind is still nippy in the North West of the UK. But I cannot wait any longer. It’s time to sow peas! Actually not just peas, there’s plenty to get going right now.

I’ve been busy sowing plenty of things

Tomato – Tigerella and Money Maker
Red Brussels Sprouts – Red Bull
Red cabbage – Primero F1
Sunflower – Velvet Queen
Purple sprouting Broccoli
A spicy salad mix (sown into a bed in the poly tunnel)
Sweet pea – Giant Wave and Perfume Duet (grandiflora)
And of course my daughters favourite Peas – Greenshaft

Don’t forget little and often when your sowing, otherwise you will everything at once! (I’m very guilty of sowing too much at once) this year I’m going to be good, a tray every 2 weeks! – well that’s the plan…

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Kale and allotment snobbery

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I do love vegetables, to me they are the ultimate plant. Many have long histories, they are fascinating to grow and the amount of varieties keeps even the humble carrot interesting, the best bit of it all, you can eat them!

This is a staple in our house, we all love it, Kale.

It’s a meaty veg with a proper bite to it. Tastes wonderful in stews with all sorts of meat, amazing with pasta or just on a plate with butter and cheese grated on the top.

One of the reasons I particularly love it is, well apart from it’s taste is, it looks beautiful. Curly Kale with it’s zig zag edged leaves, it’s adorable – it’s a tough old bird too. Especially the dwarf kind.

She’s not bothered about shade, full sun, soil type as long as the soil isn’t water logged she will grow through it all. I sowed these last spring and she is still giving wonderful harvests in winter too. Slugs don’t really bother it, maybe the odd caterpillar in summer and pigeons aren’t the least bit interested, it’s a tough cookie for sure.

I mentioned allotment snobbery, well that’s because I was shocked to my socks by a comment from another allotment holder last year. I was minding my own business picking a huge basket of it one sunny day, when the bird song and serenity was broken by a woman who invited herself onto my plot.

“Kale I see” she said in a voice which reminded me of a school teacher.
“Oh yes! Isn’t it lovely? It’s really tasty” I replied.
“They feed it to horses you know, I don’t bother with it” and off she tromped in her golfing shorts and head visor.
I sat there for a minute slightly confused, “what was that all about?”

Well The moral of this little tale is thus…

As I walked down the allotments last weekend to have a look what wonders and exciting things people were up to (there’s always something) I walked past her plot, I could help but notice it was barren; nothing to eat at all!

So my golf short wearing friend. ‘I’d sooner eat like a race horse all year round, than like a King just in the summer! (I’m also blowing a raspberry too) X

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Pot Marigolds and Sweet Peas

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My daughter and I were a little bored today so we walked down the garden into the allotment to have a little look what was happening. While we mooched about I was amazed to see the Pot Marigolds have started to flower again!

Their cheery faces popping out from amongst the Brussels and Broccoli was amazing. Flowers in January?

So January 2014, Happy New Year to you!

If you are like me and itching to start sowing some seeds, why not soak some sweet peas over night and pop them in some compost? They like a nice long year, so get them in now.

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Home made Christmas

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Whilst I was pruning the fruit trees I thought I’d weave a few little Christmas stars to hang on our tree. Then I got carried away and started to attach all sorts of other seed heads and bits and bobs.

It was loads of fun and felt like a lovely way to celebrate this wintery celebration. The nice thing is our tree looks amazing, naturally beautiful without a single bit of tinsel in sight!

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Autumn makes you look back…

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I am very lucky to live just by woods, a typical UK wood. Filled with ancient oaks, tumbling waterfalls and magical Rowan trees which are now are covered with bright red berries. In the spring, the scent of wild bluebells could knock you off you feet, we walk there a lot.

I met my husband there, we got married in the Saxon barn that is nettled amongst it and we named our child in the castle which sits besides the lake and it’s all a stones throw from our family home. It’s extremely special to us. We aren’t rolling in money by the way, the UK is blessed that quite normal houses can be found amongst all this wonderful stuff!

Last year whilst we were walking in the woods we were really upset to find some idiots had pushed many of the Rowan saplings over. It was so sad. We were extremely upset, and straightened as many as we could however one had been snapped in half.

This may sound like a rather trifling matter in the scheme of things. But this wood and all the trees are so beautiful in fact magical and the thought of someone needlessly doing this, frankly pee’d us off. It’s all so perfect, deer run around it squirrels and owls call it their homes. To think so close to a town which kick started the industrial revolution it’s amazing.

So I took that poor old snapped off branch home with us and promised to look after it. And here it is! We watered it, took care of it and a year on it’s growing away quite happily in our family garden.

We plan to return ‘her’ to the woods and replant ‘her’ in the best spot we can find. But for now, we will continue to look after our little friend.

Ok yes, you could say this is a load of old hippy clap trap, but hey, I’m British! despite what the rest of the world thinks, we ‘have’ to stick up for the underdog.

That stiff upper lip which gets brandished around is poppycock, we are huge softies that cannot help but take a hurt sparrow to the vets or bring a poorly tree home.

A nation of big hearts and tall ancient trees…

Oh, and yes! My Father once was so overwhelmed with sadness when he found a sparrow had flown into a window took a sparrow to the vets – it lived to fly again!