Category Archives: recycle

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Seed album

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I’ve tried all sorts of different ways to store my precious seeds over the years. Shoe boxes, tin boxes, padded envelopes, drawers, everything. I like to be organised. So far the best way for me has been an old photo album.

I wasn’t keen on boxes as the seeds fell out of packets and I couldn’t organise them to be in order, drawers were the same. But a photo album, so far, is pretty good.

It’s good as you can organise your seeds on order of months for planting… And my husband calls me a control freak, I’m not, I just like to have everything in order and neat. 🙂

Photo albums are pretty cheap too, not many people use them anymore, see I’m always thinking!

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Sunflower seed collecting and Christmas

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As I’ve mentioned in the past, one of my favourite things to do is collect seeds. I find it so satisfying to keep them growing year after year. Carefully selecting the plants which do well in my plot. Each year it seems to look better and better.

I mentioned Christmas, you are probably curious to know why. I like to have a natural theme when decorating my house for the Yule celebrations. Pine cones, dried flowers, lush huge seed heads all to me sums up how a house should look.

Yule is celebrated in different ways around the world with one common theme. The sun/son is born, so what better Christmas tree top is a Christmas star made from the head of a sunflower!

It’s just how we do things in our house and since we are all passionate gardeners I thought I would share and maybe give you a little idea whilst your pottering around tidying and collecting seeds in your garden or plots.

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What to do with those’s rocks you dig up?

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I live in the North West of England in a small town called Horwich. It’s great here, beautiful in fact. You know the kind of place, rolling hills, patch work fields, friendly people just doing their thing its perfect.

I say perfect… I live next to a massive hill, it missed out being classed as a mountain by a couple of meters, so I’m told! So because we are close to the big hill, our ground is pretty rocky! In fact our allotment has a nick name, ‘Heart break hill’, for two reasons.

The first reason, back in medieval times if you were caught poaching the Kings deer you were hung some where near our plot! How creepy is that?

The other reason is every spade or fork you plunge into the ground here hits a massive rock. I prefer the second reason than the first, I have to say!

So over the years I’ve been here I created a raised stone brick wall herb garden. It’s a peaceful spot away from the other allotments, in fact it’s a secret garden, my Dad and my favourite spot. Made complete by my Dad finding a Victorian park bench which he renovated and gave to me!

He sits there smoking his pipe whilst I potter about. I love it here. I love it even more because it’s my secret spot I share with my friends. It has a feeling of total serenity.

In the picture is my Green-man who looks after my secret garden at night whilst the sprites do there magic! (Well this is what I tell my 6 year old daughter)

It’s filled with sweet peas, Angelica, Valarian, in fact you name the herb and it will be tucked away somewhere. Even the weird stuff like Mugwort!

Gardening is magic, a magical gift from the universe, whatever you believe in, be it Gods or science, isn’t our world wondrous! Get out there watch the seasons, study each leaf and tiny bug! By goodness it’s beautiful!

I always say it and really mean it – happy gardening my friend! X

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You have to be quick with my roses.

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The sun is shinning and my roses have just opened, they are so beautiful! They climb around the side of my house, actually over my wheelie bins.

They are a nice distraction from recycling bins which stand there like Darleks. But you have to be quick with my roses, as every year someone comes in the dead of night and snaffles them! Yes I have a rose thief.

To be honest I’m not cross, because they are rather beautiful. So I have cut some for in my house and left them some to help themselves to. Don’t mind sharing! If someone finds pleasure from my roses it’s all good with me!

It has to be a neighbour, but who? Maybe they think they are too pretty to hang over the top of ugly wheelie bins, they are right, I guess.

Happy gardening, or rose snaffling!

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A new family of frogs…

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Every allotment has a little spot for a tiny pond. And here is mine, it only small, basically it’s an old water butt that was damaged years ago in the frost so instead of throwing it away I repurposed it. I grabbed a saw cut away the cracked bit and there it was my new pond, obviously I wanted it to look a bit better than that so…

I dug a hole under my willow tree and sunk it into the soil. There are no shortage of rocks on the allotment so I put a pretty circle all around it. But then I got thinking.

It’s is all well and good, but how do the frogs get in and out? It was time for a tiny rethink. There was an old water pipe knocking about for ages I used to have mint growing in it and thought, why not make a frog highway? From behind my compost heap down towards my pond? So I covered it in old rotten logs, twigs and moss found a huge branch from an oak tree and poked it into the water so the new habitants could get in and out and then filled it with rain water.

I waited for ages then one day a frog found it and moved in. It wasn’t long before I had frog spawn and all sorts of wonderful pond life tottering around it.

Ponds are good on the allotment for the frogs and toads who thank you for their quiet spot by eating slugs.

So welcome Mr and Mrs Frog I hope you both eat your hearts out!

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Old grid turned into a little planter

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Recently we put a conservatory onto our house and had to move the old drains. It was hard work but it’s beautiful now, my husband is the greatest!

Anyway when my hubby dug up the old grid I fell in love with it! Obviously he thought I was bonkers, but hey it’s all about recycling these days. I adore finding little things and repurposing them. So off I went, bonkers old me to make a little planter for some Hens and chicks.

Hen and chicks or Sempervivum
Sempervivum literally means “live forever”. I have a wall basket on the front of my house bulging with them and because they grow and propagate so readily they don’t half spread out. But they are super easy to have around the garden. Useful for the front garden as I don’t really hang out in it too much.

These succulents are known by many different names (semps, hens and chicks, houseleeks) Top names for a very very easy to grow plant. They do like lots of drainage so I mixed loads of grit into the soil in fact it was probably 75% grit.

I covered the hole in the grid with an old piece of plastic lid and punctured lots of holes for more drainage and filled it up.

Then pushed the little succulents into their gritty planter. And finished it off with some more grit. My 6 year old daughter decided she was going to decorate it and collected all sorts shells and bits and bobs to finish it off for me.

Before you know it that whole planter/grid will be covered, isn’t nature rather wonderful?