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Spring Life In The Garden.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Ok, Since Monday.

Right, what have I been up to since Monday?

On Monday I had coffee with a friend and baked two loaves. I caught up with my Journal of Gratitude; I seemed to have got a bit behind with getting the boys ready for the weekend and being busy whilst they were away.

I have been busy in the greenhouse because of us getting the compost at the weekend and I also found time to plant seeds for  various thing - will do an up to date list after the weekend - and I also brought out this apron to use in the greenhouse which I made ages ago, before we moved, in the hope that the fabric of the garment would match the fabric of our life and hopefully it will soon! (In case you can't see it has hens on it.)

Jon arrived home from work today with these from the saw mill. Details to follow later.

Tuesday was work around the house, all the things from Urdd weekend away. Bathroom cleaned, two loads of washing and drying and some printing for my Household Notebook I had been meaning to do. I also pottered in the greenhouse planting a few more seeds and I got rid of some of the horrible big roots in the flower bed. Only managed about half an hour 
and didn't want to be aching too much the next day.

Yesterday this arrived.

Jon knew I would miss the radio whilst in the greenhouse so now I can sing along to my hearts content. Also yesterday I swept the conservatory, for the first time since we moved in I am ashamed to say, cleared the ironing bag, baked two loaves and a lemon drizzle cake. The cake was firstly for the boys snack where they came home from school and as it was a bit chilly I put it in the living room for them, nice and cosy.

However I should point out that by the evening there was just one slice left for Jon's lunch box today!

Last night I decided I needed to have a drier place for my seeds in the greenhouse. I utilised this box which was on the dresser and made some smaller dividers from a file in the office.Turned out ok I think.

So I think I am up to date. I'm writing this post after changing the boys beds and I'm about to put sausages in the oven to start a casserole for tea. I went across the road to the community centre for the monthly lunch at 12.30 but made sure I had watered the seeds, vacuumed and swept downstairs and lit the fire before I left, and I even managed to make a chocolate brownie to leave cooling for the tin! Nothing like a really productive day.

Tonight is the last in the series of Line Of Duty. It has been sooo good and Keely Hawes is fab in that as well as The Durrells.

Bye, Lou.xx

The Liebster Award

I have been nominated in the Liebster Blog Awards by Marlene at Simple Living

Thank you very much Marlene.x

The awards are a friendly little set up and meant to spread the love, promote and introduce you to new blogs.

EVERYONE IS A WINNER. This is what you have to do if you would like to take part, no pressure it is a voluntary affair!

1) Thank the person who nominated you and link back to his/her blog.

2) Copy and paste the Liebster Award badge to your post, you could put it on your side bar        if  you would like to.

3) Answer ten questions you have been asked.

4) Nominate five new bloggers that you want to share with the world.

5) Then create ten new questions for the bloggers you are nominating.

Here are the ten questions I was asked and my answers. You may get two answers as I'm a Libran and like to see things from both sides sometimes!

1) What is your favourite holiday destination?
Anywhere that I can take a boat trip,I love boat trips on holiday.

2) Do you prefer sweet or savoury?
Savoury, hard to beat some great cheese and biscuits.

3) What is your favourite flower?
I think the Gerbera.

4) Who is your favourite singer or band?
I find that tricky but I love any era of country music.

5) What hobbies do you have?
Gardening is my new one but baking, a bit of basic sewing, papercrafting when I get the time.

6) What is your favourite meal?
Hard to better fish and chips on Aber sea front!

7) Which famous person ( dead or alive) would you invite for dinner?
Pat Kane from Hue and Cry or Art Garfunkle.

8) What tv programme /series are you hooked on at the minute?
Line Of Duty, though it is the last one tonight boo hoo.

9) Do you still have your childhood toy?
I don't have any of my toys but I do have some of my books and my boys have read the oones for when they were smaller.

10) What is your favourite colour.
Can't beat a lovely muted duck eggy-ish green but I'm girly so need a bit of pink, too!

My own five blog nominees are:



Dawn (and Martin) at http://doingitforourselfs.blogspot.co.uk

Maria at http://dottysdaughter.blogspot.co.uk

(My apologies but sometimes hard to find names.x)

These are the ten questions to those nominees.

1)   Do you prefer to send email or write letters?

2)   What is your favourite vegetable?

3)   What was the last film you saw at the cinema?

4)   Do you subscribe to any magazines?

5)   What is your favourite thing for breakfast?

6)   Do you like a particular era in history and if so why?

7)   What is your favourite season of the year?

8)   Do you wear a watch?

9)   Photos on a disk or in an album?

10) Favourite holiday taken in the UK?

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Grow Your Own Magazine Subscription

Good morning.

Quick question. Does anybody take Grow Your Own magazine?

I have found a trial  price of £6 for three issues and wonder if it would be useful to a novice like me?

Thanks, Lou.x

Monday, 25 April 2016

Llanarth, Llangrannog And Nom Nom!

Yesterday morning we were up early to do a few jobs before we set off to fetch the boys from Llangrannog.I set about baking a Victoria sponge cake and some scones and Jon tidied his shed after the work being finished on the greenhouse so he is much happier - hates a mess in his work space!

We set off at 10am and headed to a garden centre at Llanarth and we bought a LOT of compost, a couple more packets of seeds, squash, strawberry and tomato plants and some herbs for the sink. We also now have an old terracotta chimney sitting outside the greenhouse and I have put the mint in it to keep it away from the other plants.

After that we drove to the Urdd centre, just so we knew where it was. What a fabulous setting by the sea.

Then headed down to the little beach. How fab is it there? I took a couple of pictures whilst we were giving Jake a run out and then we went to one of the cafes on the beach front for some lunch, plus an ice cream.

We picked the boys up and drove home, getting caught behind a convoy of tractors for a short while! When we arrived back we put the things into the greenhouse and the boys played outside for a while whilst Jon lit a little fire to get rid of a few more trees etc.

I'd already decided to do a proper Sunday tea for the boys coming home, hence the cake and scones, so I set about making egg mayonnaise and potato salad plus other sandwiches and whipped the cream for the cake. Here is our special welcome home spread.

This morning I spent an hour in the greenhouse, yay! I have planted onions and spring onions in the raised bed plus two lots of sweetcorn kernels. I don't know if this is the right place for these things, I understand sweetcorn does not like having its roots disturbed but hopefully I can start them off then put them in a tub to keep growing. At least I can put something else in when the spring onions come up if I have made the wrong decision. Obviously, any advice, hints and/or tips are always welcome!

I think I am so keen to start that I have to step back and think a little. I can at least get lots of things started ready for when we get the beds outside ready and then at least I feel as if I am doing something. I have sowed some rocket in the drainpipe and some strawberry seeds in pots. (Walking around the garden yesterday evening we think we spotted some strawberry leaves, but we shall see.)  

I have bread proving at the moment so when  that is baked and I've had my lunch I will head out again. I'm collecting toiler roll iners for the carrots so I think I'll start those off in a tray along with some leeks. I guess my main problem at the moment is knowing how much each seed/plant will produce. I don't want to only end up with half a dozen carrots and leeks etc.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

All The Gear And No idea - I Hope Not.

Well, I have been so excited about the greenhouse getting finished and I helped Jon this morning as well as manning the fire to get rid of yet more branches from the rhododendrons we cut down. This afternoon, whilst I went shopping, he has finished it!

This is how the frame looked before and after it was covered in the polythene.

Eeek! How clever and wonderful is my husband? He has even built me benches and the drainpipe attached to the wall is for lettuces.

Also, Jon has used some old sleepers that were buried in the garden to make a raised bed, too. 

Whilst we were in the garden yesterday I dug up these terracotta flower bed edges. I think they are fantastic but haven't decided where to use them yet. 

I thought I'd show you how well the seeds have come on in the conservatory, but so much fun now to be able to have them in the greenhouse proper! Here are the pumpkins, no sign of the sweet peppers yet but the cucumbers are coming up a treat!

The tomato plants I bought are, of course, doing well, one of the sunflowers is yet to show its face but the courgettes are fab. Can't believe how sturdy the stems and leaves are already!

This is the tub with the first lot of lettuce in and I'll use the drain pipe when this has come up and put something else in this.

Tomorrow, when we are out fetching the boys, we are going to buy compost for the raised bed and the sink outside the door is for some herbs, ones that don't need too much drainage I now know. I have the compost bin ready to start filling so my food caddy in the kitchen cupboard will not be quite as full as somethings will be going in there now of course.

Whilst our shopping I treated myself to a new water sprayer, gloves and some more trays and pots for new seeds I'll be planting, which I have also bought.

So, as Jon said, it's over to me now to get the grow your own band wagon rolling and so excited to get started properly.


Friday, 22 April 2016

No Boys Again, But I'm Ok!

This was the kitchen last night when the packing was finally finished for the boys' weekend to Urdd activity camp at Llangrannog. What a task! I must have gone over my list four or five times to make sure I had everything; spare clothes, play clothes, OLD clothes, wellies, walking boots, boiler suits you name it!

I'm heading up to school at about 3pm to take all of this and say goodbye as they leave just before 3.30pm for their adventure. I will be relieved then, not that they are going away of course, that they have everything they need for a fab time.

Jon and I have quite a bit of work to do this weekend to keep us occupied, like finishing the greenhouse and doing some more clearing in the garden. I think we may manage to fit in a couple of beers, and possibly a Chinese takeaway, whilst we think of the boys having too many sweets, getting really muddy and I'm sure having a fantastic time!

Also what needs to be fitted in is the weekly food shopping as the fridge will need to be ready for the return of the boys! I am planning on a proper Sunday tea for when they come back; sponge cake, scones, sandwiches, ice cream etc. so some baking will need to be fitted in, too!

I thought I would take the time to see what we have going on at and outside home next week and from my to do list it looks a bit busy!

Oh, have just seen my sister is now following me. Hi Nel.x

Ok. I think I'll leave it there as I hope to be back by the end of the weekend to show you the completed greenhouse. Thankfully this should be the last structure to be built in the garden and we can start filling them with the chooks and getting our grow your own growing!


Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Stuff and Nonsense

The weather here today has been just glorious and I love the view from the top kitchen.

I have been baking and made bread, choc chip muffins and cherry oat tray bake- no photos as these are regular makes. I was also a little behind with my Journal of Gratitude so caught up with that.

I'm not in the habit of posting photos of my food but I made my courgette and tomato chutney the other day and it was yummy! in my opinion. I also managed to water bath process it, too, getting a great seal on it so these here are in the cupboard for the future plus one in the fridge. It was delicious with my boiled eggs, on home made bread!

I guess that is the stuff so the nonsense is that yesterday I embarrassed myself spectacularly live on Radio 2. I love listening to Popmaster and normally do really well, high teens or low twenties. However I scored 9 on the first person's questions, he got 6 and when it came to mine I scored a measily 3; horrifying. But on the up side my t-shirt arrived in the post today, however I deleted the photo but this is what it looks like - on the back it says "one year out". I did give a little mention to some of you but I wouldn't recommend making the effort to listen to it!

Image result for one year out t shirt

I shall wear it in the greenhouse; photos of that to follow soon.

My eldest had been chosen as a member of one of the school football teams and he is took part in a tournament in Aber today. He was SO excited! They didn't win the whole thing but one out of six games and he said, even so, he really enjoyed himself.

The youngest managed to leave his towel at swimming last week but thankfully he came home with two this afternoon.

Tomorrow I have the huge task of getting all of their things ready for their Urdd activity weekend at Llangrannog. It involves taking items such as no clothes at all which we would not want to get even slightly muddy, wellies, walking boots, old tracksuits, sleeping bags etc.
Alfie is a real homebird and we had quite a conversation when we paid the deposit about him going as he wouldn't be able to come home early of half way through. He had a bit of a wobble last night saying he would really miss me; I assured him he would be far too busy have a fantastic time to miss me, but that I wanted to hear about everything he and Harry did when they come home.Bless!

Right, better go as we bought the new Star Wars film this afternoon and we are having Movie Night with burgers and I need to get a few things ready.


Welcome and Thanks

A big fat hi there and hello to new followers this week.

Hope you enjoy my ramblings.


Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Decisions, decisions.

The EU referendum campaign in on as we know.
Also there are the local elections coming up in May. I am not massively politically minded but I did think hard before voting in the last General Election.

Image result for local elections wales 2016

I don't know what to do about the local elections yet as I am not familiar with any of the candidates really. I know the kind of parties I would not vote for but still there is some thinking to be done.

Now back to the EU thing. Am I being naive when I say that in general politics have little impact on my life and that of my family? Jon is a big believer in us looking after ourselves and I mainly agree with him. Decisions made by parliament have some impact on us, of course, but I think we do our best to work in a way for our family that means the impact is as little as possible .

We don't have a pension, we receive tax credits but won't when Jon goes self-employed and we decide on a little business, perhaps, and in general we are trying to deal very little with all the usual stuff like the cost of home heating, food prices etc - much like many of you out there in blogland.

I am not asking for you to declare your political leanings but I'm just interested in the way people think and react to issues like this in daily life.


Monday, 18 April 2016

We Seem To Almost Have A Garden, Not A Wilderness.

You may want to settle down with a cuppa and a slice of cake as this post is a bit of a catch up. The weather really was very good to us this weekend and we have got LOADS done in the garden. Here is the flower bed I mentioned the other day from both sides. It looks much better but I still have a few roots to dig up when I find my little fork and trowel.

We have pruned some very out of control trees, collected up the vast majority of the cut down bamboo and had a big fire to get shot of it. I know I talked about us getting the wood chipper from the saw mill but it didn't seem forthcoming and we really wanted to get on with the clearing as much as possible.

Whilst the fire was doing its thing we worked on cutting down to size three mahoosive Rhododendron bushes parallel the side wall that runs along from the front door. 

I can understand if you think it looks a bit severe but they had just taken over and there are at least two more bushes in the garden, too; we found a birds nest in one of them so we will re-home that.

This is the pile of cuttings that will all have to be taken down to the bottom of the garden for burning, too. 

The bushes kept out so much light and it is like having two garden walls. We are in the middle of taking down a tree in that corner, too. There is just too much of everything in this garden but thankfully we are getting it sorted. Can't wait to show you the greenhouse! The main structure is built, Jon has painted it with creosote and the polythene is on order for delivery on tomorrow but the benches inside are still to be built; hopefully all will be done by next weekend. 

We have two, yes overgrown, raised beds up near where the greenhouse is and we hope to get those into use for planting. 

We are so pleased with the progress we have made. The boys are on their Urdd activity weekend this coming Friday so we will be able to get stuff done whilst they are away until Sunday afternoon. They like it when they have been away and things have been done or changed!

Seeds in the conservatory are starting to show. Sooooo excited! and I have bought two cherry tomato plants to go along side the Beef tomatoes we are growing so we, hopefully, have a good supply.

I have lettuce in a tub and that is starting to come through. The boys are loving having a look every morning to see how things are coming along especially the sunflowers and Alfie has his initial in his pot so he knows how big it is getting - so competative with Harry!

We sold our Ercol day bed and the buyers came to collect that in the middle of all this so that is another thing out of the way.

I remembered I had taken these last two photos when I took Jake out on Friday. We are surrounded by sheep and I keep meaning to snap then so here are a pair of twins looking super cute in one of the fields near the cycle path. I am considering sending the first one to the Cambrian Times as a photo of the week!

I'm currently waiting for bread to prove and then I'm making courgette and tomato chutney- trying the recipe for when we have our own grown! Dawn, I am trying the water bath method today so wish me luck!

Friday, 15 April 2016

Bamboo Shamboo no.2

In between waiting for the bread to prove and vacuuming downstairs before change beds I thought I'd have a catch up.

I spent some time in the garden on Tuesday and Wednesday cutting down the bamboo bush which was stopping me from seeing the chicken house from the kitchen.

After work on Wednesday Jon decided to cut down the other one close to it plus a big old holly bush which was growing at an angle and I am lucky enough to have two other bushes in the garden so this will not be missed.

Here is a before and after bamboo photo of that side of the garden...

and the holly bush which is no more!

I had a walk around the garden yesterday and spotted a few things. This is the apple tree which we had a little fruit off when we arrived last September and it looks like it is coming along nicely.

This I understand may well be a bush of redcurrants. I would be really chuffed if it were - I love redcurrant jelly - we will not have to lose it when we put the fencing up for the chickens as it is far enough away to not have the space it takes up in their enclosure. Yay!

I started some weeding in the bed which is behind Jake's house. I uncovered this primrose near by but this will unfortunately be eaten up by the chooks enclosure. I hope some others will be saved.

Whilst the bread has been proving I also wiped down all the kitchen paintwork, so needed doing, and as I wiped the side table I found this hidden under the lip of the fruit bowl. Shows how long it is since I moved it!

Ok, I had better go as they bread has nearly finished the second prove, the vacuuming is done so I am heading for the beds.

I have, since the first lot of seeds, planted some sweet pepper seeds plus potatoes in a bag outside. I can't plant any more spuds just now but plan on getting some in ready to come up for Autumn.

See you later.