Hey, well I have been totally slack this year with my blogging. The thing is……The Hulk turned out not to be my Knight in Shining Armour (14 years to discover this!). So, I left him. Dogs, the plot, the lot. I miss my dogs so much – access is granted when I ask. (Not allowed at my new place 😢) ,
The great news is my Landlord has given me a plot of land to grow on. I have such plans for this. I am surrounded by countryside, horses, chickens, peace and quiet, but above all freedom to be who I want to be.
The only problem with my new life: I have a lot of digging to do but I’ve made a start! As you can see from the pictures.
I have picked up my old hobby of birdwatching and am loving it. Birds eye view out of my window:-
Keep plotting 😊
Well I only went and bloody did it. OH MY GOSH, it was sooooooo blooming hard, the heat was intense for England. Like a prize berk I purchased some ‘memory foam’ trainers – yes trainers and my god have I suffered. Only now, some two weeks later have I been able to wear office shoes without too much pain! My big toes are blue with bruises as is one of my heels, (the bruise is the size of a satsuma) I have not even been out with the pooches.
We started off so well, almost power walking, my Daughter walked for McMillan Cancer alongside me. Dead proud of her, my Kiki. We were doing really well or so we thought and then the tiredness started to kick in plus the aches and pains associated with walking so far and I have Fibromyalgia so the pain was quite intense but we battled on. I actually thought once or twice that we would have to pull out, we kept ploughing on encouraging each other. The rest stops were most welcome but we were too scared to stop for too long. We finally crossed the finish line some 12 hours and 3 minutes later in the dark, only stopping for rests for about 1.5 hours in total, we were truly exhausted but as we got to the end I felt an urge to run and beat my Daughter, so we ran to the end – I won! It was so painful we were both screaming and shouting as we ran to the finish line – we must of looked like crazy fools!
The Hulk had to come and pick us up, I could hardly move and it was difficult getting in to the car. We had a 1.5 hour drive home so by the time we tried to get out we had both seized up, we were like old ladies, I actually couldn’t move my legs or get up the four steps into the garden, I had to raise my legs using my hands and hoist them up, once indoors I had to go up the stairs backwards! As you can imagine The Hulk found all this highly amusing, especially when we both shuffled over the main road.
I am still suffering now and I am a little short on my target, but hopefully the money raised will help a child or children somewhere to have a chance in life, the chance that some children do not get, the chance to be free and just be a child.
Second Half Challenge
26/08 21:06 : I am a Finisher !! I have just finished in position 65, in 12:03:28. – Visit http://southcoast.livetrail.net to learn more…
Hello, you guys, long time no see. I have been busy plotting and driving over the olive trees again, such a wonderful time had! Back to reality two weeks ago! With a bloody bang. I would be a rich woman if I earned a £1.00 for every time an English person said to me ‘ you did not need to go on holiday, there has been a heat wave here!’. Oh lovely just what I need in a glass fronted office for eight hours a day….do I need to say anymore!
I signed up to a 26 mile hike in November 2016 and never had time to do the ‘Just giving’ page, scary! How can we not have time in this crazy world?? I have until 17.07.17 to raise £137.50 PLEASE HELP!
The Hulk is amazingly happy at the moment with the goings on at the plot, almost everywhere is spick and span in preparation for our road trip to the lower Sierra Nevada in Southern Spain next Saturday (Can’t blooming wait, two years without this wonderful place). The poly tunnel has been harvested of its fantastic Winter Onion crop, although I goofed the Red Onion crop because I LOVE LOVE LOVE Red Onion I crammed in too many and failed to follow direct Hulk instructions – Whoops! However, this has resulted in a considerable amount of thinning out (yummers) and far smaller onions than the White Onions! Damn it. One is a greedy cow.
Over the last couple of weeks the poly tunnel has been planted by The Hulk (far too hot in there for me) with numerous varieties of Tomatoes, Chillies and Peppers along with Aubergines, Sweetcorn, Basil and Spaghetti Squash. The Spaghetti Squash does somewhat take over, but the yields are far more impressive than if it is grown outside.
We are off plotting today and tomorrow with some final tidying and planting by me. My cutting patch is doing well although no one told me that Nigella and Love in a Mist are the same plant……I felt foolish but how would I know? I got the packets at separate times so at least that is in my favour! At Least I will have lovely ornamental heads in the Autumn! I have Larkspur, Gypsophilia, Canterbury Bells, Fox Gloves and Cosmos all grown from seed.
We harvested our first New Potatoes last week along with some Broad Beans……note to self (or ask The Hulk!) make Potato and Broad Bean Salad! Truly delicious.
This year we have invested in a heavy duty wire fence to try and keep the Bloody Badgers out of the Sweetcorn. Financially we have nothing to gain with the cost of the fence because we could probably buy twice what we will reap! However, taste wise it will be worth it and the fence should last a few years. The Hulk has mulched with grass clipping to help keep the ground moist. ‘You got ought moist’!
I did not know you could get Yellow Peonies – didn’t actually believe it would be yellow as I got it from a car boot last year for £4.00! What a bargain, it has a delightful fragrance too.
Pooches are still mental, Lili is getting more crazy – worse than a naughty six year old child! And soooooooooo sulky! Takes after The Hulk haha.
It is that mental time of year again when every single spare moment is taken up by plotting. Weed this, weed that, plant this, sow that. The Hulk is in a medium to good mood with his plotting, with good progress made this weekend. Made even happier by my decision not to have any more space in the poly tunnel this year. So I have five foot and The Hulk has 25 foot!
After about five years of growing Kale we discovered that unbeknown to each other our favourite Kale is the same one, we both thought the other didn’t like it! Red Russain Kale is the best, it almost tastes nutty. I thought The Hulk liked the dark purple one which I find a little bland. Kale crisps are delicious. They last yonks and taste yummy. We grew the Kale in the poly tunnel over the winter, along with some red and white onions. Fabulouso return on both crops. The onions store well and will be lifted next week to make way for the Chilli plants, the Kale was taken out this weekend and replaced with six varieties of Tomatoes………think we might be giving a few away! Spaghetti Squash grow well in the poly tunnel, they seems to like the heat and in comparison to an outside plant in the same year, they were three times as big. Butternuts didn’t fair well in the poly tunnel. Sweetcorn are slightly bigger when grown in the poly tunnel but the mice ate it last year! The Badgers ate the outside crop too! We have a new stock fence outside for the Sweetcorn patch, we shall see if that keeps the Badger out and the humans!
The plot is full of wildlife. Last weekend I saw a yellow spider! I see so much: bugs, bees, frogs, Newts, a Dormouse, moths, Coal Tits, Blue Tits, Robins, lovely butterflies too. We have a bird bath which is a massive hit with the Magpies but yesterday we watched in amazement as a Bullfinch flew down and had a drink. The week before that a Green Woodpecker stopped off for a drink. Lovely to see when you are having a cuppa on the plot.
We are going on a road trip in about 25 days so I have had to plant out my Sweet Peas and Cosmos early because I want them established before we go. Little worried as it is so cold at night still and in the day there is an awful chill. Still wearing thermals!
Other uses for ones porch!
Wildlife pond is a hit.
Onions from seed.
Self seeded Linaira.
I would not normally blog about this kind of thing but this was absolutely hilarious. We took the in-laws, their dog and our two dogs down to the beach last weekend.
We were all having a nice time mulling along, the dogs were going mental especially Lili, then suddenly Lili and Fudge sunk in the sand, they scrambled to get out and were ok. The Hulk being The Hulk continued to ‘walk’ across the same patch of the beach. Oh my goodness, I looked up to see The Hulk fall forward onto his knees into the sinking sand and in the next second Bill (The Hulk’s Dad) fell backwards on his bum. I was in absolute bits ( I know, I know, I know it can be serious….) but it was the funniest thing I have seen in a very long time. Naturally I went and helped Bill and bugger me if I didn’t get stuck! Trouble is I was laughing so much I could not pull myself out so Bill had to help me. How we laughed!
As you can imagine we were all in a state, the dogs, even my car. I took it to Tescos for valeting and when I got back the girl said to me ‘We only did the outside, it is too dirty inside, we need more money’ & then overcharged me for only cleaning the outside!
Well today we finally got to the plot – once we had got rid of the lovely grandkids (evil Nanny!) and it was too wet to weed. My goodness what on earth are we supposed to do???? It is so frustrating! Did manage a little but it was tough going and not much fun at all. The Hulk was not impressed at all but he cleared some brambles, so felt a bit manly after that.
Spring has sprung! the frog spawn has hatched and we have little tadpoles swimming around. We have newts too, so it is good to see that some spawn has hatched – not sure if that is the right word – hey ho it will do.
We had a seed planting fest last weekend. I got to use my new propagator, unfortunately I did not notice the Cosmos seedlings straight away, some germinated within three days (bit leggy) – viable home taken seed! We love our own ‘home grown’ seed. It some how seems more satisfying. Chitting our tatties too.
We had our first rhubarb harvest last weekend along with a harvest of kale, baby leeks & Christmas potatoes grown in pots – a little late but so tasty, baby roast leeks (Baby roast leek sounds far better than ‘our leeks did not grow this year’) are delicious. Amazing that no matter what you can always take a harvest from your plot. Admittedly giant mustard and roast leeks do not go well together! But self seeded mustard on a cheese sandwich is yummers.
Last weekend we went to plot and pruned the apple tree, medlar tree and the blackcurrant bushes. In the hope of a good harvest this year. It was absolutely freezing, even The Manly Hulk was cold! We didn’t use that many of the cooking apples unfortunately, but we used all the medlars (for wine!) and most of blackcurrants for jam. (freeze well and the stalks rub off easier when frozen – Tip from Alys Fowler’s book, try baking her lavender biscuits they are amazing) I would say homemade blackcurrant jam is the best jam ever, its so ‘fruity’ and doesn’t taste of only sugar. We have made medlar jelly before but you do not get a very good yield, it is tasty but we agree they are better used for wine making, this is tasty (Oh Denzel Washington!) and quite strong, excellent served chilled.
The poly tunnel is still providing produce, we have a fair amount of mustard which has self-seeded in there. It is so delicious and nice to taste something so allotmenty. We are growing onions in there again, as they were fantastic last year and even kept well after harvest…..sometimes The Hulk has a good idea!
The rhubarb is growing lovely and I am determined to use more this year instead of leaving it to go limp (haha oh so rude). We also have some ‘Christmas’ potatoes, they are so creamy and allotmenty. I love allotment food, I can’t wait for the Summer being able to pick and eat tomatoes off the plant (when The Hulks not looking – else I get told off!!!). They aren’t as warm in the poly tunnel as the green house, love a nice warm sunshined tomato. Perhaps I should grow my own under glass just for me to eat on sunny lovely warm days – in England – well occasionally.
We had a bit of snow today, but it was soon replaced by sleet and has gone now. Managed to get up the plot with the dogs, it does look nice in the snow.
OOOOoooohhhhh I nearly forgot, I have my very OWN heated propagator! How exciting, no fights over the little seed trays anymore.
Plot, plot, plot….too cold? The Hulk is at work on a blooming Saturday. First seedlings of the year: Basil:-
Tumble dryer coming in useful – instead of being in the bloody way! I made an amazing Basil Pesto last year, it was so easy. I replaced the pine nuts with walnuts and pestoed away. I also used Kale instead of Basil. So easy and so tasty.
Last year we purchased a dehydrator, what an amazing thing this is. We have Plum Leathers and Kale Crisps in storage. We’ve eaten Courgette Crisps (What a load of old baloney that is in the news, shortage! If it is not in season we don’t generally (unless grown in the UK) buy it, why buy something that takes three days to get here!) We also dried chillies and have Lemon Chilli powder, Bangalore Torpedo powder and the Bhut very hot (for The Hulk) powder. We went to Gardener’s World in 2015 where we got a Bangalore Torpedo plant, we harvested the seeds and grew the plants this year, they are a fantastic cropper with a nice heat flavour. They are the long thin red ones in the bottom row of pictures in the middle. Yummers!
We spent quite a bit of time plotting last year as you can see from some of the pictures below:-
The poly tunnel was very productive and as usual we had far too much of everything, we did give some produce away. At the moment we have self-seeded Mustard, Kale, Chard, White Onions and Red Onions. The Hulk grew the Onions in the poly tunnel last winter and we had an awesome crop, looking good this year also.
Hoping for another productive year…………
Hello there, long time no blog…..slaving looking after the Hulk!
What an odd year it has been, we have new chillie flowers in the poly tunnel and some tiny chillies that are growing very slowly. We have an awesome crop of self seeded Nasturtiums (from the most pathetic plant). We got a fair crop of Sweet Potatoes but didn’t really make the money back, the slips cost £20. We will grow slips from the crop and hope for the best. We have numerous chillies growing, I took some seeds from a plant I got at Gardeners World in 2015, they are called Bangalore Torpedo. They are just the right heat for me, a nice heat that doesn’t rip the skin out of your mouth. We also have a Lemon Chillie which has been grown from our own seed for about four years. They are nice too, if you don’t use too many. A few years ago I made a chutney and put 40 in, I don’t know why 40 but my god it’s hot and it has matured with age and got much hotter….unlike the Hulk 🙊. I have grown white beetroot, the slugs don’t seem to like this one & the chutney is yummy. We have had oodles of the usual crops too. We got a dehydrator in the summer, we have fruit leathers, chillie powder, courgette crisps, kale crisps and more chillie powder! It was about £60 from Amazon but you need the tray inserts as well for fruit leathers. I think the kale crisps are my favourite and maybe the plum leathers.
My flower patches have given me months of cut flowers, in fact it was only last weekend that I didn’t come home with a bunch, house looks glum. Outside doesn’t though Autumn is so pretty, lovely when it’s cold and crisp…. when it stops raining!!