My wildflower patch

Although I’ve been having trouble with other parts of the garden this year, my ‘new’ wildflower patch has developed quite nicely.  I say ‘new’ since it’s been grass that got gradually taken over my ‘weeds’ or rather, native wildflowers, so having mentioned it to my neighbours in order to give them a chance to object, since we have open plan front gardens, I devoted the area to wildflowers, mowing a winding path through it and watching what came up. Continue reading

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April Up-date

As I said in previous posts this year, my new business interests are engrossing me, and I’m putting my energies into promoting them, developing new product lines, blogging about them (making use of the A to Z Blog Challenge for April) and tweeting them!  I just looked at my Year of the Dragon post here which looks astonishingly accurate, but reminded me to pay attention to study.  So it’s a good thing I read a book on marketing in my field at the weekend.  Of course, that just gave me more ideas, but most importantly it made me think about it strategically. Continue reading

Action stations!

Well, February whizzed by.  I was fully engaged with developing my new business interests and I hardly seemed to have any spare time at all.  I got into the garden a couple of times, one to trim the raspberry canes and to sort out the bed in the corner, cutting back the old growth on the geraniums and Japanese anemones, the other to do compost heaps. Continue reading

Vegetable planning

The arrival of the new seeds prompted me to spend something like three hours trying to sort out what to grow where this year.  It’s a complicated issue, trying to get all the things I want to grow into five beds, a patio full of pots, a couple of beds next to walls, and all with complications caused by shading during the day.  Vegetables mostly like to have sun to grow well, and three out of five of my vegetable beds have shading through half the day.  And with an element of crop rotation and companion planting, it gets to be quite a headache.  In the end I just decided to fit them in where they could go. Continue reading

Real Seeds

My new season’s seeds arrived today – from the Real Seed Catalogue.  This is a small business that grows veg to produce seed and so keep good stock for gardeners going strong.  They have a limited number of varieties but a huge range of unusual ones.  All are tested under regular growing conditions for enthusiasts who want to eat them, not as a commercial crop.  They also encourage you to save your own seed – and give instructions!

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Apple Butter

My neighbour Caroline occasionally leaves bags, usually of apples, at my door if she comes round when I’m out.  I’m extremely grateful for these, especially as our apple crop was zilch this year. With cooking apples, sometimes I peel and core them and freeze them ready for putting in winter pies and crumbles.  I’ve not got into drying them yet and I havent had a lot of luck with storing them due to lack of a suitable space that’s cool yet airy. Continue reading

Using more electricity?

I was looking at my electricity bill and checking my record for the meter readings and thinking that my average use seems to be creeping up.  Which is not a good thing.  There’s a little note on my spreadsheet that I seem to use more here than I did at my last house, but then again, I worked away from home during the day then, so didn’t have the computer on all day, lots of hot drinks using the kettle, and probably not a lunchtime hot or at least heated up meal either.  I think I cook more and bake more here (in fact I hardly ever baked things before, and a lot of this is down to having fresh, locally grown, if not home grown, food to use).  Continue reading