Monday, 26 January 2015

2015 here we come!!

A year since my last post - I'm not being very regular on here am I ?!

In my defence 2014 was a bad year.  I had a stroke on June 1st that basically wiped out the rest of the year for me.  I'm pretty much recovered now - I still have stupid days where i can't get words out or remember things but I'm so much better than when it happened.

I'm on the last stretch of my degree now, in the final modules and due to finish in May.  I'd hoped for a 2:1 or a first, but having this stroke happen, I may have to settle for a 2:2.  Still, to have a stroke then less than a year later leave uni with a 2:2 isn't too shaming I suppose :-) .

Because of the stroke all of the plants I'd previously ordered died.  I lost a whole summer of gardening.  I no longer go to see Pie, our loan pony as it's physically too much for me.

I'd hoped to do so much last year but failed, so I'm hoping that 2015 really WILL be our year!

Clare xx

Sunday, 29 December 2013

goodbye 2013....

For once, we're finishing the year on quite a positive note.

Hubby has had a promotion at work, I've started a geography degree at uni and I'm absolutely loving it, and the girls are pretty much ok.  Lucy has settled really well at school now although uni isn't as good for Mickey as it is for me.

We're actually looking forward to 2014!!!

We're much more pressed for time now.  After all, I'm a full time student, part time employee, chicken keeper, dog and cat owner, wife, Mum, and still enjoying the part share of a horse that we have.  Time is very precious!  I worked out that my work hours plus uni hours is the equivalent of 49 hours a week.  That's when I'm NOT revising for exams!!

Happy 2014 everyone!

Clare xx

Monday, 8 July 2013

Additions to the family

We've had a busy few months here one way and another!

We've now got a share in a horse, Pie, which has been absolutely lovely.  My 14 year old daughter rides him (I'm too big!) and we look after him three days a week.  For the small amount that we pay each week, the returns that we get are great - the smile on her face when she loves him and rides him is worth every penny.

We now also have seven chickens!!

I've wanted chickens for a long time, and have finally got hubby onboard with it, lol.  We have four warrens, a light sussex, a bluebell and a maran so the eggs are a delightful mix of colours.  We average about 25 eggs a week which isn't bad considering that the hens aren't in their first flush of youth!! (join the club girls!)

Clare xx

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Catching Up

Two weeks ago I planted lots of seeds, and they all seem to have taken off beautifully :-).  Although I sowed them relatively late, I was wary of sowing any earlier as the constant rain/ice/snow meant that I wouldn't be able to put them in the greenhouse when I needed to.  But they've really made good progress.

Amongst others I've sowed speedy lettuce, spring onions, english lavender, various asters, various dahlias, hundreds and thousands tomatoes, tumbler tomatoes, oregano, mint, rosemary, thyme...the list goes on.

The garlic and onions that I planted in March had done nothing at all, I remarked to Dave about ten days ago that maybe a mouse had eaten the bulbs/cloves so I'd lost the lot. The very next day they all started showing !  They've suddenly shot up, so maybe the recent few days of good weather has allowed them to catch up.


Clare xx

Monday, 11 March 2013

Mothers' Day

I had a wonderful Mothers' Day :-)

It started with breakfast in bed from Lucy, on a tray complete with flowers.  Hugs and cuddles, lovely cards, badminton, relaxation all made for a lovely day.

My older daughter came home from uni and cooked our evening meal - bacon wrapped chicken and vegetables and Lucy made pancakes for our dessert.  I made a Bakewell Cake from a recipe by Frugal Queen, which was beautiful.

My present was a gorgeous watch, to replace the one that I smashed with a badminton racquet some time ago.

All in all, a wonderful day :-)

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Finally - in the greenhouse!

I managed to get the greenhouse scrubbed out and sorted at the weekend.  It was so nice to be in my little hidey hole again, where it was actually pretty warm away from the 'brisk' wind.  In there at the minute I've got nine rhubarb plants that I started from seed last year, some trailing begonia corms I planted that I had free from Parkers plants and well...not much else, lol.  I'm really proud of the rhubarb - considering that one small plant can cost upwards of £4, nine plants for the 50p it cost me for the seed is fantastic!

Two weekends ago I cleared out a raised bed and planted lots of onions (Sturon) and garlic (Thermidrome).  We use lots of both so it made sense to dedicate a whole bed to them.  The other bed tends to get wetter and retain more water so I'm using that a little later in the year.

We also planted two red rose hedges.  Last year, we didn't know if we might lose the house because of job issues (hubby hadn't got one), and during that time I became almost fixated on having a red rose hedge along the side of the garden with a white bench in front of it.  So - for Valentine's Day, hubby got me not just a dozen red roses, but two dozen red rose bushes!  They're planted now and hopefully will get established well.

That's what I call a Valentine's present :-)

His present was what he always asks for - a three course meal, which Lucy actually cooked and served up this year so it was a treat for both of us.  I made him a huge heart shaped cake, chocolate brownie mix, covered in chocolate ganache and topped with fresh strawberries.

Happy husband :-)

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Tomatoes galore

For the last two years, I've really wanted to grow the tomato 'Hundreds and Thousands'. They're relatively expensive at about £3.80 for eight seeds but each year they were always out of stock :-(.

Yesterday I placed my main orders for seeds for the year and happened to look on ebay for these tomato seeds - I was lucky enough to spot some, and at the great price of £3.24.......for SEVEN packs!!  So fifty six seeds for less than the price of eight.  This seed is slightly out of date, but whenever I've planted old seed before, it's just had a slightly lower germination rate.  I intend giving some to my Dad too, as he loves his gardening as much as I do.  I also got seven packs of Tumbler from the same seller.

The remainder of my seed shop went through MoreVeg and Premier Seeds Direct on Ebay.  Again fantastic prices compared to the main stream retailers.  MoreVeg do smaller amounts for on avaerage 50p a pack - some things I don't need 2000 seeds of !!  Premier Seeds Direct do normal size packs at about 99p, so I balanced my order between the two.  They're all on their way in the post now and I can't wait to see them.

One of the things I love about gardening is that it really is a year round hobby - there's always something to look forward to.  Either choosing seeds, waiting for them to arrive, sowing, waiting to see those first signs of life, through to the final harvest.  I'm hoping to have a better year in the garden than last year - fingers crossed!!