Wednesday, 31 May 2017


Morning, all.  Half way through the half term and it looks as if it might be an OK day today.  As I have to stay in for a parcel, I am hoping it is a sit outside day.

Yesterday was good.  I went to Aldi, Sainsbury's (petrol) and Wyvale and spent necessarily.  They it was home to put everything away before popping off to the allotment to out in a few hours of sorting out.  It's taking for ever, this forking and de-weeding (including as many roots as we can find), but it will be worth it.  After lunch I spent some time out the back, potting on some fuchsias and dealing with mussy stuff generally.  I didn't, however, brave the front and I really MUST today!  Apart from the sheer mess, I have the leftover bedding flowers to put in: if I don't, they will just be wasted.

It was seven strawberries yesterday - enough for a dessert.  They will be sending out runners soon.  Normally I just chop them off but this time we want to root some and plant them down the allotment so I'm collecting little pots for all I am worth.  The Ruby Anns send out very few runners, apparently, which will make life easier but I'd like to catch them if I can as I'd like some more.  They are very decorative and I gather they are great for hanging baskets.

The washing and ironing all got done and one of the parcels that was due to get here over the weekend arrived early which I was pleased about.  They now house the fuchsias and should look really nice in a month's time.

I have two ceramic/clay pots what are really nice but guess what - one is stuck inside the other.  I will have to make an effort to get them apart and, if I can't, I may have to smash one.  I hope not though!

Today, as mentioned, is a stay at home day and I need to remain within sound of the door bell.  This parcel is a re-delivery.  Apparently, the parcel delivery company attempted to deliver it at the beginning of May, found no-one in, left a note, didn't hear from me so sent it back to the company.  Fine, except that I never received a note about it.  It was only when I emailed to politely ask when I may expect my parcel that this came out.  Anyway, it is supposed to be delivered today so fingers crossed.

My first job is another coffee so I will 'love you and leave you' as Diane says.  Have a good day

Tuesday, 30 May 2017


Hello, everyone.  It was nice and sunny earlier but the clouds have rolled over and now it looks a bit threatening.  Mind you, we had early rain yesterday but it cheered up and the sun came out for a while so I live in hope.

We did our stint at the allotment, three cheers, and all is looking great.  There was no need to water so we set straight to and dug more of the last patch to be cleared and prepped.  I guess today will be the same.
All the plantlets looked happy after their move the day before.
We ended up sowing a row of carrots and a row of string onions and will plant another row of each in a fortnight and maybe another a fortnight after that.  That should see us into the autumn.

Then it was home for some housework and a good snooze.  The rolls I made earlier went into the freezer, apart from the one I had with my soup for lunch.  Later on my garden lad came round and cleared the slabs of weeds so it all looks much better now.

Om Sunday it was one, Yesterday it was two, how many today?  I'm talking about strawberries, of course, and I must stop just snacking on them as they come in faster.  Nice desserts with yogurt or in my porridge is delicious and I'd like to freeze some, like last year.  None of that will happen if I eat them straight off the plant, will it?

Today I intend to go to Aldi shortly to get my weekly fruit and veg and then on to Wyvale to get some more potting compost.  At the weekend I fell for a couple of small lavaterae - mallow - a plant I have always loved.  When I say small, I mean they are not supposed to grow very big and are ideal for containers.  They were a BOGOF so I went for it and need to have the compost ready when they arrive, whenever they do arrive (supposedly the end of July so I have plenty of time to prepare!).
This is it, photo taken from the web site.

Then it's allotment followed by housework, washing, ironing and planning.  I have one tuition session tomorrow but I would like to get ahead for the next half of the term with a few lessons prepared for each student - or at least resources found/made that I can plan in.

Well, I'd better get myself ready and start working through the list.  No rain yet so fingers crossed.

Monday, 29 May 2017


Good morning, everyone.  It's an early start and I hope to get plenty done today.

Yesterday started out beautifully with sun and a pleasant breeze and our time down the allotment was lovely.  We weeded (endless, isn't it?), watered, planted out the baby corn, the lemon cucumber and some bedding flowers that were 5 trays for £10 in B&Q which seemed too good to miss.  Then, while Beth finished off the flowers, I started forking over and clearing the last patch, which was easier than I expected it to be until I remembered that it has actually been covered over for a long time.  Very few nasty roots and the lumps of earth broke up fairly easily.  It's not going to take as long as I thought, I reckon.

We decided to put in some flowers, just to add some colour really, so I hope they look nice.

Then we checked the time and it was later than we thought so we rushed off, quite forgetting to take any photos, darn it!

Beck home, Alex had decided not to come over after all, so Beth took his dinner home for him to enjoy yesterday evening.  We enjoyed our macaroni cheese and a very lavish dessert of half a strawberry each.  Yes, it has been picked and consumed and it was really delicious.  The others had better hurry along now.  While I'm waiting I still have rhubarb that I brought back with me and I stewed with some sugar.  Nice in porridge or folded into my natural yogurt.  Yum.

We had a bit of a panic when Beth couldn't find her keys but they turned up - in my bag.  I'd picked them up and tossed them in without thinking.  Sorry, Beth!

Then it got really dark and the heavens opened.  No storm as far as I could tell, just heavy rain.  Good for the garden, good for the allotment, so no complaints.  With any luck, things won't need watering today.

So, today.  Well, it was going to start with allotment but I gather we had a terrific storm a few hours ago and certainly everything is now soaking so it really depends on how much it all dries up.  One big advantage of being really hard of hearing is that I don;t get awakened by things like storms once the hearing aids are out.  I simply don't hear them.  The disadvantage is that I rather like a good storm!

So it might be allotment and might not - the skies seem to be clearing so fingers crossed.  I'm going to start a batch of bread though and make some rolls.  Then, if the allotment is off, I might attack my little front strip which is in a disgraceful state and, rain or no rain, I have to do some washing.  I also quite feel like cutting some more squares and maybe making a disappearing nine square or two.

So that's my bank holiday.  Pleasant, simple things based at home and NO REPORTS!
Three ongoing cheers!

Sunday, 28 May 2017


. . . and here she is - the first strawberry.  I shall probably pick and eat her this evening, for tea.

Good morning, everyone!  More warm sun, more gentle breezes.  It's been a lovely week, weather-wise.

To be fair, it did cloud over yesterday and we had some quite heavy rain yesterday morning but that was a blessing as in the afternoon it was warm and fresh and turned into the most beautiful summer afternoon you could imagine with clouds 'lazy-pacing' (as Shakespeare wrote) across the sky.  I sat outside, in the shade of next door's beautiful birch tree and fell asleep in my garden recliner while my wind chimes sang a lullaby.

It was just beautiful.

Before then, in the morning and before the rain started, I planted out my new strawberries.  I have a strawberry planter thing that never worked all that well and was looking a bit of an eyesore.  I was going to chuck it but then had an idea.  I topped it up just a little bit, enough to stand another planter inside it.  Into that second planter went the three strawberry plants and in some of the holes down the side I planted some trailing lobelia.  When I had finished, it looks really lovely and should catch the eye nicely.

It really is a lovely flower, isn't it.

Because of the rain, we didn't go to the allotment but I am really hoping that we will go today as we have plants to pot out as well as watering and weeding.  I'm sure yesterday's rain will have encouraged the weeds!

After that, Beth's coming for lunch and I guess we will have a lazy afternoon together.

It's bath time so I will leave you and get myself ready to face the day!  Enjoy your day, whatever you are doing.

Saturday, 27 May 2017


A lovely, quiet day yesterday.  A bit of allotmenteering but not too much as it was very hot, then off to the garden centres to get some bits and bobs, then home again to relax out in the garden with the new RHS magazine.  And that was more or less it.

We planted out some courgettes and squashes.

We cleared the rest of the mess from the back middle.  The grass top right is the next allotment.

So it's looking good!  That patch at the front is for the baby corn plants.  They're going out next week.

Today looks as if it is going to be very similar but without the spending.  I spent enough yesterday!  We were tempted (and fell) to buy a 'lemon cucumber'.  A cucumber that looks a bit like a lemon (but no citrus flavour, it is just the looks).

Look - taken last night.  It shouldn't be long now, should it?

Have a great day.

Friday, 26 May 2017


Good morning, everyone.  It's another sunny morning, so, so pleasant outside at the moment, fresh but not chilly.I love it specially before the humidity rises and it starts to get uncomfortable.  I gather it is due to break soon so I shall be grateful for it while I can.

Yesterday saw me at the allotment early to weed and hoe and generally fight the weed battle and then strim the edges so they now look nice and neat.  Then, when Beth arrived, we grumbled over the fact that the pigeons have obviously discovered the peas and had feasted.  Grrrr.  So we abandoned what we had planned to do and sorted out the bit at the back that still needs doing so that we could access and salvage some netting that was under some plastic covering.  First we had to sort out all the wood that we had put on the cover to keep it down, something that was fairly high on our list of Things To Do.  The usable stuff is not stacked beside the shed and the manky stuff is in the back of Beth's car, ready for her to take it to some friends who have a wood burner.  We then made some makeshift protection for the peas so fingers crossed.  Then there was just time to give everything a good watering before I went home for the first of two meetings.

I think that today will be more hoeing and clearing that back patch - there aren't many weeds because it's been covered, but there will be roots!  I'm hoping that we will get that done by the end of May, as well as planting out some squash and courgette I have in my back garden at present.

Two meetings later and it was tuition which went well as usual, although there could have been a catastrophe as I spilt water all over my laptop.  It's dried out now, though, and seems fine again.

Today is definitely an easy day after a busy week.  Allotment is a bit later as Al has now officially finished school and is on study leave so Beth can have a lie in.

After that it is home to a clean house.  You see, I've been naughty.  Every fortnight I have two hours of cleaning which is great as they do the house from top to bottom.  I've just arranged for the same company (a small local one) to also provide a cleaner for one hour on the other Friday to do downstairs.  How bad is that, eh?  Nice though.

Then it should be a relaxing day, sitting in the warm outside air, reading and resting.  Maybe.

However, the very nicest thing about today is this.  HALF TERM HAS STARTED!  Yes, I know my life is one long half term now but the old feelings die hard and today is report writing day, made all the better because there are no reports to write, followed by a week of - well, not a lot.  One tuition session and that's all.  It's a jolly good feeling and I am enjoying it with all my might and main!

And look what I have just seen.
It's ripening!  

Mind you, I have also just seen two bluetits eyeing up the strawberries in a calculating way so maybe this is the year I cage them.  As Diane suggested, canes, jam jars and netting.  It won't look lovely but if it protects my berries, I don't mind!

Better go - there's a few bits and bobs to tidy up before the cleaners come and it's time for another coffee.   Enjoy your day!

Thursday, 25 May 2017


As predicted, yesterday was a very busy day but also a most satisfying day.  I did my governer's thingies, wrote my reports and sent them off (I hate to leave them hanging around), I went to the garden centre, finished off the raised beds in the allotment, did my tutorial and got to the governors' meeting in time.  Phew.

I was given a very lovely bunch of flowers from one of my students whose tuition has now stopped because mission accomplished.

I took on a bit more responsibility at the governors' meeting but I'm really glad to be able to pay back.  The school has been so good to me over the decades.  This responsibility is in my special interest area so great.

During the day a parcel arrived.  Helpful steps under the arbour to give a comfortable resting place for shorter legs.

After a visit from some nice mending men, my French window latch is no longer stiff and the shed catch is on the mend.  It's an outside job so they can finish it off any time.

A very good day, all in all.  Lots achieved.

Today was supposed to be easier but now I have allotment, two meetings and two lots of tuition.  I will go to the allotment early so I'm going to get myself sorted out now at 5:30, and then finish off the tuition planning.  Have a great day, everyone.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017


What a glorious morning it is.  A bright, blue sky, warming up, birds singing their hearts out.  Really lovely and I hope it stays like this.  Yesterday it clouded over a bit midday but brightened up come the evening.

Well, yesterday went really well.  I did some allotmenting.  The hoe is the most important tool right now as the weeds fight back, but I have no mercy!  The two types of peas are doing really well, we have more French beans (although I did hoe the head off one - ooops) and, after a slow and late start, the potatoes have also decided to show themselves in greater quantities.  The grass got a mow but I forgot to take the strimmer so I will have to do the edges later.  Perhaps I can go down at some point this afternoon.  On Monday, Beth virtually finished the strip for the bins so I got that completed and moved some soil back into the raised beds.
A quick snap Beth took on Monday.  The gap in the chippings is now filled and there's soil in the two raised beds.

One of those beds is going to be for guinea pig food.  Seriously.  Well, partly.  A little friend has a guinea pig and she might come along and 'help' by growing some chard and kale in one of the beds, the young, tender leaves for us and the older leaves for the guinea pig.  We might also put in some spinach as so many recipes ask for a handful of spinach nowadays and it's not cheap!  We're thinking about carrots in the other bed as it's not too late, or maybe leeks which we have just sowed (or is it 'sown'?).

The blue and black mess is the portion we still have to fork over and clear.  We WILL get there!

Once home, I brought in the washing and then did some being lazy until some folk came round and after that it was time to start dinner and watch my round of early evening telly - Pointless, Debatable, Eggheads and Great British Menu.

Today is busy, busy, busy.  In school for a concert, then a meeting with a coordinator, then off to Wyvale for some more potting compost, maybe allotment to do the edges, then tuition x 2, then a governors' meeting.  I shall eat late this evening!

Have a lovely day and I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy the lovely weather.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017


Good morning, everyone.  Yesterday was a lovely day, weather wise, and today looks like being another lovely one today.  I already have one load of washing out on the line (done overnight) and another load is just finishing and will go out soon.  Ironing later on, anyone?

Yesterday I drove home after a splendid weekend with my parents.  It was a most pleasant drive, mostly cross country on Monday morning roads that were fairly clear and always fast moving, apart from the occasional learner driver.

I stopped off at Aldi on the way to pick up a few bits and bobs and also at a garden centre I haven't been to before where I found some most attractive strawberry plants that are supposed to be long fruiting.  I got three and we will see, won't we?

Once home, I did the necessary and then whizzed off to school early so I could get what I always do on Monday done before the concert, which was so good.  It's fantastic how many young musicians we have at school and there was such a variety - singing, choir, piano, percussion, Djembe (our drum group), violins, flute, guitars . . . and the look of concentration and focus on their little faces as they performed brought tears to my eyes.  I know that a lot of schools have dropped many of the arts in favour of maths and English but I am so proud that our school still has a strong focus on the arts, not just music, as well as a strong academic showing.

I had a nice, restful evening and managed to snap a lovely sunset just before I went to bed.  Pink and pretty!

Today is less scheduled but should be busy anyway.  Allotment first, then tuition planning and late afternoon I have someone coming about tuition for their child.
It should be very pleasant and satisfying.

Monday, 22 May 2017


I shall be back home soon after a weekend away and, as I forgot to take my camera, for once there are no photos!

It's been a lovely weekend, full of little, happy things like visiting a new garden centre (new to me, I mean), lots of reading, a paper every day, cooking meals for my parents (I love doing that), exploring their lovely garden, and so on.

Today is a busy day with plenty going on, so it should keep me out of trouble.  Helping out in FS, a concert in school and, of course, a garden to check over.

And I wonder if the runner beans have started coming up yet . . .

Sunday, 21 May 2017


Just a quick post today.

Yesterday was a very pleasant day, despite the heavy showers that fell now and again.  Very April-y. I popped off to Tescos and came back with some cooking bacon!  That's about the height of my exciting life yesterday.

I think I'm off to a garden centre today which might be nice and I have been thinking of ideas for my garden.  More about that another time, if they come to anything more than just a thought.

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone.

Saturday, 20 May 2017


What a gorgeously sunny morning it is out there.  It certainly makes a change from yesterday which was drizzly and cold (for the time of the year) all day, only brightening up come the evening.

We didn't go to the allotment, it was just too wet and neither of us fancied having to have a shower and change of clothes before facing the rest of the day, so Beth came round to mine and we did a bit of seed/plantlet stuff.  I potted on my little surprise tomatoes which are healthy enough but still tiny.  The ones I gave Dad are a bit bigger than mine due to being kept in a greenhouse, but are still pretty small so I guess that's true to type!  They will shoot up when we get consistent warmth and sunshine, I am sure.  Beth sowed leek and kale seeds.  Then we discussed future plans yet again, including what to do with the growing space over winter.

I popped off the the Craft Centre but it was damp and gloomy and a shop I was looking forward to going in (food, eggs, etc) has closed down and is now a junk shop.  I was tempted by some fabrics as I want to make cushions for the arbour, but wasn't sure enough of the match to get anything.

Dinner out was nice; I had nachos but couldn't finish the load they gave me.  I wish more places did smaller plate meals like the Hare (this wasn't the Hare) as I hate wasting food but rarely manage to finish the larger portions.

I forgot to mention the other day - my friend, Jackie, and I putour heads together and have some entertainment booked for the rest of the year.  Three shows in town and a number of coach outings including one that's a tour of the Suffolk coast finishing off with fish and chips by the sea.  I haven't had seaside fish and chips for the longest time - it seems to taste so much better eaten beside the sea.

Time for coffee, I think.  I hope your day is great and the weather stays fine and warm for us all.

Friday, 19 May 2017


Good morning, everyone.  Welcome to Friday.  Dull, damp, a bit discouraging but, dear me, it was only last week that I was whinging about how dry and parched everything was looking.  Now, everything has perked up and is looking so, so green; it is lovely.

Yesterday started off quite pleasant.  Some sunshine and warmth made the allotment work a pleasure.  It didn't look as if we had done much but we had.  The strip for covering where the bins will go is now flat and raked (and looks too good to cover, but never mind, that can't be helped, and along one end, going right across, we have replaced the long plank - are they called 'sleepers' which took quite a while as we had to clear weeds from one section and there were so many roots to try and get out.  I also did a reccy of the front and dug up more elder that persists in trying to reconquer.  It won't win, I am determined.

The french beans are not showing any signs of emergence yet but the mange tout and sugar snaps have more than made up for that, popping up almost as you watch.  The rhubarb loves the wet weather and has stopped trying to go to seed and the potatoes are also popping up.  We're not hoeing at the moment because it's hard to tell what's little potato leaves and what's weed leaves.  They will get their come uppance in a few week's time, when we can tell the difference more clearly!

So, what's next.  Well, we have to cover and chip the side strip and move the bins onto it.  Then we have to sort out the wood into raised bed sides and not.  The 'not' is being snapped up by a friend of Beth's for her wood burner, which is great - no waste.  Then we need to fork up and weed the bigger middle area before creating an access path between that and the rhubarb and dividing what's left with another sleeper.  Then the heavy stuff is all done and it will be a case of nurturing, weeding, planting and so on.

Sadly, those late frosts have had an impact on our little fruit trees.  There doesn't seem to be a single baby plum left although the the pear is fine, as is one of the apple trees.  The redlove also seems to have suffered a bit.  We're considering fleece for next year but maybe they just have to take their chances.

Then it was home to do some housework, such as getting the washing out, etc, before having lunch.  I was sitting in the garden, lunch in lap and magazine in hand, when the first drops of rain started falling so I rushed to get the washing in.  And, basically, it was rain for the rest of the day and overnight too, by the looks of things.

It's very exciting - recently, through Facebook, contact was made with an old friend.  This is someone I was best buddies with at college (in the early 1970s so almost pre-history) although after some years we lost contact.  We're planning to meet up in late July and I am very much looking forward to it.  She works for World Vision and has travelled all round the world so will have some fascinating stories to tell.  We exchanged some emails yesterday so it should happen.

Today, Beth is coming round and we're doing some work with the seedlings, etc, before I pop off to Blake House Craft Centre for a nice nosey round.  It's going to be a good day.

Thursday, 18 May 2017


It's that time of the year again, folks.  The time when I overdose on gardening stuff and you all get bored to tears!  Really sorry and all that, but isn't it a wonder how nature renews itself each year.  It never stops amazing and astounding, even though I know it's going to happen.

Yesterday the weather was absolutely shockingly bad.  Heavy rain, then a dryer interval, then more heavy rain.  It put the clappers on any plans I had for going out but that was OK, I dodged the raindrops a bit and got on with more garden sorting out.

I've now decided what to put in the planter at the back with the trellis behind it - that's where the rather feeble and fragile looking sweet peas have gone and I swear they have grown an inch or so overnight.  A little bit longer and I will nip out the tops so I get the side shoots growing and look forward to some colour in what is not a very exciting spot beside the compost bin!  I love sweet peas so will be cutting them for indoors which is the best way to ensure loads more flowers.  Win-win!
I've positioned them at the back of the planter, against the wall so need to look for something to go in front, something low and toning.  The sticks are to bridge the gap between planter and trellis.

I'm going to put the tomatoes in their final home, those that Dad brought over, anyway.  The Montellos are up against the fence as last year and the sungolds are in the raised bed again.  The mystery tomatoes are still too small to do much with and my fingers are crossed that they do actually come to something.

I was very excited to notice that the Tayberry that Refused to Die is now flowering.  Not much, admittedly, but even so.  And there's really strong growth in the new shoots department, meaning good stuff next year!

The Bush that thinks it's a Tree has also decided it's time to look pretty.  Plenty of flower heads and this year I will pick the berries as I gather you can make a nice jam/cordial/flavoured vodka with them.  It's a bit hidden from the house but looks great from the arbour - another reason for sitting out more when the weather permits.

The mystery plant continues to grow.  If it starts climbing round the archway, then I will assume it is indeed the dead passion flower resurrected.  If not, it will come out.

. . . and the hostas are the best they have ever been, mainly because I got the slug pellets down in good time instead of waiting until the damage had been done.  I'm afraid I don't do organic where slugs and snails are concerned, horrid things.

I also finally got the runner beans in.  A bit late, I know, but they will catch up fine.

OK, you can wake up now!

Today is another allotment morning as the sun is shining.  At least we won't need to water anything today.  Instead we have to move some soil so it will be heavy work but worth it.  Better get started then!

Wednesday, 17 May 2017


. . . and it is chucking it down with rain.  No allotment this morning, I'm guessing, and maybe no Ingatestone Hall either unless it clears up somewhat.  Never mind, there will be other days for that and, goodness knows, the garden really did need a good downpour, as did the allotment - several good downpours, in fact.  When it dries up, I shall check the various containers I have scattered around for collecting rain water for the blueberries.

Yesterday I had planned to go to Hyde Hall but, when it came down to it, I didn't fancy it so much and one of the points of a holiday is that you can do what you want to do, when you want to do it (within legal limits, of course).

So I stayed home and made the best of the time in my back garden instead.  I flexed my muscles, such as they are, and managed to get large pots and even larger garden furniture moved around to where I had wanted them to be.  I went to Wyvale and B&Q and bought two small (and surprisingly cheap) cordylines for the planters either side of the arbour and got them in, a lupin which is now in the middle bed and a small sage which I think will go in a pot as it does grow large after a while.
I got some large pots filled with earth ready for the tomatoes when I pot them on and dealt with some small piles of rubbish.  Things are now neater and my stack of bags of compost is smaller.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself so it was a great use of my time in more than one way.

I now need to spend half an hour out the front as it's got a bit tatty with a few weeds attempting to regain dominance.  But not this morning!

It is now obvious that the late frost we had did do some damage to the strawberries after all.  A shame, but there are loads of flowers now coming to take the place of the damaged fruit.  Nature sorts things out quite well really, doesn't she?

If I do stay home, I have nice things to do.  I need to make some lemon marmalade and I would love to cut out some more squares for my duvet cover and maybe even get started making the disappearing nine squares.

So, whatever happens, it will be a great day.  I hope you have a good one yourself too.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Promise of . . .



Tayberries this year and next.

And finally - plenty of warm lazy meals in the garden this summer.


This is late, isn't it.  Really sorry.  I wanted to have some photos from yesterday to show you and I've not long uploaded them.

Coggeshall was lovely yesterday.  It's a very attractive large village/small town with some gorgeous houses (some for sale - wish I could) and interesting places to visit.  It was a shame about the rain but I shall go back on a sunny day as there's plenty more to see.  I gather the church is interesting and I didn't get within throwing distance of it.

I visited Paycocke's House and Gardens and then went on to Grange Barn.  The barn has an interesting history but there wasn't an awful lot to see, unlike the barns at Cressing Temple, but the house and gardens - oh, my word.

It's small, not 'stately' in the least bit.  It's owned by the National Trust bit is a family home and the 'owner' shows people round.  I was the first there and we had such an interesting talk about the history of the house.  I took a lot of photos but some were too dark - another reason for going back on a sunny day!

This means 'Do not sit on me'.  Everything else is touchable, sitable, readable . . .

The garden was also lovely.  An arts and crafts style and very, very green (also damp yesterday, but never mind).

Well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Monday, 15 May 2017


The sun is rising, the skies are clearing and my heart is lifting.  Hopefully it is going to be another lovely day.

After an uncertain start yesterday, weather-wise, it warmed and brightened up so by ten I was down the allotment, forking and weeding for all I was worth.  It is slow progress but I finished clearing the second strip so now we can get that area boarded off and covered with membrane and chips.  I also started sorting out the loads of wood we had to hold the covering plastic down so now we can start uncovering, forking and weeding the rest of that part.

Some wood we want to keep as it is shaped to make raised beds.  The other is only fit for firewood and I wonder if there's anyone local who has a wood burning stove and who would be able to use it.  I must talk to Beth about this.  It seems an awful shame to just dump it if it could be used.

The rest of the day was idled away.  A bit of housework, a bit of washing and a bit of telly watching plus a visit to Morrison's to stock up with sugar (for preserving) as they have 2k bags for 88p which is amazing value.  I also picked up a few YS things including some asparagus which looks too old and tough for dippy eggs but which should make a lovely soup.  At 9p the bunch, it was too good to walk past.  I've never made asparagus soup so need to research it a bit.  Diane - have you?

Today is, hopefully, a bit of allotmenting and then I'm off, picnic lunch in hand, to Coggeshall.  It's been on my list of things to do for ages now so I am very much looking forward to it.  When I get home there will just be time to make dinner and then I shall crash out in front of the telly.

In the time it has taken to write this, the sun has gone and the sky has darkened.  Drat and drabbit!  Fingers crossed, eh!

Sunday, 14 May 2017


Good morning, everyone.  It turned out to be a rather damp day yesterday, interspersed with sunny intervals.  As the showers were extremely heavy, I didn't risk the allotment but I did do a bit in my own back garden.  The vegetable plantlets are now hardening out outside and in a few weeks will be ready for planting in their final destination.

Looking around, I saw this.

For a number of years I have tried to get a passion flower plant established there.  I had one but it failed to thrive.  Last year (or was it the year before?) a lovely friend gave me a plant she had brought on herself but the same thing.  I concluded that it wasn't the 'right' place and comforted myself with the knowledge that the hostas and the hyacinths like it there anyway.  And then, yesterday, I saw this - not the hosta but the one right in the middle of the photo.  It is growing where the passion flower plants were and I am now wondering if one or other has decided it likes that position after all and is giving it a go.
It could, of course, be a weed but I don't think so.
I am sure some of my much more knowledgeable readers will recognise it - please do let me know.

Poking around in my middle bed, the delphinium seems to be fighting back after being chomped by snails and the penstemon is sending out growth but I have lost the veronica and I dug the roots up yesterday.  I think I might like a lupin there instead.  I had a lovely lupin elsewhere in the bed but managed to kill it by spraying it with weed killer in mistake for bug spray several years ago.  I was so cross with myself!
Anyway, I think a trip to a garden centre might be on the books this week.

I'm trying very hard to keep the Japanese anemone contained this year to give the other plants around a chance and dug up several little efforts that were spreading elsewhere.  I was warned that they are a bit invasive!.  The fuchsia was a bit swamped by it last year so I'm hoping it will be better this year.

Apart from garden, the rest of the day was pretty lazy, all in all.

Today it has clearly been raining more overnight but I will do allotment this morning unless it is actually pouring with rain.  If I do get caught, I can shelter or come home but there are things that really do need doing!

Beth and Al are not coming over today so I have another day to myself.  I've been doing more planning for my holiday from home and have various printouts scattered around the computer.  I have also been organising meals and have a short shopping list of things to get.  It should be fun!

It's nearly seven so time to get moving, I think: it is just too easy to sit in front of the computer and let the time idle away if I don't.
See you tomorrow!