Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Unexpected vistor for Breakfast

Yup, it happened again! A third pigeon has fallen down our chimney in seven months of living here.
Tomorrow I will be stomping into the letting agents office and demanding someone comes out to put a cover over my chimney within the week. I hate being that person, but it's ridiculous to have had three occurrences so close together. 
 I am getting rather efficient at catching them now though.

Within seconds of being released it was perched back on the edge of the chimney pot, with a flock of pigeon friends! Action is needed.
x x x

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Green gifts (some great, some NOT!)

 I had a little tray of green gifts from my parents this weekend. I've just finished popping them into pots and thought I would share them with you all.
 First some minty flavored salad leaves, these should last a little while if I only take what I need each time.

 Two Basil plants, to keep me going while my seedlings mature a bit.

 A coriander plant. Never tried growing these before, I use the seeds in my pickling though so it would be another step towards self sufficiency if I could produce my own.

It doesn't photograph well, but this is purple basil. PURPLE! I'm going to try and get these guys to grow big and healthy. Can you imagine how pretty green and purple pesto would look? Or sprinkled purple basil over pasta!

And finally a present I DIDN'T appreciate! This hairy legged hitchhiker was hiding under one of the plug pots. I managed to trap it using the old postcard and jam jar trick for a quick snap before regifting it back to my Dad. He released it out into the garden, but I'm on highest alert now in case he tries to sneak back in.

x x x

Monday, 8 September 2014

Just another Manic Monday

It's been all go here today I can tell you. DD had her very first day at school and was all dressed up in her sparkly new uniform. I managed to somehow get her hair pretty for school, though how I managed it on a bouncy over excited and anxious four year old I will never know.

Once we returned from school at lunch time (new starters only do half days for a while) we found a wonderful little parcel from Angela over at Tracing Rainbows. I had admired her Snow White aprons on the Tracing Rainbows blog. DD was of course thrilled and wore it for the rest of the day!

At 3pm the plums arrived! I was offered a job lot of plums by a kind lady on Streetbank, who not only gave me 10 1/2lbs of Victoria plums for free, but delivered them herself as well!
 Being short on time while DD assimilates into school I've frozen them down in 1lb bags skinned and destoned. But you can imagine just how many crumbles, pots of jam, syrup, jellies etc are coming our way with these tucked away for later.

And another peek at the Basil! Growing it in August under a pop bottle is definitely the way to go, I think I must have near on 100% germination from my sprinkle of seeds.  I'm leaving the lid off the bottle now to allow some air to circulate without shocking the seedlings. But I think in a day or two I will just leave it off completely and let them do their thing.

x x x

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Sunday Shenanigans

 Today I have been picking tomatos from the garden.  The first of the larger tomatos were ready today.

I started some apple seeds in the fridge. I was given some lovely apples by a friend so I've saved the seeds in the hope I can grow my own trees.

I turned one of the huge marrows I was gifted (thank y
 you mum and dad) into three jars of spicy pickled marrow. I've not tried it before but I'm assured it's delicious with cheese and crackers. 

And just look at all that baby basil! I couldn't believe how many popped up overnight.
Fingers crossed I get some good strong plants from this little lot. I want to make pesto!

X x X

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Aloe Vera Babies

I spent a rather enjoyable hour in the garden this afternoon with my growing plant collection. The tomatoes are starting to ripen and I'm picking a few each day. I should have enough this year to keep us in cheese sandwiches and side salads but not much else. Next year expansion is needed in this area for sure.
 I also potted up some baby Aloe Vera. I have two "mother" plants who between them have produced  8 baby Vera.

I am hoping to grow them slowly but surely into size able plants for selling, trading and of course using.

 I also have these four mystery plants. One of my mother plants was purchased recently from a charity shop plant sale, it appears I have tiny hitchhikers. I think they must be a similar plant to Aloe Vera as they have that thick squishy leaf quality to them. I've decided to grow them for the moment and see what they turn out to be. If they aren't a useful plant than please pray that they are pretty and sellable lol

And finally a quick update on my Basil project. We have sprouting!  I can so far see three tiny green plants starting out of the ten or so seeds I sprinkled in. I'm hoping to see the rest shortly, but three days to germinate in August isn't bad going I don't think. Hopefully I will have an army of plants by late spring for selling, trading and using.

x x x

Thursday, 4 September 2014

First Christmas knit completed

 I am so pleased with how this turned out! I've hung the 6 stockings on some hairy string with a little white bell threaded in between each one.

  Very festive looking of the bureau I think. And each time I open a drawer it jingles :)

x x x

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Experimenting with Basil

 I saw an interesting Pin recently on Pinterest about growing Basil through the winter indoors and then planting them outside once the frosts have past. That way you are already ahead of the game for herb growing season, with the occasional fresh leaf here and there over the colder months too.
 Seeing as I had some Basil seeds, an empty drinks bottle and a helpful DD, I thought why not give it a go.

We've sprinkled about 10-12 seeds in this pot of damp compost, and covered it with half of the bottle to give it a mini greenhouse effect. Hopefully in a weeks time we will see teeny tiny shoots poking through.
 If these come through I might try a few other herbs indoors over winter to get me started quicker outside next summer.
Wish me luck

x x

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Garden Progress

 Made a little more progress in the front garden today with my next pallet bed.  I lined it with the last of the plastic from our new mattress, and covered the open edges with more pallet boards and fence panel.
 I've thrown in a handful of questionable kale seeds to see if they do anything.

After all that sawing and hammering I needed a nice hefty lunch. So clever hubby and DD whipped up
a hearty potato and leek soup with rice pasta and some languishing sausage from the fridge. It was a delicious and frugal lunch that really hit the spot.