Thursday, 21 October 2010

"Testing Testing One Two Three....."

...... said the cat, as she uploaded her favourite photo of herself once again 'to see if it worked', then told Trousers how to do it, and then downloaded it for him, with one paw on the keyboard, and one on her hip......  Kids, eh, who'd have 'em?!

(If the photo of BC looking to camera does NOT appear on your screens Children, the start of this blog will read like I've finally lost my Conkers.   Such that I will personally demote the cat to Sous Chef, helping me wash up in the kitchen, and Trousers'll try a completely different tack to resume photos to our blob himself....  Of course, I'm about as much use to the Computing Fraternity as A Chocolate Teapot.....But thank you for YOUR helpful suggestions so far.X.)

Anyway,  I had a truly lovely surprise in the post box today, because a birthday card arrived well ahead of next Tuesday, from the adorable 'Scareys' en France, and I'm purposely going to torture myself with not opening it until my actual 50th on the 26th of October, but I do just want to send a HUGE hug back to them for their thoughtfulness, for now, assuring them of its' safe arrival.....Mmwa, Mmwaa, merci beaucoup Angels, on both cheeks.X.

This is probably only a half-hearted attempt at a blog update on my part kiddy-winkies, because, as some of you avid fruit'n'vegetable growers will be aware, if you're an active reader of Grow Your Own forum, Wellie's been fairly incap.incap.under the weather with well-dodgy Sacro-Illiacs over the last eleven months, but only bleeting about it pathetically of late, and thankfully, as the saying goes, I'm 'under the doctor' now, just having received the second of my Prolotherapy  Lumbar injections on Monday, and today being Thursday, not yet being able to feel the existence of my own bottom, is what I would term as "somewhat disconcerting still"....

However, excitedly talking of Birthdays, because turning 50 is, me thinks, rather spesh.... Trousers is 'taking me somewhere' for the event, and we've got friends staying here for the duration to molly-coddle the cat, stoke up the woodburner, cuddle the sheep, that kind of thing.... but he's only so far given me spurious clues:

* You'll need to take your Swimming Costume
* You'll be being 'shown something'
*  It's located in The South/South West of England
*  You'll need 'walking gear'
*  They grow their own vegetables on site
*  You'll need to be dressed smartly for part of the time
*  It's not a pub, but it could be a hotel
*  We'll be taking The Truck (Wellie's affectionate word for The Car)
*  And did I tell you that I absolutely adore you?

No - I made that last one up...... That was me just joshing/joking, and anticipating that that might be my surprise birthday present.
From The Cat, obviously..........!

Talking of Special Birthdays:....and I feel that I can say this now...: Mother, after a whole ten years, honestly, I did truly like the Gary Rhodes Cookbook you got me for my 40th. but a big fat cheque would be much more appreciated for my 50th, if it wouldn't be too much trouble.....

I'll say one thing, because it's true:  I am much more comfortable in my own skin now that I'm nearing 50, than I have ever been in my entire life up until this day, and for that, I am very grateful to those of you who have helped me achieve this level of happiness over the last ten years of my life.  And still being actively able to tap into my own bizarre sense of humour on a momentary basis, whatever situation that I find myself in, has obviously helped smooth out any daily encountered wrinkles.  Hence, my beautiful complexion, obviously.....

Between now and my 50th Birthday, I shall be here, contemplating my navel, if any of you want to reach me.
And, of course, I will continue to be a nuisance on The Grapevine (Grow Your Own forum) as and when our TemperMental Computer allows me to.
In the meantime, thank you for listening.

PS.  Please don't feel obliged to spoil my birthday surprise by replying with an expert stab at where Trousers is taking me.
I'm a very sensible, grown-up woman, and if he doesn't tell me exactly where we're going by the time we leave The Funny Farm, I'm either going to throw all my teddies out of the pram, or just refuse to go.......
Bless you for watching.X.

Friday, 15 October 2010


I say 'Phew...' with affection, in addition to exhaustion, obviously! because I'm still walking the old Severn Bridge, and back again, because my Doctor advised me to walk between one and two hours a day, and I don't take things like that 'lying down', obviously.......because dodgy Sacro Illiacs darling, you just wouldn't want to go there, and actually, I had a lovely telephone conversation with my goodly friend Gloria the other day, and now she's brilliantly wanting to walk the bridge with me. and that'll be lovely, because that'll be a really big giggle.
(See Wellie having got to Costa Coffee, and Gloria still on the first strutt of the first nut of the bridge on the Cheppie Side, still taking a photo....) and me phoning her to ask if she'd like Cinny or Chocky on her Chino?Which is just exactly why I love her.

My mother always used to say to other people, that I spent so much energy during the summer that I was exhausted by the autumn, and to be perfectly honest, there's prolly not a truer word was spoken by a wiser woman.

Thankfully, I've just started to write to my mother again after a gap of ten years since my father died, sadly of Throat Cancer, and, obviously, I still miss him hugely and enormously.
Can I share a secret with you? My dad always used to dry up the dishes with a tea towel in each hand. Try it. It makes perfect sense, and I do it all the time.....

Paulie and I had A Dinner Party tonight, which was nice....
And the couple that we shared our home with were just so lovely, refreshingly humorous, brilliant storytellers, and a complete JOY to cook for, and NO, I'm NOT going to give you their number!
John and Gina, seriously, you are such perfect guests, and thank you for being guinea piglets for my little Caribbean Levi Roots experiment this evening.

I find myself still apologising for no photos, but Trousers does assure me that it is not at all possible to put photographs onto the blog.
Without photos, you may as well chop my knees off, and if the computy is indeedy that dead, I'm going to knock this Blog squarely on the head.
I know it's Drama Queen, but no photos, no blog.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Autumnal Witterings

Autumnal Witterings, because I decided that the garden is way too weedy, and you've witnessed too many Smug Trugs already.... so:

On visiting the Dentist for a check-up this afternoon, I parked in the same vicinity as six months ago, and discovered, to my utmost horror, that there were kilos and kilos of wild rosehips on a pickable-height hedge in front of my bumper, that had gone over and were now way too soft to harvest. What am I LIKE?!! (mental note to oneself: next dental visit end of March.... the one after that'll be end September, so keep an eye on the garden ones' and do a drive by Luv to the dentists' a couple of weeks earlier, no?!)

It's all the fault of my paternal grandfather, I seem to remember, because he was the one that nurtured my horticultural interest, by showing me and explaining the theory behind shaking the tomato plants in his greenhouse to help the pollination happen. From then on in, I was very quietly hooked....

Many years later, when I eventually met my maternal grandfather, I discovered that he and I also shared an interest in horticulture, and I remember wishing that I'd met him much earlier in my life.

However, whoever which one of them, or both, keep sending me these brilliant 'Ping' Ideas, or snippets of knowledge from that garden in the sky, consider yourselves well and truly adored Gentlemen, because it is turning my life around so beautifully.

Talking of which..... Trousers and his mate Jim went detecting with Pete last weekend, and the three of them went detecting on a Rally, with another sixty or so like-minded enthusiasts, somewhere over towards Cardif evidently. Either that, or they devoured a whole tin of homemade Biscotti Bickies on their own, and sinfully, neglected to bring the empty tin back. Although I'd settle for a very valuable piece of Roman jewellry instead of a replacement tin, if truth be known.

I know, credit where credit is due.... but allegedly, Wellie's Cheesy Sheep biscuits (made for a previous detecting rally) are now in high demand, so my culinary experiments are indeedy paying dividends somewhere along the line, eh?

My 'best friend' Gloria came over yesterday to take more photographs of produce that I'm still growing, produce that I've harvested, and produce that I've preserved/stored.

And it's rather a lovely thought, that one day, one of her photographs of something that I've grown, harvested or preserved, may end up being published in a book on the shelves, and admired by me, one of you, or one of your children, or childrens' children in years to come. Because, like my own late father, she proffers them for use to Photographic Libraries, and has had a lot of her kitchen garden work accepted very recently......
..... or who knows, I might get a book of my own published one day..... with
Photographs by Gloria Nicol.
I'd still got some SweetiCorn Cobs producing in The Funny Farm Kitchen Garden, from a successful experiment of successional sowing this year, and I was amazed that Gloria had never eaten a freshy picked and cooked corn cob. So whilst she did what she's best at with her photography, I did what I'm best at. Five minutes later, a healthy lunch was served. And then completely ruined half an hour hence, with a square of Chocolate Truffle Brownie, fresh raspberries and cream, and a shot of Wellie's newly decanted wickedly-homemade Strawberry Rum 'a la Bob Flowerdew', if you please!

Now then. With the pure symmetry that Gloria and I share of cooking and preserving, with new recipes that we've found, new books that have just miraculously fallen out of the sky, landing on our cookbook shelves - last count totalling One Hundred And Thirty Five, ouch?! (until Trousers notices at The Funny Farm, obviously!), I would just like to say a very heartfelt thankyou Gloria, for the gift of my 'Preserving Tongs' Sweetheart.

I'm not in the least bit worried that people reading this will think that I've taken to curling my eyelashes between Jam Making Sessions, because I'm way too busy for that, but because there is nothing quite like being given the right tool to do the right job, whilst the raised James Martin Pancakes are on the stove, I shall multi-task and 'flick' my hair a little, or do I mean Paul Hollywood?
Unless you are here in my kitchen, you will never know, my friends.
But bless you for listening.X

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Bring It In.....'n' ..... Bring It On !!

I've been systematically banging on all week long to anyone that will listen about the weather closing in of an evening, because largely, I'm having to put a woolly pully on whilst I'm preparing His Lordships Supper, and I'm finding that I've got an affectionate gardening cat draped over my shoulders whilst I'm trying to have 40 winks of a nightie night-time on my pillow as well, which is a sure sign that Her Ladyship is also feeling the cold.

And so, I decided that it's time to harvest as many of the Summer Herbs as you possibly can, as quickly as you can now, in order to preserve their fragrance. If you miss it this month, you're not likely to get a decent hint of a harvest until the hottest rays come out again next year.

I used to hoard great quantities of broths, casseroles, stews, crumbles and stuff in our freezers, making vats of stuff at a time? Not no more I don't.... because I'm largely getting wise about amalgamating into small quantitites of flavours, preserving in oils and vinegars, bottling, and capturing herbs in sauces, to THEN add to a breast of chicken that I just bought yesterday, or a Tenderloin of Pork for a special Saturday Night Dinner.
Get my drift? That way, I'm only preserving (by whatever means) the barest minimum in an electrical appliance wot's costing precious pennies for months on end.

I'm still only learning, because it was only a few years back that I actually started to grow stuff to eat, even though it seems like a lot longer.... time flies, obviously, and Trousers does indeed feel like it's been A LifeTime Sentence, obviously, because he was just shaking his head to someone just recently about 'what is it that she just does?'. no, actually, I'm lying to was more insulting than that... he was shaking his head and asking the question of MOI?! (Do Mothers actually imprint that pained look on blokes foreheads at birth? or do they get that tattooed later as a hormonal teenager?)

So, my mate Pigletwillie came up complete and utter trumps last weekend, and allowed us to snaffle away about a thousand of the jars that Trousers originally picked up from some factory for him in the South, transporting them up to him at his home, and now (if you're still following and haven't dropped off to sleep), we've brought a goodly amount of them back from Pigletwillie's place to The Funny Farm again, for Wellie to put her own Funny Farm Produce in.
So basically, these Jars are sporting some serious 'Go Well Go Shell' Miles under their screwtops.

Bless you Piggy, a truck load of jammy jars in the truck, and, miraculously, not a single dollop of chicken poo in there at all (quality shot mate!), and thankfully, no-one forgot to put lids in the truck too?!

And anyone that actively hates photographic shots being put together, will absolutely hate this, but......
I like to grow it, bag it, and harvest it ....

And when the Orchard/Garden/Hedgerows are just bulging with stuff to 'snaffle away', I'm the first person there with A Trug (or fifteen....!):
Rosehips, Goosegogs, Cobnuts, Borlotti & Serbian Climbing Beans, Peppers, Courgettes, Sunblushed Tomatoes, Dried Pot Marigold Petals, Baby Aubergines, drying herb seeds, freshly chopped herbs for the freeer, unctiously infused oils with herbs from the garden.....

Personally, I don't know where I find the time.....!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Sowing, Reaping, Harvesting and Saying Thank You.X

I was always taught not to speak with my mouth full, and so I won't, and you'll just have to wait until I've finished....................................................................................................................................

How do you even begin to describe how gorgeous life is at home with a mouthful of homemade crumble with Physalis, Plums, Bramleys, and Greengages in? And that not being gorgeous enough, to go and stick a goodly dollop of custard on top.
Honestly, forget Nigella and Sophie, respectfully, The Pope would be wise to stop off at The Funny Farm this week, and no word of a lie.

Not wishing to dis Trousers in any way, shape or form......but since we moved into The Funny Farm, he has caused me no end of disarray Children? Sometimes He gets out there himself and takes the pictures, but a lot of the time I do, because I'm here more, and kind of notice things more as they happen..... The Cat never does, and nor should she, because she should indeed ask for our permission before she borrows the camera, obviously....

But this time, Trousers has posted the photos up in a hugely sensible order for me to talk about, because it's kind of all about Reaping and Harvesting, and quality time spent, and just properly appreciating the gorgeousness of what you've been allowed to enjoy.

After such a hard Winter, it was brilliant to be able to get out into the Kitchen Garden, and try and make some kind of sense out of the chaos of trying to 'settle in' last year and define paths and borders and compost heaps, and what the livestock would 'half-inch', given half the chance..... And so it has been beautiful to just allow ourselves the occasional snatched moment of pleasure, and sometimes, in the form of a simple photograph for the blog that we then appreciate more than any of you watching from afar, if that makes any sense.

Trousers is spending now much more quality time doing just what he adores, metal detecting, albeit away from home sometimes, but with like-minded souls,....but surely, that's the nature of the game, because afterall, if you're in your own back yard, on your tod all of the time, that would become a tad tedious after a while, no? And I'm having a lovely time now meeting his new buddies when they come to visit, cooking a nice lunch for them, or my speciality Cheesy Sheep Biscuits for him to take to one of his 'Take Something From The Wife, But Don't Bring Her With You Buffet In A Field Somewhere'?!

Which suitably brings me onto the subject of Don Juan here, this Big Bloke in the field of very girly sheeps outside of our kitchen window.....
Momentarily he's just resting, until he's identified his 'Today Girlfriends'...
The other morning, he was completely prostrate on the grass and we had to go check that he was still alive, but thankfully, he was just resting again..... Personally, Trousers being a Painter and Decorator, tried to 'gloss over' what Don Juan may or may not have been up to during the dark hours. You can't pull the wool over Wellies eyes, and I'm expecting there to be many bouncing baby baa lambs before the spring is out next year, and no mistake.

Concentrate now Wellie? Where was I......Oh yes....

I've been harvesting that much produce from the Kitchen Garden and greenhouses, that I
decided to finalise my plans of turning the Conservatory into a proper working Summer Kitchen, at completely nil expense, and with Trousers superbly collecting me odds'n'sods that he finds at work in this or that skip, it's enabled me to organise myself there for ripening possible 'Blighty Tommies', drying beans, sunflower seeds, bringing in pots of fresh garden herbs, etc. etc

Don't get me wrong, the Funny Farmhouse Kitchen works brilliantly for me, but out here in the Conservatory at this gorgeous time of the year, when the light is bright, but there's a nip in the air, I still feel like I'm right out there in the garden itself, and that's what I set out to achieve when I planned it, so Thank You Angels....X.
And whilst the boiler isn't switched on in this corner of the conservatory, the undercover and sunny quarters are helping to ripen what I hope will be our winter wonderland of produce for the kitchen table at a much later date.

I've never grown Summer Raspberries, so I'm of the Autumn Bliss Prince 'Raspberry Beret' Brigade, and I kinda like it that way actually.... because they have the potential to be bigger and better, and being much later, you have more available time to squirrel them away in whatever shape or form you choose to.
On a daily basis now, I'm picking between 55 and 75 raspberries.
I only know that, because I count them into my little basket, and it's a very silly game that I play with myself, because depending on how you position them, that's how many you can fit into a 500ml bottling kilner with sugar syrup, if you're dead gentle with them.
I rest my case?
No point in telling Trousers, because he laughs at the merest thought of me in a pair of Onion Goggle Glasses at forty paces, let alone with a pinny on and counting raspberries in and out of a weeny trug tied to my pinny strings.
With the fruits that don't make the grade, as it were, I freeze them every day, and when I've got enough to do something sensible with, I either make jam or juice them. The idea is largely to get anything that doesn't NEED to be in the freezer OUT of the freezer, to make room for shed-loads of homemade chilli, moussaka, lasagne, curries, stews, casseroles, a huge array of inventive homemade sauces/pestos....

..... sometimes I wonder how Trousers would cope living with a boring person?
I need him to multi-task when he's out Detecting now Boys if you're reading this, because I now have room in my freezer for a woodcock, a partridge or two, pigeon breasts, a brace of peasants, a Wild Boar or a whole collection of conjoined Venison Joints.
And I know how to cook them to perfection.
With just six weeks until I disgracefully turn 50 years of age, I can't quite decide how I would like to spend that special space......
For now, thank you for being here.X

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder

Two very well-fed and watered members of this household, I think you'll find, and if I hadn't taken the laundry basket upstairs myself, when he faithfully promised that he would, you'd be staring at it in the next blog update as well, and no word of a lie my friends......

As Trousers discovered for himself this Saturday morning, Wellie has had her trusty toolbox out this week, and done absolute wonders with what blokes call Dee Eye Wye.
Because it isn't Rocket Science, and they're embarassed to see that you've done it without them, let alone the fact that it's days and days before they've even noticed that you have?
Girls - Don't be remotely afraid of it. It's Common Sense with a capital C and a capital S.....

I adore Rainbows, don't you? and this one turned into THE most magnificent double rainbow, which just 'blew me away' (metaphorically, obviously, or I wouldn't be writing the blog now...)

You see, the thing that I'm learning with having a productive Orchard in The Sick Sheep Field, just over the fence from your back garden, is that it's a complete Free For All.
Not only do the Bluetits think that they have 'Carte Blanche' over your yet unripe Pears...... the truth is, that they DO have Carte Blanche over your yet unripe Pears, the young Steers WILL scratch that annoying itch on the underside of the already struggling Pear Tree that's desperately trying to creep over our side of the fence for some kind of survival respite, and basically, you have to witness it, smack your forehead with your right hand, get over it, and just mentally move on.
Not content with hoovering up the Orchard Floor twice a day of the Bramley Seedlings Children, the Steers are wrapping their salivating tongues round whole dripping branching of Plums, and whilst I've got a tap in perfectly good working order in both the kitchen, and the conservatory, I'm making a mental note to pick my plums from much higher up already.

But that's only because I'm a stickler for hygiene when it comes to cooking and preserving stuff.
Give me a worm sandwich or a mud pie as a child, and I was happy as Larry (whoever Larry was back in those Good Ol' Days, when we were actively encouraged to, eh?!....)
Nowadays, I'm up to my Proverbial Armpits in produce, and I only have myself to blame for that, thankfully.
I've got THAT much to do, and not enough hours in the day to do it all in, and then I calm down, tell myself to just 'Get A Grip Wellie', not to be such a ruddy Drama Queen, give myself a good slap, and just get on with it.

And, to be perfectly honest, that normally works.
However, if Himself or The Cat start.... I don't muck about... I just get the Paint Balling Kit out, no?!
You're very special for being here, so thank you, because I know you enjoy reading this from many corners of the globe. X.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

I know, I know..... Wellie's prize Turks Turban Pumpkin looks a bit like 'A Smacked Arse'?

I know, I know, it's way too tempting, but I couldn't possibly................

And I'm here to tell you Children, it is indeed one Ginormous One.

There's something rather 'unctious' about it that rather 'oddly' makes me want to nurture it, but then again, I am largely in love with the stuff that I grow, and I make not one jot of an excuse for the love I put into growing it, harvesting it or cooking it - whether it's a sprig of Sweet Marjoram, or a Smacked Arse of Pumpkin.

Every single year that I grow stuff, I get more and more in love with the very brilliant Irish chef (Denis Cotter), because it gives me more time on this planet to try out each and every one of his gorgeous vegetarian recipes. This week, his Green Curry graced our table......Neither Trousers, nor I, are vegetarian, and you don't have to be as far as I'm concerned, to enjoy his brilliant combination of flavours, because you can always serve a bit of what you fancy on the side, as 'The Actress Said To The Bishop'.

I don't know about you, but we've had a shed-load of the wet stuff p-p-p-persisting it down here lately, although I did manage to get a mini-second-worth of weeding done one afternoon this week whilst the Autumn Bliss were rotting on their stalks/the Pigeons were pecking the hearts out of my Summer Cabbages/my Gardening Cat was weeing 'wherever' in my seedbeds, and...............

Don't be fooled .... I know she looks like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, but butter does indeed melt in her mouth my friends, and she has me, and the good Lord Trousers, wound round her little finger so often, and so tightly, that it's beginning to restrict the bloodflow. And nor would we wish it any other way, because she's absolutely gorgeous, and we utterly adore her.

Now I promise you that I HAVE actually had better things to do with my life this week up until now, and I'm sure that Trousers and my mate Jim will champion the cause for 'watching paint dry', but actually, that HAS been, largely, what I've been doing with my Tomato 'Armpit Cutting Plants', because every day I've been visiting them in The Draughty Dutch Greenhouse, winding them around their support strings, shaking them to distribute the pollen, feeding and watering - and I am completely gobsmacked at how much growth they are putting on, each and every single day, because I promise you, you can actually see them growing....and since striking the cuttings, there's potentially 4 or 5 viable flower/fruit trusses to each plant now, and I've got designs of pinching out the tips of them this weekend.

So how sad am I?

Unfortunately, The Draughty Dutch Greenhouse is very draughty, with whole panes of glass or perspex missing, torrential rain oozing in every single crevice, moss growing between the overheads, but I constantly remind myself of how lucky I am to have it, because I don't know what I'd do without it.

I've moved the Aubergine plants to BC's Greenhouse now, having de-foliated them rather a lot of old and rather 'Red Spider-Mited' leaves.

My three favourite men all seem to be a bit busy, but please, trust me..... you'd be a wise bloke NOT to stick your hand up when I ask the question just now, that if anyone knows of a really willing handy-bloke at all, that I have a million and one DIY stuff to be done, because they'd only bite your head off?

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Pretty Productive My Friends.....

Now here's a funny thing..... The weather in our 'Ruth Jones' part of the country has been a little autumnal of late, (see Wellie doing roasted beetroot, green garlic and fresh marjoram in the Rayburn) and when it does that, I get all 'nesting' and start to preserve stuff like a complete looney squirrel. And actually, that's prolly what Mother Nature intends us to do, to be fair, because The Seasons, is definitely (see Wellie do an Austin Powers ):"""""The Seasons """"".
And I've got shed-loads more Golden, and Bulls Blood Beetroots planted to follow-on from this lot, which is already scaring me rather a lot (!)

You do reap and harvest according to your own gut feeling, I'm here to tell you that it is truly amazing, with a teeny-weeny bit of experience to just 'know' when something is absolutely ripe for harvesting, but kind of what you actually DO with it beyond that point, we all need the advice of the best knowledge we can source, especially when you're that busy that your own brain has preserved itself into mush. Which is just why I am still very much in love with the Grow Your Own 'Grapevine' forum, because, let's face it, they're the only friends that I have in the world?
No. That was a Joke.... but you can truly count on every single one of your personal favourites to come up trumps every time with top banana advice for what you want to know, when you want to know it, and that is no word of a lie.

When SweetieCob Corns are ready, you eat them straight away, because if you wait too long, you've completely missed the point of growing to eat. And believe me, we all can beautifully get it wrong sometimes. Last year, I grew cobs that didn't form properly, and were just 'gappy' (not my fault personally) but hardly worth the effort. This year, I grew 'Invincible' and sowed it a few weeks apart, which has given us a staggered harvest, so they don't all crop at once, which is much better (and just why did that not occur to me before now, you silly moo?!)

And kind of 'Put It There' Wellie Blog Followers, because...........

I can't apologise enough Children (once again) for the very brilliant Trousers, who seems intent on challenging me every Blob Update, to see if I can rise to 'talking backwards' about the photographs.

SO: In the photograph above, we have between 3 and 4 pounds of Walnuts In The Green.
And just HOW did those walnuts end up in the weighing scales Boys'n'Girls?

Yes...... They were indeedy picked by Himself from the roof of his van this very evening (and much to the annoyance of a neighbouring farmer who was wanting to turn left into this lane, but we quickly got out of his way, which didn't stop him 'tutting' or 'shaking his head'.... (Get a life mate, because you wouldn't have picked those walnuts yourself even if you'd had the time, the three cars that you were holding up on the main road weren't bovvered? and the walnuts were overhanging the verge anyway) or shoot me.....

Actually, considering that I call my man 'Trousers', I can now quite understand why he likes this photo rather a lot.

To be perfectly honest with you (but don't whatever you do tell Trousers this, or he'll make me pay for the dents in the top of his van roof?) we could possibly have 'missed the boat'.
One is supposed to pick Walnuts In The Green the same week as Wombledon, allegedly.
Failing that, according to the WI by 12th July.
And then I read that you should make Pickled Walnuts in the autumn.

I have a Pickled Walnut Recipe.

See Wellie lick her finger, stick it in the air, make an 'Executive Decision' and just 'Wing It Anway', hoping that Mother Nature might smile on her and turn a blind eye just this once and give her a break. Because all I want to do with the sodding things is just try pickling them for the first time because I'm adventurous, okay?!

I will only just 'touch' on this subject briefly, to give you all time to organise my suprise party (yeah right!) because I'm going to be a whole 50 this October? but I find myself talking like A Grumpy Old Woman about stuff, so, if I 'go off on one about green walnuts, or wash-in hair colour, you have my permission to shoot me.

To be perfectly honest with you, the No.73 Medium Ash Blonde hair colour wasn't a huge success today, in my eyes, but then again, Trousers never even noticed that I'd done it.
Unfortunately, the cat did, and wasn't too keen, suggesting that I might plump for a lighter colour next time..... bitch, but reliably honest, when you want an honest opinion.

Whoever said that sweet peppers had to be red or yellow? I think these Purple ones are just gorgeous!...

Trousers has done well to capture an essence of our new kitchen garden here from an upstairs window, as it's not easy to make a newly-formed productive garden 'look good', but I'm pleased, because it kind of shows you what can be done 'in your own back yard' with a little thought and planning.

Considering that it was just a boring old bit of weedy grass last April, I'm thinking that whilst Trousers is working, and the cat is sleeping, that I'm 'getting somewhere', and it is indeed, Pretty Productive, My Friends....
Thank you for being here and reading this.
If you feel inspired, don't just read this, get out there and do it!!!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Grown Up Savoury Jelly Babies, Clearly.....

Without glazing, or being firmly sited in the right place, on 'terra ferma', this is still Wellie's kind of next Spring Greenhouse, because Trousers acquired it from a detecting mate who wanted it OUT of his garden, and on account of Trousers going to work at Sparrow Fart every morning (if one's allowed to say that on air?!) and not getting home till the sun has gone over the yard arn.........he's not had a chance to get it up and running for me yet. And my Gardening Cat adores it, sleeping in there on sunny afternoons, amusingly walking in through the unglazed door, as opposed to the unglazed 'rest of it'. For that reason alone, I shall prolly end up calling it BC's Greenhouse, because we've already got 'The Peach'n'Nectarine Greenhouse' and 'The Draughty Dutch Greenhouse', none of which 'roll off the tongue' at all.......

And to be perfectly honest with you, it's just so beautifully petite, to house my soil-warming-cable that I've been 'itching' to re-invent into a Wellie's Workshop propagating unit since we moved to The Funny Farm. (Hold me down Children.... Wellie's thinking of getting the tool box out again?!)

Hopefully, towards the end of this year we'll be able to erect Wellie's 'Grown-Up Girls' Greenhouse', the big 16footer. (See Trousers shake his head Children).......

Anyhow. I was asked to make some Cheese Straws for my lovely Mrs. Hyphen-Hyphen's family party the other weekend, in amongst looking after one of her grandchildren for them during the festivities, and I happened to have some of the cheesiness left over. I know.... how unfair is that?, and so I decided to make A Flock of Cheesy Sheeps for Trousers and I to enjoy with a glass of vino....
And No, I have no intention of 'Growing Up' if that's what you're thinking of suggesting!
It's just grown-up savoury Jelly Babies, clearly.... !! X
Trousers and I went to Barbara and Derek's HogRoast today, in aid of Alzheimer Care Trust, and had a FABULOUS time.. The Hog was gorgeously tender and succulent, the rain came down in drizzles, then persist, persisted, pissed it down,..... rather a lot actually, and I thought fondly then of our best friends, who I just adore, with knobs on, who we shared time with at that same 'doo' this time last year, where we got 'completely pissed on' from the heavens above at a local fete the day before, where Trousers and Himself won a Coconut each in the Coconut Shire Wotsit, and we drowned ourselves in the beer tent to keep dry.... Rarely does one larf quite so much in one day my friends.
Today we met some ever so lovely new people, and this particular lovely fluffy little darling I met last week, in a quiet moment, and so I was able to introduce her to Trousers today, having been nibbling my ear......
The Baby Duckling ..... not Trousers.... and don't I tell you every week not to make your own story up kids?!X
For the HogRoast, I'd filled a trug with Wellie's Kitchen Garden Produce as a Raffle Prize, which DID go down extremely well with the lady that won it.
To support this good cause, we bought 12 raffle tickets, and I did have to make the joke along the way in amongst the raindrops, that I was THIS knee deep in Vegetables, that I wouldn't want to win 'the trug of vegetables' at all. I think the irony was a little lost on the raffle ticket seller somehow, but we did end up winning a box of glass-encased Christmas Puddings, which Trousers reliably informs me, are Candles.
Whoopy Doo for Candles, and an excellent prezzie for your Auntie Margaret or a next door neighbour, if you're not very fond, obviously...

I was kindly asked after our local Village Produce Show the other weekend whether I would be willing to take on the role of actually organising/running The Show in the future (on account of the present lady retiring this year). I was, quite frankly, stunned and amazed to be asked, having only entered their show for the very first time this year. And actually, I'd love to.... but I have yet to establish whether they're just 'desperate', or if it's Me that they want, and to be honest, it does depend on how much 'new blood' they are willing to allow to creep in amongst their comfy slipper brigade, because I am a firm believer in a kind of 'reinvention' on a modern take on The Local Village Show, so that it's more fun and accessible to ALL local people, and obviously, if, they are not 'prepared for that' (as the Prime Minister said so beautifully in the film LOVE ACTUALLY), then, sadly, I will not be able to help them out at all.
Oh, and just before I disappear on you for a day or so (in order to allow Trousers to do his magic on uploading more photographs and stuff)......
I might just completely 'lob this in' from the top of Wellie Towers, that Trousers ONLY went and won 2nd prize with his photo of the snowy front of The Funny Farmhouse in that very Village Show?
"Way to GO Trousers!!" X

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Balls, Games, And Smug Trugs

You see, I come from the camp that I'll support my man 'all the way' if he's good to me, and treats me right. If it differs from that, then naturally, I won't hesitate to 'Move The Goalposts', so...."You watch as much Footie as you care to. You monopolise the remote to your hearts' content, but, expect me to lift my t-shirt up over my head when Engerland score a goal, and go running round the room like A Complete Loony, like I used to when you first started 'courting' me, and Arsenal did, you've got another think coming Trousers...." (mind you, Children - it WAS funny, but you did have to be there!) And I might just clear this up? Arsenal have never courted me.

But then, of course, once Your Man has been with you about ten years, you only become important again when the Scotch or Remote Control Batteries run low.

So I cheered me up yesterday evening by picking myself the second of our homegrown mini-cauliflowers...... Then this evening, one of my very own 'Smug Trugs' of stuff that I like to grow....
...... spending quality time in my kitchen preparing it, cooking it, and serving it up....
to possibly The Grumpiest Man on The Planet, on his lap.... (on a tray!) in front of the television.
It's a free country, and to be perfectly honest with you, anyone is welcome to apply for the position. I'm quite confident I'd not be missed.
It's not that I actively hate footie, or ball games in general, but I was rather relieved when Trousers went to bed last night, and I had the whole of 'Sense and Sensibility' in my Sitting Room all to myself with a glass of red wine, and between me and the cat, there wasn't a dry eye in the house! Now THAT's Entertainment for you!
Do you REALLY think Men are from Venus and Women are from Mars?!
or was is the other way around!
Thankfully, I've got my 'Newest Best Friend' coming round tomorrow to inject me with a shot more of her girlie humour, and hopefully, if the weather is kind, she may be able to take a shed-load of photos of the magnificent roses in The Funny Farm front garden, and Fert'n'Liza, and my Wellies On The Doorstep (for a special reason!). Last time she came round, I made the worst Vicky Sponge Cake you'd never want to introduce your Mother-In-Law to?, so I did promise Gloria that I'd attempt to make a different kind of cake this time. The time is currently 5 minutes after midnight, and if you're reading this now, there's a carparking space in Cheppie Tesco where the carrier bag gave way late this afternoon, sporting two eggs, and some granulated sugar Sweetheart. I was tempted to go back into the store to buy the butter and flour to add to them, but because I've had everyTHING and everyBODY 'completely up to here' this week, and no wooden spoon in my handbag, much like yourself, and in your own words last week, but a tad more printable, I asked and answered my own question in the same breath: ....: "Am I Bovvered?"!
Indeed I am 'Bovvered', and if you'll let me, I'll be back with you again during the next week sometime. Thank you for being here.X

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Horticultural Box of Spanners Right Now

I'm glad there's someone around here that's getting a good nights' sleep, because Wellie completely isn't.... ! My gardening cat has been guarding each and every Japanese Overwintering Onion, Red Baron Onion Set, White Onion Sets, Shallot Sets, Elephant and bog-standard ordinary Garlics, and the whole ruddy lot are going to seed.
Having spent a whole year getting my new kitchen garden licked into shape, and dreaming of drying strings of onions, shallots and garlics to drool over in the kitchen in the darkest months of the year, to create an extra inch or so to Trousers's waistline, there's going to be nothing....
Just how unfair is THAT kiddie-winkies, eh?!

Still. I'm brilliant at growing Blueberries, even if I say so myself. And whilst I did try and grow Cranberries last year (first year ever), like the Peaches and Nectarines, every single one just 'fell off', so I can only marginally improve on that this year, and it does give me something to aspire to!

I have to report to you, that I'm doing really really really well here with my striking cuttings of my 'armpit' tomato varieties, and to be perfectly honest, having visited a garden centre locally today with my Newest Bestest Friend, the quality of what they had for sale on the vegetable seedling front there, they should be truly ashamed of themselves. But that's Retail for you, clearly.....

Whereas us lot, people like you and me, because we truly care about every stage of a plants' growing life, from start to finish. Seed to Harvest, and beyond: Wellie LightYear!

So, let me be the first to congratulate you on what you are doing best in your garden, or on your allotment, because, actually, sometimes you think you're not doing well, and you really are doing much better than you think.
I think both you and me are doing great, so keep it up, and we'll touch base again soon.X

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Oh, It's all Kickin' Off Here My Friends!

Didn't I just tell you a while ago that our blog and our life is like a box of chocolates down here on The Funny Farm? Well, I hope you do indeedy believe me now......

The other week, Wellie's ankle got kissed by Roland Rat as she was watering the Blueberry and Cranberry tubs. But he seems to have declined our hospitality of a free meal this week.... which is annoying, because every time I pass by his home, I'm not sure if he's going to pop out and kiss my ankle again, which is unsettling when you have to cruise his neighbourhood fifty times a day!!!!

And taking Roland's place this week, a swarm of bees uninvited themselves into holes in the mortar on the front of the farmhouse, ending up in virtually every single room. To be perfectly honest, it was a novelty to start with..... but the novelty's kind of worn off now, and I'm bored of hoovering up dead bees, poor things.

The farmer's nephew very kindly came and placed a spec box (sp?) for them, but they just didn't warm to it, and late one afternoon, they all felt a little lonely, and called all their mates in from the surrounding neighbourhood to come have a party, I kid you not! The noise brought me, and the farmer in from the fields at the back, just to watch the swarm..... it was an incredible sight.

So,....Am I to assume that Kermit, Mrs. Kermit and their extended family are about to descend on us in the next seven days? or would it be the turn of Lucky & Lucinda Locusts this week?!

I'll try and make time for another blog update during the week if I can, to spoil you, but for the moment, I can triumphantly report that I have today 'earthed up' each and every one of my potato plants, and I now feel very saintly this Sunday, even though I've got a glass of something red on the desk in front of me.

Mind you, I did prick out nearly fifty Calabrese to The Sounds of The Seventies, with Johnny Walker, potted on 8 or so Sweet Peppers into bigger pots, planted all of my homegrown herbaceous bedding plants and courgette plants...... and I must just take this opportunity of apologising to my GORGEOUS man, Trousers, because I've been like a Bear with a sore head today, because I slept not at all last night.

Just where would Wellie be without Trousers and Radio 2?
Not in that order, obviously..... Ouch?!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Weeding and Feeding Largely!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but one day there's some loverly bare earth to plant into, and the next day, with a shower of rain, there's a carpet of weed seedlings.
How unfair is that?!

If you 'click' on the photograph above, you'll be able to see more of what's happening, and more of the blossom and things?

Mind you - I can't complain muchly, because I've been creeping up on myself totally 'Leaps & Bounds'. And it's only when I stop and brew a brew or a mug of coffee in Jim's 'World's Best Gardener' Mug, or later in the day, a glass of vino, that I take in what I've achieved already so soon in the twelve months that it's taken to get thus far in this garden. Because it's only when you physically STOP and look around you, that you truly get the pleasure, and the very extra special ideas that just 'ping' into your brain (or is that just me?!)

To be perfectly honest, I'm a bit embarassed about some of my Potatoes. I planted one tuber into each builders' bucket (Buckets: £1 each from Homebase) and I've seriously. seriously neglected each and every one of them. I kind of stuck each bucket in an old compost bag, with a view to earthing up, and time has just run away with me, and I am hanging my head in shame as I sit before you all......but hey! there's slug-free tatties for the local show, and many more for our salads, as well as those growing in the ground, so....
Chin Up've pricked out and potted on 270 Leeks today, in amongst the other things you've done, so don't beat yourself up quite so harshly, eh?!

I know it's extremely boring to talk about weeding, but honestly, I can sit for hours and hours.....
Tantamount to Ironing me thinks? Something completely mindless to do, but do it in the sunshine, or with something serious on your mind, and you're completely in Heaven.

I just sit here and think of Trousers......... aaahh!

Okay now, serious business in the week ahead: Wellie's Flobalobs are itching to get back into the frame of things...... so best I get my thinking cap on to reinvent their little cotton sox, children, no?!

Naturally, behind all of these words, there's some serious growing gowing on, because I'm passionate about growing our own food, and so I humbly apologise for missing updating The Funny Farm Blog just recently, but with my hard work now, you'll have a prettier picture to look at later on, I'm sure of it.X
Just before I go, I must just tell you of how very brave Wellie was this week, and how very UN-brave Trousers and my Gardening Cat were?
We've known for some time now (me'n'him) that there was a rodent living in that space down there. We've largely ignored that space, which I think is fair.
Until the evening before yesterday, when Roland, yes, Roland, decided to brush passed Wellie's ankle as she watered the Blueberry and Raspberry plants.
As she felt it brush passed and watched in utter disbelief, watching it and its' tail disappear in front of her, she called for 'Back-Up'.
'Back-Up' arrived in the guise of Trousers with Wellie's stainless steel Hoe.
Trousers then declined further participation with said Roland underneath the Oil Tank, and so did the cat.
Shall we just say: I know where it lives, and I shall be taking the matter into my own hands in order to conclude satisfactorily to closure in the next day or two.
Personally, I can't be doing with:
'Is it there still?'
'Are there babies brewing?'
'Is it looking at me still?'
'Is it stealing and of my produce?'!
Anyway. This time next week, consider it gone, or I'm a Monkey's Uncle....
Once again, it's so lovely to have you here, and thank you, thank you for reading our blog. X

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Want Something Done? Ask a Busy Person.......

Above, is a little glimpse of how my tender little darlings are doing in the TLC of our Conservatory.....
The Tommies are kind of sporting their second flower trusses now (2 each of Tigarella, Gardeners Delight, Red Cherry, Ferline) and then I've got another 8 Ferline (blight tolerant) coming on in the wings for a later crop too.
Actually, I thought I might start to root some of the what I call 'armpits' this year too? Namely, the bits you normally pinch out and throw away. I'll update you on my progress at a later date if all goes well, eh?!

And all of the various Pigletwillie Bean seedlings are ready for planting out over the next week or two under cloches (incidentally Piggie, I found the book you lost/forgot when you stayed over Easter, and will send it onto you this week darling.X)

The sweetcorn variety I've plumbed for this year is the same variety that I very very first grew, on the advice of someone called 'Johnboy', and it served me superbly well then, so I've chosen to grow it again now. I grew it in 'Rootrainer' modules until the roots were poking their sox off out of the bottom, and they got their freedom this very day into the earth, and I heard them go "Phew!" I used a long-handled bulb planting tool to take a core of soil out at 15" spacing, lobbed them in with a bit of cow manure, and, as you can see, a temporary cloche cover for the first week to help them settle in. The bamboo canes are only there to stop the cloches falling over/blowing away..

And here's the making of Wellie's very own ornamental Villandry-style Potager Garden....
A kind of 'Pretty Productive' garden outside of my kitchen window, to make washing up in the kitchen sink a bit more pleasurable.....
I kind of started off with the Bird Bath, for completely obvious reasons (!) I've got two birdbaths in the garden, and this one is for drinking, the other one is for bathing, on account of the depth of water, and the birds aren't stupid.... they use both individually, for the right reasons, so I don't get too much water splashed all over my Bored Beans or Calabrese, but the lawn underneath the rusty-old-arbour where they have a 'splash-about' gets drenched, so that's going to be particularly good for watering the Sweet Peas and the Winter Squashes and Climbing Beans I've got planned for around there.

Here though, the triangular beds have just been planted with a variety of Brassicas, and the boundary to the garden sports Bored Beans, weeds (!) and for the moment, Blackcurrant & Gooseberries. My plan is to grow Butternut & Kuri Winter Squashes along the border this summer, and just 'see how it goes', because my instincts are telling me that the fruit bushes are wrong here, (don't ask me why, it's just a gut instinct) so I've not planned this well, and will be needing to change it next year maybe (see Wellie lick finger and stick it in the air?)

You see, if you didn't start off with a completely clean canvass, you wouldn't have so much choice, and so much room for error? BUT.... I tell you wot Children, each and every day/evening, I am having THE most inspirational thoughts and ideas when I walk round the garden, and if I can implement even a half of them, I'll be a happy bunny.

You see, what started out, for me, as a simple task of planting some new potatoes, turned into a:
Well, what if I didn't dig down (because the soil's not been improved yet) and I just improve it 'on the way up' instead? So I put some well-rotted FYM on the soil-surface..... placed the chitted tubers that I'd been growing on in individual plantpots, which were now growing beautifully well, on top of the manure, earthed up a bit with soil, then lawn-mowings, a bit more manure, a bit more soil, another layer of lawn-mowings..... and suddenly.... Bob's Your Auntie!
How cool is that?!
Actually, what I haven't shown you at all yet, is the twenty or so 75l compost bags of new potatoes growing AROUND that raised bed. Never one to miss an opportunity, I wanted to be sure of some clean potatoes to enter into my local Village Show.

Competitive? ..... MOI ?!

I've recently received The Show Schedule for this year's Show which outlines what classes, what recipes, what flower arrangements, what photographs, what's what and what's not.

I'm delighted to announce to you, that this years' schedule makes no reference to a Vicky Sponge Sandwich. I only mention this, because I got myself purposefully out of bed at an extraordinary hour the other morning to practice making one for my visiting friends that day. One of my friends cancelled an hour before (wise move Lorna darling), but you, my Gloria-friend, took it on the chin with a "oh no, it's lovely!" To be perfectly honest, which she'd never tell you, it resembled two frisbies with my 'Not By Royal Appointment' Cape Gooseberry & Passionfruit Jam in........ so maybe I could try the 'Jam Swiss Roll' (any red jam) or the Cheese Straws, or the Cheese & Onion Quiche out on you when you next come to visit! Bless you Angel, and hope the photographs were what you wanted.... X

So! Just where on earth is this year disappearing to folks? We're almost half way to Christmas already, and I've only just put my Courgette seeds in, how unfair is that?!
And that's kind of where I've been this last week or two, she said, making her apologies.......
It's all very well 'talking about it', but if you don't pull your finger out and actually do it, The Fairies aren't going to come and do it for you, and after that, it's too late.

Our garden is getting so very exciting now, and I hope yours' is too.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Men, Mice, and Girls

Now then.... Down on The Funny Farm, this is a particularly Spesh Moment, captured for you this end of April, to show you that this is what A Private Dick looks like..... By that I mean, blokes what go 'detecting' in the privacy of their own backyard (don't go making your own story up Jim?!)

I'm not making 'light' of what's going on here, because I am so hugely thrilled that Trousers has started to do this once again after a gap of 10 years or so, and it has also brought him back into contact with some of his Best Mates, and that makes me smile Big Stylie. It's brought a huge smile back to HIS face also, where one was seriously missing, and nowadays, he can disappear for days, only returning when he's starving hungry. Him Tarzan, Me Jane?!

It's not always possible to harvest fresh vegetables from your garden or allotment to feed yourselves. The Savoy Cabbages and Curly Kale are starting to Bolt/Run to Seed now, and I've got a billy-no-mates Leek left (that I'm keeping to collect seed from), and that's why I grow quite so many herbs. I kind of take Sarah Raven's 'Grow what's expensive to Buy'. Fresh Herbs are expensive to buy, and you can make the yummiest of Risotto with handfuls of stuff from the garden, a little Arborio Rice and some excellent Vegetable or Chicken Stock, a this, or that growing in your own space, and you've got yourself a meal to be proud of for next to no money.

Let me explain this next photo: it's my class reminders for the up-coming local Village Produce Show, so that I can see exactly where I am, what I'm doing, and 'sod it, I've forgotten to sow the Victoria Sponge seedlings' ... Disaster!
To be perfectly honest, for a small village show, there's a serious amount of classes. And these aren't all of them. These are only the ones I feel able to enter on a personal level..

Normally, I fly by the seat of my pants, and I'm having to concentrate a little more, and that's proving difficult for me.

Do they not know that peoples actually work by day and sleep by night, and that the fairies are way too busy doing my housework to find time to do my garden as well?!

(Wellie is beginning to feel a touch of 'mad cow' disease setting in: see photo)

Last year, the immature fig fruitlets were getting 'pinched/nicked' and I was suitably informed that it would be birds, so this year, I thought I'd be clever, and protect them from the birds, but I hadn't thought this Cunning Plan Baldrick through at all. As the immature figlets swell, you then can't get the protective cloches off the stems without damaging the figlets;. DOH!

Wellie Wonker, and no mistake! Still.... I'm never too precious to learn by my mistakes, and today, I've rigged up an all-enclosing fleece tent over it instead.
If the figgy-fruitlets continue to disappear, I'll swap my verdict for mice. Simples.
Oh, and talking of mice... most of these babies have been rescued from the draughty dutch greenhouse because of exactly that, and are now safely growing rather well under my protective nose, and that of my cat(!) Baldrick Cunning Plan Mark II, I think you'll find?

I must just mention that I've recently re-made my acquaintances with two GORGEOUS Girlies, where we'd lost touch - namely Gloria, and Lorna, who are both coming to The Funny Farm next week for the very first time. Girls, we are going to have SUCH fun over the coming months and years. Thank you so much for your friendships. you're both incredibly special friends, in case you didn't already know that.X
And, naturally, I'm having to courtsey on a weekly basis, to say a big thank you to our newest follower to our Funny Farm Blog. You're most welcome.X, and I hope I'm continuing to do what's written on the tin for you all in terms of entertainment.
I must say, you're all incredibly quiet at the moment!!
But I do know that you're there, and so I don't feel entirely stupid talking to myself every week!Love You, Squeeze You til next time.X

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Success & Successional Sowings

I promised to keep you posted on our new Salad Bar, in terms of my non-ability to 'sow successionally', and so here it is kids? Top left, you'll see my experiment with some bought-in carrot seedlings, which I've invidually transplanted like a 5 dice pattern, to see if it alerted The Carrot Root Fly at all. I must just explain, I worded that wrongly, it isn't the 5 dice pattern that attracts the fly?! (DOH!) Which is basically, Wellie flying by the seat of her pants yet again, but in a good cause for future reference. I've already got a trough of Amsterdam Forcing 'finger carrots' growing in the Dutch Greenhouse, up on staging, which is hardly ever disturbed, so as definitely NOT to attract the fly..... so I want to find out, if the salad bar 'Parmex' round carrots will be a success or a failure. and whether they like growing in only about 6 inches of compost at all! If you click on the picture above, it should hopefully enlarge it sufficiently enough for you to scrutinise what's happening there, and actually, I'm not doing at all badly so far with my 'successional sowing'. I'm sure there's room for improvement, but largely, I've been sowing more seed once the last batch has germinated, and that's a megga improvement on what I was doing previously, I can assure you!

The Corn Salad, Radish & Pea Shoots haven't germinated at all well, proving that the seed is way too old now, and needs to be binned. The red Cos seedlings (just out of view) have germinated brilliantly in a short time (new seed this year). And some of the Lettuce seed that Piggie gave me on our Easter After Brekkie Board Meeting, depending how well they do, may just be contenders for my local produce show entry on the 'One Head of Lettuce'. But we'll see what's ready that week!!
(I'm desperately trying not to let my Show Coach: Paulottie down?! "Keep Sowing Wellie, Keep Sowing Luv!")
So much so, that Trousers hasn't even had a whiff of a Vicky Spongecake yet. HaHaHa!

Having grown my first ever Nectarine last year to the stunning size of my little fingernail, before it unceremoniously dropped off (the fruit, not my fingernail), I'm definitely bringing better news to you at the minute? Just look at these babies, aren't they lovely? and there's a whole load more besides? (See Wellie jump up and down for joy at her ability to hand-pollinate for a change.....X) But. With a definite Full Stop. I am not counting my chickens, as it were, until such time as I harvest any of them.

And Wellie's attempt at hand-pollinating The Peaches has also come to some fruition, so we'll gloss over that one as well, until such time as we're getting closer to a Megan advert on the telly, shall we?!

Next up, are my little furry friends, who think their Wellie is incredibly mean to have put those lovely tasty fruit and vegetables in her own garden, and not in ours? "You see that Bored Bean Snowflake? That's got my name written all over it..."..... "No it hasn't Chocolate Chops, it's mine - and I'm in love with it....?."

And here we are then, the first barbeque of 2010, but a good excuse also to show you that I'm making every available space available to me for Growing My Own. Like my Strawberries, and Salad, I prefer to just pick Parsley, not faff around with it, washing and drying it before I do anything with it.... so grow it in a container or two, a windowbox - anything. That way, it isn't spattered with soil after a heavy downpour, and you can just harvest clean handfuls whenever you need to, and just chuck it in the salad, or whatever..... Simples.

With Trousers, Jim (Best Friend In The World) and Harry having gone Detecting 'Over't'Bridge' yesterday, it was really lovely to have my man at home for a whole day to myself today, which was a rare treat for me and The Cat.
Trousers and I had a lie in, which we kind of never do... (now don't go making your own story up Children), and the cat didn't get up till mid-afternoon - completely missing the farm cat that snuck into the kitchen to eat her food about 5am, getting trapped into a corner and upending the entire contents of the precious Oil & Vinegar supplies in a glassy mess all over the kitchen floor.
Happy Sunday Peeps!
Ooh! and Welcome to our newest lovely blog follower.X
Have a lovely week, and see you all next time.X