Sunday, 31 May 2015


......TO YOU!x

Because each and every one of you, our lovely customers that have left such beautiful  comments about us on Tripadvisor, have elevated us to ............
No. 5 out of 44 establishments in Monmouth this very week, and Wellie is absolutely 'over the moon and back', jumping up and down like a proper looney with genuine pride.

Truly, I cannot thank you all enough for your personal support for our little business, and I'm glad that Paul and I are doing something that you love to put us on that special pedestal.

With the lull of the late Winter and Spring having sprung now, the trees all leafy green, with a few Plant Deliveries under my Potting Shed belt to 'kick-start' the growing season, it's COMPLETELY odd that the Summer Plant Sales, and for other local retailers too, just is NOT happening.

There's a completely bonkers bloke in Church Street, and he knows he is, (Hi Phil!x) with his EPIC Fruit'n'Veg Shop (just up from THE best Butchers in Monmouth, in my humble opinion: Le Gourmet - Best Homemade Faggots, 'In The World', and we put them on our Menu during the colder months of the year, to warm the cockles of your heart....)  and he said a rather strange, but perfectly true 'thing' to me last Sunday:

"Shelley: the younger generation want to buy stuff that comes back year after year nowadays"?
And I think he's right.

Things ARE a changing?  Going out to eat/drink is a perfectly acceptable reason to spend money, and that money is COMPLETELY 'gone' then, BUT you had a brilliant time.

VERSUS spending that same amount of money on seasonal prettiness to make your patio/garden look good for the ENTIRE Summer...... doesn't seem to be on the same radar of personal enjoyment?

And it don't matter none to me, because I just make scrumptious plant displays, which enhance The Potting Shed Garden, which helps entice customers in, and creates a more verdant environment for them to spend money eating and drinking, and that money is COMPLETELY 'gone' then, BUT you had a brilliant time.....

Did you see what Wellie did there Children?  = Win/Win Scenario.
Clever Wellie........x

Before I finally climb those stone spiral stairs to Wellie Towers tonight, I must just mention my Potting Shed Birds, because they are becoming SUCH a Potting Shed Attraction in their own special space now?

The Fledglings.  My darling little Fledglings are all over The Potting Shed Garden, and the tweeting and twittering is becoming quite beautifully  DEAFENING now as they learn to 'dust-bath', feed and water themselves.

Sooty & Sweep (my blackbirds) are actively feeding their young with the moist sultanas from the 'yesterday Fruit Scones'.
They're a bit 'pissed off' with The Plain Scones for some reason?!

Rockin' Robin (my robin - doh!) is getting cheekier, and more tame by the day.

And my darling little House Sparrow Babies are tame enough now to take crumbs from my lunchtime sandwich just inches from my WellieBoot-Feet whilst I'm sat in my Rocking Chair in the sunshine.

I must have THE most enviable job in the world, and THE most beautiful office on the planet.
And I thank every Angel that's holding my hand right now.

Thank you so much for reading my blog.
Stay Safe, Keep Warm, and Hug Each Other Lots,
Your Wellie Friend
The Potting Shed Monmouth

Thursday, 28 May 2015


......... and ACTUALLY, I've 'SO very stolen that' from one of my customers under the tree in The Potting Shed Garden the other day?
Truly, he's been one of our very favourite customers right from the start of our Potting Shed adventures.
And I know he won't mind.......x

I only mention 'Being There', because he TOTALLY 'hit a chord with me' the very minute he said it.

I've watched that film many, many times, and it always 'moves me'.

It was a truly Epic film, starring, Peter Sellers, and if you've never watched it - you should. and as I was busying myself back and forth with my wheelbarrow t'other day.... from The Potting Shed to Shire Hall, from Shire Hall to The Potting Shed, going about planting tubs, so simply just 'being', and in doing that, totally wrapped up in my own little world, with beautiful and happy thoughts, but those thoughts going 'so much further' than was apparent to anyone else around me, and EVERYONE in Agincourt Square passing by were just LOVING what I was doing for the community, and for the local people, and chatting with me, and asking my advice.

BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show this morning, and that lovely Tibby Happy Monk.  What's NOT to like about spending a small window in your day just 'thinking happy' just looking at the people around you, wishing all of them every good wish in your heart, and just enjoying every leaf, every flower, and embracing what's so very loverly in and around your daily window.

Being part of a TRUE community, rather than a virtual one, chatting to people that you bump into on a daily basis in a town where you could so easily be lonely, a stranger or a tourist, I think, is a bit special.

So, Just 'Be There' where you're needed and wanted, if you can.

Until next time,

Monday, 25 May 2015

WOO HOO!.....

... and I'm saying that, so hugely proudly, because I had a VERY exciting Bank Holiday Saturday Children.

Not only was it THE best day that The Potting Shed Monmouth has had since its inception just over a year ago in terms of 'trading', but a rather lovely lady walked into The Potting Shed Garden with a camera, asked if 'all of this was ME'? and then took both of my hands in hers', looked into my eyes, and told me in no uncertain terms, that one of our customers has nominated us to be included in a new Food Guide for Wales.

And seriously, I would like that person, really, truly, please, to make themselves known to me, whoever you are, so that I can thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I think I must of 'died and gone to heaven' momentarily, because she told me that my 'reaction' was 'just brilliant', and as she left to photograph another local, and very well-deserved nomination to give me time to 'compose ourselves', I could be heard down The Barton going 'WOO HOO!', 'WOO HOO!', 'WOO HOO!'.,,,and 'punching the air' like I absolutely meant it....
What a LOVELY thing to happen to The Potting Shed after only a year of trading.....x

Thankfully, when she returned, the kitchen was in full-swing, and Paul's brilliance totally shone for A Foodie Photographic Shoot to be epically proud of, and in all honesty, the very REASON we're on that map, is because of him.

Today, I Are MOSTLY............'Going For Gold'?

GOLD, on a number of....But it's NOT Chelsea, Children! ...
I'm looking through the MONMOUTH Shire Hall & Tourist Information 'WINDOW'? and make it ANY shape of window that fits your world today.

I had a phonecall today, enquiring about the planting up of their 'Seasonal Display Tubs', and when that was 'likely to happen'?
Truly, I am soooo looking forward to doing it this year.

Last year, I offered to rectify the 'alleged' poorly-planted displays outside of Shire Hall that had come under such HUGE criticism on their doorstep, from Tourists, General Public, and Local Residents alike, because (allegedly), the feedback was: "It looked like a 4-year old CHILD had done it"?

Unfortunately, the Powers That Be Who Planted Them, started planting at 'the bottom end of town' by The Public Toilets, continued on up through the town, until they got to Shire Hall/Tourist Information Centre, that encompasses every historical BEING of Monmouth, and then just 'ran out of plants'.....

If that were Me, I'd be tempted to START at the top of town with the very important Tourist Information Centre, and 'run out' by the time I got to The Public Toilets?

AND....for some strange reason, the tourist coaches are encouraged to 'drop Tourists into Monmouth' by The Public Toilets at the bottom end of town.

Many of them, elderly or infirm, with insufficient time or stamina to reach the top end of town, where some of the most gorgeous small businesses are, run out of energy, are desperate for a cup of tea, with insufficient time to enjoy it before having to return to their coach at the bottom end of town by the public toilets......

So perhaps I could send out a very heartfelt and public plea, asking every upstanding Coach Driver travelling to Monmouth, to drop your lovely passengers IN FRONT OF SHIRE HALL, at the top end of town, let them explore to their hearts' content, and tell them 'to meet you down the bottom end of town' when they're ready to join the coach once again?

AND I must just say out loud, that I sooooo LOVED the Coach Driver the other week that a customer told us about that said to them:
"Go down that alleyway there - you must go to The Potting Shed, because it's a cracking little place, and you won't be disappointed?".

And Coach Drivers Visiting Monmouth, please take note:
The Potting Shed WILL feed and water you every time you come to Monmouth with new customers for us, but only with prior notice, as you will appreciate!

I have some rather exciting news for you in my next blog update, and from 'then on in' we're going to have some lovely photos for you all to look at.

Bless you all for your patience with me across your continents.
And thank you for reading my blog once again,

Sunday, 17 May 2015


Fledglings, in a manner of speaking, and on a number of levels...........
These two specially-made cakes happen to be gluten-free, but 'Fledgling' refers to the fact that Wellie started off with one recipe, found another one, amalgamated the two, tweaked them both a bit more, and ended up with her Potting Shed version.
  And please don't 'stress me out', or verbally punch my lights out because I've not yet gone Dairy-Free or Vegan, because, one step at a time Children, and I am NOT in the habit of trying to please all of the people all of the time.
In fact, I have a sign just for that very purpose, that reminds people in no uncertain terms, that:
Today is NOT your day, and TOMORROW isn't looking good either?
...........and just in case THAT doesn't 'hit the spot', I've also got a sign that says:
Rest assured though, in all seriousness, that Paul and I both take every aspect of our business, and people's dietary requirements COMPLETELY seriously at The Potting Shed.  Because there's nothing worse than 'going out to eat', and finding that, actually, 'you CAN'T eat', because your Host/Hostess don't care about you?
A goodly number of our customers are Gluten-Intolerant, and just LOVING the Gluten-Free Recipes we're experimenting with/adapting to taste gorgeous, and wanting me to email the recipes to them.  Any diet can be catered for within a phonecall, particularly a day or two ahead of your visit (01600 772299).
BUT!.......In this day of 'self-publishing', what I'm more likely to do, is to put together my own Potting Shed Cookery Book for Sale, and I know I will be disappointing a tremendous amount of you until then, but I promise you, it will be worth the wait my friends.x
And so to The Potting Shed Garden...............with the possibility of the odd 'day-old-scone' or 'redundant piece of cake' at stake, I'm actively encouraging my friends out there to search amongst my plants for various bugs (The Birds, Not My Customers?!) which IS happening, and is horticulturally FAB for me, AND them.x
This little Great Tit Fledgling just appeared at my feet as I was talking to one of our lovely customers this morning, chirruping away, (the bird, not the customer?), having clearly 'lost it's mummy', or 'been kicked out of home', and was quite happy for the extensive 'photo shoot' that ensued.
Eventually, the little darling found its' wings sufficient to find cover in a leafy Elderflower bush
just outside of the garden, which I was much happier with, given that it was safer there from larger, more predatory nasties (like Magpies or Gulls).
At least twice a day I 'call my birds into the garden' with a personal call that they all know me by now after a year of 'looking and sounding like an idiot', and it's just so rewarding to experience that deafening TWITTERING 'n' TWEETING, in the 'true sense of the word' that just brings a song to your ear, a twinkle to your eye, and a smile to your heart.
Every single day that I wake, I open my eyes, and know that I have the beauty and bounty of The Potting Shed Garden and Tea Room as 'My Beautiful Office' Today.
Bless you for Listening.
Have a lovely week across The World Where You Are My Friends.
Your Friend, Wellie.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Pas de Mouse at The Funny Farm now thankfully.......

....and just why the heck I'm speeking Franglaise all of a sudden, is a mystery ?

Oh No - I know!  Monmouth Town had a twinning with a French Town, and I only just found this out this year, being 'Newcomers' to Monmouth as THE POTTING SHED MONMOUTH a New Business, and Paul ADORES France, having lived and cooked en france professnially ....
and I went into the brilliant Party/Fancy Dress Shop in Munmuth, down from the Music Shop on the corner, to buy a Welsh Flag, and a French Flag, to wave from our Potting Shed A-Board between Church Street and Agincourt Square to show our support.

Unfortunately, I was 'late to the party' because the entire Monmouth Retail Outlets already KNEW that every year there was a French/Welsh 'Twinning', and, wanting to keep 'The Flags' to themselves, I only managed to secure two flags of completely different magnitudes, the last two left for sale , but secured them to our A-Board that day, in the spirit of the theme, and by the following morning, they'd been stolen.

Getting back to my Franglaise, we have had a 'Super-Mouse' living with us in the dining-hall and sitting-room at The Funny Farm for just as long as my beautiful, beautiful demised BC Gardening Cat has been asleep, and I feel rather 'liberated' (see Wellie jump up'n'down with joy) to NOT have it (the mouse) living with us anymore.

If you're a Cleudo Game Player my friends: don't bother wasting time trying to work out 'WHO DUNNIT AT THE FUNNY FARM'?,  because I can TELL you that it WAS Paul, WITH The Raisin, ON The Mouse Trap, IN The Sitting Room.

Woo Hoo!  Wellie's got her Sense of Humour Back Children?!x

The Potting Shed is looking absolutely BEAUTIFUL my friends now with all of my plants, and I promise to show you photos very soon, and bring you more news.

You may be interested to know that we are now No.8 out of 40-something in Monmouth on Tripadvisor with the fabulous comments that our customers are leaving there for us.

And whilst most of our lovely customers do 'get us' in our quirkiness and beautiful surroundings, we are hugely open to adverse comments and customers that do NOT appreciate the extra mile we go, or the beautiful surroundings that we provide....

What I adore about Monmouth Town is the wonderful camaraderie of 'us lot' at the top of the town when you get into Church Street above Agincourt Square.  And the daily 'banter', like we're Market Traders toggevver.
It's a bit like watching NOTTING HILL, without Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, but with Phil Munday Fruit'n'Veg, Duncan Le Gourmet Butcher...... a street-full of completely bonkers locals.
And then Wellie.x

Take Care My Friends for now,
and thank you, thank you for reading my blog once again..x

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb..............

.......... and in 'Typical English' my friends, that means 'Complete Rubbash' you're talking a lot of Nonsense.'

BUT:....This week,  and every week, I experiment? with a Rhubarb and Custard Traybake, and now I'm experimenting to make that recipe completely Gluten Free.
And my own Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam to put into my kitchen files for the future is
 just being beautifully jammed now.x

You know something?  I've got ENDLESS cookery books....
But I'm beginning to look at ALL of them 'in a different light', now that we have far more 'Intolerants' coming to us for breakfasts, lunches and Teas, to see where exactly I can 'tweek' those recipes for a better 'intolerant end' quite fascinates me.

On another TOTALLY DIFFERENT  LEVEL:...........I'm thrilled now to see now that other local garden centres have 'cottoned onto my logic' of offering customers access to Gardening Reference Books, and seeming to be 'taking notice' of what The Potting Shed Monmouth THINKS about Customers, that sometimes they like to have help?
I myself started out knowing 'Diddly-Shit' about Gardening when I was about 25 years old, and seriously, I get just LOVELY people coming to talk to me now about their gardens and what they want to do, seriously appreciating that personal advice, which costs absolutely nothing, and having spent a serious amount of time STUDYING Horticulture myself, working with it, and learning about it over the last 25 years, I think the customers appreciate their questions being answered on a truthful level.

Take Care My Friends.x