Monday, 19 March 2012

And the winner is ...

Well first I should say I hope everyone had a lovely Mothers day yesterday, and a lovely weekend. My Mothers day was lovely, spent with morning at the allotment with Imogen and Alex and the afternoon helping Imogen create a collage to take into school today. Saturday was fun at the Guild too. More on the weekend in another post though

So onto the giveaway, thank you to everyone who entered and for all your kind words, I enjoy blogging and it's lovely that others enjoy my blog too, I'm sure you all know how much I like your blogs too!

I was going to do a pull the number out of the bowl with Imogen but never got around to it yesterday so have taken the option of using a random generator to select the winner, there were 11 names and the winner of the giveaway is ...

number 5

is that you?

Well it is if you are Claire. Congratulations Claire, the book and seeds and Oca tubers will be on their way to you. I remembered your comment about not needing any more fibre addictions, so there is a second chance to win the drop spindle and fibre!

So I ran the generator again and the winner of the spindle and fibre is ...

number 7

is that you?

Yes if you are Shell. Congratulations Shell, the spindle and fibre will be on it's way to you - I'll pop in some instructions on how to use too.

I will contact you both about the parcels that will be on their way to you.

Thank you all again, it's been a lot of fun and something I will do again, will have to think of something else fun to offer in the future and maybe include another drop spindle as it seemed popular in the comments, I have a couple here.

Looking forward to a good week of sunshine and time in the garden and at the allotment. Hope you all have a lovely week.

Love Dawn x

Friday, 16 March 2012

Another day (or days) at the allotment ...

Well we're really on a roll here getting the allotment whipped into shape. With the lovely mild weather this week we have between us spent more time up on the allotment and are making good progress.

It has been handy having it dry too, but boy do we need some rain here! I cannot remember the last time we had a decent rainfall, the butts are running dry, a hosepipe ban commences here next month but the poor plants will need moisture. It is going to be a challenge, our mulching will most definitely have an important role to play.

So how about a quick photo tour of progress and new developments? Fancy joining me? Grab a cuppa and follow me ...
 Bed 1 part sown with various varieties of Kale seeds sown direct
 (others being raised in greenhouse at home)
 Bed 2 part planted with Garlic - was planted later this year
 Bed 4 planted with overwintered Spinach, beets and sorrel
Bed 5 - sown direct various lettuce and salad leaves and beetroots
(again others being raised at home)
 Panoramic of lower half of plot - beds 1-5 (main part of picture, 
bed 3 has some celeriac that need pulling)
Bed 6 over to the right is sown with Broad beans 
bed 7 is due to have the Oca planted soon
 Herb spiral weeded, need to weed around and plant up new herb plants

 Perennial Sorrel and onions in above triangle
 Perennial onions - Welsh onions, Minogues onions and wild garlic
 Sorrels moved here - need dividing
 3 raised beds reclaimed from weeds!
New area dug over, paths created
(moved on a little since this but no photo yet)
 One of the Kiwi plants re-homed from the garden
(another planted since but no photo yet)
 Progress of the pond wildlife, little swimming tadpoles now
 and a frog popped up too (not in the photo)
 Bottom half of plot as a panorama (herb spiral on the right edge)
Top half is hard to photograph similarly due to trees and other herbaceous plants around

 Hoping to be back up there on Sunday at some point, the Asparagus beds need a good weeding, more weeding and path reclaiming, mulching and sowing to be done. We also need to look at ways to harvest and retain more rain water.

Tomorrow is Guild day (yay!) so my mind returns to spinning, fibre et al. Tomorrow we have a talk from some guild members who went on a textile tour holiday to Bhutan - looking forward to hearing about the amazing journey and discoveries. The afternoon brings us a guest speaker, Jane Meredith on Brinkley Looms which I admit I knew nothing about until I looked it up, they look like a simple to use weaving loom.

There are still a couple of days to enter my giveaway too - post a comment in the giveaway blog post here to enter. I shall draw the winner on Sunday, Mothers day in the UK, ably assisted by my daughter who has been plotting and planning something for Sunday - apparently she has told Alex what she has planned all on her own! I look forward to spending the day with my lovely little family.

Have a lovely weekend, happy gardening or crafting if you have any planned and Happy Mothers Day for Sunday for all the mama's out there xxx

back soon ...

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

A day at the Allotment

Saturday was mostly spent at the allotment. What a good day we had too. Our allotment was much neglected last year, other priorities, other commitments  ... and other excuses meant we spent less time last year than we would and should have liked to. This year we are going to do better, spend more time and effort on it.

Alex spent the morning clearing away some rubbish that has collected over time, some glass bottles that we were recycling as edging that we are no longer allowed, and removing some tyres that have been added to the "no" list at the allotment too. After lunch we all went up and it was a lovely sunny day, occasionally a bit breezy, but otherwise lovely.

expert seed sowing assistant

Imogen and I first set ourselves the task of planting up a large bed with spring sown Broad Beans, she is such a great help on sowing things - I let her know the spacing and depth and away we went sowing the seeds on either side of the bed. Alex nipped off to get rid of some more rubbish at the rubbish tip.

beds to clear, replant and mulch

I then moved onto clearing away old plants and weeds in other beds, ably assisted by Imogen again - I just loosened some of the weeds with the fork and away she went clearing them out. I continued to clear almost 4 beds of weeds, and transplanted some plants too.

ahhh, that all looks better

When Alex returned Imogen wanted to help him clear and dig an area of the allotment we haven't really touched much - we are moving our Kiwi plants there from the back garden. While clearing the area a frog  (or toad? not sure on identification?) appeared so we got a little snap of him. We also marvelled at the amount of frogspawn on the pond, definitely frogspawn rather than toad so I guess the visitor was a frog too.

our welcome visitor or maybe resident
 frogspawn covering the pond

We saw many slow worms which are resident on our plot, under some old carpets left on the plot before us - we are shifting them all to a pile ready for the council to come and remove as they weren't brought onto the plot by us. They soon found other places to find refuge. The carpet pile became an area of much play for Imogen scrambling up and sliding down, spending many happy moments in her own world.

Perennial onions doing well and Wild garlic emerging

Very pleased with the progress of the day, lots of lovely clear beds ready to plant into. Spinach, sorrel and chard plants survive from last year, the remaining beetroots and oca were harvested as were a few small celeriac. The perennial onions - Welsh Onions, Minogues onions (variety unknown, just the name the came to me with) are doing well, probably need a little more dividing soon; and the wild garlic are coming through lovely too.

I cleared a little from the herb spiral which is definitely, definitely getting planted up much more this year. What is there is really establishing so hoping this will look good this year.

Herb spiral before tidying

Alex pruned the Apple and Pear tree - both fruited wonderfully this year but some of the overhanging branches were unstable last year under the weight of the fruit.

progress made

More tales from the allotment soon ...

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Celebrating 3 with a giveaway!

Hey, thanks for joining me this weekend, as I celebrate 3 years of this little blog!

How I've enjoyed sharing with you the goings on in our garden and allotment, the adventures of our little family, our love of being outside and spending time surrounded by nature; and then there are the crafts I have rediscovered a love for, and new ones found as many of you have seen on the blog. Thank you to everyone who has dropped by, it's lovely to pop online and see someone has left a comment, and even more lovely to pop along to other blogs and see what everyone has been up to and be inspired.

So today I have a little giveaway, I have put together a few of the things that bring me a lot of pleasure, so I hope they will you too. Simply leave a comment to enter and I shall pick a winner at random.

 So what can you win?
Well I love growing plants and have many seeds. I am passionate about growing unusual and heritage varieties so there will be some of those, and some Oca tubers too so you can share the joy of these lovely easy to grow tubers.
 I love my spinning and have a small easy top whorl drop spindle as part of the giveaway with a little fibre to get you going, great for kids too! (disclaimer: I accept no responsibility for any future fibre addiction love you may have in the future as a result of this giveaway!)
I love reading and I have a copy of The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden to pop in the giveaway too. This is a delightful book, a nature journal and is beautifully illustrated and the handwritten type-print is lovely too.Some other things may pop in the parcel too.

All you need to do is leave a comment by Mothers Day - 18th March 2012 (in the UK) and I shall draw a lucky winner. Do let me know if there is something within this giveaway that you already have, and I'll look at splitting the giveaway as necessary.

Thank you all for your online company and friendship xxx

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Spring season corner, upcoming blogiversary and giveaway!

Well I cannot really believe that my blog is 3 years old tomorrow and this is my 450th blog post! I look back and see so many lovely moments that I have shared here, so many lovely fellow bloggers I have connected with too. So to share that moment with you and as a thank you for your online friendships I shall be having a giveaway of some of my favourite things, do pop back soon to enter.

Everything is Spring-ing along just nicely here, such mild weather and the daisies are everywhere now, the blossoms are colouring our world too and leaves on trees and hedgerows are bursting out of their buds.

Spring blossom

Imogen and I have changed over the season corner, rediscovering Spring delights, and we've decided we need some new additions to the tree on the table to brighten it up a little so I can see a little crafting coming along there soon.

Season Corner February 2012

Back soon ...