Real life can slow you down

There haven’t been enough updates lately mostly due to a change of job, preparations for a wedding (No.2 daughter) and at times some atrocious weather! However that will soon change now that normality is slowly returning and other plans can start to move forward.

New job in easy commuting distance

After 2 weeks in the new job things are beginning to settle into a new routine rather than with the old job which involved travelling away quite a bit. There is also the added benefit that the garden and veg beds can get some attention after work.

Unfortunately in the last 2 weeks the weather has veered wildly between two extremes with some lovely sunny days but plenty of grey, damp, miserable ones too.

The big wedding day

The impending wedding is now only a week away and should be a great event over a couple of days. However this also means that the whole thing will all be over by the end of next weekend and our lives can move on to other things.

Smallholding plans

In particular I’m impatient to get some progress with the house sale and the other general changes needed to get us closer to the smallholding idea. There has been some slow and careful progress with our future plans but we are still not completely clear on the best way forward or how much can sensibly be achieved

First things first

This weekend I need to get a few hours in the garden to assess the progress with the veg beds because the potatoes are starting to show signs of flowers. According to my information this is quite a crucial phase and it won’t be long before I can check the results. Initial checks on a plant which had suffered some damage shows a poor yield but maybe it’s too early to tell?

I also need to take a closer look at the chickens because one of them has occasionally laid a “rubbery” egg recently and is looking a little off-colour. However these phases only last a few days before she apparently returns to normal for a week or so – It’s time to study some more chicken books and ask around on the various forums.

A belated growing update

What a busy couple of weeks! A change of job to work nearer home, ongoing preparations for the impending wedding for No.2 daughter, Open University assignments and of course the work needed in the garden.

Recently planted runner bean seedlingsFinally I think I have managed to find time to update the blog with a few key pictures to show the progress made.

Newly planted

It was fast becoming clear that my plan to follow the potatoes with the runner beans was not going to work. Mainly down to my impatience and planting the beans a bit early.

As a result I had some healthy looking runner bean seedlings desperate for planting out and nowhere to put them.

A quick trip to the local pound shop soon solved this problem with a large tub so now i have the canes in place and the first batch of runner beans in.


Limited space

Onions in pots among the flower border

There is something of a common theme developing as time goes on now with a distinct lack of space for the many big ideas – hardly surprising though given the name of my blog!

This means that I have assorted veg plants all over the place and a very good example of this are the onions in a range of spare pots that I have managed to sneak in among the flower borders.

I have previously avoided plants in pots because they are higher maintenance with care and watering but this time there wasn’t much choice with the amount of plants I wanted to get in the ground.

Pride and Joy

Potatoes nearly ready, just waiting for flowers to appear

I am most proud of my potatoes though and to my untrained eye they look as if they are doing really well.

I noted on a comment made on Gardeners World this week that watering is not needed until the flowers appear but with our recent damp weather that hasn’t been a concern.

I might be deluding myself but I’m sure that on closer inspection there are some early signs of flowers…


A mean brew

Ginger wine successfully bottled

And finally the ginger wine has now been bottled. Obviously it needed a quick taste beforehand just to check the quality and it’s a mean brew with quite a kick on it!

I’ve got no idea if its supposed to be cloudy like this but im just impressed that something vaguely drinkable came out of all my efforts.

Not a bad result after 3 weeks of fairly low-key effort on my part but then I haven’t tried more than a couple of sips.

I’m a little worried that this may have the potential to take paint off the woodwork and disinfect the kitchen floor.

We won’t know until we try some but I leave that for later this week…