Welcome to our blog. It will follow the development of our garden from quagmire, after completion of our self-build, to a garden that reflects our eco-friendly principles. We are wanting to create a garden that meets our needs as a family but is also a wildlife friendly zone. Well that's what we are hoping, time will tell if we are successful.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Weather stops play

The garden has had to take a back seat recently, but at least the weather has been so awful that the weeds aren't growing so quickly.

Yet again the pond has gone black - it looks very dubious.

 Rosie has been doing her version of gardening, which hasn't been too helpful, but at least she's doing something.

 The gales and rain have been raging but thankfully, the only damage was to the small green house.
Thankfully, some crops are still surviving; here is the curly Kale

 And the lettuce is looking very green.

The chickens are managing to average an egg every three days or so too.

Now the weather is turning much colder, I'm going to have start tidying up the garden and think about spring veggie planning.

Saturday, 10 November 2012


 There are still a few veggies left to harvest...this was the last courgette...
 Chantelle carrots

Curly Kale

 Sweetcorn (but it wasn't very sweet)
 Tiny pumpkins -  biggest one was 4 inches in diameter!
There are some other plants that are still managing to flower but generally everything is getting ready for winter. Even the chickens have stopped laying, except for one egg on my daughter's Birthday. I had to go out and buy eggs for the Birthday cake. Roll on Spring.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Yolky update

A little while ago, one of the hens laid a tiny egg.

We cracked it in the interest of science but there was not a proper yolk. It was interesting but it hasn't happened again. The hens are still laying about 2 eggs a day though, despite the shorter daylight hours and lower temperatures.

We also had a busy time collecting apples. We made them into apple juice with the help of my friend, Nicky

 It was great fun to see the apple juice emerge from the press but we were exhausted.

By the end of the evening we had the most fantastic apple juice ever but we were so exhausted we could have done with a glass of the original contents of  the bottle!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Autumn Harvest

There is something tremendously satisfying in growing your own veg. Tonight we finished the last of our Desiree potatoes. They tasted great fried with a bit of onion and garlic.

The curly kale is growing well. Not sure how I'm going to cook it.

I'm very pleased with the carrots, it is the first time I've managed to grow any without carrot fly or other foes eating them. I think I should have thinned them out though.

The carrot tops are going to a good home!
There are plenty of these about, they seem to like the spinach.

Meanwhile, in the front garden there is plenty of life...a Red Admiral sunning himself on the gravel.

The garden is looking more how I imagined it now.

This is Thomas' Rowan tree after 3 years it's starting to look pretty good.

The Cornus Alba is looking amazing. I hope to take cuttings from that soon.  It tried last year let's just say the success rate was 1/20...

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Veggie trials and tribulations

One of the main points of the house and garden has always been to grow our own fruit and veg. This has met with mixed success. The giant sunflowers survived to produce this beautiful seed head.
 We are also succeeding with the courgettes.
 My son, managed to grow sweetcorn. This is an old variety so it has been a bit slow to take off. It is growing well now but I don't know if there is enough daylight left for the corn to grow to a decent size. He's done a lot better than I have managed before.
 The spinach is definitely still perpetual and the chives are growing well. The red lettuce finally bolted but after providing 3 months supply for 50p, I'm not complaining! The new lettuce leaves are growing in front.
Sadly, the peas died in the wet weather having been blighted with fungus.
Likewise, the cherry tomatoes that covered a whole bed failed in a mouldy mush.

The butternut squash is growing finally but with little chance of success,

unlike my son's efforts, I think they are pumpkin or some type of squash.

The curly kale is taking off so hopefully we will have some more greens in late Autumn
My sister gave us some delicious raspberries canes that are particularly tasty this year. Thanks!

The last of the desiree potatoes are ready to come up. They have been fantastic addition to our cooking recently.

 For many years I have been trying to grow carrots but this is the first time that they have grown successfully. They have been under a fleece layer to stop carrot fly getting to them.

This is despite the close proximity of the fleece to the chickens (see back left of photo)
 The dwarf beans have been good.
 I have no idea what these are as my son grew them. Any ideas?

 Swiss chard has been very tasty in salads.
 Meanwhile, our little extravagance has been the dehydrator. Dried apples are great but they just get eaten too quickly.
The chickens have been benefitting from their mixed diet of perpetual spinach and pellet feed. We're still getting 2 eggs a day, mosly jumbo size!

Sunny September

This summer has been so hit and miss with the weather but somehow there have been some successes. The colours are really cheerful as the rain hits us again.

Here are the blue Salvias and the orange ones whose name slips my mind. Any guesses?

These pink ones are Zinnia and are in my safe keeping from a friend. Hopefully they will survive the dog.

 The hydrangea quasiflora is looking rather elegant despite having a mid-summer prune thanks to Rosie.
 The wild flower bed is still looking interesting with cornflowers and other plants giving colour.

 I love the luxurious dark purple of the dwarf sweet peas. I hope to collect the seeds and have more next year.
 Thanks to  my son, we now have a new Photinia (discount from garden centre) which hopefully will grow in the corner of the garden on the remaining pebbles left over from the landscaping. I was pleased because most of the flowerbeds were too full to have any more plants in them. A drastic improvement on this time last year!

 Contoneaster and
Crocosmia are setting the garden on fire with colour.