Car Boot Bargains & My Garden This Week

I started my week by taking a quick trip to town.  On the way back I walked through ‘Castle Gardens’ which is literally 2 minutes walk from the city centre.

“The Castle Gardens in Leicester was the original site of Leicester Castle, all that can be seen now is the large mound that it was once situated upon. This 4 acre site has a rock garden, mixed borders and a river boat landing next to the Grand Union Canal”

Castle Gardens is one of those hidden gems of Leicester, that people walk past everyday and never visit……if only they knew what they were missing, as even in the rain it was beautiful and so peaceful.

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I used to bring my daughters here for picnics when they were small, so it has some lovely memories for me too.

I noticed Leicester City Council had once again placed really good information signs around the park too:

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This week in my garden:


Autumn officially started this week and I have noticed that there is a ‘nip’ in the air in the mornings now and it definately gets darker far earlier in the evenings.

Some of my plants are starting to show that autumn is here too and I will shortly be clearing them away:

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My autumn raspberries are producing berries well, especially considering they were only planted this year:


I’m still watching my ‘patty pan’ plant with interest wondering if it will beat the first frost and provide me with a small harvest?

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And my sweetcorn still has a clear liquid inside each kernel, so unfortunately it is not ready to pick yet!


My outdoor tomatoes which are a variety called ‘money maker’ are huge and are finally starting to ripen,  after I removed most of their leaves so the sun could get to them:


The green manure ‘phacelia’ that I sowed last month is growing well:


And so too is the grass lawn I laid a couple of weeks ago.  It is lovely and green, but I know this will change to ‘green with yellow patches’ as soon as I let Judy, our dog on it:




This week I have picked some really nice salads crops to have for tea.  I am still picking radish, chives, spring onions, tomatoes, lettuces, beetroot and kohl rabi too:

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I also scattered our mixed salads with the purple petals from chive flowers and the orange petals from a calendula flowers and they looked so pretty:



This week in the home:


This week I cooked my beetroot.  The beetroot was delicious sliced, but one of the beetroots was quite big and tough so after I cooked it my daughter used it in a smoothie and she really enjoyed it:

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This week I made what Mr Thrift calls an ‘English salad’.  It’s what my mother would give to us when I was younger….lots of things on the table to pick what you want.  I also cooked a quiche and made some homemade coleslaw using the cabbage that I dug up last week:

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I thought it would be nice to make a cake and serve it on the table for tea too and my family thought the tea was really nice and made a lovely change:

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My sister also kindly brought some of the plums from the large tree at my old allotment (she took on one of my old plots).  These plums are the size of damsons, but they ripen slightly later and I think they are actually ‘bullaces’.

As they are small, I decided to make a jelly out of them, rather than taking all of the stones out:

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This week I also made some wine.  I have been meaning to have another go at wine making since I made my first batch a couple of years ago from a starter kit.  I still had three cans of juice left that I used and it’s sitting bubbling in my kitchen at this moment:


Hopefully next year when I know what I am doing, I will have a go at making wine from start to finish with homegrown fruit.


I must say, it has been lovely serving my homegrown salads and vegetables this year….after I gave up my allotment I thought I would have hardly anything to pick from my garden:

Lasagne served with homegrown potatoes and salad

Lasagne served with homegrown potatoes and salad


Finally this week I thought I would show you my ‘car boot’ finds.  I managed to find two pictures for the walls in my front room – and they are just the right colours to match our lovely charity shop three piece suite and it finishes our room off lovely (apart from the carpet that we are saving for).

We managed to buy both the pictures for just £1 and they had no marks or scratches on at all :

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I also found a pair of curtains for £3.  I will be taking the lining off them and using the material to cover a pair of old, dirty sunloungers that my dad gave to me.  He was going to throw them away but I think they still have lots of use in them and these curtains will make them look great.  I will show you when I finish covering them.

If it works I will have two lovely sunloungers for just £3 and they will be great next year in the summer:



Anyway, that’s enough for this week.  Thank you for reading my blog today.

I will be back again next Friday as usual.  Have a good week!

Flowers from my garden

Flowers from my garden

23 thoughts on “Car Boot Bargains & My Garden This Week

  1. Your salad tea reminds me of when I was young and we could pick our own lettuce and tomato to put on our plate. There were always hard boiled eggs too.

  2. Lots of lovely produce on the table,you seem to have it so well planned & make use of everything. I love garden salad when we were at school they used to put orange segments & cress in our salads.I guess it was for the vitamin C (it was in the 1960’s ) I missed your post last week as we were getting in a final camp of the season with our astronomy friends .What a lovely weekend it was.One of our friends cooked a large pot of chilli which we had with crusty bread & doritos all sat in a circle .It was great -camping gives us such an appetite.One person made a chocolate pavlova type layer cake with malteasers on it (your cake looks very impressive !)and made homemade individual ice creams in tubs( vanilla & chocolate flake)This was on a campsite (although they were in a caravan with a fridge!) I love a good car boot sale .Ive got most of my baking tins from there. I would like to have a look round Leicester it looks an interesting place.The park looks very well cared for.
    PS thanks to your advice (re slugs eating them all) my runner beans are still going quite prolifically & a couple of the original white ones have survived & given me some lovely tender beans.

    • Really pleased about your runnerbeans! Your camping trips always sound amazing Carriet, I love to hear about them and I imagine it is so wonderful watching the stars after eating with lovely friends together.

      We had a tent years ago and camped a few times with our daughters, but my husband missed his home comforts and didn’t like sleeping on a blow up mattress lol, so we eventually sold the tent a couple of years ago….shame as I loved it (except I was always so cold at night).

  3. I was at my little allotment this afternoon starting to put a roof on the shed. (The existing one is only nominally a roof.) I checked the sweetcorn and it’s the same story: just not ripening. We also made wine this week from the grapes on the back of the house. I’m not convinced it’s worthwhile as I tasted last year’s and it’s very sour. Our grapes are just too acid. I’ve had great success with elderberry and blackberry wine in the past. CJJ Berry’s book “First Steps in Winemaking” is a classic worth keeping an eye out for in the charity shops.

    • Thanks Mike I have just ordered it from Amazon for £2.81 (incl. postage) as it had such good reviews….thank you for telling me about it as I’m looking forward to making wine properly. I’ll be interested to know how your wine turns out, let me know (fingers crossed it’s ok)

  4. What a shame your husband didnt like camping so much ,well the bed anyway.We bought a blow up double bed its almost as big as our bed at home but they are a bit of a worry that they’ll go down ! I bent down once with a ball point pen in my pocket and it tore a big hole in one of the single beds …oops! We got a bargain tent in the end of season September sale in our local camping shop & I was keen to try it out.Its an airbeam -no poles to thread through & it went up so quickly! You seem happy with your holidays in Scarborough. As a bonus I even foraged some hazelnuts in the woods that I picked up on our walks.

  5. It just shows how much you can grow in a back garden you have done so well in your first year, and look forward to seeing how next year goes, my husband stripped all the leaves from our tomatoes and at long last they are going red, just hope we can beat the frosts and get quite alot to change before i have to get rid of the plants. What wonderful bargains you found, i hope the sun loungers work out. Have a great week.

  6. hello,
    wow…your new kitchen garden produce very well.really many tomatoes on your plants. money maker have i planted last year….really a good tomatoe plant. you was very busy in your kitchen.
    all the food looks very your flowers!!!!
    have a nice time,
    love and hugs regina

  7. As you know I do love to read your blog! Your salad tea looks gorgeous and I am going to try it with my three daughters this week… No fussy eaters with that – something for everyone. You have motivated me – as ever – to get baking! Take care Vickie

  8. Fantastic post as always, just what I needed to read on a dreary,foggy monday morning. I didn’t have any luck with the hop suggestions from Whittonside unfortunately, but I managed to find book I thought I’d given away on foraging and found a fab recipe for Hop Beer, so saturday night I was boiling hops from 5.00pm-8.30pm, as my pan was only large enough for 1 batch at a time, and my other half got over zealous in picking the hops so instead of 1 pint of hops I got 4 pints and not wanting to waste any, started on a 4 gallon tester batch, my oh my I hope its good. Still loads on the allotment so I think I will try drying some as well. Then next year pick the young shoots and use them in an omelette, but I’m going to try moving some of the plants to the patio area in front of the greenhouse as not only will it give me easier access but hopefully they will look beautiful. As to wine making can’t wait to see how you get on, I’ve got Runner Bean Wine, Plum wine, Blackberry and Elderberry all on the go at the moment. I love it going in the kitchen and you hear the pop pop pop and going and checking on them oooh it’s so exciting. Might have to expand into the shed though as its taking over a little bit, my partner won’t mind too much though if the beer turns out OK.

    • Thank you so much for sharing this with us all….can’t wait to hear how your beer turns out. I have three lots of wine bubbling away at the moment and it is so funny when it’s quiet listening to my family trying to figure out what the noise is lol…..I can’t wait to make it properly. ‘Runnerbean wine’ how brill…..does it taste nice Debbie?

  9. Love the ‘English salad’. We still have it too, and sometimes with stuffed eggs (eggs stuffed with tuna and mayo) – yum! My hubby likes to have something cooked, so I fry some courgettes or include some salt and pepper prawns. Enough variety to keep everyone happy.

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