A Cheap Pair Of Curtains & A Harvest

Yet again it has been wet and miserable this week……the slugs are having a party in my kitchen garden!

But as I write my blog today the sun is shining beautifully, so I have taken advantage of this and hung out two loads of washing.  My daughters think I am mad when I sit watching my washing blowing in the wind …… watching it always makes me feel so ‘grounded’ as though life is somehow ok when my washing is out ….. daft I know.

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The last lot of laundry liquid that I made seems to have lasted me ages, but soon I will have to make some more.

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As it’s been wet this week I spent a bit of time in my greenhouse tying up my tomatoes and removing any side shoots.

I also nipped off the tops of my plants as they have all reached the roof of my greenhouse.  I then removed a few of their lower leaves so the air could circulate and the sun can get to the tomatoes to ripen them.

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I also tied my cucumbers to new string supports that I tied to my roof….hopefully they will grow along the string and produce even more cucumbers (you can just about see the string and cucumbers growing in the left corner in the photo below):

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I then put two plastic bottles that I had cut in half, into the compost next to the cucumber plants.  Cucumbers easily die when the compost around the stem is too wet (stem rot) and as it has been damp in the greenhouse (as we haven’t had much sun) I have been concerned that my cucumbers would sucumb to this.  When I now water, the water bottles allow the water to drain to the roots of the plants instead of sitting on the surface of the compost:

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I also continued to tie up the melon plants I have been growing in the greenhouse as well:

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So the greenhouse looks a lot neater now and I am so looking forward to the first tomatoes ripening.

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This weeks harvest:

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I started the week by picking my last spring cabbage.  The cabbage looked lovely on the outside but there was a fair bit of slug damage inside, however we had a meal from it and I managed to make some coleslaw with the remainder so it wasn’t that bad:

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I will be planting my curly kale next week in the space that is left in my brassica bed.

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This week the strawberries have been ripening well and they taste so lovely:

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 Most of the strawberries didn’t last more than five minutes before we all ate them.  However a few did make it into strawberry and chocolate pancakes that my daughters made….

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I have also been picking broadbeans (a variety called aquadulce) that I sowed in January:

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Normally I ‘pinch off’ the top three or four inches off each plant as soon as the beans start to form, as usually this is when I always see blackfly on the plants (blackfly love the soft growth at the top).  This year I left the plants as there really was no sign of blackfly and still there is no sign and the plants look so healthy….this is very unusual:

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My courgette plant has produced one more courgette……hopefully if the weather warms up I will get more.  However the courgette was quickly used in an omelette with the broadbeans and it was really tasty:

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The other squashes in my garden (patty pans and pumpkins) are also sulking in the wet weather too, however the butternut squash that I planted in a big pot is doing great and I have one butternut squash that is growing bigger each day:

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I also pulled up a few small onions this week to use as spring onions.  When I planted my onions out I spaced them very closely so I could pull them up and eat the thinnings, while the remainder could continue to grow to full size:

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And this week the first gooseberries were ready to pick.  I laughed at my eldest daughter when she ate one, as she said they were so sour……..she used to eat gooseberries like sweets and obviously her taste has changed as she has got older…..this happened to me as I grew older too.

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As it’s the beginning of July now, I decided to pull a few more stalks of rhubarb up.  I won’t pull any more stalks up this year now, so the plants can build their energy up again ready for next year:

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And finally this week in the garden I noticed my second early potatoes were starting to flower, so I decided to have a root around to see what I could find and I found these:

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These are a variety called ‘Marfona’ and my goodness they were delicious….but we always love the first potatoes of the year in our house!

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So all in all it was a good week for harvesting produce from my kitchen garden and homegrown fruit and vegetables always taste better than shop bought fruit and vegetables.

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This week in the home:

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I don’t know if you remember, but back in August / September last year my dad was throwing out two garden chairs and I asked him if I could have them as there wasn’t much wrong with them.

  I decided to go to a car boot sale to look for some cheap curtain material to cover the seat pads as they had marks on them.  I found some curtains for £3 which I was very pleased with:

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For one reason or another I didn’t get around to re-covering the seat pads and at Christmas I even used one of the curtains to cover a plastic box, so I could stand the Christmas tree on it:

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This week I finally decided to get the material out again and I realised that the curtains would actually fit across the bay window in our front room and the colour also matched the room too (though the curtains were far too long so they would need altering).  I have been looking for a pair of cheap curtains for this room since ever since I decorated it last summer, as our existing curtains were fifteen years old and VERY faded in places.

At the bottom of the ‘car boot’ curtains was some white paint, which is why they sold them so cheaply.  So I decided to get my sewing machine out and have a go at altering them.  The curtains were lined so I had to unpick the linning first and alter this as well as the curtain material:

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I have got to be honested, I didn’t really know what I was doing and I made it up as I went along….but it worked!

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I also made a couple of tie backs with the material that I had cut off (making sure I didn’t use the bit that had paint on) and I’m really pleased with these too:

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So for £4.55 (£3 for the curtains and £1.55 for the thread) we now have a nearly new pair of good quality, lined curtains that will hopefully last quite a few years and I did this with just a few basic sewing skill.

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So nearly everything in the room is second hand – the TV, the TV cabinet, the nest of tables, the lamps, the pictures, the cabinet, the settee and now the curtains.  It just goes to show that you don’t have to spend lots of money to furnish a room nicely.  Our room my not be everyones cup of tea, but it’s homely and we love it ……though we are still saving up for a new carpet to finish the room off!

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Thank you for reading my blog today.  I will be back next Friday as usual.

Have a great week!

XX

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26 thoughts on “A Cheap Pair Of Curtains & A Harvest

  1. Hi – thank you for the lovely blog up-date. We’ve picked 2 cauliflowers! They were planted last year in the Autumn. They are HUGE and don’t look like shop bought ones. They taste much nicer. We’ve also been enjoying a few strawberries – the crop this year seem really sweet and flavoursome. Having cauliflower cheese tonight.

    We are also eating some of our first early potatoes – Arran Pilot. Also our first courgettes.

    Thanks for the tip about cucumber watering. We grow ours in the greenhouse up some trellis which we lean against the side. We have grown a miniature variety, which is great as you can pick one each time you make a salad.

    • Love the idea of miniature cucumbers….I think i will try that next year. Well done on your cauliflowers….people tend to find these hard to grow, but I find that if I jump up and down on the soil before planting them they are fine (as cauli’s love firm soil). I used to freeze cauli’s when I grew them at the allotment and we had cauli all year round then….sadly they are too big to grow in my small kitchen garden now.

      Homegrown produce tastes so much better than shop brought doesn’t it.

  2. The pancakes look delicious and your garden is very productive for its size. I look forward to your blog every week, as it is so interesting.we also got a rescue dog with some issues but she has brought us much happiness and its been amazing hearing about Judy’s progress.Also have downsized allotments and have had to give for a year due to a knee op.

    • Oh dear, I hope your knee is starting to recover now. It’s sad having to downsize or give up allotments….I suppose we have to tell ourselves it won’t be for ever.
      Yes Judy has brought us all alot of happiness (and alot of tears lol). She is doing great now though, but she still has a way to go. I can’t believe we have had her for 21 months this month…where does time go?

  3. I’m afraid I uprooted one of my cucumber plants while I was tying it up. I’ve still got one left so it’s not too bad. Our potatoes are ready and we are wading our way through them but the courgette plants are not producing much yet. Your curtains look splendid.
    xx

  4. Hi well have just come home from two weeks holiday, probably not the best planned timing for a holiday when you have an allotment ! But my tomatoes have taken over the greenhouse although my outdoor ones look a little yellow and sorry for themselves with all the rain. My courgettes seem to be struggling also. Some nice strawberries though and plenty of lettuce so not all bad. A weekend of tidying now. Thats if the rain keeps off !!!

    • It has been so wet and we could really do with some sun for our courgettes, toms etc couldn’t we….hopefully they will pick up when the sun finally does come out.

      I hope you had a lovely holiday….did you go anywhere nice? You can really see a difference when you haven’t seen your garden / allotment for a couple of week cant’ you…I suppose we don’t notice the changes so much when we see it everyday

  5. Your produce is doing well. Our aim is to get a greenhouse in the winter when they might be a bit cheaper ready for next spring. So far from our garden we’ve eaten radish, lettuce and strawberries. The spring onions look ready. The toms are nowhere near as far on as yours due to being outside. Already though I’m saving a bit of money by growing veg. Good bargain curtains, looking lovely.

    • Hi LH it sounds like your produce is doing well too. I got my greenhouse a few years ago in the sales too….it only cost us £250 from Screwfix of all places….I’m sure it’s paid for itself already in produce.

  6. You are so clever……those curtains are amazing……I do love a bargain! And I’ll share another secret….I too LOVE washing drying on the line, especially if Bluebell and Alice (hens) are clucking around….my kids think I’m mad too! Have a great week, cannot believe how your garden grows!x

  7. Maybe birds are eating the blackfly off the beans.Feeding the birds to bring them into the garden has some extra benefits(.Ive seen them pecking the greenfly off of my roses in my garden). A productive week for you. Its so rewarding to harvest your own produce. Ive picked my gooseberries this week.Last year they became gooseberry ice cream ,this year I made a set cheesecake with them.My family were asking me the next day if there was any more gooseberry cheesecake in the fridge…sadly there wasn’t (she blushes….. looking embarrassed) The soggy weather is doing nothing for my strawberries they are in place where they don’t get much sun at the best of times so the slugs are having a field day in my garden too! Love your sewing this week the curtains look great.I picked up a 1970’s book in my local Barnardo’s shop as its next to the supermarket I had a wander around & It was called basic sewing & gave a lot of tips on following patterns,making simple things etc Im going to have a try soon at some thing ‘basic’ soon ..(Probably ‘very complicated’ in my eyes)You made a lovely job of your curtains beautifully coordinated with the room.

    All the best till next week ,
    Carrie xx

    • It was just a fluke that the curtain colour fit in with the room so well….if only I had thought about it sooner lol.

      Yes perhaps it is the birds…..it has been a bad year for greenfly hasn’t it….my MIL’s roses were covered with greenfly in early spring too.

      That book sounds brill Carrie….let me know how you get on…..I would love to have a go at making some clothes but I can’t remember how to read a pattern. I learnt at school but it was such a long time ago.

      Have a great week XX

  8. I too love the sight of washing on the line, no rain today, so out the washing went the first time for a few weeks, and I was out in the garden all day, tidying my greenhouse as well, and putting plants in the ground as I weeded, with all the rain the weeds have grown faster than the plants lol. Your curtains look wonderful, what a bargain. Having sewing skills saves so much money, Do have a good week.
    Sue

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