Tag Archive | Woodland area

Carrots, Carrots And More Carrots

I wanted to start by saying ‘thank you’ for your lovely comments after my post on Monday.  I love receiving your comments as they spur me on to continue writing.

I’m also sorry there was a bit of a delay before I answered your comments this week, but unfortunately my laptop broke and I had to borrow one, which was a bit inconvenient.  Luckily Mr Thrift works in ICT and he and his friend have managed to fix it.

The first daffodil to show at my allotment

The first daffodil to show at my allotment

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One of the comments I received this week was from ‘Mum’, who incidentally writes a beautiful blog called

‘Mum’s Simply Living Blog’.

Following on from my post on Monday about slowing down, ‘Mum’ wrote the words to a poem that I had long forgotten about.  This is a poem that we read at school, but unfortunately it meant nothing to a teenager…but now, I see how powerful these words are so I thought I would share the poem with you:

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Leisure

By William Henry Davies

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What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

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Thank you for sharing this ‘Mum’

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This week at my allotment I weeded around my ‘Woodland’ area.  I noticed that my bluebells are beginning to grow around my plum tree now, you can just see them in the photo below.

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Unfortunately, I bought the bulbs a couple of years ago, paying extra to make sure they were ‘English’ Bluebells and I was very dissapointed to find that they were actually ‘French Bluebells’, which I wasnt very happy about.  I did however contact the suppier and complained!

My primroses are flowering lovely too now and it’s lovely to have a bit of colour, together with the snowdrops:

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I also noticed my Christmas Rose (Hellebore) has a flower on too

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and the daffodils will soon be flowering

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I also noticed that I have the first little flower on my Aubretia.  I moved my pond to the far (sunny) corner of my Woodland area and transplanted the Aubretia around it in the Autumn…it’s nice to know it has survived the move:

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Finally, I also noticed that one of my favourite flowers is beginning to grow, the Aquilegia.

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So you can see that this week, as the poem said, I did make time tostand and stare’.

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This week I also moved my one raised bed that I use to grow carrots in.  I had no luck whatsoever trying to grow carrots until I used a raised bed.  So now, each year I move the wooden frame to another part of my plot and fill it again.

I started by removing the environmesh and pulling up the remaining carrots

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I then moved the wooden frame to another part of my allotment plot, to avoid the build up of pests and diseases e.g.carrot fly.

I refilled the wooden frame with a mix of my own homemade compost (made from all types of perennial and annual weeds) and leaf mould that had been sitting decomposing for the last year.

I then covered it up with black weed suppressant to let the worms do their work and mix it all thoroughly.

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In May I will mix in some sand to help to ‘lighten’ the soil, before sowing my carrots.

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I froze the carrots without blanching them.  I had two large trays altogether, which I open froze so they didn’t stick together in the bags.  After freezing all of my left over carrots, I had orange hands!

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I also pulled some carrots up that were growing in my polytunnel this week and froze them.  The carrots were smaller in my polytunnel as I had sowed them later than the ones outside:

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I gave my polytunnel a good weed ready to spread some of my homemade compost over the empty soil next week.  I also removed the old Cape Gooseberry plants and removed the last few berries to keep for seed.

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  All I did was cut the berries in half and spread the seed on a piece of paper towel to dry.  When it is dry I will put the seeds in an envelope to keep.  When I am ready to sow them, I will just plant the seed with the paper towel still attached (incidentally, this method also works exactly the same for tomato seeds).

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In my polytunnel I still have beetroot, perpetual spinach, mizuna, corn salad and winter hardy spring onions.  I also found another two rows of carrots that I had forgotten that I had planted, but I will leave these in the ground for the moment.  Unfortunately we have eaten all my winter lettuces now, so I will have to make sure I plant more next time.

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I found that the mizuna had started to flower, probably because it has been such a mild winter.  So I removed the flowers in the hope that I can keep it going a bit longer.

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One last thing I did this week was to plant the garlic that I sowed in January.  I’m hoping it is wasn’t too late to plant it as it needs a period of cold to enable the bulbs to split into cloves.

I planted the garlic into ridges to help with the drainage incase the wet weather we have been having so much of continues.  This area had been covered in a plastic sheet for the last few weeks, so the soil wasn’t as waterlogged as the rest of my plot.

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So that is enough for this week (I do seem to get carried away and write long posts).

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Thank you for reading my blog today.

I will be back at my usual time on Monday.

Have a good weekend.

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An Eastbourne Holiday, A Birthday And A Funeral

Last week it was ‘half term’ for children in Leicester, so we went to Eastbourne for a week.  We nearly didn’t go, as it was the funeral of my good friend on the Wednesday.  We didn’t want to miss the funeral or the holiday, so we traveled back on Tuesday evening and then traveled back to Eastbourne on Wednesday.

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The funeral was beautiful and so so sad.  There must have been about two hundred people there, which showed how well she was thought of by everyone.

When we came out of the funeral, it snowed really heavily, it was so pretty and I know she would have loved it.  I will remember my friend each time it snows now.

The day after she died, I noticed lots of snowdrops were in flower, as I went for a walk with my husband.  So I have decided to plant lots of snowdrops this year in my new woodland patch at my allotment, as a way to remember my friend.

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Eastbourne was lovely, as usual.  It was rainy and wet when we arrived and the wind was blowing a gale, but this soon passed and we had a couple of beautiful days where the sun shone.

We stayed in the Travelodge that is just across the road from the sea and yet again we only paid £31 per night for bed and breakfast for a family of four.

You can read about the Travelodge, room and breakfast on a post I wrote here.

We visited Beachy Head and the Birling Gap and looked at the wonderful views.  My daughter took the following pictures:

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We had a lovely, peaceful holiday.

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While we were there it was my eldest daughter’s birthday.  I can’t believe she is 15 years old!

I made her a cake to take with us.  She loves ‘One Direction’, so I made her a ‘One Direction’ birthday cake:

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A ‘One Direction’ Cake:

First I made three sponge layers, using the easy sponge cake recipe here, and sandwiched them together using a nice homemade Strawberry Jam.

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I then made up some butter icing, with a tiny bit of yellow sugar paste (my daughter’s favourite colour).  You can see how to make the buttercream here.

I spread it all over the cake using a warm knife:

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Then the fun began.  A couple of weeks before, I purchased a ‘One Direction Edible Cake Topper’ from EBay for just under £5.00.  It was so easy to use,  I just put it in my freezer for a few moments and it peeled off the backing easily and then I gently pressed it onto my cake:

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I added a homemade ‘One Direction’ ribbon, using card that I covered in sticky backed plastic and piped the remaining buttercream around the edges:

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My daughter loved the cake especially as the cake had her name on.  My homemade cake was bigger than the Tesco version you can buy for £8 and I made it ‘dairyfree’ so all my family could enjoy it.   I would like to bet that a homemade cake tasted better too.

A Tesco 'One Direction' Cake

A Tesco ‘One Direction’ Cake

We couldn’t put candles on the cake, as it would have set off the smoke alarms at the Travelodge, but we sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to my daughter and the staff who were working that evening joined in too and also shared the cake with us.

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Thank you for reading my blog today.

I will be back again on Friday.