Monday, 25 March 2013

Blank canvas.

Dear God.

I know you are busy but I was wondering if, when spring finally arrives, it would be possible to make it prolonged as I've barely had the inclination to open Carol Klein's veg book this year and I'm very behind with my sowing?

Best wishes.


Sunday, 17 March 2013

St. Patrick's Day white stuff....

As we toddled to bed last night Hubby remarked on the snow. I thought he was joking, having heard no mention of it on the forecast. Peering out into the darkness across the driveway and towards the fields I could see my black car was white!

I'm in need of sun. I don't mean holiday-in-the-Caribbean kind of sun, just a bit of blue sky and brightness that is a usual spring here in Blighty. I feel as if I have seen grey skies or fog-fug or blue-black rain skies for nigh on 18 months.

The other day I began fantasising about the creation of a giant hair dryer, pointed at the sky, diverting cloud cover, pollution and hopefully the ruddy jet stream. [Oxford and Cambridge get your thinking caps on.]

Note to self: Get off the soap box now!

OK, I'm back. Positive mental altitude required.

On an up-note, the sweet peas I planted in October are romping along and so, two weeks ago, I took these pots and some pots of perpetual peas planted in December and placed them on a table in the walled garden. The table faces south east and their backs are against a 25' Shropshire stone wall, home to our gossipy sparrows and tits.

I am always amazed at the resilience of sweet peas, if they have been grown hard they merely bow their heads to frost or snow. Obviously if frost was sustained I would have protected them but fortunately the white stuff has been manageable this year.

Today is traditionally the day to plant potatoes; St Patrick's Day. The snow has rather put me off. Instead I will don boots and put on a good coat to open up the chickens and check on the sheep. Then I might sow some seeds or have a spring clean of the potting shed. Good jobs for a Sunday. Hubby and Son are creating a wooden, stand-alone, nest box for the 10yo's Salmon Faverelle chickens, as they've grown so enormous they have begun squashing their own eggs in their coop. If I'm feeling robust I may even barrow some muck to the raised beds, though that may be tricky if the ground is frozen again under the snow.

This afternoon we are hunting eggs, the chocolate kind, at a school event. Here's hoping the organisers haven't hidden all white chocolate eggs or we may never find them!

Till next time.


Sunday, 10 March 2013

Having a think......

There's plenty in my head to write about, maybe too much.

Since last I wittered, (a long time ago,) the seasons have stagnated and I'm fairly convinced that just one season remains - a wet one. The fields are still sodden, our animals are damp and though the snowdrops are still showing off, (if your snowdrops have come and gone by now you must remember we are high above sea level here and consequently a couple of weeks behind warmer parts of the UK) and the daff heads are swelling for their turn, the jury's out whether this will be a good year.

I heard a lovely story, though can't recall where, was it Bob Flowerdew?.... he called a garden centre and asked if they had any snowdrops for sale in the green....... 'Sorry' said the lady on the end of the phone, 'We only have white ones.' Bless.


Another excuse for not writing is that I'm back to work, supporting a vocational school. A worthy cause actually.

I've sowed some seeds. Some have foundered, some have not. There must be a glimmer of optimism.

Chilli (Tabasco), tomato and Cerinthe are all doing well. Modules of Rose Campion are beginning to spurt. I'm checking the Dahlia and Cosmos plants of last year, protected over winter. Life looks unlikely, but then again I'm surprised by plants each and every year. They may just need a little more warmth; I'm hoping that rumours of last Tuesday being the summer of 2013 are untrue.

Sweet Pea, sown in October, December and then again in January are also doing well. I gazed at a label for one of the sowings, wondering what variety Leominster was. I couldn't find or recall the packet. It came to me later; these were the perpetual strong pink Sweet Pea pods I'd pilfered from a pub in Leominster.

Plant pilfering seems less of a crime as I head towards 50. 50! I remember my mother taking cuttings from some concrete and pebble planters, (must have been the 70's,) outside an impressive insurance company. I was mortified, especially when I looked up and saw the security guard inside, heading towards the glass entrance doors. We'd been spotted.

My mum was totally engrossed and there was nowhere to hide, we were going to prison and my younger sister and brother would have to go into care, as all dad could cook was breakfast egg-flips, a revolting mixture of warm milk, sugar and raw egg shaken to a frenzy and gulped down. Urgh!

The guard descended the steps towards us, instantly authoritative in his dark suit, shiny buttons and banded cap.

'There's better bits round the back in the car park; reds and blues.' he said and smiled. Clearly a fellow pilferer. Holy cow, who can you trust nowadays?


According to our cats spring is deffo here; their gifts of the hindquarters of Easter bunnies secreted behind the sofa in the kitchen bearing testimony to the fact.

Well, it's been nice chatting, I've enjoyed dipping my toe in the wittering water..... I'll be back soon I hope..


The Archers at The Larches

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Snowy and Moon

Snowy and Moon