Thursday 31 July 2008

future project

I wasn't going to post today as it looks like I'm needy or is that nerdy?
Anyhow I just found this riddle that I've been thinking of embroidering, maybe with a few cats hanging around? Just an idea, must get on with my quilt first, which I'm changing to a random pattern thanks to sals snippits whose patchwork purchase has inspired me.

Wednesday 30 July 2008


Another gorgeous day and the garden is alive with buzzing winged beings, thought I'd share some of the plants that are getting the love. Also my favourite gardening book, a present from my wonderful husband (hello dear), which is full of great ideas and a plant list to attract wildlife and the avid nature loving gardener.

So here are my blooms a buzzing



eupatorium cannabinum



echinops ritro

Now where do they call home?

Tuesday 29 July 2008

and relax

At last my sweet peas have bloomed and I have fallen in love with them again! I'm growing a different one every year. These are 'fragrant skies', last years were beaujolais which I've also grown this year as there were so many seeds. The year before I grew white ones. Maybe pink next year?

Its all so easy to get over critical in the garden, so its time to relax and enjoy!! Whilst gazing I've planned out lots of projects for next spring, I must be careful not to wish this summer away.
One area which needs attention is the dumping ground for everything, at the moment I'm growing courgettes/squashes on the heap, although I'm not sure which is which?? They could be both the same as I was lazy with my labeling!

One last pic of my arbour in the evening sun. I have stained it at last, its pale blue/grey colour.
I love the way the light catches the seed heads of the sweetcorn too...

Saturday 26 July 2008

day lily

day lily


Oh wow oh wow its amazing what you can pick up at the dump! We weren't looking for chairs we were dumping an old fence panel. These unloved chairs caught my eye so we had to go round twice and snapped the six up for 15 quid!! Two are arm chairs like this one and four are regular.
They need a bit of tlc, though I'm not sure whether to rub them back to a natural finish or paint them, and I know painting them would make them look stunning, I just don't know yet.

Friday 25 July 2008


Country living has been my favourite magazine now for a few years, however they seem to be concentrating more now on living in the country (go figure) which I do find interesting. When I buy a mag I want to love it! So here is my first issue of country homes and interiors. It makes sense doesnt it, you just have to read the cover!! And so far I am in love...

I want that bookcase!

Thursday 24 July 2008

thats shallot

Here are my first ever shallots drying. They were supposed to be for pickling but they grew too big! Boy are they strong, cant remember the last time an onion made me cry. I think I should have watered them more.

fresh linen

Sunday 20 July 2008

best of british

We have been finding it so difficult to re-adjust since we got back from the Maldives so I decided we needed an injection of good old-fashioned British grub. I have recently rediscovered beef. As a teenager I went through the whole not eating certain meats fad, however I never returned to beef.
I have Jamie Oliver to thank for my favourite meal, after watching him cook a fabulous pie on Jamies kitchen.

Ok so not the best picture but you get the idea, I only wish we had smellevision. This was a particulary good one. My recipe is not very faithful to Jamies but he deserves the acknolwledgement all the same. I have made the pie with flaky pastry which is delicious but only a treat as I'm trying to eat healthy, I've also made it with guiness which is good though sometimes it can make it bitter.

melt some butter in a pan
chop some onion, leek, carrot, suede or what ever you have!
cook for a few minutes
add the beef (preferably organic)
cook for another couple of minutes
add a little seasoning (the stock is quite salty)
add worcester sauce
add my secret ingredient a teaspoon of marmite
stir in a tablespoon of flour
transfer to an oven proof pot with lid
make up stock (your own if you're clever or from a stock cube if you're not)
this is the important bit: pour the stock over the meat and veg but dont cover completely.

cook in a moderate oven gas 4/5 with lid on for about 1 hour stirring occasionally
take off the lid lower the oven to 3/4 for another hour or until the meat is tender and gravy is a good consistency.
an optional extra is to throw some grated cheese in before serving.

To finish our british day we had rhubarb crumble with custard. This was also my best crumble to date probably because I used butter! Thanks to the garden for the rhubarb!

Thursday 17 July 2008

eco thoughts

I like to think I do my best when it comes to the planet, I've recycled for many years, I compost, I don't even drive, gasp, maybe that's down to nerves rather than any global reason.

Sometimes we all need a jolt to do more, mine was the Maldives. Now I here you say that's not very green to fly to a country where they ship all the food in. Hey I don't drive and haven't flown for three years. Any how, we already knew not to leave any rubbish behind including empty water bottles (from UK) even the used casing of paracetamol were brought home ; I was so glad we didn't leave any rubbish, for on our trip in the sea plane back to Male we flew over the rubbish dump on the neighbouring island. A sobering scene.

This has made me even more aware of the impending doom that is our legacy ~ trash mountains!! I only have a small composter yet I'm able to fill it with all veg/fruit scraps and now I'm making an effort to compost cardboard like toilet roll tubes etc... I urge you all to compost!!!


dahlia~ purple gem

Wednesday 16 July 2008


I seem to have fallen behind with my posting, I could blame it on jetlag but its actually down to a migraine. There is so much going on in the garden.

Potatoes from two plants, obviously! The white spuds are Sharpes express and I'm very pleased, I shall let you know how they taste.

Clematis ville de Lyon planted this spring.

hampton court

Well usually I would be singing the praises of the Hampton Court flower show, however this year was a complete wash out so here are some pics and nothing more!

Tuesday 8 July 2008

back to my roots

I can at last report on my garden. Firstly what a mistake to go away in June, we missed the strawberry season!! Fortunately my mum popped round to reap the rewards, and on returning from our holiday we were greeted with two jars of strawberry jam!! mmm

As usual the garden seems like a jungle. Being away from my garden is really useful, it allows me to have a fresh eye on what needs changing. So I've ripped out a pink/orange honeysuckle that was always diseased and jarred me. Wow instant satisfaction! Also to go was a lelandii planted in the middle of the garden!! This not the end of it, there's more on the hit list.

I've also missed the mangetout season, so I'm leaving them to bulk up and hopefully eat them as peas. My peas however are looking good.
So a word of warning don't befriend a blackbird if you have any kind of inkling he might be psychotic. Ok I was feeding him apple and dried mealworms as he had a tiny baby to feed and there were no worms, I didn't know he would turn out to be a crazed stalker!

Friday 4 July 2008

flora and fauna~Maldives

Kuramathi Island in the Maldives was gorgeous with strange and curious things, from the fruit bats flying around during the day to the lizards with their rotating eyes! I must admit I'm finding it hard to get back into an English cottage garden.

I do love crabs!! I guess I can relate, I'm a bit of a hermit.

Thursday 3 July 2008

creme brulee

This is for Andrea~under a blue moon. Divine Maldivian creme brulee with passion fruit!

heavenly hibiscus

Wish we could grow hibiscus outside in England. Maybe one day...


So actually I went to the Maldives. Snorkelling everyday with sharks and turtles, bliss!
More to follow as I'm still dealing with the jet lag!

The sand bar.

Number 97