Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The garden

Hi, I thought I'd show you some pictures of my garden now that spring has sprung and I feel inspired to get back out there. It's looking a bit shabby at the moment after the harsh winter but shouldn't take long to spring back to life.
         It's L-shaped but not a bad size for a modern house garden. On this side it backs onto the village wildflower park. Notice that I still haven't moved that dead cordyline off the lawn. Oops caught out.


The pile of dead twigs in the foreground is another victim of the weather that I hacked down today. The box on the grass is my Guinea pig run that they go into on warm days.
                  This side of the garden (below) backs onto a farmers field and we can see the Cathedral in the distance. We also get the Red Arrows flying over when they are practising, it is really exciting they come in quite low and sometimes with their coloured smoke on. I will try and get a photo some time. Enough about my obsession and back to the garden.

Hopefully the climbing frame will be going this year as Little T is too big for it now and it's a pain to move when I need to mow the lawn. The two white lumps in the foreground are the chickens dust bathing in the future strawberry patch. Look how grubby they are!

In the middle of the garden is the veg patch that I put in last year. the only thing left is the red curly kale which survived the winter. At the minute there is pile of branches ready for burning at the weekend and then I can crack on and get it sorted out.

This sorry looking area below is next to the patio and is where  the Cordyline was. There a few Hostas planted in here so it will fill out soon.

In the greenhouse the Broad beans and Sweetpeas that I sowed a few weeks ago are emerging bringing promise of things to come. Today I sowed a tray of Alpine Strawberry seeds, I hope they grow ok, I haven't grown them from seed before so it will be interesting to see what happens. I planted a couple of plants last year and the fruit was delicious, they were quite productive.

The Hellebores are performing really well this year, but their heads hang down so you need to get down low to appreciate them.

(As you can see I've got the hang of the macro feature on the camera.)
          Remember the twiggy shrub from an earlier post? Well here it is now, it's starting to green up and small flower buds are forming. It seems to change every day now.

It's not as drab in the garden as it seems in the long shots, this Primula denticulata is in full flower

as is this species tulip. Aren't they a pretty colour? 

Before I go I must show you my favourite plant in the garden. It looks a bit boring doesn't it? It's a Stipa gigantia or Golden oats and it gets 6ft flower spikes on it later in the year which are backlit by the evening sun. Stunning. 

I hope you enjoyed the look round my garden I will post more pictures as the year progresses. Enjoy your own gardens.  

Monday, March 7, 2011

Chicken nuggets

Little T had a friend over for tea tonight and requested homemade chicken nuggets, so I thought I would share my recipe with you. It originally comes from my mum in law and always goes down well.
                                              Chicken nuggets

1 3/4lb minced chicken
6oz fine oats
6oz grated cheese
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper
crushed cornflakes

Mix all the ingredients together and form into balls. Roll in crushed  cornflakes. This amount will make quite a lot of nuggets depending on how big you make the balls.( I find myself making them bigger and bigger each time as I love them.) Cook at 180c  on a greased baking tray for 20 mins, turning halfway.

I usually make a big batch as they freeze really well and are handy to have in. If cooking them from frozen allow 40mins.

 Give them a go you wont be disappointed, these two weren't.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

New addiction

Good morning. I've got a bit a of time whilst I wait for the floors to dry to let you know about my new passion. It's crochet. My mum has been trying to teach me for years but I just couldn't do it. I've been inspired by the fabulous blogs that I visit ( see list right) to try again. I bought a magazine that included some wool ( not good to use as it turned out but okay for practising with) and settled down to try it. But again my attempts were rubbish and I got disheartened., still I don't like to give up easily. It was a good excuse to purchase more yarn so armed with 10 balls of acrylic ( a mix of Hayfields, Cygnet and Boyes own Dk) I tried again. The yarn made all the difference it was so easy to work with, and here are the fruits of my labours. 

I've made all these in a week. I can't put it down now! Do you want a closer look..


not bad for a newbie, do you think it looks neat? I'm following a pattern from Attic 24's blog, she has really inspired me, I also used her pattern for the jar cover below. I made that just before school pick up yesterday. 

I haven't abandoned the knitted blanket if you're wondering, I have decided to crochet 10 squares and then knit 5 squares and so on. I think the granny blanket will be finished first though as it comes on quicker, I can do a few squares a day quite easily now.
                                                     On a different note we had to chop down a Cordyline at the weekend as the bad winter weather had killed it off. It's a bit sad really because my Dad give me it as a baby plant off one of his years ago and it flowered for the first time last year. Still the birds and chickens have had fun picking all the insects out of it but I need to clear it away now.

Just time to show you my potatoes chitting in the sunroom. The varities are Belle De Fontenay and Arran Victory. I've grown the Belles for a few years now but the Arrans were new to me last year and what a revelation, they were delicious. They made fantastic mash, so a definite for me again this year. If you dont know what chitting is, its letting the potatoes shoot a little before planting out to give them a head start in life. Just put them eyes upwards in an egg box and leave somewhere light and frost free for a few weeks and they will sprout little shoots rather than those long spindly ones that occur when they are left at the back of the cupboard.

Well the floors should be dry now, and I've got to go and meet a friend so see you next time.