Friday, 24 October 2008

Beautiful Poole

Yet again we have have had a lovely day, it is quickly coming to the end of October, and yet it is still warm enough in the middle part of the day to take a walk without a coat. I had to go into work this morning to attend an update on the NHS lifting and handling policy, not such a bad thing... I usually come away with some useful knowledge, and today was no exception.. thanks Jan. So when I got home I decided to walk up to the school and give the dog a much deserved walk. As I had signed up to our local adult education school to further my somewhat limited knowledge of digital photography, I thought I would take my camera to document and share the beautiful walk that we are able to take. I hope that it gives our son some lovely childhood memories when he is older, I know that often he wishes that we take the car, and this has become a bit of a sore point between us.. anyway taking advantage of the sunny weather we walked, and this is a pictorial guide of things we saw.. Goosey, you will recognise this walk....

Have a happy half term....

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Lovely Views

We have had some lovely weather lately, although it is definitely feeling quite autumnal, especially in the evenings, the nights are really drawing in. I do like this time of year though, its nice to snuggle up in bed early with a good book, something I dont seem to do in the summer months. Anyway, to take advantage of this lovely weather (and also to have a practice with my new camera!) I went up to our local beauty spot. It is called The viewpoint, and offers the most spectacular views overlooking Poole Habour. This is looking out towards Old Harry Rocks, you can see between Old Harry and the tops of the trees is the Sandbanks Peninsula. Oh boy! We do live in a most beautiful part of the world! Sandbanks is reputed to be one of the most expensive places for property in the world!This picture is looking staight across the water towards the Purbeck Hills. Just in the middle on the right is Brownsea Island, home of the rapidly declining red squirrel.I think this view is looking towards Brownsea Island, again with the Purbecks in the background.

If you look closely you can just make out Corfe Castle sitting between the two hills slightly centre left in the background. (If you right click it should bring the picture up bigger.)In the foreground is Poole Park lake with Baiter just beyond.

Hopefully if this weather holds out, I can get to the allotment tomorrow, fingers crossed.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Rewind please!

We have just returned home from a wonderful 7days in Turkey. What can I say? Everything and everyone was lovely. So here I am on a cold wet dreary Sunday morning thinking rewind please...

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Late summer sunshine

While sat out in the garden enjoying some late summer sunshine I was rewarded with a show from some beautiful flutterbies also enjoying some late summer sunshine....

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

The largest seed in the world?

I have mixed feelings about this time of year. I don't really want to admit that the summer is nearly over, it feels like it never really got off the ground, and the growing season is all but finished. But... it is a nice feeling to have a big clear up, and get rid of all the tatty looking plants.The kids are back at school, and you can really get some serious work done at the plot without having to watch the clock. I find a good three hours is plenty enough time to make an impact on the backlog of jobs that have been building up. Yesterday I dug in the bed of green manure that I had sown about five weeks ago. I then planted out all my overwintering onions. I feel that maybe I was a bit over zealous and I know that in a few weeks time some of the green manure will start overtaking the ground again because there were a few areas that were more like a 45degree tilt rather than a thorough turn over!
The above picture shows how long it had gotten, I had manged about half of the area when I took this picture, the remainder still to do in the background! I had to keep taking frequent stops but that meant in between bouts of heavy digging I was able to take photos of other areas of the plot.
There are still lots of flutterbies around. I found this fellow feeding on a rotting apple,
I think I have identified it as a Comma, he was there for ages.The Butternut squash are nearly ready for harvesting. This is the first time that I have grown them, and will definately be growing them again! They are delicious roasted with potatos, Maris piper of course, courgettes, shallots and parsnips. I will have to get the recipe book out for some more ideas. I only have about 8 left, I wish I had grown more.

The Joan Jay rasperries are really surpassing themselves! They are huge! Delicious too! I can highly recommend them .
The poppies give a lovely bit of colour, I dont even know where it came from, but it is very welcome!

This last picture isn't from my allotment, but I felt it deserved a mention on my blog. It is the flower of my Calamondin that is growing happily on my sunny (!) kitchen window sill. The scent from these flowers is beautiful!! They are only a small flower, but give out such a strong perfume.

As an after thought, has anyone grown a Monkey Puzzle tree from seed? On our regular walks to school, we pass a Monkey Puzzle tree that has dropped its seed all over the path. I have picked some up and will attempt to grow them. I have a feeling that it wont be successful. They are a very large seed, largest seed that I have ever seen , measuring about 2-3 inches! I have photographed it next to a five pence piece for comparisson.

Or... do you know of a larger one?

Friday, 5 September 2008

Pickle! Thats original!

Ok ok, I know, but what else is there to do when its raining... you've cleaned the house... bathed the dog.... done the it! Lets make some pickle using all those surplus veggies. God I do hate to waste them! Also they have been sat in brine for slightly longer than I intended. I was going to do it yesterday, but... my daughter went into labour! She rang me at about 11.00o'clock in the morning to tell me that she had been having labour pains since 5 that morning...... I was instructed that they would ring me when they were ready to go into hospital, so all afternoon I was on tenderhooks waiting... the call came at just gone 3 O'clock just as I had walked up the school to get my son! I knew I should have taken the wagon, but I have a dreadful fear off turning into one of those lazy mums who only live a short distance from the school, but still insist on driving! So we hot-footed it back home, with me nearly having a coronary on the way! I am soo unfit! I dropped the mum to be and partner at the local maternity unit, and went home with my grand-daughter to wait......... At just gone 7pm the call came, all had gone very well and Baby Rowe was now well and truly here! All 8lbs 13.5ozs of him! So after all the excitement of yesterday, I thought I would have a "lazy" day.
Baby Rowe
Homemade sweet pickle One clean sweet smelling dog.

Monday, 25 August 2008


I've been feeling rather guilty of late because I cant think of anything original to blog about!! I've been busy, but not been busy about anything original! Decorating... working... sorry if this isn't particulary inspiring, but today we had a very brief spell of sunshine that drew me out into the garden. While I was there I.....
was well impressed with the size of my lone courgette,
dead excited at finding loads of potatoes as a result of my potato tub experiment....
more than happy with the progress of my lemon grass grown from seed this year
enthusiastic about the prospect of lots of lovely ripe tomatoes....
thrilled by the sudden surge in my carrots...........
eager to find lovely recipes that needs Jalapenos.................
and ripe tomatoes.........
and chillis'
puzzled as to what can be eating my strawberries......
annoyed at the bloody caterpillars that have left me with no lettuce..............
and finally... reminded at how lucky we are to be able to grow anything at all........

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

All quiet on the blog front

I have been desperately trying to think of something to blog about... but can do. Its not that I lead a boring life, far from it... But what with the rain, kids on school holiday and decorating there seems to be little time to do what I enjoy most.... my allotment. I get down there briefly, occasionally, weather and son allowing, so have managed to harvest bits and pieces as required, and thats about it. So nothing really to write about.
It was our wedding anniversary on Sunday, I congratulated hubby on his lovely choice of card.....only to be told that it was the only in the shop!!! Not really what I wanted to hear... mind you it is a huge improvement on previous offerings. I remember one Valentines day, he presented me with a lovely card... on the front it stated that all his life he had searched high and low for the perfect girl, then he found me.........Ahhh thats nice I hear you say... inside where the words.... INSTEAD!!! His excuse was that he read the front and thought that'll do, so he didnt bother looking inside. Yeh... right!

Monday, 4 August 2008

Comfrey magic

Popped down to plot 44 this morning for an hour. I think I really need to plan my visits so that I can make good use of my time. I tend to go down without really thinking about what needs doing, then, I just go with the flow, if you like. Although I seem to always find lots to do, I am sure that I could do more, within the time frame. I think I should employ a time and motion consultant!. I could spend all day down there, and still come home thinking "I should have done this," or " Damn I didn't do........." Anyway, today I ....... dug up another row of potatoes, these are Maris Piper, they make a lovely roast potato. fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside....Mmmmmm.....

Then I dug up the rest of the carrots that were under the fleece which has eventually surrendered to the elements. Mind you, I was very pleased with the results. Lots of lovely looking carrots and not a carrot fly in sight. I definately will be growing them under fleece again. I decided to dig up the whole lot, because I didnt want to leave them to their fate.

I then made up a comfrey "brew", apparantley Comfrey is a marvellous plant to have on your plot. If you pick the leaves and put them in a bucket filled with water, leave them for a month or so, you will end up with a vile smelling brew that is the most wonderful liquid feed. You can also cut the leaves and place in a trench under your potatoes, they will quickly rot down and provide nutrition to the crop, some even say that this will improve the flavour too.Check out this link,

Roy was kind enough to give me an armful of his Gladioli, they are now gracing my kitchen window, thankyou Roy
Back at home in the greenhouse, the Jalapeno chillies are really excelling themselves, Any recipes requiring Jalapenos gratefully recieved...
I do believe that our "sunmmer" is now drawing to an end.... at the beginning of August... I think all the seasons have merged into one rather ill defined season. What has happened to the long hot summer days we had when I was a kid on the six week summner holidays. I certainly dont recall being stuck indoors for days on end, our mother would have gone mad, two sets of twins and no games consoles !..... every day was beautiful and we were able to go out playing and making "camps" on the common that surrounded our estate with all our friends. Or am I looking through rose tinted spectacles? Do you remember the term "heatwave"? Times are a changing.. I wouldn't feel at all happy letting my 10 year old dissappear off over the common unless he had his mobile with him,and half a dozen friends, even then there is danger. Or is it just the media making us more aware of the dangers that are lurking just outside our front doors therefore turning this generation into soft, sofa hugging gaming experts.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Disney Fever

Who said I only ever grow Mickey Mouse potatoes!

I told you I couldn't wait! My son and I munched our way through this beauty today. Straight from the plant, warmed by the sun. Beautiful!