Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Evolution of the Herbs

The herb garden is coming along nicely and during my vaguely productive session a few days ago I potted a number into larger pots. Soon they will be large enough to put into the ground :D

The herbs as they used to be soon after receiving them from the nursery...

Now they have put on a lot more growth and are starting to really fend for themselves. Hopefully they will be large enough to hold their own in the ground and not succumb to the slugs and snails :D


I have now made it to Falmouth. It is pretty nice down here but the weather looks like it is possibly going to turn nasty soon.

The only annoying thing here is that there is very very little signal for my mobile phone. The only place that I have managed to get good phone signal for a long time was about 5 miles off shore.

Speak to you again soon. xxx

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sleeping Patterns

Currently My sleeping patterns are very messed up.
I had to get up at 3:30 am on saturday morning to go sailing as I was taking part in the Round the Island Race.
This was good fun but very windy...
We missed out on our target time of 7 hours by 10 seconds which was very frustrating but we recieved our best overall result ever which has almost made up for it. We were ranked 59th overall last time it was checked :D

Unfortunately this messed up my sleeping patterns as I flopped into bed shortly after returning at about 4pm... I will have to sort these out before Tuesday when I start working for a bit... Fingers crossed Im not still semi nocturnal by then :P

PS yes I do have the panda eyes to show I was out on the water for about 8 hours!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Coloured Lavender

Today I have been lacking in motivation. Im not 100% sure why but it is turning into one of those weeks. From Friday onwards I am going to be super busy, with my results coming out on Friday, then having to be at the boat for 4:30 in the morning on Saturday to go sailing :o then either travelling to Oxford for a family reunion or travelling to Falmouth for work! 
Busy busy busy...
But for now I am taking it slow, too slow if anything. So to kick start myself I went to Portswood (the local highstreet) today and went charity shop touring and was good and only bought books (ok and one necklace to cannibalise) and met with a friend for coffee.

This trick seemed to have worked for a little time, and when I got back from town I headed out into the garden to do a little work. On the way into the garden I stopped to look at the Lavender bush that is starting to block the steps...

There are the typical Lavender flowers (deep purple casings and flowers) 

 ... and flowers which have pale casings on the flowers. Taking a closer look at these I have found that the inside flowers appear to be both pink and purple, although they have not really started to open yet.

I appologise for the quality of the photos my proper camera has decided to stop talking to my computer so I have to utilise the mobile phone camera for this.


and Purple:

You can see the purple better in the close up:

I will have to look into taking cuttings of Lavender and glowing some new plants from them as I am planning on moving the Lavender hedge next year and having different colours in it would be wonderful.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Knowing when to harvest...

This is becoming my new challenge, there is so much advice out there on how to plant your veg and how to care for it. When to pot on, when to plant out. What fertiliser to put on it... etc etc. 
But the advice seems to tail off with respect to when to harvest. The packets give a rough estimation of the months that the fruit or veg will be ready in but thats it. 
In addition there is an even smaller amount of information, easily accessible, on what to do after this (for newbies). With respect to all plants. For example, how to deal with bulbs after they have flowered, do you pull them up and dry them and then re plant or just leave in the ground and hope for the best :p

Anyways Harvesting...
I have found that I have a problem of not knowing when all my veg is ready for harvesting. I realised this when the elation of having the first one of my courgettes grow had worn of slightly and I started thinking: So how long till I can eat this? The same is true for the Chantennay carrots that I am growing (with these I might have got impatient and pulled one up only to realise they still had a long way to go. They were edible but just very small!).

Apparently this courgette is now ready to be eaten :D 

Today I have been back out in the garden and the courgette has swelled up a bit, it is just longer than my hand and is too wide for me to me to grip round completely. I probably should have harvested it a few days ago but - better late than never. 
This evening we will see what it tastes like (other than victory), along with some of the Yellow Chard. :D Yummy. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Drying Herbs

Yesterday I cut some of the rampant herbs in my garden down a bit and have decided to dry these to make a tea mix. The three herbs I cut were Peppermint, Lemon Balm and Feverfew (I am not sure if this is the proper name but it has been called this in my house as long as I can remember) 

After cutting these I have laid them out to dry in the garden.  Suspending a BBQ grating between two of our kitchen chairs (arent they gorgeous, they came from my parents house and are in need of a little tlc but they do brighten up the room a lot. Im thinking of stripping them and then repainting in Aqua or a colour like that... anyways back on topic ) 

Suspending them in this way allows the air to circulate around them and the heat of the day should help them to dry out.

On the left if Lemon Balm and the right is Peppermint. The Feverfew is in flower and being dried in the understairs cupboard as it can be hung upside down here to keep more of the flower shape.

To stop the leaves getting scorched and more importantly to stop them blowing away I covered the contraption with a second hand (thrifted) vintage table cloth that I happen to have waiting to be upcycled into something new, maybe. 

Also today I have started on another dress for me in the most gorgeous Jade colour :D I probably need to get some house work done but for the moment that can wait...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Todays creations

Today I have been following in the trend from the past week and been creating things...

I started by creating a chunky vegetable soup, as an aid for my 'fitting into my dress' diet and partly using up the veg in the house. 
In  the time that it was cooking I decided a needed a snack and so created a gorgeous pita pocket.

The soup turned out nicely and was very welcome at lunchtime...

After finishing the soup the days task really began and I set to work creating a gardening apron from a curtain sample that I recently purchased from the local curtain shop which is closing for refurbishment soon.

I decided on a short 'skirt' apron with shallow pockets on the bottom. For this I used the top of the curtain sample so most of the work was already done. But it needed hemming and pockets creating, that and tie ups...

The final creation:

This will definitely come in useful in the garden as I am one of those people who will always wipe their hands on what ever they are wearing, no matter how dirty they are. Next task a kitchen one, because that habit is present there too...
The whole outfit:

Having made myself a shiny new item for the garden I thought I would have to use it so have been out looking at the Veg bed. I have one courgette which I am going to have to keep an eye on, and work out how to tell if it is ripe.
I have also added some more of the Rainbow Chard to the Veg bed from pots and taken up the Asda garlic as it was dying back and the shop bought stuff is still growing strong. I also wanted to try out the wet garlic phenomenon mentioned by Alys.

I have also cut down the sycamore tree saplings in the front garden but will need a much more vigorous approach to tackle the roots!!

Pita snack

Today I invented a new recipe for a quick snack. Creating a new filling for a pita pocket which was just calling my name.

1. Toast the Pita, then cut in half. Open out the two halves at this stage to make a space to fill the centre (if you leave this too late they will break, learnt from personal experience)
2.  Using your favourite pesto, spoon some into a bowl. I used this wonderful white pesto from our local international food store (love that place :D )
 add some left over tomato salad from last nights meal...

 3. My secret ingredient is my Nan's ketchup. This is a slightly spicy and not too sweet sauce. Normal ketchup or tomato purée would do nicely.
4. Mix together in a bowl with a bit of grated cheese, then spoon into the open pitas.  Microwave for approximately 40 s to slightly melt the cheese then enjoy ...

Yummy :D

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Latest distractions...

I thought I would have a lot more time to post on here but I have recently been distracted by a few things.
On Wednesday I had my Graduation Ball and so Tuesday and Wednesday were taken up with refashioning a dress that I wore to my year11 prom into something suitable to wear to my last ever (Southampton) University Ball.

After doing this, my sister decided that we needed a sowing machine that did not require winding! So we made a trip to John Lewis and are now the proud owners of a shiny (pink) sowing machine.

With this purchased we set about creating an infinity dress for my sister. Check here for my initial inspiration for this dress at a very lovely crafty blog I follow. 

Due to a slight rookie error by the lovely sis I had to make a short dash back to the fabric shop on Friday to pick up some more of the fabric, but this did leave me with a lovely pre cut (if slightly large) circle of fabric.

After entertaining some of the bf's friends at my house over night Friday the weekend was spent at his house as his parents got to grips with the first of their B and B guests. 

Arriving back this evening I have used the left over material and created myself a simple skirt inspired by this. But had to rouche the skirt as the hole in the centre was much larger than my waist.

I do love how it has turned out and its such nice material :D

Friday, June 3, 2011


I have inherited some strawberry plants from my mother.
Well Technically my sister inherited them, but the care of them seems to have fallen to me...

The first strawberry has turned red, and smells ever so yummy :D

There are more on that plant which have yet to ripen:
 This is the one 'proper' strawberry plant we received, all the rest were alpine strawberries.

This one plant has purple flowers on it instead of white:
I have spent some of the time 'planting' the runners so that hopefully next year we will have a number more strawberry plants. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Unexpected Visitor

Today I have finally made it back into the garden for more than 5 minutes or to clean up after the party last Friday (to celebrate my birthday and finishing our course work)

I walked out of my back doors and was greeted by an unexpected visitor, one of the few times I have nearly screamed in my own garden!

This was what greeted me, I have no idea what it is. I'm assuming a moth of some kind.

Ignoring the surprising wildlife it is a good feeling to be back in the garden, More posts coming soon to update on what little gardening I did get done through the last month or so.