The Land Rover Owners Wife


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A bit of a mess

Much improved

Much improved

That’s the only way you could describe the state of my largest greenhouse. In fact it was far more than a bit of a mess, it was a bona fide disaster zone and I needed to sort it out pretty quickly. You see with the Jack Frost just around the corner, it was imperative that I moved the chilli plants which were in the smaller greenhouse, into the large one, so that I could set the small one up as the winter lodgings for some of the outdoor plants which weren’t frost hardy.

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Tea for four

Not perfect but I was really happy with how well this cake turned out

Not perfect but I was really happy with how well this cake turned out

Little Mudlet turned 10 a short while ago and to celebrate this special birthday, I decided that not only did she need a more grown up style party and I would have to come up with a cake to match the venue. We settled on the idea of a pottery painting party for Little Mudlet, two of her friends and Middle Mudlet, at the local pottery studio/shop called “Live, Love and Create”, followed by a rather grown-up tea party at “Shipley’s Curiositeas”, a lovely little tea shop opposite the studio. I’ll cover the pottery and tea party in another post because THIS post is all about the cake ……….. Continue reading


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Who dunnit?

The second of our two pumpkins is now almost completely orange

The second of our two pumpkins is now almost completely orange

A couple of weekends ago I spent about 7 hours across two days, in my vegetable gardening clearing away, pruning, digging up and planting, untangling bean vines from bamboo structures interwoven with garden wire or garden twine. I hoisted, shifted and dragged bags of compost, spent and unused growbags, pots, tubs, house bricks and windblown branches from one place to another. By the end of the weekend I could feel with the usual gentle reprimand from muscles not used to so much activity and treated myself to a long, hot soak in the bath to placate them. Continue reading


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Taking the plunge

It's good to see the right sort of green in the garden again

It’s good to see the right sort of green in the garden again

There comes a time each growing season, when gardeners have to decide that the chance of hard frosts has passed and they can start to move seedlings and young plants out of their greenhouses, into their final positions and for me, this year, that day was Thursday just gone (19th May). It was a warm but not overly hot afternoon, with a gentle breeze – perfect conditions really, especially for planting the willowy, fragile bean plants. Continue reading


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The wrong sort of potato leaf

Ordinarilly I'd be really pleased to see new potato foliage ...... but not in my carrot bed!!!!!

Ordinarily I’d be really pleased to see new potato foliage …… but not in my carrot bed!!!!!

You could be forgiven for thinking that for a vegetable gardener, the sight of the first potato leaves of the year, sitting happily in the lovingly prepared beds, would be a reason for joy, for celebration, not to mention relief that the carefully planted seed tubers hadn’t rotten away, unseen, deep underground but had been quietly doing their thing before bursting out into the light of day. So you may be surprised to learn that this was not my reaction when, last weekend, with the sun warm and bright, I headed off down to my vegetable patch, clutching carrot and parsnip seeds, only to find that not only had the local weed population decided to take full advantage of the recently enriched soil but proudly sitting in the carrot bed, brazen as you like, were little clumps of potato leaves! Continue reading


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Another year, another cake

Middle Mudlet was thrilled with her cake

Middle Mudlet was thrilled with her cake

When Middle Mudlet started secondary school last September, the one thing she was really looking forward to was the chance to study a musical instrument and specifically the guitar. The school she attends is a Music and IT specialist school and so all pupils are offered the opportunity to audition for music lesson and she sailed through her audition, even though she had never held a real guitar in her life. Now 8 months on, she has become quite adept and the sound of the guitar being played is the norm, as she puts in the practice required by her teacher, in readiness for her grade 1 exam. Continue reading


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A Chilli Greenhouse

I'm thinking this is enough chillies now

I’m thinking this is enough chillies now

On a morning like today, with the sun shining and the outdoor temperature an impressive 14.5C, you could almost believe that Winter was finally losing her grip on our part of the world and that Spring had arrived. That’s ‘almost believe‘ though, not ‘know for sure‘ because one thing that gardening has taught me over the last few years is that Ma Nature doesn’t read books and most certainly does not follow all the rules, or that the advice in regards the seasons and specifically their start and end dates, written by experts can only ever be regarded as guidelines, best case scenarios and should not be followed verbatim. Warm as the day is today, there is still the possibility of snow and hard frosts have been known to hit as late as the back-end of May, as I learned to my cost back in 2010. Continue reading


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The Gardeners’ Apprentice

Little Mudlet worked hard clearing out the strawberry pots

Little Mudlet worked hard clearing out the strawberry pots

I’ve nearly finished the garden prep now with just two more beds to dig manure into and the large greenhouse to wash. My energy levels are still not brilliant and so when Little Mudlet offered to help me over the Easter weekend, I accepted gratefully and we made our way into the veg patch. Obviously the digging in of manure was not a suitable task for my 9-year-old and so I asked her to weed the other beds I intended to dig in that day, a job she carried out both enthusiastically and willingly. Continue reading


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The Mudlets’ sow some seeds

Middle Mudlets' propogator

Middle Mudlets’ propagator

“Can I have my own propagator to look after, please mum?” Middle Mudlet asked me the other day. Well what could I say, after all my whole ethos with the school garden has been to encourage the children to develop a love of all things green and growing and so I decided that the next round of seed sowing could be given over to the girls, under supervision. Continue reading


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Not for public consumption

Annual spring clean

Annual spring clean

There are certain things in life that really shouldn’t be seen in public and on Good Friday, I was one of those things. I’ve never been one to worry about fashion at the best of times, believing that comfort is far more important, and this is especially true whilst working in the garden but Friday morning I drew the line and when Mud asked me if I’d mind standing on the front drive and keep an eye on his tools for a few moments (he was doing some work on Annie) whilst he was otherwise engaged, I put my foot down with a firm hand and refused point-blank. Continue reading