The Land Rover Owners Wife

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Then there are the ‘Grow-your-own’ Christmas Trees

A future Mudville Christmas tree may be cocooned in this pod

During our visit to Fillinghams’ Christmas Tree farm back in December, I spotted some packets of ‘Grow-your-own’ Christmas Trees for the bargain price of 99p each. I thought that these would be a fun thing for the youngest Mudlets to try to grow, so we paid for two of them and the girls were delighted with this extra purchase. All through Christmas the pods were proudly kept with their sleigh gifts and Christmas toys, waiting for the day when we could plant them …… and that day was today. Continue reading


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A surprise from my garden

A pleasant surprise

I haven’t planted much in my garden this year, some potatoes in potato bags and tubs, tomatoes, cucumbers and chillies in the greenhouses. Pots of strawberries have been left to their own devices with the minimum of attention, providing us with a lovely crop of berries earlier this year and the rhubarb has grown bigger than ever and is now ready for splitting with a section destined for the school garden. Continue reading

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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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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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Hanging baskets, tubs and the prehistoric corner

We all chose the plants for the hanging baskets

We all chose the plants for the hanging baskets

Back in June, a quick survey of the hanging baskets and tubs dotted around Mudville, resulted in Mud deciding that most of the 6 or 7 year old baskets had well and truly outlived their usefulness and many of the herbs and plants, needed repotting into larger tubs or pots. So we all piled into Annie and headed off to the garden centre on the first of many trips, to replenish the baskets and plants. One area that we really wanted to address, was the corner near the barbeque which is almost entirely in the shade for most of the day, due to the gazebo and so that first trip was mostly dedicated to finding a selection of shade loving plants, with which to dress the covered well. Continue reading


Now you see it – the pond that is

What a difference 2 hours and a load of elbow grease makes

What a difference 2 hours and a load of elbow grease makes

Okay, let’s be honest, up to a week or so ago, as Summers go, the weather we’ve had so far this year has been…. well….. less than ideal. In fact if I’m totally honest, with the exception of most of the second week of Wimbledon, the lack of sunshine and warmth has been immensely depressing, frustrating and off-putting. Poor old Mud has been thoroughly cheesed off because since leaving his job three weeks ago, he hasn’t been able to get on with any of the jobs on Ciggy, Annie or the workshop that he had planned to do and has spent much of the last few weeks muttering about how he shouldn’t be at all surprised because this has been typical of his luck in recent years, in respect of the weather on his days off! Continue reading


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


A bucket load of sugar coating please

My poor, poor garden but it won't be looking like this for much longer

My poor, poor garden but it won’t be looking like this for much longer

You may or may not have noticed but posts about my garden have been a little thin on the ground just recently. I could tell you that this is due to the fact that we are in winter but the more observant of you would no doubt realise that this hasn’t stopped me in previous years, as I’ve shared the garden clearing and preparation work that usually takes place in the autumn/ early winter, ready for spring. The fact is that areas of my garden (including one of the greenhouses) still need clearing and the garden enrichment that should have happened back in October/November, still hasn’t happened and bags of manure are still stacked, unopened, awaiting distribution. Continue reading


“And there I saw a spike of green”

Melon seedlings just 5 days after sowing

Melon seedlings just 5 days after sowing

The wait between sowing seeds and seeing the first seedlings emerge, can be a tense one in my experience, especially if you are waiting for seeds with a very long germination period (chillies and parsnips for example). So it’s always something of a relief to spot the first spikes of green beginning to unfurl from beneath the compost. Continue reading