The Land Rover Owners Wife


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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


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Potting on and more seeds to sow

I'm thinking 27 tomato plants is enough

I’m thinking 27 tomato plants is enough

I spent an enjoyable if lengthy amount of Saturday, potting on the large quantities of chillies and tomato seedlings that have spent the last few weeks developing their root systems and putting on growth, in the seed trays they were originally sown in. In total I had 72 tomato seedlings across 5 varieties, 11 sweet peppers and 56 chillies across 4 varieties. Of course 72 tomato plants is a little excessive for a family of four, even with two tomato loving Mudlets’ who are happy to snack away on the red fruits as if they were sweets and no amount of chutney making could utilise the huge quantities of fruit that we could find ourselves harvesting come the summer. Continue reading


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“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


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Another year, another season begins

Ready to start.

A little while ago I sorted through my seeds, throwing away the very out of date ones, seeing what I had left and making a list of what I needed to buy. Thankfully I’d managed to buy several packets of fresh seed, in various sales at the end of last summer and so I only had half a dozen packets to buy. My next job was to draw up a seed sowing timetable and for this I decided to utilise the calendar and Quick Note appĀ on my phone. Continue reading


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An abundance of red

For a few weeks each Autumn, this tree makes a striking centre piece

For a few weeks each Autumn, this tree makes a striking centre piece

Although the grower me mourns the demise of my garden, as we move into Autumn, the artist me appreciates the glorious colours that arrive to lessen the blow, as we move towards winter. In the centre of a local village is a small triangle of green that is host to a lovingly tended flower bed, a wooden seat, flagpole and one tree ……. but what a tree! For most of the year it is lost amongst the greens of the trees across the road from it but come the autumn, it comes into its’ own and is a stand out feature as you walk towards it, clothed, as it is, in its’ autumn finery of fiery leaves. For a few brief weeks, the maple casts its’ neighbours into the shade. Continue reading


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Chilli crop 2015

The start of the harvest: chillies make a vibrant display piece!

The start of the harvest: chillies make a vibrant display piece!

With the threat of rain forecast for today, I was a little concerned that some of the outdoor tomatoes which had been nearly ready for picking yesterday might split if I didn’t get them in, especially as we had already had some rain overnight. So I decided to pick what was ready when I went out to open up the greenhouses first thing this morning and I thought that I might just as well pick the chillies that were ready at the same time. Continue reading


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We have tomatoes

I spotted the first tiny tomatoes the size of a petit pois

I spotted the first tiny tomatoes the size of a petit pois

Living in the North of England, I am always pleasantly surprised when certain crops which I half think shouldn’t be able to even grow, let alone fruit in our neck of the woods, do just that and deliver oodles and oodles of produce. Tomatoes are one of these, especially varieties which are badged as being able to be grown outside of the safety of the greenhouse. I think of tomatoes as needing hours and hours of gloriously hot, sunny weather and that’s just the ones in the greenhouses. Yet year on year I find that not only am I able to grow tomatoes successfully in the greenhouse but that plants situated outside in tubs or the beds, also do remarkably well and keep us well stocked with tasty red fruits for months.

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Making my hanging baskets

Nothing wrong with these.

Nothing wrong with these.

Looking at my very sorry looking hanging baskets, I realised that a third of them were beyond the point of no return, with gaping holes in the bottom sections, where 6 or 7 years of continuous use had finally rusted out the wire mesh to which the moss was attached, to such an extent that the wire had crumbled away to nothing. Of the remaining ones, three were still useable and just needed relining with plastic but the jury was out on whether or not the last three would survive another season of watering, compost and heavy plants and, to be frank, I wasn’t about to entrust my precious tomatoes to them and so they were put aside for further consideration at a later date. Continue reading


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Little Mudlet plants tomatoes

All planted out.

All planted out.

“Can I go to Lewis’ for tea mum? Please? Please?” were Middle Mudlets’ first words to me, as she flew across the playground, at the end of school Thursday.

“Mum says it’s okay,” Lewis added, hot on her heels.

A glance towards said mum confirmed this arrangement was okay with her and, as she is actually a friend of mine, I didn’t have any misgivings about letting Middle Mudlet go on a visit. Frankly, after a week of year 6 SATs tests, she deserved a break and so after leaving her bag with me, she headed off with Lewis …….. Continue reading


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A bit of structure in the garden

Two of the three courgettes planted amongst the strawberry plants.

Two of the three courgettes planted amongst the strawberry plants.

The large greenhouse was quite literally bursting at the seams, the staging was groaning under the weight of plants and the beds were primed and ready for planting. All that was needed was the weather, warm, sunny days and frost free nights ….. oh and I needed to find the courage to remove my lovingly tended plants out of the relative safety of the greenhouse and transplant them into the soil, to run the gauntlet of pigeons, slugs and unpredictable weather. Continue reading