The Land Rover Owners Wife


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It’s been a while

The Mudlets were thrilled at how well their pine cones sold and my toys did okay as well.

November was the last time I wrote something for my blog and, at that time, it was a relief when I took the decision to put down my virtual pen and walk away. That said, I would occasionally pop in and have a nose around the blogs I follow but for the most part, the WP tile on my phone was left untouched, neglected and alone, passed over as I reached for Google, email, word or the camera tiles instead. I’m not entirely sure what went wrong, other than it became a chore to sit down and start typing which was a shame because I love writing, as is evidenced by the articles I still produce for the village magazine and letters I draft on behalf of Gardening Club or the PTA.

Over recent weeks, however, the urge to reclaim my blog has been growing ever stronger and I am finally ready to re-enter the world of blogging, albeit with a more relaxed approach and to start with, here is an update on happenings in Mudville: 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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The hidden tunnel – a school garden update

Lovely, lush plums ..... unfortunately the wasps agree!

Lovely, lush plums ….. unfortunately the wasps agree!

I am ashamed to say that as much as my own garden has received minimal attention this year for a variety of reasons, the school garden has received even less than that, bordering on none at all, although I did do a decent session of weeding and clearing early in the year. Events at the start of the year, regards my anaemia and the ensuing tests and appointments that have dogged the months since, knocked me for six and it was only in the last few weeks that I began to feel more like myself but with this improvement has come guilt over the dire state of my own beloved vegetable plot, a guilt which was further compounded when I saw the state of the school raised beds when the school reopened on Tuesday. As for the poly tunnel, well I didn’t even think about walking round to the back of the building and looking in on that, as there was nothing growing in it!

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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


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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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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