The Land Rover Owners Wife


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The first garden purchases of 2019.

 

Hoping for another sizzling chilli year.

“But it’s only the 4th of January”, you may well be thinking, but when it comes to chillis and peppers, you really can’t start too early, especially when you consider that it can take several weeks for chilli seeds to germinate, or the fact that realistically there is only a short ripening window. No, the sooner you start chilli and sweet pepper seeds off the better in my humble opinion. My tomatoes won’t be that long behind either but they’re a bit trickier, as they have tendency to legginess (is that a word?) if kept in the house too long BUT I will struggle to get them ripe before the end of the growing season, if sown too late. Continue reading

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All Chillied Out.

The final chilli harvest of the season.

All I seem to be posting about at the moment is making chilli pickles but I can announce with conviction that this is the last pickling post for this year because today I cleared the last of the pods from my plants and cut healthiest of the plants back to a few inches tall in the hope that they will successfully overwinter. With my chillies washed and drying, I gathered my ingredients for making the pickling liquor and washed and dried the jars I needed. Continue reading


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More pickled chillies for Mudville

A bumper crop.

Earlier this week Mud opened one of the jars of Jalapenos I had pickled five weeks ago, to add to his Chicken Fajitas and declared them a success. He told me they were tasty and hot, better than the shop bought ones we spend a small fortune on each year. With lots of chillies still growing in the greenhouses, and handfuls of the incredibly successful Curry Chilli in the freezers, I decided to make a second batch of pickled Jalapenos. Continue reading


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Pickled Jalapenos: from plant to jar in 40 minutes.

Sliced Jalapenos ready for pickling.

What do you do when you have a VERY successful chilli growing year and you find yourself with loads of Jalapeno chillis ready and dozens more following on behind? Well if you have a husband who happens to like adding Jalapenos to chilli con carne, fajitas, tacos and pizzas (to name but a few) which means you go through several jars of shop bought sliced Jalapenos every year, then the sensible thing would be to try and make your own pickled sliced Jalapenos. Continue reading


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The giant, the mini and the just plain weird!

Gerberas in a tin

During last autumn (or Fall for the Americans amongst us), Mud and I added manure and a thick layer of mulch to the vegetable beds, with a view to enriching them. For the most part, the beds had been rested for a year and with the addition of enriching materials, I had anticipated the healthiest of healthy plants, thriving on the nutrient rich soil. Unfortunately, things haven’t worked out quite like I’d planned. Continue reading


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Pots, potatoes and everything else

Little Mudlets’ creation. She is rightly very proud of it!

Six more plants were rescued from the garden centre plant sale room today, when Middle Mudlet and I went to get some more compost. I get a little frustrated with the garden centre because most of the plants in the sale room only require a little TLC and in particular, water! When you pick up a large pot with a very large plant in it and it’s light as a feather, you know that dehydration is a major factor in the droopy look of the plant. So today a red geranium, a variegated geranium, two¬†osteospermum and two lithodora plants came home with us, along with two strikingly beautiful Lewisia from the main plant area. Continue reading


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Middle Mudlets’ Garden: the straight carrot experiment

 

Spot of working the soil can lift your spirits and restore your equilibrium.

There is nothing quite like a stint in the garden, working the soil, sowing seeds and planting out plants, to ease away the stresses of a busy week and so with Middle Mudlet in a full on teenage angst mood when she got home from school, I suggested that she change into some old clothes and go do some work on her vegetable patch…… Continue reading


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A spade’s a spade …… unless it’s MY spade!

Our pretty bird-scarer and the view across the garden

A couple of months ago Mud had some jobs to do in the garden, some ‘house maintenance’ type jobs and not the vegetable garden kind. He hadn’t been outside long when I heard cursing. An enquiry as to the cause of his disgruntlement elicited the response that he’d broken his spade ……. no! Wait! Let me rephrase that …… he had broken A spade. Continue reading


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Middle Mudlets’ Garden: May

Middle Mudlet planting out her beans.

Over the last two weekends the Mudlets have spent some time in the garden with me, Little Mudlet helping with the general garden whilst her sister worked on her own patch. The improving weather has really benefitted our own plants but on the flip side, the weeds have also relished the warmth and have started to break through in those areas where we have cleared the mulch away.  Continue reading