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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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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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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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


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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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A bit of progress in the garden

That's one an a half raised beds down and just another five and a half to go!

That’s one an a half raised beds down and just another five and a half to go!

Yesterday dawned bright and extremely spring like and I was determined to make the most of it and get at least something done in the garden. So I donned my tatty old jeans and an even tattier old top and after the requisite mug of coffee (or two), I headed outside. Determined though I was to make an impression on the neglected mess that is my vegetable patch, I knew I had to be realistic in terms of my capabilities at the moment and so I chose a couple of jobs to do and set about slowly but surely, getting them done. Continue reading


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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