Thursday, 30 July 2015

Drying flowers and seeds and allotment news

Hi Everyone,

I know 2 posts in one week but I have been drying a few flowers from my garden this week ready to make little presents for Christmas I know I cant believe I just said the C word but forward planning and all that :-) I wanted to share them as they looked so pretty.

My orange roses have been growing really well this year they are such a gorgeous shade so thought they would like lovely dried they also have that wonderful old fashioned English Rose smell.

So I picked a few flowering heads and then peeled the petals off gently

And then put them onto a tray on top of some kitchen roll. I just love the colours when there displayed like this.

I then picked 2 of my hydrangea heads there are so many tiny flowers on these its amazing once you start snipping them off.

Just look at those gorgeous tiny flower faces :-)

Again i lay these on a tray on top of some kitchen roll.

Next I cut some of the flower heads off one of my Mint plants the smell is gorgeous.

I tied them up with string.

I have also been drying some of my Chive flowers and was able to put all those little black seeds into a paper envelope ready to sow next year in the vegetable patch.

So once all the flowers and petals were ready I carefully carried them into my summer house to dry over the next few months :-) I usually dry things in the airing cupboard but wanted to try the summer house this time and see if they hold their colour better.

This week I decided that I didn't want to let my allotment go to waste and all the digging that I started on it a few months ago deciding to build my vegetable patch instead. So i am now in the process of building my box frames to give the long stretch of land some shape and depth and drawing up some plans i will share the progress with you next week along with the ever changing growth at my vegetable patch.

Have a wonderful week and weekend,

Bye for now

Dee xx

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Its Day 23 on Dee Dees Vegetable patch and a Quandary

Hi Everyone,

well we had a fabulous weekend even though we had rain and sunshine we didn't let it dampen our spirits. And Bertie our vintage caravan was given a lot of love and appreciation, for some he was a memory trip for others he was inspiring and for us well we were just really pleased that people loved him as much as we did and we felt very proud.

In my little garden my blackberry bush I planted last year has grown into a monster size plant and is producing lots of fruit which are huge much bigger than the fruit we normally pick from the hedge rows. I picked a lovely basket full yesterday ready to make some blackberry and apple crumbles today I will make a few to freeze also.

So many fruit turning still

All this rain has been good for the vegetable patch and things are growing really well I had a few ants on my courgette flowers last week and a few flowers had dropped off last night but the ants were no longer there and I have new flowers forming so hopefully one will turn into a real courgette that I can use in the kitchen having 2 plants I am hoping at least one will provide me with something :-)

The dwarf beans I planted are starting to look nice and bushy and I am pleased with their progress so far its now day 23 for them.

And the peas I planted are also looking nice and strong to :-)

The spinach that I sowed into the ground 16 days ago has now started to poke through the ground I am really pleased and hope this continues to grow.

The cucumbers are still under their cloche frame but seem to be producing lots more flowers so I am hopeful I will get a cucumber to use to I have 4 plants so fingers crossed.

The red onions, spring onions, leeks, lettuces and carrots are growing well and the carrots and lettuces will soon need thinning. And the brussel sprouts well there growing tall and strong

My little squash plant now has a flower out so there's hope here to :-)

So my little vegetable patch is now taking shape nicely and actually looks like a vegetable patch :-)

But I am in a quandary we still have had no news as to if we can rent the cottage that my vegetable patch is in the grounds of. The bank seems to be taking forever to make their decision. ( The cottage is being brought as a buy to let for us from a family friend of the owner its so complicated ) We have been in limbo for 5 months now and I am starting to lose heart. I have to rely on my husband to drive me up to my little vegetable patch as I don't drive so I cant just potter like I want to and weed when I need to. I have my allotment space which I can walk to and I could be independent there but the owner of the cottage and my husband said to start my vegetable patch up at the cottage as it would have been foolish to start it at the allotment because when we were at the cottage I wouldn't be able to tend to it.( so it did make sense) Its all so complicated and frustrating for me. I really want to build a compost heap and have a few wooden pallets and I also bought a lovely little black iron arch in the sale that I wanted to put over my gate so I can grown sweet peas and beans up it or roses to give a nice entrance to my little patch.  I would also like to build a little pond from a car tire but feel I cant do any of this until I know for sure if we have the cottage to rent. Part of me wants to take my veg patch to my allotment which is just waiting for me to wave my magic wand over it. I was given it the same time I was offered the patch of land at the cottage I dug half of it over and covered up some with sheeting to help keep the weeds down. I just don't know what to do for the best and I know patience is always the best policy and I know what will be will be but all this waiting is just so frustrating.

But anyway that's my little quandary.....

Thank for all the visits to my little blog and for those that do decide to leave a comment thank you.

After a weekend of sunshine and heavy rain and my little quandary I am still smiling..

Have a lovely week

Hugs dee xx

Friday, 24 July 2015

Trading and camping in our vintage Caravan Bertie

Hi everyone,

just a quick post today just to say I have spent the morning packing up some of my vintage stock ready to take tomorrow to the Vintage and handmade fair at Poltimore house near Exeter. This is a weekend event and it has a fabulous line up of sellers and live entertainment with music playing into the night tomorrow. Its organised by my lovely friend Shelley and she always puts her heart and soul into them. For further details pop over here

I am just about to go and get our lovely little vintage caravan Bertie ready to as we will be using him to trade from ( well underneath his canopy ) and staying the weekend in him. So if you are around Exeter this weekend and your coming to the event come and say hello :-)


Although its raining today its supposed to be dry tomorrow but my wellington boots are at the ready.  I have a batch of scones cooling down ready to take to share with my lovely friends just need to get a jar of my home made blackberry and apple jam from the larder and buy some clotted cream :-)

And get the camping kettle are the ready

Right better go and start packing have a lovely weekend everyone and if you are planning on coming to the event don't forget to come and say hello :-)

Bye for now.

Dee xx

Monday, 20 July 2015

Polytunnel making and where we are now

Hi Everyone,

thank you for the little comments on my last post and thank you also to everyone that visited but didn't comment. Its a little difficult to write about the vegetable patch when I started it 2 weeks yesterday but I want to bring this blog up to date today with what's happening there now. So its time to open the gate and get started.

Please can we come in mum.....ummmm no sorry girls last time you were in you decided it would be great fun to dig.

So the first week after we had built the box frames and I started planting I decided that I needed a poly tunnel for my pepper plants so I bought some plastic sheeting and we had some white plastic pvc sheets that were left over from the skirting that we used on our caravan Bertie last year. Its great because it bends. We had to screw to pieces together each time to form the height I needed. We then attached the plastic sheeting to it with screws. we had 2 plastic poles which we wrapped the sheeting to at the bottom and again secured it with screws. We then put some little blocks of wood on the top to allow me to rest it on top to enable me to water the plants. It cost us £4 for the sheeting and that was it and we still have more left to make another if we wanted. And then a couple of bricks just hold it in place .

A cheap and cheerful poly tunnel but it does the trick :-)

Last weekend we spent the day cutting back and strimming all the long grass that was attached to the wire fence that surrounds my little vegetable patch it took some serious digging and pulling  I can tell you but between the two of us we managed it but found some holes in the fence so hubby took time to mend the fence to. It looks so different now and much cleaner.

If you look at this photo you can view all the long grass around the outside of the fence it was all tangled into the wire to.

And this is the after photo as you can see we can now walk all the way around the outside of the vegetable patch and I no longer have grass or brambles poking inside my veg patch :-)

This weekend I spent yesterday weeding all the beds its amazing how quickly those pesky little things can build up in those beds. The only beds I left are the carrots, onions and lettuce beds as the vegetable shoots need to be a little stronger before I go digging in there. And my hubby dug and cleared away all the weeds from the little path that runs around the beds its looking much sharper now :-)

A nice weed free Path ready to put cardboard and bark on top when we get the nod.

As for the vegetables that I planted well there doing really well :-) My peas and bean seeds that I planted into the beds have now got leafs and are standing tall and proud.

I may just have to move a couple when there a little stronger so they are close to the sticks and more even.

This is just one of the courgette plants that I grow from seed but its produced lots more flowers in the past few days :-)

I have 4 cucumber plants that I again grow from seed never have done so before. This is the best one out of them all and currently has 3 flowers. 2 of the other plants are looking good also but the other one is looking rather sad but I if I even manage to have 1 cucumber then I will be very happy.

This the Carrots on day 14 since I planted them they seem to be doing ok weeding this bed will have to wait until they are a bit stronger and I can thin the carrots out.

I have lost 1 brussel sprout plant but as you can see the others are strong and growing daily it seems :-)

And as for the lettuces a huge lesson learnt here I didn't realise how strong or that each seed I planted would take hold. I have some serious thinning out to do here when their roots are a little stronger.

I have since planted some flowers in the flower beds and also herbs in the herb bed but I will share those next time. So really we are now up to date.

And after all that hard work we sat under the trees enjoying the sunshine and enjoying the view of my little vegetable patch and its daily transformations.

Bye for now until next time...

Dee xx

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Day 1 on Dee Dees Vegetable Patch

Hi Everyone,

thank you for joining me here from my old blog you could say I have been on quite a journey since I starting blogging 5 years ago and lots has changed for me. Vintage will always be a way of life for me but instead of selling it so much I am just going to enjoy the peacefulness it gives me within my own home using it all myself  and just keeping our home decorated to a times past as that's where I am most comfortable. I grow up in the country and although I did appreciate it when I was younger now I am into my 40s I embrace it even more now and I do struggle living so close to town and so do my hounds Milly and Kia. Milly cant cope with people Men mostly we think she was mistreated by a male trainer when she was racing she is very nervous but get her into the fields or on the beach and she is a different girl she comes to life with confidence and my old girl Kia is partial sighted and loves the freedom it gives her to. I have made my current garden into a small haven of peacefulness and I love cottage garden plants and tend to let them grow the way they chose enjoying the more natural look. My husband built me a lovely summer house to and its a lovely little retreat where I read and crochet and I suppose you could say hide from the outside world and its fast pace to life. So when we came across Hazelmere I couldn't believe my eyes and its taking a while but fingers crossed we will get there with it. So this brings me to the story of my vegetable patch and allotment space which is currently on hold as we made the decision to start my vegetable patch up at the cottage. Isn't it mad I had a choice of 2 spaces after wanting a space to grow vegetables for so long that 2 come along at once. I have always grown vegetables tomatoes mostly so I can make my chutney for Christmas and brown sauce and pea's and beans and last year peppers to but not on the scale I am able to do now.

So this is where it all starts.........

See that little gate and the wire fence that's to be my little vegetable patch once we had dug ourselves over to it :-)

With a fork, a spade and lots of determination my husband and myself starting taking the grass, brambles and weeds up.

 Along with help from our girls Kia and Milly it was funny we have never seen them digging before but I have to say they were both pretty good :-)

I draw a plan of how I wanted it to be with boxed frames to keep it tidy and easier for me to weed I also would love a brick path around it all but for now that's on hold because of the cost and until we know the land is defiantly going to be ours.

We made a couple of little changes to the plan mostly 2 shape ends and we were able to add another corner space for a herb garden in the bottom left of the picture.

Once we had removed the brambles and grass we got to work building the box frames and giving the whole space some structure. My husband was given some timber from a house he was decorating but we didn't have enough to do it all so decided to buy some decking as it was cheaper and also looked nice and should last a couple of years.

As you can see the middle section is now squared off and gives me space for some pots it also helps with easier access to the beds.

We then started on the lower boxes.

And I forgot to take a photo of this frame empty before I planted in it. but it kind of resembles a boat but the top rounded off end will be for potatoes next year. The soil even though it hadn't been used for over 2 years seemed lovely but we lightly dug in some compost into each area and left it for a few days.

My husband then built me a little gate and re used the netting from the previous gate ( need to keep those pesky rabbits out ). It will be painted in the coming weeks.

I then got planting I had already grown some courgette plants from seeds and 2 had taken well, a whole load of pepper plants and cucumber to. So in those went.

Pepper plants which are now inside a poly tunnel. ( Well tell you about that another time )

I then got my ever growing tin of seeds out and got sowing carrots, peas and beans, spring onions, red onions and lettuces

This is one of my favourite books I have bought its so useful and easy to follow.

So after sowing the seeds and planting up leek plants to and adding some pretty bunting and wind mills to help keep the birds away this is what my little vegetable patch looked like then.

Its changed a lot since then and its now day 11 for me there. And we have since built a poly tunnel for my pepper plants, I now have a cloth frame over my cucumber plants I have since planted leeks, Brussel sprouts, a squash plant, herbs and flowers in my flower boxes. But I will leave you all there and tell you about that in my next post......

Enjoy the rest of your week

Hugs dee xx