Now is the perfect time to get out into the potting shed and start sowing seeds like cerinthe and scabious for the summer. Hardy annuals and veg can all be sown now, and if you have the greenhouse or coldframe space you can get a head start on more tender things like tomatoes and dahlias. A little bit of attention to detail now will pay dividends at harvest time, so to get seed sowing right there are a few things you need to bear in mind.Read More
With April comes the beginning of Wedding Season in all it's joyful craziness, and in amongst all the planning I've been having a ponder about the latest wedding trends for Spring. John and I really wanted a May wedding, but sadly his exams got in the way, but if we had I'd have tried really hard to get all of these into the day!! From chocolate to tree branches, there's all sorts of ways to bring the season into your wedding.Read More
This week spring has properly arrived here in North Devon. The trees are in bud, the garden is coming alive and the birdsong is incredible. I was watching an episode of Countryfile on catch up yesterday about the smell of spring in the soil and how the rain sends the scent molecules up into the air so we get that incredible smell telling us Spring is on the way, I thought it was absolutely fascinating. Especially as that smell, and the grass smell as everyone gets their lawnmowers dusted off and working again, is one of my favourite things about the season.
I thought I'd share the others, and I'd love to hear yours in the comments too!Read More
Well, spring has well and truly arrived - the clocks going forward coincided with Mothering Sunday and a weekend full of warm sunshine. My Mother's Day involved a gloriously long lie in, a bottle of Wicked Wolf gin (Mother's Ruin, classic) and a lovely, blustery walk on the beach with my Mum. Lots of cuddles with Imogen, lots of cups of tea and rounded off with a brilliant slow roast leg of lamb.
We're trying to learn how to eat more seasonally and this week have been planning the vegetable garden and sowing lots of seeds. Spring is tricky though, we just don't have the space that things like rhubarb and asparagus need, so rely on the greengrocers having a steady supply from local producers. Rhubarb has already arrived and I'm counting down the days til local asparagus turns up too!
So here's four of the best things we've been eating and drinking lately... starting with Sunday's lunch!Read More
I think we can all agree that hygge is a thing. It's been everywhere this winter and you can't go online or into a shop without seeing some mention of it. But if you're anything like me, you read these articles with a faint sense of disbelief that a concept all about getting cosy with your loved ones involves spending so much money. But it really doesn't have to be like that, after all it's not about shopping. You don't need to go out and buy a designer candle or a load of faux sheepskin cushions. You can just gather the stuff you already have and use it to indulge in a bit of self care.Read More
Mothering Sunday is this week in the UK and in celebration of mothers everywhere I thought I'd share some things my lovely Mum has taught me.
1. Follow the pattern.
My mum was always sewing when I was growing up and she was the one who taught me what to do. I remember her taking me to pick a pattern and fabric to make a skirt, and then standing over me telling me how to measure, pin and cut. How to read the pattern, use the machine, press the seams. And you know what? It was perfect and I wore it for over ten years. It was a valuable lesson in learning from people more experienced than me and not just assuming I knew what I was doing! And when I wanted to make my wedding dress she made sure I did it properly and not just blindly cutting into the lace. That turned out perfect too, though I think she wishes I used a proper pattern and not one I drafted myself onto newspaper!Read More
Winter is often seen as a time of quiet in the garden. But there are stirrings underground and every day I see more tiny green shoots poking out of the earth. The bark mulch covering the tulips is being pushed aside as they reach up towards the light. Yesterday I noticed the first snowdrops, today the buds of the dark pink hellebores starting to unfurl.
The bed at the bottom of the garden is north facing, damp and shady. We've planted fruit trees there, they will grow high enough to stand up tall above the fence and soak in the light from across the valley, but the flowers at their base get no light at all until lunchtime. Last year I planted bulbs down there, and I've recently potted up snowdrops, fritillaries and hellebore seedlings to move into the bed later in the spring. In a couple of years they will have naturalised and will provide a wonderful show to get us through the winter days until the foxgloves bloom and anemones open.
Astrantia is another wonderful plant for shade and I've got 15 of them waiting in pots to move into that bed and help it earn its keep during the summer. They're going to look wonderful alongside the climbing roses I'm training up and over the fence. Hold tight for a few months and this blog will be full of them! My seed order arrived today too, more precious packets of potential to fill the summer with colour. And a reminder there's an awful lot to do before March - plants in pots to move into the beds, seedlings to take their place, a greenhouse to build. It's never quiet in the cutting garden and it'll just get busier as wedding season kicks off... but that's the joy in growing!