Tuesday 30 June 2009

Garden Cow Joins In

Yesterday it was too hot to do much in the garden. There is very little shade for much of the day at this time of year and with temperatures into their 3o's it did not seem sensible to keep my Little Garden Helpers outdoors. But we did head outside early in the morning, before it became too hot, and planted some herbs and cress seeds in trays and pots.

This is a task our Little Garden Helpers can do without much help from me so they get a real sense of acheivement and pride from it, especially when things start to grow because they really did do it all by themselves.

We picked our trays up from a local garden centre that offers a recycling point for plastic plant pots. You can help yourself to pots and trays left here by other people and drop off your old ones when you no longer need them. If you are short of planting containers, or have a lot of plastic pots lying about your shed that you want to get rid of, it is worth asking at your local garden centre if they offer this service.

Garden Boy delighted in filling the trays with compost. He loves the feel of it running between his fingers and although he appears to have got over his taste for eating it, he has developed a new obsession for dropping handfulls onto his head. But at least it is his own head, as I don't think Garden Girl would take too kindly to a compost shower. Garden Girl, on the other hand, worked with great concentration and the trays were soon filled.

The watering cans came out next and they both successfully watered the compost without soaking each other through.

Garden Girl was a bit confused at this point though, as I have, in the past, watered after sowing the seeds.

"Silly Mummy. We haven't done the seeds yet. What a funny thing. Mummy you forgot the seeds."

But I discovered, watching Gardener's World the other week, that it is important to moisten the compost before sowing the seeds, otherwise you may swish the seeds to the edges of the trays. I explained that I had been doing it wrong and that this was actually the right way of sowing seeds. With Garden Girl convinced, we emptied the seeds onto a small plate so they could both easily pick them up. Then Garden Girl carefully sprinkled the seeds evenly over the compost.

Garden Boy checked the quality of the seeds by tasting them and obviously deemed them worth planting as, following Garden Girl's lead, he started to throw them one by one onto the compost. It was lovely to watch him join in with the seed sowing for the first time. All throughout spring, when he was eating his way through the compost, he must have been paying attention to Garden Girl and myself and now knows what to do.

All that was left now was to sprinkle some compost over the top to cover the seeds. I gave closer supervision at this stage as the compost was needed in varying amounts depending on the type of seed we were sowing. Check your seed packets for how deep the seeds need to be. The only other thing to do was put some paper over the top of the cress seeds and we were done. By this time it was very hot so we stepped indoors for a much needed and well deserved ice lolly.

One of the plant pots now sits on Garden Girl's window sill; her very own basil plant to nurture. It sits beside a very small pot containing cress seeds that her favourite stuffed cow (Garden Cow) planted. This pot was very small so Garden Cow put some cotton wool at the bottom to help retain water and stood it on a tray which can hold some extra water. This truly is an activity for eveyone to join in - Stuffed cows included!

Monday 29 June 2009

Our Garden; A History: Part 3

Garden Girl surveys the remnants of our mound of branches and watches cars through the holes in the fence

At the end our last installment of Our Garden; a History we had completed our herb bed. This was back in the summer of 2007. Buoyed on by this success we were ready to start working on the rest of the garden. The first thing we had to do was clear away the large bushes and trees at the bottom right of the garden and the concrete at the bottom left.

We roped in some much needed help. When facing a large task like this it really is the more the merrier. I quite enjoyed this task though. There is something immensely satisfying about clearing away a large patch of ground and watching as the garden grows in size. And Garden Girl enjoyed playing with all the sticks, branches and leaves that now scattered the lawn. For months afterwards there was a mound of bush and tree debris in our garden as week by week we filled the green waste bin, until eventually all that was left were three large fir trees.

At this point Garden Girl and I retreated to the safety of the house and watched through the window as Garden Dad and Friend thrilled in the manly pursuit of chopping down trees. At about the same time, our neighbour brought in a tree removal firm to take down the many large fir trees in her own garden. Garden Girl and I, having observed the slow hack, hack, hack of an axe in our garden, were wowed by the swift fall of 8 trees in about 15 minutes. Our once dark, overgrown garden, now seemed much, much bigger and a lot lighter. The idea of growing vegetables seemed a lot more plausible.

But removing the trees was just the start of the work. Digging up the massive bush and tree roots was essential if we were to turn this area into raised beds. This was hard, hard work but by this time I was pregnant with Garden Boy, so the task was in the hands of Garden Dad. He worked on it gradually over the winter, making some headway, but working out there alone in the grey weather wasn't much fun so we moved our attention indoors.

Garden Girl was to get a new bedroom in order to make way for Garden Boy in the nursery. We all got our paint brushes out and while Garden Dad and I focused on the room, Garden Girl painted a canvas to hang on the wall. Our progress in the garden was restricted to planning. It was during this time that we decided our fences needed to become a top priority. There were holes in the panels at the back and the boundary fence for which we were responsible was in disrepair. Digging up tree roots would have to wait a while longer.

All we were hoping for now was to get the fences complete before Garden Boy made an appearance. We managed it, but only just and I will leave it to Garden Dad to tell you how they did it. I was too busy relaxing in the sunshine, pulling up the occasional weed when I felt the need to look helpful.

Friday 26 June 2009

A Garden Tour

You are invited to help yourself to a long, cool cocktail and join me on a tour of our garden to see what is growing. Step outside onto our freshly weeded patio and take a moment to breathe in the smell of fresh herbs.

Your eyes will no doubt have been drawn to the large pots spilling over with courgette plants, soon to provide enough fruit for our entire neighbourhood. We knew that courgettes grew well in pots but we were not quite prepared for the size of these plants.

Step up now onto the lawn and admire the tomato plants, starting to fruit with little green balls and soon to be fought over by Garden Girl and Boy.

Do not be alarmed by the lack of strawberries. They are fruiting well and the garden is not overrun by strawberry munching slugs. Garden Boy simply took a quiet stroll around the garden yesterday and the strawberries disappeared at about the same time.
Take a moment to peer inside the greenhouse at more tomato plants, aubergine plants and cucumbers, showing their first smooth green fruits.

Gather to admire the raspberries, but be warned. Any attempts to pick and eat one will result in expulsion from the tour by Garden Girl.

Now we must ask all visitors to put on their wellies and tread carefully on the uneven ground at the bottom of the garden. You enter the raised bed area at your own risk and we take no responsibility for any injuries sustained by tripping in holes.
Greet the lovely Painted Lady runner beans as you start this part of the tour and remember to compliment her delicate orange and white flowers and her tall, slender figure.

Don't let the Painted Lady keep your gaze too long but draw yourself away to take a look at my favourite part of the garden - the onions and beetroot growing side by side with satisfying vigour

Allow yourself a moment to view our carrots and spring onions...

...but move on quickly to admire the lovely purple flowers waving above the potato plants.

Enter the central zone and meet the three sisters. Try not to stare with too much bewilderment at the small size of the squash. They are the runt of the litter, but are growing slowly while the sweetcorn and French beans help each other along in their new embrace.

The marrows are struggling hard in the poor soil but flowering all the same and might yet start to produce fruit.
Meander along the cauliflower and purple sprouting broccolli bed which are coming along well but be sure to check out the cabbage! They had a rough run but have fought hard and with the protection of a net covering, they have grown back, healthy.

And here concludes the tour of our little vegetable garden. I hope you enjoyed the gentle stroll and come back soon to check on our progress.

Recycle Week

It is Recycle Week and over the course of this week many members of British Mummy Bloggers have pledged to waste less. I have been tagged over at www.beingamummy.co.uk to join recycle week and make a pledge of my own. As I have received this tag at the very end of the week I am not going to pledge to achieve something over the course of the week with a forfeit at the end if I don't meet my goals. Nor am I going to tag anyone else to do the same. It seems a bit late in the day for that.

But recycling is important so I thought I would raise the issue by offering up three garden recycling ideas and tagging all my readers to post a comment with their best garden recycling ideas. I will then submit this post to the British Mummy Bloggers' Recycle Week Carnival where hopefully one or two bloggers out there will be inspired by your ideas to recycle in their garden this summer.

And here are my ideas;

1. You don't have to use plastic pots to grow things in or spend loads of money at the garden centre. Anything that can hold compost is essentially a plant pot. I intend to recycle all my children's old wellies by using them as plant pots. This will be a lovely display of growing feet as well as beautiful blooms. Just remember to put a couple of holes in the bottom first for drainage.

2. Wash your veggies over a washing up bowl and use the water on your indoor plants. I picked this tip up from Three Valleys Water Newsletter and I intend to do it, not least because I often forget to water my indoor plants, so much is my attention on the outdoors. So I will waste less and possibly save the life of a couple of plants.

3. Make use of those old plastic bags still lying around your house to scare the birds away from your veggies. Tie them SECURELY to a bamboo stick and the rustling/fluttering should keep the birds at bay, in windy weather at least.

So there we go. Now get commenting! I am looking forward to reading some other garden recycling ideas and if you are reading this on the British Mummy Bloggers Carnival check out the comments. I hope by the time the carnival kicks off there will be some great ideas for you (and me) there.

And thank you Karen for raising the issue and getting everyone involved on your post at The Rubbish Diet.

Thursday 25 June 2009

The French Beans are In

I did it! I managed to plant out the rest of the French Beans with the help of Garden Girl. Though I had to sacrifice some strawberries in the process. I was so thrilled to be finally finishing the task I started at the weekend, that I wasn't paying quite enough attention to an unusually quiet Garden Boy. He was stealthily making his way around the strawberry plants eating absolutely every strawberry. Still, its better than the blackbirds getting them. And I did it! I finally managed to plant out the French Beans! (Forgive me for stressing this point but I am bouncing with excitement at this small acheivement - simple pleasures!).

And we didn't stop there. All three of us joined in some serious weeding and by the end of the day we had cleared all the raised beds of any sign of these unwanted greens (apart from the stretch covered by netting) as well as the cracks in the patio. Our patio is a little sun spot where weeds gather in large amounts to wave at me through the window and taunt me. Well there will be no taunting today. I was a girl on a mission yesterday.

We even planted out the creeping thyme I sowed way back in the early spring. I placed this at intervals along the wall that seperates the patio from the herb bed in the hope that, along this bit of the patio at least, any weed that thinks it can return to taunt me will be smothered.

In the evening while Garden Dad broke up some top soil to mound around the potatoes I watered the garden and took stock of everything that has grown. And I realised how proud I am of all that we have acheived. It has taken so much hard work to get from the original garden to the productive vegetable patch that we have today. And despite the poor soil, things are growing. Not all of it with gusto, but its growing all the same, which is higher than our initial expectations at the beginning of the year.

If the weather holds I will snap some pics today so I can proudly show you all what is growing out there. I am also reminded that it is a while since I gave you all an installment of Our Garden; a History so expect some more details of how we got to where we are today over the weekend.

Wednesday 24 June 2009

Feeling better?

Well, I managed to plant out half the French Beans before Garden Boy woke up screaming. Five minutes later and he was asleep again, this time on my shoulder. He did not want to lie down on his own. This is very unusual for Garden Boy so I figured something must be wrong so I indulged him with a long cuddle. Lovely. Still no spots - but he is certainly suffering from something. I am almost hoping it is the pox so we get it all out of the way in one go.

Garden Girl felt much better after her afternoon sleep and helped me plant the last row of peas with careful precision. Then when Garden Dad came home from work she helped him finish the cucumber supports while Garden Boy played football and basketball with the foam he was using to prevent the bamboo canes poking our eyes out. Garden Dad is very proud of his work and will showcase his supports in a blog post all of his own. I think he wants to make sure I don't take the credit for his work.

This morning the sun is shining but I am informed that tomorrow will be wet so when Garden Boy has enjoyed his daily dose of Thomas the Tank Engine (I never tire of watching him dance to the theme tune - he loves it) we will be spending the day in the garden.

Tuesday 23 June 2009

Appreciating my Garden

Thanks for all your advice about chicken pox. The calamine lotion is working well but poor Garden Girl has been feeling quite unwell on top of the itching. It seems to have caused a tummy upset that involves frequent trips to the toilet and she gets so hot. She wants to be playing and joining in, running outside with enthusiasm but then two minutes later is back on the sofa complaining of tummy ache.

Garden Boy on the other hand seems to be a lot better but has very swollen gums so I am pretty sure he was suffering from very bad tooth ache and possibly a bit of feeling left out with all the attention Garden Girl has been demanding.

They are both asleep at the moment. A very rare occurance that has proven to be the silver lining of the chicken pox virus. Today they went to sleep at the same time so I should have a good session of child free time. I am treating myself to a cup of coffee with Gardeners World at the moment. I deserve it. But I will be heading out into the sunshine in a minute or two to plant out the French Beans.

Despite the chicken pox we did manage to make some headway on Sunday. Our tomatoes and cucumbers were in desperate need of support so Garden Dad made a start on that - only four more cucumber plants to go. I weeded the front bed to make room for the rosemary heel cuttings which are now settling into their new home. I also managed to sow most of my pea seeds with the help of Garden Boy who was very excited to throw the little peas onto the beds. I don't think my rows will be very straight but they were sown with giggles so who cares. I did save one row to plant with Garden Girl though so hopefully when she wakes up today she will feel like heading outdoors.

I have been lucky really that the weather has been nice. Being stuck at home with two toddlers for a week could have been difficult if there was no option of going outside. It really makes me appreciate my garden.

Sunday 21 June 2009

Chicken Pox

Garden Girl has chicken pox. It explains the grumpy behaviour yesterday that stopped me from getting anything done. Garden Boy has a temperature and was equally grumpy yesterday so I suspect his spots will follow soon. As a result I am doing something I haven't done in well over three years. I am spending a Sunday morning watching a movie, Robots, to be specific.

It is strange, because since having children I have sometimes yearned to have that freedon to wake up and choose to do nothing but sit on the sofa on a Sunday morning. It hasn't been possible before today. And now I have the chance, I find myself sitting here, keeping Garden Girl company, fidgeting and looking for anything I can do that keeps me occupied while I watch the film.

Garden Girl feels ill and itchy so doesn't want to be alone, Garden Boy is very tired and so is sound asleep and Garden Dad is enjoying working in the garden. We have agreed to swap places every hour or so and I am watching the clock. Garden Dad has already made a trip to the local tip to get rid of the old fence panel and some other old bits of wood and he is now taking nails out of the wood he saved for making frames. He will then dig some soil improver into the bed where I will then plant peas. I also hope to get the heel cuttings from the rosemary planted before lunch. As I didn't manage to get them in the soil yesterday I soaked them in water overnight but they really need to get planted as soon as possible.

I am hoping Garden Girl will fall asleep watching Robots. If she sleeps she might feel well enough to come outside later on. Helping out in the garden might just take her mind off the itching and the fresh air will help her sleep through it tonight. And here's hoping Garden Boy's little sleep gives him renewed energy. It is so hard when they are ill and there is nothing you can do to help.

Saturday 20 June 2009

One of Those Days

It was one of those days today. One of those days filled with good intentions and a long list of tasks that you feel certain can be completed before night fall, but which ends without that satisfactory feeling of crossing things off the list. The main task for the day, fixing the garden fence, did get completed thanks to the hard work of Garden Dad and Grandad. And our neighbours put up the new dividing fence faster than the speed of light. So the overall impression in the garden is one of a radical transformation, for the better. But I personally didn't acheive anything. And I feel cheated.

I wanted to rearrange the greenhouse but was stopped in my tracks as I needed to keep Garden Boy out of the way of flying bits of concrete. I then tried to plant out the French beans but only got as far as placing the pots in the right bed before Garden Girl fell over and needed her mummy. Grandma South cut back the rosemary and showed me how to take heel cuttings but when I tried to plant them in their new home it started to rain. I had to stop and entertain the little Garden Helpers before Garden Boy banged his way through the patio doors trying to get back outside. I could go on but I think you already get the idea. I ended the day with a list of half started, but unfinished jobs and a list of jobs I didn't even begin.

So I have given up and I'm watching TV. Tomorrow I will have renewed enthusiasm and I will cross off each item on that list of tasks. My pen is at the ready.

Thursday 18 June 2009

Testing our Tent

We are back from a lovely camping trip to the North West of England and we left our garden in good hands. Thank you Zooarchaeologist and Toddler Boy!

Our little camping trip was really just to test out our new tent. We have gone up market. Last year we went camping in our little Clio with an OK sized 4 man tent and very little else. It was truly back to basics. We cooked every night on a small camping stove and huddled together for warmth in the one bedroom. Our clothes got a bit damp in the porch and Garden Girl was scared of the howling wind which battered our tent.

Garden Boy was only two months old then but now he is bigger and not very good at sitting still. We decided we needed a bigger tent, so that Garden Boy and Garden Girl had room to run about inside if the weather was wet and one which had a fully enclosed porch so Garden boy could not escape, our clothes would stay dry and the sides would not flap in the wind. The result was that we now have a camping palace. Luckily we also now have a Berlingo so it did fit in the boot.

First things first we had to get the tent up. We laid out the canvas while Garden Girl and Garden Boy jumped all over it. Garden Girl claimed they were helping; the jury is out!

While our Little Garden Helpers amused themselves with the canvas Garden Dad and I put together all the poles and pushed them through the canvas. So far, so good. Now all we had to do was lift the tent up and peg it down. Our Little Garden Helpers obligingly removed themselves from the canvas and we pulled the structure up to standing. And then Garden Boy went inside and started to play peekaboo with the door. Neither Garden Dad nor I could let go of the tent to get him out because the poles would have fallen on his head, nor could we start pegging it down as this also involved letting go on one side. Come out... come out... come out... all to no avail. Time to send in the big guns. In went Garden Girl tasked with getting Garden Boy out. No joy. Our arms were getting tired. Then suddenly a flash of inspiration. Smarties. Come out for Smarties, chocolate. Chocolate. And lo and behold two grinning faces appear. We quickly put the tent down, set our little helpers up with a bowl full of smarties and got back to it. The tent was finally up.

It was field day in my home town, so on Saturday we lined the streets and watched, in Garden Girl's words, 'the beautiful lorries and trucks'. She liked the brass band best and her stuffed cow liked the dancing cow best! Garden Boy slept through the procession till the very lasy exhibit, a steam engine which loudly tooted its horn as it went by and woke him with a startle. At least he was now awake to enjoy the field. He was mesmerised by the fun fair rides, pointing in all directions at things rocking, swinging, spinning and bouncing. He loved it. Garden Girl took her turn to go asleep. When they were both awake we let them have a ride on a train and Garden Girl went on the trampolines. With some Candy Floss to end the day, a hit all round, we went to my parents for dinner.

Both our little Garden Helpers were asleep when we arrived back at the tent so it was easy just to pop them in their sleeping bags and enjoy a pimms/beer and book while they slept soundly. It was warm enough when we snuggled down a bit later, but as we were woken by both the little ones it became increasingly colder, until by morning we were all in one bouble sleeping bag cuddling up for warmth. Note to self - pack more blankets and thick roll mat next time. We currently have a blow up mattress, but as this loses air through the night, by morning there is not much warmth left. A cooked breakfast on the camping stove was in order. Yum Yum.

Sunday was sunny so Grandma and Grandad, Auntie C, Uncle C and Uncle H came for tea and lunch at our tent. Garden Girl was very excited to host and helped to make the tea, filling the little camping kettle and putting tea bags in the cups. Then we went to the river to paddle, splash and throw stones to watch the 'plop'.

They both enjoyed this but Garden Boy absolutely loved it and without a backward glance he confidently made his way into the centre of the river. Garden Girl, encouraged by Garden Boy, followed a little more cautiously and was soon jumping up and down to make big splashes. An ice cream helped to encourage them out of the water and then it was back to my parents for dinner again.

It was another cold night but by this time we had added more night time layers and Garden Girl slept through (she has a very cosy sleeping bag) and Garden Boy only woke once. And then it was time to come home. The morning was dry so we had toast for breakfast and packed up all our things unhurridly. This was a mistake because just moments before we were ready to take the tent down there was a huge downpour and everything got soaked. As a result I have spent the week drying things out. But I can't complain really. It was a great weekend and we now know what we need to make our week in Yorkshire later in summer a bit warmer at night and we are very pleased with our new tent.

We are all excited about our next trip but in the meantime its back to gardening. The tomatoes and cucumbers need staking , the peas still need planting and the damaged fence needs fixing, along with a host of other garden tasks.

Saturday 13 June 2009

The Good Life

Right, you are tasked with looking after the burgeoning crop of your friends who are increasingly modelling themselves on Tom and Barbara Good. You are a slightly bedraggled, mum of two desperately trying to keep the house tidy and cook the dinner, yet alone do any gardening:
Keys- Check
Toddler- Check
Baby- Check
Ability to garden- Un-check

Trust is a splendid thing, ignorance is another. I can't help thinking Garden Mum and Dad experienced my haphazard approach to gardening last year. When I planted a mixture of courgettes and marrows in the same pots and forgot to mark them. Foolishly trusting in the skills of plant identification I obtained whilst working in the herbarium of the Natural History Museum London, I naively thought I'd be able to tell which was which when they grew. Think again, marrow fritters and courgette casserole anyone?

When we went on our summer holiday, I left Garden Mum and Dad to tend my crop, they were as confused as me. But, I like to think that the experience left a tiny impression and contributed to their desire to become self sufficient on the vegetable front. I'm quite glad they didn't decide to become fully self sufficient or I would have worried about leaving the (now) deceased bunnies in their care.

So, a year on, a couple of babies later and several raised beds, I find myself with the epic task of watering the vegetables and fruit (see, I know that a tomato is a fruit!). First, to wrangle the hosepipe; 'HUBBY!' As he has more practise at wrangling hoses than me (lol), its job done in a few seconds. Then, to water everything, this is time consuming but very satisfying as I'm quite mean and I can't stand the mains water wastage in our house, collecting the washing up water etc. It's great being so decadent around someone else's house! 'Stop!, No!' So, Toddler boy did get a little bit wet, but he didn't complain. In fact, he actually begged to have Garden Girl's little red watering can filled up several times just so he could help out as well.

RESULT! Nothing dead yet, no strawberries consumed and I feel ever so virtuous as my good deed for the day has been done.

Thursday 11 June 2009


I long while ago I received a Fabulous Blog award from Zooarchaeologist at http://www.beingamummy.co.uk/. At the time I didn't pass it on because I was new to blogging and hadn't really found my feet or discovered enough blogs that I was really enjoying. Beingamummy was the first blog I ever read, long before I started to blog myself and it has never failed to make me smile. It remains the first feed I click on whenever I logon, having a magnetic pull that screams out 'read me now.' Do check it out.

I'm telling you this because Coding Mamma over at http://www.wahm-bam.blogspot.com/ (a humorous and insightful blog about parenting) recently gave me another award called the Lovely Blog Award and this time it I will pass it on. I would have liked to pass on the nice little picture that always accompanies these awards but somehow when I tried to copy it over I copied almost the whole of Coding Mamma's blog. I'm pretty sure that that would have counted as plagerism so no picture I'm afraid.

So here goes;

I am passing the award on to

1. http://www.fourgreenacres.co.uk/ This is a lovely blog about gardening with children which always has a bit of humour.

2&3. http://www.raisingseedlings.blogspot.com/ and http://www.millersharvest.blogspot.com/. Two more great blogs about gardening with children

4. http://www.mytinyplot.co.uk/ For anyone serious about gardening this has some great tips and I often use it as an easy read guide to how I should be doing things.

5. http://www.tinyartdirector.blogspot.com/ I was introduced to this one very recently and it really made me laugh. Do take a look.

6. http://www.fennelandfern.co.uk/ A lovely gardening blog which I visit for the photos.

There are no 7-10 I am afraid as I am still finding my way in the blogging world and while I hope to stumble across more great reads, these are the most lovely blogs I have so far discovered. To accept the award you must post about it on your blog, pass it on to 10 newly discovered blogs you enjoy and then tell us your 5 pet hates and in the spirit of the award here are my 5 pet hates;

1.People talking on their mobile phones while they are being served in shops.

2. People who use their toes to pick things up. It makes my toes curl.

3. Slugs and wasps. Really, what is the point of them?

4. People who do not know how to, or cannot be bothered to indicate at roundabouts.

5. Escalators. This is more of a totally irrational fear than a pet hate but I dislike them all the same.

Saturday 6 June 2009

A Sproutless Christmas

Things have been growing in our garden; some of it well and some of it slowly, but there was one plant (or so I thought) that was growing particularly well. Our Brussels Sprouts germinated well and I thought we would have surplus at Christmas; but then the slugs gobbled them up and left us with only one. Or at least, there was one plant pot left that had something growing in it. Determined to have some Brussels Sprouts for Christmas I have been giving this 'plant' extra special treatment. It has been staked in the ground to keep it strong and upright and I have been making sure it gets lots of water.

I did have my doubts about it. It didn't look quite like the strong trunks with little balls surrounding it that I had expected. But, in my ignorance, I just thought that the little white flowers and spindly leaves were the early summer growth, which would somehow transform in later months to the Brussels Sprout plant I was expecting. Then at the weekend a friend commented that she had not seen one look like that before and my doubts grew stronger. Our Garden Helpers grandparents confirmed today what I had suspected but tried so hard not to believe. I have grown a very healthy 50cm high weed.

And to top it off we will have no homegrown Brussels Sprouts for Christmas.

Thursday 4 June 2009

Turning One

Little Garden Boy turns one next week. Consequently I have spent all this week looking for photos of him from the past year. For Garden Girl's first birthday we decided that it would be nice if she had something to keep for the future. Friends and relatives, always generous, bought toys. So we created a photo book chronicling the key events of her first year. She loves to look through it now and hopefully Garden Boy will get the same pleasure from his.

It has been lovely to look back over a year of photos. The laid back baby with the big smile has grown into the energetic and cheeky little toddler that keeps us on the move. People have always said to me 'savour every moment, they grow so quickly' and despite this being such a cliche, it is so very true. One year old! Where did that year go?

While I have been gazing at Garden Boy's grinning face, Garden Dad has built a fantastic frame for the netting, which is now keeping the wood pigeons at bay. Three of them were trying very hard to find a way through today but did not succeed. He has also been doing a fantastic job preparing space for more planting in the garden. With wet weather looming, I hope that we can find a few dry spells to get outdoors this weekend and finally plant out the final seeds, especially the peas. And I think Garden Dad will be pleased that, with the photo book completed, my focus will return to the garden.