Thursday, 20 August 2009

Gardening with children

My 3 year old son loves being outdoors. We are lucky to have a large garden and there is always something to appeal to him - mini-beast hunts, mud-pie making, watering the plants, pretending to mow the grass, harvesting the crops or making general mischeif!

Yesterday we had a scorcher, I am sure it hit 30 degrees at times. We lubed-up with the old Factor 50 and popped on our hats for a spot of weeding. The enthusiasm of a 3 year old weeding lasts about as long as mine - 5 minutes!

The weeding was closely followed by digging and retrieving some potatoes for a delicious lunch. He loves this job and would help dig up the whole crop if I wanted him to. A few runner beans and a handful of juicy red tomatoes and lunch was complete.

We then studied the bees for a while - looking at the different types and their different coloured stripes. He is fascinated by Bees after watching Bee movie and having me read the rhyming story of The Beeman to him
A lovely book and would thoroughly recommend it.

My son then retreated to his sandpit to play with his tractors and diggers. Why he has a sandpit I don't know, I have more sand on the patio! However the break meant I was able to get on with some more weeding.

I was given a solar powered radio as a Christmas gift and I love it - I take it all around the garden with me without having to worry about spending a small fortune on batteries. A dose of The Archers is good for the soul and helps pass the time when your back is aching. I put on the music too and we have a mad 5 minutes dancing (what will the neighbours say?)

When the sun had retreated to the front garden we set about a spot of watering out back, especially the pots and what is left of my hanging baskets. My son has his own watering can but will insist on trying to carry my 2 gallon number! When I suggest we get out the hosepipe this sends my son into another realm - if I could bottle his beaming smile and sell it I'd make a fortune. We pretend to be firefighters for a bit and then spray the dogs! Poor hounds but I am sure they appreciated a spot of cooling down.

We never have a dull day in our garden - gardening with children is simply put FUN!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Onions galore

The onions (those that have escaped a dose of mildew) are drying out nicely on top of the warm earth. Today's glorious sunshine has helped them on their way to becoming very tasty meal additions over the next few months.

Have given my bees their buzz back today
I dotted a couple of small tubs of sugar water mix under the flowers to help them on their way. Hubby and I would love to keep bees someday. In the meantime I hope they are enjoying the nectar from my flowers and the little energy boost (perhaps its like our Red Bull equivalent?)

I have a few ripening tomatoes - but noticed this huge fat slug with his head stuck right inside what would have been a lovely tom! He was so fat I have honoured Mr Tomato Head with a photo on my blog! He'll be drunk on beer later - hopefully in the slug trap.

The herbs look fabulous - especially the flat leaf parsley and the sage. Must start drying some out in the next few days along with the chilli's that are ruby red.

Little Gems are looking good in their little window box. Note to self: Must try and eat more lettuce!

Another blogger mentioned his bath-time herbal remedies.
And I thought I'd tell you how I love to run a bath with some lavender flowers and some oats popped in a muslin bag and hung underneath the hot water. I sometimes use rose petals if I am feeling indulgent. It doesn't have quite the same effect as the Herbal Essences ad but I enjoy it just as much.

Hope Mr Tomato Head Slug enjoys his trip to the pub (and leaves my toms alone).

Mobile Blogging from here.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

harvest festival

Haven't updated in ages life has been busy.
I am having to harvest the runner beans in a state of panic each day as one of the dogs has taken a shine to them. He squeezes inside the wigwam and nicks the best ones from inside. Cheeky boy this is not your beanfeast it's mine!
Potatoes are varying in size from tiny to downright obscene - jacket spud anyone?
The onions are a mixed bag some suffered mildew others are just fine. Massive variation in size again have no idea why?
Parsnips - now you just can't beat the smell of a fresh parsnip - glorious, fat, healthy parsnips a great crop even if I do say so myself.
The tomatoes are still green - have had 1 red one to date.
The chillies have almost all gone red - am harvesting them on a daily basis and freezing them. Will probably dry the last few and make some chilli oil.
I never eat enough lettuce and some have run-on - there are far too many for us must grow less next year.
Have to weed the asparagus bed this week it's getting overrun but this moist soil is making weeding a doddle - did I just say that, weeding is never a doddle.
Have no idea when the garlic will be ready - I think I need to wait for it to flower?
Must do some more sowing - time to rummage through the seed box and see what else can go in in august - no more lettuce please!
Thanks to Mr M for the beetroot - made chocolate and beetroot cake which was scrummy.