24 December 2016

A Repurposed Christmas

A post to (hopefully) inspire you to look at old things in a new way.

This post should have been up long before now, but time has just gotten away from me, so there may not be any time to make them this year, but that gives you a whole year to decide which ones will feature in your Christmas decorating next year.

Bed springs can be used to make the cutest little Christmas trees.

A few of these simple decorations would make an unusual centrepiece for the table on Christmas day.

These are actually necklaces, but I think they would look beautiful hanging in the tree.

If you don't happen to have any old fashioned cotton reels lying about you could use corks instead. 

Mindy at The Happy Scraps used a Cricut to make her flip chart Christmas countdown, but the same thing could be achieved using scrapbook paper, cardboard numbers and old Christmas cards.

Mindy at Prudent Pennypincher shows us a cute way to make a hanging countdown to Christmas using empty toilet rolls.

Old picture frames can be decorated and used as an alternative the traditional Christmas wreath.
 Source unknown

Source unknown

If you lucky enough to have a fireplace this would make a fantastic focal point to all your Christmas decorating.

But if you don't have the wall space for a gate, how about a bicycle wheel.
Source unknown

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a 


I hope you have a joyous and peaceful day spent with the ones you love.

I will be back with a garden update as soon as I can take some photos, we are on day two of a heat wave and the veggie garden is covered in shade cloth at the moment. 

Disclaimer: I try to give credit to the owners of all the images I use, sometimes this is not possible, those images where the source is unknown will be assumed to be in the public domain. If you are the owner of any of these images (source unknown) and would like them removed or credit added, please let me know

12 December 2016

The Garden In November

By November the pickings in the vegetable garden were pretty lean, the broccoli and cauliflower were long gone, and there were only a few peas left on the vine,  the only other things left of the winter plantings were the broad beans and the garlic. 

It was my first time growing broad beans this year and I have to say I was very happy with the harvest I got. 

Being my first time growing them, I had no idea what to expect in regards to how many beans each plant would produce, but now I know that I need to grow at least double the amount next year.

And while I was happy with the broad beans, the garlic was another story.
I planted 52 cloves of garlic this year knowing that I use roughly one bulb a week that amount should last me all year. Of the 52 bulbs planted only 49 sprouted, but I was OK with that. 
Garlic late July
The plants grew well and I had high hopes of harvesting all 49 bulbs, unfortunately not all went to plan. 
With all the rain we had over the winter and well into the spring some of the garlic bulbs began to split apart and started to re-shoot, while some bulbs never developed separate cloves.
Not a great photo but can you see the undeveloped bulbs and the new shoots that have grown?
So for all my hard work the garlic harvest this year was meagre indeed only ten bulbs.
I guess when you are growing your own vegetables a few setbacks are to be expected, so with that in mind, I will look forward to next year and hope for a better harvest.

In the beds where the peas grew, the vines were all cut down, but their roots were left in place to add some nitrogen to the soil, and there are now Butternut pumpkin (squash) and True Gold sweetcorn growing in them.  I am succession growing the corn so as not to be overwhelmed by a glut as I have been in the past.

In the bed next to the Butternut are my fruiting vines, two watermelons, Sugar Baby and Luscious Red, one rockmelon (cantaloupe) Hale's Best, and a as yet unknown volunteer, as well as some Double Delight sunflowers.

On the opposite side of the patch in bed 1 the broccoli has been replaced by a Yellow Crookneck and an All Green Bush zucchini plus some Sun King sunflowers.

Beds two and three are planted out with beans, Tender Delight, Brown Beauty, Red Kidney, dwarf Borlotti and Golden Wax. I did have to do a second sowing as earwigs killed a few.

As you can see in the picture above in bed 4 there is another pumpkin, this time another first for me, Turkish Turban.

Everything has grown quite a bit since these photos were taken the and I've even had my first small harvest of beans and a couple of zucchini, I'll show you the photos in the next garden update in a couple of weeks time. How is your garden growing?