Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Wednesday 31 January 2024

January round up

 January is always a mixed time, some years I spend loads, others hardly anything, this year it's a bigger start, just £5 on buttons for my green cardi, the rest on the garden, building for sowing seeds this spring. A good start to the year, I hope to stay under the £1000 again, which is £83.33 per month, so just over this month.

I did spend £33.50 on Christmas bits, which are packed away, I prefer to spend in January when things are reduced, I did not get any cards, we still have plenty. 

I did get some new socks, nothing else, I am hoping this will be a very low spending year on clothes. 

We have not wasted any of the Christmas excess, I still have some cheeses to eat, and piles of chocolate to get through, everything else we planned into our meals, sadly I did not get one cold turkey sandwich which I missed as I love them, forgot to ask daughter. We are back to eating simply, making meals from ingredients stored here at home, soups for lunch and homemade cakes for treats. Our food spend has been very low this month.

I put a few pounds back on over Christmas, so many empty calories at that time of year, I have lost them already, I'm happy to weigh less than last year, it's a positive start. My focus for the next few months is on steps, ensuring I move more rather than watching what I eat, I  have been building each week to do more steps than the previous week. I would like to do another exercise class along side Pilates, everything is going the right way, I spoke to nurse at doctors surgery and got my blood test results from last December into a format I understand, my pre diabetes results were back down to 41, and my cholesterol levels were lower, both very pleasing. 

January passed much quicker this year, normally it drags on, I'm not sure if that's good or bad, hopefully not a sign that this year is going to rush by. 

It has been a terrible month, the oldest lady from sign group fell and broke her ankle, she had a operation to fix it and has to learn to walk again, another lady fell and broke her leg, she had her op this week, hubby's older brother fell whilst on holiday,  broke his hip and is in a Spanish hospital, waiting until he fit enough after his op to fly home. The friends we went to London with, the husband slipped and fell, he is walking wounded, daughters FIL is in local hospital not well, not a good month, stay safe everyone. 

Monday 29 January 2024

Dry weekend

Saturday was a lovely day, blue skies and warm for this time of year, we both went out into the garden, it's our first coffee moment of the year in our new garden, only the small chairs out for just as long as we needed them. Both cats followed us outside, they love being outside, wandering around checking up all the details.
Hubby was on maintenance duty, he painted this half wall along the side bed, much easier when the plants are not in growth. My edging looks good, it's a bit high this end, I will need to sort it, I do have a piece to pop along the short end. Loads of bulbs coming through and very pleasing not to see any of the wild garlic, I'm sure there are still some left. 
The trays in the small plastic greenhouse are done, there are eight in here, I used left over top soil from the garden, it's lovely and fine and should work well. I'm not thinking about sowing for a few more weeks, when the soil should be warm enough to aid germination. These trays are for now shut inside for extra warmth. 
I have one tray of longer seed holders, these are for my runner beans and a few leeks, there is also four of the smaller seed trays in these two bigger trays. These are on the lower section of my staging, on the sunny side of the greenhouse. For the first time in ages I have most of my seed trays in use, I have another double tray and lid, which I will sow with French Marigolds and leave outside for them to grow. 
The greenhouse is busy, this smaller plastic greenhouse will stay where it is until the warmer weather, when I can move it to the side and use the shelves as extra storage, I have placed it in the warmest part of this space. It's good to see everywhere being used fully, behind the silver (it's a radiator reflection panel), is my bougainvillea, it's doing better than last year.  

Hubby also helped remove some old wood which was along the garden, where all the slate is next to the Magnolia tree, with the lawn edging we did not need the boards, I also scooped all the slate from in front of the raspberry bed and put it under the red acer, this brought the level of the ground up to the lawn level, and saved me getting a couple bags of slate. I use an old decking board cut down to size to fill the gap in front of the raspberry bed, which is tidy enough for my working part of the garden. I did think of planting in the area, but it's a thin strip and would be hard to keep the cats off the soil. 

I have one area I am focusing on now, my tall raised bed in front of the greenhouse, I struggled to keep this full of flowers in previous years, giving colour through the summer, I have planted loads of bulbs, I am wanting to see what grows, and maybe change the layout. In a tiny garden every bit of space has to be productive, I want to fill my raised bed and use it as a salad bed, it's big enough.

Sunday was quiet day at home, I did a few smaller jobs inside, a bit of cleaning, and then after a short walk I sat and read, perfect time after a busy day before. The automatic greenhouse window opened for the first time on Sunday, not for long, it's good to see it still works.

We watched the final of The Traitors, I picked up this series a few weeks ago, I enjoyed it and hubby started watching as well, I will watch series 1 on catch up, we don't normally like reality shows, but this one was different. We also enjoy The Masked Singer, I don't know why as the host and at least one panel member I don't like, but it's fun. We are also enjoying Pottery throw down, having done a day class last year, it's no where as easy as they make it look, and they are all great potters. 

Saturday 27 January 2024

Making a flower

I did not have the colour green I wanted, so I mixed 3 different shades, these are brushes sold for brushing cat fur, they work well on small bits of roving, if I do more bigger mixing of fibres, I will consider getting the proper brushes. I'm pleased with the shades, much better than a flat colour. I am trying to bring different skills to my needlefelting. 
I made the base leaf, using a metal flower cutter, I do love the metal shapes, it's not perfect, the shades do look good, more natural, it will have a daisy on top, firstly I need to attach the pin, this will be a pin for my coat. The plastic template will make various parts of the flower. I think I will try and find a few leaf shaped cutters, the flower is OK, but not as realistic as I wanted.
Rather than making my daisy white, I wanted some colour, so this pale pink is just perfect, daisies have always fascinated me, from my dad growing huge one's, the only flower he grew, to sat making daisy chains on sunny days. Here you can see the 3 stages of the petal, using the mould to create the petal, then making them tidy before adding them to the leaf and creating the flower. I have a few different shades of yellow for the centre. The biggest thing I am learning, is just how little you require of the rovings to create anything. 
Another book, it started extremely well, bringing to life four friends, a different holiday, trekking in Norway, things don't go to plan, some have not prepared, not even sure they want to be there. Some good twist to the plot, and a clever way to bring a back story to life. I have not read this author before, I would read another book. Book 6 read this year.

I'm not feeling crafty at all, I would like to knit, but I don't need cardigans, jumpers or socks. I did think of making another crochet Tunisian lap blanket, it would use some of my stash of yarn, but again I don't need one. I have one piece of even-weave which I use for cross stitching, I would like to use it for one last large project, another mix it up design, but my mind is not completely there yet. I am still doing my British Sign Language, I have found a set of video's called Commanding hands, which is taking me to the next level, I try and watch the same video a couple times a week.  

The weather has been much kinder this week, mostly we have had rain overnight, the days can be either bright and sunny or grey and not so dismal, but without the relentless rain it feels so much better. We popped to our local pub for a Sunday roast, which we enjoyed other than the frozen veg, we sat chatting with others for ages. Monday I did a deep clean of our bedroom and en-suite, it was good to know it was done. We were in the garden Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, just pottering and keeping up-to-date with task, most of the time I am moving pots, trying to get the balanced look I like, I had popped everything back as it was, the new space is so huge I want to use it all. 

Pilates was good, I feel so much better after doing these simple exercises, we have started going for local walks again, which we are both enjoying, building steps and strength, our Park is already looking lovely, the trees planted last year are thriving. 

Friday 26 January 2024

Outside again.

 I got a gardening magazine this week, first one in a couple of years, someone on Instagram said it was a bargain because of the 10 packets of seeds. I will give away the cucumber seeds, I prefer to grow the F1 tiny cucumbers. I won't mind if there are not too many seeds in the packets, in some instances I only want a few plants. I did enjoy reading this publication, much better than Gardeners World, more relevant to what I am doing here. 
I had a few jobs outside, the biggest being to cover my second raised bed, the plastic will do two things, one is warm the soil to enable earlier planting, secondly any weed seeds should grow sooner and I can remove them before planting veg. It did not take too long, the bed just needed raking to level the soil. The plastic bits are from my old lean too greenhouses, I have rolled up the wire netting to reuse at some future point. My broad beans in my second bed are still going well, a couple snapped in all the recent winds. 
I have snowdrops in this corner, they have been planted for a few years, previous years have had poor growth, they have taken their time finally they are spreading, I got these 'in the green' as bulbs disappear once planted. Everywhere I can see other bulbs pushing through the ground, spring is on its way.

The weather is again dry, and not so cold, so I have been outside a few times this week, I love to be ahead of my list of things to do. I have put the edging along my side bed, I need to tidy it a bit, which I can do in the next week. 

I also dug up a lily bulb from the side garden, I had dug it out before, but must have left a small bulb behind, it grows too close to my yellow rose, I have replanted it in a perfect spot, out the way, where it will be seen from the house. I have potted a root of Salvia hotlips, which was left behind in the ground last year, not sure where its final resting place will be. I have also potted on the three flowering  plants purchased earlier this month, and a few cutting from my alpines. I have moved a few pots around, trying to find balance in the garden, things are starting to feeling right.

I really am itching to get started, but I know it's far too early, just a few more weeks to wait, getting everything ready keeps me busy and feeling ready for when the warmer weather arrives. I must pop compost into my seed trays and put them into the plastic greenhouse ready for sowing in a few weeks, the plastic greenhouse already feels warmer than the glass one.

Wednesday 24 January 2024

Stormy weather.

I have been working on my 2022 book, importing photo's from this blog, I did notice I purchase loads of bulbs, which got me thinking, and after a quick look, I made this photo, just from the last two years, it is a lot of bulbs, but they are spread all over the garden. So many dissappear in our heavy clay, I'm thinking it's time to stop replacing them.
I have purchased a small pack of seed potatoes, I'm not letting the poor crop of Christmas potatoes put me off, most of these will be grown in proper veg bags rather than in the ground, I have 2 bags and loads of soil and compost. It's years ago I have chitted potatoes, I goggled it just to ensure I remembered how to get them growing. 
Inside I am having a poor year with Amaryllis, my brother purchased me a bulb with 2 buds growing before Christmas, these buds have not grown, and are now turning yellow, my hyacinths are mixed, the ones in soil have bloomed, the two in water are very slow, and I'm not sure they will do much. I do have another Amaryllis with a tip growing,  so I have a chance of one bloom this year.
Will got me my spaceman many years ago, the succulent inside has died, it grew into a strange plant which suited this pot, I'm on the hunt for a replacement, I don't want the same again, just something different. I love the man shaped egg cup with my brain plant in, it looks good.

Anther good book finished, it was a slow start, but well worth reading, set in Australia, a small coastal town, and an English man visits, this author always provides a good plot, book 5 read this year.

I went to collect my new glasses and rejected them as unsuitable for me, the guy ignored my comments on my last visit, and whilst he made them far better for reading, the main viewing area is now so tiny, I don't think they were very happy to remake them for a second time, I did chose new frames, which I wanted to do last time. To be honest I am not liking bifocal lens, but I don't want to have to carry two pairs of glasses with me, so I will keep going with them. 

Storm Isha did no damage here, daughter lost a few of her old fence panels, I managed to sleep and miss most of the storm, I think we missed the worse of it, I walked around the garden on Monday morning and all was good. Both Grace and Purdy were tucked up warm in their baskets. Storm Jocelyn has come with rain, just relentless rain, the winds are much lower, it's just so grey these days, it's much warmer, which is helping, I'm not complaining at all, just recording the weather here along the south coast. The eye of the storm again over Scotland, so they and northern England are having the brunt of the weather, so much water around, flooding and homes without power, make me realise how good life is here. 

Thank you for the comments on my last post, I did love reading about your cats. 

Monday 22 January 2024


Grace will be 19 years old in May,
 she is the oldest cat I have had by far,
 Purdy is 13 years old. 
From the day she came to live with us she has been my cat, hubby had his male cat, Thomas, who sadly was taken from us far to early. I fell in love with her colours, she is beautiful, her green eyes always very clear. 
She is a very independent cat, being female she has never gone far from our garden, she is tiny and for a while we had to watch her as the cats next door were coming into the garden and attacking her. She does love to be outside as much as she can, finding sun and shade when she needs them. 
Purdy is our guard cat, she came to live with us in 2011, she was a stray and we think she was about a year old, a friend rescued her, but she did not like their dogs, so we had her. She is a female, we took her to be doctored, the vets found no female internal organs, she has loads of male traits, but does not roam. She has always looked after Grace.

These days Grace is either asleep in her basket next to Purdy in her basket, or on my lap, we think she is a bit deaf, as when asleep she can be startled, she still eats well, and is in good health, we don't take to the vets so much, as she is not happy being prodded and poked. 

I think a bit of forgetfulness is setting in, since we retired we have fed the cats wet food at 4pm, just before we have our evening meal, these days she wakes up mid-afternoon and from 3ish she yowls for her tea, Purdy is always in the shadows, just in case we give in and feed them early, it's now her daily thing, just in case we ever forget them, there is always dried food out for them. 

Neither cats leave our back garden anymore, female cats don't normally roam, and both being older they are happy to stay close to home, which at this time is good, because there are issues with cats going missing and being hurt, not in our village but close by. 

Our cats, Kimmy 1975 - 1987, Tiger 1986 to 2000, Ollie 1988 to 2001, Timmy 2001 to 2004, Tommy 2001 to 2010, Grace 2005 and Purdy 2011. Most of the time we have had two cats together, Kimmy, Grace and Purdy were all females, both Ollie who we adopted and Timmy we had as a kitten were hit by cars, when we lived in our previous address. I don't have decent enough photo's of our earlier cats to show here but I do have wonderful memories, we have never had a unfriendly cat. 

Friday 19 January 2024

Another week

 It's that time of year when homemade cakes are our treat each day, we both have stopped snacking, eating biscuits and have a small slice each afternoon with our coffee. Much healthier for us, and hopefully I will see the pounds dropping off my scales. 

This was a fast back loan from our local library, just two weeks to read it, which is not an issue. I enjoyed it, a bit different, families, lies, one woman's life interwoven with a book, the plot held to the end, how things untangled, how different members of the families see things. Book 4 read this year.
Both cats have the right idea, sleeping in their igloo's underneath the radiator, both when awake can see the garden and watch the birds, Grace when awake wants to sit on my lap, which is OK as I am reading more through this cold spell, oh for the life of a loved cat. 
The view in my greenhouse, geraniums in full bloom, we can see these from our sitting room window, it's a pleasant sight on a cold winters day. It's staying reasonably warm inside the greenhouse, I do not heat it, I do have a heater, which as yet I have never used. Later I will sort my new greenhouse, it will be a few weeks before I start to use it.  
I adore hellebores, I have 5 plants around the garden, the red plant was a birthday gift from daughter last November, it's a bit ahead of the others, which have loads of buds. The white Christmas rose is back out in the garden, still with flowers, sadly looking a bit bedraggled. The last plant bloomed back in late summer, I don't know why, again the blooms are looking past their best. 

I am thinking about craft, I would like to make a needle felted flower, I have a cutter which would make a great backing, once I have attended the sleeping bunny day course, I would like to make more animals. 

This cold weather is stopping so much, we are due less cold temperatures over the weekend,  but that will bring rain, my garden pots are dry, so it will help, but it's another thing to keep us inside. It's another bright sunny cold morning, both Molly and George will be here soon, they are having a play day with us, mummy has a college essay to write and it will be much easier working on her own. 

Wednesday 17 January 2024


We popped to our favourite garden centre for a walk about, I was surprised to see so much Christmas stock left in their sale, I have been looking for lights which are timed, stay on for 6 hours and off for 18, all four packs have this feature and were half price, so £10.50 for 4 sets. I love lights at Christmas time, but hate having to go around and turn them off, these are for inside my tealight holders.


Our cats are digging, as they do, in our long side flower bed and often flicking soil onto the slabs, this edging should stop the soil and look good, can't put it out yet, the ground is hard. It's plastic, but we preferred this design, the metal ones were straight tops. 

We did look at plants, 2 lupins and an Alcea, which is a hollyhock, 3 for £10, these are in the greenhouse to allow the plants to grow, it's not worth trying to put small lupins into the ground the slugs love the young growth, so all three will hopefully be double the size before I plant them. The primula fell into my basket, just because it was so pretty. 
I got a small plastic greenhouse for inside my big greenhouse, I want to start seeds as early as I can without heating the greenhouse, so I hope to be able to warm the inside and use it for propagation. I hope to heat the inside with a candle and a clay pot, and taking any warmth from when the sun shines, I will firstly pop the container of soil in there. I had these type of greenhouse years ago, if cared for they can last for years, and I will have a few more shelves in the greenhouse. 

I have finished my socks, a nice easy project for the dark evenings, I am enjoying knitting in 3ply, the socks are small so even with the extra stitches, it's still a quick project. I do have to search online for 3ply, I can't get any colours locally, I do have a couple more 3ply yarns, but I really don't need anymore socks. I do love the colours in this pair, very different for me, and no colour matching, plus only two strands to sew in on each sock. 

I did not spend my birthday money, I would like to get get something special with it rather than plants, all the spend has been added to my stash spend list, I am keeping it going, it's interesting for me to look back on. I have been looking at when things were purchased or done in the garden and have started a list, so we can judge if something is working and good value. 

It's very cold here for us, Tuesday it was -9° when we got up, the days are bright sunshine, I have been outside most days, not for long, just pottering and watching, working with our new layout. My rhubarb is shooting, which is pleasing the plant has settled in well, can't harvest any this first year, but something to look forward to next year. The broad beans are tall and holding well through this cold spell, I have propped the bigger stems, we are looking forward to a small harvest. 

There was alot of discussion on our local news regarding our overnight weather, there was a low coming along the English Channel, would it come north enough to find land, if so where it came in contact with the colder air from the north, we could wake up to snow, well this morning we are all clear, just really cold, a mere -4°.

Monday 15 January 2024

Doing nothing.

I saw this, it amused me, as it's so true. 

I have been watching True Love on Channel 4, it's about school friends who are now retired, they go to a friend's funeral and lament about getting ill, and jokingly form a pact to help if anyone wants to end their lives, I started watching it because it was set around Burnham-on-sea and Clevedon, places in Somerset from my youth, with a brilliant cast. It really has got me thinking, often after the programme finishes I am thinking about life, I'm healthy, but that can change so very quickly, It's a very relevant, and thought provoking, well worth watching. It is something I have thought about for years, we have more compassion for sick animals than humans, who are allowed to suffer until their natural end of life.

I did my 1st Pilates class this year on Thursday evening, loads of new members, Rosie took no prisoners, it was a tough first class, so I ached for a few days, missing all of December has not helped. I know once I'm back in the rhythm, I will feel much better.

Daughter came over with Molly and George on Friday, they do play well together, our house looked like a toy shop, I had hoped we could play outside, but it was too cold. Hubby and I had a quiet afternoon, very quiet for me, he was fast asleep for ages, I can't sleep in a chair, so I sat reading.

We had a simple weekend, we prefer not to go outside our village avoiding any crowds, we have not walked to the village much this week, we did walk twice to our Co-op, hubby is using his gift card for any shopping we need. I have been knitting and reading, watching a bit more TV, it's always better at this time of year, we are enjoying Pottery Throw down and I have started watching Traitors. 

I hoped it would be a cheap month, but sadly not, our CCTV system which is over 10 years old failed, we decided we would replace it, our neighbour is very quiet at the moment, but that could change, I like having the support of the cameras. I also thought my keyboard was not working properly, it's a wireless one, but hubby changed the batteries, who knew it had batteries, and now it's working again. 

Going into town this morning for our fruit and veg and then on to a garden centre, I would like some seeds and a wander around, I still have my birthday gift card and a bit of cash, I might see something, I might not. 

Friday 12 January 2024

Dry January

These cold bright days are wonderful, no rain, we can wrap up warm and walk, I have not done any jobs in the garden, it's too cold, but I am very happy with this view. Having put a few things back out, it looks like our garden.
I have finished the first sock, 
I love the colours so much, these are knitted in 3ply. 
My little display on my desk is looking good. 

My Albucas sprialis frizzle sizzle, has a second bud, the first is really tall and looks ready to open. The second bud in on the new forming plant, so I was not expecting it to flower in it's first year. 
The bulbs in my sitting room are a bit mixed, my brother purchased me a amaryllis with two buds, but they had hardly grown, and the one planted new, is just showing the tip of new growth. My hyacinth's have done better, the two in water are just forming roots. 
I got this book from our library, I read the back and brought it home, once I started to read it, I was not sure, it's set as a 7 episode TV programme,  6 experts trying to solve a historical murder, it twist and turned, right up to the end, I loved it. Book 3 read this year.

I am loving this cold spell we are having, and a week without rain is perfect, it did try and snow on Monday and we had a sprinkling when we woke on Tuesday, but so far we have managed to avoid it. 

I have walked to our library, I am trying to stop purchasing so many books, most I get from charity shops at a pound each, I got 4 which I should enjoy reading. 

Ashcroft Arts centre is where I do most of my local craft courses, I am extremely saddened to read it is being closed down, this is it's last year. The local council has rebuilt their local large centre, where they aim to promote all the plays and productions, so the Arts centre will not be required. They do more than that, all the classes for art, craft, dancing and drama, but the council is not answering any questions about any of these, just saying it can't afford to support this centre anymore, the local museum is being shut as well, they have asked the council for more funding, which was refused. Like everywhere councils are struggling, we are lucky so far we have not seen too many changes. 

I did mention before Christmas Hampshire county council had agreed a change in road layouts just outside our village going towards the local town, they are making bus lanes, so all other traffic will be swashed into one lane, there is now single lanes both ways, and it's causing chaos through out the day, it's taking much longer to get to the motorway junction, and traffic is backing up back into the town. No-one is happy, loads of moans on our local facebook page, people are trying to get it stopped, it seams no-one wanted this project to go ahead, it's going to take a year to build.  

Wednesday 10 January 2024


I finished sorting my greenhouse on Monday, I wanted this staging along the sunny side of the greenhouse, in hope as the warmer weather comes I can start my seedlings in trays with clear lids here. The geranium's have not stopped flowering yet, we can now see these from the house.  
I put my potting table just inside the door, handy to get at, I have a bougainvillea wrapped in hope it's warm enough in the coming months, it did not do very well last year in the greenhouse. Nestled close to the back fence, this side is sheltered from the harsh winds. 

It was a pleasant surprise to find my 3 metal shelves from Ikea, fitted along the back perfectly, they look tidy here, it's the staged area, with my vintage clay pots, which I do use, and loads of bits along with my much reduced cacti and succulents. 

My sister gave me the table many years ago, it's handy to have stools at this end of the garden. There are loads of pots in here for the winter months, and bottom right in photo is my sphagnum moss, which through the summer I pop cuttings into, they root well. 

I put a few things outside the greenhouse and then closed the door and worked in the tight space, I did not wash the glass, that's a summer job, everywhere has been swept and washed down, it got quite warm inside, it was cold outside, it did try and snow twice, but it turned to icy rain. On a positive note, I did not see one spider, which I hate, I have thrown away loads of bit's I had been keeping just in case. 

My next task is the raised veg beds, I will add another higher level of string, the broad bean plants are getting tall, I will remove the netting on the second bed, and add more top soil to raise the level, and then I will cover with plastic, hoping they help the ground to warm up quicker. 

It does feel good to be outside, I believe every job you do at this time of year will be repaid in full later, plus it stops me wanting to sow seeds as it's far to early. My side of the garage needs a good sort, but the wooden bench is in the way and we don't want it back outside until the drier weather returns. 

It is great to wake up to dry days, a couple times sunny but cold, which I don't mind as you can always wrap up warm, as Billy Connelly said it's never the wrong weather just you're wearing the wrong clothes. Tuesday morning the roofs had a dusting of snow, the ground was clear. 

Monday 8 January 2024


I got the buttons for my green cardigan, these are metal and feel correct for this weight, Aran yarn, but at £1 each, not cheap, I needed eight, was given a discount paid £5, still expensive, I am proud of myself for sewing them on already, it's a simple task I don't like, when my daughters were young I always knitted them jumpers so there would be no buttons. 
I have started another 3ply pair of socks, using hand dyed yarn, beautiful shades. I'm at the turn of the heal, beginning the decrease rows before I start the foot. I love the shades in this yarn, and will enjoy wearing them, I have made the top of the sock a bit longer than I normally make. 

I am cynical on so many things, I do often see the good side of things, but when it comes to shopping and supermarkets, I often question their reasons. Last year I succumbed to purchasing the double sized toilet rolls, with thoughts if how quick will they start to reduce their size. So on my request we will never use the bottom roll, it can stay there and record the reductions which will come. I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

Friday we popped out shopping to the other side of town, nearer to daughters house, we were babysitting later in afternoon, we tried the huge out of town B&M, can't say I would be in a hurry to go back, we also popped into B&Q, hubby had a few things to get, and then on to home-bargains. We had lunch in Whitley and popped into a few more shops, hubby was looking for jogging bottoms, but could not find any he liked. We did pick up a few useful bits, not spending much at all. 

Will had his first sleepover in ages, he was busy over the Christmas holidays, he still sleeps in our room, I am trying to get him to sleep in the spare bedroom, he call's it uncle Martins room, he will be 7 in February, so it's time for the change, both mummy and daddy are happy he sleeps in our room. George and Molly if they sleep over is always in the spare room. Very early start on Sunday morning. 

It's very nice to see dry sunny days, the dirty laundry bin is empty, first time in weeks, we spent some time outside, Will loves being in the garden, I managed to sort a few things, Sunday afternoon started the greenhouse, I hope to finish it this afternoon. It feels so good to be outside at the start of another year for growing, sadly far to early for starting seeds. 

Saturday 6 January 2024


Whist the rain hammers outside, I have been sorting my seeds, I have a good mix, but I will need more, I am looking for better quality veg seeds as I don't want to have too many failures. I won't have huge harvest, but I hope to have a little of the things we both love. I will see what grows well to help plan future years, cucumbers and tomatoes will still be grown in pots.
As I have not grown veg for years, I thought it prudent to work out what needs planting and when, most will go into the raised beds, I am planning to cover the empty one with a soft plastic, which I have had for years, in hope the ground warms up quicker. Some seeds will be started in my greenhouse, most of my bedding plants will be purchased as plug plants and grown on, I get a good mixture doing it this way at a good price. I hope to get some veg plug plants for items that I only want to grow a few of. I have made a list of what I am missing.
I got these seed inner trays, the normal size packs I got in a shop in the village, the ones for longer roots I got on line, these are for my runner beans, every thought is now on the forthcoming growing season, I am always itching at this time of year to start, I can wait, it's pointless starting anything this early in the year, I have compost and seed trays. 
My broad beans are growing well, the wind and rain have not beaten them down, I can see the onions in the middle growing, this bed is very pleasing, I am hoping once the beans are harvest I can use the space for later root vegetables. I do need to put another higher level of string around the broad beans, in hope of a nice harvest in the coming months. It was great to see things growing in this bed, but I'm not sure I will grow early broad beans again, I sure I will find something different to grow throughout the winter months.

I would love to take away the frames on my raised beds, but the cats would be on there, and I do want to keep them away from the veg beds. I have been looking at different solutions, but can't see anything to keeps the cats out other than cages, I'm looking for something which looks nice, I do like the solution I started with, but the sloping sides won't work with plants growing upright, and my upright cage whilst it works looks scruffy.

With the dry days ahead I plan to work on my greenhouse, I can move bits outside and then shut the door, and clean and change things around, I want my staging moved to the sunny side, so once I get my seeds in they can be placed in the best spot. I also aim to get rid of loads of things, the lower levels are cluttered, and I want more usable space. I have planted 6 red Sweet William plants, I got them at B&Q for £3.50, half price reduction, they come back every year, so a great plant to have in the garden. 


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