Monday, 2 May 2016

Do I need another blog?

Recently I've been considering whether or not to start a second blog.
This is supposed to be a blog about my crafting exploits and so far this year, it's been dominated by our gardening exploits!
What do you think, should I continue with things as they are, or have a separate gardening blog?
Work continues in the great outdoors.
And finally we are ready to begin replanting.
As the property slopes away toward the rear boundary we decided to put in a low retaining wall, in an effort to keep the earth where we want it. Nothing too fancy as, if things go according to plan, we won't be able to see it anyway.
 It stretches along the Northern half of the rear boundary fence as far as our green house.
Over the last two weekends we have begun replanting. What a wonderful feeling after all the chopping down and digging up. 
We've put in agapanthus all along the new back edge and I'll slowly add more plants as I rescue them from elsewhere or purchase new. I already rescued primula from another area of the garden, they were moved to the front and have been moved again to their forever home under the cherry tree. Some peony and alstroemera have also found their way into there too and quite a few bulbs.
Of course all that activity is too much for the overseer and she had to go for a lie down!
The green house was stripped out a couple of weeks ago and I was amazed at how much was left in there.
I stripped the green tomatoes and the chilli plants.
The chilli I have cut back and wrapped in frost cloth, hoping they will survive the winter. Something I didn't know was possible! We came across the idea on the WWW and thought we would give it a go.
The chilli I harvested have been frozen or preserved. 
The green tomatoes went into a pan with some red onions and apples.
They stewed for a while, with sugar and vinegar.
 And became 9 big jars of chutney.
 Belle takes her job as cosiness tester very seriously.
It's very difficult to crochet when the cat is on the project.
Even when she is under it.
She gives me such looks when it's time to turn and go back the other way!

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Still busy!

The growing season may be slowing down, but still the garden and green house gift us with produce.
At last I have beautiful red capsicum.
And also just a few tiny red hot habenero chilli!
There are plenty of green ones out there, but as the nights are getting colder, their chances of ripening are slim. Soon, I'll strip the bush, trim it and wrap it up for winter.
 I cleared out my pumpkin patch the other day and carefully stored away the bounty in a corner of the shed. I didn't get as many as I hoped, but will try again, and this time I'll be out there with a soft brush, giving the bees a helping hand!
While I cleared the pumpkin patch, he was clearing tree stumps.
This one, took a lot of persuading!
 But very soon we'll be able to replant this area with some shrubs and a few other items.
I forgot to take photos, but already I have started to replant in one area.
Of course, while we work hard in the gardens, the overseer keeps an eye on proceedings from a comfy spot indoors.
 Occasionally all that overseeing is too much and she has to retreat to a box!
It's not all about the garden, I've been baking too.
Soda bread, a loaf made using wholemeal flour and no yeast.
And a sugar and fat free fruit loaf.
We didn't try that yet, it says to keep it overnight before cutting.
I had to hide it! 
I plan to slice it today, and get some buried in the freezer before he gets home from work.
And at the end of busy days, I get to play hookie!
The rainbow bright stripes, you have seen before. Belle had laid claim to them in my last post.
Now they are finished and Tony has laid claim to them. And of course Belle still likes to get in there too, she is happiest lounging along the back of the sofa on a cosy blanket.
 I've had these hexies around for some time. I picked at them occasionally but really lost my way and grew bored with them. Too much stopping and starting for my liking.
So a change of plan has them on the go again. With a little trial and error, I was able to fill in the half hexie gaps and straighten the edges and then started with some stripes.
I plan to add stripes to both sides, to square things up. Then I'll be adding a border of some kind and maybe a pretty edging too. If he is having the stripes, I'll be having the hexies to cuddle under on the cooler nights ahead.
I have extra days off work this week as I have so much leave accrued.
The plan for today, is more baking, for the freezer.
A little housework, then I have a choice.
Shall I play hookie?
Cross stitch?
Shall I play with my sewing machine?

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

I solemnly promise...

That one day soon, I'll have time to do some more of the crafty stuff!
And blog about it.
 Meanwhile, here are some more pictures of produce from our garden.

 And preserving.
 Black boy peaches.
Something new to me.
I had a little time, between stirring pans and bottling pickles and thought I would bury some threads!
No chance. Belle can confirm that it is a very cosy wee blanket.
When I came back a little later, she was on top of it!
Must have over heated. 
 She even likes to help Tony.
Recently he did a rewiring job in the back of the TV, she got up and inspected all his work too.
Gotta go.
Busy, busy day planned.

Monday, 28 March 2016

He has his uses!

  I had to wind some yarn the other night and was looking for somewhere to place the hank!
Tony performed admirably.
But he couldn't have done it without supervision from Belle..
Indeed, even I require her help at times.
I do hope she approves of my colour choices.
She was nowhere to be seen today, when the vinegar came out and we started pickling!
First up, the lovely jewel tones of sandwich pickles, made form the last of the cucumbers.
I stripped the vines yesterday, there were loads left, but it is getting cooler and it's time to tidy up.
Next was a batch of Sweet chilli sauce, made from the chillis I pulled from the green house.

There are more chillis out there and they are still slowly changing colour, so I'll give them a little longer.
The tomatoes are also still turning red, though a lot slower than they were a few weeks ago!!
I suspect that next weekend, I'll be stripping out the green house and be looking for green tomato chutney recipes.
Right, I hit the ground running this morning, so it's time to relax and enjoy what little is left of the long weekend.
Hope you had a happy Easter.