OK, so plans for the next few posts.

DIY energy 

Waste reduction

Hand Made Gifts

Bottle Herb Garden

Some of these blogs are likely to be updated on a regular basis.

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I would berate myself for my lack of blogging but I have achieved quite a few things this year.  I’ll start by telling you about the garden.

My husband built raised beds which I planted…and then left to grow wild and free, it wasn’t intentional but you see I also left a job I didn’t like and used the money to open my own business with someone else from the same organisation.  I now own and run a small takeaway selling simple but wholesome foods with plenty of vegan options.

The front garden was sectioned, planted…and then left to grow wild and free.

So, vegetable wise, I didn’t plant so I didn’t get.  Garden wise, it was beautiful, still is in lots of ways.  It was a joy to see and the wildlife loved it and for the most part I was working too bloody hard to be in it so had it to themselves.

I promise next year I will find the time to be more attentive to the garden, to growing my own veggies and my blog 🙂

Well people, I have to say in a lot of ways this year I failed.  In some I succeeded, one thing is for sure I have neglected this blog.

Garden wise I did do a lot of planting, then all my veg died because I neglected them.  Yes I said it, I must take that responsibility for killing all my lovely plants by spending more time away than I did here.  So I succeeded in having an excellent social life with family and friends and going to festivals and generally being a bad gardener.

However, I made that concrete garden green and wild.  I look out now and it’s still bursting with reds and the distant memory of blooms.  I left it to it’s own devices and everything outside the poly tunnel thrived.  It became a haven for wildlife and in that I succeeded.

So, what’s left for the year?  Well slacking isn’t an option.  The garden needs to be ready for spring.  This time I will track with pictures, if not only to record the transformation.

The first thing to do is to take up the grass in the front garden and plant bulbs….lots of bulbs, in a way that they will flower at different times and wildflowers I had from Kew Gardens that are local variations.  Then the back needs to be tidied and my husband is going to build raised beds out of decking boards and most things in pots are going there.  The polytunnel needs to come down and the plants that need cutting back need to be done.

The plants that are there are beautiful so no complaints there but 4 sugar snap peas isn’t really a harvest!  LOL Oh and 4 apples, 9 tomatoes and some strawberries.  Next year…

 

I have started a ledger I am going to share with you.  Every seed, plant, plug and bulb will be listed here with as much information I find useful.  I use general purpose compost and home compost where I can.  I don’t use drainage for seedlings and use smashed crockery or large stones in larger pots.  using pots often needs more nutrients so keep an eye on any container plants.  I have to go out and analyse a few because I have forgotten what they are but here is my starter for 10.

Seeds
Name Sow Date Sow Area Sprout Date Plant out Date Production Date
Alium 18/03/16 Outside, West Wall facing east, south facing sun.
Carnations Violet 19/03/16 Inside, South Facing
Cirsium 18/03/16 Inside, West Facing
Cornflower 18/03/16 Inside, West Facing
Cornflower 20/03/16 Outside Propagator, West Wall facing east, south sun.
Cosmos 18/03/16 Inside, West Facing
Cucumber 20/03/16 Outside Propagator, West Wall facing east, south sun.
Dutch Iris 20/03/16 Outside, South Facing, patio, container.
Dwarf French Bean 19/03/16 Inside, West Facing
Edible Pansies 18/03/16 Inside, South Facing
First Romance Lily 19/03/16 Inside, South Facing
First Romance Lily 19/03/16 Inside, West Facing
Freesia 20/03/16 Outside, South Facing, patio, container.
Gazalia 18/03/16 Outside Propagator, West Wall facing east, south sun.
Golden Romance Lily 19/03/16 Inside, South Facing
Golden Romance Lily 19/03/16 Inside, West Facing
Harlequin 18/03/16 Outside Propagator, West Wall facing east, south sun.
Lemongrass 18/03/16 Inside, South Facing
Little Gem Lettuce 18/03/16 Outside Propagator, West Wall facing east, south sun.
Livingstone Daisy 18/03/16 Outside Propagator, West Wall facing east, south sun.
Nasturtiums 18/03/16 Inside, West Facing
Nasturtiums 18/03/16 Outside Propagator, West Wall facing east, south sun.
Peas 19/03/16 Inside, South Facing
Pink Romance Lily 19/03/16 Inside, South Facing
Pink Romance Lily 19/03/16 Inside, West Facing
Red Poppy 18/03/16 Outside Propagator, West Wall facing east, south facing sun.
Red Poppy 18/03/16 Inside, West Facing
Runner Beans 20/03/16 Outside Propagator, West Wall facing east, south sun.
Star Romance Lily 19/03/16 Inside, South Facing
Star Romance Lily 19/03/16 Inside, West Facing
True Romance Lily 19/03/16 Inside, South Facing
True Romance Lily 19/03/16 Inside, West Facing
Existing Plants
Name Approx. age Location Fruit/Flower? Health Next steps
Aguilegra <1yr Outside, South Facing, patio, container. No Appears Dead Inspect root system
Blueberry <1yr Outside, South Facing, patio, container. No Dormant Repot
Cherry Tree 3yr Outside, South Facing, patio, container. No Dormant Prune
Crocus Unknown Outside, South Facing, ground. Flower Good Move after flowering.
Dianthus <1yr Outside, South Facing, patio, container. Foliage Good Monitor
Gooseberry Bush <1yr Outside, South Facing, patio, container. No Dormant Repot
Jasmine <1yr Outside, West Wall facing east, south facing sun. Potted. Foliage Good Monitor
Magnolia <1yr Outside, West Wall facing east, south facing sun. Potted. No Unknown Monitor and Prune.
Plum Tree <1yr Outside, South Facing, patio, container. No Dormant Prune
Raspberry bush <1yr Outside, South Facing, patio, container. No Dormant Prune
Rhubarb <1yr Outside, South Facing, patio, container. Fruit Good Repot
Rose <1yr Outside, South Facing, patio, container. Foliage Good Monitor
Rose <1yr Outside, West wall, East Facing, patio, container. Foliage Good Monitor
Rose <1yr Outside, North Facing, patio, container. Foliage Good Monitor
Rosemary 1yr Outside, South Facing, patio, container. Herb Good Prune
Sage 1yr Outside, South Facing, patio, container. Herb Moderate Monitor
Tea Rose <1yr Outside, West wall, East Facing, patio, container. Foliage Questionable, pruned a little Monitor
Thyme 1yr Outside, South Facing, patio, container. Some Herb Moderate Monitor
New Plants
Name Date Planted Location Current Status Next Step Harvest/Flower Date
Daffodils 30/10/15 Outside, West wall, East Facing, Sun South , patio, container. Sprouting Monitor
Pansies 18/03/16 Outside, West wall, East Facing, Sun South , patio, container. Flower Dead head Multiple
Tulips 30/10/15 Outside, West wall, East Facing, Sun South , patio, container. Sprouting Monitor

Well, it’s 2016 and I have neglected my blog.  We moved house but the great news is our new home is our own home which means free reign in the garden!  I will post before and after images but we have a small raised grass bed about 3m x 3m.  The back is…concrete!  Every gardeners nightmare but I aim to make it productive and beautiful thus proving that beautiful gardens can exist in unlikely spaces but onto the front garden.

Once our front garden wall is restored the grass will be going.  It will replaced by a cut flower and edible plant garden.  I love flowers in the home and our street doesn’t have many flowers for bees and butterflies.  Cutting flowers encourages further growth.  Not all the flowers will be for cutting but many of my favorites will feature.

This is a North facing garden that will get sun early in the morning as the sun rises, nothing in the afternoon and mostly full sunshine (there is an area with partial shade) for the late afternoon and evening.  I will be trying to encourage a neutral soil.  I plan to use some hugelkultur fundamentals.

So to start with the grass will be dug up and turned over, with a layer of gravel beneath it and soil on top.  I will then use a layer of cardboard to act as a weed membrane and also will mulch down eventually.  I will cut holes into this for the flowers to be planted, all this will be topped with soil and bark chippings.

To give some perspective, to the right of the image as you are looking at it (along the right hand side of 2 and 4) is a path, wall and steps.  Along the bottom of 3 and 4 is a path and our house.  Along the left of 1 and 3 is a wall, our neighbour has a large shrub which will mean square 1 is in partial shade.

gardenplanfinished copy

This is just a start and I am sure I will add to it.

 

We are currently in between homes so the garden is on hold. Trying to improve my health is not. I have been unable to find answers or resolutions with medication. So it is time to start an experiment. One that involves me and food. My issues appear to be with sugar groups. A search on FODMAPs particularly from the Monash university will show you further information should you wish to know. So I embark on a wheat free week in my first exclusion week. Next week I will reintroduce it slowly. Well after making the mistake of eating wheat at breakfast I am feeling peckish so decided to experiment with spelt breakfast cookies.

Wheat Free breakfast cookies.
(Not gluten free)

I did not have anything to measure with so I used a small tub as a cup.
1 cup of wholemeal spelt flour
3 heaped tsp nut seed butter
Half a cup of chopped almonds, mixed seeds, raisins and goji berries
1 heaped tsp coconut oil
3 chunks of dark salted caramel chocolate (or just dark, to make them vegan use vegan dark chocolate.
3 tblsp Light brown sugar
Enough oat milk to bind.

Mix together the dry ingredients, coconut and nut and seed butter like you would a crumble. Then add oat milk to bind. Kneed into a ball. Then take off small chunks and roll then push into your palms. To make small cookies

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Bake for 8 Mins, fan assisted at 180.

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