Archive for March, 2010


It’s officially Spring. This can mean different things to different people, but to us it means the daffodils are out and we have a spring in our step. It seems our garden has been quite late with it’s daffodils this year. The flowers are already bobbing in the wind around the lanes of Oxfordshire, we have but a solitary flower so far, but many more waiting to explode. We might even buy a few more ‘in the green’  to add to the display.  They might be a few more pence at the moment, but it will mean you can put them in situ knowing where your established bulbs are…..leaving it till the autumn you run the risk of digging up bulbs you’ve already planted. When it’s still a little cold to be out in the garden full time, and you’re still gently nursing your seedlings along, there’s nothing like the lighter evenings and the borders splashed with yellow to warm your soul.


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Basil Brush

In our impatience to get the growing season under way, and whilst dreaming of a glut of tomatoes in the greenhouse, we’ve successfully germinated and planted up some basil plants. The thing is, it can be a tricky business this time of year, particularly if you havent got a heated propagator or greenhouse heater. We’ve done ours on the windowsill, turning them round everyday, but they are still starting to go ‘leggy’. The way we see it, there are a few solutions. We could make a light reflector out of cardboard to sit behind the pots on the sill, we could place them somewhere where they wouldn’t be so drawn to the light or we could even re pot them a bit lower in the compost. But the solution we like the best is to gently pass your hand over the basil leaves a couple of times a day, recreating windier outdoor conditions and slightly stunting their growth. It might not work, but try it….everyone loves the Basil Brush………Boom! Boom!

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Red Hot Polka

It was purely coincidence that we planted our raspberry canes on the same day that hollywood was giving out golden raspberries to the years worst actors. It got me thinking how much the raspberry is considered to be a ‘supporting actor’ to the leading lady ‘strawberry’. I can’t think why? For me they deserve equal billing, and if you get the right variety then I don’t think you can beat raspberries for texture and flavour. Although you can buy golden (or yellow) varieties we’ve gone for a new red variety that fruits in the autumn called Polka. We chose an autumn fruiting variety mainly because we’ll get fruit in the first year, whereas summer fruiting varieties will produce from the second year onwards. It will also give us a chance to savour strawberries and raspberries on their own, allowing them the spotlight they deserve.

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Lilly and Eve seem to love being in the garden. Obviously Lilly more so, as she is able to wander the path, chase butterflies, cup ladybirds and smell the flowers (when there are some). She has also taken to digging, splashing and “helping” her mum and dad do the garden chores. But there’s one thing that she loves more than anything else and that’s walking up and down the garden with her bag of tools over her shoulder and her sunglasses on. At the moment it looks like her future might be more Kings Road than flower show.

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