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Thursday, 16 October 2014

Passing 50,000 page views

I find it hard to believe that so many people still bother to read my ramblings. We are well on the way to 51.000 pageviews, an amazing number. I would like to thank everyone who reads the blog on a regular basis, all the old and new. I really appreciate all the comments too, it's good to get feedback occasionally, it spurs me on to keep going. So thank you everybody.

Anyway, enough of that. We are getting on with sorting the garden for winter despite all the new growth on plants and seedlings. The self sown cosmos seedlings are about to flower, they have big fat buds on them, which will be a boon to insects if the weather is kind, which it is at the moment though we had a welcome splash of rain today. Daytime temperatures are still holding up in the mid twenties. There are masses of buds on the roses and the cannas are (or were!) still throwing flower spikes up. Unfortunately we had to pull out a load of morning glory which broke a couple, then Dave cut them down as the neighbours have. So the big border has been cleared of all dying and unwanted vegetation and we can see what needs moving for next year and digging up and storing for winter. The blackberry which was lost in there somewhere has layered itself so we now have two plants which have been moved to the new fence whe Dave can keep an eye on it. We are going to dig over the space where we had a greenhouse and put the rhubarb there, maybe splitting some so we can sell or barter the unwanted ones. So we will have more space for the perennials we keep seeing when we park near Morgan's Plants at the car boot sales. Well, we have to keep the bees happy! We also have rather a lot of long and rangy chrysanthemums which we have been given by various neighbours. Everyone has them in wishy washy shades for late autumn colour and picking. But we didn't know how tall they would get. Venka's are about five foot high! They have been moved to the back of the border.

No idea how a tomato seedling got here

The chard we moved to the flower bed a while ago is doing really well

The anamones coming through

These look like daffs....but they can't be....can they?

Tall chrysanths

Looking tidier
The verbascum just keeps on giving

Monarda getting well established before winter sets in
A freebie, a carrier full of medlars. I've never used them so this should be interesting. Thanks Graham Becket

In the veggie garden the brassicas continue to flourish, we even have some embryo cauliflowers. We have been chucking some of the broccoli to the chickens but now they have the run of half the garden they have no interest, though the visitors quite like them. The cabbages are being eaten as fast as we can, but where we have cut them more 'babies' are growing. I have no idea how they will cope with cold weather as no-one here leaves them in the ground. I still haven't had time to make sauerkraut though. The neighbours all around have cleared their gardens and they have been ploughed, all that will go in now are lettuces. They must think we are crazy to still have all the brassicas and leeks in, they would think even more so if they could see the beet, carrot and spinach seedlings! The onions have also gone in, not too many just a couple of hundred the same as last year. We will start using them as soon as they start growing in spring. Then plant more after Christmas. The only other things in the garden are the chillis in with the chickens. Strangely, they are leaving them alone...haha.
Dave with helpers. It is mid October isn't it?

A couple of beans left in to see how far they will go

Baby cabbage

Dave looking for caulis


The kale is flourishing after getting over the flea beetle attack


Bonnie on the allium patch




We have planted a couple more trees. This time almonds. We weren't going to bother as they take so long to produce, but at two quid (five leva) each for five year old trees it is worth taking a chance. According to Venka there was a large almond in the garden, but the previous owners cut it down! Then left.

Another job the neighbours are doing now is washing all their carpets. And they really do wash them, not just dampen them. Venka's bright red ones are adorning their wall, while Baba Danke's are on our's as she doesn't have a wall suitable. I think Dave will have to do our's again, it is very 'doggy' though it was done before it was put away in spring.

The chickens are loving the freedom they are experiencing out in the garden and are doing a great job of finding insects, grubbing up weeds and fertilising as they go. I love to watch them busying about. Unfortunately we lost our young hen this week. I had only commented the day before that she was looking well and nearly the same size as the adult shumens. Dave went out when there was a commotion to find the ex-batts having a go and the poor hen in the last moments of life. I have no idea if it was them who damaged her, she had no marks on her, but I certainly looked at them differently from then for a few days. She has been with them since she was a few weeks old with no problems, so a mystery but we have to move on.

The first lot of ex-batts, Milly, Molly and Mandy have decided to give up waiting for the nest box they want to use and all three now pile in to the hole in the wall, though they are not all laying.

Venka has been doing even more preserving and cooking on the outside fire. She has taken to passing Dave treats of sausage, meat patties or burgers when she sees him working in the garden. She thinks he must be deprived of meat I think, though his tummy says different! Bless her. We went round for breakfast this morning after Dave helped put the carpets on the wall, we had little hollow bread roll type things and she showed us how to rip the end off and stuff them with strawberry jam, another new experience. We took her some eggs as she is not getting many from her hens, and there was wonder at the size of them, especially two huge ones....ouchy. It's very strange to see her garden empty and ploughed, piles of cabbages, tomatoes and peppers waiting for processing.

I have been busy making cards for Christmas and birthdays as well as cakes. Next week is the last car boot sale of the year but I sold out of jam and chutney last weekend so it will be just cards and paintings unless we find some junk to get rid of. The quince and ginger cake was a hit, though me being me I tweaked it a bit. I used Hugh F-W's recipe but used my home made stem ginger which I cooked with the quince, used yoghurt instead of creme fraiche. Well, it was delicious.

Also made a very easy fruit cake which I will definitely make again, My tweak on this one was to use two eggs instead of one. sorry, it got eaten before a pic was taken.

Also did another fig and almond tart and some date and walnut slices, all successful. There is something nice about autumn produce.
Date and walnut, none left for us though

Right, time for the non cat lovers to switch off!

Our little man I growing so fast. He proved himself a little hunter this week, before he is even three months old! He brought in a live shrew last night, sat in the middle of the room doing baby growls then shot back outside. Dave grabbed a camera but by the time he had sorted the darkness setting he had let go and the shrew lived to fight another day. Lets hope he keeps it up.

Where'd it go???????

He tries to join in the fun when Bonnie has a ball catching game, but is careful not to stray too far from the box bush on the 'lawn'. Bonnie is rather clumsy these days and inclined to bowl anything or anyone who gets in the way over.


  1. Looking good over there Sara, enjoy following your
    blog. Hope Bonnie & Bella are both well cute looking cat

    1. Hey Gary, how lovely to hear from you. The dogs are fine, yes, and Bella the terrible is in her element and loves everything small and squeaky, she has to attend them all the time and gets anxious if they are not happy. She puts up with so much from the naughty kitten. No destruction now that she can be in and out all day, collecting walnuts and feathers to destroy. She is adorable. Bonnie is feeling rather old and suffers a bit with the heat, as I do, but is allowed in the blow up pool if it gets too much for her, which she loves. But generally she sleeps a lot, plays ball ocasionally and still loves a walk...but only tolerates the kitten, she really can't be bothered. They all love to be in with the chickens, Splash because we don't like him going in there as he is still so small and the ex-batts so feisty, and the dogs because they love the tasty bits...revolting creatures.