Hi guys. A very belated Happy New Year!
I can’t believe it’s been over 6 months since I’ve written a blog. With a mixture of home schooling and an increase in sales to my Etsy shop (one good thing to come out this situation!, I don’t seem to have any spare time whatsoever.
At least it’s now February and spring in around the corner, the afternoons are getting longer and it’s not quite so dark early. Think, next month should see the start of Gardener’s World too!
This year, apart from the usual suspects of tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots etc, I have bought some dwarf climbing French beans and also some borlotti beans for the first time. I usually grow runner beans but fancied a change this year. On the flower front I’ve bought a new type of container cosmos from Sarah Raven as well as a Tithonia. Also, I don’t have much luck with sunflowers, but couldn’t resist the Helianthus “Magic Roundabout”, I think it was the lovely name which attracted me. I also went for “Ms Mars”, a cute pink sunflower.
I’ve always loved gardening, but, along with so many other people last year, I found it so beneficial during lockdown. It was lovely to get out after home schooling and spend some time gently weeding or seed sowing and dead-heading in the garden. It’s been difficult to get much gardening in lately, due to snow and generally wet weather. However, i’m really looking forward to getting out there again and getting stuck in. Plans for half term include mulching and sorting out the greenhouse!
Hopefully. I can get started on my seed sowing campaign shortly. First to begin with will be the chilli plants. I always look forward to January in the garden centres; most of the Christmas stuff has gone and the new seed varieties are beginning to appear on the shelves. I recently made a trip to Wilko’s and splurged on some vegetable and flower seeds. I always buy the basic varieties from Wilkos as year after year, they are always reliable and of course a great bargain! Any seeds that are a bit trickier to get hold of, I now generally buy online at Sarah Raven. My obsession with Sarah Raven started last year, when I ordered a packet of the “Turquoise lagoon” sweet peas, a beautiful and eye catching colour in my garden. Since then, I’ve never looked back. Sarah Ravens dahlia bulbs were magnificent last year. Twice the size of other competitors.
Other things during the past couple of months that have kept me sane are books. I seem to have an obsession with book buying at present. Sainsburys is good for cheap and cheerful reads, but I’ve recently discovered the Bookshop site, which helps struggling independent bookshops. I’ve ordered a few books from there. My recent reads include “Small Pleasures” by Claire Chambers, set in the 1950’s about a single woman and her life. Also I read “Father” by Elizabeth Von Arnim, she of “Enchanted April” fame. Although I did enjoy this book, it was quite a slow read. One other recommendation is “The girl who reads on the Metro”, by Christine Feret-Fleury. As a book lover and a francophile, I really loved this book. Its gentle and nothing much happens but if you like books and France, then I think you will love it.
With regards to TV, I’ve enjoyed watching “Dash & Lily” on Netflix. My 50 plus friend recommended this to me and although its about teenagers, it’s a lovely watch and is set in the famous Strand bookshop in New York. I was lucky enough to visit the Strand a few years ago (pre kids!) and would absolutely love to go back. In fact, I enjoyed the series so much, that I ended up buying the book. Also, along with 63 million people, I have enjoyed watching Bridgerton on Netflix too. I didn’t realise that the series was based on the books by Julia Quinn – I may be buying some of her novels! I used to love costume dramas and the classic works of fiction they were based on. I think it’s the romantic side of me. Bridgerton and Dash & Lily are pure escapism from daily life. Nothing wrong with that. ..
Our Favourite Recipes
Spaghetti with Tomato, Spinach, and Shaved Parmesan
Creamy Tomato Soup with Cheese Toasties
Grilled Asparagus & Poached Egg on Toast