Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Harvesting Chive Seeds or Going to Seed

Is it me, or does it seem like everything in the garden is blooming and setting seed a little too early this summer? 

I think my chives have 'bolted' so I've chopped them back and saved the dried flower heads to collect the seeds.

Of course, there aren't very many flower heads because I have a bad habit of picking the flowers and eating them as I stroll around the garden.  I must have been a rabbit in a previous life. 

With a little luck, the weather will cool down and the chives will put on another flush of growth.

Note to self:  DO NOT EAT THE FLOWERS 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

More 'Flaars' and a Heat Wave

We are experiencing a mini-heatwave, well what we call a heatwave in Devon. The temperature may reach 27 degrees Celsius or 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  For us that is HOT!

The little black cat and I don't like the heat but the flowers love it!

So I've taken the opportunity to remove some of the older plants past their best and add a few new ones to the borders. 

All this takes place under the watchful eye of the head gardener, the Dust Bunny.

He makes sure I do everything properly.  He's most meticulous.

I've planted several peach salvias.  They should winter over ... I hope!

Now we just water and wait for them to grow.  If you are looking for the head gardener, he's napping in the shade under the big garden umbrella.  

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Simply Chocolate Muffins

I am not sure where I found this recipe.  I was obviously in a hurry when I wrote it down because it is written in a kind of recipe 'shorthand' I frequently use. 

Once you've made a few dozen muffins, cakes, or cookies you don't need all the detailed instructions so I just note the ingredients, oven temperature, and baking times. 

All that other stuff is superfluous.  I mean, you know a muffin is going to need a paper case... perhaps not one in a leopard print, but a case all the same.  

So here's the recipe in my 'cook's shorthand'.  By the way,  T=tablespoon and t= teaspoon, I think the rest is self-explanatory.  

CHOCOLATE MUFFINS  (makes 10-11)  200C/400F    15-20 minutes

Combine following in a large bowl:
250 g flour
175 g caster sugar
3 T. cocoa powder 
1 T.  baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
pinch of salt  

Mix together in a large measuring cup or jug:
1 egg
1 t. vanilla 
100 ml veg oil
250 ml milk 

Pour into dry ingredients, stir until just combined.*  Bake 15-20 mins @ 200C/400F

*This is where you spoon the batter into the cases, but you already knew that.  

I hope you enjoy them! 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Almost Wordless Wednesday - CAT-NIP!

You may remember from a previous post that the Dust Bunny had received snail mail from CELIA HART'S STUDIO ASSISTANTS .   It was a parcel containing some lovely catnip plants which the Dust Bunny loves... as you can see....

We all love a sunny morning in a garden filled with flowers...even little Dust Bunnies. 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Impulse Shopping

I saw these lovely flowers, Diascia Daydream, at the garden centre and HAD to have them!

And these delicate peach salvia plants, I had to have a couple of those, too.

Some of the stems got bent in transit so I've made a little posy.   

Sometimes you just have to give in to that irresistible urge.  Best of all, they are both perennial plants so they will bloom in the garden for years. BARGAIN!  

Monday, 14 July 2014

Wine Corks and Roses, an Upcycling Project

I seem to have a weakness for collecting some strange things, for example, pretty glass jars and bottles.  I confess, I've been known to purchase store-bought jam for the jar. 

And corks... I can't resist snaffling an interesting cork.  I save them in one of my interesting shaped jars.  But let's be honest, there is no point in having these things if you don't use them. 

After gouging myself (for the um-teenth time) on a garden stake I got an idea.  Why not use them as cane-toppers?  

Simply cut the corks in half and carefully dig out a little hole for the cane.   Push the cork down onto the top of the cane.   Ta Dah!  No  more accidental garden impalements.  

Friday, 11 July 2014

Looking Back to See Where We Started

A few days ago we celebrated the anniversary of moving into our house in the Grove.  I can't believe we've been here for twelve years now.  

Sometimes you have to look back to see how far you've come, so I thought it would be fun to look at some photos of then and now.

This is a photo of our house the day we moved in.  I thought the green shutters made it look like a doll's house so they had to go!

There weren't too many plants worth keeping in the front garden so Andy was sawing down shrubbery on the first day, too.  Notice the stump in this photo.

Gradually, the front borders have been filled with trees and flowers.  Just this week I added two new plants. Gardens are always a work in progress.

The back garden was even more Spartan but that was a plus as far as I am concerned.  It isn't often you get to make a garden from scratch.

I've even managed to squeeze in a few fruit trees and strawberry plants.

The time has flown by and I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be.  

We've been so fortunate to have a house that has become our HOME.