Early Autumn gardening

garden harvest

It’s three years now since we moved in and three years that I have half heartedly been working on the garden.

Firstly I never thought it would be such a lengthy process.

Secondly I realise I MUST dedicate more time if I am to have hugely successful harvests

and Thirdly, I am 100% certain this is very much a learning curve at which I can only get better.

I had a good chat with Maggy Woodly from Life at the Zoo and Penny Carr from Being Mrs C on Google + this morning and I picked up some very interesting tips too.

My own harvest

  1. Carrots – they have grown all curly in a clump and next year I shall make sure I thin them out and ensure the earth is very well turned over.
  2. Potatoes – for my first year of chitting potatoes and growing them in a bag I am impressed with our harvest. Sadly one bag seems to have got a bug and the potatoes were ruined. This may have been my fault by cutting the growth off too early and leaving the spuds in there too long.
  3. Leeks – I pulled two up and they are very skinny, I learnt from Penny that they take forever and to just leave them in the ground even for a year!
  4. Broccoli – after last year’s disaster with the brussel sprouts I decided to go with broccoli and little did I realise they too would be a haven for caterpillar and slugs. In fact no broccoli came up at all, I imagine somebody ate the shoots when they were tiny so all I had was stalks.
  5. Tomatoes – usually I’m very good with tomatoes but this year I planted too late and have a very green crop – watch out for a green tomato chutney recipe coming up.

Work to do

  1. I’m still waiting for the apples to be ready for picking. I have the baby Golden Delicious tree that yielded 5 last year and has at least double this year plus the other sweet apple tree which suffered from aphids all summer so the apples are a little wonky in apsect.
  2. Bulbs – It’s the right time of year to get planting bulbs, I seem to have lost all the ones I planted 2 years ago as nothing came up last year so I am armed with daffodils and tulips ready to go.
  3. Cutting back and pruning – lots
  4. Wedding – lots
  5. Fruit trees – I’m so impressed with our apple tree i was wondering whether to invest in a second fruit tree and may take a trip to the garden centre to see what is on offer.


A guide to watering your garden and keeping your plants healthy

watering can

A guest post by Easy Watering

Plants need water to survive. If they don’t get enough, it won’t take long before they wilt away and starve. If they get too much, they’re at risk of drowning due to a lack of oxygen. Only through proper hydration methods can this balance be properly achieved.

When is the best time to water?

If you can, try to get up early and water your garden in the cool of morning. By doing this you are giving your plants vital nourishment to soak up during the heat of the day. You should avoid watering your plants during the day as you’re just going to lose a lot of the water through evaporation.

What should I use to water my garden?

Well, that depends on the size of your garden. A good old-fashioned watering can will do the job just fine if your garden is small, but it’ll soon lose its charm if it’s taking you an hour every morning.

Garden hose pipes are ideal if you’ve got a bigger job on your hands. There are a number of different options available to you. Soaker hoses are made of water-permeable fabrics that allow small droplets of water to leak out through the length of the hose. The idea is that you lay the hose through the garden and it will supply water directly to the plant’s roots.

Easy Watering supplies a variety of high quality garden hose pipes to fit your watering needs. Find a size that will give you enough reach in your garden or choose a sprinkler system to do the work for you. They also provide a number of Hozelock auto reels that are perfect for keeping your hose pipe tidy and untangled. They’ll cut your daily watering session in half, giving you more time relax and take in the view of your revitalised garden.

How much do I use?

Most garden lawns and plants typically require an inch of water a week. Your aim should be to prevent the soil from ever drying out completely. Of course, you’ll need to alter your watering techniques based on the weather.

More will be required when the hot weather dries the soil out quicker. Less will be required when the cooler weather holds the moisture for longer.

Younger plants will require more water to help their developing roots grow. Mature plants can be watered more heavily and less often as their more developed root systems can take it. Every plant is different, so it’s worth following the guidelines that came with your plant or doing some research online. As a general rule, try to avoid watering plants at night if they are disease-susceptible. With no sun around to evaporate the water, moisture will just sit on the plant for hours making it more susceptible to fungal disease.

Disclosure: A guest post by Easy Watering.


vegetable harvest

How does your garden grow?

bird feeder in treeWell mine in all honesty is let to do much as it pleases in as much as I am not a constant gardener but one who dabbles now and then. Thank goodness the forsynthia knows that! She gets a good cut mid summer and again in the autumn and we get on just fine.

My ideal garden is one that looks after itself because as much as I love to dabble there’s never enough time to look after it properly, that or I have to start dropping other commitments, like blogging for example.

We moved in 3 years ago and the garden had been left to it’s own devices, we cut back LOTS at the start, possibly too much and only now after three years is it starting to look better. Although there is still a lot to do until I have my ideal garden that’s for sure.

In fact I would go as far as to say the best gardens are those of old people who have spent a lot of time and thought on it and passed many hours out there caring for each plant, bush or tree. Next time we move I shall be looking out for the words established garden.

A couple of years ago I took part in the Bosch gardening competition and with that we were given a super lawnmower plus £100 to spend on plants from Coblands. We were very happy to pick 3 apples from our tiny apple tree last year and this year she’s blooming marvellous.

baby apple tree

My wisteria plant struggles, I think the spot I chose is too windy and if I had the guts I’d move it only I notice it’s started to sprout lots of baby shoots – what to do? Leave it and pray it gets stronger this year. Or brick up the gap in the fence?

So with a family party on my hands a couple of weeks ago and a garden one at that (BBQ was being dragged out) I made a special effort to tidy up and get the place looking nice. Off I trotted to my local garden centre to fill up on colour for my pots. here let me show you in photographs all my lovely flowers.

purple flower

pink flower

mauve flower

mauve flower

white speckled flower

pot plant

rosemary bloom


And finally I cannot let you go without updating you on this year’s veggie plot! The spuds are coming along a treat, planted from chits a month ago, I’ve already covered them in soil once and they’re fighting back through to the sunshine again.

seedlings 2013

Then  we have seedlings of broccoli, carrots and leeks. I’m staying well and truly clear of brussels this year as last year they over took my patch and nothing else grew in it!

I’m linking this post up to the lovely Mammasaurus, click on her beautiful button below and you’ll find some fabulous garden photography and many other gardening ideas who have linked up too

spread ’em

What princesses will be wearing this autumn…

Mini mode AW 2012The life of a princess is a busy one, there are many chores to do each day and one must always try one’s best to look 100% princess.

Take yesterday for example, whilst we spend another week at home waiting for our ‘Home Visit’ we decided to check out the veggie plot. It needed some water as it hasn’t rained here for a couple of days and that’s when we spotted the caterpillers, lots of them and that makes mummy grumble as they’re eating lots of holes in her brussel sprout leaves. She’s a bit concerned that there won’t be many home grown sprouts on the Christmas table this year.

Bessie had a caterpiller on her foot the other day and it made her laugh as it was really tickly.

Once the watering was finished we decided to collect all the red tomatoes from the patch, this is the third harvest this summer and it was a very good one too, we filled the entire frisbee and started a second layer too, I was very happy as I love tomatoes whereas Bessie doesn’t.

It’s a shame mummy doesn’t know much about vegetable plots as she planted everything in the wrong place this year, the brussels grew so big they took over the whole front side hiding the leeks, spring onions and carrots. We did get a few carrots but they were stumped and curly, Grandad says the brassicas stole all the goodness from the soil.

She’ll learn…

watering the vegetable plot

Once our gardening was done we decided to play with our sandpit, we made tracks in the sand with a spade and then flicked balls around in a race, it was great fun but when we went inside afterwards for a biscuit mummy noticed the sofa was covered in sand, she made us stand up quickly and go to the back door where she brushed our dresses down and then the sofa cushions.

Such a fuss pot!

Mini Mode - Boots clothes

Talking of dresses, do you like them? A kind lady sent them from London. I’m wearing the pink one because it’s my favourite colour and mummy knows I would have kicked a huge fuss if I didn’t get it. Bessie got the green one and even if it’s not my colour I must admit she wears it very well.


Mummy gave Bess the pink hat to keep her happy, I tried three times to swap mine with her because, like I said, pink is MY favourite colour but mummy caught me every time and stopped me *sigh*

mini mode clothes

Not Alice’s best camera smile :)

At least our cardigans were the same so no arguments there, it’s really pretty with pink bows on it and a lovely velvet strip down the front by the buttons. Oh, buttons there are lots of them and I got quite in a muddle with them.

As for shoes for this outfit, mummy started us off with our brand new school shoes but later we changed into our wellies which I’m sure you’ll agree look much better and so practical.

mini mode AW 2012

So there, if you like these beautiful clothes you must go to Boots and look for their Mini Club range, I’m certain Bessie and I will be dragging mummy there in the near future ;)

Love Alice x

Playing in the sandpit

Disclosure: We were set two outfits from the Mini Club range available exclusively at Boots and they are gorgeous, thank you very much! They are machine washable, easy care and stunning colours.