Sunday, 25 June 2017

Growing Asparagus

Asparagus is easily one of my favourite vegetables, and the best thing is that it is also one of the easiest veggies to grow and will supply you with delicious spears for twenty years or more if properly cared for.  

Bare rooted asparagus crowns can be bought from most garden centres or nurseries, as well as online and are usually planted out during winter through to early spring. Choose a sunny position with well draining soil that  has been enriched with plenty of organic matter, well rotted horse manure would be a good choice if you can get hold of some, plant crowns at least 10cm deep and between 35 - 40cm apart.  

During the first year of growth it is very important that the spears are not harvested as this will weaken the plant, a light harvest can be made in the second year, and in the years to follow the spears can be harvested every two to three days (they grow very quickly) over a six week period. Any spears that appear after that time should be left to grow into fronds. Pick only those spears that are at least as thick as a finger, and 15 - 20cm tall, any spears smaller than that should be left to grow. Keep your asparagus well watered during spring and summer and fertilise with pelletised chicken manure once harvesting has been completed.

Asparagus can also be grown from seed, but it will be three years before any spears will be able to be harvested.  

Asparagus fronds will start to turn yellow during the winter and this is when they will need to be cut down to ground level and the asparagus bed covered in a good thick layer of compost or manure, followed by a layer of straw, this will give them a good start when they start to grow again in spring.
Asparagus fronds ready to be cut down.
See, easy, the hardest part is waiting until you can harvest, but it is definitely worth the wait.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Finished ...........Finally

I started it last winter and put it away when the weather started to warm up. I took it up again three months ago and have been working on it almost every night for two or three hours at a time. There are eighty 15 centimetre (or there about's) squares made up of thirteen different patterns, and it measures 206 centimetres x 167 centimetres. It used over 5,000 metres of yarn and weighs 2.5 kilos and I'm so happy it's finally finished, I will never, ever make a blanket this size using squares again.

The squares are joined using Celtic lace join which looks difficult, but is quite easy to do once you get the hang of it. You can find the pattern here.


The border was made using the  Vibrant Vintage CAL border found here at Cypress Textiles.

The patterns I used for the squares were:
Antique Pearls by Priscilla Hewitt

Bubbles Baby Stitch by Deneen St. Amour

Counterpoint by Joyce Lewis

Harriett by Caroline Christmas

Just Peachy Blossom by Donna Mason-Svara

Melissa Square by Rachele Carmona

More V's Please by Melinda Miller

Solid Granny Square by Craft Passion

Traditional Granny Square  -  You can find a tutorial here

Victorian Lace Square by Destany Wymore

Plus, these three that I have no pattern for and cannot remember what they are called or who created them.


If you are the creator of these squares or know who created them, please let me know as I like to give credit where it is due.

So now that that's finished, I've moved on to something a bit different.
A sweet,vintage granny shawl in autumnal hues. The pattern was created by Kirsten, and you can find it here. I'll do a blog post about it when it's finished.







Sunday, 7 May 2017

If You Thought Terracotta Pots Were Just For Plants

You may need to think again.
Below are some pretty, practical and creative uses for terracotta pots with hardly a plant in sight.


A pretty shabby chic bird bath that could also be used to hold a candle, pot pourri,  soaps or jewellery.

A sweet little bird feeder.

As cutlery holders for a party or for everyday use.
Source unknown

They make an attractive drink coolers
One Kings Lane

They can be used to make adorable fairy gardens.
The Flower Market

Genevieve Gail

Or to add some playfulness to the garden.
All Stuff

Or you could use them to make a sweet set of wind chimes.
Source unknown
And finally they would make a cute centrepiece at a child's birthday party or a baby shower when used as cup cake holders.
Source unknown



Disclaimer: I try to give credit to the owners of all the images I use, sometimes this is not possible, those images where the source is unknown will be assumed to be in the public domain. If you are the owner of any of these images (source unknown) and would like them removed or credit added, please let me know.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The Great Pumpkin Harvest

Well, maybe great is a bit of an exaggeration, but compared to last years harvest of one minuscule butternut,

this years harvest was indeed great.
10.4kg of Butternut and 4.8kg of an unknown volunteer.

As you can see in the photo one of the pumpkins has split, I have since found out that it is an indication that the fruit had been left on the vine too long.  It was the second one to have done it, my own fault, but I wanted to make sure they were fully ripened before I picked them. I was worried that they might have gone mouldy or started to rot inside, but when I cut them open they were just fine and the pumpkin soup that was made with them was absolutely delicious.

There are still three more Butternut pumpkins on the vine that should be ready to pick on the weekend, I will be making sure those are not left too long.

Did you grow pumpkins this year? How did they go?

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Snowy - At Last

After many seeds sown and a few false starts I finally managed to get a "Snowy" eggplant to grow this year. It started to flower, but never set any fruit or so I thought. Look at what I discovered this morning when I went down to the vegetable garden.
To say I got excited to see it is an understatement, but it's my first and grown from seed which makes it extra special in my book.