Thursday, 3 August 2017

It may not be worthy of Gardeners' World, but it's ours and we love it!

Well, we might not have the acres of Longmeadow - thank goodness as we don't have the budget for gardeners to help look after it - but that doesn't mean we can't emulate it, on a smaller scale.

Here for instance, we may not have a white garden but in various beds, pots and borders we have white geraniums, white roses and white cosmos as well as ....

white Cleome

 and white Buddleia too.

And we may not have a jewel garden but I have created a jewel border with orange crocosmia, Sweet Williams, California Poppy and Osteospernums.

And we may not have a huge vegetable garden and several greenhouses, just a lawned area with half a dozen raised beds and a baby greenhouse, and we may not pick baskets of produce, enough to feed a large family, on a daily basis, but we do have this, enough for our needs ...

And we also have this - a pretty spot to have morning tea, as well as a cosy summerhouse for when it's not nice enough to sit outdoors but still warm enough to be outside, if you get my drift!

It's a large garden, about a hundred feet long by fifty feet wide, and we have separate areas including a gravel garden with nothing but evergreen plants in it, grasses and heathers and phormiums. We did have a very large bed/border, but it was too difficult to keep tidy looking, so we split it and it was so successful we are doing the same with a similar sized area over the other side of the garden, and it means we have winding gravel pathways instead of one large area of gravel. 

As for what we grow - it's what we like to eat best, and all in succession so we don't have more than we need. Broad beans, peas, and three other types of beans for eating/freezing/drying. Yellow courgettes and Heritage carrots. Potatoes in sacks. Garlic chives and salad onions. Banana shallots and leeks. Parsnips. Cut and come again salad crops. I grow some crops in large pots near the conservatory door for handy picking, and have herbs in a trough under the kitchen window, so all I have to do is reach out with my scissors! Herbs also in other pots, mints, coriander, thymes, parsley, basils, rosemary, bay. We also have an old Bramley apple tree, a walnut tree too, plus rhubarb. Next year we shall plant a couple of gooseberry and blackcurrant bushes. 

And we have lots and lots of flowers, for cutting and not for cutting. Lots of colour. Two wigwams of sweet peas. Roses and clematis over an arch, obelisks with climbing plants like Thunbergia, and one with scarlet runners! A bed with heathers and miniature slow growing conifers. A wild area down the bottom of the garden, and a border filled with butterfly and bee food plants. A log pile hidden down there too, and in autumn, out comes the hedgehog house to sit under the silver birch, and it is so lovely when we take it out to clean it the following year, to see this perfect round indentation where a prickly friend has slept the winter away. Bug boxes in trees, attached to shed and fencing too. And then there's the self-build wildlife residence... and the wildlife who just visits ... hard to see, but a grey squirrel sitting on the lower righthand branch.

I love trees and we have a holly, silver birch, wild cherry, walnut, apple, Portuguese Laurel, laburnum and alder.

So there you have it, a gardening post, just to tell you about our plot. As I say, not on a grand scale, but enough for us to manage and growing enough for us to eat without being inundated with produce. And it is so lovely to walk out into the garden with my trug, picking sweet peas and whatever else catches my eye to be stuffed into jugs and jars, fresh salad or vegetables for lunch or tea. Not so lovely today as there's a gale blowing, but still a treat and I know how lucky we are to have this. I love being in it, and sitting in the conservatory just looking, meditating, being thankful.

Hope you enjoyed and thanks for visiting.

Saturday, 29 July 2017



Well, the cool weather has refreshed the garden, the newly painted woodwork in the house has refreshed where we live, and so I decided it's time to refresh the blog. Time to look at new blogs as well, for inspiration, entertainment and an insight into how others live. Hopefully this might bring some new followers as well.

So... as an introduction to new readers, I'm Edwina, racing towards seventy at a fast rate of knots it seems, and happily married to Himself (forty years in a weeks time), living in an old house with a large garden in a Norfolk village. I'm not local to the area, coming from Yorkshire originally, but ever since we first livcd here, this has felt like my spiritual home as well as my physical home. So different to the area of my birth, with its rolling Dales, but in its way, just as beautiful in its flatness. Such huge skies, and such a lot to offer as we live within minutes of woodlands and coastline. Whatever the mood, there's a place to suit - Hunstanton if you want lots of colour and noise and people at this time of year (which we don't); Sandringham woods for the peace and quiet, the occasional woodpecker letting you know it's around, the squirrels scampering in front of you in search of food; riversides and quiet country lanes; tiny hamlets with centuries old churches at their heart; market towns still with a thriving bustling weekly market; larger towns with all they have to offer, but which hold no appeal for us at all.

I'm a creative, ditsy, daydreaming, afternoon-snoozing, cloudwatching OAP  - that's Older Aged Person - who loves pottering in the garden, growing fruit and veg and herbs and cut flowers, crocheting blankets, knitting scarves and shawls, colouring-in, doing arty stuff in sketch books, keeping journals and diaries, and reading. Lots of reading. Himself is into bellringing and model railways in his spare time, and we are lucky enough that our old house gives us a room each for 'play'. Mine, just a small box room because I have a sitting room as well,  is filled with art materials, teddy bears, craft materials in general, a big desk, a collection of stationery. My collection of books is in the front sitting room, a room where I meditate, watch old movies on DVD, listen to music (loud), craft and watch the world go by.

Since Himself retired, and now only works as a volunteer one morning a week at his old school, we have more time to go out, though usually tend to avoid the busy places at this time of year. Going on picnics is something we do year round, just altering the food to suit the weather! (In colder weather, it will be hot chips on the quayside at Wells-next-the-Sea, soup and a roll somewhere like Primrose Hill, one of the few high spots in Norfolk, on warmer days, salads or sandwiches in the woods or some quiet spot near the coast). We like to browse in bookshops old and new, go to farm shops or farmers markets for fruit and veg - and local brewed beer as a treat for Himself. Nurseries and garden centres are another favourite haunt, though for the plants not the gifts and homewares that the large garden centres sell in abundance. And even though we have a large garden, I still sometimes struggle to find a spot for that new plant I couldn't resist!

So life is good as an Older Aged Person. We're not wealthy by any means, but comfortable. We now have the freedom in terms of time and spends to have treats, to do what we want, yet we still just prefer the simple things in life, spending money on books, our interests and the garden, not many clothes and no social life.

The only blot on this otherwise wonderful landscape is my health, which lets me down quite a bit. But, I do what I can when I feel energised and interested and capable. And on those days when I am none of these things, well, I take it easy and do as little as I need to. Luckily Himself is turning into quite a good cook!! And he's a whizz with the hoover too - all without being nagged, sorry, asked!

So, I hope when I start this blog up with bits of this and that from the house and garden and our little tours around Norfolk, that you will feel like contributing a comment or two. They are what makes this blogging lark more fun, and nobody likes to think they are talking to themselves.

Thanks for reading, and I'll be back later.