Glorious Day on the Veg Patch

We’d been waiting all week to visit the veg patch so we were very excited this morning when Sunday finally arrived. The twins won the ‘name in the hat’ draw that the kids organise so it was their turn to come along and help.  Little did they know that today was mostly about digging a bed for the beans. Bless them, they were willing though 🙂


even when they saw how much they had to dig and all the weeds they had to clear.


This whole bed ? I hope you’re going to help a bit, Mum …

You start at one end and I’ll start at the other then we won’t hit each other with a shovel, or soil, completely be accident , of course, Hannah grinned  😉

Much digging and weeding later, the whole bed had been dug over and every last weed pulled up. The kids had a right to feel very pleased with what they’d done and thought maybe the next job could be a bit more fun since this one had been really hard work.

The next job was quite hard too but they found the fun in it, as usual.

They carried over the long canes that the beans were going to climb up..


…and  untied all the ribbons holding them in a bundle.

Hannah had a good idea…..she saved them to use them later as ‘bird-scarers’, to be tied onto the canes and flap in the wind.

20170423_151508Next job was to space the canes out evenly along the edges of the bed.

20170423_152119and then climb up to the top, with a bit of help, and tie the canes together to make a strong frame….or was it the upside-down hull of a Viking raiding ship? Yes, it was definitely that one 🙂



You get the best view from up here !

20170423_153751Then they carefully tied string around the canes to give the beans something to hold onto when they were still small……… but they decided it could just as easily be a great big climbing frame for them..


20170423_161116..and Hannah remembered to tie the ‘bird-scarer’ ribbons on while she was up there.

We decided we wouldn’t plant the beans today because the weather is going to be very cold this coming week and they might not like that, so we called that job finished for today and the kids went to check on the broad beans, the ones that Mr. & Mrs. Vole and family had munched their way through last week.

20170423_124116Hmm. Some are growing but some have been discovered and turned into a tasty meal and all there is to see now is a  hole where they were ..

20170423_124051..and a few top shoots that weren’t as appealing as the beans themselves. Never mind, there will still be plenty for us to eat in a few months.

Is it time for a rest now and a sunbathe ?


I think you two would be more comfortable under the little apple tree

20170423_123922 (and then Mum could have her flask of coffee)


Very last job was to cover up the little baby apple tree with fleece so that all its blossom doesn’t fall off in next week’s mini ice-age, even before the bees have had a chance to visit it.

Poor thing, good luck little tree x


A quick trip to the veg patch tonight

Joe and Greg will have to find a new place to play hide and seek….

…because the leeks are about to go to seed, like this one  😦

20170413_181744with a flower head about to open up. They’ll all have to be pulled up this weekend.

Hmm, I wonder if you can freeze leeks….?


Well, that will free up a lot of space to plant climbing beans and sugar snap peas so it’s not a disaster.

“I did so pull this up by myself !” Greg looks sceptical.


And these  🙂  I planted these last year you know, nearly all by myself. Me last year…..

We could play hide and seek in this field .. the oil seed rape is really high now.

I’m not so sure about all these bees though…

20170414_112254Have you seen the broad beans are popping up ?



The first sowing of beans was all eaten by a very well-fed family of voles so these are going to be a bit late this year and will start their lives under netting 🙂

And the Duke of York potatoes are peeping through after just a week. It will be a while before we can dig them up but that was definitely Cam’s favourite job last year so Joe will have to share that fun in a few months.

20170413_182321 (1)Cam last year..


Now home for leek and potato soup, all weekend probably.

Happy Easter Weekend everyone – I hope the sun shines on you and your loved ones x


Spring Picnic

The kids took advantage of Mum’s trip to the allotment today to have a quick, Spring picnic while Mum pulled some leeks.


First they chose the spot, then worked together to spread out the blanket.


The bears just couldn’t wait to see what was in the picnic basket and jumped up and down for Hannah and Greg to PLEASE open it up !!!



They’d brought drinks, snacks, fruit and cake and biscuits and shared everything with the bears…because this was also a Teddy Bears’ Picnic 🙂



……then sunbathed in the gentle March sunshine. Nice work if you can get it  🙂


Picnic Jigsaw

Click on the link below to solve the puzzle



Today the kids tagged along for the ride

Two kids were keen to come out to work with me today, especially since the sun was shining  and it was a lovely 16° C.20170314_154629

My first call was to a very pretty village, just outside Stamford, called Easton-on-the-Hill…


…where the kids noticed a tempting patch of grass to run around on.


They quickly found a likely looking pond and spent a good while ‘pondering’ the chances of finding frogspawn in there.

Hannah thought (new boy) Greg should jump in and go right to the bottom and have a good look,


but Greg has been a new boy before and he wasn’t falling for that one again. Then they spotted something else that looked like a little stone cottage, just the right size for them.

It was a memorial to the Polish  paratroopers who were stationed in the village during the war and who had flown from here to take part in the Battle of Arnhem in Holland.


And then they spotted a tree they could climb 🙂 What took them so long ?


The blossom was just opening up and smelled lovely.

Next we drove through Stamford but didn’t have time to stop. Hannah chose the perfect moment to photobomb my attempt to take a picture of the George Hotel while waiting at the traffic lights..


The next place we came to was another picturesque village called Bainton….with a KEEP OUT  ! sign. We had to stop.


They weren’t sure why they had to KEEP OUT ! of this tiny but interesting area so they needed a better look. They might not really need to KEEP OUT ! , maybe ?  🙂

It looked like a hole with a cage in it. Was there a big bear down there ?


Ah, mystery solved.


Mum likes wool and that comes from sheep, doesn’t it, so we should tell Mum all about this when we get back to the car.

And they did, and all about how hard it was to climb all those fences and trees today and how nice it was to find a bench that belonged to the Queen…..and it had been quite hard to climb up on that too..

20170314_141209 ..and how sleepy they were now, back in the warm car, in the late afternoon sunshine.


And then they both went very quiet for the rest of the journey home 🙂



Joe has a secret..

Joe’s been practising a special song  on his guitar all week. So far only Ted has heard it.20161127_172906

We think he might have a special someone to play it for because he’s just asked permission to leave off practising and go out to the post-box. He put on his new, extra cosy winter jumper and disappeared…





He wasn’t out for very long because it’s cold and frosty here today and when he came back he had a pink glow to his cheeks  🙂

Bean pickin’

The beans pods are turning yellow and dry and perfect for podding. We’ve podded and frozen lots of beans over the last few weeks and today we picked another basketful along with a few raspberries, the last of the outdoor chili peppers and a small cabbage. 20160924_123852The kids thought they’d worked hard all morning, climbing bean poles and braving prickly raspberry canes so they climbed into the basket for a rest and said they’d never bean so comfortable.20160924_123230These are funny little beans !20160924_123223They can’t have many beans in them. I’m going to try one and see if they’re nice…

I really think you should check with Mum first ! 20160924_123212

And luckily he did. Instead the kids made campfire tea with their very own Gwenda kettle they’d brought from home. It was a very breezy day today and the fire took a while to start but soon they had  a fire and a cup of tea to warm them up.

It’s bean a very nice day, they both agreed 🙂20160924_120524


Harvest time

20160918_125054Joe and Hannah came along to the allotment to help me pick beans and pumpkins today. The spirit was willing but there’s only so much a 16″ vinyl kid can lift and pull. There are so many berries to pick we don’t know where to start…20160918_125215We picked sloes too but the kids are too young to understand what we do with them.

They were keen to see how big the pumpkin was….and what colour it was….would it be orange enough ? 🙂20160907_170748Yes it would !! They took their mini pumpkins along for comparison. The little ones are for their Halloween party. Now, if it’s ready to pick, how will we move it ?20160918_122140Well I can lift the little ones…20160918_122128I don’t think I can lift this by myself………Mum ?20160918_122121Ok, now what do I do ?20160918_122700Hannah ….?20160918_122825How do we do this ?20160918_122832Puuuullll!!

The beans were a lot easier. Again it just needed a little cooperation..20160918_124831I can pick them if you can catch them20160918_124905Ok, that’s filled the basket so that’s enough for today.20160918_124749Let’s check the tomatoes……yikes…what’s happened?20160905_133907They all got blight…every single one had to be pulled up and burned…..the kids didn’t have to pick them, Mum did it this time. No chutney this year. This was a few years ago…

Nothing like that this year. Ah well, there’s always next year.

So we had another bonfire 🙂20160814_131822



And Rufus came too..

Rufus doesn’t like being left at home when the kids come with me to the veg patch so today he was allowed to come with us, as long as he promised not to dig any holes in the wrong place….like all over the place ! …like last time. He promised.20160829_121027He really enjoyed picking the squash that were ready and got very attached to the big orange one that looked just like his ball at home.20160829_121031

Do you think Mum would mind if we played football with it ?   He won’t let go !20160829_121058

I know she’d mind. I don’t think pumpkins like being kicked around like a football. Let’s find him something else to play with..20160829_122752You can help us put these in the basket Rufus, look, they all have a handle  🙂20160829_122840He’s more interested in these little tomato ‘balls’ now …let’s keep him away from the big ones..20160826_182049Rufus was beginning to think this was no fun at all. There were no real balls. Until he thought of playing Hide and Seek. He forgot to tell Hannah and Joe that they were all playing though. Hannah went off to see if the beans were big enough to pick.20160829_125540She thought they were so she went to look for Rufus to give him his very own job to do. But where was he now? Not digging a big hole I hope..20160829_130930She asked the dragonfly if he’d seen Rufus. He’d been watching them carefully. He said he did know where Rufus was and that Hannah just had to go back to the last place she’d seen him.20160829_123219And there he was. He’d been hiding in the basket and then found he couldn’t get himself out. How long have you been in there? asked Hannah.20160829_123231Ever since we started playing Hide and Seek but I’d like to get out now.20160829_123137Oh, we’re sorry….we didn’t even know we were playing. We didn’t mean to go off and leave you.20160829_123122We have the perfect job for you to do. Do you remember Joe’s wheelbarrow ? Of course Rufus remembered it…and he suddenly remembered he wanted a turn being pushed around the plot in it !   20160829_125454-1Faster ! Faster !20160829_125438-1

Faster !20160829_125415-1Ok, once more round the plot then we have to do some jobs !  Hannah has a good one for you. Ok Rufus, I need you to stack these pots up tidily… 20160829_125118-1What ? That’s not a job for a Rufus !! What kind of a Rufus stacks plant pots tidily ??20160829_125031Meanwhile Hannah and Joe went to check the big pumpkin..20160829_125727-1Well Mum, it’s a bit of a jungle in here. We (you) really need to clear some of this so we can find the pumpkins, btw. I knew I shouldn’t have let her have a mobile phone. But look, it’s starting to turn orange !!! It will definitely be ready for Halloween  🙂 !!20160829_125733And just look at the leeks we planted a couple of weeks ago !20160829_123734They’re much bigger because of all the rain we had this week.20160829_123649And even the cabbages we planted last week are twice as big. Mum wants us to stay here and scare away the Cabbage White butterflies. 20160829_123449 She says they can get through the nets and lay their eggs and then the caterpillars hatch and eat all the cabbages so we have to make lots of noise and run up and down ! That’s something we’re good at. That’s also something that Rufus is good at. Where’s Rufus ?20160828_111518-1They went to ask the duck family at the end of the plot if they’d seen Rufus….they hadn’t.20160829_130722-1They found Rufus near the pots he was meant to be tidying. Instead of that job, he’d found a much better one. He was a wheelbarrow dog now. Even a wheelbarrow full of beans. Actually it was a bit of a struggle to push, but that pile of untidy pots was in the way.20160829_130801-1Do you need any help Rufus ?20160829_131431-1You are a good boy ! Mum will say you’ve worked very hard. It’s time to go home now. Can you push that all the way to the car ?  🙂