Friday, 27 March 2015

Tap, tap, tap ...

Very busy writing at the moment - I am putting together an eight part series of articles on dog-friendly gardening for Your Dog magazine. I'm really enjoying it, but it does eat into the time I should be spending actually doing some gardening at a time of year when everything is poised ready for action. I was relieved to see that Monty Don said as much in one of his books - to quote: "... I spent more time writing about this garden than actually gardening." While I'm not in the same league as Monty Don, at least it would appear that I'm in good company in that respect! I did manage to rush up to the allotment to get the broad beans in, and this weekend am planning to get the parsnips in before it gets to be too late - that happened one year and we did miss them through the winter, roasted, creamed, mashed with carrot and of course in soups - spicy, or with a dash of horseradish or - my favourite - with apple. 
Anyway, I need to get back to composing the next article: May is done but I really should crack on with June now ...  This may mean that until the series is completed, over the next month the posts on this blog will be a little erratic, but I shall of course carry on posting on Facebook (, so do carry on looking in there as well as here! And of course, please add your comments or share your doggy and/or gardening tips!

Archie and Angel doing a little sunbathing - indoors as they reckon it is still
a bit cold outside for lounging around

Dog friendly gardening - the book!
Click HERE for link

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Out with the old and on with the new!

This has been one of the most comfortable pairs of boots I've had for ages - easy to pull on and kick off at the door, just as nice to walk the dogs in or on the yard, and equally at home on the allotment. My boots have to multi-function, so get a pretty tough life.
Alas, after a year they are no longer in good shape: I have run out of cycle puncture repair patches and the time has finally come to throw them out.
I went off to my usual shop - an equestrian outfit - and as usual when I go to replace my boots, they no longer stocked any of this model. I knew I should have bought two pairs ...

I ended up buying two new pairs, although different: a pair of lace-ups with thermal linings and room for extra socks during cold weather, and a pair of Joules half wellies. The latter were really a bit of an impulse buy, but I just loved the rabbits - or possibly hares -  on them.

So now that I once again have warm, dry feet there is no excuse for not cracking on at the allotment - although it would be nice if I could take Archie and Angel there with me. There is a ban on dogs on our site, and I have been looking at the photos posted on Facebook by a fellow allotmenteer who loves in a different area with a more enlightened parish council, with envy. She has half a dozen whippets who snuggle into beds and sunbathe while she works.  Whereas I feel guilty having to leave my guys at home instead of letting them join in the fun with me ...

Don't forget it's the solar eclipse this morning - I'm told it starts at 8.45am, peaking at 9.31 am and finishing at 10.41 am ... 

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Planting up time

Another sign that spring is here - the garden centres are full to bursting with bedding plants ... I was unable to resist the appeal and have just planted up my first planter. You can of course, buy ready made ones from supermarkets, often much more cheaply than doing your own, but it's not half so much fun. And of course, you get the plants of your choice.

This one is destined for my partner's special plot at Hughenden: next I shall be thinking about bedding plants to brighten up the special parts of the garden where Lisa, Fern and Boris are. They already have year-round plants marking their spots, but I like to add some special splashes of colour during the warm months too. It's lovely to be able to do this, a time when as I weed and plant, I also spend time thinking of the ones I have loved and who have gone before.
Although there is inevitably a sadness, there are also lots of happy memories, and if a tear is sometimes shed, there are smiles too. There is something very therapeutic about being able to select and plant flowers in memory of a loved one too: I suspect it is not just about the act of commemoration but because it gives you something physical and tangible to do for someone who is no longer around to be cared for.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

A bit busy

Whoops ... a little disorganized on the blog front this week - partly because the weather has been lovely (apart from the odd hail shower) so I've been busy trying to catch up on the allotment. I just wish the parish council would lift their ban on allowing dogs there too as it would be nice to take Archie and Angel with me instead of having to leave them at home. Several plot holders have dogs and we are all well behaved and wouldn't dream of allowing them to run amok, so I don't see what the problem is! Even a trial period to show that we don't run riot would be welcome ...
I'm also disorganized due to being busy working on an exciting new series for Your Dog magazine - it is due to start in the May  issue (which comes out in April) - I'll tell you more about it in the next few weeks!
So in the meantime let us simply show you our own interpretation of that amazing weasel-flying-on-a -woodpecker photo that has taken the world by storm this week ... (No whippets or stuffed squeaky toy stoats were hurt during the taking of these photos.)