Saturday, 31 October 2015

Seeds - everywhere!

A dry day and I've been rushing round collecting seeds which are now reposing in bags and boxes around the house to finish drying before I store them away ready for sowing next year. Some will also be given as small Christmas presents to friends - pop them inside a small jar which you have decorated with glass paints, tie a label with a piece of pretty ribbon round its neck and voila! a gift which even Kirstie Allsop wouldn't sniff at.
As well as seeds on the allotment and garden, Archie and Angel have also been doing their own fair share of seed collecting while out on walks - and amazing just how many they pick up considering how short and close their single coats are. They still manage to get a few cleaver burrs stuck to them, and sometimes bigger ones between foot pads. Archie also seems to get beech mast wedged in there too, hopping along most uncomfortably until I spot the problem and remove it for him. When it is chilly enough for them to wear their fleece coats, even more seeds and burrs get stuck to them, and the other day I discovered that Angel had even managed to get a dozen or so burrs firmly stuck to the inside of her jacket, where they must have itched like anything. So do check your dog carefully after walks, especially if he has longer fur, as it doesn't take long for the hairs to mat up into a knot which can only be removed with scissors!
Here we go gathering .... er... burrs in October ....

Monday, 19 October 2015

Beware ...

Apologies if posts are a bit erratic at the moment - apart from it being a busy time of year trying to tidy up in the garden and allotment before winter sets in, I've been busy - assisted by office assistants and head gardeners Archie and Angel - promoting Haunting Hounds (about which I blogged last week) and trying to get a bunch of papier mache hounds finished and posted off to their new owners. They are being auctioned in aid of Kim's Home, a terrific cause ... you can find out more on Facebook or the website HERE

On the gardening front, lots of fungi have been popping up - I've spotted a lot while out on walks. They are fascinating to look at and rather beautiful in their own way, but bear in mind they can be just as lethal as many garden plants should your dog nibble on them experimentally. Some dogs will try anything ... and very sadly this was illustrated by a post of Facebook earlier this week about Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's Pug Brutus who sadly died following this ... You can read the full post HERE

 It is a real tragedy and our hearts go out to them. It is impossible to keep an eye on your dog for 100% of the time, but this is a very timely reminder to try and minimise hazards by checking yards and gardens for potential hazards on a daily basis - fungi can pop up overnight.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Come and join in!

A slight deviation from gardening this week - I'm busy promoting Haunting Hounds
over the Halloween period as 50% of all profits are donated to Kim's Home - a worthy cause close to my heart.

Haunting Hounds
It is available from Amazon both as an ebook at £2.99 and as a paperback at £6.99 and is, of course suitable for all-year-round reading as well as at Halloween!

You can find out more about the book at its' website

and about Kim's Home

You can also join the fun on their Facebook pages:

Friday, 9 October 2015

A garden visitor

A visitor has taken up residence in the front porch.
Any ideas what sort of caterpillar this is?
Not great pics I'm afraid: my camera is rather basic.
As well as being fuzzy, he has a rather distinctive purple plume on (I assume) his head.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Autumn colour

Well as I remarked in a previous post it's definitely autumnal now - and the foliage is looking stunning this year. I'm not entirely sure I don't love it more than the gaudy spring and summer flowers: one thing's certain, it's definitely putting on a show ... 

With the weather so mellow at the moment, Archie and Angel are enjoying being able to spend more time outside too ... I was lucky enough to interview the lovely Carol Klein recently, and as she remarked, dogs are the perfect gardening companions.