Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I've Won an Award!!

This weekend I was hoping to get outside to do plenty in the garden and then write about it here. Unfortunately the weather has been horrible so I did hardly anything. This has left me with a serious case of "blogger's block" and nothing to say.

Fortunately, Rosie at Realising the Dream came to the rescue and gave me an award! I am deeply honoured. This is the Best Blog award which is an award from one blog to another to say "Well Done! Big Thumbs Up! Love the Blog!". Thanks again to Rosie - I love your blog and visit regularly.

Here are the rules for this award:

1. Anyone awarded with this one must pass this “BEST BLOG” Award to 15 bloggers who he/she thinks have the best and greatest blogs.
For the new awardee…

2. To receive and accept this award.
Copy and save the award
Make a post in your blog about the award, like this one, but write in your own words, or at least a reasonable facsimile.
In your post, mention the name of the blogger who awarded you, and include a link to their blog.

So here are my 15:

Adventures in Permaculture
Randy and Meg's Garden Paradise
Nature With Me
A Yard Full 2- I can't seem to leave a comment on this blog so I do hope you happen to drop by and see this!
Idaho Small Goat Garden
My Vegetables Garden
Fenland Textile Studio
Freaky Frugalite
Crazy Mom With 4 Boys

OK, so that's only 9, but  it looks like many of the blogs I like have already received it and I am not able to give you 6 more without spending ages scouring the web to find more that I like. Anyway, go visit these and see what you think.

Monday, November 16, 2009

When to Plant Garlic: Autumn, Winter or Spring?

I know it is not very socially acceptable, but I do like garlic! My favourite has to be whole cloves roasted in olive oil - these are great with salad or with roast vegetables. Ever since I have started growing vegetables I have grown garlic. Most years I have simply bought standard garlic bulbs, split them into cloves and then planted the individual cloves about a foot apart. I have also tried buying specially treated garlic bulbs for sowing - these cost three times as much and do not perform any better. All you have to do is wait until the tops start to die back in mid summer (usually late July here in the UK), then dig them up and let them dry in the sun . Easy!!

I have always planted mine in March, but the last couple of years results have been a little disappointing. In this year my garlic crop was simply pathetic! I found that all that happened is that the cloves became slightly bigger and rounder, but did not split into individual cloves. Many people plant garlic in Autumn or Winter. In fact the saying goes "plant on the shortest day, harvest on the longest day". I had intended to plant some this weekend just gone, but didn't quite get around to it. So this weekend I must get them in. The worst thing would be for me to leave it too long and the ground become frozen.

So, what do you think? Plant garlic Autumn, Winter or Spring?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Seals at Donna Nook ......and Fireworks!

Yesterday, rather than spending the day in the garden (as I probably should do) we took a trip up to Donna Nook on the Lincolnshire coast. Every year during November and December, hundreds of grey seals come up onto the beach here to give birth. We have always said that we must go and pay a visit some time, but some how we haver never got around to it.

I am not sure at what point it reaches its peak, but this weekend the wardens had counted around 250 seals and 150 pups just on this small stretch of beach. It is all fenced off so as to keep visitors and seals safe, but as you can see, you can get pretty close.

At other times Donna Nook is used by the RAF to practice their bombing. So in the middle of where the seals were was this rather worrying sign:

Anyway, we rounded off our day with going to see to stand in the freezing cold (no rain this year) and watch a firework display. A very busy day!