Walks in the Rain

A birthday party invite last weekend took us out into the pouring rain to drop our little man off for fun in the woods (great party idea by the way). Not having a lot else to do myself, hubby and little lady thought we’d take a nature walk of our own.

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Despite the opening of the heavens we donned our coats and wellies and headed of into the woods in the area of Milltown, Derbyshire, the home of an old quarry “Milltown Quarry”. A gorgeously green and lush area that still bore the marks of quarrying days gone by with some ironworks and tunnels that nature has long since claimed back.

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We came across lots of easily accessible streams which proved a great hit for a paddle (wellies on!) and a huge amount of wild garlic that filled the air with it’s scent, amplified by the rain. Some gorgeous trees and flowers were also spotted (please comment if you know what they are).

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The rain eventually went off and the walkways began steaming, all in all, I think we were reminded of this quote…

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.”
Alfred Wainwright, A Coast to Coast Walk: A Pictorial Guide

…and in future, we’re not going to let a bit of rain stop us from getting out and about!

Sarah.

 

The Allotment in Spring Time! 

A frosty morning in Derbyshire

It’s been a busy time of things here! This spring is the first that I’ve actually been able to get some seeds started ready for the allotment and we’re all finding it very exciting!

Our first spring on the plot was a little less organised, not for lack of hard work, but we just didn’t have enough ground dug to think about much else. This time last year was all about the clearing!

I’m really pleased to say that at this current point in time we are pretty much in top of things! There’s still so much that I’d like to do with the space and obviously get lots of food growing but that feeling of being completely overwhelmed has begun to subside. With my experience gained last year  I now realise that just a couple of weeks of neglect and the weeds will be back in charge so I’m doing my very best not to let that happen!

The past month or so we have managed to get a good amount of seeds started, flowers and veg. I’m going to experiment with getting some started early in our little greenhouses and starting others a little later straight outside. We’ll see!

We’ve managed to start shaping our wildlife area too, this is going to be a fun project that the kids are really enthusiastic about!

I had managed to clear much of my  compost heap, using much of the fab stuff that came from it to shape the area where the pond will be. That was until the very spot was filled with a trailer load off free horse muck! Too good an offer to be fussy about my freshly cleared ground!

I’m not sure if the muck has rotted down enough to use straight where I’m growing but I have plenty of areas that would welcome a good layer of muck mulch, which can be dug in later in the year!

I mentioned to my husband when I wondered how things had changed in life that I was so excited at the prospect of a truckload of free poo!

Soaking the Sweet Peas for Germination

Last year at the allotment there were so many plot holders with such gorgeous sweet peas growing that this year I was determined not to miss out.

  

We have a few spots planned at the allotment for adding in some canes for the sweet peas. I was also planning on having some at home this year, near our driveway gates so that we can sample that gorgeous scent every time we arrive home. Not to mention the display of colour that they give!

  
Earlier in the week I began by “nicking” the hard cases of the seeds in order to allow moisture to penetrate more easily. Today with the kids eager to get started we put them to soak in some tepid water. As advised on the packet, germination will take place around 20 degrees centigrade, we will then grow them on at about 8-10 degrees centigrade.

I’ll let you know how we get on with them!