Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Diary of a suburban edible garden, July 2017.

Lots of things have been happening this month in the garden!  Joe filled up my new raised bed, and I've planted the first few things in it!

Diary of a suburban edible garden, July 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculture #suburbanpermaculture #organicgarden #raisedbeds #growyourown #ukgardenblogger

I've popped in some sweetcorn and society garlic plants that have been hanging around a little longer than they should have been, but I hope they'll be happy now.  And I planted a mix of lettuce seed, some borlotto beans, walking onions, rainbow chard and a mix of carrots and spring onions.  Now it's almost full and I want another one!

All the soil to fill this raised bed came from the weedy patch at the back of the garden.  I've been battling against this weedy patch for 2 years, I've cleared the 5 foot nettles away twice, and scared away a family of mice who were hiding in the turf I'd piled up to compost.  But I never quite managed to clear it.  So I asked my husband and he did it in a morning.  And raked it all flat.  And made a little retaining wall from some bricks we keep digging up.  He's too good!

Diary of a suburban edible garden, July 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculture #suburbanpermaculture #organicgarden #raisedbeds #growyourown #ukgardenblogger

You can see how it looked before in the background of this photo,

Diary of a suburban edible garden, July 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculture #suburbanpermaculture #organicgarden #raisedbeds #growyourown #ukgardenblogger

I'm going to cover the soil in the now un-weedy corner with some cardboard for a while to kill of any weeds, then it'll become a fruit tree and fruit bush area.

My other raised bed is doing amazing!  Everything is productive, I've finally had courgettes, and I love my sunflower!

Diary of a suburban edible garden, July 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculture #suburbanpermaculture #organicgarden #raisedbeds #growyourown #ukgardenblogger

Diary of a suburban edible garden, July 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculture #suburbanpermaculture #organicgarden #raisedbeds #growyourown #ukgardenblogger

Our next big job is to get rid of the lawn.  We're going to mow it short, then cover with newspaper or cardboard, then a thick layer of woodchips.  We're happy we won't have to mow the lawn anymore (hurrah!).  Next year when we have the pennies we'll get someone in to do the hard landscaping like the patio, path and maybe the fence.  I know that whoever these future builders will be, they will stomp all over my garden, because the builders who put the fence up on the other side did exactly that and it was very upsetting and damaged my soil and plants.  So I'll wait til that's over before turning my lawn into a garden! 

I spent a long time pruning the weigela and clearing underneath, and I've planted a Japanese anemone and a rudbeckia underneath.  I've had to buy a fair few plants this year, as most of my seedlings were eaten by slugs, but the garden is slowing filling up now.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, July 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculture #suburbanpermaculture #organicgarden #raisedbeds #growyourown #ukgardenblogger

Scuse the mess in my shed, but I just wanted to show you the result of my weed tea brewing.  I put loads of nettles and weeds into a bucket with some water, accidentally left it for 6 weeks rather than 2 (it was super-duperly fermented and fizzy!), then put the liquid into bottles to dilute with water and use as fertiliser during the growing season.  I got 3 bottles full, which is more than enough to last me the year, and I threw the solid bits into the bottom of my new raised bed for extra fertilisation. 

Diary of a suburban edible garden, July 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculture #suburbanpermaculture #organicgarden #raisedbeds #growyourown #ukgardenblogger

Do you like my butterfly deterrents?  Apparently cabbage white butterflies are territorial, so if they see another butterfly in your garden they'll go elsewhere.  The internet says make a little cardboard butterfly, stick it in the ground on a stick, and it'll keep your cabbage safe.  It really works too, there was a cabbage white landing on all my leafy greens, and as soon as I put these out it went away.  Shame I was too late to save my cabbage - it's a caterpillar nursery, but hopefully this will save my chard.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, July 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculture #suburbanpermaculture #organicgarden #raisedbeds #growyourown #ukgardenblogger

The front garden looks a bit rubbishy to be honest, the gravel is so weedy.  We completely look like the scruffy-gits of our road - hopefully one more month of saving up and we can start to get it sorted!

Diary of a suburban edible garden, July 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculture #suburbanpermaculture #organicgarden #raisedbeds #growyourown #ukgardenblogger

I'm quite happy with the back garden, in all it's work-in-progress glory.  I keep reminding myself of several things - it's summer so the weeds Do grow faster than anything else and it will be hard to keep control of them, we're just setting the garden up and it will be hard to get it done, and the gardening is supposed to be relaxing so I'm not going to let the other two things get me down! 

Diary of a suburban edible garden, July 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculture #suburbanpermaculture #organicgarden #raisedbeds #growyourown #ukgardenblogger

Diary of a suburban edible garden, July 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculture #suburbanpermaculture #organicgarden #raisedbeds #growyourown #ukgardenblogger

I've just noticed in the photo above, Joe's little face peeping out between the curtains of the upstairs window! 

Here are some pretty flowers (and a few weeds in the background!)

Diary of a suburban edible garden, July 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculture #suburbanpermaculture #organicgarden #raisedbeds #growyourown #ukgardenblogger

Diary of a suburban edible garden, July 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculture #suburbanpermaculture #organicgarden #raisedbeds #growyourown #ukgardenblogger

How's your garden this month?  Do you have any exciting gardening plans? 




Tuesday, 11 July 2017

What I've been reading.

I find what I read directly correlates to the state of the world.  And in this current climate of Brexit, Trump, Theresa May and the aftermath of a snap general election, I'm sticking with kids books, gardening and tales of TV dogs.  Here's what I've been reading,

What I've been reading.  From UK book blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #bookblogger #librarybooks #reading #bookreviews

Nigel, My Family and other Dogs - Monty Don
Disappointingly this book was neither written by Nigel the dog from Gardener's World, or written from the point of view of Nigel the dog.  Rather it's Monty Don's stories of Nigel and his other pet dogs.  I don't particularly like dogs, but Nigel is my favourite part of Gardener's World and I really liked this book.

What I've been reading.  From UK book blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #bookblogger #librarybooks #reading #bookreviews

The Worst Witch - Jill Murphy
I never read The Worst Witch as a child, but I loved the 90's kids TV programme based on it and wished my school uniform included stripey tights and doc martins.  I love the illustrations in this book too.  Am I definitely too old to go to a boarding school for witches?  

What I've been reading.  From UK book blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #bookblogger #librarybooks #reading #bookreviews

The Rurbanite - Alex Mitchell
If you want to live a more rural life in an urban setting then this book's for you.  There's lots of inspiration for guerilla gardening, community gardens, urban wildlife gardening and all sorts of other eco-friendly things you can do to make your urban space nice and green.  I liked this even though I don't live in a city.

What I've been reading.  From UK book blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #bookblogger #librarybooks #reading #bookreviews

The Twins at St Clare's - Enid Blyton
The Twins at St Clare's series is basically Malory Towers, with different names.  But they're a nice easy read, full of midnight feasts, tricks on teachers and schoolgirl dramas.  Malory Towers has a swimming pool though, which I think makes it the better school.  Swimming is waay better than lacrosse. 

What I've been reading.  From UK book blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #bookblogger #librarybooks #reading #bookreviews

The Tales of Beedle the Bard - J K Rowling
So firstly, this has the most beautiful black and white illustrations, which totally makes it worth reading.  Secondly, if you need to read wizarding fairy tales, with additional commentary and analysis from Prof. Dumbledore, then you should probably read this.  

More things I've been reading,

Emmy and Oliver - Robin Benway  Ollie is kidnapped as a child, and returned to his neighbourhood as a teen, with added romance with the girl next door.

Rat Queens Vol. 1 Sass. and Sorcery - Kurtis J. Wiebe  You definitely want to read a graphic novel about kick ass, violent ladies called 'sass. and sorcery'!

Air Head - Meg Cabot  The plot for this is Weird, in a way I can't say without giving a spolier, but it's still good!

All the Feels - Danika Stone  When her favourite film character is killed off, Liv launches an online campaign to reinstate him, which gets ever so slightly out of control.

What have you been reading?  I'm trying to get through my big pile of library books so I can start re-reading the Harry Potter series!  (It's not going well, I keep adding to my library book pile!)




Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Make one small change, mend the thing.

Making one small change at a time can make becoming eco friendly loads easier.  Lots of small changes add up to a big difference.

Make one small change, mend the thing. By UK eco blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #makedoandmend #repair #zerowaste

I very nearly bought a new steamer pan the other day.  The metal handle on the lid had sheared off and I was opening it in a slightly dangerous manner by sticking a knife under it.  I didn't have another lid that would fit either.  

But I decided, no.  No, I won't put an otherwise perfectly usable pan into landfill and buy a new one (not that I'd have put it in landfill, it would have ended up as plant pots no doubt!  But that still would have been a waste).   

I'm not actually sure how much of a bother mending this was, because husband bought the wooden handle and attached it to the screw that was already in the lid.  I was totally willing to do it even though I have no DIY skills, he just beat me to it.  

Mending your stuff saves resources and money (a new steamer pan costs £25, a wooden knob cost less than £1) and makes you feel very smug indeed.  Now I've just got to get round to mending that hole in my skirt, wobbly table leg, garden gate latch..... have you got anything you can mend and then feel smug about?

Don't forget to check out my other small changes to help you live a greener life!


 
 

Friday, 30 June 2017

My home grown harvest, June 2017.

Things.  Are.  Happening.  In the garden.  It's food.  And I'm growing it. 

My home grown harvest, June 2017.  What I grew in my UK suburban, permaculture garden. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #gardenharvest #organicgarden #raisedbeds #ukgardenblogger

This has been my best year so far for growing my own, and I'm really seeing the potential for being able to grow loads more as the garden progresses over the next couple of years.  My new raised bed in the back garden has been amazing and I want more!

I have so much lettuce, and so many peas.  The yellow mange tout I planted has been prolific.  Unfortunately they're not as tasty as the less prolific purple mange tout I planted last year, but happily the purple ones have self seeded so I have some of those too!

My home grown harvest, June 2017.  What I grew in my UK suburban, permaculture garden. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #gardenharvest #organicgarden #raisedbeds #ukgardenblogger

My home grown harvest, June 2017.  What I grew in my UK suburban, permaculture garden. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #gardenharvest #organicgarden #raisedbeds #ukgardenblogger

My home grown harvest, June 2017.  What I grew in my UK suburban, permaculture garden. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #gardenharvest #organicgarden #raisedbeds #ukgardenblogger

My home grown harvest, June 2017.  What I grew in my UK suburban, permaculture garden. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #gardenharvest #organicgarden #raisedbeds #ukgardenblogger

My home grown harvest, June 2017.  What I grew in my UK suburban, permaculture garden. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #gardenharvest #organicgarden #raisedbeds #ukgardenblogger

My favourite lettuce is this one, I'm not entirely sure what it is because I mixed some lettuce seed together without noting down what I was using, but it's huge and delicious.

My home grown harvest, June 2017.  What I grew in my UK suburban, permaculture garden. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #gardenharvest #organicgarden #raisedbeds #ukgardenblogger

I've had far too many mange tout to eat, so I've been blanching it in boiling water (about a minute - minute and a half is right for mange tout, it's probably not right, but I've just been doing odd handfuls in a mug of boiling water!), then drying and popping into a sterilised jar in the freezer to use in stir fries in the winter.

My home grown harvest, June 2017.  What I grew in my UK suburban, permaculture garden. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #gardenharvest #organicgarden #raisedbeds #ukgardenblogger

I've been enjoying garlic scapes, wet garlic and some unsuccessful elephant garlic (won't bother with that one again, I've included my finger in the photo for scale! It wasn't strong tasting enough for me either!)

My home grown harvest, June 2017.  What I grew in my UK suburban, permaculture garden. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #gardenharvest #organicgarden #raisedbeds #ukgardenblogger

My home grown harvest, June 2017.  What I grew in my UK suburban, permaculture garden. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #gardenharvest #organicgarden #raisedbeds #ukgardenblogger

My home grown harvest, June 2017.  What I grew in my UK suburban, permaculture garden. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #gardenharvest #organicgarden #raisedbeds #ukgardenblogger

 It's been my best year for strawberries.  I'm so happy!

My home grown harvest, June 2017.  What I grew in my UK suburban, permaculture garden. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #gardenharvest #organicgarden #raisedbeds #ukgardenblogger

My home grown harvest, June 2017.  What I grew in my UK suburban, permaculture garden. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #gardenharvest #organicgarden #raisedbeds #ukgardenblogger

My home grown harvest, June 2017.  What I grew in my UK suburban, permaculture garden. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #gardenharvest #organicgarden #raisedbeds #ukgardenblogger

My home grown harvest, June 2017.  What I grew in my UK suburban, permaculture garden. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #gardenharvest #organicgarden #raisedbeds #ukgardenblogger

We've been picking home grown herbs all spring and summer too, rosemary, thyme and sage are our favourites and Joe makes amazing herby roast potatoes.

My home grown harvest, June 2017.  What I grew in my UK suburban, permaculture garden. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukpermaculture #gardenharvest #organicgarden #raisedbeds #ukgardenblogger


How are your gardens?  Are you harvesting anything exciting?





Thursday, 29 June 2017

Diary of a suburban edible garden, June 2017.

My wish came true and there's a frog in the garden.  Nowhere near the little pond I made though!  I think he was hiding in the long grass and we disturbed him when Joe mowed the lawn.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, June 2017.  By UK permaculture garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #ukpermaculturegarden

I was leaving the lawn long this year, but I think I saw a rat so I'm getting rid of any ratty hidey places.  It's a shame because we've had lovely wildlife this year, big beetles, all sorts of bees and wasps and insects, sparrows, and this little frog, and I think they've all been using the long grass to hide in. 

Joe's been giving me a hand this week and the garden's looking a bit neater and nicer. There are a few piles of grass about waiting to go into the compost bin and I still haven't finished painting the fence, but there are definitely less weeds!

Diary of a suburban edible garden, June 2017.  By UK permaculture garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #ukpermaculturegarden

Our second raised bed has been placed on the lawn and is waiting to be filled.  I was going to have a raised bed at the front and one at the back of the lawn, but it just didn't feel right.  About a week ago I had a total rethink of how I want to design the garden, drew a new plan and now I'm super excited to get going.  The whole back half of the garden is going to be fruit trees and bushes and shrubs, and the front half will be the raised veg beds and mostly cottage garden style planting with fruit and veg interspersed through.  When we can afford to do the hard landscaping I want to curve the path to the right, where we'll have a studio shed, and plant a tree in the middle of the end of the garden so there's a nice central focal point. 

Anyway, Joe's put the new raised bed in the lawn, and dug a little trench for it so it sits level, as the lawn is really slope-y and bumpy.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, June 2017.  By UK permaculture garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #ukpermaculturegarden

As you can see the other raised bed is doing so good!  I've only fertilised it once too and I'm only watering using the ollas and a couple of wine bottle waterers.  I slightly regret planting two courgettes in there because they've got huge, but at least I think I'll have some courgettes this year!

I've never grown borlotti beans before, aren't they beautiful?

Diary of a suburban edible garden, June 2017.  By UK permaculture garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #ukpermaculturegarden

I'm growing rat's tail radish this year too and it's a lot bigger and taller than I expected.  It has lots of flowers, and I'm waiting for them to form seed pods, which are the edible part.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, June 2017.  By UK permaculture garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #ukpermaculturegarden

In the front garden the raised beds are doing good, but I'm not planting anything new in them because we're going to change up the front garden too. 

Diary of a suburban edible garden, June 2017.  By UK permaculture garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #ukpermaculturegarden

We going to change the gravel, put in new round raised beds and a half barrow pond, a wheely bin store with a green roof and these wooden raised beds will move to the other side of the front garden. 

I bought some exciting new plants this month, there are lots of gaps to fill after slugs ate all my summer seedlings!

Diary of a suburban edible garden, June 2017.  By UK permaculture garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #ukpermaculturegarden

Other nice plants in the garden this month, this huge fern, pretty calendula, self seeded hypericum, lavender with very yellow nasturtiums behind and lovely sage with slightly pink tips.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, June 2017.  By UK permaculture garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #ukpermaculturegarden

Diary of a suburban edible garden, June 2017.  By UK permaculture garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #ukpermaculturegarden

Diary of a suburban edible garden, June 2017.  By UK permaculture garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #ukpermaculturegarden

Diary of a suburban edible garden, June 2017.  By UK permaculture garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #ukpermaculturegarden

Diary of a suburban edible garden, June 2017.  By UK permaculture garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #ukpermaculturegarden


How's your garden this month? 


 
 

Friday, 23 June 2017

Photo an hour, June 2017.

Saturday the 17th was photo an hour day, in Susieland this is an excellent date because it's nice and neat, 17/6/17 - I always think I'll have a better day when the date's a nice number.  Here are my photos.

Photo an hour in organised by Jane and Louisa, anyone can join in and post their hourly photos on social media throughout the day tagging them #photoanhour.  Why don't you join in next time?
 
10am -  Feeling very hayfever-y so I took a long time to wake up - sofa + tissues + weetabix in the meantime.


11am - Plan for today involved doing at least 3 loads of washing so it can dry in the sunshine.  I think this makes me officially old. 

 
12pm - I pulled a few weeds up in the garden and admired these pretty flowers. 

 
1pm - I regretted my choice to go to the market, it was suuuuuuper hot, but 2 older ladies stopped me to say they liked my dress, so that was something. 

 
2pm - My lunch is home-grown salad, and couscous with chickpeas. 
 
 

3pm - Second lot of washing out, third lot of washing in.  Not the most exciting of days. 


7pm - I lost a couple of hours to a nap, then woke up really sleepy and out of it.  But I still managed to watch Doctor Who.


8pm - Watering the pots outside just as the light caught this pretty foxglove. 


9pm - I wanted to watch this when it came out, but no cinemas near me showed it, thanks to Netflix I got to watch it at last! 

 
Did you take part this time?  How was your day?



 
 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Garden visit, the forest garden at CAT.

Garden visits it a blog series where I visit gardens then blog about them! 

We're back at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in Macynlleth again, there's too much there for one blog post! 

I loved the Forest Garden at CAT.  Forest gardening is something I'm super interested in and something that I intend to incorporate, on a small scale, into my garden.  Basically, forest gardening is a way of working with nature to grow food crops.  If you visit a woodland you'll see trees, shrubs and ground cover plants all growing together, they don't get watered or fertilized by human hand, but they still grow big and healthy.  What I've read about permaculture says that nature hates bare soil.  Nature will send in lots of things to cover bare soil, annual and perennial weeds, shrubs and trees.  Any ground left uncovered and uncultivated for long will turn itself into a mini forest and grow quite happily and abundantly.  So forest gardening uses these principals and tweaks them for human use, by choosing the right plant species, to grow low maintenance and abundant food forests that benefit people, wildlife and the environment.

Anywho, the Forest Garden at CAT is fairly small, but I think that's a good thing as it shows what's do-able in an average sized garden.

Garden visit, the forest garden at CAT.  From UK eco friendly and garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #forestgarden #organicgarden #nodiggarden #centreforalternativetechnology #garden #gardenblogger

Garden visit, the forest garden at CAT.  From UK eco friendly and garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #forestgarden #organicgarden #nodiggarden #centreforalternativetechnology #garden #gardenblogger

There are lovely old apple trees, underplanted with gooseberry and currant bushes and perennial food, flowers and herbs.

Garden visit, the forest garden at CAT.  From UK eco friendly and garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #forestgarden #organicgarden #nodiggarden #centreforalternativetechnology #garden #gardenblogger

I loved the perennial salad area.  Growing perennial crops, rather than annuals, is another important idea in permaculture and forest gardening.  The idea is that perennials can grow better root structures and be more productive because they're longer lasting plants.  Perennials are also lower maintenance, they don't need to be sown or bought every year like annuals.  Growing perennials disturbs the soil less too, you're not yanking them out of the ground at the end of the season, so they're better for no dig gardens.  

Garden visit, the forest garden at CAT.  From UK eco friendly and garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #forestgarden #organicgarden #nodiggarden #centreforalternativetechnology #garden #gardenblogger

Garden visit, the forest garden at CAT.  From UK eco friendly and garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #forestgarden #organicgarden #nodiggarden #centreforalternativetechnology #garden #gardenblogger

Garden visit, the forest garden at CAT.  From UK eco friendly and garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #forestgarden #organicgarden #nodiggarden #centreforalternativetechnology #garden #gardenblogger

Garden visit, the forest garden at CAT.  From UK eco friendly and garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #forestgarden #organicgarden #nodiggarden #centreforalternativetechnology #garden #gardenblogger

Garden visit, the forest garden at CAT.  From UK eco friendly and garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #forestgarden #organicgarden #nodiggarden #centreforalternativetechnology #garden #gardenblogger

Garden visit, the forest garden at CAT.  From UK eco friendly and garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #forestgarden #organicgarden #nodiggarden #centreforalternativetechnology #garden #gardenblogger

Garden visit, the forest garden at CAT.  From UK eco friendly and garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #forestgarden #organicgarden #nodiggarden #centreforalternativetechnology #garden #gardenblogger

There's an edible flower selection too, including things like pink purslane, creeping bellflower, snow garlic, ladies smock and campanula persicifolia. 

Garden visit, the forest garden at CAT.  From UK eco friendly and garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #forestgarden #organicgarden #nodiggarden #centreforalternativetechnology #garden #gardenblogger

Wild strawberries are used lots as ground cover. 

Garden visit, the forest garden at CAT.  From UK eco friendly and garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #forestgarden #organicgarden #nodiggarden #centreforalternativetechnology #garden #gardenblogger

And around the back of the forest garden are more fruit bushes and a beautiful carpet of something with blue flowers that was attracting a crazy amount of bees.  It wasn't labelled but if I had to guess I'd say it was maybe either vipers bugloss or hyssop.

Garden visit, the forest garden at CAT.  From UK eco friendly and garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #forestgarden #organicgarden #nodiggarden #centreforalternativetechnology #garden #gardenblogger

Garden visit, the forest garden at CAT.  From UK eco friendly and garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #forestgarden #organicgarden #nodiggarden #centreforalternativetechnology #garden #gardenblogger

This is what CAT's website says about it's forest garden, 

"A truly ecological way of growing food. In a forest garden, the plants grow under and over, in and among each other. It is designed so that the plants help each other grow - with trees providing shade to shade-lovers, ground covers suppressing the weeds, and nitrogen fixing plants increasing the fertility. It has the same multilayered structure as a woodland, but all the plants are edible or useful. Check out our string plant and our creeping raspberry."

Here's the string plant, in case you're curious! 

Garden visit, the forest garden at CAT.  From UK eco friendly and garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #forestgarden #organicgarden #nodiggarden #centreforalternativetechnology #garden #gardenblogger

You can read more about the Forest Garden at CAT on their website

Garden visit, the forest garden at CAT.  From UK eco friendly and garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #forestgarden #organicgarden #nodiggarden #centreforalternativetechnology #garden #gardenblogger

PS.  In case you missed it, here's my post about the allotments and polytunnels at CAT.







Friday, 16 June 2017

Charity shopping.

Going on holiday means new and different charity shops to explore!  

Charity shopping. From UK charity shop blogger, secondhandsusie.blogspot.com Featuring retro bedding, pyre and Sylvac pottery. #charityshopping

I couldn't walk past this pair of retro pillowcases!
Retro pillowcases, £1.49, Aberystwyth charity shop (can't remember which one!).

Charity shopping. From UK charity shop blogger, secondhandsusie.blogspot.com Featuring retro bedding, pyre and Sylvac pottery. #charityshopping

Joe spotted this cute little mirror for me when he was rooting through a basket of stuff.  It was 10p!  10p!!!
Retro Holly Hobby-esque mirror, 10p, CRAFT second hand shop, Aberystwyth.

And that's all I bought on my holidays, I'm trying to cut down on my spending and the amount of stuff we have in this house (which is way too much!).  But that didn't stop me from having a little look in the charity shops at home too,

Charity shopping. From UK charity shop blogger, secondhandsusie.blogspot.com Featuring retro bedding, pyre and Sylvac pottery. #charityshopping

For some reason this was in the children's section of the shop, which is wrong, because it's for me! 
Wooden necklace, 25p, local Cottage Hospice charity shop. 

Charity shopping. From UK charity shop blogger, secondhandsusie.blogspot.com Featuring retro bedding, pyre and Sylvac pottery. #charityshopping

If I see a big, cheap, pretty dish I usually buy it to use in my greenhouse or conservatory to grow my seeds in.  There's no need for ugly, plasticy plant growing in my life!
Pyrex dish, £1, local Salvation Army charity shop.

Charity shopping. From UK charity shop blogger, secondhandsusie.blogspot.com Featuring retro bedding, pyre and Sylvac pottery. #charityshopping

So, I'll admit to not really knowing what this is intended to be.  A big serving dish, a planter?  I think we all know it's going to become a planter.  I can't find any info on it online, or anything or a smiliar size (it's at least a foot long!), but it's Sylvac and it was relatively cheap and so fifties looking I had to lug it home with me. 
Sylvac big dish, marked 3817, £8, local Shelter charity shop.


Have you had any luck in the charity shops lately?
 
P.S. Check out my other charity shop posts for more!