Sunday, 8 September 2019

Charity shopping.

I'm trying to stop so much stuff coming into my house, but sometimes I can't resist!

Charity shop finds from UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #secondhand #holliehobbie #kilncraftmidas #leparfaitjar

My mum gave me this, I assume it came from her charity shop, I LOVE it! 
Le Parfait jar, present, local Oxfam shop.

Charity shop finds from UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #secondhand #holliehobbie #kilncraftmidas #leparfaitjar

I usually by the mustard colourway of this crockery, but I couldn't resist this because it was super duper cheap!
Kilncraft Midas bowl, 25p, local Samaritans charity shop. 

Charity shop finds from UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #secondhand #holliehobbie #kilncraftmidas #leparfaitjar

I bought myself a jar of wooden beads.  I have a craft in mind for them where they'll become heads!
Jar of beads, £1.75, local Hope House charity shop.

Charity shop finds from UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #secondhand #holliehobbie #kilncraftmidas #leparfaitjar

Excuse this awkward photo of this item being held aloft, it was the best lighting I could get!  I was walking down the high street and this was outside one of the charity shops.  It didn't have a price and I paid a bit more than I'd usually pay, but the money goes to a good cause so I can't really complain.
Bamboo plant stand, £5, local Air Ambulance charity shop. 

Charity shop finds from UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #secondhand #holliehobbie #kilncraftmidas #leparfaitjar

Charity shop finds from UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #secondhand #holliehobbie #kilncraftmidas #leparfaitjar

Charity shop finds from UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #secondhand #holliehobbie #kilncraftmidas #leparfaitjar

I fell down a bit of a nostalgic Hollie Hobbie internet hole last month, then searched for Hollie Hobbie on eBay, then found this and bought it and I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but I really love it! 
Vintage Hollie Hobbie single duvet cover, £5, eBay.

Have you found any excellent bargains lately? 





Sunday, 1 September 2019

I (ahem, we) got an allotment.

Today I am the happiest girl in the world.  I have an allotment! 

I got an allotment!  By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #allotment #ukallotmentgarden #newallotment #gardenblogger #allotmentblogger

I've known for a little while that we were going to get it, but I didn't want to say anything to jinx it, and I didn't have a definite date, so I've been keeping hopefully quiet with my fingers firmly crossed for the last couple of months.

I got an allotment!  By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #allotment #ukallotmentgarden #newallotment #gardenblogger #allotmentblogger

AND IT IS BEAUTIFUL! 

Would you like to know the story of how we got our allotment?  (I'm going to assume you've said yes!)

When Joe and I were on holiday in May we decided to bite the bullet and put our name on the council waiting list for the allotments in our town, which are conveniently located right behind our house. I'd wanted one for years, but we've been busy with house stuff and life stuff and I wanted Joe to be on board to help with the heavy jobs!  When we got home I emailed the council to ask to be put on the list, only to be told it was closed.  There are currently 10 people waiting and no one's left the allotment site for years.  Cue big sighs and resigning ourselves to waiting for years and years to get an allotment. 

But then I remembered that there are a few public allotments at our local National Trust property, which is also conveniently located right behind our house.  I was a garden volunteer there, for about 5 years when I finished uni, and my Mum still volunteers in the house now, so I asked her to see if there happened to be a list for the allotments there. 

LUCKILY for me, there was an allotment coming free in the autumn, and the head gardener said we could have it!  It's very sad for the lady who used to have it, she's become to ill to keep it up.  There's still the last of her leeks and beans in, and all the soft fruit is hers, I'm not sure if she'll want to take any of it with her, but Joe's offered to help her dig up anything she wants to take with her.  The lady's paid for the allotment til the end of the year, but is kindly letting us put some stuff in the spaces this year.

I got an allotment!  By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #allotment #ukallotmentgarden #newallotment #gardenblogger #allotmentblogger

I know I am sooo lucky, I know not many people decide to put their name on an allotment list then actually get one 4 months later (albeit on a different site!).  It's more than big enough for us too, to grow potatoes and beans and onions and some pretty flowers.  A little shady, but that's ok.  And there are no weeds!  I quite like the challenge of it being at the National Trust, people pay to visit which is good motivation to keep it tidy and I'm going to research Edwardian allotments so I can make it look right.  

I got an allotment!  By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #allotment #ukallotmentgarden #newallotment #gardenblogger #allotmentblogger

I got an allotment!  By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #allotment #ukallotmentgarden #newallotment #gardenblogger #allotmentblogger

It's super peaceful and beautiful too.  I love these old apple trees (I can't harvest from them because they're used by the Trust, but I can appreciate their gnarled beauty).  I love these gardens where I've spent so many hours gardening.  It was lovely to catch up with the head gardener again.  And the allotment where I started to learn about gardening is still there, just across the path from my own new allotment. 

I got an allotment!  By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #allotment #ukallotmentgarden #newallotment #gardenblogger #allotmentblogger

I am so happy and so lucky and I can't wait to get started! 




Sunday, 28 July 2019

My homegrown harvest, July 2019.

July's been a month of raspberries.  Sooo many raspberries.  I only have autumn fruiting raspberries, but that doesn't seem to be stopping them fruiting now!


I've had loads of greens too, which I've been shredding, wilting in boiled water, then squeezing into little handfuls to freeze, so I can use it later in the year.


We had our first, one and only cherry, it was delicious, the variety is 'sweetheart'.


My 'discovery' apples started falling off the tree so I picked them all, which was a mistake as they're SUPER sour and nowhere near ripe!  They're on the windowsill, I hope they'll soak up some sun and get a bit sweeter. 


I didn't manage to grow any carrots last year so yey for carrots this year!  The variety is 'berlicum' and they're really nice. 


I've also had loads of strawberries, purple snap peas, potatoes, beets, some baby onions and a little baby garlic.







What have you been growing this month?




Sunday, 7 July 2019

Easy green actions and articles.


Here are a few easy online actions and interesting articles to make the world a better, greener, happier, place, 


Sign Friends of the Earth's petition asking to double tree cover in the UK.


Morrisons is introducing a plastic free fruit and veg section, which will save 3 tonnes of plastic packaging per week!



The good old National Trust is going to sell all it's shares in fossil fuels and invest in green and eco companies instead. 






'I have watched and silently wept this spring as trees ready for nesting, forget me nots in full bloom, and buttercups about to burst forth have all been clipped and ripped, torn and shredded. And in their place? Nothing. Under the rules of good husbandry, this sort of pruning and weeding makes your plot look perfect and well-ordered, the soil pleasingly flat and tickled. But I am going to take my feminist rage at this word, husbandry, and rip it up like it has done to the wild things. Enough of this obsession with control and order'

I love this article from Alys Fowler in the Guardian, about how to weed in a wildlife-friendly way.

Here's 7 things you can do to help stop insect decline


A Greenpeace study has found plastic in every single river in the UK, ask your MP to do something about it




Thursday, 4 July 2019

My homegrown harvest, June 2019.

Things are finally growing in my garden!  These are the first potatoes of the year - it was a mix of varieties.  The potatoes aren't quite ready so I just rummaged around in the soil and pulled out some big feeling potatoes without disturbing the plants too much! 

My homegrown harvest, June 2019.  from UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrownharvest #suburbanharvest #growyourown

My homegrown harvest, June 2019.  from UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrownharvest #suburbanharvest #growyourown

I've had my first raspberries.  I'm slightly perturbed that these are my 'autumn bliss' raspberries and they're all coming now!  Is this climate change?  Did I prune them crazy wrong last year?  What will I eat in autumn!?

My homegrown harvest, June 2019.  from UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrownharvest #suburbanharvest #growyourown

The first strawberries have arrived too, I only eat home grown strawbs so these are a proper treat.  The first ever yellow raspberries came, a small total harvest of 5 berries but there's a big cane growing already for next year.  Purple snap peas and tons of kale and chard too.

My homegrown harvest, June 2019.  from UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrownharvest #suburbanharvest #growyourown

I'm trying to keep up with picking and drying home grown herbs this year, I've picked oregano and mint this month to dry.  

My homegrown harvest, June 2019.  from UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrownharvest #suburbanharvest #growyourown

I trimmed the onion tops back and ended up with a washing up bowl full of onion tops!  I washed and chopped them all, froze two boxes full, and popped another box in the fridge to be used up in stir fries, fritters, Joe's omelettes and I made a particularly delicious green onion pancake too.  I thinned out my cabbage seedlings and ate them, because waste not want not. 

My homegrown harvest, June 2019.  from UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrownharvest #suburbanharvest #growyourown

It's all about the berries though this month, I've been out picking them every day! 

My homegrown harvest, June 2019.  from UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrownharvest #suburbanharvest #growyourown

That's about it for this month, have you been harvesting much from the garden this month?




Sunday, 30 June 2019

Dairy of a permaculture (ish) garden, June 2019.

I love it when the foxgloves flower, they're soo beautiful!

Diary of a UK permaculture (ish) garden by UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #raisedbedgarden #frontgardenallotment

Our biggest garden-y excitement this month has been that the driveway is almost finished!  Seven 850kg bags of gravel have been spread (we may have bought one too many, but we've come up with  a plan for it!).  Joe's about to put up a new fence, there's a bin store to build and we want a couple of big pots with something pretty in by the front door (any suggestions - we want something hardy and evergreen and it's mostly shady apart from a few hours of sun in the morning).  I have a new waterbutt too, it's 250 litres and filled in one night - it's been really rainy here!  We've also had new guttering and facias so please note how nice and shiny they are because they cost £1700 (our old ones were asbestos...).

Diary of a UK permaculture (ish) garden by UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #raisedbedgarden #frontgardenallotment

I think the gravel will be slightly less white and a bit more more pale grey once the rain's washed the dust off.  Look at this side path too - I think it's sooo nice!

Diary of a UK permaculture (ish) garden by UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #raisedbedgarden #frontgardenallotment

The front garden raised beds are doing really good!  I've already had my first potatoes and there are beans and peas growing in with the potatoes too.  I've got carrots and beets on the way, and I've trimmed all my onions back because they were hitting the top of their protective mesh (the internet said I could trim them back to 4 inches high a couple of times during the growing season, and it would send more energy into making a bigger bulb, so we shall see).  I've had loads of kale, the sweetcorn is up and my tomatoes and peppers have flowers on them!

Diary of a UK permaculture (ish) garden by UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #raisedbedgarden #frontgardenallotment

Diary of a UK permaculture (ish) garden by UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #raisedbedgarden #frontgardenallotment

Diary of a UK permaculture (ish) garden by UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #raisedbedgarden #frontgardenallotment

Diary of a UK permaculture (ish) garden by UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #raisedbedgarden #frontgardenallotment

I've got little apples on my little apple tree! 

Diary of a UK permaculture (ish) garden by UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #raisedbedgarden #frontgardenallotment

I've got broad beans, peas and borlotto beans in my back garden raised beds.  There are some courgettes in the other raised bed and a lot of weeds too (not pictured!).

Diary of a UK permaculture (ish) garden by UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #raisedbedgarden #frontgardenallotment

Here's the garden in full for posterity. 

Diary of a UK permaculture (ish) garden by UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #raisedbedgarden #frontgardenallotment

How's your garden doing?  Every time I plant a new plant a slug eats it and I'm getting fed up of that, and I had to pull up nearly all of my outside tomatoes because of blight, but otherwise I'm enjoying my garden! 




Sunday, 23 June 2019

Charity shopping.

Technically, I haven't bought any of these things, they were all presents! 

Charity shopping.  From UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #thrifting #secondhand #pyrex #phoenix #kitschkitten #retro

This is Oscar Gerald, he's been sitting in the charity shop window for weeks, unclaimed, until Joe bought him home for us after a particularly poopy week.  
Kitsch kitten, 50p, local Age Concern charity shop. 

Charity shopping.  From UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #thrifting #secondhand #pyrex #phoenix #kitschkitten #retro

My mum got me this awesome bit of vintage woven trim from her charity shop.
Vintage trim, present, local Oxfam shop.

Charity shopping.  From UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #thrifting #secondhand #pyrex #phoenix #kitschkitten #retro

Charity shopping.  From UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #thrifting #secondhand #pyrex #phoenix #kitschkitten #retro

Charity shopping.  From UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #thrifting #secondhand #pyrex #phoenix #kitschkitten #retro

My Aunty Rose (not my biological aunty, but the lovely lady who I lived next door to for 25 years) passed away a little while ago and this is some of the stuff from her house that was deemed not good enough for the charity shop.  It's all a little chipped but I don't mind!  I love the Phoenix flowery dish and the snowflake Pyrex, and I just couldn't see all those glass dishes go to the landfill.  The big clear bowl is Pyrex and I'll use it for baking.  I've also made use of Aunty Rose's colander in the garden.

Charity shopping.  From UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #thrifting #secondhand #pyrex #phoenix #kitschkitten #retro

Charity shopping.  From UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #thrifting #secondhand #pyrex #phoenix #kitschkitten #retro

My Aunty Jenny (my biological aunty this time!) saved these from going into the bin at her charity shop up in Widnes.  There's several meters of woven garland, a little rug and whatever these pretty knitted thingys are.  There was loads more in the bag too, more knitted stuff and socks and gloves, I chose what I wanted and the other stuff went to my mum's charity shop, I believe to be sold by Oxfam at festivals. 

Have you bought, or not bought, anything good from the charity shops lately? 

PS. Check out my other charity shopping posts for more like this!