As busy as a Bee!

It has been a while since I posted here upon the progress of our allotment, as I share more within my Garden Blog Dreamwalker’s Garden along with walks in the countryside. Simply because I am aware of the space I take up now here with my photo’s. So that is why I started my other blog. 

But I wanted to share and maybe introduce others to the wonders of ‘Growing Your Own‘… Also I wish say thank you to all for you wonderful support here at Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary and welcome all those who are new followers here and to my Gardening blog.

Yesterday it was a wonderfully Sunny day, very Spring like. The weather here in the UK has been full of April showers, fluctuating from warm to icy winds, rain and hail, to snow.

So we make ever effort to make use of the fine days to walk and get in the garden.

My Husband is the one who gets all the credit this time of year as he is the one doing all the heavy spade work.. I more or less direct from the side lines, until the planting of crops start. I am the one who prunes, hoe’s up the weeds and collects in the harvests.. So first here is the first photo as the potatoes are now in.

Potato Crops now in

Potato Crops now in We have 3 rows of earlies and 5 rows of late..

And so are the Brassica’s

Brassica's under cover

Brassica’s under cover to protect from egg laying butterflies .

Keeping a plot this size weed free is not easy, and many who take on the allotments are not prepared for the hard work that it takes to keep them maintained.. So we have seen a few who took on allotments only a couple of years ago leave.. Plus a few old friends who have had to give up their allotments due to ill-health.. We were sorry to see a fellow allotmenteer  two plots away say goodbye to his plot simply due to ill-health and him not being able to keep it maintained .. But we bought his shed from him.. My husband managed to take it down, it has to yet be erected to where we want it.. In the mean time its in pieces behind our other shed 

Garden shed

Newer shed soon to be put in place at the side of the other one..

The Peas, Turnips, Beetroot and onion sets are in along with Parsnip too.

The Greenhouse is a hub of growth at the moment too, as is our spare bedroom.. I am growing tomato plants and I am trying this year to grow ‘Egg plants’- Abergines.

Tomato Plants

Tomato Plants

I am especially delighted as 4 of these  Tomato plants are from a yellow cherry tomato I had given me last year from another gardener.. They were so sweet I took the seeds from a ripe tomato and dried the seeds out on some kitchen paper.. I didn’t think they would germinate, but all of them did.

With the weather going from warm to cold so quickly we have rescued a number of bees recently too.. Who have felt the cold and become lethargic.. For more facts about Bumble Bees Visit Here We put this Bee who was hardly moving on our lawn onto our wall flower holder which still has some pansies in.. I went in doors and put a small amount of honey from a fresh honeycomb I had onto a leaf and spoon full in the the holder.  It wasn’t long before his long tongue came out and he was lapping up the energy and he flew away..  Today he along with some other Bee friends have been back 🙂

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To finish off are just a couple of Spring Photos from our Garden.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful week

~Sue~

 

 

 

Patience………

My Orchid started to flower.

My Orchid started to flower.

We have been busy over the last couple of days planting out our veggies.. And all those flowers seed trays you saw, are now nice little plants, I think I must have planted around 60 or more plants this afternoon, the other half will hopefully be in tomorrow..

I loved logging back here on Dreamwalker’s this evening  to see so many comments waiting to be answered.. I appreciate and love all of your visits, and thank all of you who take the time to leave me your Drum Beats..   And hope you will have patience with me if I have not yet visited your blog to those who have taken the time to comment.. 

Here its a Bank Holiday  Long weekend… And I am so tired, I have run out of steam 🙂  I have not even turned on the Computer the last couple of days.. So I am chilling out over the next couple of days..

Above is a Orchid that lay dormant for a year after flowering.. I thought it wouldn’t flower again..

 This one is for you Maria.. I said I would get around to posting eventually!

Orchid 1

Orchid 1 flower

Patience paid off.. I allowed it to feel neglected for a while then watered it and moved to a warmer sunnier position where it started to bloom..

Amazing when we give something our love and attention how it responds.. 🙂

Orchid 2

Orchid 2 flowers

Have a Wonderful Peaceful weekend all of you.. See you next week after I have caught my breath and rested a little.. 

I will leave you with the Link to a  Poem I wrote Last year.. 

Be good to each other.. 

See you Soon.. 

 

Look Within Your Heart 

 Love and Blessings 

Sue 

 

When the Universe speaks, I Listen! Part One

Sometimes the best laid plans are not made by you, but are the direct guidance of the Universe. Have you ever had that feeling where you just know you have to surrender to the flow and see where it takes you?

Well that’s what last week felt like. I had promised my WP friends I would be back to visit them last weekend .However the Universe had other plans.

 

DSC01864My own plans were simple ones.. I needed a few days Computer Free to catch up with some unfinished projects.. The first one being a little jacket I made for my Daughter’s Step Daughter’s new baby girl. So technically that makes me a Step Great Gran!  My other knitting project I also finished. 

This was a cardigan for myself.

Knitted Cardigan

Knitted Cardigan

 

The other projects centred around the allotments and we had already planted seeds in seed trays which were sprouting. But the allotments needed digging which Hubby did, and I set too and helped plant the onion and shallots.

Onions and Shallots planted

Onions and Shallots planted

 

 

 

 

Remember this photo from last year where the old rubbish heap and nettle patch was going to be dug up? Below!

 

 

At the Back of the shed the old rubbish heap is going to be levelled. This is where we intend to grow our Butternut squash next year. As the allotment next to us just put his squash on old soil and left them.. They were 3 sizes bigger than ours.. So here they will have room to spread out to their hearts content :-)

At the Back of the shed the old rubbish heap is going to be levelled. This is where we intend to grow our Butternut squash

Well this is what it looks like now on the photo below.

Dug over Rubbish heap

Dug over Rubbish heap

Another job which needed to be done was to paint the sheds with wood preserve. You can see Hubby busy doing this  one and I did the other. This shed brings a whole new meaning to Lean-too shed lol, It only houses sticks, wire and cloches and nets etc.  

Lean too shed

Lean too shed 🙂

 

Main shed

Main shed

The next thing was to clear out the old Strawberry Bed of old plants.. We planted new shoots in the autumn .And made a start to clear out the old Strawberry bed. This will then be the new home for some of my flowers for cut flowers.  

Old Strawberry bed.

Old Strawberry bed.

New Strawberry Bed

New Strawberry Bed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below is the view from the main shed. in the foreground the Raspberry, Blueberries, Red and Black currents, Gooseberries, Blackeberries.  We still have  in the background, Brussels, Purple flowering broccoli and a few Leeks left. And of course a freezer full of goodness.. 

Long View from shed

Long View from shed

In the mean time I wrote a poem in collaboration  with Aquileana about Helen of Troy. and emailed her it just before my laptop was set for a scheduled Health Check.. That’s when the Universe thought to have other ideas about my plans..

I mentioned one of my keys was sticking to the computer guy, so the kind man said as it was insured he would send it away.. And So that’s why I have been absent longer than I intended.. But you see the Universe had a plan all along.. And as to that I will reveal in my second part to this post..

Stay tuned!  

And its good to be back..

 

Grow your Own is Back ~and Make your Own

Its always good to refresh the soul with Nature and Fresh air… today was such a day.. The Sun shone and it was time to go to the allotments and dig in some Manure.. We had a trailer load delivered last week but because of the weather, snow and freezing rain it was impossible to get started..

My husband dug while I cleared the shed out and we had a productive couple of hours..

For those of you who have just started to follow Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary you will find more on the page Grow Your Own of last years planting in our allotments.

Here are the photos of how it looks today..

Below is the view as we walk down through our allotment gardens. 

Our local Allotments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Plot

Above is our plot, ready to winter Dig.. the pile of Manure you can see ready to be spread.

Allotment muck spreading

There are around 54 barrow loads been deposited on top of the ground you can see here, they will be left to soak in a while, before being dug in.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~Making My Own~

On Monday I sat in my home feeling the wind chill blow through the bottom of my door.. While my exterior doors are well insulated a draft was whirling through from the hall around my feet.. So I set too to make a Draft excluder.. As I looked around to see what I could use. I found an old pair of brown trousers of mine which I had put to one side for the charity bag…It only took me around an hour and a half and Bill and Ben were Born…

 Meet Bill my sausage dog draft excluder

Above is Bill who I made using the trouser legs I made ears and a tail and put button eyes and nose on him, then I set about making Ben, his brother who you can see Below.

Meet Bill and Ben

We can all of us turn our hands at making those pennies go further, and I’m sure if your browse around the web you can find many Craft Blogs which can give you great ideas..

Have you made any new things recently and why not share them with others..

I hope you enjoyed my little Post today as I’ve had a few days off from work its been good to blog and catch up with many of you..

Enjoy your special Day and Loved Ones..

Blessings

Sue Dreamwalker

 

Harvesting~Growing Your Own

Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard.
~Standing Bear ~

 

There is a lot of satisfaction to be had in harvesting your hard work of growing your own vegetables.

Harvesting the Crops

This year in the Dreamwalker’s Plot, I have managed to get stuck in to help Hubby weed.. And I have come away with aches and pains in places I didn’t know existed! Smile  as I did battle with the never ending strength of Mother Nature as she reclaims back her Plot to be the wilderness she once was .. But the taste of eating your own grown far out ways all the effort, And you always come away feeling refreshed having worked hands on with Nature.

And to say its been hard work, I have loved every moment.  

This Year because of almost 6 weeks constant torrential rain fall its been almost impossible to go and get the weeding under control and as a consequence, several crops such as rows of swedes, parsnips and Carrots and other seeds which were set, just rotted in the soggy ground which didn’t germinate. It was good we tried an experiment this year with planting Carrots in a raised Bed, to combat the problems we had last year with Carrot fly. These are doing nicely..

Carrots in Raised bed

A casualty also is that of the Broccoli which has gone to seed, before even forming tight florets, as you can see from this picture here.. You can see the second to front rows have gone to yellow flower seed.. And many Cabbage tops got eaten by the pigeons this year which have decimated many an allotment holder’s cabbage rows .  

Cabbages and long view of AllomentsWe lost all the Raspberries and only managed to get around a good healthy punnet of strawberries off to eat which hadn’t been rotted and mulched due to the rain. A Big disappointment as we got Pounds off them last year and all my weeding and transplanting efforts, but that’s the name of the game.. You win some and lose some with Mother Nature..

But the Rain has been good for the peasPeas

and Green Kidney Beans With Lettuce and Sunflowers in front.

Lettuce, Sunflowers and Kidney Beans

Another success so far, although we need the SUN to ripen later on is the Sweetcorn, here you can see along with the leeks..after this photo was taken I cut the tops off the leeks slightly so they can thicken out.

Leeks and Sweetcorn

You know there are times when we don’t feel like putting the effort in. But when we can be fully present in every job that we do, and we bring the fullness of our bodies, minds and spirits to the moment, the rewards are harvested in our lives.

We may not think we have  talents or abilities, but when we give them willingly in life… Not only in the labours of gardening, But in life situations, they attract not only good results but also the right people and circumstances into our experience.

There have been days where I haven’t had much energy, but I pushed myself to spend just an hour in the garden, and it helped me feel brighter despite the hard work.. And like anything we do begrudgingly this limits the flow of our energy and closes us off from the good that is available to us in every situation. But by giving the best in us to make the world around us better, we open ourselves to receive the best from the universe in return.

This year despite the weather I have given my energy to add to that of Mother Nature and we are never disappointed.. For her bounties in her harvest is always there to be reaped.We just at times need to look how full our baskets are in life, as we see how empty others are!..

Doing any job from this place of love within us allows us to do our part with humility and gratitude, while also learning lessons that move us steadily toward our goals.

The Bountiful Earth has many gifts, and I give thanks for the lessons of patience, and knowing there are times for reaping as there are times for sowing..Times of rest and time of hard work..

But each one us are important as we give our energies to add to the whole.. And so what ever you do in life, whether it is gardening, creative writing, photography, Arts or crafts.. Know the love you add into the mix also adds that energy of Love into our World..

And you will then also reap what you sow..

To see updates of how the allotment has progressed since April ’12

Click Grow Your Own 

Sue Dreamwalker 

 

Setting the Vegetables ~Grow your Own~

The Kidney Beans are in

The Kidney Beans are In, and already climbing the canes,

Cabbage 

So too is the Cabbage we have since set the Red Cabbage along side, It is covered with Wire at the moment as the allotment soon has lots of Visiting Pigeons and they just love to eat new cabbage leaves..

sweetcorn

The Sweet-corn is one of our favourites, and we had a bumper crop last year, which we froze and are just coming to the end of eating from storage in the Freezer.. Family and friends always comment on how much sweeter home grown Corn on the Cob tastes..

onions

The Onions and Shallots have come through nicely now, and you can see the two Pea rows coming to the left of them.

I had weeded the two onion rows on the right, Next Job weeding the Shallots 3 rows..Arrgh my back aches!..

Weeding Onions

Great Idea, Go and get the chair out the the shed… Arrgh that’s Better, not so back breaking now.. Smile  

Just thought I would share How My Garden Grows! with Pretty maids All in a ROW!

Winking smile Now Of course I will leave you to guess about the Pretty maid! Smile 

Have a Great Sunday!

 

Natures Balm.~ Grow Your Own~

Runner Bean sticks

Here is another update as to the progress ofGrow Your Own. pages here on Dreamwalker’s.

When we connect back into Nature she never disappoints us. As in my last post toShine or not to Shine I explained how I had been feeling a little under the weather..( Maybe all the rain had also damped my spirits) But we all need the rain in our lives at times to enable us to grow and mature, as we appreciate the Sunny Days and those gifts we often take for granted. Just like our plants which wouldn’t survive if they had no rainfall.. Just like at the opposite ends of the scale, too much Sun and they dry up and wither, too much rain and they can rot and die also,.

So a Balance is needed both within Nature and within our own lives..

So after feeling quite low.. I took myself off to the allotments, we hadn’t been for a few days as it had been constantly raining. The weeds had quickly overgrown again, they always seem to flourish what ever the weather. My Hubby set too and rotavated, extracting last years parsnips and swedes which had gone to seed.

The Peas had been set and one or two had popped up whichPea Rows were pushed down again.. If the field mice get a whiff of them they can soon go down the row and eat most of them. The Onions I set a few weeks back you can just make out sprouting now to the right where the string is still across. 

The Top picture shows the bean sticks which have been erected for the runner beans/kidney beans. The Bean Plants are still in the greenhouse and will be brought out to harden off about a week before they go into the ground at the end of May.. This is usually when last of the Frosts have gone, but nothing is certain in Gardening, especially as the weather seems to be taking its toll around the world with horrendous hail storms.

Runner Bean Plants

After a couple of hours weeding in the allotments, I was tired and a little sore, but my Spirit was truly rejuvenated.

Its amazing how Nature sooths us with her healing Balm

When we are of low spirit, a walk out in Natures  Garden often is all we need to help heal our inner spirits.. I wonder just how many of us take Nature for granted..And how many in the modern day world understand that Nature is forever combating change, but she still goes on Growing.

As I looked at the Allotment, nothing much seems to be happening, but lots of things are going on under the surface, as the seeds are germinating waiting for that warmth to make them spring forth. Much is also happening beneath the surface of our Earth always its changing as Gaia too is Growing and reaching forever upwards in her vibration. 

So too we humans search throughout our lives for that warmth, that love in which  to feel nourished and nurtured . Without that love we too cannot grow in spirit..  So like all Gardens we need to weed out that which doesn’t serve us anymore and feed only that which we want to grow and flourish.

 So Happy Gardening both in your own Back Yards and within your Minds.. 

For we all of us grow towards the ‘Light’.

© Sue Dreamwalker – 2012 All rights reserved.

 

Digging of Weeds ~Grow Your Own~

Strawberry Bed full of weeds

Strawberries have always been my favourite fruit. there is nothing nicer than a bowl of fresh strawberries and some ice-cream, or fresh cream.

We didn’t get all that many Strawberries off our plants last year, I think we’ve neglected the strawberry beds for the last couple of years letting them spill over and get clogged up with weeds..

So my task this weekend when I went to see what needed doing in the allotment was to set too anStrawberry Bed half weededd start to weed them ..

I guess I didn’t realise what a task I had set myself, these beds run nearly the length of the width of the allotment which is 45 ft. And because the grass was so well rooted it was impossible not to disturb the plants,, So I decided to try and dig up and get as much twitch roots of grass out as I could, and then replant the new fresh shoots of plants back in..  I only managed about Half of the first square before my muscles protested. So Hubby took over,

I then replanted the strawberry runners which should produce, even though maybe not as many Strawberries for this first year. The other strawberry bed above it will get the same treatment later in the week… .

Shallots and Onions

In the mean time while Hubby took over the heavy weeding I planted 3 rows of Onions and 2 rows of Shallots..

We often bottle the shallots in vinegar which is boiled and spiced as pickled onions. Which make a nice little gift to add to our bottled beetroot in any Christmas Hamper. And they are lovely used as roasted vegetables or in Hotpots or stews.

For anyone wanting a recipe of how to bottle Picked Onions .. here’s the recipe I use..

Pickled Onion Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb (1.4 kg) pickling onions or shallots
  • 1 lb (450 g) salt
  • 2½ pints (1.4 litres) water
  • Approx 1 pint (570 ml) Spiced Vinegar (See recipe for Quick Spiced Vinegar)

Method:

  1. Make a brine by boiling the water and salt together in a pan until all the salt has dissolved. Leave until quite cold before using.
  2. Peel the onions and soak in the brine for 24 hours, using a plate or something similar to keep the onions below the surface of the brine.
  3. Rinse well.
  4. Pack into clean, sterilized jars and cover with cold spiced vinegar.
  5. Cover and label with contents and date.

Note: Leave for a couple of months before using.  If you want a sweeter pickled onion, add a teaspoon of sugar to each jar of onions.

Quick Spiced Vinegar Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 in (50mm) stick of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2 pints (1.1 litres) vinegar

Method:

  1. Place the vinegar and the spices (tied in a muslin bag) in a heatproof basin and stand the basin over a saucepan of water.
  2. Cover the basin with a plate or the flavour will be lost.
  3. Bring the water in the pan to the boil and then remove it from the heat.
  4. Set aside for 2 – 3 hours to allow the spices to steep in the warm vinegar.
  5. Strain the vinegar and cool.

I hope you enjoyed the day with me in the Allotment?~ Sunday I think is a day of REST Smile .. ~Sue Dreamwalker

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