My garden in August


Harvesting Since my last garden update post in mid July we have been away from home a lot. We have spent some time at our cabin in the woods and have been on a camping holiday to Cornwall. So this blog space and our garden have been rather neglected I am afraid. The garden has however been getting on pretty well without us. It has produced; runner beans, plums, tomatoes, chilis, figs, cucumbers, courgettes, parsley, celery and purple climbing beans. The fig tree in particular has been fantastic this season. We dug it up and brought it with us when we moved here six years ago, it must be about 10 years old now and is really hitting its stride! Its only six-foot tall but has produced around 40 figs so far with loads more to come.

Planting I have pulled up some of my tomato plants now. They were a mixed bunch this year, with some performing brilliantly and others never really getting going. I have taken out anything that hadn’t yet produced much fruit as well as a few that had exhausted themselves already. The outdoor toms did better than those in the greenhouse, probably due to water I should think and we seem to have avoided blight so far. The plants in the raised beds are still doing well, so I have left them to see if many more toms ripen before the weather cools down too much.

Thinking I am planning on planting some winter lettuces and pak choi in the place of the tomatoes in the green house. I’d also like to crack on with my autumn/winter garden over the next few weeks. I will have more time available for this once the girls return to school. September always feels like a fresh start, a new school term is a good time to begin a new regime at home too I always find. So I have began making a meal plan every sunday night. My aim is to do another one of my Permaculture Diploma design around healthy lifestyles, I am taking an online health and nutrition course currently and thinking carefully about what my family eats.

Feeling I am holding on tightly to the last weeks of summer. I do love the autumn but am always very sad too to let summer go. The last few weeks have turned colder with a slight autumnal nip in the air occasionally, this fills me with an equal dread and excitement! We are packing in the park visits, garden visits, BBQ’s and parties outdoors while we can. I am not quite ready to pack away my sunglasses and hunt out the woolens just yet.











We had a party last weekend to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We shared the party with our next door neighbours. We took up some fence panels and enlarged the child-sized gate that connects our two gardens. We had a fantastic day, with around 100 friends and family coming and going all day from 3pm – 2am! We made extra seating out of tree trunks, made a firepit for an evening bonfire and our talented musician friends entertained us in the wee hours with firelit acoustic music. It was such a wonderful day. I just wish I had taken more photographs! Here are some from the set up.




IMG_3924You just can’t beat a glitter ball in the trees!

Weather stats

Friday 29th August 2014. breezy with isolated showers and sunny spells.

High 18, Low 13

Sunrise 06:09  Sunset 20:00






Twelve Principles for twelve months – August – Catch and store energy


My garden is filled with tasty Organic fruit and vegetables at the moment. I am trying to keep pace with harvesting, cooking and eating it!

I have decided that for August I will be kind to myself, honour these lazy summer days with my children and give myself simple goals. For the Permaculture Principle of ‘Catch and store energy’ I will look only at two things.

1. Catching and storing the energy produced in my garden by making jams and pickles, freezing fruits, drying tomatoes and harvesting/eating everything that I can manage to!  I have always been quite good at planning and maintaining my garden but for some reason, I often fall down on the harvesting and using of my produce. I have put a lot of effort into producing an abundant plot this year, so I am determined that nothing will go to waste. I am keeping up with my ‘what I ate from the garden today’ diary and this has been a good tool for focusing my mind on harvesting little and often.

2. My second goal is to catch and store my own energy. My life is super busy. I have three children, a husband, family nearby, friends to keep up with, my diploma to work on, Muddy Boots to run, volunteering jobs to maintain, various animals to care for, a rambling garden to tend to and a household to set the agenda for. Phew! Some weeks it feels like I am juggling far too many plates and sometimes I do come crashing to the ground. So, this month I will focus on relaxing, letting things go, having fun and getting some rest.  With that in mind my blog will probably be a little quiet this month too. I hope to keep up with my monthly garden update but not stress myself by doing a lot more. Normal service will resume in September!

Summer bucket list

On the first day of the summer holidays we all sat down as a family and talked about what we wanted to do over the summer. These are fun things, ‘wants’ rather than ‘needs’. We compiled these into a bucket list of activities to squeeze into the 7 weeks of summer. I wonder if you can guess which family member suggested each item!

I am writing them down here for reasons of accountability! Items with a * we have already ticked off the list. There does seems to be quite a few stars, so at the midpoint of the hols we are not doing too badly. I have noticed that the kids have more *’s than the adults so maybe we need to prioritize our wants for a change!

Go swimming

Do apple bobbing *

Visit the seaside *

Take a bucket and spade to the sandpit and play *

Spend the night with Mama *

Learn how to do handstands *

Pick fruit in the garden *

To go out for the day with my husband

To sleep outside in the garden under the stars

To swim in the sea *

To visit some inspiring gardens *

To have a BBQ with friends *

To go bowling

To go to the indoor play centre

To teach gymnastics to my sister *

To have a PJ day

To spend time with my friends *

To have a day just with Mum */ Dad

To go out on a date night

To go on a family bike ride

To have a quiet day at home *

To go for a meal at our favourite restaurant

To build a bread oven in the garden