Thursday, 20 August 2015

August on the allotment: tayberries and strawberries

August on the allotment: tayberries and strawberries
One of the best things about Summer is growing, picking & eating soft fruit. We have to wait through all the dark, dreary Winter months here in the United Kingdom until the Summer comes around and we can feast on berries again. On our allotment this year we have found the strawberries a bit disappointing, but the tayberries were a big success. We manage to pick quite a few each time we visit, but they never seem to make it home...funny that. My argument is that soft fruit does not travel well, so we prefer to find a spot by the shed and eat our bounty there & then. If Magoo goes home with berry juice on her dress and fingertips, then it has been a good day at the allotment.
allotment harvest of tayberries and strawberries
I have just bought two new raspberry plants for the bargain price of £1.79 from good old Aldi. The raspberries we inherited from the previous owner have been swamped by blackberries. So a few days ago my Mum & I attacked the blackberries with secateurs. We already have a large blackberry hedge at the top of the allotment, so we're happy to lose some to make make room for raspberries.

Once we had cut the plants down to the ground, we let Mr. M do the hard work of digging the roots out. I know you can buy poison to kill blackberry roots, but we prefer not to use that type of thing on our plot. So it was down to brute strength to dig them out. Can't say it was an easy job for Mr. M, in fact he snapped a spade handle at one point trying to get the roots out. They are hardy things those blackberries. I know it's hard to eradicate them and I'm sure we haven't got all the root out, but I'd rather dig them out than use chemicals. Once the patch was clear, we dug well-rotted horse manure into the ground and planted out the new raspberry plants. Fingers crossed we will have some healthy plants by this time next year...
aldi green garden range of fruit plants raspberry

I'm linking up with 'How Does Your Garden Grow' #HDYGG over on the beautiful


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Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Winds, Whelks and Woolacombe: the joys of a school holiday camping trip

At the end of July we went on a camping holiday in North Devon. We had such a lovely time, rockpooling, roly polys down the sand dunes at Woolacombe, ice creams everyday and the best fish and chips we've ever eaten at Squires in Braunton. We came home with a lovely collection of seashells to wash and indentify at home. Despite the fact we had a great time, our camping holiday nearly ended before it began. 40-50mph winds were forecast for the day we were due to pitch our tent, they weren't wrong...
Winds, Whelks and Woolacombe: the joys of a school holiday camping trip
We had chosen a site with a beautiful view, but campsites with amazing views are normally high & exposed. This one was no exception. We lay the tent out as we always do, but when it came to stand the poles up, we couldn't fight against the wind. In fact the wind was so strong, it bent one of the metal poles. Mr M stood looking at the bent pole in shock and uttered expletives under his breath. Magoo had been counting down the days to this holiday and I couldn't face packing up and going home again, but the tent wasn't going up without a fight.
We retreated to the car to regroup and have a break from the relentless wind. "When can we go in the tent Mummy?" piped up a little voice from the back seat. "Just as soon as we've got our heads together" came my reply. We decided to try a different tack with the tent and with all our strength we managed to get the bloomin' thing up. Even the guy who owned the campsite was impressed we'd managed it. Despite our awful first day, the sun did come out and the rest of the holiday was glorious.
We managed three trips to the beach, once to Croyde and twice to Woolacombe (because we loved it so much). Magoo and I spent a happy hour peering into rockpools at Croyde Bay. We found heaps of shells, including Whelks, Top Shells and Limpets amongst many others. We decided to fit as many as we could into our bucket and bring them home.
A few days after we got back, Magoo and I sat out in the garden and washed the shells. It was the perfect opportunity to have a closer looks at our finds. It never ceases to amaze me how clever Mother Nature is. Each shell is small, but perfectly formed.
rockpooling for whelk shells in north devon
rockpooling for limpet shells in north devon
I particularly like whelk shells. When I was little I used to call them 'ice cream' shells because of the swirly cone at the end which looks like a Mr Whippy.
rockpooling for whelk shells in north devon
studying shells we found in rockpools at croyde beach
Magoo and I love collecting shells, but we don't know much about identifying them. After a quick search online I think I now know my whelks from my periwinkles. I particularly like the UK Safari website
studying top shells we found in rockpools at croyde beach
studying top shells we found in rockpools at croyde beach
studying whelk shells we found in rockpools at croyde beach
Once we had washed them, we left the shells to dry on kitchen paper. Magoo decided to give some to Grandma and we've kept the rest in a bowl on our dresser. It's a lovely reminder of our time spent in North Devon.
collection of shells found in rockpools at croyde in north devon
And here's some photographic proof that our tent withstood the winds...we spent the whole holiday slightly in shock that we managed to put it up at all :)

And the view from our tent, beautiful, but windy!
school holiday camping naer barnstaple in north devon
I'm linking up with Country Kids over on
Whatever the Weather over on
Point + Shoot over on
Let Kids be Kids over on

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Vintage Love: Karuselli fabric designed by Katsuji Wakisaka for Marimekko in 1973

I bought this piece of fabric about ten years ago at a jumble sale. The bright colours leapt out at me & I grabbed it before anyone else did. It was only when I returned home that I saw the name Marimekko along the edge. This fabric dates from 1973 and after a bit more research I found out it is called Karuselli (Carousel) and had been created by Katsuji Wakisaka a Japanese textile designer.

I believe this particular design is quite rare. Sadly I only have a small piece, or rather two small pieces that have been sewn together to make a cushion cover by the previous owner. If you look at the top right image on this website about Katsuji Wakisaka, you can see a larger piece and the full pattern repeat.

It has a bold primary colour print and Wakisaka was famed for his playful designs. It is said that he "introduced new aesthetics which enriched and expanded the Marimekko style" in the 1970s. I love this design and although I wish I had more of it, I'm grateful I managed to grab this small piece of design history when I had the chance.

If you'd like to see more retro goodies, head on over to my "Vintage Finds" board over on Pinterest...

Follow Pouch : blogging + craft's board My Vintage Finds on Pinterest.


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