Thursday 28 April 2016

A year on the allotment: April 2016

April is the time when the growing season begins in earnest on the allotment. Suddenly the place becomes a hive of activity with plot-holders digging, rotivating and make a start on planting crops...

muddy homegrown leeks pulled fresh from the ground

Whilst we've done plenty of digging and rotivating, crops are still thin on the ground at the moment. We pulled out the last of our leeks at the start of April. Yes, I know they look like spring onions, but trust me, they are leeks. They actually tasted really delicious.

yellow daffodils grow in the sunshine on our allotment

This April has been particularly cold, so we're behind with planting certain things out. Only the other day I had to do a double take when I saw snow and hail falling outside my kitchen window. Here's hoping May is going to be warmer so that we can catch up with seed planting.

I have planted out some parsnip plug plants, but they look a bit battered in the cold and wet weather we've been having recently. Hopefully they will perk up once some sun hits them. We also have onions and garlic happily growing away. I managed to put in two rows of spuds, but will wait until May to put more in.

parsnip plug plants waiting to be planted on our allotment

We've rotivated most of the open beds on our plot ready for planting. Magoo loves to help with raking the soil, although she often declares that "it's hard work", and she's not wrong. Watering is her favourite activity, but we have to guide her away from the cans. More water is something we certainly don't need at the moment. I'm thinking of putting aside a 'muddy area' where she can pour water and stomp about in her wellies to her hearts content...

Magoo rakes the soil on our allotment

One job ticked off the list this month was painting the shed. Magoo and her cousin did a sterling job of painting most of the wood before they got fed up and started to play hide and seek. Magoo's cousin chose the colour of the paint and I think it looks fantastic, it lifts the whole plot.

our freshly painted sky blue allotment shed

Over the past year we've struggled to keep the surrounding grass from invading our beds. Mr M and Magoo have worked hard this month putting edging wood around the plot. Hopefully this will help to hold back the invasive grasses that can swamp us if we're not careful.

We've also found a great source of cheap woodchip from our local disused quarry. There is a tree surgeon who runs his business from the quarry and there's always a huge pile of woodchip for sale. You can fill a large garden waste bag for just £2, which is a bargain. We've covered the main path running up the middle of our plot so far. We plan to use the woodchip around the whole plot as a mulch to keep weeds and grass to a minimum. Lets hope it works!

spreading woodchip on our allotment path in spring sunshine

evening sunshine on our woodchip path on the allotment

April has been busy month for prepping the plot and we've got lots of jobs done in the lighter evenings. We just need a warm spell in May to get some crop growing underway.

This week I am linking up with these lovely blogs:

Country Kids over on

How Does Your Garden Grow? over on

Making Home over on

Tuesday 19 April 2016

Beach combing, frisbee and messages in the sand

young child throws frisbee into the air against a blue sky

I have taken a complete blogging break over the school holidays. Magoo likes to be out and about as much as possible. Plus my Mother-in-Law came to stay for a week, so I wanted to give them both my full attention. Our holiday was filled with trips to the park, meeting up with friends, walks to the allotment, bike rides, ice creams and lots of trampolining.

We seem to be a little bit out of step with our Easter Holiday break. Most schools had their holidays around the bank holiday weekend. Ours started a week after the Bank Holiday weekend. Although it has been a bit grim and grey at times, we have enjoyed the occasional burst of Spring sunshine.

sweeping photo of somerset coastline towards sand point

Saturday was a bright and beautiful day, so we decided to make the most of the sun and head to the beach near our home. We love this particular beach because there are lots of places to explore. Along the tide line you can often find interesting pieces of drift wood, pebbles in a hundred and one different shades and sometimes the odd fossil.

Due to high tides and Winter storms, the sandbanks were more exposed than usual. It looked like large chunks had been washed away. We could clearly see the exposed layers of sand, stone and shells in the bank. Magoo and Mr M couldn't resist having a dig around to see if there were any fossils or interesting stones to be found. We particularly love finding pebbles containing quartz because they glitter in the sunshine and look like jewels.

coastal erosion on sand banks in north somerset

child and father search for pebbles and fossils in sandbanks

We took bucket and spades, beach mats and a frisbee. Magoo loves the frisbee, and spent quite a while throwing it into the air just for the fun of it. I really wanted to try and capture a photo of the neon pink frisbee against the blue sky and Welsh coastline in the distance.

neon pink frisbee against bright blue sky and welsh coastline

We also spent some time collecting stones to write messages in the sand. I though it might be nice if another family or a dog walker found our 'LOVE' note later on in the day. I hope it survived the tide coming in...but if it didn't, there's plenty more pebbles to write a new message next time we're on the beach.

love note written in the sand with pebbles

This week I'm linking up with these lovely blogs:

"Country Kids" over on

"Twinkly Tuesday" over on

"Point + Shoot" over on and

"Whatever the Weather" over on and

"Let Kids Be Kids" over on

"Blogger Club UK" over on and

Friday 1 April 2016

Crafting is my Therapy #3 + Giveaway

Welcome to the third “Crafting is my Therapy” blog linky.

I hope you’ve had a wonderful month or making and creating.

This month we are holding a giveaway.

Up for grabs is a fab selection of crafting materials including: * Mini alphabet stamp set * Crayola Twistables coloured pencils * Mini cross stitch kit * Blu Tack White Glu * Blu Tack Glu Pen * Blu Tack Micro Dots * Blu Tack Glu Dots * 2 rolls of patterned Sellotape * 3m yellow spotted ribbon * Sellotape tape dispenser and tape

For a chance to win, simply link-up below with your crafty blog posts.

Full entry rules can be found further down in this post.

This month I have been:

- Finding it hard to make time to complete a full piece of embroidery. This month I just haven’t had time to put together a finished piece. Having said that, I have attempted to learn some new stitches. I’m really pleased with the results and enjoyed taking some time out to sew. You can see my embroidery stitches blog post here.

- Over the past few weeks I’ve spent lots of time looking at various embroidery stitches and tutorials over on Pinterest. I made a start on attempting to learn some new stitches over the Easter weekend.

My favourite links from last month’s Crafting Is My Therapy:

– I was really happy to see “Tilly’s Vintage Workshop” linking up with us last month. Tilly Rose wrote this uplifting post about collaboration, the crafting community and the work she has created recently. I’m hoping to see more posts from her over the coming months…

Here are some other crafty corners of the web you may like to check out:

– I saw the Five jawdropping crafts from around the UK article over on Facebook a few days ago. Put together by BBC Arts it shows some eye catching pieces of craft. I particularly like the ‘counter-knit” £10 note…very clever.

– I love the idea of crafting bringing people together. I saw this “Hashtag roundup: Making for others” post on the Mollie Makes website and thought I would share it with you. It details various charity projects and the hashtags associated with them. For example #make2share involves giving an unexpected handmade gift to someone who could do with a boost. There are lots more initivates listed, so I would recommend taking a look at the article.

Have you created anything crafty this month? If you sew, knit, crochet, paint, work with ceramics…please join in and share your work.

The focus of this linky is crafting for pleasure, basically taking some ‘me-time’ to unwind in our busy lives. It doesn’t have to be a finished project, I love seeing work in progress or planning posts too.

Grab the Crafting is my Therapy badge:

Me You and Magoo

I co-host Crafting is my Therapy with Jennifer Jain. She writes the popular craft blog Jennifers Little World

The “Crafting is my Therapy” linky will open on the first Friday of each month and stay open for the whole month – giving you plenty of time to get involved.

– You can link up with maximum of three posts per month, old or new.

– Grab the linky badge or link back to our blogs on your post.

– Please share the love and comment on other people’s posts.

– If you could share your post and the linky (using the hashtag #craftingismytherapy) on any social media channels that would be great. This will help us to grow the community. We will retweet all your posts via Twitter if you mention us (@pouchvintage/@JenniferJain )

– And finally, if you would like to follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook, you’re more than welcome! Jennifer Jain’s links are here too: Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

Giveaway Entry Rules:

- The prize is a box of crafty goodies as pictured above. This giveaway is open to residents of the United Kingdom only.

- The winner will be chosen at random from eligible entries to the linky this month. In order for an entry to be eligible it must be a relevant craft related post, it must mention the Crafting is my Therapy linky, and it must link back to one of the linky hosts, either Me, You and Magoo or Jennifer's Little World. The linky will remain open until midnight on May 3rd 2016.

- You can link up a maximum of three eligible posts.

- If the winner does not respond within 28 days we will redraw and reallocate the prize. There is no cash alternative. Invalid entries will be discounted.


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