Salaric Gardening and Wildlife

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Foraging the local area


Me and my children gathered these blackberries on our way back from the library, I had meant to bring tubs but had forgotten and was sad about this as we passed a rather abundant patch of briars when my 7 yr old had an idea – we drank the water out of her water bottle and the babies beaker and then filled them with black berries. When we got back I rinsed them and froze them reasoning there wasn’t enough there to do much with.

A quick tip is if you find they have lots of grubs or maggots in them then just give them a little soak in a weak solution of water and table salt, this extracts the bugs!

So having assessed the local forage a bit better this year than I managed last year, I have decided that I want to attempt black berry wine for which I need a lot of black berries – looks like we are going to be out picking most days!

Jean has requested crumbles and Mary cakes – I like to make ‘blood’ pies for halloween as well which I freeze. I think my main limit is going to be freezer space. We also spotted elderberries, rose hips, sloes, damsons, crab apples and haws so all I need for hedgerow jam is some rowan berries! People have been asking me if I am going to make it again and having already received a lovely jar of black current jam from one friend I feel I should get cracking!

I am still sadly awaiting an allotment but some of the best forage I found last year was along the pathway next to them last year.

I am still sorely missing the Perri Pear tree though that I used to get the pears from at the old house but I have just discovered that there are such things as community orchards so I am hoping we can get involved in same way with these things.

My favourite book for forage is still Food For Free by Richard Mabey – I have a very old copy but there are upto date ones with photographs and stuff.

The recipe I use for hedge row jam comes from a Womens Institute book.

Posted 10 years, 11 months ago at 7:54 pm.

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I am quiet pleased that I managed to bring these columbine or ladies bonnets with me from where we used to live 🙂

Posted 11 years ago at 2:20 pm.

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The Rose

Pink Rose

This is my only surviving rose from the house move, it unfortunately has some black spot but I am hopeful of keeping it, it has just bloomed with better flowers than it ever did were we were before. It was a present from one of my friends and I hope to train it on a trellis as the entrance to our grassy area (once we have a grassy area).

Posted 11 years ago at 8:11 am.

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Salad for Daddy

Jean preparing salad for Alaric

My eldest Jeany and her friends decimated my salad plants in an effort to make my husband Alaric a salad! They harvested the radishes which was a good thing as they were starting to ‘run’ (go to seed) and were getting a bit woody. But though Jean knew what were bean plants and what were radishes the boys didn’t so there were a few fatalities!

They cut up all of the chives, lettuce and quiet a bit of mint! The sorrel looks worse than were the deer got to it (in the old house) and the margoram has some obvious gaps in it! But they all had a fantastic time, they washed and chopped the radishes and stuff too! Alari was very pleased to be presented with a salad and the baby was happily eating the salad from the garden pots!

Also Jeany’s friends are excited about us getting an allotement as they want to come and help on it! Not sure they will still feel that way after an afternoon on one!

Posted 11 years, 1 month ago at 9:52 am.

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Chilli Plant

For the first time ever I have managed to grow chilli plants and get them to actually bare fruit! Normally I can get them to germinate and that is it!

This is the first attempt at the new house so it may just be because it is not draughty and there is a lovely lot of sunlight here were as the valley was well a valley.

I am shall we say ‘well chuffed’ 🙂

Posted 11 years, 1 month ago at 9:43 am.

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Adventures in the Woods

I found the sunshine mummy!

This week we took the cubs into the woods to talk about climate change – including the fact that people are arguing about it and that it has become such a politically charged topic but that all the sorts of things we should be doing just to not pollute the environment are what we should be doing incase we are affecting the climate etc…

A Gate!

They thought up some of their own solutions to things and we examined the impact of change on our food supplie etc…

Jean in the mud :/

Of course mainly they liked playing in the mud – this is my eldest in crocks and pale yellow trousers – she forgot her wellies and water proofs but nothing stops her from getting muddy! Same as the little one loved exploring the woods 🙂

Posted 11 years, 1 month ago at 9:34 am.

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The Camping Wilderness

I love being outside and even the rain can not stop that infact the summer down pour that drenched us an the Cubs earlier this week made it all the more fun! Before the session of archery started me and my youngest went on an explore and found the camp circle, wild flowers and a tractor!

Mary wants a campfire

Mary off for an explore

Wild flowers


The hiding tractor

Posted 11 years, 1 month ago at 8:18 am.

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The Cotswold Litter Pickers

A few days ago me and my family where out when we noticed an old man collecting litter by himself in the drizzly rain and not pleasant wind, he had his own bin with him. It was an inspirational and heart breaking moment. It was heart breaking because the litter should not be there – I hate litter bugs and at the moment our front garden is a dumping ground for the kids coming back from the shop on the corner and I hate it – plus the damage it can do to wildlife and it generally just makes everything that bit shabbier. But also one of the things I have noticed is that since the olympics there does not seem to have been much in the way of council/government cleaning up of our roads and what not. I was shocked when I went down to London – the contrast between this time last year and even the autumn and now is disgusting!

Bins get knocked over, things fall out of pockets and so on – litter isn’t all litter bugs so there needs to be some sort of clean up operation. We take the Cubs and out every now and then to litter pick the common but it can seem really disheartening when it appears you are the only people who care. So when I saw the guy picking litter I wanted a photograph to blog about it but I couldn’t get one as we drove past and though I started to walk back to get a photo the rain got heavy and I retreated. But I did draw this picture when I got home – first in graphite pencil and then I inked in the lines and rubbed out the pencil and then I coloured it in and the I added the rain which was the most nerve racking bit. I can’t remember if he had a facial hair or anything like that but it is good enough that my little girl recognised it as the man we had seen.

The Gloucester Litter Picker

I posted it to Facebook and my blog since then I have had people suggesting urls one of which are these fabulous Litter Picking Heros!

Posted 11 years, 2 months ago at 8:57 am.

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Getting the Veggies Out

Mary moving pots about in the garden

It’s been hard to get the veggies going this year but yesterday thanks to turning our dinning area into a make shift green house, we had our first home grown salad of the year.

Mary putting soil into pots

Mary has been helping me pot out seedlings most of which actually survived the lovings of a two year old!

Mary lining the plants up along the wall

Mary helping with the gardening

I have courette and pumpkin plants planted out in grow bags – I am in dispare over getting an allotment at the moment, there just simply is not enough space to grow what we want. For a start I didn’t want to really be growing stuff in the ‘grassy’ area, for a start it is supposed to be a nice garden area and secondly we can not make it look nice whilst I am growing things on it.

The make shift green house

At the moment we radishes almost ready for first pickings and various salad leafs, there are peas and beans and root crops in various containers. The apple tree and blueberry bushes have all survived the winter though the new redcurrents and black current bushes did not survive a late frost much to my upset.

Squash plants

Jeany is being very good about watering the pots and has her own little butterfly corner developing, also I shouldn’t moan as the salad was very tasty and Mary eat the bowl of it I was going to put in the fridge for today’s lunch!

And also we have been enjoying the sunshine and having summer cocktails and everything 🙂 Still no BBQ this year yet though 🙁

Summer cocktails

Posted 11 years, 2 months ago at 8:34 am.

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Portrait of a Cat

Cat portrait of Tom

I got a new camera 🙂 – I really loved the way these photos of Tom our ginger tom cat 🙂

Tom Puss and the Hose Pipe

Posted 11 years, 5 months ago at 9:10 am.

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