Rain!

It’s so wet today it’s unreal. I really want to garden as well. I haven’t really done anything for over two weeks as I’ve been ill (Still not quite right) and away for a short period so the garden is getting covered in weeds because it’s rained so much over the last week. It’s mainly horsetail on one side as well, which is a real pain, I just keep having to hoe it off and I’m aiming to get ground cover plants in to try and squish it. On the plus side, the plants we’ve grown are pretty strong and doing well. We have cosmos, larkspur, sweet peas, cornflowers (blue and black ball), cerinthe, corncockle, calendula and borage plants growing on the front so far. We’ve also got a load of Rudbeckia seedlings to plant as well and even more sweet peas. Chris also bought a lupin (which I really wanted, so it was a nice surprise) and some dahlias, we need to pick a site for them too. At least we now know the plants will grow here, which is brilliant.

A very soggy view through the window.

On the veg side, the second early potatoes are growing well, I haven’t managed to get main crops in yet. The peas and the garlic are growing well, there’s some beetroot seedlings showing now and some parsnip seedlings. I have sweetcorn to plant out and need to plant the runner beans, it should be warm enough now. I planted them too early last year and they didn’t do well. Our strawberry plants are flowering but unfortunately it looks like the raspberry canes have died off, Chris thinks it’s because we had a dry spell and we didn’t water them enough. I’m praying they come back, but we may have to get some more. The cranberry and blueberry bushes are growing really well round the side. I’m still trying to decide what to do with my cucumber and tomato plants as we haven’t yet got a poly tunnel. I might have to pot them on and keep them indoors. I’m pretty sure it’s too windy here to have them outdoors. Oh yes! I have a couple of courgette plants to plant out too. It’s all go…exciting though, eventually I want to be able to grow veg just about all year round for our use. Not sure whether I’ll manage to get all that I want this year, but I’ll try.

Sweet corn plants (they’ve now gone outside)

Animals are currently on hold, I think chickens or ducks will be first, but as there’s pine martens, mink, foxes and badgers around here, we’re going to have to make sure they’re as secure as we can get them. Probably with electric fencing as well as an enclosure. I also feel like I currently have enough on, but it would be good to have chickens again.

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Here lies the body of…

only joking! (As Chris would say).

It’s our outside fire that Chris has made for us. It’s great, the tombstone makes sure the smoke doesn’t go everywhere. Hoping to cook on it sometimes this summer.

New bed dug today, only a small one. J said he wanted to grow carrots, so I dug one and the seeds are in. I’m not sure whether they’ll work, the seeds are from last year and I’ve never had much success with carrots, but I guess we will soon see. The sticks mark the rows.

I gave J his own little bit of garden today (he chose it), mainly because he kept running on and digging in the bits I’ve planted. In the photo he is using my early birthday present. He’s really good with it too. It’s a Wolf Garten set, they have interchangeable heads and the ones I chose are a tiller and a weeder. J has also sown some sunflower seeds too today. He seems to really like gardening. Maybe we should start a family business 😆.

Project veg plot

I have a project! The area of raised ground behind the house is just about dry enough to sort out for our veg plot (with a few flowers thrown in for good measure). So I’ve started edging and digging the beds and planning it out. I love doing it. Especially planning and deciding where to put the paths and beds and what will go where.

A before (ish) photo, not quite the same view as the next:

and a current photo:

It is so satisfying, just doing a bit at a time. It has to be a bit really, I have to wait for littlest’s nap time, then I try to do the digging. The top bit in front of the shed is where I’m at at the moment:

still about half a bed to dig, there’s some big stones in there. When I can get them out they get thrown down the bank, there’s one so far that I can’t shift, so I think I’ll stick another on top and leave it there so I can see where it is and don’t do a clang a spade down on it thing and reverberate. I’m hoping to get potatoes in here over the next week but it’s still fairly claggy, so we’ll see.

This is the other side:

To the far left as you look at the raised area we are hoping to put up a poly tunnel. Either this year or next, we aren’t sure yet. There’s so many roots and branches to clear, but it’s good fun.

I’ve felt a bit low recently and being outside, being active and gardening are things I really enjoy and they charge me up. I asked God what to do about how I was feeling earlier in the week and amongst other things I felt he said to get outside. He also gave me this verse:

Matthew 6:25

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 

I need to trust him.

also, we have pots everywhere! I love it! Seeds are germinating all over the house 😍

these are cornflowers, blackball and blue ball. Hopefully we’ll pick the right spot for them once they’re a bit bigger and they’ll flourish!

The heaven’s declare…

Regarding our house sale, the builder fella came around yesterday to check what needs doing damp proofing wise, he was really friendly and seemed realistic and honest.  So we’re waiting to hear that all is well and our sale is going through.

Not heard anything on the croft since we heard our offer had been accepted in principle, I’ll feel a lot happier once the advert actually goes under offer though. I contacted them  again yesterday to find out what happens next. Whether it officially goes under offer at some point or whether it is because it has been accepted. It is the in principle bit I’m not sure about.

I’m really, really enjoying life on the allotment at the moment, there are turnips growing, sprouts, cabbages (only a few because they got eaten even though they are netted), runner beans flowering, summer and winter squash growing, courgettes, sweetcorn plants, onions, spinach, a few beetroot, lettuce and spring onions. One reason I’m really enjoying it is it seems it is the first year since we got the allotment that I’ve really been able to make a difference and do a lot of the work. It’s because I was pregnant with our toddler when we first got it and since then had the old post natal depression/anxiety /lack of get up and go and then another baby. Life has been busy! But busy is not necessarily bad and now the two boys generally play for a while whilst I do some work. I also LOVE going on with them, being outside is good, for them and for me and our relationship.

The little one has now started bum shuffling (he has got quite fast) and I leave him in one place and look up and he’s in a veg bed with something interesting like mud held between his finger and thumb, on it’s way to his mouth, like the finest delicacy.  Mr toddler is also starting to take an interest in the names of plants and of taking care of the beds and doing things like hoeing etc. I just have to watch he doesn’t dig my plants up. It’s brilliant this year because we never actually got round to planting any potatoes so he has basically got his own patch to play on/dig up/roll around in/learn to garden/whatever he likes.  He has been loving it.

 

We still have our four hens on the allotment too, they’re about 14 months old now, only three are laying at the moment, but one does look like it has been going through a moult, so maybe she will start again. We are going to need to rehome them very soon (it looks like we have found a home for them). I love having chickens, but I think it would be a bit much to take them 700 ish miles with us.

 

We can’t wait to get moved and start getting set up, I love the thought of getting our new chickens there, we will be able to have a rooster too! (we can’t where we are at the moment) and maybe ducks and sheep to start with. We are planning on putting chickens on the vegetable garden to clear it over autumn/winter (depending when we get there) and then sorting that out next year. It is walled but the wall has disappeared under grass, so hopefully we can get the wall uncovered and the house will have a walled garden again.

We have a dream/wish list in relation to the croft, one of which is a large polycrub in which we would be able to grow just about any veg/fruit/flowers we want. The problem in Shetland as far as I am aware is the wind and so a polycrub would be ideal. The only thing is the cost of the polycrub, we are praying that we will be able to get one.

We are also planning/wanting to plant some trees which should be suitable for the area, we have been researching a little on what would be the best options for the area – some of the suitable trees are downy birch and hazel and we should hopefully be able to use these somewhere on the croft as a wind break/shelter as well as having the joy of actually having trees there. There aren’t many on Shetland from what I have heard.  I have seen this week that the woodland trust sell landowner packs of trees and there is a pack called wild wood tree pack which looks ideal, even more so because the ones that are out of stock are not ones we wanted and the ones they are offering are the ones we wanted. So getting and planting these would be so good to do. It’s good that Chris and I are so on the same page with this really, we love planning this sort of thing, the gardens, the land, the trees.

When Jesus was first making himself obvious to me, I had been asking him whether he was real because I was desperate and did not know where to go with my life, I felt like I had no hope. I suppose everything had been made clear to me that “things” and even people just don’t cut it and hiding yourself in things like drinking don’t really work. I can remember driving into the countryside, specifically from Chesterfield into Ashover and praying the Lord’s prayer because it was all I knew regarding prayer really and begging Him that if he really was there to help me and I looked around and the fields and trees and skies had suddenly become brighter and just spectacular, it was in technicolour. So one of the ways he showed me himself was via the outdoors. It was just awesome.

P1020328
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork (Ps 19:1).

I’ve seen some interesting news in the last few weeks as well, Shetland is going to be homing some Syrian refugees, I feel really excited about this, we are still involved with the world! we are not cut off! I have to admit I have been wondering what sort of stuff we will be doing there and dreaming of what God may have for us to do. Dreaming is good, dreams can become reality, especially when you pray them, especially if it is actually God giving you those dreams…

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

I love this prayer. When you actually look at the words and what they mean, it is just brilliant.

(I don’t generally do the whole olde speak thy/thou thing, but I do with this prayer, because it is how I learnt it when I was young, and I like it. But you don’t have to, you can talk to God however you are comfortable, he loves you to talk to him).

See ya!