Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Hot Lips!

My great aunt Gwen gardened for at least 80 years and never lost her sense of wonder.  She considered every germinating seed to be a miracle.  

That's how I felt today when I saw the Hot Lips salvia cuttings I'd taken about six weeks ago had two tiny blossoms.  Magic! 

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Tiny Dancer- A MUST SEE video!

Let me apologise in advance.  Under normal circumstances I would NEVER post a video of a commercial product BUT this made me laugh out loud.  Bear with me, have a look, and see if you aren't as entertained by this video as I was...well, I apologise again.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Ted's Bread

There is an old saying that food is love.  Think about it, we feed the things we love most; our family, pets, friends, and the plants in our gardens.  If food is love, then baking is the ultimate expression.  Cooking regular meals is a necessity. Baking is optional.  

Baking takes time, skill, and a certain financial investment.  It is no coincidence that cakes are universally the food of celebrations.  A wedding or birthday party without a cake is unthinkable!

Cakes, cookies, and pastries are treats for special occasions.  Home made bread is the little bit of love that can be consumed with every meal.   That is the story behind Ted's Rolls.  CLICK HERE for Sara James' recipe for Ted's Rolls.


They are a delicious 'everyday' treat ....

And the main ingredient is love! 

Thank you, Sara, for allowing me to share your special recipe. 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

The Annual Dahlia Report 2015

It's that time of year again, when John's prize winning dahlias are about to go undercover before the Flower Show season.  Time for me to climb over the back fence and take some photos of the dahlia patch. 

You remember John from THIS POST.  He is the chap who fills most of an allotment plot with the most stunning flowers every year.  He picks a few perfect blooms to enter into competitions and gives the rest away. A very generous gardener is John.

Every summer I take my camera and snap away.  I've noticed that there are fewer varieties in the patch this year.  

 Some of the varieties that I particularly liked are missing.  Knowing John, this is because they are not up to his high standards.  

Only perfection, like this Pom-pom will do.  John has now built the temporary shelter over the dahlias and I can no longer see them from my window.  The showing season must be about to begin. When the showing is over I'll have great bunches of John's dahlias to enjoy again. 

Friday, 14 August 2015

Hill House Nursery

There are times when an impulse takes you off the main road, down the narrowest of country lanes, and straight into a place so special it can only be described as magical.  

HILL HOUSE NURSERY  is that sort of experience.  Located in the beautiful Dart valley, Hill House is a real life secret garden. 

I was enchanted by the house and gardens from the moment we arrived. We received an official greeting from Oscar, the wirehaired dachshund.  

I've never seen glasshouses look so romantic.

It is obvious, this is a labour of love. 

Pots are displayed in a blossom filled border.

They offer a wide range of plants, from the exotic to the very familiar.

All this is set in an historic English garden.  

When you've toured the garden and purchased a few plants to take home, there is a charming tea room where you can take tea - inside or out, in a rose filled garden.

CLICK HERE for more information on Hill House Nursery.  Prepare to be enchanted.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Haynes International Motor Museum

When Andy said, 'We are going to the motor museum', I confess my heart sank. I love my little VW bug, Lucy, but I am not a gear head girl.  But when you see a face like this, you can't help but smile!

THE HAYNES INTERNATIONAL MOTOR MUSEUM  sounds like a place only grease monkeys and gear heads could love but you can't help but be drawn in by the massive collection of VERY early automobiles and classic cars.

The cars are real doozies!  Some are even Duesenbergs like this one.

Don't tell Lucy Bug, but I really took a fancy to this classic MG.

There is also an excellent cafe, a gift shop, and lots of driving activities.  Even if you aren't a gear head or a grease monkey, a visit to Haynes Motor Museum will make you ... SMILE!

 CLICK HERE for all the information you will need to plan your visit.  

Sunday, 9 August 2015

The Effect of High Summer on Blogging

Something happens every year about this time.  The garden seems to go into jungle mode and I spend almost all my spare time hacking back the borders.

Baking and blogging take a backseat to taking cuttings for new plants and transplanting things that have outgrown their old places in the garden.  This rose just got 'relocated' this afternoon.

The roses that don't get moved about need a daily deadheading to keep them going.  

Even the day lilies need a little attention to keep them looking their best.  

Fortunately, the pots of lobelias seem to take care of themselves.  Things are beginning to look a bit tired.  Soon the gardening season will be over and there will be time for more baking and blogging. Until then you will probably find me, head down, in a flower bed.  

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Salvia Cuttings

How do you get lots of great plants for free, take cuttings.  The Royal Horticultural Society says this is the perfect time to take salvia cuttings.  Here are some I took late last month. 

They've already begun to take root.  I've also taken lavender and hydrangea cuttings.  If I am lucky they will make lots more free plants!  

CLICK HERE for how-to's.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Chocolate Meringue Pie

Back when I was a kid growing up in the middle of Missouri, Pot Luck Suppers were a common social event.   Everyone would load up their picnic baskets with plates, cutlery, and napkins and take their favourite 'feed an army' dish to add to the L-O-N-G  buffet table.  For some folks it would be potato salad or macaroni cheese.  There was always fried chicken and home made dinner rolls. But the BEST thing you could find on the pot luck buffet was a Chocolate Meringue Pie!  

There was one lady, known as Mable, who always brought two beautiful pies. Two pies were a very generous contribution but there was no way there would be enough for everyone to get a slice.  

Fortunately, I was little, wiry, and stealthy enough to always find a way to the front of the cue for pie.  Eventually, the grown-ups would just gently shove me to the front of the line knowing how fond I was of Chocolate Meringue Pie.

I hadn't thought of chocolate pie for years.  I don't know why but it just sort of slipped out of my memory.  But in the past day or two I haven't been able to get it out of my mind.

So I did a little research on-line, as you do, and found this EASY CHOCOLATE MERINGUE RECIPE using store cupboard staples.  In no time at all I was enjoying a slice of Chocolate Meringue Pie. 

Thanks for the inspiration, Mable!