The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Pink

Posted in Cottage tales, Flowers | 32 comments

Pink

A few years ago, when I was a decorator, I’d often receive a particular phone call. It was generally the same request on those occaisions. “I have a little girl and it will be her 5th (6th, 7th) birthday soon. She loves the colour pink. That’s Sindy Pink, do you know the colour? Would you be able to paint her bedroom on such a such a date so that when she comes home from school it will be the colour that she loves?” I managed it every time that there was a request. Even knew the colour number by heart. Going up the house, paint pots in...

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Flowers from the garden July 2012. One day late

Posted in Flowers | 5 comments

Flowers from the garden July 2012. One day late

About 18 months ago John (in the village shop) and I made a plan. I would order 100 carnation plant plugs, grow them on and supply the village shop with flowers. Carnations last very well as cut flowers, no chance of them wilting after just a few days. Perfect. When I was a struggling wooden toymaker I always bought carnations every week. These are the one flower that can go on and on if you change the water often and deadhead in the vase. Eventually the smaller buds on the stems flower and you can have a mini flower arrangement beside your...

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Grow feverfew – great as a moth repellent!

Posted in Flowers | 12 comments

Grow feverfew – great as a moth repellent!

Our garden grows feverfew like a weed. I rather like the small daisy like flowers. I used to keep just a few plants dotted around the garden but now I cherish them and harvest armfuls of plants in July. The flowers are a good remedy for treating headaches but when I was researching potpourri I discovered they are an extremely good moth repellent. Clearly moths don’t suffer from headaches as they steer clear. Moths can be a problem at the cottage. Not the beautiful specimens that fly through the open windows at night. Rather the clothes...

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Cut flower seeds to sow yourself in June or July for harvesting next year

Posted in Flowers | 4 comments

Cut flower seeds to sow yourself in June or July for harvesting next year

Izzy Bee stopped by the blog today and asked if I could give information on the flowers in my monthly bouquets as she is interested in growing her own flowers for cutting. I will update my June flowers from the garden post over the next few days. Growing your own flowers at home is a very eco friendly thing to do – no air miles, no chemicals to keep the flowers blooming for longer. Home grown flowers have a softness and charm that a florist can rarely replicate. Growing your own flowers also saves loads of money, compare the price of a...

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Raspberry recipes on The Cottage Smallholder site

Posted in Desserts, Fruit, Liqueurs | 6 comments

Raspberry recipes on The Cottage Smallholder site

I love raspberries. Could eat them every day. When I was working in London and dining out a lot, I would often order fresh raspberries with a sprinkle of castor sugar for dessert. Friends tucking into waist expanding desserts would think that I was mad or on an impromptu diet. They didn’t realise that each savoured mouthful took me into the heart of a long summer’s day. Luckily for me, raspberries are packed with vitamins and minerals and are classed as a super food. But the time that it takes to harvest them makes them rather expensive to...

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Flowers from the garden June 2012

Posted in Flowers | 18 comments

Flowers from the garden June 2012

Unless you have been reading this blog for a very long time you wouldn’t know that I used to spend £10 a week on flowers. Flowers have a transient beauty and this somehow makes them even more precious. A home without flowers always seemed rather a bleak place to me. This Chinese proverb explains the need for beauty in our lives. “When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.” Food for the body and food for the soul. Back in January 1997 I decided to give up buying flowers from...

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How to grow the best organic perpetual/everbearing strawberries

Posted in Fruit | 8 comments

How to grow the best organic perpetual/everbearing strawberries

Ta da! (Massive rumble of drums) Finally this year we are growing and will relish great strawberries! With a bit of trial and a lot of error. Home grown strawberries, picked and guzzled within minutes taste far, far better than any strawberry that you can buy from a shop. Freshness is important but if you grow your own you can choose varieties that taste superb but just don’t travel well and last for the number of days that the supermarkets need to display the fruit. Waitrose tried to sell the best tasting varieties of UK strawberries a...

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Update on our Bosch Rotak lawnmower and why it was left out all winter

Posted in General care | 6 comments

Update on our Bosch Rotak lawnmower and why it was left out all winter

“I’m going to get dressed and mow the lawns today. I just hope that the mower will work as it has been out all winter.” “What! Why?” spluttered Danny. “I did tie on a bin liner to protect the electrical bits.” This strange action needs an explanation – I have been treated for depression for about four years now. This doesn’t mean that I sit in the corner weeping, in fact I always think of myself as a happy person. The depression manifests itself in an extremely debilitating way. I find it very hard to do certain tasks. I...

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