The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Bank Holiday Saturday, chicken pellets and slugs

Posted in General care | 6 comments

Bank Holiday Saturday, chicken pellets and slugs

The bliss of waking up to no commitments was perfect this morning. I’m working for a couple of hours tomorrow but this is good as it will finance my extravagance at the garden centre today. A happy hour spent with loads of other people enjoying the prospect of a sunny bank holiday, choosing their summer bedding, grow bags and vegetables. For the first time in months I noticed that nearly everyone was smiling. My trolley was unwieldy from the start as I cashed in on the offer on grow bags (3 for a fiver). I bought a tray of dark blue...

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Easter Trees

Posted in Easter | 11 comments

Easter Trees

I don’t have a long family tradition of making Easter Trees. Occasionally, over the past few years I’ve seen them in clients’ houses and been intrigued. Finally the blog Finding Simplicity gave  me the nudge last year and we enjoyed the tree so much that we’ve made one again this year. The tradition is far simpler than the Christmas tree one. You can use any sort of twiggy growth for the tree. If you didn’t need it to last long and need to make an off the cuff tree Forsythia would be ideal (as it is already in flower). We followed...

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Finally a whole weekend in the garden: Plans and promises

Posted in General care | 17 comments

Finally a whole weekend in the garden: Plans and promises

I spent most of the day in the garden today. I have prepared the borders in the kitchen garden and should have been setting seeds but I was drawn to tackle The Border of Stones. This is not a horticultural installation rather a border that was laid on top of the place where the basket weavers’ pig sty and outbuildings were knocked down covered with a thin layer of topsoil and laid to lawn. Over the years I have removed about six barrow loads of stones from a border than cannot measure more than 4’ x 8’. The stones gradually move their...

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Ranunculus

Posted in Discoveries, Flowers | 22 comments

Ranunculus

This afternoon I fell in love. I was in Waitrose with my mother. Standing beside the flower stand. I don’t buy flowers for the cottage anymore but my mum often buys me flowers when we go shopping. “Why, these are beautiful.” She picked up some soft yet elegant flowers that we’d never seen before. We examined the label – Ranunculus. Such a clumsy name for an exquisite flower. Apparently it comes from the Latin and means little frog. As both the amphibian and plant enjoy a little damp. I’ve spent the evening getting acquainted with...

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