The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Flowers from our gate side stand: May 2010

Posted in Flowers | 11 comments

Flowers from our gate side stand: May 2010

  I haven’t posted ‘Flowers from the garden’  for ages – mainly because almost everything is sold on the gate side stand. Come high summer our cottage will be filled with flowers from the garden as I have armies of annuals impatiently waiting in the wings for all likelihood of frosts to be over. At the moment commercialism triumphs over pleasure. We always put out fresh flowers so if a bunch is not snapped up within two days they are mine. A sort of jaded bliss – I’m supposed to be selling them after all. So I’m changing...

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Posies on the spring gate side stand

Posted in Flowers | 7 comments

Posies on the spring gate side stand

  Last week I popped into Homebase to see if they had potted up flowering spring bulbs on sale. And they did! At 25%-30% of the usual price these are even cheaper than buying bulbs. They would enable us to start selling posies on the gate side stand and then plant the bulbs in the garden for next year. When I got home I tackled the posies. It was fun looking around the garden for foliage and other flowers. Luckily the winter flowering honeysuckle is blooming so I added some of this to each of the posies – the smell of these tiny creamy...

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Boning up on flowers for the gate side stand

Posted in Flowers | 6 comments

Boning up on flowers for the gate side stand

  Having come from a long line of perennial gardeners I always thought of annuals as the sort of summer bedding that you see on roundabouts and parks. I usually put geraniums in the big barrels beside the cottage front door and add a bit of lobelia.  Apart from a few marigolds to grow with tomatoes and lots of sweet peas, that’s it. I had no idea that there were so many gorgeous annuals available until I read your comments on this post and on the post the next day. In the end I decided to order some plugs and some seed. This past week has...

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My Dream Farm got me focused and back on track

Posted in Gardening | 20 comments

My Dream Farm got me focused and back on track

  Wow. I’ve just been watching last night’s episode of Monty Don’s “My Dream Farm.” Thank you Peter for tipping me off about this. Although we stopped watching telly regularly a few years ago, I can catch up on my laptop – as I’m usually asleep by eight at night! The programme was inspiring and I realised that even a little gate side stand could potentially become the heart of a new business. I also recognised that I’ve been treating ours as a bit of a hobby. I had been planning to sell the flowers in bunches of five for...

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Making homemade sweets

Posted in Sweets and Candy | 16 comments

Making homemade sweets

  Apart from Christmases as a very small child I had never attempted to make sweets until this Christmas. I only started doing this to draw a slightly different crowd to our gate side stand. The ‘melt in the mouth’ fudge sold very well and didn’t need an expensive new jar and lid. Although I agree with Suky it wasn’t quite chewy enough for me – so I’ll cook it until it’s golden brown next time. I packed it in little cellophane envelopes that are sold for handmade cards. With the standard red raffia bows I tried...

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