The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Work and holidays

Posted in Wildlife | 7 comments

Work and holidays

Yesterday I didn’t write a post. I took a holiday from everything and spent a day with Seraphina. Lunch and shopping in Saffron Walden. Tea and cakes at Audley End. Perfect, as we both needed some time out. So this evening I’m sharing something very special. I’m showing you a few shots of the house where I am working at the moment. It’s the quintessential English country house set in an acre of garden and has a good, calm feel. Here, time has stopped still. The job involves repairing and decorating the outside at...

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Wildlife pond

Posted in Wildlife | 12 comments

Wildlife pond

I’ve had a thing about frogs for years. At university I was actually called Frog. I like to think that this referred to my fondness for this amphibian rather than a similarity in legs, feet or grin. When I moved into the cottage, my mum raised frogs and toads in aquaria in the kitchen. The pond was well stocked with koi in those days and few amphibians visited. Each August we released the frogs into the garden. Tiny, precious creatures that would disappear into the undergrowth or swim courageously in the pond with perfect breast stroke....

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George

Posted in Cottage tales, General care | 14 comments

George

When I first met George he was the largest and most regal specimen in Colin’s pond. An old English carp – the sort that live in castle moats for years, often outliving their owners. Colin reckoned that he was at least ten years old. George was special. When Colin handed me the keys to the cottage he was handing me the keys to a dream. Seclusion and privacy in a cottage set well back from the road with a large garden and small twelve foot pond. George was a key player. He got under my skin. I had planned to get rid of the pond....

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The pond garden

Posted in General care | 0 comments

The pond garden

One of my great pleasures is to walk down to the pond garden and feed the fish. From midsummer onwards the fish expect to be fed whenever we pass the pond. I’m not sure how they know that we’re coming. Our footfalls must resonate through the water. As we approach, they rush to the feeding area, a mass of multicoloured fins and tails, and stare up open mouthed. We feed them twice a day but often those fishy stares are hard to resist and they get another snack. The semicircular pond is twenty eight feet by twelve. There is a gentle...

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