Monday, October 19, 2015

''gardening expert'' i'm very flattered... lol

link to the article with Millrace Garden Centre

 here is a small excerpt ... my bit... lol

8 Gardening Experts Share Their Top Tips for Healthy Plants

8 Gardening Experts Share Their Top Tips for Healthy Plants

Claire Gillies - Claire's Garden

Claire Gillies had a good garden education, from the edibles from an experienced organic market gardener who she had a Saturday job with, to the flowers from an avid plant collector that she would weed and help with her garden - and who's 'old plants' made the backbone of Claire's garden. Claire was lucky to meet and work with them. She remains forever enthusiastic by having a 'plant it and see what happens' attitude. If it doesn't grow she tries again, or tries something different.
  1. What is the most effective way you've found to deal with garden pests?
I mostly collect by hand when I see them, and use occasional beer traps for slugs. I use a spoon and a jar with a lid I collect everything I don't want, then put the lid on the jar and the jar in the bin...
  1. Do you use fertiliser in your garden and if so, which type?
Home produced compost and lots of horse manure. And every so often, mostly when putting in seeds, I sprinkle rock dust.
  1. Which plant in your garden do you hold the most love for and why?
Daffodils, because they are so cheery at a miserable time of year, but I love everything so it's difficult to choose.
  1. Butterflies: Beautiful garden visitor or troublesome pest?
A very welcome and invited guest! My shed is placed deliberately to leave a space that's out of sight and untended with nettles etc, and many flowers I've planted would attract bees and butterflies.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

bravery, pony style!

today we rode through the section of path through the trees outlined in red... about 50-100 yards long... first time along it... ridden.. without ever having being led by me or another horse... whoohooo!! Abbey is awesome. bless her little scared socks...

Monday, September 14, 2015

The big allotment scam: How the system is stopping you from getting a plot

The big allotment scam: How the system is stopping you from getting a plot

Enormous waiting lists, pigeon lofts and 'dead man's shoes'
Waiting lists of around six years are stopping British families from going green and taking allotments on which to grow their own produce.
That's the opinion of an environmentally-conscious green fingered waste management company which says that many council- and committee-run allotment spaces are literally a case of "dead man's shoes", where the same people hold a plot for years and decades at a time.
On top of that, councils that are hard-pushed for budgets are tempted to sell off land for development, meaning there's ever decreasing space, the company says.
"Just at a time and more and more people are looking to grow their own produce, they're finding that the door has been slammed in their face," says Big Green spokesperson Mark Hall. "So many people have small gardens or no garden at all, meaning an allotment is the only real chance they have." spoke to councils across the UK to find out how long the waiting lists were for an allotment. The authorities who released figures led Big Green to find that:
  • The average waiting list for an allotment with six years
  • A significant number of councils had waiting lists as high as 250 people, with waits of around nine years
  • While the press made a big issue of 45-year waiting lists in 2009, there was no trace of any such figures now
  • The longest wait one (unnamed) council was prepared to admit was for 12 years
"The major problem is the lack of allotments for the folk who want to work them," says 's Mark Hall.
His solution is simple: "The average 10 pole (about 250 square metre) allotment is a lot of work for the average family. Split them in two, and double the number of available plots," he says. "Perhaps split them into three or four to give families a taste of growing produce, but on a big enough plot to bring decent results."
People are clearly getting impatient at the long waiting lists, and seem to think that the system is broken or skewed against new blood. spoke to some people on council waiting lists across the UK and heard:
  • "Three years we've been waiting. But you look over the fence and they've got empty plots. What's that about?"
  • "We were told we were right at the top of the list, and then they sold the whole field off to a developer. Disgraceful. We're still at the top of the list, but the other site's miles away."
  • "We desperately want to grow our own veg but we live in flats, but there's some selfish bloke who has six plots – one's got a pigeon loft and an old car! He can give one up for us, surely?"
  • "It's an old boys' club isn't it? We don't fit in, so we don't get a plot"
Those are damning words, says which lead on to other arguments: "There also needs to be a national debate about preserving allotment land," Hall says. "It's important green space, but all too easy for councils to earmark for development. Once that land's gone, it's gone. And that money only fills a budget hole for a single year."
One of the biggest problems that people on waiting lists find is people who occupy multiple allotments, or pay for a plot but don't use it as intended (or even at all).
"There's nothing worse than going down your local allotment site to find whole plots of land that have clearly not been cultivated for some time. The council direct debit is collected every year, so they seemingly don't care if it's left fallow," says Mark Hall. "We also know of plots which are nothing but pigeons, goats and chickens, and some who cultivate flowers and 'organic' crops sell at a profit. That's not what allotment ownership should be about."
Councils should also be stricter about multiple-occupiers who have a number of plots as well as commercial operations, denying other local people the chance to cultivate some land: "It's clear that many local authorities need to urgently reform their allotment provision. It's easy for users to abuse the system, when keen people are left kicking their heels, waiting for their turn," Hall says.
Unfortunately, such is the way the system works, new tenants have to wait for the previous person to actually die before they can take over a plot. There must be a better way of dividing up land and introducing new blood, says – "Dead Man's Shoes" just isn't good enough. says they recently heard of a council debating whether to increase the annual fee from £5 to £6 per year, and failing to come to a decision. And that's just goes to show how badly allotments are being handled by authorities.
"We'd pay ten times that much," says Mark, "If only we could get to the front of the queue!"
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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

saddle fit

saddle just returned from original makers , it was sent off to be widened  to fit Abbey better.. and had some D rings sewn on at the back to attach the picnic bags too.
now to try to get out on a picnic adventure...

Friday, July 24, 2015


I love this herd of horses, they're so chilled out , relaxed and feeling safe.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

extraordinary feeling of love

unconnected to the video... this happened today, visiting a house for work
I was standing, quietly waiting, I realised I could feel the house was so full of good atmosphere and love.. it was like being wrapped in a warm blanket of love,  I just rested there for five minutes until I had to go, it really was quite extraordinary, so I stood and accepted the love and felt thankful for it.
how awesome.
I know nothing of the people who live there,  I think that they grew up there then inherited the house so will have spent many years in it.
I imaging a happy, happy, loving family for generations.