Friday, 20 November 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow? // Autumn Wildflowers

My course at uni is delivered in four-day workshops around four times a year, which means weeks I'm there (like this one!) leave me with very little time to write lovely blog posts. But here are some photographs I managed to take on Saturday morning, before I spent 20 hours on an assignment I should have taken a month to do! Oops... 

Hope you like them and fingers crossed for a better post next week :-)
Amy xxx

A few leaves!! This is as good as it gets in our tree-deprived garden, even though there's a HUGE cherry tree next door.

Mammsaurus HDYGG

Friday, 6 November 2015

Little Apple Twists

Since I've stopped taking orders for my cake business, I have decided to make it my personal mission to bake for our monthly team meetings at work.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow? // Shoulder to Shoulder (Potting for Spring)

I've missed a couple of weeks of #HDYGG but I have still been outside, tidying, planting and taking snaps.

The Alphabet Project // F is for Flower

My entry this week might seem a bit obvious, but it's represents the changes in my life over the last year

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Freekeh Styleh

I won't deny it, I bought a box of freekeh purely for it's name. Sadly it's pronounced 'free-kah', but

Monday, 26 October 2015

Kent Vegan Festival 2015

The Kent Vegan Festival has landed! Organised by Jo Kidd of the Abbots Mill Project and a team of others, this one-day festival's aim is to 'raise awareness about veganism as a holistic, healthy, environmentally sustainable and intrinsically non-violent way of life' in an inclusive and welcoming way. Well.. with over 1500 people through the door, I'd say it did a cracking job!

It was so busy that when we arrived there was a one-in one-out system in place and the queue snaked around the building towards the high street. It was exciting to see so many veggies in one place, Nick and I sometimes feel a bit alone in our pursuit of the vegan lifestyle. Being together with so many people that eat the same stuff as us was such a lovely feeling.

Passers-by stopped to see what was going on as a live band played in the car park to the front of the building, and all around us were excited people of all ages and appearances, rebutting the myth that vegans are hemp-wearing hippies (although there were a representative amount of those, too). Stood behind us in the queue for example, was a smart, middle-aged couple. The lady wore a white faux-fur coat and patent heels, and I overheard her talking about not having eaten a sausage roll for 21 years. A few minutes later a dreadlocked couple wandered past to watch the band, the man with a tiny baby snuggled beneath his baggy, multi-coloured knitted jumper.

You see, veganism doesn't discriminate! I'm not saying it's always easy in this meat and dairy fuelled society, but it is easier than ever before and only getting better (cue D:Ream). Anyone can choose the compassionate path at any stage in their life, it's not like The Vegans will turn you away because you used to love a bacon sarnie (we've all been there, well, a lot of us anyway). It's not a special club reserved for animal rights activists or protesters. Or hippies. Or 'clean eaters'. It's a special type of activism that's quiet and personal and massive and will make you feel... well... good. 

St Peter's Methodist Church hall looked tiny under the weight of the crowd, and it was difficult to look at the stalls as people 'sorried' and 'scuse meed' round the room. There was no less than four vegan bakery stalls (we bought from two!) and the food hatch had a huge line of hungry lunchtimers waiting for grub.

We grabbed leaflets as we pigeon-stepped past each stall, it was so busy and hot and I had envisaged striking up conversations with stall holders and other visitors. By the time we reached the queue for the food hatch we were so hungry and Archie was not in the most patient of moods. Having seen a bit of everything, we hot-footed it to The Veg Box CafĂ© instead, where Nick had a delicious burger and chunky chips and I enjoyed a Bhudda Bowl which - despite being different each time I visit - is one of my favourite things in the whole world.

All together I'd say the first Kent Vegan Festival was a resounding success, with hundreds of vegans flooding to the tiny hall to see what they could get their hands on. I sincerely hope it makes a return in 2016, but at a much bigger venue. Bring it on!

If you'd like to know more about veganism, take a look at this or get in touch!

Saturday, 24 October 2015

The Alphabet Project // E is for Empty

I found this letter really difficult! But here's my entry, an empty Minnis Bay on our first anniversary in August.

How Does Your Garden Grow? // Wilting Away is Beautiful, too

Something I have never paid attention to before is the beauty in a flower wilting and dying away. The shriveling of petals and change in colours and shape is fascinating and I can't help but think it's a flower's last moment of glory even though it is mostly overlooked. I am enjoying taking photographs of the flowers I was so excited to see blossom just a few weeks ago, like my brave little anemone. 

And I almost pulled this out during our rampage last week, but noticed seconds before little spots of yolky yellow peeking out. I am not sure what it'll be, but I planted it at the same time as the gladioli bulbs and I think it might be a variety of them. 

The fuschia is doing really well, especially since we moved it and it has more space. I wonder though, will it grow much taller? It's very small at the moment with the flowers almost touching the soil.

Mabel's been enjoying a rogue pot of lamb's lettuce and the spiders have grown big and plump now. They sit slap bang in the middle of their webs, guarding them with a stillness as if they're playing musical statues.

The rest is yet more of the snails I love discovering, succulents and my new fixation with cyclamen... Hope you enjoy them and have had a lovely week.

Mammsaurus HDYGG

Monday, 19 October 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow? // Bulbs and a Looking Glass

I have a confession to make - we pulled the poor old honeysuckle out last weekend and I am sorry (not sorry). It was very woody at the bottom and spreading outwards along the floor. All through the summer we tried to tie it to the trellis but it just wouldn't stay and I felt it was encroaching on its neighbours and looked pretty messy. It does feel so much tidier without it and we have popped a little shrub in its place by way of an apology.

We also pulled out the dozen or so gladioli I had plonked throughout the flower bed. They were lovely but in the wrong places really, and too spread out from one another. At least I know lovely flowers can be grown in our garden, but I have learnt to plan their positions a bit better next time!

Talking about planning, I have turned to Pinterest for bulb-planting inspiration and I think I have seen what I am going to do for next year...

I love clusters of the same flower and I think I have mustered enough skills in the last 12 months to achieve this look. I have quite a few pots and I went on a little spree a few weeks ago and bought bulbs for daffs, tulips, crocuses and muscari. I don't have any of the big hyacinths but that's easily remedied! I also bought some white and blue alliums (but I don't think 5 will be enough!!), some more anemones and some snowdrops, too.

And how gorgeous does this gladioli patch look?! Definitely something to try this time round. It is just so striking and lovely.

In other news, the good old geraniums are still going strong and I rescued a mirror my neighbour had left out on the street for the rag and bone man. Any ideas for it would be great! I am still in love with the lavender and feeling a lot less guilty since I re-potted that patio rose. It's bloomin' blooming now!

I also had my first go at arranging a large planter. I went for thyme and heather to accompany the little conifer, and split an ivy plant I already had. I have no idea if they're well suited to eachother, and it's not a great pic but you get the idea! 

Oh yes, and in pulling out weeds and old bulbs, I accidentally wrenched the calendula out! I was mortified... but I quickly planted it in a spare pot and it has bounced back... I hope it will be ok in there! All in all quite an eventful week in the garden, despite starting uni and the rest of the chaos family life brings. 

Mammsaurus HDYGG