Thursday 30 April 2015

Growing your own ... in a small garden

If you ask a handful of gardeners why they grow fruit and veg, not many will reply "because it saves money." People have been gardening and growing food for centuries because it enriches our lives on so many levels, but for many people, 'growing your own' can be a daunting prospect. I often hear my friends saying "I tried and failed / it's too much hassle / I don't have the space! Well firstly, I'll admit I have far more failures than I've had successes, but it's the failures that (eventually) make you into a good gardener. Secondly, I hardly have any time - but I find tending to the garden does me the world of good - working with the earth and being amongst nature is good for you body, mind and soul so it's worth making time for. Thirdly, I only have a little garden, but you can grow quite a lot in the smallest of places ... you just have to use your imagination! Here are a few ideas to help you on your way ....

Growing your own, in a small space

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Friday 24 April 2015

The joy of pottering in the garden

I love pottering in the garden. When my hands are in the dirt, digging, sowing, clearing, it's one of the few times that my mind in completely quiet, and at peace. I seem unable to think ahead, or worry about pressing matters ... all is quiet, except for the occasional hum of the birds and bees. I think that's one of the many reasons why I, and billions of others, love gardening and pottering in the garden so much. I've loved flowers and being around nature for as long as I can remember ... my mum has always loved gardening and my nan could grow anything - the smell of tomato plants still takes me right back to my Grandad's old greenhouse. Handing down a love-of-nature to your children is a wonderful gift, and one that I've always been very thankful for.

My little 3 year old self - picking daisies in a church graveyard.

 Often in early Spring, I'll look out at the jumbled mess that is our garden and I start getting itchy feet, coupled with "oh but there's so much to do" and "where do I start? I've left it too late!" but once I start clearing the beds a fire ignites and I become a little garden ferret, fluttering around the garden at top speed until I have aching limbs and a crooked back. Miggins then tells me off for doing too much so I  hobble in, looking to hubby for sympathy, who in turns sends me off for a hot bath - but always, despite the throbbing limbs I know I will rest happy and content, for whether or not it flourishes, I know I've spent the afternoon doing something worthwhile.

JM x

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Tuesday 14 April 2015

The AHC guide to growing herbs + PLUS a pretty downloadable guide for the garden shed wall!

A guide to growing herbs

Last year I made this beautiful herb box ... it was filled with my favourite herbs: Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme and Sage. I used a good compost, positioned it in full light and I watered and fed correctly and yet despite my best efforts ... it met a sorry end. Mrs Miggins next door has magic fingers and can grow anything, she will break off a twig from a rose bush (from a neighbours garden or nearby stately home) pop it in a pot and as if like magic it will flourish from her touch. So after some  'digging' about and 'leafing' through books (ok, ok I'll stop now) I have now seen the error of my ways, and the answer lies in the soil ...  get the soil right, and you can grow anything. So here is my AHC guide to growing herbs, which includes a pretty downloadable chart for your garden shed wall!

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Thursday 2 April 2015

Pretty projects and a crafty March - A month in pictures

March - A month in pictures - A Handmade Cottage

March. It's been an incredibly crafty month in AHC headquarters, and I can't believe how quickly time passes. The trees were so bare, yet so quickly life blooms. This has been a busy month on the blog, with some lovely guest posts, and since Easter is coming up I've been sharing some fab quick and easy Easter craft projects! Now I'm looking forward to some time with my family -  it's good to have some time to put the feet up and over indulge in choccie bunnies and hot cross buns. Hubby's birthday is also coming up, which is one my favourite days of the year! (after Christmas and my own birthday of course ... you know how I feel about my birthday) but I love his birthday more, since it's the day he came into the world and changed mine (grab your buckets by all means, but it's true!) But back to crafty business, here's a glimpse of the funsies I've enjoyed this month ....

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