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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

A Tiny Garden

Our garden is rather on the small side, I find myself looking at pictures of nice, big gardens with a shade of envy. Then I remember how lucky I am to even have a garden, some people have only a yard and some have nothing at all. It may be a tiny plot, but it's our tiny plot, I suppose our little piece of England if you will and we work hard to get as much from it as possible.

I love the garden in July, the flowers are really coming into their own, outside is a riot of colour that just cannot fail to bring a smile to my face.










 I know that was a lot of pictures, but I think they're all so beautiful.

It hasn't been plain sailing, we had quite a nasty invasion of black fly on the Dahlias. It seems to be under control now and my beautiful yellow Dahlia appears to have won the war against the black fly and the nasty slugs and snails that had feasted it almost into oblivion...



 We've had a little rearrangement, moved some of the plants from pots into one of the raised beds, including the Heuchera and Delphinium that were thankfully identified by you lovely people in a previous post.




The Hosta at the front has just started to flower.





Delphinium getting ready to bloom






 Are you flowered out yet? This planter is next to the raised garden we use for growing veg at the back





 Honey is looking up expectedly... wondering if there're any treats on the table



Right at the back Andy's just erected a small gazebo. It's for a barbecue, but is just the right size for a small garden. We've wrapped lots of twinkling lights around it and have some lanterns so it's a perfect retreat in a summers evening. I will get round to to taking an evening photo, it looks so pretty.



 Before I go, an update on the Hydrangea we have at the front of the house. It really has come back with a vengeance, beautiful...


 So lovely, we bought it a friend...




Take care
xxx



Sunday, 26 June 2016

Fairy Visitors on a Sunny Sunday.

Thank you for your lovely comments about my tear and share bread, it's a bit of a family favourite here.

After some warm, but muggy days, we have some lovely sunshine. It's been a busy week here so it was nice to go and sit in the garden with the dogs and a book, soaking up the sunshine, a gentle breeze and birds chatting away in the background.




  I bribed my companions to come and sit with me, a couple of gravy bones each.




They know the drill well, 'sit' then come when your name's called.






Everything in the garden's grown so much since I took photos a couple of weeks ago. I bought these handy little dead heading snippers, a bargain at 49p (excuse how dirty my gardening gloves are, I suppose it shows I'm using them).



They even have a handy little pocket to keep them in, which is good as they are rather sharp.



The garden is starting to bloom more, colours getting bigger and brighter





The flowers are growing in the old bird bath. I'm pleased as there isn't much room, not much depth for their roots.



 Here are some of our fairy visitors, they've set up home in the mini wheelbarrow



A cute little tree stump and a couple of hedgehogs...




Just need a little greenery in their garden.



What a lovely signpost, this way to happiness...




I plan to have some more fairy visitors, just need the right places for them to move into.

Courgettes are growing well, I think we'll be picking a couple soon





I wonder if any of you knowledgeable green fingered people can help me? We have a couple plants that we can't identify? The first is this long, thin one.I picked it up from the 'dying' shelf in a garden centre and it appears to be thriving... whatever it is!


It also seems to be getting ready to bloom?



We have no idea what this is either. I love the deep reddish, mahogany colour of the leaves, and again, it appears be thriving...






Thank you for taking the time to read andI'd love any information about the 2 unidentified plants, and if you don't know what they are either then just pop by and say hello.

Take care
xxx



Thursday, 16 June 2016

Tear and Share Pepperoni and Cheese Bread

Thought I'd do a spot of baking this afternoon. I'd seen a garlic and cheese tear and share in shop the other day and thought a pepperoni one would be nice with some pasta and tomato sauce.

Firstly I had to check I had enough strong (bread) flour in stock!



This is my favourite measuring bowl, it measures in grams, ounces, cups and fluid measurements. I used 450g of strong flour.



I popped the flour in my Kmix, added a teaspoon of salt, teaspoon of sugar and a sachet of yeast (7grams), I also added about 30ml of olive oil, the equivalent of about 2 tablespoons.




As it mixed, I gradually added some tepid water. I started with 300ml, but ended up increasing it to 320ml. Once I finished adding the water, I left it to keep kneading (dough hook on my Kmix) until it looked lovely and smooth and felt elastic and bouncy!




Into a dish to be left to proof



Covered with a clean tea towel



An hour later, it doubled in size. When I lifted it out of the bowl, it felt so light and full of air, just as it should.



On the work surface with some more flour sprinkled under it.




Hubby passing through the kitchen, so commandeered to do some rolling...



Couple of blobs of tomato puree smoothed on with the back of a spoon.



Before placing on the bread, I put the pepperoni and cheese in a bowl so I could add a couple of pinches of oregano, then spread it evenly over the rolled out dough.





Rolled the whole thing like a swiss roll and cut into pieces.




I placed them next to each other in a greased dish



Left for another half hour to proof a little more. Then used a brush to spread a little oil over the top. You can just see in this second picture how it's spread a little more.


In the oven for half an hour







Really turned out nice, light and tasty, enjoyed by all (the second tray was sent to my son)




Take care
xxx