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Mystery Vegetables

Story location: Home / Blog / house /

Or How I Wish I'd Labelled The Pots...

Our vegetable garden is doing reasonably well now. We've been eating the salad leaves for a few weeks now, and we've eaten one courgette so far - there are a couple more which are almost big enough to eat now.

I had to dig up one of the rocket plants which was growing next to the pepper plants. It had grown too large and was overshadowing its neighbours. We ate it last night as a 'salad garnish' to our home-made pizza.

The only real problem is the new tubs I planted a few weeks ago. They contained Leeks, Chives and 'Land Cress' but I can't remember which one was which. One tub has something with small broad leaves, which may be cress but could also be a weed. Several tubs have small thin green shoots. One should be chives and another should be leeks, but they look identical. They both look identical to the smaller tub which is definitely chives. I suppose they are all members of the allium family so they might look similar when they are small.

Flowers now - last year we bought some small Viola plants. At the end of the season I collected the seeds and scattered them in some tubs to see what happened. We have one small viola plant which looks identical to the ones we bought. This is actually growing in the gaps between the flagstones. The only plants which grew in the tubs were tall, spindly with pink flowers.


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Two more National Trust houses

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We visited a couple more National Trust houses today. We went around Chedworth House and the church, then drove to Waddesdon House. We didn't realise there was some kind of festival going on at Waddesdon but we managed to have a quick wander around the gardens.


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New Quail Chicks

Story location: Home / Blog / quail /

Here are some photos of the new quail chicks which have hatched within the last day
Quail Chick
Quail Chick

Box of Quail Chicks
Tray full of quail chicks. The blue wire is a temperature sensor so we can make sure they aren't getting too warm or cold. The silver object on the right is the heat lamp to keep the temperature at around 37°C


Story location: Home / Blog / house /

It's quite windy today - on the drive back from the shops this morning, I saw some cardboard boxes get blown out of a skip.

In our garden we've got a small lavender bush in a tub. The roots have started to grow out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the tub. This makes it unsteady and it gets blown over quite easily.

I've been meaning to plant it in the garden for a while and decided to finally get around to doing it today. I unlocked the shed door to get the spade, turned around and saw the lavender pot get blown over again. It's definitely time to re-plant it.

Hamster News

Story location: Home / Blog / Hamsters /

Just a quick post today with some updated hamster news.

Vande died earlier today. When we adopted him and his brother last summer, Vande was the larger of the two and Graaff was noticeably thinner. Over time, Vande got thinner and started to drink a lot. We think he may have developed diabetes, which can be common in Campbells Hamsters. So far Graaff seems to be ok.

We lost Hank last month, on the 29th. He had gone quite quickly from being a chubby animal to being quite thin. He had developed a series of tumours which over the months slowly grew and spread. We took him to the vets when they started to appear and he was given some antibiotics. While he was able to live a normal life, without being in any pain, it seemed cruel to have him put down. We were told that an operation would be very risky. Operations on small hamsters have a very low success rate. We looked after as well as we could. He died in his sleep, overnight.

Lidl coming to Coventry

Story location: Home / Blog / coventry /

A few years ago we went to an event organised by Lidl to drum up support for a store in Binley. The planning application failed but they recently bought the old Somerfield site on the Binley Road in Stoke.

The last time we drove past, a few weeks ago, the site was still looking empty. There didn't seem to be anything above ground level. We drove past this evening and the building work seemed to have progressed quite well. The brick shell was in place and it looked very 'shop shaped'.

China Red

Story location: Home / Blog / coventry /

It was a toss-up between the lunchtime buffet at China Red in Hertford Street, or the Handy Nasty (Han Dynasty) near West Orchards. We chose China Red simply because we were nearer to it at the time.

The buffet was fairly cheap at £5.90-ish. The selection was reasonable given the price. Starters included prawn toast, chicken satay sticks, ribs, spring rolls. Main courses included beef curry, sweet and sour chicken, noodles, rice.

The food was tasty, but the disadvantage of eating at lunchtime is that I can't eat as much as in the evenings, so I didn't get to have as many platesful as normal.

Salad Veg

Story location: Home / Blog / house /

The salad leaves are the only vegetables in the garden which are ready to eat. I picked a few this evening which we chopped and ate with our tea tonight. The seeds were described as 'herb salad mixture' and included cress and rocket, so there was something with more flavour than just lettuce.

The courgettes are slowly growing. The pepper plants are still a bit too small and don't have any fruit yet. The garlic from last year is still there and should be ready to harvest in the autumn. The leeks and 'land cress' were only planted a few days ago so haven't germinated yet.

The spinach beet is starting to look a bit past its best, but we only keep that for the quail. It might be worth planting some more soon.

I've also planted a few trays of grass seed for the quail. They enjoy sitting in the grass, pecking and scratching at it. We bought a roll of turf for them a few months ago but they destroyed it fairly quickly. We now give them a tray of grass for a few days, then remove it before they can irreparably damage it.

Around Evesham

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First stop: The Domestic Fowl Trust. We went there earlier this year but Emma wanted to go back and feed the animals again. This backfired when we got to the Rhea, which decided it wanted to eat her finger and didn't want to let go.

We stopped at a nearby 13th century thatched pub for lunch.

We drove into Evesham and went around the Almonry museum and garden. It was larger than we were expecting on the inside, and it took a couple of hours to walk around.


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Story location: Home / Blog / house /

I spent much of this afternoon in the garden: weeding, digging the borders, planting veg seeds. I should probably have started preparing planting winter veg slightly earlier, but if all goes well we should have some leeks growing soon, ready to harvest in late autumn.

Courgette flower and vegetable
The 'fruit' have started to appear on our courgettes.

Conference Time

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I've been a bit busy this week, spending most of it at a conference at the University.

We has some free time this afternoon, so we were all put on a coach and taken on a 'mystery tour' to the Kingsbury Water Park. It wasn't much of a mystery because we had been told roughly where we were going. There wasn't much to do there except sit and relax, or go for a walk. The narrow gauge railway was an interesting diversion, although it did feel like it would tip over if anyone leaned too far to the side.

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