29 July 2022

Gardening and jam making

On Wednesday I decided I would make up that second raised bed.  I know I should have done it before as I am not sure I will be using it much this year, but it will be ready for the Spring.  I decided to paint it too. The first one is 6' x 4', which I have found is a bit wide, this one is 6' x 3'.  I hope it will be better.  I shall have to order some more topsoil to fill it.  

I have enough boards left to make another 6' x 3' and a 3' square bed for putting annuals in. Or I may make a 6' x 2' raised bed instead of the 6' x 3' and put a divider in it, so there are two beds and fill one half with ericaceous soil and put a blueberry in it.  I will have to look up what other fruit or vegetable or plants can go in it. I just need someone to saw the boards up for me.  I'll have to paint the first one too when all the crops are done.

I joined the Dobbies Garden Centre Club earlier this year and had to go back yesterday, (well I didn't have to, but I was glad I did), as the last time I went the tills weren't working properly and they couldn't add the points I had to my card. I shall have to go again as I forgot to take the receipt. 😒

Well anyway, I went and got one of my monthly free cups of tea and then had a look around and found they had lots of plants in the reduced area.

First of all, there was this Alstroemeria Indian Summer (£3 reduced from £19.99) and then a Lilium Star Romance, (£3 reduced from £7.99). 
Here they are potted into larger pots.  I'll put them in the ground in the spring or maybe the autumn, I will have to look up which is the right time to do that.
And the third is a Hydrangea Curly Wurly, (£5 reduced from £24.99).  I've put it in a pot of ericaceous soil, for now, (maybe I'll put that in the raised bed).  I love the blue colour so hopefully, I hope I will be able to keep it blue. It has 'eye-catching curled flowers' and that makes it different to other hydrangeas.  The plant behind the hydrangea is the Helleborus Argutifolius  I got from the U3A Garden visit to Rothley earlier this month (just realised I have not written about that, will do so soon).

So all in all a great visit to Dobbies.  And I think I have saved enough to pay for half the first month's DD for the rise in the electricity. 😍

I haven't done as well as Sue at My Quiet Life in Suffolk, who had a meal made of almost all home-produced food, but I am pretty pleased with the vegetables I had for tea last night.

My niece had given me some rhubarb, from their garden and I wanted to make some jam, so after Dobbies yesterday I went to the supermarket to get some fruit and other bits and pieces as well as some sugar for jam making.  While there I saw some strawberries reduced to 81p from £2, I got three trays of them and thought I would make some strawberry jam too.  So my plan for this morning as it is supposed to be wet today (sorry again to the Suffolk folk), was to make jam. Here is the strawberry jam.  But I forgot that the rhubarb has to stand overnight with the sugar, so I will have to do that tomorrow.

I watched the Commonwealth Games opening last night, been too busy this morning to watch any, but I'll catch up this afternoon.  I think I will have to go to Birmingham when it is finished to see that bull!!  I am sure they said last night that it was going to be on permanent display somewhere, but according to that piece that may not be the case.


  1. I've got a very small amount of strawbs to make some jam and need to get it done if I'm to enter it in the two produce shows. Good bargain on the Alstromeria . I had some here until the drought. Very hot here today again - no sign of rain.
    My one attempt to use rhubarb for a jam on it's own many many years ago and it looked like sludge! I'm sure you will do much better!

    1. There is a produce show in the village but it is not until September, so don't think I will have any fresh stuff to show and do not think my jams are good enough.

  2. Hari OM
    Well done on the garden set-up and the 'score' of blooming swag from Dobbies; fantastic reducitons.

    I love that bull and hope there is a way for it to have a permanent life - love that the mascot is the bull too. One of the best sports mascots in ages (not [Taurus] biased, I just genuinely think it is!) So far I have enjoyed Triathlon, cricket, Rugby 7s, a little bit of bowls and am currently watching track cycling... three screens going at one time earlier!!!!!) YAM xx

  3. Well done, yes! This is a good time of year to get plants on sale. I am slowing down, though.
    (ツ) from Jenn Jilks , ON, Canada!

  4. F used to put her strawberries and rhubarb in the same jam and the combo (not her idea) had been pronounced very good jam. Your rsised beds are looking very professionsl now. Xxx Mr T

    1. Good idea, the strawberry jam isn't that good a set and I am sure adding rhubarb would make the set better. I'll try to find a recipe to try. Thank you about the raised beds hope when the next is filled I get a good crop too.