Tuesday, 27 September 2016

A few weeks of non stop fun!!

Fun Fun Fun

Wow well where do I begin? My last few weeks have been somewhat eventful and oh so fun so I shall share a few things with you!!

I went along to a local agriculture show at Stokesley which was my first ever visit. Took the kids along too to see what it was all about! We all absolutely loved it. It was rather big and there was so much to see from sheep,cows,goats,rabbits and horses to tractors and crazy bike stunt displays to name but a few. My very favourite had to be the plant tent (of course it was!) I met a lovely local Alpine Society group who had lots of advice & fantastic recycled displays and I ended up making a purchase from them. (Lewisia see below) I also found my way into the tent where all the judged entries where. It was brilliant from beautiful cuts of dahlia's to some of the biggest veg I had seen. It was all very inspirational and thought provoking for me to maybe enter some over the coming years (one can dream right!)


I also visited the Festival of Thrift which was held at Redcar. Whilst it wasn't full of gardening things it was still a fantastic event which showcased a lot of ways of recycling/up cycling anything and everything with stacks of yummy food on offer too. We all know that gardening doesn't have to be expensive. Taking cuttings or saving seeds from your own garden is a great way to keep things virtually free to participating in seed swaps or donating to groups can be equally satisfying. There is also stacks of ways to recycle materials to help play part in keeping our environment as clean as possible. A great way of using polystyrene boxes is showcased below!!

I bought myself a Poppy Vegtrug from some birthday money I still had and I'm very happy with it. I've only given it a little sowing of salad onions for now but I've got a few things lined up for it in the coming months! I don't have garden room yet to sacrifice for a mini allotment so this is my alternative along with growing some potatoes in sacks hopefully in time for Christmas dinner (yes I mentioned it!)


I've have had a lovely few weeks of lovely little things including winning star letter for Garden News magazine which included some vouchers to spend with a well known seed company! I will share my purchases in a future post. Oh and my front garden project had another stage complete!!! But for now I shall leave you enjoy my little bubble of happiness

Until next time

N xx

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Hello Happy Nichola

Hello Happy Nichola

I wanted to share with you what discovering gardening has done for me since I've began my education in this fabulous hobby. I shall try keep it short as to not to bore you but I hope it may be of some use.

So as a typical busy on the go mum & wife getting wrapped up in everyday chores and responsibilities I started to become a bit lost with myself. I can do mum quite well (most of the time when they aren't making me yell or despair) and I can do being Mrs W good too but being Nichola, well I didn't really know how to! I didn't really have anything to escape to or have a hobby that kept me engaged enough (like my 2 year old boy I get bored easy!). Things came to a crunch when I hit my lowest point I had ever been. Things at home weren't great with Mr.W losing a job and wondering how on earth we would cope and trying to keep the family happy just became all a bit too much. I cried lots, I over thought a LOT, and I just couldn't see any light at all. Thankfully a little hope was thrown our way when Mr.W managed to get a new job, great so the 'normal' functions of family life could start to get back on track but I knew that I had to find something for me to do where I could switch off from being mum & wife. 

Hello gardening! I can't really remember exactly how it started but I had a pack of seeds(Cosmos Versailles Tetra) I'd gotten free from a magazine and thought "Oh I'll give it a go and hope for the best!" Wow I couldn't believe I had managed to not kill them. They actually became the start of my obsession. Everyday I got up I would check on them, soon as I returned home they would be checked again. Then when the first flower bud appeared I was elated. What a proud moment I had (sounds a bit pathetic haha) but it was like nurturing a baby-minus the sleepless nights and smelly nappies! So a few more different seeds were sown with success which helped me create my fabulous hanging baskets, and well the rest as they say was history. I had something that I could be good at for ME that gave ME satisfaction and made ME happy, you get the picture here :D. 
A Very happy Nichola 
The lovely thing about gardening is there's always something to learn regardless of experience or age and I love to learn. I got a fab bunch of books off Mum-who is a very good gardener, which I read lots to get to grips with and find rather fascinating. I've got some lovely friendly people on Twitter who offer fantastic advice when you need it too all from different backgrounds. The other nice things are it gives you escapism from everyday woes and offers you down time to reevaluate life's little trivias. It gets you outdoors and out with nature, yes even if it rains a little. It's a good bit of exercise but it's the best for giving you mindfulness & hope! For me it's helped me be Nichola again with extra happiness & a new lease of life. 

Until next time
N xx

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

A Busy time

A busy time for gardeners

Well the sunshine finally arrived in Middlesbrough and it's been non stop since. The summer months bring some of the biggest rewards for gardeners of all levels, reaping the benefits of hard work on the lead up from sowing seeds,buying plugs,organising/planning borders,baskets and pots. BUT it's not quite time to sit back and relax(too much). A few important jobs that become part of my routine begin. The hotter weather means we have to feed feed feed those wonderful plants. Watering my plants has become a daily ritual which I prioritise at the top. Some days life takes over & I did forget once to get out which proved a bit costly! My fabulous baskets succumbed to the heat(you have never seen me run so quick to fastly grab the watering can to save them!!) thankfully they bounced back and look as radiant as ever and nothing stops me from forgetting again!! I also give them a liquid feed once a week (Miracle Gro all purpose soluble feed) that gives them the nutrients needed & helps flower growth.

Another top job to do (and I find this one super therapeutic) is dead heading. I knew it was a job that had to be done before I began gardening seriously but I fully understand why it is done. Not only does it stop your plants looking a little scruffy and drab, it encourages new growth which prolongs the plants giving you more time to enjoy them. There is something calming about pottering around checking on the plants picking up on any little issues or simply being proud of successfully  nurturing such a wonderful part of nature that brings extra lovely benefits to wildlife. Another little added benefit is being able to collect all of the fabulous seeds for future growing & possible gifting if you happen to run out of room!! 

I quickly want to show you some gorgeous plants I have managed to keep alive and are thriving(despite an ongoing war with slugs!) I can quickly become disheartened but having read tweets & posts on Facebook groups I've kept up with removing as many of the little critters as I can each night which is paying off. My little garden is becoming an abundance of colours and sweet smells. 

I have a Gazania Hybrid, Crocosmia Monbretia, Verbena(compact variety) and the gorgeous 'Blacky' Fuchsia.

I shall let you enjoy them and hopefully anyone just starting out gardening like me can see how rewarding it is!!

Until next time 

N xx

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Hitting the Gardeners Wall!!
(Mainly the British Weathers fault)

Oh no!! I feel like I've hit some kind of gardeners wall. I'm feeling a little deflated but I know some of this is not helped by the crazy weather! I work part time and can guarantee my days off are the days that are forecast the rain haha! Such is my luck and living on the North East coast always seems to be against us. I'm still plodding on inbetween rain patches on my front garden project. Half is now dug over so that's at least something!! 

My back garden however!! It just lacks colour still. I recently bought a fabulous Gazania, a fiery red Celosia, a ruby red Dahlia and a fuchsia. 2 of these have been destroyed by those pesky slugs they seem really fussy (contrary to certain beliefs!) There is plants that are just getting to bud & some look they still have some way to go! What's that saying 'Patience is a virtue' keeps niggling away but I'm so eager for colour to happen to lift the greeness up (maybe the sun dance needs to be done more) it's making me feel a little deflated. I wonder if it's because I am a new amateur gardener so working out what plants can carry over in the seasons to keep some colour going. (Any suggestions in the comments section greatly appreciated!) 

I'm trying to keep the momentum going and working out my next steps as to growing from seeds/cuttings etc. My problem is when I have an idea or a vision I'm like a dog with a bone and I can't let go  !! Maybe that's another learning curve along this gardening journey.

Ps: Us Brits wouldn't be Brits if we weren't hankering on about the weather lol! It's blamed for EVERYTHING 😂
Until next time 

N xx 

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

It's become an ADDICTION!!

Hey guys! So it's been a few weeks since my first gardening post and I would like to say a huge thankyou for the support and taking time to read it! (Over 500 views 😱 Amazing!) 

I've been a busy little bee that I'm just managing to sit here now to get this one up for you all. This gardening malarkey has turned into a real addiction! Forget itchy feet I have a serious case of itchy hands and not being able to sit hehe! So I pottered and done baskets and little pots with all my lovely plants I'd grown sucessfully from seeds! (Such a proud mummy!)

Mixed Verbena, Trailing Petunia & Fuchsia. Little vintage pots from B&M. Baskets my own recycled      

I seem to be on the look out for the next thing I can do. So began the front garden major overhaul! It's in dire straits and an old idea that half happened and never really got finished is now being turned into something else. Originally I was having a driveway but I never put the car on it. So now I'm closing it all back in and toying with built in raised beds. With a nice bench! The other side is been dug over and borders popped back in but this now all needs re conditioning ready for phase 2 of planting!! (The nicer part) my hands have been sore & blistered and my back full of aches and pains but there is something massively satisfying about watching the progress already by my own fair hands and watching an idea become a reality! It's super therapeutic too, completely de stressing and uber rewarding! What is there not to like about gardening!

Front Garden 2 parts before: One driveway failure in process of being killed off and the other side that was neglected

Front garden phase 1 in progress. Borders back in and started to clear out the soil

So there you have it my last few weeks have been all about this biggest admission!!!!!!!!! 

Hello my name is Nichola and I am a garden addict 😊

Until next time 

N xx 



Sunday, 29 May 2016

Welcome to my gardening journey!!

An Amateur's beginnings 

Hello there it's Nichola here!! A very new beginner to gardening. I've slowly come round to enjoying gardening more as a hobby rather than a chore (think it's came with age,

fast approaching 30 next month!) But I have been taking small steps into reading lots of gardening tips through family & social media ( Lovely like minded Twitter folk & a friendly local Facebook group) 
I've also found its so far given me a purpose & a chance to re focus on the simpler things in life and it also gives me a sense of escapism from everyday worries/stresses. After recently being in a very low time in my life I'm greatful for having a garden that can bring so much enjoyment!! 

This was my appalling back garden 3/4 years ago. We badly let it go but a plan for another child spurred us on to sort it out. I've kept myself some borders to play with that are getting filled up nicely with bulbs,alpines,perennials,annuals & some climbers. I'm also growing up some seeds to plant up some baskets (will post a blog on making them up!)

I look forward to sharing more of my growing love & hopefully one day someone will find this a bit useful :) 

Until next time xx