Summer, seeds and (Christmas) shopping

There are only another couple of weeks until Christmas, so on 1 December we put up our (artificial) Christmas Tree and the few other decorations we have. Equally as exciting as Christmas, for me at least, is a summer holiday – time to relax in the sunshine and get things done around home.

Last year we had a long list of DIY and small improvements which kept us busy through summer. This year, other than the garden, it’s going to be more about maintenance. Our next round of changes are well beyond our skill level, so we’ll be focusing our efforts on what’s achievable with our own hands.

With summer growth in the garden well under way, one of the things we’ve decided is to grow more from seed in future, rather than relying on seedlings. We’ve had mixed luck with transplanting seedlings – no doubt due to “user error” rather than any fault on their part – but we’ve got decent looking carrots grown from seed, and our completely home-grown lettuces are more than a match for their seedling sisters (in addition to which, I’ve only had a 20% hit rate with getting lettuce seedlings to actually flourish).

Our favourite successes at the moment are the rhubarb plants, which are establishing themselves nicely, and the crown pumpkin seeds which have germinated and are doing well in our newest raised bed. Pumpkin seeds germinate easily (we’ve had to pull a few stray plants out of our compost bins), and these are just seeds we saved when preparing a roast dinner one night, so they really do feel like a gift.

…Mentioning gifts brings us back around to Christmas. With the other things going on lately, I haven’t put aside enough time to prepare homemade gifts – but we’re on track to finish our seasonal shopping soon, before the real holiday kicks in.


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