Sunday, 30 June 2013

Saving the Planet, a plant at a time .... and an odd ingredient!

Sunday greetings to you my lovelies.  As you can see I've had a bit of a change again - I really didn't like that other layout and rather than making my blog look up the minute and snazzy, I thought it made it look confusing and jumbled.  Yep - more so than usual!  So back to the old template with a new bright and breezy blue background.  How long it will stay like that is anyone's guess.  Although - with these new changes apparently happening tomorrow (about which I don't have a scooby doo!)   I may not have any readers at all!  I wish they would leave things alone.  Its not broken so why fix it?  Pah to the Googley powers that be. I'm sure techno people are all ready prepared for the change but I have no clue about such things so shall just keep posting in the hope that people still find me  if they want to.

More planting took place today.  I had some great bargains from town yesterday which were too good to turn down.    There is a fruit/veg/grocer shop in the High Street (used to be called The Big Apple but goodness knows what it is now - same stuff, same staff, just a different name).  They usually have some great plants at very reasonable prices and I was thrilled to pick up this sweet little (actually its not little at all!) perennial Veronica (Ulster Blue) plant which is looking very at home in the rock garden where it should thrive in full sun (cough!).   This is an upright variety of Speedwell and my research informs me that flowers were pinned to the garments of travellers in Ireland to protect them from harm.  I love the little purple candles and am told that regular dead heading will prolong the flowering season.  This bushy little specimen cost just £1.99.

I also picked up this lovely fuchsia - again just £1.99 and currently flowering its head off, it makes for an instant impact in the garden.  It didn't have a label on it but was sitting amongst lots of Tom Thumb variety
fuchsias so it may be one of them.

I also purchased two lovely lupins, again at £1.99 each, and these will hopefully be living in the woodland border if the slugs leave them alone - which I highly doubt somehow!

My other two bargains were "necessary purchases in the interests of plant saviour!"  I'm going to have a bit of a rant now.  Why  oh WHY do supermarkets insist on having racks and racks of beautiful plants on sale when they have no plan of how to properly look after them?  They are not watered and are simply left to wither and die.  I'm going to name and shame Aldi as the culprit in this particular case.  Over the last few months, I've seen shrubs,trays of bedding plants, perennials, fruit trees and vegetable plants left to wither away through lack of care.  It must cost them thousands in losses if this is the case in every store.  They'll put them out on offer one week, and by the next week,  most of them are dead through lack of water in their pots.  The case in point this week was big metal racks of veggie plants - tomatoes, sweet peppers, chillis .... all curling to pale yellow crisps in the strong sunshine.  They had been reduced to £1.49 per plant by this time, once big strong sturdy plants planted up into two litre pots all showing signs of dehydration.  I liberated a yellow pepper which was probably the best of a bad lot, which is just coming into flower and also a yellow cherry tomato plant which is already beginning to set fruit.  When I got home, I stripped the dead leaves from the bottoms of the stems, and sunk their parched roots into buckets of water - I could almost hear them gasp their thanks!  Whether they will survive to produce fruit of any worth is anyone's guess - they may well be beyond saving - but at least they will have had a chance.  Ooh I say - I feel all virtuous!!
In their new snug environment, no doubt breathing a sigh of relief

Ok, rant over - you can come from behind the sofa now.

Elsewhere in the garden .....
The ceanothus is covered in little blue blooms
and is alive with busy bees!

There are rogue raspberries by the compost bin!
I think these are interlopers from next door.  I hope they fruit!
The dark petunias have really bushed out and look gorgeous

The rose bush is loaded with buds - I thought this one was called 'Mother of
Millions' as we bought it as a remembrance rose for my Nan.  I can't find any
rose of that name however so perhaps it isn't!  I shall never know! 

Smells divine whatever it is!

I have a recipe to share with you now.   As a change from the usual roast dinner this evening, we're having roasted veg with thyme and oregano (I love the smell of roasting vegetables!),  couscous and diet cola chicken.   Yep you heard that right - diet cola chicken.  I can hear all the EURRRGHHHS from here - but please, bear with me whilst I explain.

Take some chopped onions, a couple of cloves of smashed garlic and some diced chicken boob  breasts and fry them off to brown in a deep frying pan or wok.  Next, take a can of diet cola or 330ml if you have a bottle, empty it into a jug, add a stock cube, 6 tablespoons of passata and a good shake of Worcestershire sauce.  Give it a good stir up.  Once the chicken is browned and the onions translucent, pour in the stock mixture.  Bring to a gentle boil, and then simply simmer away until the sauce has reduced and thickened up.  Season if needed.

It is an extremely tasty dish, very quick and simple to do and you don't 'have' to tell anyone there is diet cola in it!!    Try it - if you like barbecue flavoured sauces then I promise you won't be disappointed.  This is a recipe loved by many on the Slimming World plan and so has the added bonus of being very low fat.

We've had a busy old day here at Peapods and our early start to the day means that we have achieved lots of garden and houseworky type jobs.   I shall be glad to crawl into our freshly made, (very girly) bed this evening. (Seconds before this photo was taken a hooligan jumped on the bed.  Bloody animal!!)

Thank you very much for your visit today, and if the changes made tomorrow prevent you from visiting me in the future, then I'd just like to say - its been a pleasure sharing my mad ramblings with you :)

With love xxxx

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  1. Thanks for your comment on my scavenger hunt :)

    I don't know what's going on with google tomorrow. I keep reading peoples posts about it but I haven't read anything from google so I don't know what's going on, but common sense tells me that if it is google reader coming to an end, then our blogger dashboards - and therefore our reading/following lists - won't be affected. Google reader is just something you can choose to use to view posts. I'm not worrying about it at all unless suddenly I find no one is reading my posts!

    I like the look of your blog, I'll have a nosy :)


    1. Its a pleasure - you took some great photos x Thanks for visiting me :)

  2. phew, I'm glad you went back to your old look!
    Apparently, Google is giving a 3 month "sunset" period before the changes become permanent, so I'm not expecting anything to look different tomorrow (famous last words!).

    1. Lol - me too!!

      Ahh I see - well it all looks ok for now! Crisis averted!

  3. Fuchsias were always my favourite flowers when I was small; they seemed so exotic. I do still have ONE, but it's not a particularly interesting variety. Yours looks beautiful, as do all the other flowers.

    I've heard of slow-cooking hams in Coke, but never tried it.

    1. There are some amazing fuchsias aren't there? I remember them in my gran's garden as a child - I always used to pop the buds open!

  4. Hello Kim, I clicked on you on my sidebar and you came up immediately! A couple of others haven't, but I will probably get an email from Bloglovin updating me, so hopefully I won't lose any ...

    Your garden looks lovely, and I love your new layout ... I wasn't keen on the last one either, but this one is very bright and happy-making!

    Love Claire xxx

    1. Yes thank goodness mine are all there too! Drama over not a lot by the looks of things! Glad you like the layout - the last one was blimmin' 'orrible!

  5. I think all supermarkets are the likes of Homebase and B & Q are just as bad as each other regarding their lack of plant care. Drives me nuts.

  6. Those dark petunias are gorgeous Kim. I agree re the supermarket plants- it just seems such a waste!

    1. Hi Aril - yes they're gorgeous aren't they? They look just like velvet. I'm so glad I got them at the time - they were the last two on the stall! x


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