Blogger Recognition Award numbers 2, 3 and 4!

I have been nominated three times this week for the Bloggers Recognition Award by the lovely Cherylene over at Living Vs existing,by the equally lovely Roda over at Growing self

Lastly I was also nominated by Catie over at Diary of an imperfect mum

Do go and check out their blogs if you haven’t already found them.

The Blogger Recognition Award is one that fellow bloggers can award each other to spread the blogger love and to acknowledge other bloggers. It’s also a great way to read other blogs and to find new readers for your own blog! Some bloggers prefer not to join in and that’s ok! I always do because it’s all for fun.

The Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 10 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

Oldhouseintheshires

I started this blog 9 months ago to document the changes that we had planned for the oldhouse. It quickly evolved into a parenting/educational/garden blog! I tend to blog about things I enjoy and it’s a lovely hobby. I am a teacher and work with Primary aged children in Wiltshire. In 9 months I have learnt so much and “met” so many lovely bloggers’ there is a great community out there!

My advice to new bloggers.

I have written about this here:

Advice to new bloggers

Am I an inbetween blogger?

My nominees are (in no particular order!)

1.Momdeavor

2.Mummybearbaker

3. Lucyathome

4. Motherofteenagers

5. Katiewritesblog

6. Unrewardedgeniuses

7. Rachelmcclary

8. The travellingdiaryofadippydottygirl

9. I am river

10. Vintagefeminist

Have fun!

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How to improve your soil with 5 common kitchen ingredients.

I have written a post about how to make compost here

Not everyone has room in their garden for a compost bin so here are 5 common kitchen waste products that you can use to improve your soil and enjoy healthy plants.

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Add Eggshells to your soil.
  1. Egg shells
    • Dry the eggshells in a bowl on a sunny window sill. Once they are dry they crush really easily.
    • Crushed eggshells add extra drainage and calcium to your soil. I find they also prevent rot in tomato plants.
    • Work the crushed shell into the soil or add crushed shell to the base of plants to help deter snails and slugs. They don’t like the feel of the crushed shell so should avoid your young seedlings or plants. See my post about deterring these pests organically

here

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Add banana skins to your garden for improved drainage.

2. Banana skins

  • Adding cut up banana skins to your soil will help improve drainage as they encourage worms. They rot down quickly leaving lovely crumbly soil.
  • Banana skins add calcium, magnesium, sulphur, phosphorus, potassium and sodium to your soil which are needed for healthy plant growth.

3. Epsom Salts

  • Magnesium is incredibly low in many people’s diets and has been declining in our vegetables since the 1950’s. Magnesium is needed for enzyme reactions and is a basic requirement in maintaining healthy body functions. Adding Epsom salts to our soil where we grow vegetables will help this.
  • Add Epsom salts to the base of your vegetables; especially cabbages, broccoli, lettuce and peppers.
  • Add to your tomatoes for healthy fruits.
  • If your plant leaves are curly, it may be due to a magnesium deficiency so give Epsom salts a try.  Epsom salts can be added to the watering can too but make sure to water the base of your plants not their leaves.
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Coffee Grounds are great for Acid loving plants.

3. Coffee Grounds

  • I empty my coffee pods of their coffee grounds and add this to my compost bin. You can also add coffee grounds straight to the soil as a general fertiliser adding Nitrogen.
  • Coffee grounds are particularly good for acid loving plants such as Rhododendrons, Azaleas,  heathers and blueberries.
  • Coffee Grounds work very well as a mulch around plants. Earthworms love them but slugs don’t tend to.

5. Tea Bags

  • Snip open dried tea bags and use their contents in your garden.
  • Use them in the same way as coffee grounds to improve soil.
  • Pop them into your watering can and water the plants with your tea water.

There we have it! I hope you have found these tips useful.

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#MyGloriousGardens August Round-Up

Here is the August round-up post. I really can’t believe it! Where does the time go??

This month we had 21 link ups so that is amazing!! Thank you to everyone for helping to grow our community and welcome to our new linkers!

I don’t have favourites but I tend to comment on each post. I also share each post on my Facebook page and Tweet on Twitter.  I hope you are getting more views to your posts from this increased exposure.

A polite reminder that you do need to comment on other posts please. The minimum is one of my posts and the one post before yours. Don’t link and run as that is not what this community is all about! If you end your comment with #MyGloriousGardens then I can see immediately who has commented. Thank you. I have also decided to round-up using our names so that we can begin to speak to the person behind the blog!
Here’s the Round-Up

JOHN

John has linked 2 posts this week. The first is definitely a must for new bloggers; a directory of all garden blogs. This is so useful and it is how I found some of my blogging friends. If you are not on this list, you can contact John and he will add you.

The second post was John’s personal garden round-up. I love these posts as I am basically nosey! I like to see what other gardeners are up to!

RACHEL

Rachel posted a great post about her children enjoying a ‘Mud Kitchen’ outside in her garden. I am an Early Years teacher as well as a lover of the outside so this post really appealed to my playful side! I love the mud kitchen ideas that encourage children to explore their world in a different way -Bake Off using mud! Glorious!

MAINY

I loved Mainy’s post about how to use a pallet to create a vegetable garden. This would appeal to so many different people but is especially great for people with a very limited space. A simple yet easy idea and a project that you could do in a day. Thank you for posting Mainy! Check out Mainy’s linky too -it’s a one off linky for the summer.

BRIGID

Brigid is a regular linker so hello Brigid! Thank you for linking 3 posts this month. If have never read any of Brigid’s posts, my favourite was the one you are taken to when you click on her name above. Brigid will often review a garden that she has visited as I often do. The posts linked this month are stunning and I shall add them to my list of places to visit! The last post is the round-up of her own garden in May. Thank you again Brigid!

SARAH

Sarah is a new linker so thank you for joining us Sarah! Sarah’s post was about her own experiences and the effects of a garden and being outside on a person’s health. I so agree with this in every way. I am a Forest School Practitioner and have seen how being outside can be calming yet invigorating for young people. It helps to put the ‘in the moment’ where they can forget about everything else and forget the stresses of everyday life. A lovely, lovely post.

ANN

Ann has linked before and always has posts that are both helpful and informative. This month’s post reminded us that we can plant vertically as well as in the ground and she had some great ideas that would suit any garden. One idea I loved was the little baskets that can be hung from a wall or would equally work on a balcony or conservatory. Thank you Ann for linking this post.

DEBORAH

I love a bit of Whimsy in a garden! I have old chimney pots full of flowers and a tin bath with my bedding in it so this post about using an old chair as a planter was right up my street! It is a very easy project and could be adapted in any garden. Thank you Deborah for joining us this month.

HELENA

Helena is another new linker -hello! Helena has a crafty, lifestyle, parenting blog and linked a super post about creating stone ladybirds for the garden. I love to include little ones in gardening. These are super cute and easy to make! In fact, it reminded me of painting stones with nail polish when mine were young! So lovely to keep too.

NOLEEN

Hello to Noleen; a new linker from Cape Town. Noleen’s post was about how to create a herb garden over a weekend. Her husband made her a herb box using an old pallet which looked amazing! I also loved her photographs of her trip to the local garden centre; it looked very much like my local one her in the UK. Her daughters helped her to plant it up and voila! It looked great. Thanks again Noleen.

JOSHUA

Joshua linked 2 posts this month and both included his cute little girl! I love that Joshua is blogging about gardening but everything he does has a link back to wildlife, hence the title of his blog. His second post talks about his new favourite gardening tool called a ‘Hori Hori Knife’ and how it basically does everything! It looks amazing; I may have to get one. Thank you also to Joshua for writing a link back post about this linky. That was very kind of you!

KAREN

Karen wasn’t sure whether to link her post about helping to bathe her horse from her wheelchair but I think it’s a lovely post and you are very welcome Karen. The love of horses never leaves you I don’t think. I’m not sure I could have washed this massive horse sitting down though! Thank you Karen and hope to see you again.

MICHELLE

Michelle found me but we actually live very close to one another in Wiltshire! How funny this internet malarky is! I love Michelle’s post about finding a frog in her garden. We have hundreds of tiny frogs in the old house garden but I didn’t know that they take 2 years before they breed -thanks Michelle! Lovely wildlife post. Thank you for linking.

THOMAS

Thomas is a professional  horticulturist and gardener from Hampshire. He has rather a lot of expertise so his post, about how to prune our roses, is very welcome! As a newish gardener I can never remember which part to leave and which part to prune. Thank you to Thomas for linking this informative post. Do pop over to his blog. I also learnt about sawfly larvae by reading his blog.

JANE

Jane is a regular linker but funnily enough also linked a post about pruning roses. The only difference is that Jane lives in Australia so is pruning in the Southern Hemisphere! Interesting to see the differences and similarities with the post Thomas posted. Jane offers great advice; she really knows her roses as she has so many in her beautiful garden!

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Thank you again for linking up for the August #MyGloriousGardens Link party. I have really enjoyed reading all of your posts.

Sophie

x

100 Posts

This is my 100th post!

 

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The Old House garden round-up: Flopsy Flowers and caterpillars!

So far, August has been very wet and cold in Wiltshire. Today was the first day for a while that we could enjoy the garden as it was lovely and sunny. I decided to quickly take some photographs of the garden so that it looked gorgeous in the sun however this was what we have enjoyed since Saturday!

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Rain, rain and more rain!
Of Course, this really took it’s toll on the garden; especially the flowers. It also made everything grow like crazy!

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The tower of beans fell down in the wind but there is still lots of beans to harvest!
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The pumpkins are developing well.
My pumpkins, although developing large fruits, have also got mildew on their leaves and I’m worried that it will spread so I have removed the infected leaves and have my fingers crossed! It’s due to all the rain and humid conditions. The tomatoes, beetroot and peppers all seem to be happy as they are now producing fruits.

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Cabbage White caterpillars
Now vegetable lovers will shake their heads at me but I actually planted these cauliflowers hoping to attract butterflies! I’m not too keen on cauliflower but I do love butterflies so am pleased that the cabbage white has laid her eggs on them! There are also some on my nasturtiums too but they have self seeded from last year and again, I planted them for caterpillar food!

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Caterpillars on the nasturtiums
This seems to be a theme in the old house garden as we also have sawfly larvae on a small patch of roses….

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Sawfly larvae on my roses
Although incredibly annoying, sawfly larvae are great food for ladybirds and I have seen many ladybird larvae eating the sawfly larvae so they can stay. I garden organically so I could take these little pest off by hand but I’m hoping the damage will be limited by encouraging natural predators.

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The Rhubarb is now monstrous!
The rhubarb we planted last Spring is now enormous so we are hoping to harvest from it next year.

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The apple tree is groaning with apples this year.
Now for the rest of the garden…

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The meadow continues to be in full flower.
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Zinnia
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I love these Love-in-a-mist (Nigella) flowers. I found them as seed pods by the side of the road and planted them as seed straight into this area.
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Tiger enjoying the garden. The grass has grown really long in places and is full of tiny frogs!
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The cottage border is still in full bloom but the flowers are all flopsy from all the rain!
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The Japanese Anemone are coming into full bloom. I love these as they are so pretty!
I replanted this plant stand last week, adding Dahlia and Hydrangea. I think it looks stunning and I’m really pleased with it.

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My plant stand by the back door.
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Dahlias
Lastly, here is a photo of my dear little Dottie dog taken with my new camera. I’m really pleased with it. Happy August everyone……in the next round-up there will be some changes to the Old House Garden. x

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Dottie dog
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Lucy At Home

 

10 Years ago.

Dear Dad,

10 years? Is it really that long?

10 years of not watching my children grow and change to the amazing people they are today.

10 years of not meeting my nieces who were born after you went away.

10 years of not seeing, talking, touching or just being with you.

10 years of not chatting about life decisions; what I should do.

10 years of not sharing a funny puzzle or a game,

10 years without you; it’s just not the same.

10 years of hopefully wishing for just one more day.

10 whole years, every day there are things I wished I could say.

10 years but I’m happy Dad, I just wish you could be here,

10 Years, so that is why today I will shed a tear.

Don’t leave things unforgiven.

Don’t leave words unsaid.

Don’t leave it to fate. It may be too late.

Life is too short.

10 years ago.

Miss you Dad.

Love, Sophie

x

 

#My Glorious Gardens: Painswick Rococo Gardens.

For our Anniversary this year we decided to take a trip to The Painswick Rococo Gardens in Gloucestershire. When we were first married we lived near Painswick in a cute little cottage called Squirrel Cottage so have lovely memories of this area but have never been to the gardens.

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Our wedding anniversary visit….
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The Painswick Rococo Gardens
The Painswick Rococo Gardens are the only Rococo gardens left that are open to the public. Built in the 1740’s, they were created for the Hyett family to impress and entertain guests. Gardens at that time were in transition from the formal to the more frivolous with the idea that the garden was somewhere to enjoy and hold lavish garden parties. The garden has seen a significant restoration programme since the 1970’s based upon a painting of the original garden from 1748.

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One of the fanciful garden building called The Eagle House which had to be totally restored.
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One of the gorgeous gothic buildings to explore.
The gardens have a wonderful feeling of tranquility and are such a fabulous place to wander. There was a wedding taking place whilst we were there but it was not busy for a Saturday. It’s a garden to wander around or to take children to as they had a great trail looking for wildlife. There was a brilliant woodland walk and playground which younger children would love. Well behaved dogs are also welcome so next time Dottie is coming!

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Duck pond with cute little white ducks.
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The large duck pond was full of colourful dragon flies.
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Part of the woodland playground
The kitchen garden was amazing and we loved the espalier fruit trees.

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Views up towards the white gothic arch.
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Espalier fruit trees.
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Views across the kitchen garden
There was a delightful Plunge Pool where the water was crystal clear and looked so inviting! It was surrounded by shade loving plants such as large ferns and hostas.

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Reflections in the Plunge Pool
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The grotto in the shady garden
The large, white gothic arch is the star of the whole garden in my opinion; a photographers dream! It stands at the top of the hill looking down the valley over the garden. It’s certainly dramatic and I loved it!

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The gothic, white Arch.
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Hubbie looking out across the garden. I love the reflections in the pool.
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What a place to spend an anniversary!
 The anniversary maze -how apt!

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The Anniversary Maze
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The rain was coming!
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Painswick Rococo Gardens.
I would definitely go back here again as the heavens opened and our visit was cut short. It’s supposed to be beautiful when all the snowdrops are out In February so I would love to come back then.
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One Messy Mama

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6 Reasons why your teenager needs a summer job.

Both my children are teenagers and they have both got themselves some work for the summer holidays. I’m really pleased that they have taken this step as it teaches them so much. I remember working on a Saturday and in the holidays to earn some extra money. It was a little different for me because I started working like this from the age of 13. Nowadays, children can’t get many jobs until they are 16 due to employers needing to let the Local Authority know if they take on anyone younger than 16. This is due to child protection issues and makes things tricky for employers. This also makes it much harder for our teenagers to get work during the weekends or during the holidays. My son has some work experience with a family friend and this has worked out well. My daughter is doing some volunteer work this summer which is something younger teens can be involved with. However, whatever summer work experiences your teenager can get, it teaches them really important life skills.

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Meeting new people

1. Meeting new people

I remember working with a whole range of people of all different ages when I was a teenager and I loved it. My daughter worked in a cafe last summer and this meant that she was dealing with the public all day. This teaches teenagers important social skills about how different people communicate with each other. My daughter was quite shy but will now happily chat to anyone. I think dealing with some quite difficult customers has also given her coping strategies when dealing with tricky social situations. Seeing when people are rude can help our teenagers realise that they need to be respectful themselves. It helps to develop empathy and certainly builds character! Having to be away from their phones is also a massive positive in my book!

2. Knowing their own mind and developing a positive mindset.

Let’s face it, most teenagers haven’t got a clue what they want to do with their lives. Having a summer job can help them to decide what aspects of their summer jobs they enjoy and what aspects they don’t! Children can speak terribly to their parents but they wouldn’t dream of speaking in the same way to their employer. I believe this helps to develop a positive mindset in our children. Knowing that they can do a job well helps them to see what skills they actually have and are good at.

3. Developing Confidence

Both of my children have developed more confidence by having summer jobs. Confidence in their own abilities but also confidence when talking with adults. They are naturally quite shy people so learning to cope and being out of their comfort zone has been good for them!

4. Independence

Getting up for work, making their own sandwiches, travelling by bus, making sure their clothes are clean and ready or getting somewhere at certain times. All of these things obviously started at school but having a summer job has really helped my children to become more independent.

5. Developing new skills

There are so many different skills that teenagers learn by having a summer job and it obviously depends upon their job. I think the most important skill that summer jobs provide are to teach teenagers the value of their hard work and this is so important. They are learning that hard work means something and I am hoping that this will encourage my children to keep studying. They are learning about the working world and how hard it is! I hope that this will encourage them to strive for what they love rather than having to take any work to pay their bills.

6. Money Management

This is their motivation! Earning some money. Being a working teen is awesome! You get to spend your own money on whatever you want to. My daughter spent most if her earning last summer on make-up! And why not? You are only young once! My son is eying up some trainers but the difference is that he will look after them if he has bought them for himself as he knows how much they cost in hours worked.

I actively encourage my children to get weekend and holiday work. Do you? Do share your experiences with me.

OH THE JOYS OF LIVING IN THE OLD HOUSE IN THE SHIRES.

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Lucy At Home

Mother of Teenagers

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

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