Sunday, 29 March 2020


If someone had told me a year ago that I'd be staying in to sew plague masks I'd have thought they were tripping on something very potent ... but here we are a year down the line, and it's impossible to buy masks just about anywhere.

One of my besties sent me this link for an internet how-to instruct-able. The pattern is easy. I used old clothes - recycling/ upcycling is the newest, hottest look for Spring/ Summer 2020 - and a snip of garden wire to shape the bridge of the nose. For comedy value I highlighted the messiness of my top-stitching with a contrasting thread!

Anyway the link for how-to do it is here:

How to make a face mask

All the best for now,

Bonny x

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Jam Muffins, Rationing and Teatime Rituals ...

These days I'm constantly obsessing about our food stocks, and making things last as long as I can possibly s-t-r-e-t-c-h them out for. At the same time I'm craving comfort foods: things like bacon and barley soup or fish chowder with freshly made bread and lashings of creamy butter.

At the same time it's comforting to follow familiar rituals like afternoon teatime. Normally, when Emi gets in from school, we have a cup of tea together. Sometimes I make fluffy pancakes and other times I make muffins or cookies. He's not going to school at the moment, but it's reassuring to observe the old rituals - like milky tea with freshly baked muffins. It's not much, but it's something to remind us that this lock-down will pass, and normality will return. One day. Soon.

The hand of fortune has provided me with a healthy surplus of black-currant jam. Long story short: I kept making jam with my black currant crop because I didn't want to waste them and I couldn't come up with a better alternative. People seemed to have preferred my raspberry jam - which is long since history and a happy memory, so I find myself left with multiple pots of the other stuff. And in a bid to make use of everything in my larder I've come up with a recipe for 6 jam muffins: that's just about enough for the three of us at tea time. My thinking is that having something fresh from the oven every day is better than a big box of muffins that have lost their sparkle spread over several days. In my little world on lock-down that's what passes for economy of scale.

So, anyway, that's my philosophy, and here's my recipe if you'd like to give them a go:

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Reasons to be cheerful ... eggshell seed-plugs

The sun is shining and my seedlings are looking amazing ...

I'd read about recycling egg shells as seed-plugs, and I've discovered that they work well for water-greedy youngster such as sweet pea and honeywort. All you need to do is carefully crack the egg - close to the top, pour it out (using it as food, of course) and wash out the shell. I leave them to dry out on the kitchen windowsill where they get bleached clean by the solar flare of the sun through the glass. After a day or two, they're good to go.

Gently fill them with seed compost, plant your seed, and let nature take its course.

This year I've raised all my sweet-pea seedlings in egg shells and then replanted them on when their roots were getting too compressed. Potting on is fairly simple as you just peel away the egg shell and plant them into their new home. Simples!

Here's to hope and fresh green shoots.


Bonny x

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

My Pet Plants ... the carnivores living on my window sill

It all started with the teenager. He saw them in the garden centre, and was immediately fascinated. And, as I've always been keen for him to share my love of gardening and the natural world, it wasn't hard for him to persuade me to buy them. So, home they came.

At first I was unsure about them. They struck me as being the delicate, demanding sort of plants that don't survive long in the spartan conditions of my care regime. Let's just say I'm not the most consistent of pot-plant parents. My charges tend either to be forgotten about completely, or over-watered to the point of root-rot and gangrene. It's a harsh climate in my house that's best suited to bomb-proof cacti and succulents that can withstand weeks of neglect.

But, determined not to disappoint the teenager by killing his new pet plants, I placed them on my very best south-facing window sill where I can't help but see them multiple times every day, and made a note-to-self about stepping up a gear and trying not to kill them - for at least a month or two, anyway.

Quite miraculously and against the odds, they and I seem to have found a way of getting along together. Their care labels advised me that they were swamp plants, and I've discovered that in a well-ventilated room it's very, very difficult to over-water them. So, four months' down the line, they've not succumbed to root rot and gangrene.

I've noticed how flies from the garden tend to be attracted to them. I've read that they secrete nectar to attract them, and I've had a good old sniff, but haven't spotted any tell-tale odours. Indeed we've all watched with interest to see how many flies they catch.  The Venus Flytrap, true to its name, has caught a few. Like a new mum whose toddler has just taken his first step, I was really excited when I spotted its first victim, and then alarmed when that cup went black and died off - a frenzied check of the gardening books reassured me that this was normal.

I suspect that the pitcher plant is a little more discrete, and that deep down at the base of those finger-sized pitchers there's a host of half-digested bugs. 

The books tell me that they're both going to die back for a period of hibernation over the November to March period, which will be traumatic for me as my unconscious will insist that I've killed them! 

All the best for now,

Bonny x