I have declared July to be the month of slow living in our house.  In other words, I’m quite happy to be a hermit this month, potter around at home and in the garden (and the allotment), and just enjoy the summer with my little girl and my other half.  Slowness is definitely the order of the day.

Here’s what we’ve been up to this July.

Our Allotment

Our allotment is overflowing with summer raspberries at the moment.  We didn’t plant them – the last allotment holder must have grown them – but we are very thankful for them.  Raspberries for pudding every night!  They taste especially good when you have a little helper picking them for you!

raspberry picking
raspberries freshly picked

Thanks to the last allotment holder, we also uncovered a ripe crop of strawberries under some grass!  I’m so glad we didn’t go in and willy nilly clear the plot because so many good things have popped up that we didn’t know about when we took over the plot in January!

strawberries
pick your own strawberries

Gardening This July

We’ve also done a bit of planting in our garden this July.  When I say garden, it’s really just a little concrete yard with some borders to grow plants, but we absolutely love it.  Our allotment is only two minutes walk from our house, so it kind of feels like an extension of our garden.  

I finally planted a hydrangea, which has been on my garden wish list for about 7 years!  Behind the hydrangea is a houttuynia – it’s actually edible.  My other half got the inspiration to plant it from James Wong (his all-time favourite allotment book!).  We haven’t eaten it yet – apparently, it’s good in stir-fries – so I’ll be sure to report back when we do!  It can spread quite a lot, but we’ve planted it in a very controlled area – it’s bordered on four sides by bricks so it should stay contained!

hydrangea

We also planted some lavender plants in the border for the bees.  The lavender is right by our back door so it’s really nice to walk out of the door and smell the lavender.

lavender plant

When we were planting the hydrangea we accidentally snapped a stem off of the hydrangea so rather than letting it go to waste, I popped it in a little vase I found in a charity shop.  In the same shop, I also found the old McEwans beer bottle which I couldn’t resist either.  My other half despairs sometimes!

hydrangea in vase

Snail Woes

Finally, for some reason snails absolutely adore our little concrete yard, even though there’s not too much greenery and a lot of gravel down.  As we’ve planted some nice plants that we really don’t want to get eaten, and haven’t had much luck with any other methods of natural slug/snail control, my daughter and I have started “Snail Patrol”!  Snail Patrol involves going round the garden every evening before bed, collecting all the snails we can find. We then pop them into a pot, and then deposit them in the woodland down the road from us.  So far we’ve removed about 30 snails, and my daughter loves it!  She’s absolutely fascinated by snails!

gardening with kids
snails
snails in pot

Needless to say this book – The Snail and The Whale by Julia Donaldson – is a new favourite in our house!  I love it as much as my little one!  Definitely one of Julia Donaldson’s best books.

the snail and the whale julia donaldson

What have you been up to this July?

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