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Building and Lining Trough Style Planters

We have finally done it, ordered, built and lined the raised beds.

We opted for trough style ones and bought two measuring 180x70cm and one at 100x70cm all the planters are 80cm tall. They are from a company called Zest4Lisure and we found them on a brilliant offer at Robert Dyas.

The reason we chose the trough style planters is that they are deep enough for what we want to grow, we will do potatoes in bags rather than in the planters to maximise the space we have.

They arrived on a pallet and just needed to be screwed together. We had read differing reviews on how easy they are to assemble. Armed with a power drill Mr MC&W had them up in no time, completing the task on his own and in the rain.




The next stage was to line them, I went to the garden centre with a drawing of the troughs and the dimensions and asked for some help. They were brilliant they worked it out for us and cut it to size.


We then had to fit the liner ourselves, this you defiantly need a good staple gun, a pair of sc…
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Meal Plan Friday 13th April 2018

The Easter holidays are nearly over and apparently next week we are going to see the sun again, perfect for the children going back to school.

Friday - Fish and Chips for me and the boys as Mr MC&W is out and about

Saturday - We have a busy day in the garden planned so a simple Spag Bol we can throw together and let it cook

Sunday - Roast Chicken the boys and my most favourite roast

Monday - Gino Wrapped Salmon with Dijon Mustard and Mascarpone sauce with mashed potato and greens

Tuesday - Bonfire Baked Potatoes

Bonfire night baked potatoes

Wednesday - Ginger Chicken

Ginger chicken

Thursday - Aubergine and Goats cheese pasta, the boys will have tomato pasta with ham, peas and sweetcorn

Aubergine and goats cheese pasta































Trailing Pansies Hanging Baskets

Introducing trailing Pansies they have made such a simple yet vibrant hanging basket for the last couple of months.

I have used Dalefoot compost, its made using wool and holds water really well and is also peat free. Fill the basket about two thirds full then take the pansies in their pots and arrange them, think about how the colours will look and go with each other, this one contained 6 plants that were on offer for £5. I always go for a scheme with each basket this one was yellow and purple .








Once they look just right fill in the compost, this is fiddly and I tend to do with out gloves. Keep checking all the empty space has been filled. Give them a good water and hang up.




These have given us colour and survived this quite horrid winter covered in deep snow.




What a simple way to get you smiling through the hard winter months, I planted these at the start of February and they are still going strong.









Front Garden Grow Your Own

Introducing our garden equivalent to the messy cupboard. You know the place where you shove all the stuff you are not sure what to do with, this is the same but in our front garden. The problem is we look at this every day from our kitchen window.





Time for action, we moved to this house as its fairly rural, we wanted space to grown some veggies and have chickens. Its now 7 years later and we have not done any of it. 

We sorted the area and Mr MC&W went off to the tip with a boot full of rubbish that we had been hiding including an old washing line.



As you can see the ivy has remained, this was meant to go but we checked for nests and found a blackbirds nest, so we have left it alone allowing them to raise their chicks.


We decided the way forward is for raised troughs, they are higher meaning we can easily see from the kitchen window. In order to maximise the space we have, we found three different sizes of troughs to see what worked best and measured them out using bean poles, you cou…

Meal Plan Friday 6th April 2018

It is the Easter Holidays which means is has rained for the last week and we have had deliveries that had to be waited in for so we are all going a little crazy.

We are still on the using up leftovers drive and it has really worked, which I am pretty proud of.

Friday - Pizza for the boys. Portobello Mushroom burger topped with blue cheese - left over from Easter

Portobello and blue cheese melts

Saturday - Chicken Goujons, waffles and peas for the boys. A Chinese box for us - sometimes it has to be done and its easy

Sunday - Bonfire bangers and beans in the slow cooker, boys will have the same. Served with baked potatoes.

Bonfire bangers and beans

Monday - Gnocchi with mushrooms and broccoli - this is from the madhouse cookbook and is amazing. boys have broccoli one has mushrooms the other does not.

Tuesday -Paprika Pork again in the slow cooker

Paprika pork

Wednesday - Thai Chicken Noodles, will put more of the paste in for Mr MC&W and I

Child friendly thai chicken noodles

Thursday - Potato h…

Meal Plan Friday 30th March

Wow, this meal plan is late being published even for me, I am sat writing this with a cup of tea and wondering where the last week has gone?


The meals this week are heavily influenced by using bits and pieces up from the Easter weekend


Friday - Fish with a sauce (thanks birds eye) roasted Mediterranean veg and rice. Pizza for the boys


Saturday - Chicken Kiev with roasted new potatoes and a big green salad. Ham, egg and chips for the boys


Sunday - Slow cooked leg of lamb


Monday - A gino healthy eating dish Spinach and courgette Frittata with a salad and oven baked tomatoes. using up the courgettes from the greens we had on Sunday. The boys will be trying a simple version of this.


Tuesday - Lamb rogan josh using up the leftover lamb, this will be from a jar.


Wednesday - Chestnut mushroom, Fennel and bacon pasta. Boys will have pasta and veggies in a homemade tomato sauce

Chestnut mushroom fennel bacon fusilli


Thursday - Cod with lentils and peas. Fish pie for the boys.

Braised peas with bacon len…

Mole Hills have they stayed away?

I was a little scared about writing this post in case I jinx what has been a rather good year for the lawn in terms of no mole hills.


This time last year I wrote a post about trying some bulbs I had found that were meant to stop moles, as we had a a lawn that looked like this.

This was the post I wrote about how I planted the bulbs.
Molehill Trouble
We are now a year on and look at the lawn, yes it is full of moss and weeds and very little grass there are no mole hills.




I can not really believe it, I have not missed counting how many new molehills had appeared overnight and having to try and rescue the grass from underneath.
Not sure how long they are going to continue working and I did plant in a lot but so far so good. The packet said they should last 2-5 years I am thinking possibly 2.




I will keep a close watch and when the warm weather starts to be more predictable rather than the threat of the beast from the east mark 3 making an appearance, the lawn will be given some TLC by the garden…