How To Keep Your Plants Happy and Healthy

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I’m not an expert when it comes to gardening, but I have had great success with my gardens so far.  Gardening has become my zen place, the place I can just get my hands dirty and grow beautiful flowers, vegetables and herbs.  Believe me once you’ve planted your first garden you will not want to stop.  Growing your own vegetables is such a rewarding experience, harvesting your first tomato or any other vegetable just gives you a sense of pride.  It has not been an easy journey, I’ve had my share of pests ( aphids, I hate you), bad luck and just bad research on my part.  In the end the rewards out weigh some failures.

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HOW TO KEEP YOUR PLANTS HAPPY AND HEALTHY

  1. RESEARCH:  Its easy to go to a nursery and just pick a bunch of pretty flowers and vegetable seeds, but you have to do your research.   Start googling that specific type of flower and see how to take care of it.  Some plants require special care so its best to research.  When it comes to choosing  vegetable seed varieties, always make sure you choose a variety that will flourish in your climate.
  2. LIQUID FERTILIZER:  Your plants will thank you for giving them a little nutrient boost once a week.  I get my liquid fertilizer from a nursery close by, the stuff smells so bad, but a little goes a long way.
  3. SOIL: Well drainage soil is a must for plants,  they want a shower not a bath.
  4. MORNING WATERING:  Water your garden in the morning so it will conserve water and not get mildew.
  5. GIANT FERNS: I love our giant hanging ferns and keeping them looking great is not as hard as it would seem. Get a large bucket add 2 tbsp epsom salt and a gallon of water.  Let your fern sit in the water for 10 minutes before you hang it up.  You only have to do this once a week.
  6. LEFT OVER WATER FROM BOILING OR STEAMING VEGETABLE:  Use this water for watering your garden.  Its just the nutrient soup your plants will love.
  7. INDOOR PLANTS:  Over watering is your enemy! Just don’t do it!  Wait till the soil is dry and give you plants a light water shower.

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I hope you found these tips helpful in some way. If I can grow a garden with a bunch of mean horses trying to eat everything, you can too.

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Garden Update

Happy Friday.

We have a big and I mean big menace in our garden right now and he goes by the name Fire.  Yes, Fire might be majestic and cute, but boy does this guy like to destroy everything.

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He comes in here like a tornado and destroys everything in his path.  The first thing he destroyed was the raised garden. Okay, its not completely destroyed, its still standing, but boy does it look bad.  I don’t know if he hates the raised garden, because he thinks juicy grass is hiding underneath or if he knows I’m growing carrots in their, or maybe the raised garden tickled his tail and he just had to kick it.  I don’t know what his beef is, but this guy is a menace.

He is also desperately trying to get to the lady horses (mares), that means he’s constantly running really close to the fence, stomping flowers and running against trees, but you know what’s the worst part? His big giant floppy penis! While he is running, looking at the horses, his penis just keeps flopping.  I might be scarred for life here.

He has also eaten the yarrow, crushed the dahlias, after he crushed the dahlias he decided that wasn’t going to do and commenced in pulling them out and throwing them to the tree.  Oh! and the lettuce! He ate all the lettuce, they were so close to being harvest.  I could just shed a tear!

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^^ A couple of days ago this pot was overflowing with lettuce.  Now its a mangled mess.

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^^ The eaten lettuce.

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^^ I planted some lavender and made a brick border.  I’m really loving it.

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^^ I love this hanging plant.  The flowers are just something special.

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^^ They’re called a bleeding heart.

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^^ These ferns are just getting more voluptuous everyday.

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^^ Parsley and Rosemary growing nicely in their pot.

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The Medicinal garden.

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^^ Finally finished the sides of the mosaic table.

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^^ Raised garden, I don’t know how you are still standing.

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^^ Dill just bursting out.

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^^ Carrots.

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^^ Beets.

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^^ Made the side garden a little bigger and planted some winter flowers.

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^^ Echinacea.

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^^ Black mint.

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^^ The swiss chard looks so healthy and beautiful.

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^^ I’ve been hoping for rain.  When it get’s colder here it’s usually dry and hot, but with a cold wind.  What that causes is veld fires (field fires).  Everything is already looking brown and driving home you can already see a couple of fires popping up.

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^^ Planted a row of sunflowers against the fence.

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^^ The indoor garden is also doing wonderfully.

I can’t be angry at Fire, he does make an excellent lawn mower.

Happy Weekend

Garden Update

Since moving to the new place, I truly believe everything happens for a reason.  Trying so hard to get a loan for the previous place only for it to fail was probably one of the best things that could have happened.  Farm living is wonderful, I have so much space for gardening and my mind is constantly buzzing with new projects I want to start.  The fact that I don’t hear or hardly see my neighbours is just pure bliss!

The mosquitoes are the size of houses and they have no shame when it comes to sucking on your face, and somehow they’re immune to anything citronella, but that’s just one small setback, my pimp hand has gotten strong from all the slapping I’ve done.  I slapped a mosquito so hard I actually fell over! No joke!

Everything is growing wonderfully in the raised garden and I just added a peas teepee to the garden for added whimsy.

I finally planted the medicinal garden and gave everything appropriate space to spread and grow, I planted a bunch of spreaders, but I’ll be using these things frequently.  I also added some flowers to the medicinal garden for extra prettiness.

The roses are about to bloom and seem to be doing lovely, we also added some new indoor friends into the mix.  If you remember slim Jimmy our Christmas cacti, I have some bad news.  Sadly, he got eaten by one of the dogs and fat Ricky lost his hat and face.  Farm dogs can apparently eat cacti guys.

Now! Lets look at some pretty gardening photos

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^^ Indoor plant found a new place to call home.

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^^ Pretty lavender.

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^^ Chamomile saying hello to the world.

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^^ Roses

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^^ I love the colours of this flower

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^^ Dahlias sitting pretty.

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^^ Feed me Seymour! Indoor plants waiting to get watered.

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^^ New edition to the flower family.

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^^ Nasturtium popping up.

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^^ Raised garden and things growing.

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^^ Teepee

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^^ Pretty new flower.

Have a great weekend everyone. Stay classy.

an instant of life captured for eternity

Living out in the country  might be one of the best things I’ve ever done.  Its so peaceful and relaxing here.  Its great to have enough space to garden and have so many projects lined up.  Even my kombucha is loving it here, my scoby is finally big and beautiful, making me delicious apple rooibos kombucha.

With all the activities at the cottage we still made some time to go for a hike at the cradle of humankind.  Its a lovely relaxed hike, not that great if you really want to get a workout, but because we are sillies we didn’t know where to go so we had to walk all the way back to the map, so we did the hike twice.

Photo dump time!

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^^ Hiking fun.

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^^ I was tickling Carl with a long grass thingy.

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^^ hiking smiles.

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^^ hiking gang signs.

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^^ Hiking trail.

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^^ these are just 2 of the 7 dogs that decided to roll in out garden at the same time.  Something is up with the grass here.

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^^ I don’t know this little guys real name, but I’ve named him mint crisp, minty to his friends.

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^^ Raised garden complete.  Filled with compost and seeds planted.

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^^ Carl hard at work

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^^ Pretty man looking at the pretty view.

Hope you guys had a fantastical weekend!

Garden Update

“A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust. ” – Getrude Jekyll.

This quote just explains gardening wonderfully.  Its all about trust, that all your hard work will finally pay off in the end and most of the time it does.  The pay off is bountiful and wonderful, their is nothing like seeing something you’ve taken care of grow from a tiny seed to a beautiful vibrant plant.

The garden here has been doing great, the grass has finally come in, the flowers are blooming and the vegetables are bountiful.  I will be making beautiful gardens wherever I go, leaving beauty for everyone to enjoy.DSC03482

^^ Front area flower garden.

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^^ Pretty orange flowers

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^^ Spinach!

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^^ Big ol fatty cucumber.

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^^Pretty cucumber leaves.

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^^The tomato plant in the flower garden.  This thing is huge and its got bunches of these tomatoes everywhere.

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^^ pretty cos lettuce

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^^ bushiest daisies in all the land.

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^^ Basil and daisies

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^^ The grass in the front garden finally filling in.

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^^ Oxheart tomatoes, putting on a little red number.

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^^ Cauliflower and broccoli.

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^^ Tomatoes. Tomatoes, everywhere.

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^^ Really pretty cucumber flowers.

and that’s my garden update.  Happy gardening everybody!

^^ Tomatoes, Tomatoes, everywhere.^^

Garden Update

The weather here has been perfect garden growing weather, its either raining a lot or really hot and sunny.  With all the rain comes a lot of garden repair, like trying to get nutrients back in the ground,  getting your vegetables back to look lush and just photo worthy and of course the dreaded aphids.  What are aphids? The biggest pain in the ass insect ever created.  This little succubus can take your beautiful kale and turn it into spider webs, they just suck away at your plants and you know what? I wouldn’t mind sharing, but they’re everywhere! Just raping and pillaging at the kale, cabbage and broccoli like bad Viking insects.  You want to keep your garden organic and healthy, but boy do you start considering going full monsanto on these guys!, but like in any villain story there is a hero.

The ladybug,  luring these little beauties to your garden will solve all your aphid problems.  How do you get them to your garden? Unfortunately you can’t raise the ladybug signal light, you lure them with treats and water.  The treats being flowers, herbs and a chance to gorge themselves on aphids and the water, just being water.

Everything in the garden is doing really swell, so swell that we have a HUGE tomato plant growing in the flower garden, I have no idea how it got there, but its almost as tall as me and making the cutest little tomatoes in all the land, so you can stay dear tomato plant. The vegetable garden is producing loads of string beans, baby marrow, the pumpkin is a flowering and the tomatoes are reddening. I haven’t added anything new to the garden, waiting to get everything financed for the place, before I put more effort in, because I will take all my vegetable plant babies with me if I have to move.

Here are some photos of the garden.

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^^ String beans, just hanging around on the wall.  What cool kids.

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^^ Inside garden is  also doing lovely.  Please take note of the new pillow.  Her name is Princess Tofu and she’s our pug pillow.

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^^ Pretty daisies.

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^^ beans.

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^^ Beautiful chocolate Mint.

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^^ Tomatoes vine ripening.

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^^ Broccoli and cauliflower growing away a storm.

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^^ Big fatty! oxheart tomato

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^^ pumpkins!

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^^ This was our Christmas tree, that’s now the welcome to our home tree. Good job tree, you’re just a swell fella.

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^^ Broccoli, cauliflower and bell pepper babies.

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^^ This cucumber is growing in a container in the front garden to keep it under control.  Its doing so well, so proud of you.

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^^ Just look at the  monster tomato plant growing at the back.

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^^ The grass is finally starting to spread.

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^^ cute tomatoes growing on the monster tomato plant.

Happy gardening!

Weekend Recap

I love this time of the year, its one of those special holidays were you can be as kitsch as you want to be and no one and I mean NO one can judge you.  All around you can see people getting ready for the Christmas festivities, last minute gift shopping and all the Christmas songs playing on repeat in every shop.

Over the weekend we decided to go try out concious 108 its a vegan cafe that serves amazing vegan food. I tried the blct wrap which had tofu bacon, vegan cheese and salad on it, oh what a treat it was indeed, but for real indulgence we had sweet potato fries with it, it was perfectly spiced with just the right amount of grease to make you go OMG, this is incredible!

So behold my weekend recap in photos.

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^^ We chopped down a branch from a tree in the garden for more sun.

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^^ Cake waiting to be turned into lamingtons.

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^^ Home made granola.

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^^ Vegetables packets and corn over the fire.

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^^ Freshly picked vegetables.

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^^ Rise of the vegetable hand. nooooo

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^^ Monster string bean from the garden.

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^^ Baby marrow and beans.

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^^ Beautiful skies, to make you appreciate things.

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^^ Salt and pepper shaker at concious 108.

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^^ Delicious carrot and cucumber juice at concious 108.

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^^ Belphie being lazy.

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^^ Pretty Christmas tree.

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^^ Tea time.

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^^ The most indulgent, delicious and wonderful smoothie ever. My peaches and cream smoothie.

I hope everyone is ready for Christmas and really appreciate the family and friends they have in their life right now.  Happy Holidays.

Garden Update

With all this rain and sunshine comes a beautiful growing garden.  Since planting ladybug friendly plants the aphid problem that felt never ending is finally over.  Its nice to look at the kale and not get utterly depressed by the destruction these tiny demons did.

To brighten everyone’s day that’s feeling cold and miserable, here are some garden photos.

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^^ Pretty colourful flowers.

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^^ By far the best thing in my garden.  Chocolate Mint.

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^^ Pumpkin

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^^ If you’re sceptical about super grow, just look at these cherry tomatoes.

DSC02604 ^^ String beans everywhere.

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^^ Running up.

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^^ Christmas tree ready to get all dressed up.

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^^ baby marrow.

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^^ the prettiest flowers.

Weekend Recap

The weather here has been slightly ridiculous.  It seems like its going to be a sunny day and wham denied! I will be rainy and thundery for 2 hours then sun, but wait…Now I feel like raining while the sun is shining.  It seems like the weather is suffering from a mild case of bipolar.

With this strange weather weekend hiking was taken off the table.  Why? because I’m petrified of thunder and frogs. So unless I wanted to have a panic attack hike other arrangement had to be made.  So here are my weekend photos.

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^^ Christmas cheer at Lifestyle.

 

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^^ Saw these talented guys at the neighbourgoods market in Braamfontein.

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^^ Our first Christmas decorations… Meet fat Ricky and slim Jimmy.

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^^ Electricity free evenings and a romantic kitty.

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^^ Fresh Melon.

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^^ Blueberries growing.

Happy Monday.

Garden Update

Its been rainy here and the garden is loving it.  Like the garden I’m also loving it, is there anything better than a good excuse to cuddle up on the couch and watch movies?, but I didn’t just sit around the whole weekend, I also discovered my catnip…..I completely understand cats now.  What is my catnip you ask? Chocolate Mint!  I don’t know why no one has never told me about this wonderful little herb, but now that I have it I want fields! I want to roll in it and just live in a house surrounded by this little green gem. Okay, okay, this rant is over and on with the garden photos!

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^^ We’ve been collecting rocks on every hike we’ve gone on lately and they’ve finally made their way into the garden for a pretty border for some freshly planted herbs.

 

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^^ Rocks up close.

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^^ The hanging garden is looking prettier by the day.

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^^The flowers in the front of the house.

 

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^^The veggie garden just keeps expanding.

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^^ you can’t see them yet, but soon this will be baby spinach and  chard.

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^^ Mustard spinach growing up.

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^^ yarrow.

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^^ Tomato flowers.

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^^ Baby Marrow leaves.

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^^ Runner beans, starting to run up the wall.

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^^ Chocolate Mint.  Have you ever seen anything so beautiful.

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^^ Sunday fire.

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^^ I harvested all the lettuce and planted butter lettuce and cos lettuce.

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^^ Even the washing line wants to be pretty.

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend.