Goodbye, Ozzie. We love you xx

Today we had to say goodbye and let our brave bunny boy go 😢 We adopted Ozzie when he was 2 1/2, and he lived to 10 years old. He was found wandering the streets with terribly overgrown teeth, skin and bones because he couldn’t eat properly. He had all his front teeth removed and lived happily from thereon in. He shared our house with us, and after his friend Moppy passed away in 2014, he developed a friendship with our semi longhair cat Pudding. He really loved snuggling with Puds when we had a fire on, and enjoyed sunny days running free in the garden. He was feisty and funny and such a big character – he’d been through so much but had so much courage. We were blessed to have such a lovely boy in our lives and will miss him so much.

It’s going to take a while to get used to no bunnies, not seeing and greeting Ozzie when I come in the door, not saying goodbye to him when I leave the house and checking he has everything he needs. I’ll miss him running in circuits around my legs when I get up in the morning, as he waits for his breakfast to be served. I’ll miss seeking out dandelions in the garden for him, and his head nodding upwards, as I give him a cheeky bit of micronised pea as a treat. I’ll miss cutting up his carrots or apple in the evenings and watching in satisfaction as he tucks into his bedtime treat. Miss him lazing in the sunshine or stretched out blissfully in front of the fire in winter. I’ll miss tickling his head and hearing him snore and snooze. I’ll miss coming across him hopping through the kitchen on an exploration. Good God I’ll miss that droopy lower lip.

Rest in peace Ozzie, we love you xxx

My Two Cents: Top Gardening Bloggers Share Their New Year’s Resolutions

Cherry tree in winter

It might be February, but it’s cold, bleak and grey out there and the growing season seems so far away. We’ve had frost after frost, sleet, snow and endless days of cloud and rain, and the garden has been sleeping soundly for weeks on end. It’s been just over a month since we were launched headfirst into 2017, but already the seed catalogues have been arriving in droves.

Top Gardening Bloggers Share Their New Year’s Resolutions

It might be dull and dreary outside, but this time of year is perfect for planning the growing season ahead from the comfort of my centrally heated house. So when Capital Gardens asked me for my take on my horticultural new year resolutions, I was more than happy to help. I joined five other gardening bloggers in offering up my thoughts on what I hope to achieve this growing season, and why this year I’ll be aiming for quality over quantity.

So check out Top Gardening Bloggers Share Their New Year’s Resolutions to see what we all had to say.

Kitchen garden in January

It’s not even a month since the Winter Solstice and already I’m noticing that we’re already starting to gain a little more light in the evenings. It’s not much, but it’s definitely a positive!

Last Sunday – despite dreary grey skies and wet ground underfoot, I took the baby and the buggy into the garden at 4pm. Whilst E slept after a being wheeled a few short circuits around the garden, I raked and collected up the last of the leaves for the leaf bin. I worked until just before 5pm, when the light was diminishing rapidly by the minute. Just three weeks ago it would have been impossible to work past 4:30pm… so I can’t complain.

Collecting up the last of the autumn leaves and clearing away last year’s homegrown cosmos flowers were two small but significant jobs that have been lingering on an ever-growing list of Things To Do This January. My Smallest Smallholding may well take a pause in January, but for me it gives me a little breathing space to catch up on a whole host of jobs, before everything kickstarts once again in the spring.

Frosty raspberry leaf backlit by sunshine

Realistically, with a 4 1/2 month in tow, I can only grab snatches of time here and there. To pretend I have hours on hand to potter and preen will do me no favours. So I need to keep the momentum going to keep on top of everything that needs doing.

One thing I’ve learned about parenthood is that I have to work around my new routine. So my To Do List needs to be simple and straightforward. That way, I can tick, tick, tick off the boxes and feel like I’m getting somewhere.

Here’s a few jobs that I’ve lined up for January and February at The Smallest Smallholding:

– Cut down autumn fruiting (primocane) raspberry canes
– Weed & mulch veg plots
– Continue cutting back brambles and pulling up nettles in the overgrown patch
– Plant garlic and winter onions (it’s still relatively warm and February – the coldest month – is still to come)
– Tidy long border
– Plant the last tulip bulbs (eek)
– Prune buddleias, roses and clematis
– Chit potatoes