Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Barbecued Pots Part 2

So, after leaving things to smoke and smoulder for several hours, the contraption was cool enough to open.

The wood underneath had burnt away and the shavings were reduced to a fine crumbly ash, as had much of the seaweed. I had expected it to burn away completely but it was still there

(sorry about the picture quality - the camera objected to taking photos of dark things at dusk)

So, a bit of cleaning and we had 6 pots of assorted shades of grey. What hadn't worked was the bean tin saggars - the shavings were still completely uncombusted. The answer to that was simple

1 enthusiastic pyromanic + 1 restored Victorian kick-forge

= 1 collection of smokefired beads and buttons

The pots and  beads are now for sale here

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Lavender's Blue

...dilly dilly...

Well, it used to be. It also used to be pink, purple, white and in one amazing plant, green.

When we first moved here, part of the attraction was more land. I had a burgeoning herb plant business, supplying small food shops and a regular farmers market stall. I was, despite a reasonably large garden, fast running out of space.

We moved and I set up greenhouses, bought a polytunnel and plants and business continued to grow.

Then, in June 2007 it rained. And it never really stopped. And on the 25th, the land gave up. The river burst her banks and the water table rose. The garden was underwater, the house was flooded and I was 5 months pregnant and as agile as a beached whale


The water came up very fast. Overnight, it went down again, leaving mud and devastation. We were luckier than many, but of what we lost, the most precious was my business.

Every single plant for the herb business was gone. All stock, all parent plants, all seedlings and cuttings. Some were rare, some were special and some were (and are) irreplaceable.

It still hurts.

Since then, I've ignored herbs. Concentrated on getting the house finished, the garden resurrected, keeping Little Button out of trouble and the haberdashery business. But recently, ideas have started creeping back. I found some old copies of The Lavender Bag and though reading through the lists of plants and seeing familiar names made my heart hurt and reminded me of everything that went sailing merrily down the river that night, I was excited. Though we are (again) getting short of land, there is still a patch of unclaimed wilderness/rubble that could be cleared. We could make raised beds there and a sand bed for cuttings. Little Button will be at school in September and there will be a fraction more time.  This winter the greenhouse will go back up and there will be more growing space.

I think I may have found myself a new project!