Please note that this is an archived blog - a new blog about the Hop Garden can be found at www.thehopgarden.toucansurf.com/blog.html
I was feeling creative, which usually results in completely trashing the kitchen and disappearing under a mound of greenery. This occasion was no different. However, it wasn't all in vain as I managed to create three festive flower arrangements for the association raffle, my mother-in-law and our table (see above), along with a wreath for the back door. Whether it took me longer to make them or clear up afterwards is a mute point.
We had a good day at the primary school Christmas fayre, and even managed to bring some sceptics around to dandelion coffee, thanks to a hot flask full of it to try. One visitor even came back at the end to get some more dried roots as his wife liked it so much when he made some at home!
The stall was a little off the main throughfare, which was a bit of a shame, but we still did ok and made enough profit for a few bags of potting compost, so no complaints there. The chilli chocolate was a hit, as was the brussels sprout sticks, Jerusalem artichokes and leeks, and if I hadn't burnt the lavender shortbread, I think I could have sold all of it! Next year I think I'll do some simple door decorations, chutney and jams and hopefully we'll have a drier summer so I can share some hops too.
The orchard is taking shape (above), with the bark chipping path now down, and I'm hoping to put the gooseberry and blackcurrant bushes in soon. We're also looking to lay the hawthorn hedge, which should be a good challenge as none of us has tried it before.
Here's the native hedge (above), which I'm gradually clearing of weeds and mulching as I go along. Some of the plastic tubes have been nibbled (not sure if it's a rodent or a rabbit) so they're also getting replaced, and I'm planting new hawthorn whips where a few haven't taken, although generally it's done really well for its first year. I enlisted Alan to barrow this morning for a bit, which was a great help, as I'm convinced it takes more than twice as long on your own if my last attempt was anything to go by.