If you go down to the woods…

… then make sure you have a decent pair of gardening gloves and a stout heart.  This is what our garden looked like until last weekend:

Not exactly the suburban idyll

Not exactly the suburban idyll…

Although I really like the ‘meadow’ style of garden, this was taking things a bit too far and it wasn’t ever meant to get this bad! (I do love that we provided a home to lots of interesting creatures like the little hairy ginger fella on the right though).

Last year Simon’s brother Philip, who’s a horticulturalist, took care of our garden for us but with a new baby imminent he’s rather got his hands full and with the upkeep of the garden left to us… well, you can see how it ended up.  With all the rain we’ve had this year, and with the two of us out of the house working all hours and running the bakery, it always ended up further down on the to-do list and we watched with horror as our neat garden grew and grew and grew.  To make things worse, our neighbours have a lovely, well-tended garden which made us look like lazy slobs.

So, last Saturday while Simon was at work, I covered myself in suncream, put on a sun hat and my (brand new and hastily-bought-in-Homebase) gardening gloves and got to work.  It took three hours, but I managed to cut back most of the overgrowth that was hiding our lovely flower beds and had all-but-strangled our rosemary bush.  On Monday, Simon got his gardening groove on and attacked the lawn (is it still considered a lawn when it’s two and half feet tall and the grass has its own buds?) with first the strimmer and then two goes with the lawnmower.  Of course the grass is utterly knackered and rather yellow but at least we can get out there now in the sunshine before it disappears. This is what it looks like now:

A little yellow but much less wild!  I rescued some of the wild flowers for the coffee table

A little yellow but much less wild! I also rescued some of the wild flowers for the living room

There’s still a lot more to do, and George definitely misses snuffling around in the long grass, but I’d really like to fill the garden with wild flowers and at least keep a little bit of a haven for the butterflies and ginger crawlies.  And today I noticed that our other neighbours’ garden looked like this:

neighbourSomehow I feel a little bit better now :)


The Little Lemon has a busy week

We had a great day on Sunday at the Duck Pond market in Ruislip – fairly decent weather and lots of lovely customers saying marvellous things about our fudge. We’ve finally invested in a giant flask so that we can drink tea throughout the day which is always a good thing.

Things have been quite busy for the Little Lemon over the past couple of weeks and following on from Hyde Bark we’ve had more followers and more internet orders, and more people talking about us which is utterly brilliant. Although we set up the Little Lemon just over a year ago, it wasn’t really until January this year that we really started to focus on things properly (a real balancing act when you’re still doing two full-time jobs) but it’s something we’ve really wanted to do and with the summer hols coming up we’ll have much more time to devote so I’m looking forward to coming up with some new recipes and some new fudge flavours.

We’ve got another couple of markets coming up soon but before that is the British Grand Prix at Silverstone – we’re taking my brother for his 40th birthday and we’re beyond excited! We’ll be heading up on Thursday night and camping there for 4 nights (the closest thing I’ve ever come to a festival…) I hope it doesn’t pour with rain like it did last year ’cause I don’t have any wellies :) And of course we’ll be cheering on JB and Team McLaren…

A whole day surrounded by puppas? My idea of heaven!

In just under two weeks’ time we’ll be heading to Hyde Park to set up our Little Lemon stall at the Mayhew event, Hyde Bark (see what they did there?). We’ve never been before but this is their second year and we’re very much looking forward to it. The other thing I’m excited about is that George will be coming with us this time – he’ll be spending the morning with his nan and grandad and then coming along to join us in the afternoon. There will be lots of stalls selling food (for people and for puppas) and other goodies but, more importantly, there will be lots of other puppas there too (my idea of a perfect Sunday).

Apparently there will be all sorts of things going on throughout the day, including a competition (one of the categories is “Waggiest Tail”, which just sounds brilliant. I’m secretly hoping that George will win that one as his whole back end wiggles when he’s happy, which is most of the time).

We’ve been busy trying out different flavours of fudge since the last market and will be bring our new strawberry fudge and butterscotch fudge, as well as our old favourites and what’s rapidly becoming our signature fudge, the lemon flavour. Things have been quite hectic as I’m still teaching during the day and have just started working back in the West End (Viva Forever, followed by Dirty Dancing when Viva closes at the end of June) so we’re making the most of it being half term this week.

Next Saturday we’re having some chums round to help us with all the packaging ready for Hyde Bark, a few beers and dinner – one of the things we’ve loved about doing these markets is that it’s become a really social thing where lots of friends and family have got involved and been supportive, whether helping us with preparations, taste-testing our produce or just coming along to see us on the day. Let’s hope there are many more to come!