West Wales Adventures of AliCat – Weeks 3 & 4

The past couple of weeks have flown past even quicker than before hence I am late and I have had to pen weeks 3 and 4 into one blog.

Each day I still pinch myself to make sure that this is real and I sit in the mornings at the bench under the porch with my cup of tea and take in the views.
This is usually interupted by Evie who belongs to one of our near neighbours as she loves her morning and afternoon fuss and given half a chance she would move in as she is a cheekly little madam who inspects the house at every given chance.


The weather has been pretty good up-until last night which bought the heavy gales, thankfully we have had no damage in the garden despite it howling like a banshee all night, but I am  now wondering if my poly-tunnel type greenhouse that we bought with us from Birmingham that was screwed onto our decking could possibly stand up to any of the weather we have here. It is quite exposed and windy here at the best of times so we are trying to figure out how best we can site it, and secure it…… this may need some really ingenious ideas and the use of heavy construction methods.

My rhubarb, broad beans and peas have all sprouted and are doing really well along with the tomatoes I sowed, I think I have had a little bit too much success with the toms as I now have 27 tomato plants! …. Oh well I can always share some out with the locals when they are a bigger size.
The lettuce I sowed looks pretty dire, they are all very leggy despite me transplanting the seedlings much deeper and placing them in cooler bright conditions, perhaps I will have to start again with these but I will give them a couple of more weeks and see if they improve.

We believe we have discovered the culprit that had eaten the baby lily bulbs in the greenhouse as I found a complete peanut in its shell buried in the compost of the last tray that I checked, unfortunately I also found dreaded vine weevil grubs so we have had to spend several days completely clearing the greenhouse out and checking and treating the plants to ensure that its clear.
The staging we inherited in there had a wooden base and edges to hold gravel for pots and we have had to take the drastic step of removing all of the gravel as its impossible to spot any nasties on it and for now I have used some massive green trays that I used to use for grow bags in its place and I am keeping a very close eye on everything to ensure they are no more outbreaks.

The apple pie was a reasonable success, I asked Peter to rate it honestly on 3 areas… taste, presentation, and texture, for which I scored a respective 9.5, 9, & 8.5.
I scored low on the texture as the pastry was a little too thin, this was because I used a standard recipe and silly me didn’t check the size of dish it was meant for so I had to roll it out a little more than I would have preferred, but overall I was quite pleased and I have promised to try and bake some shortbread biscuits next week.

Apple Pie

We made a start on our temporary vegetable bed. Last year underneath a pile of bramble, we found a green plastic two tiered veg planter, so I cleaned this up ready for use and I am really chuffed as it now looks like it is brand new, however when digging an area for it to be put into use, we found that the soil in this area is a real challenge, it looks quite poor and is full of slate of all shapes and sizes that I now have the task of trying to pick and riddle out of the soil before we can even begin to plant. Despite this I am not too daunted as we have a huge pile of home made compost we can dig into the bed and I have come up with a cunning plan to try and use the slate we find as a pathway around the edge of the raised bed.

Almost Completed Lucky Find Slate Starting to Dig Stoney Soil

Its a real shame that we cannot do the full plot properly, but as you will see from the picture below that the huge half tree we have left has to come down at some point and this area is the only place that we can plan for it to land when it is felled later on in Autumn, so temporary it has to be pots for now and we have loads of large containers we can use so all is not lost.

Half Tree

Our nearest neighbour came round the other day for a chat and gave us half a dozen of her hens eggs, they were all sorts of shapes and sizes but I can honestly say they were delicious and I happily gave her a couple of the divisions of the Ophiopogon Nigrescens I made a few weeks ago so I think we were both happy with our end of the deal so to speak.


We have an old log by the side of the shed that we use as a hose reel and growing on the side or laid on the side is a white thing that is about the size of a very large egg……does anyone have any idea what this is? it is really spongy to touch and springs back like foam.

What is It

Ooh whilst I am at it, I have another question……. I am growing sugar snap peas, the variety is Sugar Ann, do I need to pinch the tops out on these like you do with sweet peas to encourage bushiness, or do I leave them alone?

I hope you are all happy & well and having a great time sowing and growing, happy Clicking to you all

xx AliCat xx









21 Responses

  1. gertie says:

    You sound happy and busy…wonderful Alison :good: The white thing isn’t a cocoon for spiders or summat is it? :unsure: I cannot help with the pea question, but I wish you joy with them. Lovely to read your positive, happy diary, and when will you have a cat of your own? :rose:

  2. Allan says:

    Yes Ali, you can pinch the top out of them, When they have reached the height that you want them too grow, They will bush out below then, You have chosen a nice place to live, We go to Solva every June,Love it there. :good:

  3. Hayley says:

    Wonderfully uplifting blog Ali, thank you for sharing it with us. I must say your apple pie looks delish and as far as texture goes I’m not certain my tasting would have touched the sides long enough to judge :whistle: ;-)

  4. Bill says:

    What a good read, thanks Ali, keep ’em coming :rose:

  5. A lovely read, Ali and what good neighbours you have/are :yes:

  6. shedsue says:

    Fab read Alison…seems you and your OH are really enjoying yourselves…and you so deserve it…The pie looked wonderful too…well done…keep us updated with your new life in Wales xx

  7. Fab blog, sounds like you are having a lot of fun amongst all the hard work. I’m sure your pies will improve the more you make :-) what do you cook on?, I cook on gas, but have electric in the new house!!! Love the idea of lots of different size eggs.
    Look forward to the following updates and swapping stories :lol: :rose:

    • AliCat says:

      Thanks Lynn, yes we will be swapping stories big time :yes:
      We have no mains gas here so its electric which is what I am used to, but I would love an Aga or Rayburn to cook with but I would need a mini mortgage for one of those.

      • SIMONDO says:

        2nd hand solid fuel ones are out there and on ebay..or from recon dealers.
        LPG bottled gas for a LPG gas cooker is Sooooo cheep to Ali if you want be off grid. 70 squid a year do you ? :-)

        • AliCat says:

          Hi Simon, is it really that cheap for LPG…… I never imagined it being so reasonable :unsure:
          I will have to have a shoofty around on E-bay to see what I can find :yes:

          • SIMONDO says:

            Yup… A 47 kg orange bottle will last me more than a year if i use it mostly to cook with in spring ,summer and some of autumn. You don’t need a big tank installed as you might if you were having LPG central heating. You can daisy chain them into what is known as a “Bund ” if you want a longer or higher length of gas usage.

          • AliCat says:

            That’s really interesting, and good value too, especially now I am cooking more :good:

  8. mick1970 says:

    So glad everything is going well for you :yahoo:

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