Category Archives: Mrs L's Musings!

It’s the Big Garden Birdwatch Weekend

“Together we can give nature the home it needs”

It’s the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch weekend, where they invite members of the public to record and submit details of the birds they see, in their garden, balcony or windowbox!

You can read all about the weekend, and download some fabulous resources on the RSPB website here.

Over on our Pinterest page, we have a board devoted to Birds, why not take a look?

https://uk.pinterest.com/agratechnw/bird-feeders/

Screen Shot 2016-01-30 at 10.04.23

Could your shed be the star of the show?

Ok, it’s still gloomy and cold but if you’re thinking about spring gardening, you may also be planning a quick shed spruce-up or a fast coat of paint on the old fence and deck!

Before you start, give your paint sprayer and quick service and repair, to get it as good as new! And to help, Agratech are now stocking the parts and spares for the Cuprinol range of deck and fence paint sprayers, including new Paint nozzles and assembly, filters, triggers, hoses and more! Everything you need to get your sprayer working in perfectly so you can breeze through your job list. – click here to see the Cuprinol range

Shed & Fence3

And, if you think your Shed is simply brilliant, why not enter the Shed of The Year 2016 competition? You can find more details by clicking here. You can see entries so far here, and previous winners here!

Quick link to Cuprinol Garden Sprayers and Parts here

Heritage Open Days This Week!

Heritage Open Days offer an opportunity for anyone to explore often closed or limited access buildings, estates and places of local historical interest – and a fantastic opportunity for nosey parkers like Mrs L to have a good, old snoop around, if we’re honest! No chance of her being in work on this years dates, 10-13 September, as she has a list of places to view…last year she even got an after-event private tour around Morecambes Midland Hotel, courtesy of the lovely concierge

Using the Tags for Rural and Agricultural, here are the search results and highligted below is one of our favourites from this list; but be sure to check out other openings in your locality!

Rayleigh Windmill

Here’s the official word from Heritage Open Days:

Heritage Open Days is England’s biggest heritage festival involving 40,000 volunteers. It celebrates our fantastic history, architecture and culture; offering people the chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – all of which are FREE to explore.  Every year on four days in September, the bunting is unfurled and buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors. It is a once-a-year chance to discover the often hidden or forgotten gems on our doorsteps and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities that bring local history and culture to life.

Visit the Website now to find details of all the events – be warned some require pre-booking and are very popular!

Heritage Open Days

 

Countryside events this weekend!

Make the most of the mild weather forecast this weekend by taking part in some Countryside events!

Image Courtesy The Forestry Commission

Image Courtesy The Forestry Commission

If you’re in Yorkshire, the highlight of the weekend is the Countryside Live show which takes place at the Great Yorkshire Showground over Saturday and Sunday, offering attractions for children, parents and grandparents alike! More details on their website here.

The National Trust continue with World War 1 commemorative events, and also many exciting  indoor including White Water Watch, Deer Spotting and Garden Photography courses! For those who prefer to be inside, there is dancing, drawing and an exhibition of paintings hosted by the National Portrait Gallery (although this is in the 2nd floor of Montacute House, with no lift access :() The full rundown of weekend events is here

The Forestry Commission has events from Gruffalo’s to Glow Worms and Bats to Bikes! More here on their website

And finally, should the weather turn horrid, get out your pencils and crayons at one of many BigDraw events! Find details here.

Are you a Pie Fan?!

Do you love a great pie? Great British Bakeoff Fan?

Higgidy Pies have launched a competition to find a great new pie filling, with the winner to be chosen for production and a place on supermarket shelves next Spring!    higgidy pie hunt

This is your chance to get your apron on and perfect your pie-filling, or perhaps to let the world into your grans secret family recipe!

You can read more about the competition on the Higgidy website here.

Get Cooking!

 

 

Fruity Family Fun!

This weekend could be the perfect time to tick off number 21 in the National Trust’s 50 Things to do before you’re 11 3/4Pick Blackberries Growing in the Wild.
We’ve already picked some, and hoping for a gap in the miserable rain, we might go again this weekend!  Mrs L led the way on a gloriously sunny Lancashire day, picking blackberries along the path of the old railway line, before dropping down to meet the East Lancs Railway at Irwell Vale where we boarded to Ramsbottom.

The little one had great fun test-driving her new wellies stomping through mud, while the grown-ups had a well deserved beverage at Irwell Works Brewery!  A prefect family day!
And with a donation of Apples from Debbie’s garden we’ve had the most perfect crumble!
Read more about the 50 Things here,
 

Getting Social, property gossip & meeting a real gardening award winner!

So, this week I attended a Property ‘tweet-up’ (cue Chris rolling his eyes heavenwards) to meet in person some of my favourite property tweeters, bloggers and all-round property nuts! Being as when I’m not at Agratech,  I spend half of my working life, and much of the rest of my life (leisure time, dream time….) instilled in anything to do with houses, property, renovation and just all-round general house nosiness, it was a night of pure heaven.

Not much to do with Agratech, and sprayers you’re thinking, except that one of the attendees was a lovely lady, Liz Ackerley of Poppyhead Consultancy, who was recently crowned the Grand Designs Live Garden Designer of the Year!  And having read her blog and looked at some of her portfolio shots, I thought I should give Liz a mention.

Here’s an extract from her about me page:

 a chartered landscape architect and qualified garden designer with a number of years experience designing and managing landscapes from tiny courtyards to large private and public spaces. In the late 90’s Liz trained first at Capel Manor, Middlesex University where she was best garden design student of the year… Liz has held positions in several design consultancy and landscape architecture practices and has also taught garden design on courses in both London and Staffordshire.

Fantastic, and you can read more about Liz, and find her contact details from her website here.

But if like me, you work in images, here are some images from her beautiful award-winning design. You can read Liz’s blog post here to learn about her design concept and see images from the drawing board through the build and the completed garden, which is truly stunning. A worthy winner

 

Image Via Popphead Consultancy

Image Via Popphead Consultancy

And finally, if you are interested in property, follow some of the best on Twitter! From l-r back row @poppyheadC @RyderandDutton @LancsPropLady @AnnaSellsHouses @PropertyMadeSimTweet up Bear

Front row @RightmoveAddict @JDGEstateAgent @MauriceKilbride

 

A great day out for all the family

From Diggers to Dogs, and Food to Ferrets….

This coming weekend, the CountrysideLive show takes over the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate promising something for all the family.

The two day event is jam-packed with hands-on activities as well as the usual country show displays and competitions.Children can try their hand at sausage and bread making, willow weaving and straw crafts; release your inner Robin Hood having a go at Archery; or play with some big toys at Diggerland!

The shopping and food sections house a variety of local produce and a chance to bag some more individual artisan Christmas gifts!

The show runs Saurday 19th & Sunday 20th October, and tickets are priced at a very reasonable £22 for a family of 2 adults and 3 children, individual tickets are available.

We’ll see you there!

The CountrysideLive website is here.
Follow show news on Twitter @YAScountryside
Images from the CountrysideLive Website, with thanks

It’s Potato Week

The Potato Council’s Potato Week is under way, aimed to drive awareness and sales of named potato varieties, and give British Potato growers a boost.

Here’s a quote from the Potato Council website:

Potato Council marketing manager, Kate Cox, said: “The autumn is a crucial time for potato consumption and the crux of our campaign – which is timed to coincide with main crop harvesting – is to encourage shoppers to trade up to popular named varieties. In doing so, we aim to promote increased consistency and enjoyment of potato-meals eaten in the home and encourage shoppers to see that they are worth paying a little more for. This in turn, will drive value growth of the potato category.

Commendable, though Mrs L’s hackles have risen slightly at the the (seemingly) women-only focused campaign, and the slighly nauseous title of “Maris Piper Mums” on the Love Potato Website. Perhaps in the Potato Council world, men are farmers, and the little woman is the cook? There are plenty of Agratech friends where the man does the weekly shop, and produces equal, if not much finer fayre than their lady partners.  I can hear the cries of ‘calm down, dear’. But maybe next year we could have the Maris-Men?! 😉

That being said, there are some great recipes on the Love Potato website, and in particular Mr L is going to have a go at the Sticky Orange Potato Cake, so we’ll report back later.

Potato week runs 7-13 October. Happy shopping and cooking!

The Potato Cuncil website is here.Growing Potatoes
The Love Potato website is here
Potato Council marketing manager, Kate Cox, said: “The autumn is a crucial time for potato consumption and the crux of our campaign – which is timed to coincide with main crop harvesting – is to encourage shoppers to trade up to popular named varieties. In doing so, we aim to promote increased consistency and enjoyment of potato-meals eaten in the home and encourage shoppers to see that they are worth paying a little more for. This in turn, will drive value growth of the potato category. – See more at: http://www.potato.org.uk/news/potato-advertising-push-gets-underway#sthash.3D2g9qZO.dpuf
drive awareness and sales of named potato varieties – See more at: http://www.potato.org.uk/news/potato-advertising-push-gets-underway#sthash.3D2g9qZO.dpuf
o drive awareness and sales of named potato varieties – See more at: http://www.potato.org.uk/news/potato-advertising-push-gets-underway#sthash.3D2g9qZO.dpuf
o drive awareness and sales of named potato varieties – See more at: http://www.potato.org.uk/news/potato-advertising-push-gets-underway#sthash.3D2g9qZO.dpuf