- Keep deadheading flowers so that they keep producing more flowers until the first frosts
- Take Yew hedge cuttings. Take semi ripe cuttings to a length of 6 to 8 inches. Put them straining into a plastic bag so that they don’t try out. Cut to size and then bury them up to their foliage in compost. Put them somewhere warm. They should then produce roots so that they are ready to plant out next Spring.
- Net Brassicas. Cabbage White butterflies are drawn to cabbage leaves where they will lay their eggs which hatch and turn into caterpillars which will eat your plants with disastrous results. The only way to prevent this is with garden netting which is fine enough to stop butterflies. Even with this in place it’s a good idea to check every week for signs of their eggs.
- Plant Kale plants. Don’t forget to plant them deep and firm them in well. They become large plants which get blown around so need a good foundation. Plants should be about 18 inches apart. Kale will grow through to next May and you just pick the leaves when you need them through the winter. Monty Don on Gardners World had the clever idea of filling in the gaps between the kale plants with a catch-crop of Oak Leaf Salad Bowl Lettice plants.
|Value for money **||4/5|
Legoland Windsor is about a 10 to 20-minute drive from Windsor. This picture taken at the top of Legoland looks over to Windsor castle in the distance. It’s a nice central location it’s easy to reach from most locations. There have Lego themed hotels on site which look great but for a family of four on a budget, they are probably too expensive for most. We drove over to Windsor the Friday night before and stayed a little way down the road in a Premier Inn which meant we managed to get to the park just after it opened and were able to avoid the crowds for the first part of the Saturday. The Premier Inn was good value for money – we got a family room for about £50 and the children enjoyed the restaurant and all-you-can-eat breakfast in the morning.
Before travelling down to Legoland we read lots of reviews on Tripadvisor and watched a few videos on Youtube. We had rather low expectations, expecting to be stuck in crowds. In the end, we had a very enjoyable day and the crowds didn’t spoil it too much. We found the park to be well run with plenty of friendly staff and very clean and spotless. As far as I could see all the staff walk around with litter-pickers and instantly pick up any litter they spot. The toilets and catering facilities were all spotlessly clean which again is a great sign of a well-run establishment when catering for thousands of visitors a day.
Legoland has something called Q-BOT where you can basically pay extra to jump the queues that form around the most popular attractions. We started the day firmly of the mindset that we would not pay extra for this. However, as luck would have it the first ride we went on broke down and we were compensated with a couple of free Q-BOT tickets. These gave us the flexibility to do a couple of the most popular rides and spend the rest of the day having a leisurely walk around the park and enjoy some of the smaller simpler rides. In the end if you want to do one of the very popular rides where on a busy day the queue can be 80 minutes or more I do recommend buying a Q-BOT ticket so you can maximise the time you spend in the rest of the park.
My 6-year-old, 4-year-old and middle aged husband really enjoyed walking around the model village. We could have spent hours looking at this and playing on the nearby playground. In fact, around the park, there are a number of nice playground / mini-adventure playgrounds which my children enjoyed more than the feature ride.
When it comes to value for money it all depends on how well you plan. We planned well in advance and bought our tickets through a Tesco club card deal. Top marks to Tesco on this occasion for being very easy to deal with, friendly and helpful. There are various deals if you look online, and I’d say the last thing you want to do is turn up on the day and pay full price on the gate.
We took sandwiches and bottles of water and enjoyed this is the picnic areas. We had ice creams and coffee’s which was as you would expect more expensive than high street prices. A couple of medium lattes in Costa cost about £6 and sandwiches if we had bought them were about £3 a packet. So expensive but about what you would expect at a large theme-park.
We enjoyed that day. We didn’t see everything and so would certainly be happy to make a return visit one day.
Patience Gray Books for food lovers
Click here to view this on Amazon.co.uk
This popped up in the Amazon best sellers last week which caught my eye as it was published in 1986. It’s a food lover’s or cookery classic that everyone who is seriously interested in cookery should have read and have on their bookshelves. It has received more publicity in recent weeks and been rediscovered by a new generation thanks to the publication of Patience Gray’s biography.
For more than thirty years, Patience Gray–author of the celebrated cookbook Honey from a Weed–lived in a remote area of Puglia in southernmost Italy. She lived without electricity, modern plumbing, or a telephone, grew much of her own food, and gathered and ate wild plants alongside her neighbours in this economically impoverished region. She was fond of saying that she wrote only for herself and her friends, yet her growing reputation brought a steady stream of international visitors to her door. This simple and isolated life she chose for herself may help explain her relative obscurity when compared to the other great food writers of her time: M. F. K. Fisher, Elizabeth David, and Julia Child.
So it is not surprising that when Gray died in 2005, the BBC described her as an “almost forgotten culinary star.” Yet her influence, particularly among chefs and other food writers, has had a lasting and profound effect on the way we view and celebrate good food and regional cuisines. Gray’s prescience was unrivalled: She wrote about what today we would call the
Slow Food movement–from foraging to eating locally–long before it became part of the cultural mainstream. Imagine if Michael Pollan or Barbara Kingsolver had spent several decades living among Italian, Greek, and Catalan peasants, recording their recipes and the significance of food and food gathering to their way of life.
In Fasting and Feasting, biographer Adam Federman tells the remarkable–and until now untold–life story of Patience Gray: from her privileged and intellectual upbringing in England, to her trials as a single mother during World War II, to her career working as a designer, editor, translator, and author, and describing her travels and culinary adventures in later years. A fascinating and spirited woman, Patience Gray was very much a part of her times but very clearly ahead of them.
The new biography was reviewed recently in the Spectator.