Days out with family
Autumn is fast approaching!
We moved to our current house from a lovely village on the outskirts of Doncaster. Occasionally we like to go back and visit (as we only moved along to the next-but-one village on the bus route). There’s a lovely plant nursery there with a wonderful public garden that is one of my favourite places to visit locally. We arranged to meet up with some friends in the cafe there before going for a walk around the gardens, but arrived a little early, so took some time to walk up and down the lane nearby.
Gold winners at Chelsea Flower Show, Walkers Nursery, as I said, is a favourite destination, not only for me, but for the children and after some very nice drinks and cakes we let the children loose in the gardens.
One of the most unusual things we found are these cracks in the ground, which we guessed were aused by the coniferous trees in this area sucking up all the moisture from the ground around.
We also found what looks like a raspberry growing in the recess of a tree!
We are blessed to have such a wonderful place on our doorstep!
We had a surprise package through the post. Imagine our joy when we opened it (bemused as to what it could be) and discovered this beautiful book inside! We had been sent it by Wide Eyed Editions to review. As this blog and my coffee-come-nature table (also in the photo above) attests, we love to get out and about learning about the nature that surrounds us, so this was a great choice of book to send us!
Nature’s Day is a children’s non-fiction book and it takes you on a journey through the seasons of the year based on eight different locations: the garden; the veg patch; the woods; the farm; the fields; the pond; the orchard and the street. Each season sees a visit back to each location to see what is happening and what one might see there at that time of year.
The book is recommended for readers of 5+ years, but is also very approachable for younger children – Minnie (3yrs) had particular fun picking out the various animals and plants she recognised and asking what the other ones were. Even Arty was attracted by the bright and colourful illustrations (as you can see from below).
Part of Wide Eyed Edition’s ‘blurb’ for themselves is that they:
Believe that books should encourage curiosity about the world we live in, inspiring readers to set out on their own journey of discovery.
And this book did that. Reading it had Minnie out into the garden checking that we had some of the vegetables in the book. She didn’t believe that we had a courgette plant until I pointed it out to her in a sunny corner, complete with yellow flowers as the book promised! It certainly acted as a young child-accessible springboard for further investigation and I can see it being used again and again for ideas on what to look for when we’re out and about on our walks.
Judging by the quality of this book and the ensuing enjoyment, we’ll certainly be looking out for more Wide Eyed Editions books in the future (there are some lovely-looking ones on their website).
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June was a busy month and it was hard to find time to blog. 30 Days Wild saw us getting out of the house every day (even if it was ‘only’ to walk the dog – something that I hadn’t done for a while due to mobility issues whilst pregnant and afterwards, when I had to be careful of any sudden pulls or jars), but I have had to take it carefully as I still have some residual difficulties with my knee, back and neck.
It was Minnie’s third birthday during the month. Moo made a wonderful birthday cake: sponge flavoured and coloured with berries, layered with whipped cream and more berries, covered with a marshmallow frosting made from marshmallows she made herself, coloured with – yes, you guessed it – more berries (our strawberries have been busy in the garden!) She decorated the cake with a particularly impressive calendula bloom, surrounded with pinks and violas. It was very pretty and tasted amazing!
June is the month for foraging for elderflowers and making elderflower cordial/syrup – some bottled in the fridge and some frozen for later in the year. It’s wonderful for adding a dash to all sorts of things (including the crumble above). I also made a mint syrup from chocolate mint in the garden (I have a few different mints) and Moo made various ice creams and sorbets. We were gifted some rhubarb and, along with a punnet of strawberries, Minnie made her first crumble (which was served with some homemade vanilla ice cream made by Moo).
It’s been hard to get into the garden and do much. Arty wants to be held all the time and isn’t great about being laid down (if he’s asleep he swiftly wakes up again). He seems to know when there is work to be done, or if there is something else I’d like to do, but whenever we are out, he will sleep through with no problem at all (even in a busy indoor play area!) Still, I managed to get a bit done and helped Minnie’s pot on the experimental tomato cuttings.
June also saw Erk back from university and doing a national tour of family and friends. It may have been ‘slow’, but all-in-all it was a tiring month!