Beastie Balcony Garden Rescue!

Hello everyone! Wow, it’s definitely starting to feel a little autumnal out there… I’d better start knitting faster to make sure the Beasties and I have enough woollies to see us through the cooler days that are coming! And before the weather turns, I also thought it might be a good idea to sort out my sad and unruly balcony garden.

I thought. I didn’t actually do anything.
Sad Balcony Garden - CrawCrafts BeastiesRegular BeastieBlog readers may remember that we bumped into Gardener Beastie at the Botanic Gardens a couple of weeks ago.
Explorer Beastie with Gardener Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesClearly embarrassed by the state of our little patch of urban green space, Explorer Beastie must have made a call… Because yesterday morning, as I sat down at my craft table, I overheard this…

Balcony Garden Appraisal - CrawCrafts Beasties“Wow, there’s a lot to do here, isn’t there?”

And then,

“Did you say there was a human around somewhere who could help?”

Ears burning, I made the mistake of stepping out onto the balcony.
Roped in! CrawCrafts Beasties“Yes! Here she is now!”

So much for sitting back and letting the Beasties sort it out! It’s lucky I had my old clothes on, because the rest of my day was looking a bit like this:

Beasties in Charge - CrawCrafts Beasties
Lifted from

Explorer Beastie and I started with some weeding…
Weeding the Balcony Garden - CrawCrafts Beasties… While Gardener Beastie planned our next move.
Gardener Beastie Plans Ahead - Balcony Garden - CrawCrafts BeastiesAs the only one with hands big enough to manage the secateurs, I was on pruning duty.
Pruning Duty - Balcony Garden - CrawCrafts BeastiesThese chives might even bounce back if we trim away the dead flower heads and repot the rest.
Saving Chives - CrawCrafts BeastiesBut some things in the balcony garden were very much alive.

“These strawberry runners can all go into pots to become new plants!”
Strawberry runners - Balcony Garden - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd to make sure the wind doesn’t blow the baby plants out of their pots before they have a chance to grow real roots, we put some of the squillions of wire twisty ties that come free with any electronics purchase to use.

“Bend each one into an arch, and pin the plant to the soil. That’ll keep them in place!”

Thanks, Gardener Beastie!

Now, what can we do with this big pot, which I found down by the recycling bins earlier? (How lucky!)
A New(ish) Pot for the Balcony Garden - CrawCrafts Beasties“How about pairing up one of the little trees with some cyclamen? Cyclamen loves shade and doesn’t take much from the soil… Should work out nicely!”

Tree and Cyclamen - CrawCrafts Beasties
So, I moved the two plants in together, and added another cyclamen from indoors that seemed to be finding it a bit warm. I also discovered some seeds in the pot with the white-flowered plant, which I spread around over the extra “blank space” in the new container.

Are we done now? Not quite.

“Is there anything in here?”
“Ohhh, yes! This basket has bulbs in it! They still flower every spring, no matter what the weather’s doing…”
What's in the Basket - CrawCrafts Beasties“…But the basket might have seen better days.”

“Okay! Let’s get them out of there…”
Repotting Bulbs - CrawCrafts Beasties“… And into something bigger. You should have a great display to look forward to this spring!”

And speaking of the future…

“Don’t forget to pick those up and plant them! They’re nasturtium seeds. Nasturtiums mean free salad leaves for you, and a feast for your local bees too!”
Free Nasturtiums! CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd now we’re finished!
Balcony Garden, All Done! - CrawCrafts Beasties“Much better. Time for a cup of tea!”

Oh yes, I think we’ve earned it!

If you’ve any extra garden tips and tricks, please share them with us in the comments… And I’ll send Explorer Beastie outside to put them into action.

We’ll be back next Tuesday to catch up with Paddy and Plunkett, so be sure to join us then!

Ready to harvest and eat! H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Paddy and Plunkett – Harvest Time!

Hey there everyone! Now, if the title of this post has you thinking that it’s really too early to harvest anything, please read on… You might be surprised!

After planting courgette seeds a few weeks ago, Paddy and Plunkett are back out in the garden… And, unsurprisingly, they’re on the lookout for some lunch.
“Look, Plunkett! It’s that courgette plant we potted up a while back… And it’s flowering!”
Paddy, Plunkett and the Courgette Plant - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“I’m going in for a closer look – give me a leg up, will you?”
“Alright… Yeowch!”
Inspecting the Courgette Harvest - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesPoor Plunkett! He didn’t think “leg up” meant “I’m going to stand on your head”.

Paddy’s impressed with what he sees, though…
Courgette Flower - Harvest Time - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Lovely! Hey, Plunkett – we could fry these up in batter like they do in fancy restaurants!”

But then, Paddy spots a baby courgette growing behind the flower… Can you see it?
Not ready to harvest yet - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Hmmm, better leave that for a bit. But I’m STARVING now!”

Just then…
“Paddy! You might want to come back down here!”
Plunkett’s made a tasty discovery.
Ready to harvest and eat! H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Oh, that’s a beauty! Stand back, Plunkett – I’ll take it from here.”
Paddy and the Courgette - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“HEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAVE!”

And after only a bit of persuasion, the courgette breaks free!
Beastie Courgette Harvest - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Nice one – a successful first harvest, Plunkett! Now, let’s get it to the kitchen.”
Well, it’s lucky there are two of them.
Bringing home the courgette - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Y’okay back there, Plunkett?”
“Uuuuurrrrhhhhh! Is it much further?”

Oh dear. Seems this has been a more energetic outing than Plunkett was expecting. Hopefully he’ll feel better after he’s had something to eat!

So, what’s growing in your gardens (or on your windowsill) these days? I’ve already been enjoying fresh rocket, radishes and nasturtium leaves so far this summer. And after a couple of lazy years, my strawberry plants are finally bearing fruit! All I need now is a little bit of sunshine to ripen those green berries up. Yum!

That’s all for now, but we’ll be back later in the week for another Flashback Friday… See you then!

Courgette Plant - Growing Veg - CrawCrafts Beasties

Paddy and Plunkett – Growing Wild!

Hey there everyone! After a bit of a wild weekend (weather-wise, of course. We’re still confined to quarters here at Beastie Towers) the sun has returned… And so have a pair of familiar woolly faces! It’s been a while since we’ve seen Paddy and Plunkett, hasn’t it? Let’s drop in and see what they’re up to.
Paddy and Plunkett get growing - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesAha! Looks like they’ve hopped on the gardening bandwagon and are getting into growing their own veggies.

Well, Plunkett is. Paddy has other ideas for what to do with the courgette seeds.
Paddy and the Courgette Seeds - CrawCrafts Beasties“Check it out, Plunkett! Sustainable jewellery!”
“Well… Yes. But they work better if you put them in a pot…”
Planting Seeds - Paddy and Plunkett - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“… Like this. Now, courgettes grow quickly – you might want to stand back a bit!”

Courgette Plant - Growing Veg - CrawCrafts Beasties
Wow, that really WAS quick! And it’s not done yet.
Paddy, Plunkett and the Growing courgette plant - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“I think we’re going to need a bigger pot, Plunkett!”
“Don’t worry, I saw one outside… But we’d better move this plant now before it gets too big to go through the front door!”

So, much huffing and puffing later…
Courgette Plant's New Home - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThe plant looks much happier in its new home, doesn’t it? Plenty of space there to spread out its roots and keep on growing!

“Will we hop up for a closer look, Paddy?”
“Yeah! I want to see the courgettes – they must be nearly ready by now.”
Any courgettes growing yet? H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Ah, it’s a bit early for that yet, Paddy. But if you look veeeery closely…”
Courgette Floweres Growing - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“… You can see the first flowers starting to appear under the leaves. We won’t have long to wait!”

And once those courgettes get started, they’ll keep the boys fed for the entire summer. Hopefully they’ll find a way to send some of the crop Dublinwards, because they’re so tasty and versatile! I love to slice ’em thinly and cook them with red peppers and tomatoes for a pasta sauce, or fry them with lemon juice and garlic and serve the mixture on toast for a quick lunch. Yum!

All this talk of vegetables is making me hungry… So if you have any favourite courgette/zucchini recipes to share with me and the lads, please tell us all about them in the comments!

Aaaand we’ll be back on Friday with a Beastie pet retrospective (Pet-rospective?), so be sure to join us then!

Paddy, Plunkett and a Random Marigold - CrawCrafts Beasties

Winter Garden Wandering with Paddy and Plunkett!

Hello everybody! Well, we may be in the very depths of winter here in the northern hemisphere, but since we all made it through Blue Monday yesterday, it’s onwards and upwards from here! And after introducing a few new Beasties recently (catch up here and here) I thought it might be nice to get out for some fresh air, and take my new camera for a spin.

Of course, Paddy and Plunkett were more than happy to put themselves forward as models! So, we headed out into the garden to see what’s growing… Care to join us?

I caught up with Plunkett while he was tending to his hyacinths. He’s very proud of them, as you can see.
Plunkett with Hyacinths - CrawCrafts BeastiesBut then Paddy popped up, and suggested that it might be nice to take a wander outside.
Paddy pops in with an idea - CrawCrafts BeastiesTurns out he’s pretty persuasive.

And look! You can still find colour in the garden if you search in the right places…
Paddy, Plunkett and a Random Marigold - CrawCrafts Beasties… Although some of these places are easier to get to than others.
Climbing Beasties! CrawCrafts BeastiesStill, if it’s winter colour you’re after, this cheerful display of berries certainly fits the bill!
Paddy, Plunkett and some berries - CrawCrafts BeastiesThe view’s not bad either. Look how green everything is!
Enjoying the View - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd when the boys spotted some long grass on the other side of the hedge, they knew exactly what to do next…
Hide and Beast - CrawCrafts BeastiesThere’s always time for a quick game of hide and seek!

But wait a sec… Where are they off to now? Wait for meeeeeeee!
Through the Archway - CrawCrafts BeastiesUh-oh! Looks like they’ve momentarily given me the slip. Hopefully I’ll be able to track them down before next week’s post!

How about you? Are you eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring before you venture back outdoors, or have you been enjoying walking in your own winter wonderland? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

We’ll be back next week with more from Paddy and Plunkett. I’m sure I’ll catch up with them eventually…

MiniBeastie at Wisley - LucyAnn and Luna Craft/CrawCrafts Beasties

Mini Beastie goes to Wisley

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from LucyAnn at LucyAnn and Luna Craft. She told me that she’d finally had a chance to take her MiniBeastie for a trip to the Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Wisley in Surrey, and the Beasties and I were so excited to see that she’d documented this micro-monster’s first day out in a post on her own blog! I thought it might be fun to share this with you all, so I’m going to take this opportunity to do my FIRST EVER REBLOG!
So, without further ado… Take it away, LucyAnn! And thanks again for taking the time and blog space to share your new little woolly buddy’s adventures with the world!

Beasties in the Garden

Explorer Beastie in the Kale
I’m yet to knit a Beastie with green fingers (or any visible fingers, for that matter), but it seems to me that they’re managing fine in the garden without them. Here’s Explorer Beastie, celebrating his return home from his travels by mucking around in some kale!
Explorer Beastie and Gardener Beastie
He’s not the only one outside today. I guess this must be Gardener Beastie, who is clearly hard at work!
Gardener Beastie with Seedlings
It looks like she’s already pulled up some carrots for dinner. Now she just needs to check on the seedlings…

Gardener Beastie with Rhubarb
…admire the rhubarb…

Gardener Beastie with Ladybirds
…and say hello to some helpful garden friends.

Gardener Beastie Accessories
She also insisted I include a close-up of her beautiful felt gardening basket and seed packet.

In other news, the BeastieBlog is going to be a bit quiet for the next week and a half! I’m off to Roscommon (the land where internet fears to tread) to help out on the farm. Away from the distractions of the digital age, I will have no excuses not to knit like a woman possessed… which is just as well, because I have another selling opportunity on the horizon! Check out Creative Collective Ireland on Facebook for more details!