Flower Crush: Grape Hyacinth

Aha – the grape hyacinths are here!

Sound the trumpets!

For me, grape hyacinths are one of the most joyous signs of Spring.

It must be their range of beautiful, clear, purple colours or that they have so many little flower heads on one stem, arranged into a tasteful cone.

I like to lie on the {wet} grass just to stare at them…

Luckily we seem to have them coming up in large swathes and clumps here at the Finca.  Although, they do look just as lovely {like jewels}, when dotted about amongst the grass.

I’m a little bit giddy about which plants and flowers might appear next!

Flowers: The New Bathroom Air Freshener

{viburnum in the bathroom}

Are you tired of artificial, chemical smells in your home?

Do bathroom air fresheners make your eyes water?

Well, look no further because flowers will be your new best friend!

Recently, while I have been internet browsing… I have seen so many images of vases containing spring flowers and blossom, just perched attractively by bathroom sinks…

A thought suddenly sprang to mind!

I bet they smell fabulous as well as look beautiful.

The best thing is… whether you are into country chic , city minimalism or retro style, you can find the petals that suit you.  Plus they will have the added bonus of keeping your bathroom smelling incredible without the need for ewww yuk chemicals!

Bingo!

DIY Business Cards

{celebratory business cards}

Yippee that the blog is now thedorsetfinca.com!

To celebrate this I thought some business cards were needed, as I spend a lot of time writing down the web and email address for people.

This way I can give out handy little cards that look amazing.

For inspiration, I used a tutorial from the Oh Hello Friend blog, here… 

…(Danni uses a fab wrap-around text design).

As an extra bit of loveliness… I have designed a little image for a rubber stamp, which when it arrives, I can stamp onto the blank, back section of the card.

It will the the icing on the cake!

Sew Yourself A Chicken Doorstop

{Meet Stanley}

If you have been with us for a while, you may remember Frank...

…{the Winter Chicken}.

He was getting a little bit lonely down on the Finca, so we decided to introduce him to his cousin Stanley.

Stanley is the epitome of chicken chic when it comes to doorstops.

If you would like to make your own Stanley you will need a similar pattern to this:

I used some lovely tweed for his body and some furry felt for his comb and beak.

When he was all sewn up (except for a little hole on the bottom), I filled him with lentils! Shh… I didn’t tell him this, but his head is stuffed with stuffing to make it stand up!

One invisible seam later and voila! Stanley was born!

They Hatched Quickly!

{Mrs/Mr Frog standing guard – or hiding from the cat}

Just take a look at this… the cutest thing…

The frog spawn from this postgrew from tiny, black dots to wiggly, black lines to proper, fully functioning little tadpoles!

Can you see the little one in centre stage flapping his tiny gills?

Adorable!

So now we will leave them be, to eat up their nutritious jelly…

…{and each other, oddly}…

…and I will post with the next instalment of ‘froglet watch’ soon!

The Hens Get a Treat: Worming!

The grass is growing, the leaves are beginning to come out in the hedges {almost} and the chickens need their first worming treatment of the year.

We use Flubenvet at the Dorset Finca, which is not a one dose quick fix, but seems to be very effective against all of the different worm varieties that our hens are most likely to get.

After reading lots of different advice and viewpoints on the Omlet website, here, the trick seems to be to mix the layers pellets in a little olive oil first, to make them a bit sticky. Then mix in the required ratio of worming powder very thoroughly.

This delightful mix is then fed to the hens for seven days continuously. {I usually need to make two batches for Keith and Steve}.

Needless to say, they love it! You can almost hear them saying “this food has a zesty-ness that I can’t get enough of…” If only they knew!!

Rocket Pesto

There was a birthday at the Dorset Finca this weekend.

You’ll never guess what? One of the presents received was the food processor/mixer that had been on the wish list for ages!

The first thing that the processor was put to task on was this recipe for Rocket Pesto. Created and posted by the wonderful Frugal Feeding blog.

Pesto perfect for:

lathering onto crackers or dipping bread into for pre-dinner snacks,

slopping onto the top of salads

or

adorning your fish dish with!

Try it…

BBQ Herb Bed

{load up with your favourite herbs}

In order to get some of the peeps here at the Dorset Finca excited about the garden, I had to link it with their favourite pastime – eating!

So this sunny weekend, I made a part of the garden over to barbecuing.  This included a patio area for the actual barbecue device and for a place to sit in the sun (this part is still underway… do you think I’m that much of a whizz that I have completed an entire patio in a single weekend…?! Surely not – but thanks anyway for believing in me!)

The most exciting part was that I did manage to construct a raised bed, behind where the bbq will sit and I have filled it with the most glorious of herbs. So while you are cooking, you can just reach over (minding the fiery flames of course) and pick off the herbs that you need.

Fancy heh?!

This Week’s Finca Garden Task: Build a Wall

{use up those old bricks}

Over the weekend, we had to move our special pile of surplus old house bricks.

We also wanted to create a raised herb garden out of a messy bit of bank.

Messy bank + old bricks = impromptu retaining wall!

No cement needed!

We levelled the ground, put down a little bit of sand and layered the bricks.

Et voila!

P.S. Look, a little weed even liked it so much that it grew through the bricks! 

All Season Containers

{the first crocus}

I am a little bit chuffed with myself…

…and the greatest thing about it is that it was a complete accident!

I completely didn’t realise that in the pots where my summer sweet peas usually reside, there were crocus bulbs lurking in the left-over soil.

Would you believe it, they are coming up all by themselves {the clever so-and-sos}!  I didn’t have to do a thing.

Crocuses in the spring and sweet peas in the summer…

in…the…same…pot

Could it get any better?!