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Recent Entries to this Blog Why I love Holland so much.
Posted: 19 May 2006
All change.
Posted: 24 Sep 2007
The bit I enjoy.
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Almost there now.
Posted: 21 Sep 2007
Starting from scratch.
Posted: 06 Sep 2007

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eileen's Blog

Kendal Mint Cake.

Category: Favourite sweet and toffee recipes. | Posted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 9:58 pm

This is something I make up for my husband and eldest son when they go on long walks. They did the West Highland Way last year and are doing the Caledonian Challenge this year - wouldn't be without their KMcake!! Great way to get that extra boost of energy.

1 lb sugar (can be white or brown)
1/4 pint milk
1/2 to 1 teaspoonful peppermint essence OR a few drops of peppermint oil.

Dissolve the sugar in the milk using a heavy pan over a low heat.
Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, and cook until a little of the mixture dropped into cold water forms a soft ball when rolled between index finger and thumb. (237 degrees F/ 114 degrees C.) Remove from the heat; add the flavourings and stir until thick. Pour on to an oiled, shallow tray and mark into bars. Cut when cold.

This blog entry has been viewed 6318 times

Scots Tablet.

Category: Favourite sweet and toffee recipes. | Posted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 12:06 am

2 lbs granulated sugar
4 ozs butter
1/4 pint of water
1/4 pint milk
Large tin condensed milk
1 teaspoonful vanilla essence.

Put the butter, sugar, water and milk into a large, heavy bottomed pan over a low heat and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla essence. Beat the mixture for 1 minute then pour into a buttered, shallow tin and mark into squares. Cut when cold.

This blog entry has been viewed 414 times

Bonfire Toffee.

Category: Favourite sweet and toffee recipes. | Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:48 pm

8 oza Demerara sugar
8 ozs black treacle
4 ozs butter.

Melt butter in a heavy pan and add treacle and sugar. Heat gently until the sugar is dissolved, then simmer gently for 30 minutes. Test by dropping a little of the mixture into cold water. It should seperate into hard, but not brittle, threads. (280 degrees F/140 degrees C.) Pour into a buttered, shallow tin and mark into squares when almost set. Break into pieces when cold and wrap in grease proof paper. Store in an airtight tin.

I've decided to include these recipes in my blog for anyone who also finds the long, dark nights of winter boring or wants to make a traditional home-made treat for friends or family.
I use them to make Christmas or special gifts with that personal touch. Great for popping into Christmas stockings!!

This blog entry has been viewed 438 times


Category: Favourite sweet and toffee recipes. | Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:43 pm

l lb 1 oz granulated sugar
4 ozs liquid glucose (sold in chemists)
7 fluid ozs water
Food colouring and flavouring to choice
Wooden sticks.

Place the sticks on sheets of grease-proof or non stick paper, spaced well apart.
Put water and sugar into a heavy pan, over a low heat, until the sugar is dissolved. Skim of the white scum from the surface and stir in glucose. Partially cover pan and boil rapidly for a few minutes until a little of the mixture can be dropped into cold water to form hard (but not brittle) threads. (284 degrees F/144 degreesC on a sugar thermemeter.) Add colouring and flavouring to taste. Return to heat until mixture (tested again in cold water) seperates into brittle strands. (312 degreesF/155 degreesC.) Remove pan from heat and allow to stand for a couple of minutes before carefully
pouring or spooning over the sticks to make lollipop shapes. When completely cold remove from the non stick or grease proof paper and wrap individually in clingfilm.

This blog entry has been viewed 384 times

Long Tailed Tits.

Category: Garden visitors. | Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 9:13 pm

I've been trying to capture these lovely little birds on camera for a while now but haven't met with much success. This shot was taken by a friend to let you all see thesewonderful little visitors. Not exactly the best of photographs but at least you can make out what they are.

They are feeding from a suet cake which is impregnated with dried insects. You can also get them with berries, fruit, peanuts, apple and seeds in them from any good garden centre or you could always try making your own as they are made up in exactly the same way as fat balls - only bigger and flatter!!


Melt suet in a heavy bottomed pan then simply add whatever bird food you like to the mix. Pour into containers and put in fridge to harden. Turn out and place in feeders. Couldn't be easier!!!!

This blog entry has been viewed 427 times

Spring tips for your pond and fish.

Category: Pond project | Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:59 pm

Nearly time for you to start thinking about doing a spring-clean in your pond. The leaves left over from autumn should be cleaned up off the bottom of the pond before they have a chance to rot in the warmer water. If allowed to decompose in the water, they will become algae food! So use a net or your hands to get them out. If you have a huge build up of leaves and muck you should consider a thorough cleaning. If you just can't stick your hands in that cold water, there are long gloves called Aqua-Hands that will keep your hands and arms from getting wet and cold.

As soon as the water temperature reaches 50 degrees you can start feeding your fish. It is best to start with a wheat germ based, low protein food. Start with an every other day feeding for the first week or so. Then gradually add feedings as the water warms.
Once the water temperature is above 55 degrees consistently you can feed a staple summer food.

F i s h F e e d i n g G u i d e l i n e s.

50 degrees Stop feeding.
50-60 degrees Feed fish 1 X every other day
60-70 degrees Feed fish 2 X daily
70 degrees Feed fish 2 X daily.

This blog entry has been viewed 412 times

Slug and snail proof Perennials.

Category: Plant lists | Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:58 pm

1.) Aconitum Carmichaelii. 'Arendsii.'

2.) Ornamental Onion. Allium. 'Globemaster.'

3.) Western Mugwort. Artermesia Ludoviciana.

4.) Lords and Ladies. Arum Italicum. 'Marmoratum.'

5.) Aster Ericoides. 'Esther.'

6.) Elephant's Ears. Bergenia Species.

7.) Peach-leaved Bellflower. Campanula Percicifolia.

8.) Autumn Crocus. Colchium 'Waterlily.'

9.) Corydalis Lutea.

10.) Barrenwort. Epimedium Pinnatum.

11.) Snowdrop. Galanthus Species..

12.) Cranesbill. Geranium Macrorrhizum.

13.) Bear's Foot. Helleborus Foetidus.

14.) Helleborus x nigercors.

15.) Plantaion Lily. Hosta. 'Halcyon.'

18.) Iris. Chrysographes.

19.) Black-eyed Susan. Rudbeckia Hirta.

20.) Ice Plant. Sedum Telephium. 'Matrona.'

This blog entry has been viewed 1034 times

'Must have' wildlife attracting plants.

Category: Plant lists | Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:47 pm

1.) Ornamental Onion. Allium Hollandicum. 'Purple Sensation.'

2.) Snowy Mespilus. Amelanchier Lamarckii.

3.) Michaelmas Daisy. Aster Novae-Angelica.

4.) Barberry. Berberis Darwinii.

5.) Butterfly Bush. Buddleia Davidii.

6.) Cotoneaster. 'Coral Beauty.'

7.) Foxgloves. Digitalis Species.

8.) Globe Thistle. Echinops Species.

9.) Sea Holly. Eryngium Species.

10.) English Lavender. Lavender Angustifolia. 'Hidcote.'

11.) French Lavender. Lavender Stoechas.

12.) Weeping crab. Malus. 'Red Jade.'

13.) Oregano. Marjoram.

14.) Catmint. Nepeta Sibirica.

15.) Mock Orange. Philadelphus. 'Beauclerk.'

16.) Dog Rose. Rosa. (Single) species.

17.) Sage. Dalvia Officinalis.

18.) Cotton Lavender. Santolina Chamaecyparissus. 'Small Ness.'

19.) Scabious. Scabiosa Species.

20.) Ice Plant. Sedum Spectabile.

This blog entry has been viewed 393 times

Plants for walls and Fences.

Category: Plant lists | Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:31 pm

!.) Ampelopsis Brevipendunculata

2.) Butterfly Bush. Buddleia Alterniflora.

3.) Caenothus Impressus.

4.) Clematis Armandii. 'Apple Blossom.'

5.) Clematis cirrhosa Balearic. 'Freckles.'

6.) Clematis Orientalis. 'Bill McKenzie.'

7.) Ornamental Quince. Chaenomeles x Superba. 'Crimson and

8.) Pineapple Broom. Cytisus Battandieri.

9.) Ivy. Hedera Colchica. 'Sulphur Heart.'

10.) Climbing Hydrangea. Hydrangea Petiolaris.

11.) Summer Jasmine. Jasminum Beesianum.

12.) Beauty Bush. Kolkwitzia Amabillis.

13.) Honeysuckle. Lonicera x Brownii. 'Dropmore Scarlet.'

14.) Honeysuckle. Lonicera Periclymemum. 'Sweet Sue.'

15.) Variagated Virginia Creeper. Parthenocissus Hentyana.

16.) Passion Flower. Passiflora Caerulea.

17.) Mock Orange. Philladelphus Burkwoodii.

18.) Climbing Rose. Rosa. 'Mme Alfred Carriere.'

19.) Climbing Rose. Rosa. 'New Dawn, Climbing.'

20.) Climbing Rose. Rosa. 'Warm Welcome.'

This blog entry has been viewed 893 times

Your pond in spring.

Category: Pond project | Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:49 pm

Mid-March: First small reddish leaves of hardy waterlilies appear. Bog plants start growing.

Mid-April: Hardy waterlilies first start to bloom. Golden Club, Louisiana Irises, and other early bog plants start to bloom.

Late April-Early May: First leaves of tropical lilies appear. (If they weren't killed by winter cold!!!)

Mid-May: Flowering bog plants will start their summer bloom.

Late May: First blooms from tropical water lilies. First arrow shaped leaves from night blooming water lilies come out.

Mid to late June: First blooms from night blooming tropical lilies.

Start fertilizing your aquatic plants when growth appears. Shallow water plants usually need to be fertilized just once a year with a tablet such as Highland Rim plant tablets. Lilies should be fertilized once a month at first and then every two weeks while blooming in the summer.
It is a good idea to re-pot your aquatic plants in the spring if they are overgrowing their pots. Each plant can usually be divided into many plants. You can tell if a lily has over-grown its pot just by looking at it. The roots will push against the sides and warp the pot. Then they will grow right out of the pot. It is best to divide it and give it some room to grow. If you leave it in its crowded state it will not produce large leaves and will flower less than expected.

Hopefully my pond will come to life again in March and I won't have lost too many plants. However, we have had some really severe frosts here in Scotland so it's going to be a case of keeping my fingers (and everything else) crossed.

This blog entry has been viewed 388 times

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