May Fever

Today is May Day, so happy Beltane.

It seems only yesterday it was Imbolc!

Facemasks may be the haute couture of the pandemic, but here at The Secret Acre they have nothing to do with the Good Life on Lockdown, but everything to do with Paul’s chronic hayfever. Continue reading

Show me round your Fruit Cage

You could have a laurel hedge, taking up the sunniest spot in the garden. Or you could have a fruit cage, where the fruit might be as sweet as can be.

We chose the latter, and took a preverbal sledgehammer to the laurel. Well a chain saw and a mechanical digger to be precise. Continue reading

New Springwatch Kids on the Block

Move over Chris Packham! Because another advantage of the current Good Life on Lockdown has been spare time to finally play properly with the trail camera we received at Christmas.

Since moving in we have got used to observing the daytime wildlife, even when red in tooth and claw, but we really wanted a wildlife camera to also be able to capture the hidden nocturnal wildlife, in full on David Attenborough style. Continue reading

The (Good) Life on Lockdown

We are living in strange times indeed. But life on Coronavirus Lockdown at The Secret Acre could be a lot worse. The sun is finally out, and there’s no shortage of spring jobs in the garden to be done.

We know we are not the only ones to have taken the opportunity to start re-watching the complete DVD set of episodes of The Good Life again from scratch. We are just getting onto the start of season four!

Meanwhile, the time for other more practical projects has also materialised during life on lockdown. Here’s a quick pictorial run through our first two weeks on lockdown on the homestead…. Continue reading

Seeds of Life

The arrival of spring once again heralds the start of another year of seed sowing here at The Secret Acre.

As always at this time of the year, I like to remind people of this little favourite video clip that perfectly explains nature!

And for this year, here (below) is a second little clip of our first tray of new 2020 seeds.  Continue reading

Greenhouse is Go… finally!

The arrival of spring has heralded the completion of some of this year’s winter jobs at The Secret Acre ready for the growing season ahead.

Long term followers of our blog will know that saving the overgrown greenhouse from oblivion was pretty much the very first job, a three day long battle, which we urgently undertook when moving into the property.

Although the subsequent reglazing then went on to take several years longer than anticipated! Continue reading

Keep Calm and Pony Up

We live in troubled times.

Human hubris, stressing animals and environmental systems beyond breaking point, is to blame.

And while a period of self-isolation might be the ideal opportunity to learn more and get started on your own biodynamic organic home veg patch, people are also looking for calm in the storm. Continue reading

Cherry Red

When we were urban foragers living in the city, cherry trees were a favourite, especially the irony of collecting a free basket from the productive cherry trees at the end of a large supermarket car park while those inside paid for theirs.

So it was exciting to inherit an old orchard when we moved to The Secret Acre. And although mainly apples and plums, there was also an elderly cherry. Continue reading

Hello Imbolc

The start of this month was Imbolc, the traditional Gaelic festival marking the beginning of spring.

It is about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, as the very first hopeful signs that life will start to return from winters grip start to emerge.

Continue reading