Z – Zinnia

Zinnia, this I have decided as being my cut flower of choice, the form looks good.

If you wish to direct sow your Zinnia in the soil, which is often the recommended method, I should wait until towards the end of April. Soil should be rich in organic matter and the bed should get full sun. I sow plants to about a foot apart.

Zinnias are very productive beasties, so keep harvesting the flowers and they will keep coming for yonks. The wise words from Higgledy Gareden.

I have searched tomes at the library followed up the authors on the internet and then decided on one or two flowers for what is going to be my ‘cut flower’ patch down the Allotment.

allotment, Norfolk, England
The Plot

The plot is way to big for me to fill with vegetable crops so I have decide one third will be cut flowers, I have a random selection of about twenty packets of seed, Cornflowers and the like…

Higgledy Garden Seeds, Higgledy, garden, flowers
Higgledy Garden seeds

Zinnias and Thursday’s choice Xeranthemum are going to be my two challenges (having never grown cut flowers before) and needing a new challenge, well this ones over for another year…Hope you have all enjoyed popping by the Allotment for some Plants, Produce & Pondering’s and have picked up one or two little things you can take on your own journey, but remember make it a Slow Journey enjoy the ride!

Allotment, Norfolk, england
welcome to the Allotment, do drop in.


Y – Yushania Anceps

Ye olde Penultimate blog;  Y is for yes, but, and this is a big but, when it comes to this ‘Y’ I’m saying NO, No, no Yushania Anceps or Bamboo on the Lotty!

Yucca, Plants, Gardens, Barn & Beach
Yushania Anceps

I lived in Hackney, East London before I came out to the coast to set-up my independent holidays with Barn & Beach. The enlightened neighbours planted a row of Yushania Anceps on their side of the fence to create a green screen, Bamboo doesn’t like to be told where to stand and wanders off like an errant child all over the bloody place! for that very reason I would never have it anywhere near my gardens or allotment. It took us all forever to dig out shoots n roots, those neighbours are probably still digging it now…

Yushania Anceps probably would stand up to the salt laden winds we have here on the North East Norfolk coast ( must check at the Vicarage on my next visit) but I’m just saying NO.

Look forward to getting back to ‘cut flowers’ wher I’m going to pick my favourite tomorrow and, of course, the end of the A to Z Challenge for 2016.

Plants, Produce & Ponderings from Norfolk (without too many producers, sadly) ’til tomorrow folks!

Beach, Life , Norfolk
Life’s a Beach


V – East Ruston Old Vicarage

East Ruston Old Vicarage, if you have ever visited this corner of North East Norfolk you will probably be aware of East Ruston Old Vicarage the garden and it’s owners are legendary in these parts. The Old Vicarage garden has been converted, extended and defended by layer upon layer of hedging, fencing and trees and shrubs.

Internally the Vicarage is a joy to all who visit, even if you just wish to idle in the tearoom and enjoy the fine fare.

East ruston Old Vicarage, North Norfolk, Gardens, Vicarage
Gardens open

Opening is a short week and half  days, however, if you plan well, book your accommodation Wednesday to Sunday and keep an afternoon free you will enjoy one of the countries garden masterpieces.

DeerViewEntranceThe gardens are set on a flat plain, a mile and a half from the North Sea you would think that the quality and quantity of plants grown within wouldn’t be possible. The layering of the hedgerows create a micro climate where it would appear Mr Gray can grow anything.

There are also some natty little touches a hedgerow with a porthole cut into it to frame the iconic Happisburgh Lighthouse  is a real crowd pleaser.

I popped by at the weekend but was a little later than I had hoped, the sky was black and we had already had hail the size of peas…I gave it a miss but will definitely be popping by throughout late Spring and Summer for some garden inspiration.

The Vicarage gardens open from Easter until October, do drop in when in North Norfolk



Sophie in the Sticks

Another guest from the twitter camp @sophieintsticks is a very popular Norfolk lifestyle blogger;

Hello, I’m Sophie in the Sticks, a girl who loves living in the Norfolk countryside.

Norfolk, Coast, Wells

Norfolk is such a special place to me, it’s got everything. The fine city of Norwich , a great long stretch of coastline, the broads, the forests and quaint market towns. There are thousands of sites telling you about all the best places to visit and oh yes, I agree, there is a rich diversity of attractions. I love to visit our delightful coastal towns of Cromer, Sheringham and Wells-next-the-sea, they’re pretty with lovely shops and a nice bit of beach to enjoy – don’t tell me you can resist fish and chips for lunch and an ice cream later. We have some fabulous National Trust properties; Blickling Hall, Felbrigg Hall and Oxburgh Hall which are well worth a visit. Some marvellous museums, adventure days out and beauty spots.

Sparham Pools, Sophie in the ticks,
Sparham Pools
Norfolk, Countryside, Sophie in the Sticks,
in the Norfolk Countryside

What is my Norfolk? It’s the quiet places, the tucked away spots that nobody knows about; the pockets of hidden heaven. It’s the wild, open meadows. The big blue skies. The patches of woodland nobody visits. The weaving footpaths, country lanes and sandy tracks. It’s all mine and I’m free to breathe and unwind in the peace and quiet.

I’m always sharing my trips out and I’d love you to find somewhere new in Norfolk so take a look sometime.


Jet Ski – Beach sports Walcott

Jet-ski, Walcott, North Norfolk, Beaches, Watersports
Jet-Ski, walcott

Pounded by winter storms, battered by Spring tides the rural North Norfolk village of Walcott comes into its own as we pass the equinox, the days become longer the skies bluer the sea a tad more inviting.

Like migrating birds they arrive; having two slipways Walcott attracts the Jet Ski in the same way as Cley marshes attract wading birds. The seas are flatter than a week or two ago, the boys and girls on their high-powered machines are having a ball turning this bucket and spade ideal into a scene from the Riviera. Its a short season and most people enjoy the drama the jet-skier brings to this otherwise sleepy village.

tractors, north norfolk

Tractors down on the sands stand in contrast to the modern sleek machines that the sport demands, however, an old Ferguson is a bit of Norfolk tradition and the locals like them too.

Ferguson Tractor

The village supports a store, a couple of pubs, a hotel and a very popular Fish n Chip bar, however, there is no room for a fashion store to stock the brands adorned by the Jet skier, Animal, QuickSilver, Weird Fish etc.. you’d have to go to Sea Palling for the garb.

Visit Norfolk this Spring it wears many cloaks and there is one to suit most guests at Barn & Beach.



Horsey Mill

Horsey, Seals, North Norfolk
Horsey Beach North Norfolk

Lying in wait behind the dunes a colony of hundreds of grey seals are watchful and aware of their human audience.

Thousands of people flock to this wild exposed beach annually now since the arrival of the colony in recent years.

Probably an extension of the famous colony on the point at Blakeney that can be visited and viewed on one of the numerous boat trips from Morston harbour.

If you wish to make the journey?

North Norfolk coast
Ravaged Sea Defence

try the National Trust car park out at the windmill (Horsey Mill); a great view point if you wish to see the canopy of the Broads a man made wilderness this is the spot.

You can then walk out across the salt marshes over the dunes and down the beach to the seals, there are two advantages to this route, it is not the choice of the hordes, you see much more of this unique environment and therefore hopefully take home a richer reward in memories.

Take only photographs, leave only footprints, Visit Norfolk.




Waiting t’ Spring

North Norfolk Coast

Early February

The game season is over, however there is still plenty of availability, try Farm to Fork to Fish in Coltishall they were selling some fantastic game at the weekend.

I once read that the French can’t believe we don’t make more of the game on our doorstep, it would seem we are improving though; fabulous gastropubs along the Norfolk coast bear testament.

At the weekend we tried The Black Boys Inn at Aylsham a quaint Norfolk market town with a smattering of shops pubs, cafes and restaurants and, of course,  the narrow gauge railway that runs to Wroxham, 

The Black Boys is part of the group that operate Farm to Fork a very nice concept with some lovely inns around the county. Look them up when you visit Norfolk….

Norfolk Pheasant
Pheasant enjoying the peace and quiet, Norfolk


A mile to the west and you are at Blickling Hall which has fabulous grounds for a winter stroll but really needs a whole page to itself to describe its wonderful aspects.

Visit Norfolk, Aylsham, Coltishal and Blickling Hall visit Barn & Beach relaxing places to stay….