Monday, 22 August 2011

Grandpa's little helper

At the weekend we looked after our granddaughter Lara, while her parents went up to London to watch the cricket (the England vs India Test Match).

Lara loves helping out in the garden, so we had a busy day. First off we harvested some more of the Pink Fir Apple potatoes.

Lara certainly understands where her veg comes from! We ate some of those potatoes at Dinner time. We all agreed that they were deee-licious.

Later on we picked the last of the Blueberries.

"Look at this one Grandpa!"

Of course, we had to try a few, just to check that they were OK...

We did end up with a viable quantity, though I think Quality Control accounted for about 25% of what was picked.

After making the rounds of the Tomato plants in much the same manner (One in the box, one for Lara...) we managed to find a fair few ripe fruits which joined the rapidly-increasing mound of them in the kitchen.

It wasn't all work and no play though. We had a walk down to the local park for Lara to play on the playground, hoping that this would tire her out (it didn't), and when we got home we had some quiet time (this is a figure of speech, you understand, not necessarily a statement of fact when a 2-year-old is involved).
Jane spent some time with Lara, doing some rubber-stamping, making some lions and crocodiles and things like that for Lara to colour-in with crayons and felt pens. Lara is very keen on this jigsaw puzzle too; she wants to play with it every time she visits us.

OK, quiet time over, back into the garden. Lara loves walking / running around the paths between my raised beds, hiding from us behind the various crops. This is always accompanied by shrieks of delight and much laughter. Her favourite path is the one between the tall climbing beans and the Asparagus. She seems to love the "tickly" feel of the Asparagus ferns against her face as she pushes through.

Picnic time. Grandpa gets to sit down for a few moments while Lara dishes up "tea and cakes" with her plastic tea-set:

This is Lara's "Pose for the camera" face:

Lara finally crashed out at about 8:30, just before her parents came to pick her up. Jane and Mark crashed out at about 10:00. It's easy to forget how exhausting looking after a toddler can be. For the lucky grandparents it is fun and enjoyable -- and occasional!


  1. I wouldn't mind giving up half my harvest to such a cute face!

  2. What wonderful memories Lara will always have of her grandparents and their lovely garden. She is a darling little girl and I can tell, "The apple of your eye"!

  3. Sounds like a lovely day was had by all

  4. We had a visitor to look after too but a four legged variety that needed long walks.

  5. My grandbaby turned 2 today. He always loved running in the yard here and hiding behind trees on us too.

  6. What a sweet little girl!
    Mark, what size pot do you keep your blueberries in? Do you have one or two plants?

  7. Enchanting post which captures the magic.

    Amazed that your PFA are so lacking in nobbles. Do you think it's the conditions they were grown in?

  8. How many PFA tubers did you plant in that pot Mark? Also I am exceedingly impressed with how clean your grandaughter stayed while gardening - not a trace of blueberry juice to be seen. I really must teach my kids some appropriate eating habits....

  9. She had a fantastic time with her grandparents! Very cute smile!

  10. I enjoyed reading this post very much. I miss having a little one around, my two are teenagers now. It's lovely to introduce them to gardening at such a young age, I bet Lara isn't a fussy eater.

  11. I second Egretta's comments. Lara is building wonderful memories!

  12. Liz: Those PFA potatoes all came from one tuber in one pot. Quite a decent yield, I think.

    Mal: Yes, the PFA tubers are smoother than I would expect - more like "Anya". In the past I have sometimes grown PFA in the soil (as opposed to in pots, using compost) and they were knobblier. Maybe the soil texture and chemical composition has an influence on this?

  13. Sportsgirl: I have four blueberries in pots. The first two I acquired are in 10" pots, but I learnt from experience that they need bigger ones, and the next two are in 12" pots. During the Summer I keep mine standing in saucers filled with water to maintain moist soil conditions for them. They seem to be thriving, and the yield is increasing year on year.

  14. What a special post Mark. I feel privileged that you've shared such cherished moments. I have to say I was transported back twenty plus years to when my daughter was a 'toot'.
    Your granddaughter reminded me so much of when my daughter was little. The magic voyage of discovery.
    I had to smile at the 'funny face' which is what my daughter used to call her camera shoot face, and is that a Forever Friends jigsaw puzzle? Wow, I remember Forever Friends being first launched and spent a fortune over the years on everything FF. I've only just managed to resist buying her them....well she did tell me to stop after all she is 26 and a lawyer now! Where did that time go...?

  15. So cute!! I had my niece here for a couple of days last week (with here hubby, she is 23 now). I remember her and her sister at the age Lara is now, so inquisitive and easy to impress with the simple things in life. Not so easy to impress now she wants to furnish her 'new' house!

  16. Mark I LOVE this post! Look at you SPRAWLING on the ground... who would have believed it :D

    I think that looking after a little one is so tiring for grandparents because you play with them. All day. My parents are the same, they don't stop!

    All your produce looks fabulous, as always, but it really does pale in comparison to little Laura.


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