Sunday 29 March 2020

Home Stay- Useful hints for the garden

Like everyone, I am self-Isolating with family and staying home as much as I can because I'm the designated driver for shopping essentials. While I'm at home I have been looking through my treasure trove of saved household hints, tips, and recipes. I thought I would start to share these along with the regular posts from the Wartime era. 

Many of these useful hints and tips are tried and tested over time, in today's world they still are relevant.  The useful hints and tips for today are all about gardening. As always these are frugal tips and won't cost you the earth and many of the items can be already found at home.


1 tbsp (20g) Epson salts dissolved in about 1 pt (550ml) luke warm water is a marvellous tonic for plants, especially roses.

Eggshells ground finely may be used not only as a fertiliser but also a slug deterrent.

After putting garden waste on a compost heap, cover a black plastic bag weighed down with stones. This gives the best and quickest conditions for rotting.

Don’t throw away those nettles; when they have rattled put them into a bucket outdoors, cover with water, and leave for 2 to 3 weeks. The resulting strongly smelling liquid is an unrivalled fertiliser, especially good for tomatoes.

Bury banana skin and crush eggshells near the roots of rose trees to supply them with extra vitamins and minerals. 

Garlic grown near roses is supposed to keep them clear of Aphids (greenfly).

Use leaf mould on your garden instead of expensive fertiliser. Collect autumn leaves in sacks, put a brick on each sack and by spring your free leaf mould is ready for use.

Use an old bicycle pump as a pest killer spray in the garden.

To get rid of ants in the garden, sprinkle some talcum powder. 

Sprinkle salt on paths and brickwork crevices to get rid of weeds and grass. Salt will have the same effect if sprinkled on the roots of weeds in the garden. Sprinkle salt on slugs to kill them. (*Always be cautious about using salt as it will also kill everything else too.)

Spread soot or coal around the lettuce bed to keep off slugs.

Remove green fungi from a cement path or patio by pouring on water containing bleach, then scrub with a brush.

I hope everyone is having a good day or evening. Staying safe at home. And being kind to one another.

Monday 16 March 2020

Not a penny spent

The weather is changing into our Autumn and the days are becoming a little bit cooler and we're still have rain as well. All in all a very good time for the garden if you have one. 

In the wartime letters there is talk about tomatoes growing even though they were experiencing a bit of a heat wave and nothing else was growing in their gardens. Tomato recipes were also included in the kitchen section. 

There is still a lot of talk of saving and making do. I'm currently saving a lot of orange peels to use in potpourri crafts.  During the war they wouldn't waste full orange slices for crafts. The peels were put to use in recipes like marmalades, and candied, if sugar was available.

Savings were encouraged more often now and plenty of advertising gave the call to save for war bonds. The money saved was sent to the government to help with the war of the time.

Even though there isn't a war to send savings to, it is still a good idea to put away the 'pennies' for the rainy day emergency. There's lots of ways to save a few dollars here and there, for myself I'm not thrifting which is a hard thing for me, but a nice thing for my savings purse. I'm also considering my no spend challenge again. Perhaps in April.

Also, for now I've turned off comment ability on my blog as sometimes it is just nice to look and not have to participate...well, I think so.

I hope everyone is having a good day or evening where ever you are.

Monday 9 March 2020

A return to Austerity

I took a break from blogging after dealing with some personal issues. I thought by now I would be well settled into a new home, however drama happened and a move hasn’t occurred just yet. I usually refrain from posting in-depth personal setbacks and drama in detail on my blog so I’ll just move onto blogging.

The return to blogging is going to include the letters posted in Eleanor Barbour’s “Dear Eleanor Barbour” from the wartime newspapers. A lot of the ladies wrote in letters giving an account of their day to day life, what they were doing to make savings, recipes and home hints. The letters give a wonderful insight into the era for homemakers of Australia.

As I continue with the 1940’s homemaking theme there will also include advertising of the time, as now coupons have become introduced to  Australians and the adverts show how much something cost the average homemaker or if a coupon was needed to purchase the item. Without a coupon you could not receive the item. Australia had a lot of items available but things like the Nivea creme stopped being produced after 1939 due to it being a German product. English Yardley perfumes and creams became more popular to support the British and were widely available.

As the war continues, many are still fighting with the Germans, for Australia the bombing of Darwin brought home the war and soldiers were also enlisted to fight the Japanese. Now more than ever, Australians were encouraged to help the war effort and send what they could to the war bonds. Austerity became the key focus of homemakers, spending less, making do, and travelling less developed into a major theme of the era. The homefront became important for many families and home made became a necessity. Home made meals were part of keeping a home and supporting the troops by spending less to save for war bonds.

With the make do motto, I’m going back to creating items for the home using what I have and putting those items away for a future home. The main aim is to spend less and be at home when I can be. The advert above shows pillow cases were available and no coupons were needed. Transfers were also available and in keeping with the era but did not become very popular until the 1950's.

With the state of the world today, all of this sounds very familiar. By posting the letters, the adverts, and continuing with a 1940’s lifestyle, I hope to pass on something useful for today’s homemaker.

I hope everyone is having a good day or evening wherever you are.