Growing a special bean in time for Christmas

harlow-carr-christmas-greenhouseA greenhouse at RHS Harlow Carr last December

After keeping this on the down low for months I’m very excited to reveal that Adam and I have our very own little bean growing, due in December!

It’s one of the reasons I’ve been blogging less over the last few months, I was literally too tired to read blogs and even muster up a blog post to begin with. Then, like the garden, I started ‘blooming’ but now I’m just exhausted all over again!

I’ve encountered another slight problem too – gardening when pregnant…

broad bean

Before I knew I was pregnant I was in amongst the weeds, digging and planting and not thinking anything of it. When I found out, someone told me about Toxoplasmosis and suggested that my gardening days were over until next year. No chance!!

We do see a lot of cats at the allotment so I’ve been very careful. I make sure I always wear gloves and wash my hands thoroughly afterwards. I’ve also avoided picking and eating fruit whilst pottering. Now I take it home for a wash first.

I’ve been spending time in the greenhouse on seed sowing and potting on duties, container gardening, some light weeding and cutting flowers. This is a big change for us as I normally do my fair share of that plus the digging and veg planting while Adam builds things. This year he’s had to do pretty much everything apart from pick flowers and light weeding! No wonder he’s still not finished the shed!

gardening pregnantHere I am late spring/early summer, trying to look energetic. My bump has grown considerably since then!

Gardening is something I couldn’t give up easily and has really kept me going through the nausea and tiredness. The garden has been a wonderful place to relax and switch off but it’s also allowed me to stretch my legs and get some all important fresh air.

I’m having to be far more organised this year because of the little bean. There can be no last minute bulb planting or late night gardening in November! I’ve chosen my winter garden plants already and I do hope that we have some nice Autumn weather so I can still spend time out there pottering – keeping active is very good for pregnancy.

harlow-carr-christmas-1Natural Christmas decoration ideas from Harlow Carr last year

Since our baby is due in December, hopefully in time for Christmas (if he or she is late the birth could be on Christmas Day), I’ve entered this blog post into a competition on Dotcomgiftshop to help everyone get into the Christmas mood. I have to admit that I don’t usually think about Christmas this early but this year I really have to. It just won’t be possible for me to do my usual last minute stint round the shops on Christmas Eve!

I’ve been eyeing up a few presents for people on the internet and I’ve also gone ‘nesting’ crazy and can’t wait to decorate my house to make it all homely and cosy while I’m waiting for the bean to arrive. I also fancy decorating my garden too, just like they do at Harlow Carr! Cute twinkling lights and lanterns have never been more appealing. These are some of my favourite Christmas ideas for gifts and decorations on the Dotcomgiftshop website.


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

The competition prize is an iPad Mini and I do hope I get everyone in the mood for Christmas because I’d simply LOVE one of those! I have a laptop and iPad from work that I use now but in a few weeks time when I start maternity leave I have to hand it all back – how will I cope! So an iPad Mini is No 1 on my Christmas list because it will be the perfect size and so handy for me to keep in touch with my favourite blogs, order my baby supplies and google like crazy when I have no idea what I’m meant to be doing with the new bean! I suspect I’ll also be reading a lot more blogs about gardening with kids too.


I can’t wait to have a little one to share the garden with :)


Have you organised your winter planting schemes already? Do you prepare early or are you a last minute gardener and shopper?! Are you in the mood for Christmas?


Tags: , , , ,

54 Responses to “Growing a special bean in time for Christmas”

  1. Caro October 17, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    Oh, wonderful news, Anna and Adam!! Big congratulations, sooooo happy for you both!! Perfect timing as you’ll be over the post pregnancy tiredness just in time for spring planting! My mum used to bung us all in our prams and put us outdoors when my siblings and I were babies, reckoned we could see the world go by and get lots of fresh air! (And I still love being outdoors!) Your little one will soon come to love gardening and being outdoors! Very sensible of you to keep your gardening gloves on, I do all the time now. Picked up a pair of nice light ones at one of the RHS shows last year. PS Love your selection of xmas goodies from DotCom – that little fox is really sweet! And I’m definitely tempted by the chilli pepper lights (if only my tree decos were red and not blue… ) Heaps of love to you both, Caro xx

    • Anna B October 17, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

      Thank you so much Caro! I am really looking forward to spring planting with baby! Fresh air for us both and I must get out in Jan & Feb too, I need the outdoors! I was actually in the garden on New years day so hope it’s sunny again and I can do the same! I love all the cute lights too, I really want some of the colourful jam jar lanterns, I think they look great in the garden. Thanks so much again :) xx

  2. Holleygarden October 17, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    Congratulations!!! You really took me by surprise – when I saw the heading I couldn’t imagine what kind of “bean” you were growing for Christmas! ha! What a wonderful Christmas present for you and your husband! You look so cute in the photo! Good luck – I hope you get the Ipad Mini, too! :)

    • Anna B October 17, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

      Aw thank you so much! Adam read my post and said that the first line was a bit cryptic! I said it would be an even bigger surprise then all round :) Thank you so much for your comment :)

  3. Linda October 17, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

    Congratulations to you both, Anna! I’m very pleased to hear your news. Your ‘good life’ lifestyle and your love of gardening will be even more meaningful in the future. Our winter gardening planning has only just started as we’ve just cleared the area where we want to create a place under the fig tree where there will be more pot plants (your post about Mediterranean-style gardens helped me with ideas for this). Look forward to your further news when you’re able to do some more blogging.

    • Anna B October 17, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

      Hi Linda! Aw that’s great about the pot plants! This time of year is good for clearing and prepping, so much to do! I have all my plants at the ready but do need Adam at the ready to help out too! He lifts all the heavy pots and brings them to me & I do the nice bit! Thanks so much for your comment :)

  4. Anna October 17, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    Congratulations! What fab news and what a beautiful post xx

    • Anna B October 17, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

      Hi Anna! Thank you so much! I wasn’t sure whether I should share my news on my garden blog and have been wanting to post for a while, I realised eventually though that having a baby has and will continue to affect my gardening so I thought it probably is appropriate to mention! Thanks so much for your comment :) x

  5. CJ October 17, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    Congratulations to you both! It’s such exciting news, I am so happy for you. Don’t forget to take it a bit easy now you’re getting towards the end – naps are very good things I think!

    • Anna B October 17, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

      Hi CJ! That is very good advice! I’ve been a bit burnt out I must admit and am having a bit of time off work at the minute to rest. Naps have been fantastic and I definitely need to slow down now. Thank you so much for your comment :)

  6. Charlotte October 17, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    Aw, such a cute post! :)
    Chazzer xx

    • Anna B October 17, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

      Aw thanks Chazzer! Xx

  7. Anna October 17, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

    Oh Anna what fantastic news – so pleased for you and Adam :) No doubt that your little bean will grow up with a love of gardening and all things green. I will keep my fingers and toes crossed for you when it comes to the competition. Love the Harlow Carr seasonal decorations.

    • Anna B October 17, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

      Thank you so much Anna! It was lovely to see all the decorations at Harlow Carr last year, I wonder what they’ll do this time? Thank you soo much for your comment :)

  8. rusty duck October 17, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    Congratulations! I hope the winter is nice and mild so all three of you can get out in the fresh air. Take care now.

    • Anna B October 18, 2013 at 6:04 am #

      Thank you so much! A neighbour said yesterday that we are due the worst winter in 100 years…why do people have to say things like that!!! Thanks so much for your comment :)

  9. Janet/Plantaliscious October 18, 2013 at 7:48 am #

    Oh how wonderful! Congratulations to you both Anna, so exciting, and a whole new set of challenges when Little Bean is more mobile – amusing a small person while pottering at allotment… Enjoy your nesting, I hope your last weeks of bump aren’t too exhausting, and will look forward to “meeting” Little Bean in due course. What a lovely piece of news. And your pics made me feel all Christmassy, I am determined to get the Christmas tree up this year, and to fil the conservatory with sparkly loveliness. Good grief, it’s not even proper Autumn yet here, and you have me plotting sausage roll and cake making!!!

    • Anna B October 18, 2013 at 8:00 am #

      Haha! Hi Janet! I shall bring everyone back to Autumn soon with pumpkin and squash photos in my next post! Your decorated conservatory sounds great though! I hope you do get chance to do that and post some pics :) thank you so much for your lovely comments, I am really excited to potter with the little bean! I think some serious bean proofing will be required in the allotment in due course though, like you say, when the baby gets mobile Adam might find he has to actually finish the fencing and gates at the other entrance to the plot ;) thanks again for your comment :)

  10. Jenny October 18, 2013 at 7:53 am #

    Congratulations :D I’m really thrilled for you. I hope your bean arrives in time for you to have a lovely first Christmas together. I like the apple terrace idea too – really simple but effective.

    • Anna B October 18, 2013 at 8:03 am #

      Hello Jenny! Aw thank you so much :) I hope I get chance to see this years decorations at Harlow Carr, they did have some really nice ideas – simple and effective like you say. I have a ton of dried chilies from last year that I might make something with whilst nesting! Thanks again :)

  11. Jo October 18, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    Such wonderful news, many congratulations to you both. A whole new chapter is about to open up to you, gardening with children. I wish I’d had my allotment when my kids were young, it’s not the same when they’re teenagers and can’t be bothered helping out at all, catch them young and you’ll instil a life long love of gardening in them. Good luck with the competition.

    • Anna B October 18, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

      Hi Jo! Thank you so much! There’s all sorts of little garden related toys for children now too isn’t there, I don’t remember anything like that when I was younger, I had to beg my parents for a bit of space in the garden but now there’s kids planting kits and everything! I love it when people tell me about memories of playing in their grandads allotment etc.. so I am hoping that it will be something the little bean will enjoy. Thank you so much for your comment :)

  12. wellywoman October 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    Oh wow! Congratulations to you both. I’m sure your little one will grow up a true plant lover. Adam might well be making some kind of outdoor play pen facility for the plot soon. Such good timing though, just as the garden is entering it’s quiet period when your baby is due.

    I love the ideas you’ve picked out for Christmas. I did a photo shoot for a magazine recently for Christmas. It was a little odd trying to be festive in October. Keep a look out for the next 2 issues of The Simple Things magazine. ;)

    Keep us posted on your news. :)))

    • Anna B October 18, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

      Hi Wellywoman! That sounds very exciting!! I will keep my eye out indeed :-) I can see Adam making all sorts of things, he just needs to learn how to finish what he starts though!! Thank you so much for your comment :)

  13. Maggie Wallace October 18, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    Congratulations! I’m sure I should have sage advice for you, but other than sleep when the baby sleeps I can’t think of any! Best wishes from Liverpool!

    • Anna B October 18, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

      Hi Maggie! That sounds like very good advice and I shall definitely be trying to sleep while baby sleeps! Thank you so much for your comment :)

  14. Christina October 18, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    What wonderful news Anna and Adam, many congratulations. In answer to your question; I used to be very well organised and strt preparing for Christmas in October, making mince meat etc. Now, and I think this is because the light levels are so different here in Italy, mid-December arrives and I have done nothing!

    • Anna B October 18, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

      Hi Christina! Yes, I think once the night’s draw in it is tempting to get cozy and start looking forward to sparkly lights etc.. I bet Christmas in Italy is wonderful though. Thank you so much for your comment :)

  15. Eleanor from Stitches and Seeds October 18, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    You’ll have sooo much fun with a little bean in tow… My fav baby books whiuch are very sensible and not at all faddy are by Kaz Cooke: Rough guide to pregnancy and birth and Kid wrangling. Have fun preparing. xx

    • Anna B October 18, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

      Hello there! Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll have a look on amazon! Thanks so much for dropping by and for your comment :)

  16. Cathy October 18, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    When I clicked on this post I accidentally scrolled too far and saw the picture of you with a distinct bump – ay ay, I thought, Anna looks pregnant… Congratulations – hope all goes well and you have a productive bean crop. Thanks for sharing your excitement.

    • Anna B October 18, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

      Hehee!! Thank you so much Cathy :))

  17. Cathy October 18, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

    Hey, great news Anna! Congratulations to you both! :D Sounds like you are getting organized for Christmas early. My sister’s daughter was born a week before Christmas and absolutely everyone got just a tin of chocolate biscuits from her that year! I wasn’t thinking about Christmas until reading your post, but have taken a look at the link and am already planning a Christmassy decoration for the patio! And a TV programme I just saw about spices has got me thinking of Christmas cookies now! All the best for the next couple of months!

    • Anna B October 18, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

      Hi Cathy! Aw I could eat some cookies right now! I might look up some recipes too! Cool about your Christmas patio display, I’ll look forward to hearing more about that. Love the fact your sister gave tins of biscuits, I’ll definitely be remembering that idea!!! Thank you so much for your comment :)

  18. judithegardener October 19, 2013 at 6:18 am #

    Congratulations Anna! How wonderful for you all. Best wishes, Judi.. :-) x

    • Anna B October 19, 2013 at 6:55 am #

      Thank you so much Judi! Hope you’re still enjoying a good gardening season :)

  19. gardeninacity October 19, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    I’m very happy for you, Anna – I’m sure this year Christmas will be especially exciting and joyous. And now you will have someone to train to be your assistant on the allotment! I hope you can take a nice long maternity leave, but it’s an outrage that you have to give back your laptop! I’m sure you will figure out a way to cope, maybe with the help of Santa Claus.

    • Anna B October 20, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

      Hi Jason! I do hope I can train the little one to be a good gardening assistant! What a great idea hehee! Good idea about Santa too! Thanks so much for your comment :)

  20. Ricki Grady October 20, 2013 at 1:15 am #

    Such happy news…and what a Christmas present! Congratulations!

    • Anna B October 20, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

      Thanks so much Ricki :)))

  21. Charlie@Seattle Trekker October 20, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

    The holidays should be extra special this year. Congratulations and best wishes.

    • Anna B October 21, 2013 at 6:06 am #

      Thank you so much Charlie :)

  22. VP October 23, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    Congratulations to you both, what wonderful news :)

    I’m sure you’ll make sure your little bean gets into gardening at the earliest opportunity. I don’t know if you’ve come across Happy Mouffetard? (The Inelegant Gardener) She had a baby 18 months ago and wrote an excellent post recently about what her baby had taught her about gardening. Whilst the outcome was different to what she’d imagined pre-baby, I’m certain she thought it was even better.

    • Anna B October 24, 2013 at 6:25 am #

      Hi Michelle! Ah thanks so much :) and thanks for the blog post recommendation, I will check it out now. Thanks again for your comment :)

      • HappyMouffetard October 25, 2013 at 7:13 am #

        Hi Anna,

        Congratulations! And thanks for the comment on my blog. As Michelle said, it’s certainly different with a little one, but great fun. As the name of my blog suggests, I wasn’t the most tidy of gardeners pre-Thomas – but at least I now have an excuse.

        Hope you have a wonderful first Christmas together x

        • Anna B October 25, 2013 at 7:56 am #

          Ah that’s really lovely thank you! Your post is such an excellent read and I’m still very excited. I love an excuse to be untidy anyway :-) thanks so much for dropping by! x

  23. thesneakymagpie October 24, 2013 at 5:52 am #

    Congratulations!!!! Such wonderful news! Our boy was a Christmas baby and it made that time extra special, what a perfect time to cozy up at home with a tiny baby.

    On another note, a big bag of tulip bulbs is still waiting to be planted. x

    • Anna B October 24, 2013 at 6:27 am #

      Hello Sneaky magpie! I hope you enjoyed your bulb planting! I’m looking forward to changing the plants in my window boxes this weekend, I’d do it now but am reliant on Adam lifting them down for me! I’m also looking forward to a cozy Christmas with the new baby. Thanks so much for your comment :) x

  24. annie_h October 25, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    Congratulations Anna such lovely news. You will have a very exciting Christmas.

    • Anna B October 26, 2013 at 5:43 am #

      Thank you so much Annie! :)

  25. Nadezda October 27, 2013 at 7:11 am #

    Congratulation, Anna! Your baby will be wonderful Christmas present to both you. Take care, dear!

    • Anna B October 27, 2013 at 10:45 am #

      Ah thank you so much Nadezda! :)

  26. Born To Organize November 21, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

    Congratulations! I’m so happy for you. You look adorable with the little bean growing inside. This is such a joyful post, reading about your pregnancy, your garden, your decorating ideas and your hopes for Christmas and beyond.

    I loved gardening with my boys. They were out there with me planting seeds, picking tomatoes, growing pumpkins from the time they could walk.

    Your so close now. Perhaps you can prepare a draft post that you save, then ask Adam to publish with your new arrival. Sending good cheer.


  1. The great autumn garden clean up... - dig the outside - October 29, 2013

    [...] autumn has been particularly hard because I’ve been nesting at home getting ready for the new arrival. Nesting has involved everything from clearing cupboards to decorating whole rooms! Then of course [...]


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers:

%d bloggers like this: