I’ve been looking forward to this month’s Mud and Bloom subscription box for two reasons. One, because it gets Flora away from the iPad and two, because this is my second collaboration with the lovely Hello Bexa (the first being our TreatBox collab). If you don’t already follow Bexa (why not?!) then do go and check out her creative lifestyle blog for some seriously inspiring and helpful posts and some amazing photography.
Mud and Bloom
For those of you who haven’t read my previous Mud and Bloom posts, the company offers monthly letterbox subscription boxes for kids. The boxes have both gardening and nature craft seasonal activities with full instructions and kits, quizzes, and games. They’re designed to follow the EYFS, KS1 and KS2 national curriculum (ages 3 – 8) but in practice, older kids (like me) love them just as much. So that’s why I asked Bexa if she’d like to trial a box too. Don’t forget to check out Bexa’s review to see what she thought!
Here’s what was inside July’s box:
- instructions for growing radishes (organic seeds and compost pellets provided)
- instructions for growing lettuce (organic seeds and compost pellets provided)
- a bag of buttons, some glue and washi tapes plus instructions for decorating summer flower vases
- some wool/string plus instructions on how to make nature paint brushes
- a fact sheet and what leaves and trees to look out for
- and a quiz.
Radishes and lettuces
We’ve only tried growing radishes once before, without much success, so fingers crossed for this time – apparently these ones can be harvested within four weeks of sowing – yum! And it’s always lovely to pick fresh lettuce leaves for salads rather than from a plastic bag in the fridge.
We planted our seeds straight into larger pots with some good compost and have been keeping them on well-watered trays in our greenhouse. It’s so hot outside that most of my other vegetables are suffering, but the greenhouse has some shading so the seedlings don’t get so scorched.
And we’re extremely proud of our avocado plant, grown from a stone as per January’s box instructions. When the weather gets colder we’ll bring it inside the house as it’s a tender plant which won’t survive the frosts.
Summer flower vases
The activity involved decorating some jam jars or similar with the buttons and washi tapes to make some pretty flower vases. Having used my spare jam jars for June’s activity, we resorted to using an empty wine bottle and a spare hyacinth bulb vase instead.
It was a challenge to get the buttons to stay stuck on so we used some sellotape as well in the end. But Flora enjoyed doing it so much she found some extra washi tape and stickers to decorate another vase. Don’t they look pretty?
Nature paint brushes
Flora wasn’t too sure about this activity to start with. She had to collect some twigs that weren’t too thick or too easily snapped and then some flowers and foliage to tie on for the paintbrushes. But after a little trial and error, she got the hang of it very quickly.
This is what we came up with (I helped her tie things together). Quite a range, including an old bone and feather as well as various leaves and a few flowers.
The instructions suggested using acrylic paints rather than watercolours so we used some leftover paints from our previous boxes. Below is her first attempt, just playing about with colour and seeing which brush gave what effect. Our cover pic is her third attempt – aiming for a depiction of Bonfire Night.
This turned out to be her favourite activity in the box and she was very disappointed when I said we couldn’t wash the brushes and use them again at a later date!
Trees and leaves spotting and quiz
July’s quiz threw up a surprise – did you know Beech trees can live to 1,000 years old? That’s the only question Flora didn’t quite nail, but she got all the other answers right. We installed a bat box on the side of our house a few years ago and she’s spotted some bats flitting in and out at dusk recently. And she could easily name far more than five things you might find in a seaside rock pool – as befits a future Marine Biologist 🙂
We had five trees to try and recognise this month and managed three out of five, with an Ash and a Silver Birch still to spot – although we do have a Weeping Birch in our orchard.
Once again, this month’s box was a huge hit. My greenhouse is pretty well given over to Mud and Bloom plants this year (tomatoes, cucumbers, beetroot, peas, and now radishes and lettuce). But the activities are such good fun too, always creative and always engaging. All this for only £7.95, including P&P. Bexa, we really hope you enjoyed your July Mud and Bloom box as well, we can’t wait to see how you got on. And we can’t wait to see what we’ll be making and growing in August!