Monday, 31 March 2014

Thank you xx

Thanks for your lovely comments on my last post, I am yet to reply to them all & am woefully behind on reading your blogs too. My dad was released from hospital back into his care home on Friday so for now we are back to a bit of normality.

Yesterday was the first time in a while that I felt like going into the garden so a few photographs were taken. Also a quick peek into the greenhouse saw more seedlings popping through so all is good. The weather was glorious yesterday, it was so warm & sunny it was impossible not to feel happy.

I should have weeded yesterday & planted my potatoes in the sunshine but put that off for today as of course yesterday was Mothers day. No nice lunch for me though as the only Sunday Mike works in a year happened to fall on Mothers day. However Harry appeared in my room yesterday morning with some presents including chocolates , nice wool & some rather squashed daffs which he had hidden in his room.


Right I need to shift myself as I need to walk to the bank & pay a cheque in for Mike who I am pretty sure is away for the week & then I have lots of gardening jobs to catch up with.  Once again Thank you xx

Enjoy your day

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Morning

Please forgive my absence, I hadn't planned to be away for so long. A shockingly busy week at work leading up to an away meeting on Friday has been at the root of lack of posts.

The meeting which involved at getting up at stupid 0'clock in the morning to attend the meeting on time with the hope of returning to the office approx 7pm that night led to us being caught up in a motorway shut down after a three car crash. We were in that jam for approx five hours. The glass of wine Mike poured for me on my return home was most welcome along with the box of chocolates he placed with it.

Yesterday saw me playing catch up at work, leaving early with my sister on a planned visit to my dad saw me receiving a phone call when we were in eye view of his care home. We were told he was in an ambulance outside. Sure enough upon pulling into the car park there was the ambulance! Have you ever tried getting into a closed up ambulance, most perplexing I can tell you. The nice matron in charge helped me. I went with my dad with my sister following by car. he is now suffering from kidney failure, it isn't as shocking as it sounds & he is hoping to be back at his beloved care home today.

Last nights late return home saw me drinking a glass of weak squash.I truly didn't have the energy for a glass of wine. next to my glass there was a bag of prawn crackers??????? Mike & Harry had treated themselves to a Chinese in my absence.

I truly haven't had any time what so ever to spend in the garden last week. In fact I have barely had time to water my seedlings so have no new photos. However I am pleased to report I can see greenery in the greenhouse so things are looking positive. Also Mike is on his five day break & has promised to take me compost shopping tomorrow. I am planning to pot up my potatoes & sow a couple of pots of carrots.

I shall leave you now with the image of a big burly lorry driver at the Clinique counter in Boots. I had run out of moisturiser & sent Mike to get me some. Clinique are currently running an offer which is you receive a tin with samples if you buy two or more products. I giggled greatly on Friday evening as Mike told me he went through most of the products on display with the assistant to make sure he bought the correct second one so he could get the free tin for me.

I shall really try & catch up with you blog posts today I am currently making my way through two blueberry muffins & a cafetiere full of nice coffee, I've really missed posting last week.

Enjoy your day

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

A brighter week

For now my small run of bad luck appears to be over, apart from a small blip the other day when a) Harry was ill on Monday so was off school, b) I put the washing machine on without any liquid in it & c) Took some rather lovely photos & found I had left the memory card out of the camera. Minor things, minor things!

I cannot explain the relief of visiting my dad in his care home & seeing him smile, laugh at things & happy to hold a conversation. His care home seems such a happy place + it is filed with crochet blankets I would be more than happy to move in myself. The interaction between him & the staff is nothing short of miraculous & believe me the stress is oozing out of my pores more & more every day.

Dip stick Mike has finally got his car sorted, the issue wasn't the car failing the MOT it was the fact he left it until a few days before it ran out, not good when you needed a part for it. It's over now, I shall be taking charge of it next year.

The oven & sink situation is sorted so I can breathe a sigh of relief & have a bit of fun, talking of fun three things made me laugh on Monday.

I was on the phone gazing out of the window as you do, I spotted this walking down the street -


Can you see our local pheasant, just taking a stroll, looks like he is going to knock for someone here. He was back in the field moments later!

Do you see how my wellies match my pyjama bottoms! When Mike returned from work that evening he asked if I had been like that all day. "Er, yes" I replied. Apparently his friend had dropped something off for him & hadn't knocked as he thought no one was in. I assured Mike I would have made the lad a coffee & even offered him some cake. Mike just walked off muttering under his breath something about a good job & bag lady's!

The biggest stress reliever was Harry who for some reason wishes to wear caps again so we bought him one at the weekend. He wont take it off & wears it in the house. I will never forget his peaky, ill little face sat up in bed on Monday, wearing his dressing gown & with his new cap firmly on his head. It still makes me giggle now!

Enjoy your day

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

My little peach tree

Isn't it lovely, the blossoms are far, far brighter in real life than the photograph suggests. Now because the peach tree blossoms are pretty much the first of the year & the tree needs to be kept under cover during the winter due to the dreaded peach leaf curl, it needs a little help in the fertilizing department. 

My peach tree is kept in the greenhouse, at this time of year there is little in the way of flying insects even more so under glass. Do you see my little ear bud? Every couple of days I dab the centre of each blossom, well maybe not each as it is covered with peach blossoms! This way the pollen can be distributed between each blossom helping to ensure juicy peaches later on in the summer.


When the peaches start to form you need to cull them drastically, an almost heart breaking past time I find! The promise of lots of juicy peaches wrenched away as you pull each baby peach off. If you don't cull drastically you will be left with lots of tiny peaches which wont ripen, so really it is a waste of time in growing your own peach tree if you don't remove most of the baby peaches. The ideal spacing is approx 5cm between each peach, obviously the more space given the larger your peaches will be.  I removed close on fifty baby peaches last year! 

Anyway there you are, my little peach tree, I say little it is now about 5ft & is the dwarf variety Bonanza. Last year I think we had twelve peaches off it, not as large as the ones you can buy but I'm not bothered by that,, I'm growing for me not the local supermarket. 

Enjoy your day 

Monday, 10 March 2014

A February round up

I seem to be getting later & later with my round ups, I have had such a shocking few days so that is my excuse. From my dad being moved into his care home, Mike forgetting about the Mot on his new car, naturally it failed on a few minor things. Mike has been at his friends over the weekend fixing the faults, at the same time the oven broke down & the mini oven decided that wasn't going to play ball either. Not fun when you are trying to cook a roast!  To top it all off my dad needed some new clothes & things, not fun when you can't drive & everything seems to be falling down around you & my mum had blocked her kitchen sink & Mike being the only handy person amongst the men in the family has been busy with the car! You get the picture

To top it all off I have a severely depleted chicken fund as Uni boy needs his rent paying for April, another £250 for a field trip to Malta & naturally as he is a poor student some euros to go with it! And breathe

February

Saw me starting my seed sowing for the year, the end of Feb may I add not the beginning!




Mike bought me a few primroses to make up for the potato day we attended, you may remember my post about attending a local potato day, the one where the potatoes were sold in large net bags not the option of individual tubers. It still peeves me now!

Making plans for the front garden, more of that in another post, my self inflicted with the help of Mike spending ban, just as well with Rob in his second year at University, more expensive than his first year!

Apart from setting out potatoes for chitting, seed planning February has been quite boring if I'm honest but I suspect it always is, it always seems a bit glum. This weather is more than making up for it though & of course we still have my glorious blanket still under construction -


Enjoy your day!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Tree following - 2014

I saw this on a few blogs a while back, I popped over to Lucy's blog  Loose and Leafy Lucy runs this lovely idea. The idea being that you pick a tree & follow it through the year, taking notice of the changes & how each season affects your tree. As usual I kind of forgot about it until I noticed bloggers posting about their chosen trees.

I emailed Lucy last night as I had a tree in mind & asked if I could still take part. And I had a very nice email back saying yes, so here I am with my tree, Please forgive my terrible photos. I just point & aim, if I get an image I can see & like, that pleases me no end. I was so excited to get started I nipped out this morning & started clicking, then the battery went dead so the camera is now charging. It was only when I uploaded the photos I realised (& these were the best) two were the wrong way round & it wont let me change them!

My Greengage tree -





It is a new tree planted last year in a half whisky barrel. I have a small garden & numerous fruit tees & pots are the only way for me to have trees in the garden.

I have such high hopes for this tree, greengage jam is one of my favourites a taste of childhood if you will.

It was after carefully planting the tree which was bought on a whim that I realised Greengage is more suited to warmer areas of this country. Chilly North Wales might not suit it so well!

Anyway as you can just make out it has buds on it so I must be doing something right!

Enjoy your day, I'm off now to hint for a nice new camera, an easy one I can use.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

A small confession

We went to the local hardware type store thingamajig thing on Sunday. We needed a few pots & as I was running out of white wool for my little crochet squares Mike said he would buy me some.

They had a sign outside with 30% off plants & seeds half price, as you know I'm supposed to be on a spending ban . Mike looked at my little sad face & relented providing I could be restrained.

I bought these & some seeds only 5 packets mind as I said I was being restrained.
Ta dah, they were 30% off I can't remember how much we paid but I'm sure it was around the £2 mark. I have planted them in the front garden. The Philadelphus by the window as it has a lovely scent or will do if it grows & the Forsythia the other end of the bed.

Rather lovely looking don't you think & as a big thank you to Mike being nice to me I took him & the boy out for lunch.

Ps If you click on the links for the plants it says they are ideal for beginners, a fact I'm hoping to be true as I dug a small hole put in a bit of compost & stuck them in.

Enjoy your day

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

A little vision of happiness

Keeping me going today, gardening books, crochet & crisps. I have fifty odd little squares now. I'm not making the amount of squares the pattern suggested. It will be more a little cover for me rather than put on the bed.

In fact I can just picture Mikes face if I put a crochet throw on the bed. He will be in for a shock in a couple of months when I want the bedroom re decorated. It will be full of blankets & pretty things then!

Enjoy your day.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

A favourite book!

This is one of my very favourite gardening books, bought long, long before I had the interest in gardening that I have now.

Create a Cottage Garden It isn't in print any more but you could easily pick up a second hand copy if you wish. It is one of those books I can sit with for hours gazing at the pictures & the recipe list included to enable you to establish something similar.
Sorry I can't seem to rotate the picture. In fact you're all lucky I could take any photos, stupid camera! I was pressing all sorts of buttons at one point trying to stop the glare.

Some of my favourite images from the book, there are many more but I had to stop clicking somewhere.



I have been deciding on incorporating a few of the designs in the front garden, I am particularly find of the bottom one for a tiny narrow strip of soil in the front. There are just so many to choose from!

I've read somewhere that being cold can help you lose weight. It crept back into my mind this morning as I have no wish to put the heating on while the sun is shining outside. I had a sudden craving for a sausage & bacon sandwich. Now if being cold can help you lose weight surely it will help prevent you putting it on! The frying pan is sizzling as I type (it was left out after pancakes this morning) with a couple of sausages & some streaky bacon. The bread will be toasted & spread with butter & English mustard. It saves me going upstairs for a cardigan!

Enjoy your day

Monday, 3 March 2014

Hello March!

I'm so excited, seed sowing has commenced the sun has been shining & each morning I have woken up to a light frost. Hopefully the frost will make a dent in the slug population. The wet mild winter we had has seen an influx of the little blighter's in the garden.
I have finally sown my broad beans, all twelve on them! Actually I do have more seeds but I can only fit in twelve plants. 'Bunyards Exhibition' a reliable longpod variety so the packet says. I have grown them several times before so I know they will do well. Do you know the only broad beans I have eaten have come fresh out of a garden. Perhaps if I had tried the leathery looking things in the shops it might have put me off! Also I absolutely adore the scent of the broad bean flowers, if it wasn't at the expense of beans I would cut them & place them in a vase!

I've also started off Mikes white 'Ebenezer' onions, only sixteen I haven't got space for any more & I think there are still fifty left in the net! I also stuck some shallots ' Golden Gourmet' in too, I'm not too bothered about them as they will be grown in troughs & pickled when they are ready.


Sweet peas have been sown in the tubes above, 'Perfume Delight' & the original 'Cupani' I am hoping for fistfuls of flowers come the summer!

You can see a steamy looking propagator! , they are all nicely full of seeds. Tomatoes, Tomatilloes, Sweet peppers, chilli peppers, nemesia, lobelia, dahlias & hyssop, oh & some artichokes 'Green Globe'.  Once they are through I shall prick them out & refill with seed compost & re sow with other seeds. I think I'm going to have to set up the larger propagator up sooner than I thought.

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Flowers!

Well I don't quite know what happened with Mike last night, whether he forgot he already had a bunch in his hand or a minor brain storm but he arrived home with not one but two bunches of flowers!


I'm waiting for the neighbours to start knocking on the door & to ask if someone has died!

He bought a bunch of tulips which I love & a posh mixed bunch. In fact I know what happened, he picked up the mixed bunch first & then spotted the tulips. Knowing Mike as I do I can imagine him weighing up the options & thinking bother it I will get her two!

I read a magazine article a while back (years) I can't remember who by, anyway the article had a small piece which went along the lines of 'When your husband returns from work, don't nag him bring him a drink a small snack & ask about his day'. Obviously something from the middle of last century, I work full time too & in an equally stressful job if not more! I've always strived for a happy household so I put the events of my day aside until later on in the evening & do the above with Mike. Hand on heart it works & bringing your wife flowers once a month also works too! Especially if you get her two bunches, though I did point out to Mike that being a proud Welshman the posh bunch should have been daffs!

Mike cast a glance at the bag of seed compost I had left in the hall, this was after the flowers last night. 'For crying out loud woman, were you sat in the hall potting up or whatever you do'? 'Of course not darling, whatever gave you that idea, the bag was too heavy for me to drag outside, sit yourself down & I shall fetch you a drink. How was your day?' I'm a bad person I know I am, enjoy your day!

Garden Share Collective - looking ahead to March

It has been an interesting winter to say the least. Spring will be on us shortly & here in the UK, March sees seed sowing at full pelt. Well indoor seed sowing that is! I'm joining in with the Garden Share Collective hence the two posts today!

My windowsill propagator is set up & the seed compost warming up nicely. Tomatoes, sweet & hot peppers  will be sown this weekend. No doubt herbs & flowers will be sown too, though I may save those for the larger propagator downstairs. I shall start my brassicas off & sow a tray or two of leeks. The runner, climbing & dwarf beans will also be sown in pots along with my broad beans which I have been promising myself to sow for the past few weekends. Peas & mange tout along with onion sets & few early lettuce & radish seeds to be thrown into the mix.

All in all March will prove to be a busy month!
The greenhouse will soon be looking like this again! Always an exciting time so much to look forward to.

Talking of the greenhouse, the contents inside will be having a move around in March. The table you see above will be moved to the opposite side & the tomatoes will be grown against the glass. Once all the seedlings have grown big enough for their final planting positions the table will be cleared ready for the pots of chillis & sweet peppers. I will have to make sure I have space for my peach tree as just having the one greenhouse now means a cucumber plant will have to takes its chance amongst the mix too.
Hopefully March will see the peach tree looking like this & I promise faithfully to cull lots of the baby peaches that will come after I hand pollinate each flower several times over. This needs doing as the peach tree is kept in the greenhouse in case of the dreaded peach leaf curl & there are so few pollinating insects at this time of year.

One of the biggest plans for this month is the front garden, thankfully the edible hedge I planted at the end of January beginning of February is breaking into leaf.
More of the lawn will be removed at the front, I want this space for some wild flowers & bulbs & hopefully some wild garlic. A larger wildlife pond is planned for the corner & for this large border below, well it is to be filled full of perennials & shrubs.
 The other borders will be filled with roses & shrubs I am planning on being as wildlife friendly as possible.!

I'm joining in with the Garden Share Collective for this post. There are bloggers from Australia, New Zealand & the UK taking part. Do pop over & take a look & perhaps join in!
The Garden Share Collective