This is an odd forum, half the time no one seems to use it. Where are you all, what are you up to, if you're new to the forum or DG, tell us about you and umm well we could probably discuss some gardening too ;)
OK so bearing in mind I could well be speaking to myself here, I'll start off.
The garden here is a constant mess, a work in progress on a local council type of scale and has been since day 1. We did manage to plant out a small border under the pear tree this year in mid-April this year.
Hello Baa. I agree with you about this forum-it could do with a bit more participation. I wrote some details about me in a thread to Philomel about cuckoo rhymes...in fact you contributed too so I guess you've seen it. 5 years ago we moved into half a Basque farmhouse with 1000sq metres of south-facing garden.It is my joy, and I have made a veg. plot, planted lots of herbs and fruitbushes, and am gradually importing the contents of Peter Beales nursery over here.(Very gradually-money is tight and I can't bear the look of barely-suppressed alarm on my new-to-gardens,Basque husband's face whenever he sees me in the company of pete B, David austin, Thompson+morgan,Chilterns etc)! I have a lot of what may once have been a lawn- if I think of it as my monthly-mown wild flower meadow I sleep better! I don't get nearly as much done as I would like to,partly through teaching and translating commitments,partly through frustratingly-limited energy due to fibromyalgia/ME. Still, I love it, and any spare time and/or energy goes on my beloved garden rather than housework! Well, an old, beamed farmhouse should be full of cobwebs,dust and clutter,er...shouldn't it ????
Hi Baa good to see you , I have put sooo many plants aside at work that they wonder .,If I am starting up a nursery of my own.
I have got home 2 Blackberry nip roses , We had a broken plant last year that was put into the plant hospitable , but 10 meters away , you did wonder where the scent was coming from so I now have 2,
My roses are doing really well,considering they were only planted last march(2004). They all flowered profusely in May(things seem to flower a month or 2 earlier than in england here), and most are already having a few repeat flowers.Some of these June flowers have scorched abit in the heatwave we've just had.(40 degrees plus some days).I guess this would be more of a problem further south where it's much hotter and drier. So far I have:
Rosa rugosa scabrosa- very disease resistant, huge fragrnt flowers, continuous if sparse supply of shortlived blooms. Supposed to have beautiful hips but none set last year.(No, I didn't deadhead!)
Cornelia-pemberton rose-masses of small,scented blooms, apricot in bud, opening mid pink,fading to almost white-beautiful! Suffering badly from blackspot now,as are most of the roses to a greater or lesser extent. I try not to use any chemicals in the garden-any ideas for organic treatments?
Penelope-In many way similar to Cornelia,more fragrant,paler ,larger blooms, enchanting.
Golden wings-modern shrub. Lovely perfumed golden-yellow flowers,short-lived but steady supply. More resistant to blackspot than the 2 Pembertons above.
Mme Isaac Pereire-climbing bourbon.Laden with huge,shaggy crimson blooms this May.Intoxicating old rose fragrance.Now almost leafless through blackspot,alas.
Centifolia muscosa-loads of delicate pink, deliciously fragrant blooms last month.(once-bloomer)Gorgeous,mossy stems and buds,but rather floppy,and flowers easily rain-damaged.
Gloire de Dijon-climbing OGR.Glorious,buff-pink,fragrant,quartered flowers.Not growing or flowering as much as the others,but I think I have it in too much shade.Will move it this Autumn.
Albert de Dumas.-moss rose.New this year.Growing in a pot.Several delicately 'wildrose'-scented,pale pink flowers already.
I guess I should be pinching its buds off this year, but I can't bear to. Must give it lots of compost and organic fertiliser to compensate.
I wish I could show you photos but I don't have a digital camera and buying one is not an option at the moment. They're all on Peter Beales website.I don't know how to do that hyperlink thing, but it's easy to find on Google.
Good to see you too Boots! So you get to garden at work too? I'm not a rose fan myself so am unfamiliar with Blackberry nip, is it a cultivar or a species?
Sorgina, ouch to the 40 degrees, we've had temps of 30-33 every day since Saturday here and we've all thought it too much to bear LOL but then you know the kind of humidity that comes with it too. I hear it's easier to cope with in drier climates (or is that a fib?)
I'll look up your list, I've been known on DG as an inveterate rose hater but as I share the garden with Mother, there are some in the garden ;) we appreciate the unusual, species or heavily scented. Here's what HDRA have to say about blackspot control http://www.hdra.org.uk/factsheets/dc7.htm (to add a hyperlink just cut and paste). We use the organically certified Bordaeux Mixture which to my mind shouldn't really be listed as organic.
I remember reading years ago that before the factory chimney/smoke laws in the UK blackspot was very uncommon in industrial areas due to the high levels of sulphur in the air and that yellow roses, being the most suceptable to blackspot at the time were pretty much the only roses that got it back then.
Baa-whaddya mean you hate roses????-and I thought you and I were going to get on well !!!! Seriously though,I wasn't keen on roses till I discovered OGRS-now I'm obsessed!
Heat is easier to cope with in lower humidity-but here in northern Spain it's damp and humid-it's not advertised as 'Green Spain' for nothing.Still,it's better in terms of gardening and I feel more at home here than in hot,dry Spain.
I've just bought some Bordeaux mixture (from near Bordeaux infact-do you think it will work better??) so I'll give that a try-thanks for the tip.
Boots,thankyou.I'm glad someone appreciates my roses!! I was feeling rather foolish having gone into all those details for a rose hater! So you work in a nursery-lucky you; all those 'sub-standard plants looking for a good home...
My garden is overgrown right now. Demands of college and new job (part-time). College has just finished now till autumn so I have at last got back out there again. Have just stuffed my wheelie bin full to the brim with garden leavings.
Hi everyone. Lovely to see you here sorgina - haven't forgotten about you, just been guiding wildlife holidays and rather up to my eyes :) Had a great time though and saw SO much.
I find the relentless sunshine does make for difficulties in the garden - even some of my lavender is suffering, but we have some delicious fruit from trees that are young, but planted before we came a year ago. White fleshed peaches, apricots and cherries so far. Plums apples pears persimmons and quince to come.
I'm loving learning about the new climate and discovering new plants.
Your garden sounds fascinating sorgina, I'm an old fashioned rose fan too, but haven't made much of a start yet.
In the veggie patch I have potatoes courgettes and melons - oh and shallots and potimarron too
Hi Baa and boot, lovely to see you both - and you too Diane
Got to go and close up the chicks and chickens now.
I started with some hybrids from the market, but this year have hatched a Faverolles, 5 Marans noir-cuivré, 3 brahmas and 3 speckled sussex. Some legbars, which lay blue eggs, should be arriving tomorrow in the post, to go in the incubator. Another 3 weeks of wondering until they hatch :)
Hello Philomel, nice to have news of you. Wildlife tours?-sounds great. What wildlife do you get in your area? BTW, whereabouts is your area? My knowledge of French geography is very patchy.
The heat can be a problem, can´t it? It's amazing how most things recover after watering though.I love being able to grow peppers, aubergines,melons etc outside. I also love being able to leave dahlias,cannas,lilies etc in the ground over winter. It takes a while to get used to the changes in my experience- I had been planting T+M pea seeds in April as per instructions, and getting miserable,mildewed crops. This year I paid heed to a neighbouring veg. grower,sowed a local variety in January,and got a bumper crop...
Your chickens sound great! I have 6 of the local hybrids which give me delicious free-range eggs and which I've become ridiculously fond of. I'd love to keep some named varieties though- I haven't found a supplier anywhere near here yet... My son (aged 12)would love to go the whole hog, get an incubator and hatch special breeds from posted eggs...Actually ,so would I ! Better get the pond and tree-house (son's latest projects) finished first though...
PS. Do you know of a good nursery in SW France for clematis and other climbers (with fragrance)? I have a new fence to cover, and can't find what I want here.
Hello everyone, I have joined Dave's garden this week and think it is a lovely friendly and informative site. I haven't used my computer so much for ages.
My garden is about half an acre and I have lots of new fruit trees. The old ones were about 90 years old and all on their own roots and so needed a ladder to pick the fruit. I have about 15 different varieties of apples, two sweet cherries, four pears, three plums and some nut trees also an almond and a quince oh and a new walnut tree.
At the moment I am wondering what to do with all the cherries - 50 lb so far off one tree. I've made jam, pies, wine, frozen some, eaten lots, given some away and sold some. Has anyone any good recipes for cherries?
I also grow all kinds of veg., flowers and shrubs, lots of roses - my favourites are Gertrude Jekyl, a gorgeously scented climber, and Indian summer - which is a lovely scented tea rose, soft apricot colour with bronze foliage and keeps on flowering all summer.
I have eight hens, Auracana, Silver laced wyandot, Speckeldy, and some strange looking hybrids from when I had a cockerel. Sadly he was too noisy for my neighbours and thought day break was 3 am all the year round.
Half an acre must wonderful but tough to keep up with. Is most of it orchard?
We DG poultry keepers are growing in number which has to be good news, we have two hens, one Calder Ranger and a White Star. We had a couple of Speckaldys a while ago but I didn't think they were very good layers. We also keep ducks mucky things, and currently have a surrogate child in duckling form (the tale of which is over in farm life forum).
Hi Baa, Yes the garden is a bit on the wild side most of the time. I can keep up with the weeds until about mid May, then it seems to get rather out of hand. My partner hasn't a clue about gardening but helps with the digging occasionally and sometimes thinks he's being useful pulling the heads off dandelions.
The front garden is flat and has the greenhouse and pond and lots of vegetable beds some herbaceous borders and a couple of sitting out areas, the side of the house is quite steep and terraced with rockeries and a herb garden, and the fruit trees are mainly at the top of the garden behind the house where the hens are kept.
The hen hut cleanings are brilliant high nitrogen compost activators and heat the heap up very rapidly. My Speckledies are good layers, but they are quite young. They lay rich brown eggs with very good shell quality. My favourites are the Araucanas which lay small blue eggs with very rich golden yolks. I do like hens, they are pleasant little characters. I'm just going to look at your duck story now.
Great to have you with us Pat! Sorry for the rather belated welcome- I've been 'off' for a few days.
Your garden is beautiful, as are your hens. Your partner sounds about like mine in the gardening dept.- bless them! I also add the hen droppings to the compost bin- seems to make a great mix.
Have you tried making cherry clafoutis BTW? (No, not with droppings- this is a new paragraph)! I'm afraid I don't have a recipe to hand but I'm sure you could Google for one . It's a delicious and reasonably easy way of using cherries. So many cherries - lucky you!
What part of Sheffield do you live in? I'm originally from Nottingham, so know the area a little. (I'm now thinking Peak District, Buxton...OOOH, getting homesick)!
Anyway, a very warm welcome again and hope to hear from you soon.
Thanks for the clafouti idea - for the cherries - I've done plum clafoutis in the past and they were delicious. It's like a sweet Yorkshire pudding mix isn't it, I think my recipe had ground almonds in it too.
I'm from Stocksbridge, 10 miles north of Sheffield, but we were annexed to Sheffield quite a few years ago. There is a steel works in the bottom of the valley, but it is only about a 10 minute walk into the countryside and a little further onto the moors. The heather is just coming out and there are lots of bilberries as well this year.
It must be very different gardening in Spain. It must be lovely to have such a long growing season. It already seems quite autumnal here. There's been a chill in the air in the evenings this week. We had some late frosts up to the end of May this year, but everything is cropping well at the moment, even if a bit late.
Hi Pat. Yes, clafoutis has ground almonds in the batter- also cream and extra egg yolks if you're feeling extravagant. I haven't got the amounts I'm afraid - I just make a rich batter and pour it over the fruit. Serve warm dusted with caster sugar. Mmmm- feel like making one right now- just need some cherries. Anyone got any to spare ????
It's been pretty warm here but with some heavy rain showers and the ducks who usually much prefer that humans were'nt anywhere near them have taken to asking for a cold spray from the hose in hot weather.
Here's some before (after to come ... well after) of the ducks awaiting a spray, they are in moult and just lounging about looking slightly ragged.
hi everyone, I know I haven't been on here for a while, hello to the new folks too. They're a great bunch on here, there's always someone here who knows the answer to any query you can throw at them.
I'm always growing plants from seeds, then have to put photos on here to get them identified!!...especially hardy geraniums.
I love the photos of the chukkies and ducks. I'd love to keep some, but bad experience with a headless rabbit has put me off keeping any livestock!!...
I must admit that i've put in a couple of roses this year, well I originally ordered 6, which arrived before xmas (bare rooted) didn't get around to planting them until after xmas !!!...(dead twigs by now, shame on me...) because I'd been a bit poorly, they were planted without much care and attention, the result...two live plants.
My hubby would have a fit, he balked at paying out so much for a bag of stalks...LOL.I'm just waiting for him to ask me where all these magnificent roses are, still, at least I've had a couple of flowwers off of one of them, duely put in a vase on the table, just to show him...
Luckily, like most males, he doesn't notice whats going on around him, unless it's thrust under his nose.
I dragged him to a fantastic nursery the other day to get a couple of geraniums (pelargoniums) for a couple of pots.This place is out of this world, it's hidden down a farm track, old polytunnels, you can wander around and not see anybody for yonks, the people there are so knowledgeable, real plant enthusiasts.And the plants, well!...I drool.I'm not a graet fuschia or pelargonium fan, but when you walk through to tunnels, with rows of all these different varities, and the scents from some of the leaves.
They do do other plants too, I bought a lovely spotted abutilon, and a pink bergamot. Hubby does a hige cricket fund-raising BBQ every year, so this gives me license to go buy a few plants, to fill in the gaps!!!...which is a joke as I have to shoe horn in any plants that I buy...
The BBQ is this weekend , so I keep looking at my garden (bindweed everywhere) thinking where do I begin?
I tell everyone, I'm into naturalistic ,wildlife gardening...At least the bindweed flowers are quite pretty, shame they cover up the hollyhock ones though.
Hi Baa, Cheers, I think it's called Island Nursery, down a village called Upwey.
It looks a bit of a ramshackle place, but the people there are great.
Managed another trip there last weekend, got a hardy geranium by the name of Jolly Bee ( I think) and the woman was telling me that a company had produced this geranium that flowered virtually non-stop all summer, but it was very expensive, so this other company produced one nearly identical, and sold it at a reasonable price.
Also bought a couple of tall Lobelias, not sure what they are, forgot to ask lady in my enthusiasm to get them in the car before hubby could change his mind, must find out how to propogate them,not even sure if they're perrenial.
Thanks Sueone. The Jolly Bee is pretty with that bicolour blue and white, I might look out for that one myself, Geraniums seem to be taking over the back yard right now, we have masses of G. phaeum that needs weeding out.
I'm glad you managed to keep your new plants LOL does your hubby change his mind often?
Your new geranium sounds really pretty. I will have to look it up. I've got about six different hardy geraniums and a few of the indoor scented ones. I like plants you can just put in and forget about, and which the slugs don't eat. It is also nice to have something which keeps on flowering at this time of year. What other geraniums have you? (sorry if you have already said). I've got the common ones - the Johnson's Blue and various pink ones, and a tall very dark burgundy one which flowers quite early. I will have to look their names up as I've forgotten them all.
I've been clearing the pond out today as you couldn't see the water for watermint plants. I've taken out mountains of the stuff and left it on the side in case any water creatures were still in it. The fishes seem pleased to have more pond to swim about in.
And feeling very energetic I've laid some lawn turf as the builders had killed a third of my lawn by tipping all their rubble on it and not clearing it away for months. The only snag is the rest of the lawn now looks horrible compared to the new bit. It will probably look the same when I've neglected it for a while.
How are all your crops doing? I'm just about keeping pace with the beans and courgettes and I've a few neighbours who buy tomatoes. My next job is to plant the last lot of seeds for this year - a few quick growing ones like lettuce, fennel, kohl rabbi etc.
I've cheated with the parsley again this year. We have a Lidl supermarket which is selling all fruit and veg half price this week, so I have bought a pot of parsley for 34p and taken it out of the pot and got 24 seedlings from it. I've potted them all up individually and they are all growing nicely. I then plant them in the greenhouse border when I clear the tomatoes out and have lots of parsley well into next year - a bargain!
I'm not too sure what other geraniums I have...as i grow most from seed, then have to post photos on here for identification!!...then can never remember the name anyway...I even got around to buying nice plant sticky out type labels and pen, then promptly forgot where I put those!!...
We went up to the allotment today (doing it with my sister) and had to pull up all out tom plants ,as they'd been struck with blight.When we planted them, we knew it was a chance that they'd be hit, but it's still upsetting when it happens, they were covered in toms too.
my sister also took me to the garden centre, bought a couple more plants...LOL (had to get them in before he indoors comes home) I got a couple of lovely anemones, and a tall dark leaved plant who's name eludes me for the moment,a couple of grasses, and a miscanthus zebrinus.i love anemones, and hope to get some more, they only had a choice of two at the garden centre.
Pat, my ponds overgrown too, can't see the water. a water lily has gone beserk, need to split it next spring I think, the leaves are coimng up over the rockery.
I need to think about seed collecting now, haven't done any so far this year, usually by now I'll have a tub full. this has been a year of playing catchup...but never quite getting there.
Bout time we joined you on a few of your outings Northener,
I've been on fewer outings this year Sueone, but they've been longer. I've had a couple of weeks in Wales. In July I went to the Beyond the Border storytelling festival in South Wales. I watched a host of international storytellers. Wonderful! Then in the beginning of August I returned to Wales again, this time to mid Wales, where I went to a week-long storytelling workshop. Yes, I learnt how to tell a story! And at the end of the week i was part of a concert where we students got up and each told a story.
I've only told one story so far, but I've told it several times now. Last week I went to Whitby Folk Week and told it again. There were several storytellers performing there. And on Monday night I went to Stockton Folk Club and told my story yet again!
I never even realised that there were workshops for story telling. You, though ,have a nack for it anyway, you've taken us all on lovely trips out in the country side, light relief , gratefully grabbed, in dull days.
where abouts in Wales were you? I love Wales, we used to have many a holiday walking the Brecon beacons, and the hills around Snowdon, I was looking at the photos the other day of our family sitting atop these places, eating our lunch...the kids used to love these holidays.
Just a quick query, how do I take cuttings of sprawly geraniums like the Jolly Bee? I assume it's no good saving seeds.
Well, sueone, this is oral storytelling, not quite the same thing as telling it online (which is classed as digital storytelling) though I suppose the same desires are there. I was in South Wales first, staying at Llantwit Major - the festival was at the St Donat's Arts Centre. It was on the coast. The second time I was in Bleddfa, in mid-Wales, deep in the Radnor Forest - and lots and lots of sheep!
I went on a jaunt yesterday again. I went over to Hutton-le-hole on the North York Moors to see a folk festival that's on there. I saw a display of Morris dancing followed by a concert. After a misty start the mist cleared away to give us a hot sunny day. Bliss!!!
Isn't amazing all these different festivals and groups. I once went out with someone who's hobby was sea shanties! I didn't see him again!
Talking about walking, the moors above my home are absolutely beautiful just now - with the miles of purple, honey scented heather.
...and the Brecon Beacons - my younger son took me on a "walk" from the Youth Hostel at the bottom of the valley to the top of Pen y Fan in under 2 hours. We went to some waterfalls and lots of other beautiful places at about twice my normal walking speed. I'm fit, but at twice the age, and much shorter legs than my son it took me a week to recover from my holiday.
Going away next week to the North Devon coast so I'm trying to get most of the plants in pots out into the garden so my son has less to water. I remember one holiday when I left him a list of instructions. It was May and I had lots of baby plants in seed trays. When I returned there were lots of very sad looking seedlings sort of blue coloured and hanging limply down the sides of extremely wet trays. I think he had remembered to water them about five minutes before I came home.
The geranium cuttings usually take easily if you split a few pieces from round the edges. Get them with a bit of root on and trim the tops if they are straggly. You can either pot them up til they get going or put them in the border where you can keep an eye on them. Don't let them get too dry but don't drown them.
Must get out there while the weather is still fine I think it has forecast thunderstorms for later.
Nothener, I loved mid-
Wales, I know a lot of people say it's grim around the slate mining areas, but I found them beautiful in a peverse sort of way.Different if you have to live there I suppose, a bit like people either love or hate Portland. I find it beautiful,I love the starkness, the harshness of the landscape.We used to go to the dams in that region, (memory fails again to remember name) used to spend hours walking along the river banks, hopping along the rocks, then you'd suddenly come upon this huge towering wall, with water cascading down it, incredible, but slightly frightening too, you could feel the mighty power of the water behind it, i always used to look for the quickest route up, in case it went!!... silly i know.
Hi Pat, cheer sfor the info, I'll be out there looking at the plants, seeing if there's any suitable pieces.
Where are you going in North Devon?
We're going there too the last weekend in September, we've booked into a pub/hotel right on the sea-front/harbour in Lynmouth.We saw it last time we were down there, and I decided that it was a nice place to stay (well it looks it from the outside anyway) I love to be near the sea, smell the brine. I've only ever lived away from the coast for a short period, and I hated it...
I know what you mean about leaving others to look after your babies...I got back once, after leaving my daughters in charge of a greenhouse full of seedlings, with strict instructions to water the trays with a watering can, well they decided it was quicker and easier with the hose!!!...you can imagine what greeted me when I returned...
My hubby and daughter want to go on holiday next year, and already I'm dreading about who's going to take charge of my plants. I have a watering system for my hanging baskets , and a lot of my pots, but there's loads more that I have to water each day. Each year I tell myslef that I'm not going to do this, but each year I seem somehow to collect more and more plants in pots, thatI just have to have...perhaps I could persude one of my other children that they'd like to come for a holiday on the provisio that...
Hello sueone! I would really love to have seen more of the countryside round Bleddfa but I was a bit pushed for time and the transport links weren't too great. It was beautiful countryside though.
Devon sounds lovely. I wish you a really good holiday. It's a long time since I was down there.
I've booked another break believe it or not. A weekend in the Lake District. I'll be staying in Kendal. I'll be going to a storytelling festival nearby - I'm looking forward to it. It's a small festival but a couple of the performers are first-class - I've seen them both before but will enjoy seeing them again. That's at the end of this month. I've treated myself to a new anorak and shoes so I won't be feeling quite so scruffy.
hope you have a good time there. Do they teach you the skills to story tell? or is it a question of listening and learning. Where do these people use their skills, apart from at festivals? I know our library used to have mornings for little ones, storytelling.
It makes you think about times gone by, when all history was given by tales from generation to generation. I used to love the evening when my kids went to bed, and it would be story time. I like to believe that it gave them an interest in reading and books.
there were certain stories that they used to love time and time again, so much so that they would know when you missed out a word. Strangely enough now two of them have little ones, I see that some of the books they have for them are ones they would listen to.
My mother used to tell me (and her grandchildren)stores about Tinkerbell, a fairy that lived at the bottom of our garden (we always used to say to her that she should have written them down).
It's so soothing listening to someone telling a tale, (though I never listen to the radio) When I'm at my daughters ,and she's reading a story to her daughter, I could quite easliy close my eyes and drift off.
Well, storytelling is classed as a performance art - by the professional storytellers anyway. They don't use books at all - they know their stories off by heart. That's what I did with the very first story that I told.
The most popular place for storytelling is in schools. About 90% of storytelling work takes place there.
Storytelling is not taught widely. I ended up going to Wales to a week-long workshop to learn the skill. Beginners need to find workshops to attend. Apart from that the only way to learn is by watching and listening. Now that I have the basic skill my main way of learning more is by going to see other storytellers. And going on a more advanced workshop eventually.
You are very lucky to live near the sea Sueone, the nearest coast to us is over an hour's drive away, and I love the sea. We have some lovely scenery around here, but it's not the same.
We have booked a cottage somewhere between Ilfracombe and Barnstaple, and I''ve noticed that my partner has packed the ordnance map for Exmoor so it looks like we'll be doing plenty of walking. He plans these wonderful walks from the map and we end up on footpaths which no one else has used for about 50 years and which disappear when you are miles from anywhere. Last year in Wales we ended up walking through a sphagnum bog and then over ground which had basking adders in nearly every space you wanted to place your feet. Can't wait.
I suppose story telling is a very ancient tradition from times before people could write. They still have them in Africa to pass down the history of their ancestors in a memorable way. I should imagine their stories get embellished a bit over the years too. Not that that is anything to do with your story telling Northerner. I used to like writing stories at school, but don't have the 'gift of the gab' so wouldn't be at ease speaking to lots of people.
Sorry folks I'm rambling on a bit, perhaps my brain has already started it's holiday!
It has a great deal to with my type of storytelling! I will be telling stories that have been passed down for hundreds of years. The area that I'm interested in is traditional folk tales. Sadly, I will be learning them from printed sources as that is my principal way of accessing them. So I won't be writing my own stories - though I will be adapting them slightly.
We do still have a few traditional storytellers in the UK, though not many. At one stage earlier in my life I lived in Aberdeen and got to know a traveller there who sung folk songs and who told stories. I bumped into him again last year at a folk festival - he is now a major storyteller. It's been wonderful renewing our friendship.
Oh, Pat, that sounds soooo familiar...that's what our hols used to be like!!..At one time there were three families of us, on a footpath(so my hubby assured us) down in deepest Wales, and a farmer, with a shotgun , on the other side of the gate yelling at us to get off his land.
The kids were all hiding, some in tears, hubby argueing and pointing at his map.
We were only trying to find the scenic route to the local pub for a meal. And guess who was there at the pub when we finally arrived...yep, the farmer, and all his cronies, didn't make for a pleasant evening. Even the local kids were being hostile.
I've always defended the Welsh, when people said that they were unfriendly to visitors, up till then I've always found them great.
Northener, how do you go around finding venues to tell your stories, do you approach places such as schools?Or is your name down somewhere so that people can invite you?
I think it's such a shame that the art of story telling is sliipng away, kids now are more used to interacting with the t.v. or computer, instead of real live people.So sad.
Hello sueone! Yes, I will be approaching schools directly, on an individual basis. I am however already starting to network. I should eventually be doing some voluntary work with rhe local library and a SureStart nursery. I have already read a story at the library (it was just before I learnt how to tell them), and I have been to several events organised by SureStart
I am on Melanie Brown's mailing list for SureStart - she is their reading development officer and we get on famously. She noticed my interest in storytelling and has invited me along to some of their storytelling things. I was able to tell her today that I have finally learnt how to tell a story. She was really pleased - "Well done you!" I've told her that I'm not yet quite ready to tell stories to the children yet as I need to build up my repertoire. But once I feel ready then I will contact her again. Melanie understands that I'm at the stage where I'm going to watch storytellers perform and to learn from them.
Tony W. from Newcastle was today's storyteller. I've seen him before and he is excellent. Very good with children, very extrovert. He is also very supportive of my efforts to become a storyteller. He has a great sense of humour - I asked him why he changed from folk singing to storytelling and there was a great roar of laughter - "Because I wasn't getting any work!" I had to laugh along with him!
Today the programme for the Lakeland festival has come, together with my ticket. There's some good things on the programme - I do hope I don't have too many problems regards taxis though. I'm out in Kendal, 5 miles away. I'm hoping that my friend Alison will be able to come - she sounded interested in it.
Hope you have a great time there. I could never get up and do that in front of a crowd , be it children or adults, take s a lot of guts, and confidence.Could you not team up with others at the festival, there's bound to be others staying at Kendal I would think, share rides, or at least taxi fares to and fro.
folk music was another thing you don't hear too much of now, we used to have great evenings down at a local pub, The Smugglers, when they had folk evenings, everyone singing along, I have great memories of sitting in the boat (set into pub floor! ) swaying and singing my socks off, even though I'm tone deaf...aahhhh..memories...things are so different in pubs now, huge t.vs music blaring...
Tsk..tsk..i always said I wouldn't moan about the good old days like my parents..and here I am...
Well sueone, the heady days of the folk-music revival are in the past. Some of the folk clubs set up in the 60s and 70s have folded. But there are a some still around. I have returned to the one that I went to occasionally in the 70s. It's not quite as packed as it was at the height of its popularity, but it does quite nicely and isn't in any danger of folding. What will happen when its existing stalwarts start to pop their clogs, well that's another matter.
I used to be a very active floor singer. Singing was the joy of my life. Then I had serious illness and a dreadful time with my parents and the whole lot collapsed. I haven't yet returned as an active floor singer, but hopefully that isn't too far in the future now.
A whole new world waiting in front of you Northener, you've got to go and grab it when you can.
This has been an odd year for me, lots of things happening, which includes a couple of people in my age group suddenly dying.I'm now of a mind that you have to go out and live your life,NOW, blow what other people think about what you're doing,. You're living for you...no-one else, and you only have one chance at it.
You are fighting to achieve what you want, and good for you.
A whole new world waiting in front of you Northener, you've got to go and grab it when you can.
This has been an odd year for me, lots of things happening, which includes a couple of people in my age group suddenly dying.I'm now of a mind that you have to go out and live your life,NOW, blow what other people think about what you're doing,. You're living for you...no-one else, and you only have one chance at it.
You are fighting to achieve what you want, and good for you.
Thank you sueone. Yes, I'm doing plenty of grabbing! Today I went to the Festival on the Moors and told "Sarkless Kitty" yet again - a legend that comes from Farndale on the North York Moors. Today's leg of the festival was at Commondale, a small village on the Moors. There is no bus service there but I was able to use the Middlesbrough - Whitby railway line to get me there. The countryside round there is beautiful - it's quite a way out onto the Moors and the heather was still blooming - though it has faded now to pink. The village is pretty small.
I had lunch in the Old Post Office while being serenaded by a Sicilian folk band. Excellent! Had a good chat with Ron Angel of the Sun Inn - he's interested in learning storytelling. There's a workshop in Newcastle soon - will see if we can get a third body (a drivng one) interested in it.
Then I went to the Come All Ye. This was an opportunity for the amateurs to strut their stuff. It was led by Keith K. (an excellent British singer/musician) and his guest Jerry E. (an outstanding American singer/musician). Well, it went very well indeed, though unfortunately I was quite late on in the session and quite a number of people had left to go to a concert in the village hall. So it was a smallish audience.
I was very pleased by my telling; a bit nervous beforehand but not once I'd started. I did a fairly simple and low-key telling of it, but I could tell the listeners were all watching me intently and enjoying it. Keith K. looked pretty appreciative indeed. After I'd finished Keith apologised for putting me on so late - he said it was excellent and more people should have seen it. One gentleman in the audience, called Pete asked for information on my sources - he said he'd like to set the story to music. And a lady called Chris started reminiscing about her father - he used to be the publican at the Feversham Arms, the pub in Farndale - he used to tell the story.
Later in the Come All Ye I told a Scottish riddle that my Dad used to tell - nobody got it though.
Come a riddle, come a riddle, come a rote, tote, tote,
A wee, wee man in a red, red coat.
A staff in his hand and a stone in his throat.
Come a riddle, come a riddle, come a rote, tote, tote.
What am I?
(You might like to try it!)
Jerry E. also told a story later in the session - a funny Jewish one. When it had finished I gave Pete some information to help him find the story in print. And Chris, the lady, said she'd look out a copy of her father's version of the story for me, and take it to the Sun Inn, in Stockton where I go regularly.
Yes, my life is taking some twists and turns. These are areas that I was interested in when I was younger and wish I had explored further. When I was younger I was really keen on folk-singing. Storytelling is pretty much taking its place. I've joined a drama class now (went last night) and start my singing class next week.
Only just found this forum but there is such a lot on this site. Joined this week and spending hours reading different forums and plant files. What a great site. I am really keen to have a go at growing the corkscrew vine which is discussed in the vines and climbers forum what beautiful flowers it has and fragrant. All I need now is to locate some seeds, I am bidding on ebay US at the moment so fingers crossed.
My garden is 95% patio with just a small soil area which is very shady. I am a container gardener, this year I have planted over 50, and used 11 large bags of compost.
Your containers look lovely and colourful and well cared for.
I've just got back from 2 weeks holiday and am amazed how much everything has grown. My son has been looking after things, but the bouganvillea has suffered some kind of trauma. It was smothered with lovely deep pink bracts and they have all dropped off. It still has leaves though which is a relief!
It is fruit picking time and I am deciding what to do with all the apples and pears. Some of the apples keep quite well, but I had so many last year a lot got wasted, even though I made a few gallons of apple wine. It is a bit strong though, so I am toying with the idea of making cider this year. I'm only at the reading a book about it stage at the moment.
Has anyone made cider before, and was it OK?
I make lots of fruit wines, and have even got enough grapes for a gallon or two this year - real wine (hopefully).
Well I've got rained off again. As soon as I went into the garden today it began to pour down. The slugs are rampant and all the hedges need cutting. I did manage to bring the beans in to dry out at the weekend while they were reasonably dry. I leave a few of the best pods on for seed for next year. I've been growing some Mr. Fearn's Purple flowered climbing french beans from the Heritage Seed Library for a few years now and they are very good. They don't go stringy and freeze well and are very prolific. The others are runner beans - Black Magic which have also been good. Have you tried runner bean White Lady? It is my favourite for flavour and tenderness, but some years is very difficult to germinate as the seeds rot, even when started in root trainers in the greenhouse.
The house smells like a brewery at the moment. I was amazed to have picked 60 lb of grapes from my two 3 year old vines. It has only made 4 gallons of wine, but that is bubbling away in my kitchen. I had to move the cockatiels' cage into another room so they weren't overcome by the fumes!
How are all your hens at the moment? Mine are looking very sorry for themselves in full moult and haven't laid an egg for three weeks. Still they should have got their new feathers by the time the cold weather comes. Last year one of the Araucana chose the first very frosty week to moult. It dropped all its feathers over night and looked like an oven ready chicken when it came out in the morning. Poor thing looked like it needed a little jumper to keep it warm.
I'm taking minor steps to avoid bird flu being introduced from any wild birds. Scrubbing and pouring boiling water on the bird bath( the hens occasionally get out and have a drink out of it), and the paved area where I feed my hens, and not leaving any hen food out when they go in for the night. I am keeping all the bird feeders clean and sweeping and sterilizing underneath them. I know I should do this anyway, but don't do it very regularly, and the hens sometimes sneak down there and eat the bird food, so it will help prevent them picking anything else up off the wild birds.
We'll all probably have forgotten all about it if and when it every does become a problem here. The Press will soon find some other scare story.
We've been having heavy downpours since sometime last week apart from Sunday when it was glorious and we decided to wash the jute rugs ... they still haven't dried!
I have been so remiss with vegetable growing in the past two years, I had some half hearted attempts last year and a ton of veg seed to sow still. We almost always grow Painted Lady Runners, I've not tried White Lady or Black Magic. The tomotoes (good old standard Money Maker and Gardener's Delight) were grown in large pots and cropped well but they came out 3 weeks ago, can't bear fresh tomatoes myself but they aren't difficult to rehome in someone elses stomach. I'll have to get myself more organized next year.
The hens have moulted and now stopped laying, I'm pretty sure the sudden change of weather has caused it and they are both over two years old now so probably looking at retirement. We've had nothing from the White Star for 6 months now but then she did lay a couple of eggs almost every day since we've had her with only a very short break, she's paid her keep, big eggs too for such a small bird. We need a couple of POLs again, they'll keep our senior ladies warmer when the cold weather comes in as well as eggs.
The 4 sibling Black East Indian ducks may have a new home very soon, I'd rather we had more space so we could get in some unrelated BEIs but with the space, possibility of Avian Flu and an unpleasant neighbour two doors away, it's not feisible. They've been getting noisy lately too.
We've been trying to keep the birds in their pen, it's big enough but they are used to running around the garden and are not understanding why they aren't allowed out. Then there is Beetle who still lives in the house (cat carrier as his bed) at night with us (I know, I know), he needs a nice little miss duck and his own pen, the others really don't like him and today he ran away squawlking when he thought they were coming out. He won't stay on his own, he sulks big time with his wings hung low and neck all floppy, squeaking sadly to himself, I've known birds to sulk themselves into dying so it's a very effective emotional blackmail. Keeping him in during the day is not practical so we're trying to keep everything doubly clean and an extra keen eye out for any possible symptoms.
Your duck sounds very cute, I'm sure I couldn't resist his funny little ways. He must be fully grown now, but still a big baby. I've been thinking of getting a couple of point of lay pullets too as the youngest hens are about two years old now. The Araucanas are the oldest at five years, but they have been laying almost non stop from March to September. They are lovely little hens.
I'm missing my dog. I still look for her when I come home, and have to find things to keep me busy when it is approaching the time I usually take her for a walk.
I went for a walk today with my son as it was such a beautiful day. Should have walked a few calories off as we were jumping over deep rapidly flowing streams, through brambles, over fallen trees and through swampy bits where the paths had flooded. The scenery was lovely, and all the autumn colours were lighting up the trees in the sunshine.
I'm tempted by Araucanas but their price puts me off a bit but if they are really good layers then price shouldn't be a consideration should it!
We found a nice little miss duck for Beetle today and he's currently boxed in up the top of the garden with her, he is not happy. After a bit she started to follow him but he thought she was trying to chase him so he ran away for a while until he got fed up and then told her off. She's a call duck and I really didn't want another noisy duck but it wasn't my choice in the end. It seems odd not to have him watching the TV with us but it's the best thing for him in the long run. I feel the same way I always felt when the lambs I raised went to market, the evil betrayer, I picked Beetle up to pop him in the box hut and he struggled to get as close to my neck as possible. Sigh, he and I will just have to get used to it.
It must be difficult losing your dog after so long, changing the routine of so many years can be so hard too can't it!
Bo and I went off to Mately Wood in the forest today to see if we could spot some end of the season flora and fauna, well I say we, I mean me/I since he has no interest in anything other than going for as long a walk as possible. (He's getting on in years so I really feel for you, I'm dreading the day ... now just trying to enjoy the time we have with him). We spotted a lot of half term visitors, a darter and a Red Admiral butterfly, oh and lots of young calves, someone didn't put the bull in early enough or wanted late calves for some reason. A lot of the ponies are looking well which is a blessing since some of them look skin and bone by springtime. Rest of the afternoon was spent looking for a duck.
Oops! I was being environmentally friendly in so far as I was killing weeds with my flame gun and not using poisons this morning. Having a lovely time when I thought I would just burn a bit of dead aubretia off. Unfortunately it was under a 5foot x 3foot x 3foot clipped juniper tree and whoosh there were flames 15 feet high and it was burned to a cinder in about three minutes. The children next door were very impressed. Now I've got to decide how to remove the charred stump.
Wow Pat, nice of you to entertain the children like that - shame about the tree!
I've been thinking about buying a flame gun, (saw some in the Organic Gardening catalogue), but really know nothing about them. Can you use them on weeds on a veg. patch? Or just on paths, patios etc? Would you reccommend a particular make? Any advice much appreciated.
I've had a Sheen flame gun for years and it is very handy with a peizot (don't know how to spell it) ignition switch. So you don't have to use matches to light it. I couldn't find it, so I bought a new one - unbranded - from Lidl supermarket for about £5 so it was probably made in China. It doesn't have the fancy ignition, but is very powerful, as you may have gathered from my previous message.
They are great for clearing weeds from paths and gravel, and I ran it over some goosegrass seedlings under the shrubs. I couldn't believe they were growing already. I tried it on some creeping buttercup round some small shrubs, but don't know it it has killed them or not. Sometimes you need to go over things two or three times to completely get rid of them especially the deeper rooted weeds like dandelions. The flame is quite narrow, but intense if you set correctly, but I would be careful how near seedlings you get. I sometimes go over a newly prepared seed bed if weeds start to grow before I've sown any seeds, which gives them a chance to get established before the next lot of weeds come along. Also if you do it regularly you don't get things seeding all over and have fewer weeds anyway.
What thread was the question about the little plastic seed packets on? I've just bought a packet of 120 from a stationer's shop for £1.45. I had just gone in for something else and they caught my eye.
Yes the use on unsown seed beds is a good tip Pat. I keep meaning to but have so far been too impatient LOL I'll give it a try this year.
I have a lighter that gives a flame rather than a spark for mine instead of matches, you can buy them in the supermarkets here, not sure if you can in England. It can be a bit stubborn, but now I know its little ways it's easier ;)
Hello from Georgia, USA. In the late fall I bought a flame gun to melt ice on my steps. Last January I fell on my icy steps and sustained a bad injury. Killing weeds is a bonus factor and I've already had some fun and caused myself some trouble with it. I burned up some hated dried weeds, started a grass fire and cleared off some dried weed covered stone paving steps. I also damaged the tops of some early sprouting garlic and spring bulbs. They are continuing to grow but now have blunted brown tops. I am really loking forward to using it to keep the weeds in check this summer. I hope I can learn to use it properly and not burn up too many of the veg and flowers.
The snow and ice have thawed a bit today so here is a hen picture. I also managed to sow some more seeds in the greenhouse in the hope that things are going to warm up soon. I'm waiting for the frosts to stop before I prune and tidy everything up. I'm raring to go, and also hoping to shed the pounds I've put on over winter.
The girls are all laying well now and looking rather smart. The large black and white ones are Silver laced Wyandotes, the ginger one is a Warren, the black one with a bit of white on it is a Daisy Bell, the two small ones at the back are Lavender Auracana which lay blue eggs. The ginger necked one with partridge markings is a surprise one from a Speckledy cockrell and one of my pure breeds, and the dark grey one with barring is a Speckledy which looks rather like a Marran. I started off with all pure breeds, but they were quite expensive and don't lay as well as the hybrids, so my latest ones are hybrids - the Warrens, Daisy Bells and Speckledy.
Pat, I've just got a digital camera, so it will probably take a while for me to learn how to use it and post pictures on DG. (I'm rather a technophobe). Anyway, my poor hens are rather old and tatty - looking - not a patch on yours! Did you get all those different breeds from hatcheries in Britain? There are no pure breeds available here - just the one type of orangey coloured hybrid that everyone has. I'd love to have some breeds that laid different coloured eggs and also looked pretty.
There are lots of people who sell pure breeds around here. Try the Wernlas Collection web site. I think they sell fertile eggs which you could hatch, although I'm not sure whether this might be affected by restrictions due to bird flu. The large breeds are very tame and sedate, but they don't seem to live as long as the smaller ones, and some of the small breeds are very flighty. They all have their individual personalities, I think that is why they are so likeable.
It is nice to get different coloured eggs. I took a photo of a basket of blue, brown and white ones and framed it like a still life, but it was before I got my digital camera so I can't send you the picture. I suppose it would scan if I borrowed a scanner, but like you I'm not very well up on anything technical.
Well the snow has gone today and I've been in the garden for hours. I've done far too much and have siezed up completely, but I had to get something done as I'm going on holiday next Saturday and the bad weather has prevented me doing all the usual jobs for this time of the year.
So I've pruned the roses, fed them and weeded and dug the rose garden. Then I got all the budleas pruned hard. I've emptied one of the compost heaps and put ten wheelbarrow loads on the vegetable beds and I've tidied up all the dead bits round the ponds. Oh yes and then I've picked the last two red cabbages and sprouts and cleared those beds .
I really feel as though I've made a bit of an impression on things. There's tons more to do, but at least I've made a start.
The seedlings are a bit slow in the greenhouse but are slowly germinating. I thought the aubergines must have gone rotten, as they've been in nearly a month, but three have appeared over night, and the Cape gooseberries have just come up too.
Last Sunday I had a panic as we had a power cut for six hours and it was snowing and feezing outside. I covered the propagator up with newspapers and several layers of cardboard and some fleece to try to keep the heat in and everything looks OK. Then on Monday I spent a couple of very cold hours trying to get the pond pump to restart as that had cut out and didn't want to get going again.
Here is a picture of the cheeky squirrel which keeps coming to eat the bird food. He spent half an hour planting peanuts at 30cm intervals all over the garden the other day.
Like you I've been overdoing it in the garden the last few days as the weather has finally brightened up...I haven't done nearly as much as you though. Well done! I like the pic of your cheeky squirrel - he looks full of mischief,(and peanuts)...
What is everyone doing in the garden at the moment? Or are you all too busy to get to the computer?
I've just about planted all the alpine and woodland plants I bought at Harrogate Spring flower Show, and today I managed to sow all the brassicas in a seed bed outside. I decided not to use modules this year as I have so many varieties. I'm also growing extra for the community allotment we run.
This year I'm trying to make better use of the greenhouse borders by planting a succession of lettuces and salad things. I usually sow too many at a time so its just a few at a time this year so we can eat them while they are still small. I'm trying a lot of different lettuces I've not had before - mostly from Real Seeds.
I've been really pleased with their seeds, they seem very fresh and vigorous and all germinate really quickly. The germination of seeds from some other companies has been quite poor. I've tried several new suppliers this year for a change. I know who I'll be buying my seeds from next year.
All the blossom is out and the garden looks beautiful. It makes me feel really happy just walking round the garden at this time of the year - I'm ignoring the dandelions which seem to spring up from nowhere.
Tomorrow will be more sowing outside if it's fine, or pricking out in the greenhouse if not.
I might make some nettle beer too - I've got an interesting sounding recipe and all the ingredients!
I'm having a pond put in on some very sloping ground outside the house. It's difficult to mow or weed there, so this seems the perfect solution and will make the area usable with a little flat bit to pop some chairs on too.
While the digger was here they've dug a couple more holes too, so I'll have a pond near the veggie garden and one in a meadow (both small, but fine to help wildlife :)
Also planting the remaining things on 'death row' LOL
...and sowing lots. A few flowers but mainly veg. Amongst the more usual I'm trying things I've not grown before, such as okra, cardoons, peppers and aubergines. Got some heirloom things from HDRA bank too.
So, yes, busy busy busy...
I agree, it's such a lovely time of year with all the promise of things to come and all the blossom after the winter. Will be picking the first broad beans any day and the peas are starting to swell
Umm can we say over planted! Here's Tabtab the whirring death dealer having a nap but you get the idea of how the rest of the border ended up. For some reason baely anything grew within 2ft of the fence, oh well, we couldn't see it without stretching anyway LOL
As for what's occuring lately, well the dread front garden is being attacked, its the only way to deal with it. I'll save the gory details for a later date but it was so warm yesterday I had to go and lie down for an hour afterwards as I had sunstroke and the front garden is North facing!
Like the borders Baa, the more plants you put in the less room for weeds. My kind of gardening. I'm just re-doing two of my herbaceous borders. My neighbour kindly brought me a van full of wood chippings - about 30 bin bags full as he knows a tree-surgeon where he can get them for nothing, so I tidied and weeded the border and mulched it with a nice deep layer of chipped bark. It looks really good and the slugs don't like it either.
My other project this week was brought on by my over enthusiasm for plant buying at the Harrogate flower show. I ended up re-designing a fairly steep banking under the weeping crab apple tree, setting in a couple of lines of chunky rocks to hold the soil back so I could plant the Solomon's seal, Smilacaena, Epimedium, Erythronium and a few other odds and ends. I finished it off with a couple of Adantium and some Hostas so it should look a bit woodlandy. One of the hens thought it sounded interesting and came over the fence to help re-arrange the soil for me when I went in for a rest.
I've also been trying to get all the vegetables sown and planted out some cabbages and early caulis and some red veined chard. The other battle is slug and snail collecting. There were hundreds every night, even when the weather was hot and dry, and today with the rain, they haven't even gone to hide during the day and are busily munching the lettuce and cabbage transplants I put in yesterday. The garden is full of frogs and hedgehogs come round every night so they should reduce the numbers a bit. I feel a little selfish collecting all their food up so I'm squashing some of them and hoping they eat them up and then I'm taking the rest by the bucket full across the road and tipping them at the edge of the wood. Hopefully the song thrushes, hedgehogs etc will find them before they come back to the garden.
Thanks :) Over planting is a habit I might get over one day but it has helped improve the soil no end and in a shorter time than it would take with amendments that generally sink without a trace anyway.
Do you have any photos of your new border Patbarr? Good to see you have your chickens trained too, Beetle had took to running through to the front door squeaking to be let out into the garden we've been digging up but after seeing a distinct lack of vegetation last Thursday and being prevented from running out onto the pavement he's decided it's all too boring and goes and talks to the duck in the sideboard window until he's shoo-ed unceremoniously out into the back garden. Our last hen who doesn't seem bothered in the slightest that her pen mates are not chicken shaped and like to float about in water has had some near scrapes at being an ex-hen for digging up plants this past month, when she's not harassing the cats that is *G*
We're nearly ready to mark out the borders, that is if my spine and neck aren't damaged beyond repair. We've discovered 3 resident frogs in the front garden so far, their pond/sink has gone but we've provided a temporary shelter with the Yellow flag and an old washing up bowl with some water, stones and plants in it. They will be getting a new dew pondish thing although we had trouble deciding what pebbles we liked so we got a bit of everything I think, it's only going to be about 1m sq as it is. I did have a wobbly moment when I saw some pretty paving stones patterned with ammonite shapes, (un)fortunately the amber colour of the slabs wouldn't have gone with the pebbles we opted for although colour co-ordination s not normally something we worry about.
It's good to know I'm not the only one squashing snails and slugs in the hopes that someone will come along and find a tasty meal. Seems to be a bumper year for them again.
And here is one of my little helpers. There were lots of frogs out last night too. I must have caught over 1,000 slugs this week. I'm trying not to get obsessed with them. I think "I won't have a slug hunt tonight" and then start imagining them munching through all my seedlings and have to check them out. I caught a dozen this afternoon on my newly transplanted lettuce. When you see the size of some of the larger ones its scary to think how many seedlings they could eat in a night, and I can't imagine a hedgehog or frog large enough to try to eat a slug that size.
Sorry you've got spinal problems Baa. I've got cervical spondylosis and some damage from an accident a few years ago, but I tend to do things any way and then suffer for a few days afterwards. I know I shouldn't lift anything heavy, but I'm impatient and if my partner or son don't do things when I ask them I end up lugging things about myself. I don't think they realise how painful it is.
Enough moaning. I've planted two new geraniums in the border I cleared, one is Ann Folkard (I can't remember how to spell it) and and other one has no label but has a lovely dark burgundy coloured leaf. They were more purchases from the show last week. I've planted nearly everything now except for a few alpines which are waiting until I have tackled a section of rockery which has been invaded by clover. I know it isn't organic, but I'm contemplating using glyphosate on it as it's impossible to dig out.
Well all my gardening efforts have been rained off this week. Hope the pond is coming along Philomel. It would be full to overflowing here.
Here is a photo of a colourful corner which I can see from the kitchen window - makes washing up a pleasure - if anything can.
The bluebells are all transplanted from a small clump my mother brought home during the war. She said that she and my grandmother used to walk about three miles to a farm in the next valley for black market eggs and ham and their walk took them through bluebell woods, so on the way home she pulled about 6 up to plant in the garden and now there are hundreds. They always flower for her birthday which is a nice memory of her.
Beautiful colour arrangement Pat! Strange that the bluebells flower on your mother's birthday, you would think they'd flower on different dates according to the weather.
We are rained off and freezing here too, had a little time to garden sometime last week but I need to do so much yet. Forever waiting and so far behind. It actually felt warm this morning, didn't last long.
Your slugs are a colourful array! I did that years ago, on damp evenings I would go out and pick them all up and take them up the road. I got 70 or more huge black slugs in one night, later a similar number of snails. I kept a watch and got rid of most, still get an occasional one or two but not many. A trowel comes handy. They say snails are homing, I imagined a trail of them coming back over the road and being run over.
Pat that is beautiful.
Well just moved to a new place tree weeks ago and had to start the garden from the bottom.
The earth is worst that Sahara so some improving had to be done.
Only planing to saty here for one-two year, so there are no long plans or radical changes (even though I fell like doing it)
Have not been able to do as much as planed, because I have some
Examinations coming up in a couple of weeks. It has been about 8-10 C the last couple of weeks, so nothing is coming up or is doing so veeeery slowly.
It is very small garden, 10 meters long and 5 meters broad.
Well here it is, very chaotic, shhh... don`t show it to anyone LOL
The plastic cover on the pots is my “little greenhouse”, a desperate attempt to give some warmth.
Zest, welcome to the European Forum. (I think I'm right in saying I haven't seen you before - or maybe I've been dozing!) Good luck with your new garden - it seems to be shaping up nicely. Please keep us informed of your progress.
You are so sweet, but feel a bit lost at the monent :o(
Hopfully it will be better when the plants get growing, if they ever do.
You have a good memory, it is my firt time here, eventhough I have it under
Watchin forums. Will send photos later or when it looks better.
Strelitzia seed can take a year or more to germinate, I have grown both reginae and nicolai. Some will germinate in around 30 dyas, if they push themselves to the surface then best left there. I have experimented with various things, palms included, and they produce a short root for a start, then a stem. If you bury the seed the neck of the stem can rot, as it seems to live on the seed while the leaf grows, then the root continues to grow. Those that don't germinate are best left in the heated propogator, mine is 68-72F, I left them at the shaded side, it is under a south facing window. Don't wet them too much, they will start to germinate from January onwards the following year. Mine did when we had a mild spell 3 weeks into January (not this year!), so I watered them, and they germinated up until late May. Good luck! It's fun growing tropicals in this climate!
Interesting to hear of your experiments with Strelitzias.
Have you managed to get S. nicholai to flowering size? I'm told it's all down to keeping the beast potbound. Mine is potbound, hasn't yet flowered, and is threatening to push the roof off the conservatory!
My S. nicolai is getting a good size, one is 3 years old, the others 2 as they germinated 1 year later. They still have a long way to go. They should be pot bound, but they also have to grow, so that isn't my concern yet. I don't have a conservatory, they overwinter inside and at the moment are in a greenhouse. I hope to try one outside eventually, they can take some frost and with growing them myself their chances should be improved.
I find some plants need a potting boost to make them flower, so perhaps, if your pot isn't already filling your conservatory, you could try potting it up again. If you could remove some of the compost from the top and around the roots and use fresh compost, organic leafy compost would probably suit it if you have it or can get it. I find this helps with calla lilies, they race away and flower after a potting boost. You might find it difficult if your plant is really big!
I visited the National Botanic Garden for Wales near Carmarthen a couple of weeks ago and it was wonderful. The glasshouse is amazing equally as good as the Eden project and the whole site and gardens were excellent. It is all set in beautiful scenery and well worth a visit.
This is inside the greenhouse.
I've also been to a rare plant sale at the Sheffield Botanic gardens and bought more plants, and today a gardening friend and I went to Harlow Car gardens at Harrogate where I restrained myself and only bought one plant. Unfortunately their catering has now been taken over by Betty's Tea Rooms and I'm afraid my restraint didn't go so far as avoiding their fantastic cakes (twice).
Harlow Car gardens has recently received funding and has improved dramatically with more gardeners to maintain it and lots of refurbishment of old areas and the creation of meadows and a new kitchen garden area. Another excellent and very enjoyable day out.
Pat you have had more than your fair share now of garden visits! I'm jealous!
OK own up, what plants did you buy? No good telling us and then not what plants! Do you know you could have bought more plants with the money you spent on cakes.
Well while you have been enjoying yourself, I have been hard at work planting up my new 'tropical' bed. Only 20 more to put in, then maybe some geraniums dotted around that I grew from seed Bill Wallis and Summer Snow. It will really need mulching first once some of the smaller plants get going, I don't want to smother them.
Thanks for the photo of the National Botanic Garden for Wales Pat. I went there a few years ago, the year after they opened I think, and it's great to see it again. I loved the house with all the plants from different parts of the world.
Harlow Car is another favourite of mine and it's good to hear of the improvements they are making. (Hope I can get there some time to sample those cakes LOL)
That bed's looking lovely wallaby! Looking forward to seeing it when it matures and the plants take off :)
Hello Zest, I hope your plants are growing well now the warmer weather has arrived. You will have to show us how it is coming along.
Your new tropical bed looks interesting Wallaby1. Are the tall ones Brugmansias or Datura? A woman near us has a very small back garden which she has totally filled with tropical plants, bananas, datura and brugmansia, cannas, strelitzia, tree ferns and all sorts of other things. She has a few seats hidden among them and a small pond. It is totally enclosed by quite high fences and is just like being in the jungle. You wouldn't be surprised if snakes and parrots appeared. She has open days and raises money for the Red Cross. I think she has to bring most of them indoors in winter - can't imagine what the house is like as it has only a small conservatory, although I think she takes over the garage too.
Thanks Philomel, it has been years of collecting , mostly grown from seed but some from small plants I have grown on. Some already 5 years on, they should take off now in the ground.
Pat, the tall ones are Paulownia tomentosa, they have been in since Autumn 04 . I also have Ficus carica, Eriobotrya japonica, Musa sikkimensis, Ensete ventricosum, Penstemon species, Salvia species plus Blue Enigma and Black and Blue, Hemerocallis, Phormium, Yucca filamentosa, Abutilon vitifolium, Hibiscus Galaxy Hybrids, Hibiscus syriacus, some roses, Rodgersia, Rhododendron macabeanum, Leptospermum nitidum, Dianella tasmanica, a few bits and bobs.
I have got some Brugmansia versicolor also but no room! Not in that bed anyway, but it is supposed to be hardy if well mulched, and grown from seed should have a good chance.
That is quite a list I hope you'll let us see how it develops.
My plant purchases the other day were a Cercis Canadensis, Brunera 'Looking Glass' Tricyrtis formasanum and T.hototogisu, Oriagnum Kent Beauty, Dianthus suska - a new dwarf double alpine in a deep pink with a lovely scent and very blue green leaves.
I also received some micro propagated potato plants that I had forgotten I had ordered from Alan Romans - Aura, Orion, Shetland Black, Fortyfold and Arran Commander. So more things in pots to take special care of as they were rather expensive. It says anything over 30mm will store to grow on next year. Has anyone tried any of these varieties, I've no idea what they should taste like, and they should be interesting colours. Also has anyone grown micro plants before - any advice on caring for them would be appreciated.
Great list of plants Pat, I have Cercis canadensis Forest Pansy, still in a largish pot and it needs to be moved, argghh no room in that bed. I saw it locally for half the price you normally pay, they are gorgeous.
I also got Brunnera Looking Glass last year, it's still small but the leaves starting to look good. I love Tricyrtis, one I got last year also from the same place didn't live, it was a Crug collected one, the parcel should have arrived in one day, it took five. Unfortunately the plant wasn't dead, just looked droopy, but it did die and it's diffficult then to ask for a replacement. I also lost 2 small Woodwardia, they sent 2 small ones, they do when they don't have a bigger one. They were nearly dead, now both are. They weren't from Crug I should explain. They were very apologetic, it was the carriers at fault, but I am reluctant to repeat the experience, although I have had some very good plants from them and they do have rare ones.. I did get a Tricyrtis Raspberry Mousse from West Country Lupins, they now sell on ebay, also an Astrantia Moulin Rouge, they are both new. Both look well.
I haven't tried any of the potato varieties, T&M were selling them, they might have some info on their site. I have found Osprey to be a very good variety, grew it last year. I have to grow varieties that mature early because I always get blight, just after the earlies are done. They were a good crop and very clean and tasty, good for everything. Charlotte also does well. Trying a new one this year called Sunrise. I grow Swift for earlies, they are speedy and delectable.
I will update you on the new bed, I think some of them may be a bit too close, we shall see, some of those get quite large. Still haven't managed to get the last ones in, but they all need watering. We only had 1/4" with the last rain, need another good shower. And they say it always rains in this country! Water on meter is going to be costly with the price rises.
Recently purchased Echium webbii, from my local cash & carry plant centre. I'm not "au fait" with echiums. Presuming they're not hardy, how far do you cut them back? Mine are showing lots of new growth below this years first set of leaves.
I just found this forum and thought I'd add my musings for what they're worth. Back yard for me is a tiny 20 x12 foot enclosed courtyard. In which grow a honeysuckle and Jacaranda and a silk tree in two raised boarders. A washing line was the first thing I planted when we moved in LOL. This courtyard doubles as my plant nursery as I have no other place for it - its a kind of utitlity room of the garden.
Its pretty crowded now with a nice row of Marmande Raf tomato plants which I am experimenting with as I kept the seeds from market bought toms...sorry...maters ;) some Scotch Bonnet chilli bushes which overwintered from last year Hurray! These are grown soley for the purpose of the most fantastic chilli vodka (don't knock it till you've tried it folks)
At the moment I just seem to be constantly sweeping up after the silk tree which plopps its spent blossoms on everything cheeky enough to grow beneath it. A gardeners work is never done.
The sun's just going down...time for a glass of Rioja on the terrace. Salute. Lizzy
I've had a pretty busy gardening day mainly netting a cherry tree - see the thread about picking crops.
I have a bit of a dilemma at the moment, all the brassicas in the seed bed are desperately in need of transplanting, but I don't have any space to move them to until I've lifted the new potatoes. I converted one of the beds into a herb garden last year and hadn't taken this into consideration in my rotation so I've run out of space. Less potatoes next year!
I received a parcel today with another plant that I had forgotten I had ordered, a Stevia rebaudiana. It really tastes as sweet as they say. You use it as a sugar substitute, either the fresh leaves or you can dry them. I tried a leaf brewed with my Earl Grey and it was lovely. I'll have to wait for it to grow before I take any more leaves from it, but it should do alright in the greenhouse.
My other task was to extract a young female blackbird from inside my cherry net. I've no idea how it got inside as I thought the net was weighted down all round the base and there are no blackbird size holes in it. It took about 10 minutes waving my fish pond net about to catch and release it, and then it went with its friend and started eating the black currants. I don't usually net those as they usually leave them alone.
The tomatoes are swelling nicely now and have about six trusses per plant, but none ripening yet. The aubergines and peppers have flowers just opening and the first two cucumbers have set and a few tiny melons. I'm still worried about the Achocha taking over the whole greenhouse. If it keeps growing at this rate I'm going to get the scissors to it as it will smother everything. I thought it would provide a bit of useful extra shade when it was really hot, but it is starting to make it dark rather than shaded.
It will teach me a lesson trying new exotic sounding plants.
Hi Patbarr ;o)
Yes!!!! Happy to say that the plants are growing beautifully ;o))))
Well most of then anyway, only a few of the corn and some peas I planted came up. Was to busy studying to take proper care og them.
There is lots of weeds that is for sure, the former resident did not care for gardening, so they are very much settle down here.
There are some mistakes (were I should have placed/not placed a few plants), all done in frantic panic. LOL just whanted to plant then and get then growing.
This photo is taken a few days after examens, all messy and full of weed but things are growing and that is the important thing.
Had a little resident in the strange “cage”, an injured young black bird, but that is another (very long) story. The sunflowers are about 1.75m
Will post another photo when it is more presentable ;o)
Hello Monica, There look to be some nice exotics there - the canna and is the other a Strelitzia? You will have to tell us about the baby blackbird on the Birds in the Garden thread - we ramble on about all sorts of things there.
Wouldn't it be good if we could just garden and not have to fit it in between everything else we are doing.
I'm trying to plant everything into the ground that has been slowly deteriorating in pots for ages. A lot of them would be better thrown out onto the compost heap, but I like to give them a chance, they have favoured me by germinating in the first place, so the least I can do is look after them.
I've been planting some leeks out and transplanting a few Swiss chard that had self seeded in the wrong place.
The weather forecast said we were going to have rain last night, but it never appeared. I was planning on transplanting some of the cauliflowers from the brassica seed bed, they are quite large and will struggle to get going if I move them while it is dry and sunny. I'll probably wait til later this afternoon and do them then.
Pat I think the other plant you can see is an Alocasia.
You had the rain a week or so ago when we didn't, we had about 1/4" last night, just after I got the hose pipe out. They have kept forecasting rain and we haven't had it, or just a few spots, the garden and pots were getting really dry. It can rain along the ridge to Lincoln but I am a few miles from that. Dreading the water bill!
zest, they say let seed and seven years weeds! Good luck, if you can mulch the ground with somthing that will smother the weeds and make life a lot easier. What examinations did you do?
Hi Pat and Wallaby ;o)
Yes it is an alocasia, smuggle it out from city park in New Orleans 3 years ago. It was growing were my DH ask me to marry him, so it something special for me.
Good idea will post about the black bird, it is both a god, tragic and a story full of bravery, well at least as I se it. Some how I wish I did never had anything to do with black birds, what I have learned will alwas hunt me.
The examinations were pathofysiology and pharmacologhy, I am a nurse student. If I had known it was this hard I would have chosen something else LOL.
Hopefully I will have my bachelor degree in a year.
It is pouring down at the monent, good thing it has been very dry and hot up to 31C. A bad combination when your garden has more sand than Sahara ;o)
I've been having a battle with a new pond filter today. I bought a new pond pump and when I managed to wire up an outdoor connector the new pump was so powerful that the old filter couldn't cope with the flow and water was pouring out everywhere. So I had to buy a larger filter. The first one that arrived had been broken in transit so I had to send it back. The dustmen had emptied the bin containing all the packaging when I found that it had been damaged, so I had to find lots more bubble plastic, parcel tape etc to re-pack it. Anyway, the replacement came today and it was far larger than the dimensions they had given, so I've been trying to dig and level a suitable size hole at the top of the waterfall. Then I couldn't get the pipes to fit in to flow down the waterfall, and finally when it was all connected up and working nicely I noticed a new leak on the inlet joint, so I've switched it all off and abandoned it until tomorrow.
Phew, that took a while to read :-) Some very interesting reading though! Pat your garden is beautiful! 50 lbs. of cherries????? Oh, that's just not fair! And some nice looking hens as well! Intresting that so many of you keep chickens! I can't believe how big the Hostas are already in May - they're barely out of the ground here by that time! What is the latin name of those bluebells, I think I have those growing in my garden - they were here already so I don't know their name - had never seen them before. Baa, your border looks good, what are those blue flowers, they're really beautiful. I have the same problem with overplanting, if I see a bare patch I feel I must plant something in it - gets a bit crowded in July when the plants reach full size. But I'm slowly learning and trying to restrain myself in May when the plants are starting to grow and trying to visualize how large they will get! Somehow there are always more plants than the space in the beds allows - so I keep chopping away at the grass - my husband woories that there won't be any left in the end ... too many plants to try out, too little space.
Sorgina, it seems that we have more than an interest in gardening in common - I'm battling with fibromyalgia as well. Had to stop working 5 years ago because of it. Having kids sapped all my energy. I also tend to channel my limited energy towards the garden rather than the never ending house chores - get a few complaints, especially in May when it seems that everything needs to be done at the same time - never get it all done though. This summer I've been playing catch-up and I'm still not cought up. Still have too many plants in the cold frame that came up from seed last year and another batch in the greenhouse that desperately need transplanting to bigger pots and moving outside! Hope to get it done before the summer's over.
That looks a lovely relaxing place to sit rannveig. I'm sorry about your fibromyalgea it must make gardening very difficult.
I will have to put the seat back near to my pond. I can't remember why I moved it.
You asked about the Bluebells in my garden, they are the native English Bluebell - Hyacinthoides non-scripta. I just keep dividing them and moving them around the garden. They started from just a few bulbs that my Mother gathered during the war.
By the way, I have now fixed the new filter and pump and stopped all the leaks, so the waterfall is running again. I just have to disguise the double size filter now - a bit of landscaping and a couple of ferns should do the trick.
I'm exhausted at the moment. I've lifted, cleaned and bagged up the remaining potatoes. I'm quite pleased with them, there are some quite large ones even though it has been a dry summer, and there is hardly any slug damage. I've tried Record and Sarpo Axona this year for the first time. The Record make very good mash. I haven't tried cooking the Sarpo Axona yet but they look nice, pink with a smooth skin and a few quite large ones.
I've selected seed potatoes from all the varieties I've grown this year and labeled them in net bags. Last year I forgot and had eaten all the Kestrel that I was going to save.
I'm not going to grow so many next year as I took up far too much garden with them this year. After all I need more space for all the seeds from the Round Robin.
Oh that's it!!!! - there's only Hyacinthoides hispanica in my book and although the flowers are similar it didn't quite fit. The ones I have also seem much hardier - there were three very large clumps of them here when I moved. I divided them up this spring, gave a lot away but still had plenty to plant in new spots. Thank you so much, I'm so glad to finally put a name on them!!!
Thank you - I'm almost finished! The paving stones are all in place, now I just have to fill up the spaces between them with sand and finish off the outside edge. Not sure how I'll do it - I'm planning to make a paved walkway that connects with the seating area. That'll be stage 2. Eventually I want to get rid of all the grass in that area - it's a bother to have to mow that narrow strip of grass...
Small steps at a time, but eventually I'll get there. :-)
Well, the fibromyalgia certainly doesn't make it easier, that's for sure. I often feel things are moving at a much slower pace than I would have liked as I'm very impatient!! I need to make my borders much wider than they are, but it is so hard work that I only mange to chip away at the edges slowly...patience, patience... it's not one of my virtues! My husband does help me with all the hard labour - in this pavement project he did the digging and shovelling gravel - then I just put the puzzle together:-) But I do tend to over exert myself at times - I get into stubborn, impatient mode and just keep going until I can't ... then it's time to rest.
I've also been battling with my pond - it was leaking and I had to find the hole in the lining and fix it - I thought I'd go mad, because I didn't seem to able to stop the leak ... anyway I filled it up and it doesn't seem to be emptying as quickly so hopefully I managed to fix it in the end.
It seems as you've been very busy - no wonder you're exhausted after all that work! I'm glad to hear that your crop of potatoes was good. No room for potatoes here and I'm afraid my attempt at a vegetable garden was rather miserable this year. The carrot seeds dried out - so no carrots. I was too late sowing the lettuce seeds so no lettuce. For some reason I only planted three plants of broccoli and two were ruined by cabbage fly or whatever it's called so I only have one broccoli plant and 4 plants of kale growing there, plus some rhubarb and chives. Better luck next year I guess ...
We're having our first taste of fall at the moment - it's soooooo cold outside :-( At the moment the wind is howling - from the north (ugh!) - and the temperatures have dropped to 8°C. (I think I feel a cold coming on!) My poor plants !!!!!!! I always get a knot in my gut when the wind picks up from the north like this. I need taller plants at the north end, where the fence is to get better shelter from the north wind - it's the worst wind direction here. It's really bad when the late frosts hit in April or May - somehow there always has to be bitter winds to go with it - as if frost in May wasn't bad enough on its own! But they can't be too tall so they don't shade out the rock border I have along the driveway - that needs full sun. It really is a dilemma. I think something about 3 - maybe 4 m could help things a bit. Just have to find suitable plants that can take a beating and - wait until they grow that tall!
How are you, don`t think I have met you before ;o)
How is your project coming on, it really looks pretty, like it very much.
It will be a good spot when you need a rest from gardening. As you said, fibromyalgia certainly doesn't make it easier. But you are a figther, keep on :o)
Had a friend working in Iceland, she told me how hard it blows. We are a bit more protected here, but the last few days seems like a hurricane has decided to settle down. Temperatures are droping fast, today has been 12C and very windy.
Hi Pat :o))
What athing with that filter, good think you got it to work. How is the saying now, when it rains it pours (hope I got that right)
How did the sarpo Axona potatoes taste? Been looking for a puple potato, do you now the name of that one?
Hello Monica! Glad to meet you! Your garden sure is looking good! It really has come a long way since this spring! Wow!!! Love the birdbath! How did you make it?
The weather here has taken a turn for the better, the wind died down and for the past 3 days we've had partly cloudy weather and temps. of up to 18°C which is something we're not used to in September! It's been raining today but no wind and 14°C so pretty nice!
If there's no wind - then the weather is fine by my books!!
I haven't quite finished my "sitting spot" by the pond - but I've started using it and it's a lovely spot to enjoy the afternoon sun and relax! I'm really happy with it - will be even happier when all the grass is gone - it'll be an ongoing project for next summer :-)
Hi Rann ;o))
Glad to meet you as well, and thanks for the comment on my garden. It was harder than I had imagine, lots and lots of weeds, the former recident just let them grow. Have removed about two sacs full of weeds!.
I posted a message on here yesterday, but don't know where it went forgive me if I'm repeating myself.
I wanted to thank Dimitri for his suggestion to take cuttings of Basil. I took five before I went on holiday and they have all rooted well so I planted them all in a 7 inch pot and they look great and are already growing. So I may have Basil all winter too, if only I could keep the tomatoes going too. I have two late plants to follow on from the Cornu des Andes which have almost finished now. I planted two nice chunky side shoots that I took off the first one and they are now covered in fruit but haven't ripened yet so that will extend the season well.
That is lovely, isn't it rewarding when an idea is transformed into reality. I notice that most of your flowers are ones that have finished here about two months ago. Do you find things only just get going before the end of summer?
Our autumn flowers are all in full swing now with Michaelmas daisies, Crocosmia, heathers, Sedums and Japanese Anemones all looking splendid. Some Nicotinia which had planted very late have made a sudden burst and smothered everything else in the border, but look very colourful and smell lovely in the evenings. It is also a very good year for berries and fruit, the trees and bushes are weighted down with them.
Anyway, it is a beautiful warm day, so I'm going back to the garden.
Thanks Pat and Monica - I'm so happy with it! Yes, Pat the plants are much later here, but we have plants flowering from spring until fall - spring just starts later here. I think many of them flower over a longer period here and many overlap here that wouldn't in warmer climates. There is no such thing as a spring flowering rose here - the earliest start in early July! The autumn flowering plants grown in warmer climates don't have a chance here - like the Japanese anemones, phlox and probably more ... the Astilbes usually just beat the first frost.
Just back from our weekend trip to Copenhagen and the weather was really wonderful!! 20°C and sunny and the wind was very welcome for a change 'cause otherwise we'd have melted!!! ;-) It was sooo hot today (maybe less wind or a bit warmer than sat and sunday) that we'd had enough of sweat and heat - it was soooooo refreshing to come home to the 9°C! Home sweet home!!
Sueone thanks! It's one pond - I just made it narrow in the middle for the bridge. The fish have moved inside for the winter now - I had to move them inside in a hurry on thursday night because there was a forecast for night frost. Fortunatley it was light so not much damage to my plants yet :-)
Yes, but very mild - it's still amazingly warm during the day - so my roses are still flowering nicely!
This is a photo of 'Aloha' that opened it's first bud last week and it's second is just opening today :-)
Welcome home Rannveig ;o))
Hope you had a nice time, eventhough there were problems on the “island” this week-end
Yes it was actually terribly hot moday, it made it hard to concentrate at classes, so we got earlier free!!!!
What a trill, could spend more time in my little spot that day.
It is cooler now, but can still were a t-shirt.
Will have to get the greenhouse up soon, and get all my oxalis in there.
Thanks Monica! We had a great time!!! I absolutely LOVED the botanical gardens - could have spent the entire weekend there! So many beautiful plants - and the trees! Wow - I'm always amazed by how big trees get in warmer climates. There were huge Taxus baccata trees growing there - I thought it was a bush! LOL Actually Taxus baccata doesn't grow well here at all - doesn't even make it as a bush. T. baccata 'Summergold' (or something like that) however grows pretty well and makes a small bush. I was also very impressed by all the weeping willows - I love those trees! Unfortunately they don't grow here - there is something so wonderful about them. And they're so BIG!!!
I was also amazed to see all the pretty Dahlias - some species Dahlias I didn't even know existed growing like bushes! So very pretty flowers eventhough they're smaller than the showier cultivars.
We had smørrebrød in Nyhavn and went on a guided boat tour - both were great! And we did A LOT of walking - my feet are still hurting! And on Sunday we went to Tivoli in the afternoon. That's when all the commotion was - we did wonder why all these police cars were rushing by - they were so many - saw it in the newspaper the next day.
I have to admit that my High School danish teacher would not have been impressed by my danish skills - english comes more naturally -so I used that mostly. Otherwise my DH did most of the talking - his danish is pretty good - didn't need to speak much english. Except with the numbers - it's just something we can't get - it gets too complicated after 30, this treds and halvfjerds stuff! We always had to ask how much it was in english! ;-)
Do you overwinter all your oxalis in the greenhouse? Is it heated? I noticed that there were some oxalis grown in pots in a few places with deep burgundy leaves and lavender flowers - really pretty! My husband thought they were fake - he was amazed that they were real! Such an unusual color combination.
A very pretty rose rannveig! Your climate can grow those, I think you may stand a good chance of growing species dahlias. Your lows don't seem to be any worse than ours, and dahlia species like the cool weather. Mine start to flower best in September when it cools down a little, many are native to cool, misty Mexican mountains.
These have been in the ground for 3 years, they grow tall (5') and don't need staking. I bought the seed as a species 'old fashioned as the Victorians grew' mix. I much prefer them to the larger hybrids, flowers are single, lovely colours and actually are mostly quite large. I grow dwarf collarette dahlias around the edges. Not the best of pics, I will have to get a better one.
Yes!!! Isn`t just beautiful!!! Can stay for hours and hours, love the weeping willows as well.
DH is not that fun of plants, buts goes anyway LOL
Don`t blame you, danish is not a very easy or pretty, the treds and halvfjerds thing is very confusing as well LOL.
The greenhouse is heated, had problems last year and lots many of my darlings :o((
But I am spying at the greenhouse forum to get some inspiration there (sshhh don`t tell enyone LOL)
In the beginning they are all in there. But in about january the summer growing ones are put in the celler to go dorment, and then there is a bit more space.
The oxalis you are writing about is very sticking, and easy to take care of.
Wallaby, what a nice dahlias and serene spot that is. Never been to keen on the hybrids eighter. Are they easy to care? Did I get it rigth, you leave them out all winter?
Hi zest, yes I do leave them in the ground all winter. Most of them are semi-hardy, I have sandy soil and mulched the ground well with compost, I think it helps keep the soil open and free draining but they didn't have a mulch the first year.
That bed doesn't get any sun in the winter, and only in the afternoon in summer, now it gets dappled shade and sun. They do like fairly poor soils too. If you grow them from seed in a good organic mix with soil they are much healthier and will be more likely to survive than a nursery produced tuber. They are very easy to grow and flower in the first year, the second year they are fully mature.
The hardest frost we have had since they have been in is probably -9C, the ground has been frozen but perhaps not too deeply, and I think they can stand some frost if the soil is friable. They do seem to have placed themselves quite deep, I tried to plant them a little deeper than they were in the pot when I first put them in.
They need no special attention, fertilising will only make them soft, and if you give a mulch of compost they get food anyway. I have only mulched once, they were put in the ground in 2003, although I had grown them the year before and kept them in 6" pots in the shed over the first winter until I was prepared to plant them.
I still had a few in pots that I put in another bed this year, believe it or not they were outside all winter in 6" pots and we had many quite hard frosts (to -9C), and a very long 6 months of winter. They all lived!
I love those purple foliage oxalis, I have one in a tub outside that manages to make a small appearance, perhaps I should put it under cover.
A very nice flower, love the color!
I have very sandy soil in my little spot, so that wouldn`t be a problem.
The sun bakes down all day, so that is a plus in the winter as well.
Amazing that they survided in a pot at that temperature!
Can you recommend a nursery that has 'old fashioned as the Victorians grew' seed?
Have only seen them in books and here in DG, will have to try some now (as well as glads and crocosmia, will have to find a bigger place soon LOL)
There is a gentleman in London that has that oxalis growing outside year round. The amazing thing is that his mom does it as well, and she lives were it is much colder. Don`t know were in England though. Will let a few stay outside this year.
I got my seed from Thompson & Morgan, but I did keep seed last year. It should still be OK, although I couldn't guarantee it. I grew some in spring of one colour, a bright pink semi-double which I got very few seed from, it's later to flower than the rest. I have about 9 plants from it. Seed mixed I have plenty and I think I put in some pink, I don't know if it will have crossed at all with other dahlias, that is a possibility. If you would like some dmail me your address.
Wallaby, those dahlias are so pretty! I actually got the T&M catalog in the mail today (temptation, temptation ... arghhh! I have no space ... but I've already marked too many plants that I'd like to try ... ) I'll look for those dahlias. I have had no luck with the big showy ones, maybe I'll give these a try!
Monica - that's the oxalis we saw - what's it's name?? It's a beauty! The only Oxalis that are hardy here are O. adenophylla and O. enneaphylla (Rosea) and I have both. Real beauties as well, but not as showy.
The Botanisk Have is a gem - actually my husband didn't complain at all - I think he enjoyed it more than he was willing to admit ;-) LOL Managed to smuggle some berries from a Sorbus aucuparia cultivar with orange berries and a Crataegus spec. with dark red berries and greyish foliage (have to look up the name - took a photo of the label). It was a really nice looking tree - probably won't grow here but I'll give it a shot. I'd settle for a small shrub! LOL I thought they were cherries at first before I noticed the foliage.
The name of the oxalis is known by some as O. triangularis.
But has “chanced” to Triangularis Atropurpurea, would you like some?
Rannveig I am goin to tell on you LOL. Good thing you din`t eat the "cherries"
Did the same some years ago, seeds of some sort, can`remember what.
Did you see the mango tree, and were the fruit ripe? That, is a real temptation LOL
No I didn't see the mango tree ... wouldn't have recognized it if I'd seen it either without reading the label. Was it in the greenhouses? It was so hot in the greenhouses that we did rush a bit through them ...
Yeah those temptations can be hard to resist - I need to work up more resistance - any ideas on how to do that? I've tried and tried with no luck yet! Just everything overflowing with pots of seedlings and young plants I have no idea where to put ... sound familiar??
I'd love some of the Oxalis triangularis if you have it - it needs to be overwintered in the greenhouse doesn't it? Can it tolerate any frost? D-mail me, maybe we can work out a swap on the off chance I have something you'd like to try :-)
The mango tree is as soon as you are up the stairs and go in, to the rigth.
It is hot in there, a little sauna. Did you like the succulent and cactuses?
Not my kind of plat, but like to see the diffent ones.
Temptation cure? Sorry not jet, have the same problem LOL.
The oxalis can overwinter in your window, this one is one of the few that can. I just put mine in the greenhouse as I don`t have space inside. And I have a crazy feline that likes attacking them :o((
No need to swap, will gladly send you some :o))
rannveig, if I can send you some seed I will happily do that! I have decided it may be best to take seed pods of each colour and make a manageable size mix, or separate colours, so you would end up with a good mix of colours. dmail me your address and I will send them when they are ready, that may be another month or so.
Well, I'm in gardening mode again. I read in a magazine that grape vine prunings are good for making Xmas wreaths from, and that vines should be pruned before the end of the year. So I pruned the vines and accidentally cut off a bit I was training for next year as I hadn't put my specs. on. Anyway the prunings are about 4 foot long and do bend nicely round and tuck in to make the base for decorative wreaths. I've made two by tucking conifer, variegated ivy and ivy flowers and some cotoneaster waterii with loads of berries and plenty of leaves on into the vine base. It only took a few minutes and looks brilliant, so I've coiled the rest up and fixed them before they dry out and become less pliable to use next year.
I've even put my first seed order in to Real Seeds and last week I bought six new hens - 17 week old hybrids, two Speckledy, two Black Rock and two Warrens (a present from one of my sons). There are hen wars at the moment, the old ones are establishing their pecking order and rights to have their fill from the food dish before the newcomers get a look in. I've put a separate dish behind a bush for the babies so they can eat without being hassled. They are already showing their individual characters and the Black Rocks are rather good flyers, especially when being chased. They seem to be settling down a bit now and there are fewer skirmishes at bed time now the new ones don't try to get on the top perch. The old ones have even laid an egg today, so must be feeling calmer.
Pat - your wreath sounds lovely - do you have a photo?? Sounds like it's been lively in the henhouse - it's always exciting to get new friends - guess it's a bit of a strain on the older ones :-) We actually got a feathered friend this Christmas, our Christmas present to our older daughter was a cockatiel. She's been wanting one for over a year and was saving up her birthday money and allowances to buy one - so we decided to help her with the cage and the bit she was missing. She was so happy she almost cried! He's only 9 weeks old and has been named Kiki (a name that should be familiar to anyone who's read Enid Blyton's Adventure books ;-)) He's eating out of our hands already so it won't be long until he's "finger trained". He was hand-fed - so it should be easier to train him ...
It's strange isn't it Pat, even though it's been quite cold there's this feeling of spring somewhere not far away, last winter it just seemed cold cold cold. Perhaps the ground soaked up a lot of extra warmth this hot summer! The sun broke out briefly at 1pm today, I have the feeling I may be popping out to get on with some seed sowing if rain doesn't stop play with this warm 4 days we are forecast at 10C.
I would love to see a pic of your wreath, it sounds professional! I have already got and sown a few lots of seeds from different places this autumn, plenty to do yet. I'm waiting on some Clivia seed I got on ebay from a Chinese grower, I don't know where I will keep them when they are growing!
Lovely cockatiel rannveig, I have often thought it would be a nice bird to have, they always seem so friendly when I see them in a pet shop. You were lucky to get one personally handled, it should provide a lot of entertainment!
Baby cockatiels are sweet - once they have their feathers - they are ugly little things when they have just hatched. I'm afraid I haven't handled ours much recently and they have gone a bit wild. Beany will sometimes stand on my finger, but the others won't any more, so you do have to keep handling them. The boys do talk and copy tunes if you whistle to them, and they love the William Tell Overture and rush all over the cage. Nemo is the most talkative now and also copies funny noises that appeal to him like the squeaky fridge door and the microwave "ping" and the telephone. You should have lots of fun with Kiki.
It's been "warm" here too over the holidays - well above freezing anyway! When the girls went outside on Christmas Eve they both exclaimed it's like spring! ... or fall! lol Something other than winter at least. I actually went outside and raked leaves today - don't think I've been out in the garden in December before ... think it was around 7°C.
Thanks Janet - the girls love him (or her ... won't know for a few months ;-))!!
Pat - the wreath is beautiful!! The ivy and the red berries are a really nice touch :-)
Your cockatiels sound like fun - Selma is hoping that Kiki will learn to "speak" someday - that's why she's hoping it's a boy, they're more talkative ...
Pat you are so talented, the wreaths are fantastic!
Such a shame you lost the cockatiels, the ones left must have been scared when they went.
My budgie Joey copies noises too, the squeak of the fridge door, microwave pip, he often only does a thing once then is bored of it. He has his noise which sounds like my high pitched 'yes', it seems like he encourages us to talk sometimes like we do him!
My cat is scared of the budgie, he flew out of his cage yesterday and landed on her cushion about 3" from her. She just sat and looked, I picked him up and she went outside scared. Every time she goes for her food when he's in the kitchen (we bring the cage in the lounge at night) if I'm not there he makes all the noise he can at her.
lol - janet - it is a bit funny that a cat can be scared of a little budgie! One would think it should be the other way around :-) Joey - sounds lika a caracter too - we're really looking forward to getting to know Kiki ... He's getting more comfortable in his cage everyday ... and starting to step on to my hand very briefly - I think we're making very good progress.
Pat - your cockatiels are beautiful! Sorry that you've lost two of them.
I've nearly killed the other cockatiels this afternoon and almost set fire to the kitchen too. I thought I had turned the cooker ring on under the pressure cooker base while I went for some potatoes, and then went to look for some picture hooks (like you do). Then I smelled burning and went back into the kitchen to find it full of black smoke, you could hardly see the cockatiel cage it was so thick, so I dragged the cage into the other room and opened all the doors and windows. I had turned the ring on under the pressure cooker lid and the rubber seal had caught fire.
I threw it outside and have tried to clean everything , but the whole house reeks of burning rubber.
The cockatiels seem to be recovering next to the open window.
The most worrying thing is that I had installed a new smoke detector only last month and it didn't go off.
Anyway I didn't burn the house down and the birds seem OK.
Then I moved a packet of pumpkin seeds to get something out of the cupboard and the bottom came undone and the whole kitchen is covered in pumpkin seeds.
Then I tried to close the tilt turn window and it won't close again.
I thought the day hadn't got off to a good start this morning when my washing machine sounded as though it was going to explode, but when the engineer came he couldn't find anything wrong with it.
At least I did a little gardening, I gave all my new herb bed a mulch of compost with lots of sharp sand mixed in for drainage and weeded and cut all the dead bits off. I hope this will protect them from the nasty January and February weather.
I'm going to do some comfort eating/drinking now - sherry trifle with double cream, a chunk of Christmas cake and a glass of single malt whisky - or two. Then next week it is dieting!
Oh dear Pat, I hope the birds haven't suffered from the smoke. You have had a bad day, tomorrow has to be better! If you're not sick from all that comfort eating!
I got some Clivia seeds I was expecting from China today, I got them sown so I feel like I have done some gardening. It wasn't the 11C we were forecast here today, 6C at midday and cold winds but it 'almost' felt like a gardening day. One step closer.
My cat Mitsi is getting old, she's 16 and recently seems to have had a setback with one eye looking blind but has picked up again to scratching the sofa and insisting on going upstairs, downstairs, to the food dish, wants a lap, good games! I have to encourage her gently to go outside or she swears at me now. She can't do both in the cat tray, so after doing no. 1's in the tray if I'm not around no. 2's are done on the floor, good job it's wood there. So after feeding her, she rushing under the table to be sick on the carpet, cleaning up the other on the floor and cat tray, my day seems more normal than yours!
OH Pat - what a scare! Glad the cockatiels and your kitchen are recovering!!! You might want to check the location of the smoke detector ... I nearly burned the house down about two years ago when my younger one was about 1. I was preparing a party and had absent mindedly put a plastic tray on the stove ... then I went out of the kitchen to get something and the next thing I know I smell smoke and the kitchen is filled with black smoke. Hildur Eva had turned the stove on and the plastic tray was in flames. I managed to put the fire out and get us out of the house, but had to have the firedepartment come and clear the house of the smoke. The smoke detector didn't go off until after I had noticed the fire and the smoke was really thick since it was placed too far into the hallway away from the kitchen ... we'd never realised how crucial location can be...
You certainly deserve a comfort drink ... or two!!!
Feeling a bit more calm today - house still smelly, but the cockatiels are fine. I was really worried about them as they are really sensitive to smoke and fumes.
Thanks for the advice about siting the smoke detector. I will check them all. Fires are so scary. I've still got a very sore throat from the horrible fumes.
I'm glad you like the wreaths, I made them very quickly, more as an experiment than anything. If I make them again I will get some florists wire to fasten them and put more greenery etc. on them. I thought I would share the idea with you as it is so effective and easy and much better than buying them.
I think Kiki should be very tame with all the attention, you have to keep on handling them regularly or they soon get out of the habit and go wild again like mine. They are very entertaining.
It sounds as though your poor old cat is finding life a bit difficult Janet with its toilet problems and a bossy budgie. It is sad when pets get old. I keep thinking about getting another dog, but am enjoying the freedom of not having to be back to take her out, or having to go for a walk no matter what the weather. I miss my little friend though.
Instead of gardening today I audited all my seeds from last year and couldn't believe how many I have. Along with those I have bought this year there are hundreds of packets, including lots I saved myself, and over 40 of which are varieties of tomatoes.
I don't know why, but I am always tempted by the lovely names and descriptions of tomatoes. I must not buy any more until I have used these up - or at least grown a couple of each kind. It will probably take years!
I've also ordered some potatoes - Kestrel and Charlotte to go with the seed potatoes I've saved from last year.
I just need to clean out the propagator ready for sowing the peppers, aubergines - and a few tomatoes.
That's not as many tomato verieties as I have seen some in the US growing, but still a few more than I could cope with. They get hotter summers there and can grow them outside, well so can we if we don't mind getting less or none due to blight.
I managed to sow 8 lots of seeds this afternoon, lilies, and other autumn/winter sowing ones, did 3 a few days ago, got another 12 lined up, plus all the rest. Need to mix more compost first.
Today it didn't rain in the afternoon, for January it was quite a good day. Some tender plants are shooting, most of the fuchsias have remained semi- green. Salvia Black & Blue is supposed to be tender, it still has green stems although leaves are now gone, and it's shooting from the bottom. Hot summers are supposed to help ripen plants so they overwinter better, but it has been mostly mild. Musa sikkimensis which regrew from a stub after the last winter in the greenhouse and is in the ground has 2 not very tall stems which are still OK and have new growth trying to push up.
Now all we need is a really cold snap to stop it all!
What a beautiful day, lovely warm sunshine - not bad for February.
I've had a major seed sowing session this week. Filled the propagator with peppers, aubergines and tomatoes and the border with salady things and some mangetout peas. The peas should be ready before I need the trellis for the melons and cucumber - that is the plan anyway.
I even got round to digging over a couple of beds this afternoon. I always use a fork rather than a spade as I hate cutting worms in half. One bed was teeming with worms and the one next to it only had a few. I haven't checked the Ph, but lots of worms usually indicate that it is OK and lack of worms means it is over acid, so that bed has had a good dressing of lime. I hope it has upset the slugs too as there were hundreds when I lifted the sheet of cardboard I had used as a mulch. I put it on the path and gave it a good stamping before putting it on the compost heap and then felt rather guilty for the mass extermination.
The new hens have been naughty today and two of them have escaped over the fence and couldn't find their way back again. They were getting upset as all the others had gone in to roost. I'll have to clip their wings.
I've been quite busy with seed sowing as well - perennials and annuals. It was really nice last week with temps up to 8°C - really felt like spring since the snow had completely melted. Went outside for a bit, but it really was to soon to do any gardening. Winter's back now, it snowed yesterday and now it's down to -3°C. Still 2 months until spring here ...
we had a few warm days too, getting back to winter now and expecting snow overnight, tomorrow 2C. The nights have been probably -6C the last two nights, it's done the leaves on my Fuchsia boliviana alba which surprisingly had managed to keep them until now, -5C they coped with, Dahlia imperialis young plants in the greenhouse also had their leaves and they have been frosted but should grow from the roots. I have also left my Strelitzias in the greenhouse, the older leaves are looking damaged but the stems and new growth so far is fine. A torch ginger had complete new stem and new leaves, they have drooped too but the stems look OK. So now I know that most of these are OK to -5C but not beyond, but can't bring everything in the house as they get bigger and I get more plants.
Spring should arrive here in March, last year it was mid April! If it is on time then it's only a month away, it is supposed to rise to 8C again in a few days. I have been seed sowing like mad, some things coming up, I have some lilies germinating. I think I have nearly caught up with the winter sowing!
Sure sounds like it janet :-) It's -4°C here now. The dahlia seed you sent me has germinated - surprised me how fast it did - I sowed it late last week or this weekend! Very excited to see how they'll turn out :-) Got a lot of stuff growing out in the garage under lights ... everything's frozen in the greenhouse.
Haha, I wonder if the full moon had an influence? I sowed in 2 lots when I grew mine, only a week or two apart, the first ones grew so much more quickly. They were sown at the end of January, they germinate from 3 to 7 days mostly. I'm pleased they are still good.
I had some very nice self sets which had maybe crossed with others. There is even a late growing one in the rose bed which was still green, I don't know if this harder frost has knocked it back but it has taken some hard frosts.
I was cleaning up around the Bishop's Children, I found a tuber had pushed right to the top. It felt hard so I guess it's OK, I know I had some near the surface last winter and it was very cold. Bishop of Llandaff did the same last year, it was dark red and like a stone, I was bashing it with the trowel! I thought I would lift it and move it deeper, but couldn't budge it!
Hope your seedlings are doing OK. The rocket was first to germinate in the greenhouse border, then the Irish Gardeners Delight tomatoes in the propagator. Today there are some lettuce and endive and a few beetroot showing through, but no sign of the sweet peas yet.
We had six inches of snow last night. The trees looked very pretty, but it has been thawing fast today. The snow has stayed on the greenhouse and it is quite dark.
I am thinking about getting some grow lights but can't decide which ones to get. Has anyone any experience of using them and can recommend a good one. I don't want to spend a fortune though - it is only a 4 ft propagator.
Just wanted to show you the result my sowing of your welsh poppies.
I sowed them last October as soon as I received the seeds, because I had read somewhere, they don't stay viable for a long time.
I only sowed a few, because I always have to deal with the problem of little space, and I really hate killing or trowing away baby plants.
I think I should give them now their individual pots. I hope they are not so picky like the annual poppies that tolerate transplanting very badly.
Today, for the first time since a very long period of dark, rainy days, at last some sunshine.
A peacock butterfly woke up from its winter sleep and shows interest in a nectar drink from the crocus.
First time I ever saw a butterfly so early in the year.
wow bonitins - crocus blooming and a butterfly - in february!!! Is it spring already?? What a beauty it is :-) It's 5°C here and partly cloudy with the sun breaking through once in a while - really lovely weather that makes me want spring all that more ... feel like I should go outside and do something ... just don't know what at this time of year ;-)
Isn’t amazing? It caught us by surprise, and it is utterly welcomed.
But now I am in a hurry to plant, many of my bulbs are sprouting.
I will ask the weather god’s to pay you a visit, so you can enjoy a bit of sun as well :o)
Well, I've got all the potatoes in - Charlotte and Red Duke of York are nearly ready for digging up in the greenhouse and the baby potatoes I grew from micro plants last summer were the first to plant outside. These are Shetland Black, Aura, Orion, Arran Comrade and Fortyfold. Hopefully I will get enough to taste some this year. The other varieties I've planted are Desiree, Yukon Gold, Kestrel, Marfona, Record and Sarpo Axona.
We are having an early spring aren't we? The leaves are coming out, and the almond, peach, and plum are all flowering and the quince has leaves and large flower buds already. One of the grape vines in the greenhouse has flower buds and the fig in a pot has leaves and some baby figs on. The mangetout peas in the greenhouse are also getting flower buds on and there are lots of lettuce and endive in the border along with radish, parsley and summer salad mix. I've caught a cut worm grub munching its way along a row of lettuce this week. I wondered why they were keeling over one at a time in a straight line.
I planted some of the tomatoes out in their special bottomless pots in the cold greenhouse too this week, but I may have to resort to fleece and the under soil heating cable if it turns cold again. - I've not had to use it yet. I noticed that the garden sundries places have started selling bottomless pots. Mine are some 9 inch diameter plastic drainage pipes which Dad cut up into 12" lengths years and years ago when he was trying ring culture for his tomatoes. I just sit them on the soil and fill them with a mixture of peat free compost, sieved garden compost and a sprinkle of blood fish and bone and then plant into them.
I'm way behind with sowing seeds and pricking out the things that have already germinated. I've been at the Community garden making the base for our new greenhouse to replace the one destroyed by the gales and spending quite a lot of time in preparation for our town's entry in Yorkshire in Bloom so my garden has been taking a bit of a back seat. The judging is this Thursday, so I should be able to get on with my own again.
Last night I had a slug hunt and caught about 4 lb of slugs and snails. I had been thinking that some of my plants weren't doing very well and no wonder. Their favourites are the lobelia by the pond, irises, garden mint and asparagus.
I was accompanied by a female Tawny owl patrolling and screeching loudly, two young hedgehogs having a very loud fight and a large yellow and black frog. I gave the hedgehogs a handfull of peanuts to make up for taking some of their slugs and they stopped fighting to have a snack.
LOL Pat - must be nice to have company on slug hunts :-) Glad the hedgehogs didn't fight over the snack ;-)
The grass is starting to turn green and some of the trees are about to "leaf out" so things are slowly starting to turn green again - what a welcome change :-) My lawn is in a pretty miserable shape so I'm planning to try and improve it a bit this spring. I'm going to get the moss out and then put a lot of sand over it to even it out and improve drainage ... then sow some seed into the bare spots and hope for the best ... :-) The soil is too compacted and wet and every spring it becomes more "bumpy" ... I'm hoping the sand will help a bit. Is moss a universal lawn problem or just up here in the damp and cool north??
Hi Rannveig, Glad your spring is arriving at last. We have had a very early start this year with leaves on the trees and everything flowering several weeks earlier than usual.
My lawn is a mess and needs some attention too, but it has been so dry here that the moss isn't a problem this year. I need to aerate my lawn as the half I had to re-lay after the workmen burried it in all the soil from the conservatory foundations is like concrete and not doing very well at all. I thought I would then add some compost to feed it and help it retain some moisture and a bit of sharp sand to lighten it up. Then I think I will probably sow a bit more seed to thicken it up. That is the plan anyway, but I have so many other gardening jobs to do that it may have to wait its turn.
It is unusual though because like yours it is usually very wet and mossy at this time of the year.
The lawn has been sanded, fertilized and watered and is coming along. Now I just have to wait for the seed in the bare spots to sprout ;-) I managed to finally sow the carrot and lettuce seeds in my very small vegetable garden yesterday - very late again like last year - but hopefully we'll get at least a few baby carrots. Tried 'Puple haze' carrots along with the normal 'early nantes' - it'll be interesting to see if they will grow here - very neat color ;-)
Hi Rannveig, I've never grown different coloured carrots, you will have to let us know if they taste any different.
My first sowing of carrots have germinated, but the later ones are no where to be seen. I'm hoping they are just a bit slow and that they haven't been eaten by slugs.
I've spent all morning watering all the vegetable beds with Nemaslug - the nematodes that kill slugs, so with a bit of luck I won't have so many this summer. I've been gathering hundreds each time I have a night-time slug hunt since the weather has turned wet again. I've been trying to check the Lobelia and Toad Lillies by the pond each night as they are being eaten down to the ground over night if I don't. Also the asparagus is another favourite slug snack. I might have to resort to slug pellets.
My other job today has been putting straw round the Strawberries to keep them off the ground. There are lots on and two are even showing some colour so I may have my first fruits before the end of the month. It is quite an early fruiting French variety called Ciflorette. They are long fruits rather like a large alpine strawberry and last year had a lovely rich sweet flavour. I've noticed that the weather has quite a marked effect on the flavour of most strawberries. They are much sweeter when it is nice and sunny - like most fruits, and when there is a lot of rain the flavour is nowhere near as intense.
I keep taking Ladybirds into the greenhouse to try and get rid of the aphids, but so far the aphids are winning. They are really bad this year and are even on two of the tomato plants which they don't usually touch. I don't use pesticides so I think I'll give them a blast of water in the spray pump. This is brilliant - I bought it on E-bay - one of the old fashioned ones like my father used to have. It has four different sized spray nozzles which screw onto the handle when not in use and all the seals are in good condition. It only cost £7.50 including the postage - a bargain.
Wow Pat - my strawberries are barely out of the ground yet! Ofcourse we're still in refrigerator temps. - it's 7°C today and monday morning we had snowflurries and a dusting of snow on the ground! Hope you can get the slugs under control - they are such a pest ! Since there are no lady bugs here to keep the aphids down I use insecticidal soap on them and just spray the tips when I spot them - don't spray the whole plant ... well not yet anyway. I'm hoping to keep them in check if I spray them as soon as I spot them.
Well I've picked my first strawberries and had four with cream yesterday for tea. They were still warm from the sunshine and tasted delicious. Aren't fruits much more enjoyable when picked in season than the artificially ripened things they import.
It looks like a good year for all the fruits this year with lots of apples, plums, cherries, gooseberries, currants, and even the pears have lots more on than usual.
It's a good job I've bought a new cookery book - Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook which has recipes for using fruit and veg when they are in season. It even has quite a few recipes for using Elderflowers which should be flowering any time now.