Monday, 30 March 2015

All Around my Butt!

I have had a lovely time down the garden this morning. I was only planning on being down their for an hour, to preserve my back, two and half hours later I come in for a coffee!

First off I did a whole load of pricking out. I am pleased with the way I did the seeds this year, I won't be inundated with one plant or another. Still chuffed to pieces with the canna seed.

At the end of last week I emptied my two leaking water butts, I was going to get hubby to help but it chucked it down most of the weekend. So today I got on with it. Got inside them and undid the taps. cleaned around inside and out, around the grooves, then wrapped plumbers tape around and 'Bobs your uncle' sorted. No leaks! Before you ask yes I did put water in to check.

I love doing jobs like this, good job really cos, hubby doesn't!!!

  So cleaned around and behind their bases and that's when I noticed why water butt number 3 has a decided lean to it!!! The base at the back has a very large 'kink' in it, so I am emptying it, not all on the ground, I've been chucking bucket loads on various plants round my garden, but doing this is not 'back friendly'!!!

Another kink at the side as well. My neighbours use there old bases as planters for potatoes, wonder what I could do with mine?

My Gunnera, just uncovered today and given a good watering. I watched a programme  can't remember which channel, but something called 'How good is my garden' I think. Anyway Bruno Nicoli??? a tropical gardener had the most amazing gunnera in his garden must have been taller than him. I am quite determined this will be good this year. I don't think I feed it or water it enough. We are looking at getting an 'Easy Clean' pond filter which you turn a handle, divert the water to the flower bed until it runs clean. Only problem is its £500!!!!!!!!!!! We are saving!!

The Rheum, looks like an alien at this time of year but is always one of the first to get going.

Last year when I went to Highgrove to visit Price Charles, well his garden. He had 4 very old and beautiful Olive trees, huge trunks all twisted etc. Apparently he protects his over winter. Whereas my poor neglected olive tree, was left out all winter, in front of hubbies office, which is quite sheltered but north facing, but will catch some winter sun, and seems to be thriving!

Right off for some lunch and then to do some sewing .

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Play or Chores?

Its all happening here!

Yesterday my daughter and her boyfriend came over and helped me collect compost, sand and gravel.

 We had a lovely time, we did lots more than this and had a load of laughs as well. I still managed to have an 'alright back' at the end of it.

So I am now ready for when the gardener comes on Friday and starts constructing the new bed.

We had an extremely heavy frost last night fortunately I realised it was going to be cold when I took the dog out for his night time constitutional so covered up what needed to be covered up.

The TRex is sending out new growth I just hope it can deal with this plus its replanting as it gets bigger.

If you remember I started sowing my seeds last week, and they have all decided to come through in a rush.

I love the fact that I have helped these seeds burst into life, but I hate all the pricking out it involves. I think I have been clever this year as I have only sown a tiny sprinkle of each type, whereas last year I sowed in trays and had far, far too many.

These are the most exciting though, I have never ever grown Canna from seed before, its a bit of a palava. You need to scarifyor nick the seed till you see some white, soak for 48 hours then plant. You try scarifying or nicking a seed smaller than a pea, with out losing your fingers. Not easy. But I obviously did ok cos I have so far 3 coming through!!!

So today will be spent, potting up the bananas, as I need the stand they are in for the new seedlings.

But, before I start that I need to hang out the washing and go and do some shopping. A few years ago I made myself this rule, 'No Playing, till the chores are done'. So on days like today I do the bare basics of chores, so I can get out and play, but my chores have to be done otherwise I would spend all my time playing!!!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

All Change!

I have decided to make some changes to my blog. Years ago when I started this I put everything one here, from cooking, cake making, chutney making to pets, crafting and gardening, I have decided to go back to this way of blogging.

Gardening is my passion. Well my spring/summer/autumn time passion, but I don't garden all the time especially with my poor back.

2 years ago a neighbour and I went along to a quilting class, mainly because it only cost five pounds, I was hooked. Above is the finished result of that class over 2 years later and yes I have made a mistake row 4 & 5 2nd blocks in, they shouldn't be together but hey ho! My mum said  I was odd because who wants to cut up a perfectly good piece of material and sew it back together again!!!!

This was my latest quilt, made for my mum who last year was seriously ill in hospital but still managed to pull through! She is one tough cookie. A Mariners compass quilt, my father was a seafarer and died many years ago, I thought this was appropriate and she loved it.

My eldest daughter has just bought a house with her boyfriend, they currently have no heating so for Christmas I made them both lap quilts. I loved doing this Crazy Quilt as it had embellishments, I had to dig to the depths of my brain for embroidery stitches and with a little bit of help from Craftsy and its online classes we succeeded. Along with some beads and buttons. I think next time I would actually do more embellishing as you can't really see it in this photo.

Finally a quilt for K's boyfriend, his occupation would explain to you why I chose these colours, but I am not prepared to say on the world wide web

So these are just a few things I have made, I have found my love of sewing again, this year I am going to have a go at making some clothes like I used to when my girls where little but this time for me!

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Gentle Gardening

I am getting so frustrated, I wandered down the garden yesterday and ended up in the greenhouse! Where I managed to sew a few seeds. Not wanting to over do it I stopped.

This morning we had  the thickest fog I have seen for ages, but it soon cleared up to be a beautiful sunny but cold day.

So off I toddled down the garden to the greenhouse but before I got there I had to untangle a frog from the netting that protects the pond from the heron. Not a pleasant job they are horribly slimy. But it swam away after its ordeal.

So off to the greenhouse for a little more seed sewing and as you can see they are all tucked up in the propagator.

I love being in the greenhouse, warm and a damp smell of earth. My new succulent cuttings. Plus some baby Maureli all on a heat mat.

Aeoniums, more Maureli and an Alocasia amongst all my other plants.

My shelves are full already heaven alone knows where I will put all my seedlings.

My bananas, looking very dead, but they are not, I hope to get them started off this weekend.

I can then have a jig round of everything and then hopefully make some more room.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Middle of March!

I cannot believe I haven't posted for 2 weeks, time is getting faster and faster!!!

I have been up to mums for a long weekend, prior to this my back decided to play up. I find it annoying as I have been good and not done anything silly to make it go. Anyway it wasn't curing its self on its own so I am now under a physio!!

My gardener came, I am quite exited about this, I have never ever used a gardener before, so when hubby asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I said 'a gardener please' and so it was arranged. Much better than something that will gather dust. He will do all the heavy work for me.
Anyway he started last Friday, and did in under 2 hours what would have taken me a few days!

The TRex is now by the water butt, I do hope we haven't killed it. I was thinking about growing a Passionflower up the wall behind it, but knowing my luck it will grow up the wall and flower the other side!!!

So the Trex and Red Cordyline have been moved and my jungle bed is looking a bit empty, not that I'm worried, at least now my Maureli's and Monty will be able to stretch its legs.

The bamboo which came out of the planter and really 'run' away with itself, had only been in there for less than 2 years. Anyway it is going to my daughters and will be going in a trough and acting as a screen.

My schefflera is really romping away since I put it in a larger pot last year. I am being careful with it as I would be very sad to lose it as I love its leaves.

The Red Cordyline is squeezed in behind the Phormium, not a favourite plant of mine, I bought it as a filler a number of years ago and the damn thing hasn't died! I thought the red one was not as hardy, well we will see.

I have a few more plants to be moved before we start work on the new arid bed. I have been shopping for a few speciman plants for the new bed. I am quite excited.
I love doing new things in the garden. It seems no time since it was all grass and had climbing frames and swings in it, then tents for camping out parties. 18 years ago we dug our first pond, far too small of course and from there it has evolved! I am certain it has far to go from now too!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

1st of March. Spring!!!

Well we can but hope, the weather for later this week is not looking nice!!

I have just looked back over the past years to see what I was up to in March, and last year seemed to be the busiest as we had such a mild winter.

I am waiting for a gardener to come round on Monday, to give me a quote for some of the heavy digging work I need doing. I am desperate to get seed sowing. but due to lack of seedling carer I have had to make do with popping some bulbs and corms into pots!

I love these Eucomis Bicolour, such querky looking plants.

Followed by Eucomis Comosa, I do like a bit of pink!

Due to the mad rush up north last year all my dahlias got left it the ground so we will see if they survived, but in case they didn't I bought some more. I love the striking contrast of colours here. Maybe hubby won't notice they are white!!!

Always wanted some of these Bishop of Llandaff, loving the dark foliage. No idea why I haven't bought some before.

How about these for a different Dahlia, Honka Surprise, brilliant name, made me laugh.

I have gone for some very different seeds this year as well as some regulars. I have 2 quite large flower beds to fill and I am determined to have a riot of colour this year.

Did I tell you that I am now the organiser for our Village Open Gardens, and since I took over it has been doomed. Not sure if its me or what, but we can't seem to get enough gardens to Open, such a shame, but I will persevere and see if we can persuade some others to join in.
Righty ho, thats it for the mo. Back soon.