Saturday, 19 April 2014

A blank canvas

Apart from the onion sets & a rogue parsley in the back ground the veg patch is blank & ready for planting.

The greenhouse is full of plants but they shall stay there for a couple more weeks. I am not being swayed by these warm days, we are still having frosty nights here. Not major frosts but the temperature does drop considerably overnight.

Fruit garden in the background with lots of rhubarb to its side. You can also make out a row of raspberries to the right of the photo.

A line full of washing as I have a very sick young boy, I'm thankful that he perked up enough yesterday afternoon enabling me to go to the supermarket. However at 4am this morning it returned with a vengeance.

In between sorting Harry out yesterday I managed to watch snippets of Miss Marple, use the washing machine lots, visit my dad, sow more seeds in the greenhouse & dig out lots of bindweed roots from the front garden.  A most addictive job I can tell you!

We are having an easy day today we are staying in our pyjamas, well Harry & I are. I need to cook Rob his breakfast & iron his shirt for work. He has returned from uni for the Easter which is lovely but my supermarket bill increased hugely yesterday. I'm unsure whether it is more expensive to have him at home or at uni. Have a lovely Easter & enjoy your day, I might attempt some planting plans later & possibly learn how to knit lace. xx

Friday, 18 April 2014

Chilli Plants

Now there are several things I grow that my granddad never did, Chilli plants being one of them. This year I have gone for my normal Poblano which are ideal for stuffing & roasting, Padron which are lovely grilled & just a box standard variety which I can use in the kitchen. Not exciting but they will do for me. I was going to try a couple of new varieties but was in the middle of my self inflicted spending ban when I thought about trying them. Which came to an end yesterday when I got paid. I promptly blew my allotted allowance for the month on fabric & wool.

Ahem,  Mike for some reason has decided to take an interest in growing Chillies. Nothing wrong with that as long as he doesn't encroach on too much of my greenhouse. In fact the only fault I can find other than I'm the one doing the actual work is Mikes interest in stupid hot chillies.

Last year we had a disastrous attempt of trying to grow them from seed. This year I ordered him two plants, which were delivered earlier on in the week.

Introducing Mikes stupid hot chillies 2014 'Bhut Jolokia' which were ordered from the lovely people at Victoriana Nursery  . I placed an order back in January could have been Feb but it was several months back for these, some yellow fruiting raspberry canes, sea kale thongs & of all things a samphire plant.

The yellow raspberry canes are doing wonderfully well, they were posted out to me shortly after I ordered & I am due to receive the sea kale & samphire in May.

I was so impressed with the packing of Mikes chilli plants, they were posted in a small sturdy box which was filled with shredded newspaper. The plants were in moist compost wrapped in a sheet of newspaper. All of this is now residing in the compost bin. I potted up the chillies straight away into some coir pots. So now it all starts, wish me luck!

I am in a slight quandary , the sky is blue the sun is out & I could do with getting on with some potting up in the greenhouse. However there is a Miss Marple marathon on one of the TV channels. Mmmmm what to do, what to do. The garden however has been weeded into an inch of it's life.  Enjoy your day. xx

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Gardening advice

Now my dad has moved into his care home & is happy there, & I really can't explain what a relief that is. Him being happy that is, unfortunately my father is of the attitude 'if he isn't happy then everyone else shall suffer'. The fact we can visit him & actually have a proper conversation with him & to see him interact with people, well I'm sure you can imagine the amount of stress that has been lifted.

I digress, yesterday I was going through old papers & such like at my parents house. I came across old agreements, references, savings booklets & photographs mainly from the 30's. Very interesting they were too. I then came across a selection of newspaper cuttings from the 70's. Mike & I both left my parents house yesterday with the car full with these old papers, my dad's old tools (for Mike) & some old ornaments my mum gave me.
My granddad was a nurseryman. As the story is told he was on the verge of buying a large farm close by to where I now live & in partnership with a friend to build a nursery of his own on the site. The deal never came off as his friend pulled out at the last minute & my granddad had to let it go as he couldn't afford to continue on his own. As it happens there is a successful nursery opposite to the land my granddad was going to buy.

Many moons ago my granddad used to enter the local gardening competitions & more often than not he used to win them. Here he is pictured on August 12th 1976  after winning the councils first 'Best Garden' competition with a prize of £20.

'Mr Lewis' interest in gardening dates back to the depression when he left Mardy to work on the land at Sealand Manor.
His garden, a blaze of colour, combines flowers and vegetables. He blamed the dry weather for the slightly scorched look of his lawn and said his potato crop had suffered through lack of rain."

My granddad died in 1985 so I never had any gardening advice from him as I was 11 at the time but in the article he leaves this advice which I shall share with you all -

" He has this advice to householders who want to improve their gardens: ' You must be interested in the land. Never hesitate to ask advice from anyone who is a better gardener than you. There is no mystery about gardening, it is just common sense."

I wonder what he would have thought about this blogging lark, enjoy your day. xx

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

A crochet ta-dah & a ta

I did pre warn you lovely garden only bloggers yesterday, also the title of this post states crochet not plant bits & pieces :)

 My crochet blanket ta-dah. Now I cut down on the amount of squares I needed to make considerably. It would have taken me yonks to complete if I hadn't. I think I suit smaller projects better which will explain the un-finished cardigan I still have to knit the sleeves for.

It is ever so cosy on my lap, I need the extra warmth you see even in the sunshine we have at the moment. I will be out in the garden shortly with my lined garden jacket on!

It was made out of cheap acrylic yarn & probably only cost me about £4 to make. Now I don't know about you crafty people out there but I prefer using acrylic wool for crochet blankets & cushions but I prefer to knit with quality wool.

Anyway onto my ta -
I'm off this week so have oodles of exra time, I don't do time off well, I am still attached to my blackberry & need to make a work call later. However, I have started to crochet some cushion covers to make use of some of that time off. Mike & the boys are rather worried to say the least!

I'm off to play catch up on your blogs, enjoy your day

Monday, 14 April 2014

Things to come

A single Asparagus spear! Actually there are a few more there but it was easier just to take a shot of this one. Unfortunately I can't pick any this year as the crowns were only planted about 18 months a go. I do hope they will throw more spears up, then as they die back the crowns will absorb the goodness & I should get to pick a few next year. I shall be giving them a good feed throughout the Summer & mulch the bed well during Autumn.

Look at my fantastic Rhubarb patch, I will be picking some at the weekend to make a crumble for after Easter lunch. I am so, so pleased with it. I moved three plants last year into a space behind the pond. To give it chance to settle in I didn't pick any & in return it has really settled down.

Potatoes just starting to push through the soil in the pots & after my compost rant the other week I find myself in the position of having to buy more. I found a bag of first earlies that I forget I had bought. These will be potted up over the next few days.

Last but not least look at my sour cherry tree, it is smothered with blossoms. I am already thinking ahead of cherries stored in brandy, dried sour cherry chocolates & Morello cherry jam. I need to remind my self that a tree full of blossom does not mean I will get any fruit. I am truly hoping & wishing though.

I can't undo what I did when I removed the photo images from my past posts. I can however update each post manually so the photographs re appear. Thank you for all your comments though , you did make me feel slightly less stupid.

Enjoy your day, crochet blanket post tomorrow :)

Wednesday, 9 April 2014


I've broken (somehow) the display of photos on my blog, I was fiddling around in Google+ earlier & cannot for the life of me remember what I did.

I have also just noticed a rogue nettle near to one of the comfrey plants in the garden. I need to get that sorted out pronto! 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Tree Following April

My lovely Greengage tree breaking into leaf & blossom. I was so pleased to see the blossom this year as the tree was only planted last year. Please excuse Mikes area in the background :)

I thought I had taken a photograph of the trunk just to show how thin it is. I feel slightly guilty about growing my fruit trees in large pots. It feels a little too restrictive for them but they are well fed & watered & I prune them each year.

It isn't an old craggy tree just a baby really, there are no holes or marks on the bark. No interesting features yet but there is blossom. After all one of the most important things for a fruit tree.

I'm not expecting a huge harvest, in fact looking at the blossoms there wont be enough for a pot of jam. A taste of things to come though perhaps?

Time to invest in a different camera I think, my aim & shoot method is fine for shots of the garden but I'm really struggling with taking photos of my tree. Then again the weather was pretty dire trying to take the above photos!

Joining in with Lucy from Loose & Leafy  for this years Tree following Enjoy your day!