Friday, February 08, 2008

Still being Good!!!!!!!!

After a bit of a crisis this morning, where the dishwasher had finished its cycle and the washing machine was on the rinse cycle, but water was pouring out from under the dishwasher!! As you know I'm not supposed to do any heavy lifting but had to pull out the dishwasher to see where the water was coming from, then pull out the loaded washing machine to turn off the water! Phoned my lovely washingmachine/dishwasher repair man who bless him will fit me in at the end of today!!! Problem sorted! Till the bill?

Look, can you see?


Oh it is lovely, I have even walked up to the post box this morning wearing a t-shirt and light fleece and jogging bottoms!! It was glorious!

If you haven't visited Yolandas Blogthen do pop over and take a peek, her Potager is what I hope to achieve here. Every time she does a garden tour, I come away with a new idea or inspiration to try something else! Brilliant!

But whilst confined to 'light work' I have started off some of my tropical seeds I recieved in a swap!
First they had to be soaked

then popped in a tupperware box with vermiculite

and put somewhere toasty!

Well the best place for that is my airing cupboard, whilst the Rayburn is lit! The silver tube is the flue and this airing cupboard does get exceptionally warm. In fact when we first had it fitted I was worried about 'internal combustion' having seen this happen on board my Dads cargo ship, I was very aware how easy it could happen! But we have lived with this set up for 18 years now and we all still seem to be alive, but I do check my smoke detectors reguarly!!!!

I promised you a list of what I planned to grow in the veg patch or should I call it a 'Potager'?
Beetroot, Carrots, Courgettes, Cucumber (baby ones), Garlic (already in), Salad leaves, I do like the pick and come again type! Onions, Spring Onions, Parsnip, Peppers, Peas, I grew these last year and was extremely happy with the way they went, upwards!!!! Gem Squash, I was pleasantly surprised with these, my hubbys old favourite from the days in the 'bundoo'! I will definately plant more this year!! Tomatoes, lots of different types now I have 2 greenhouses, Potatoes in potato bags, they did not work for me in the ground last year, I like runner beans hubby says they are stringy, but I think that is only if they are left too long on the plant,so I shall sneak a few of these in and try and change his mind! Sweetcorn, they will share the bed with the gem squash, Finally Aubergines, I have not tried these before, but with all the space I have now in my greenhouses I thought why not! I would like to grow brocolli and Brussel Sprouts and Curly Kale, but when I tried last year the Cabbage Whites had a feild day and there was not enough left for us! So unless I can come up with a brilliant idea to grow them under this won't be happening!
Have I left anything out?

Now in the flower bed by the side of my newly named potager I planted a great many Aliums last autumn,plus Hellabores, Ligulara, primrose and daffodils.

but a bit further down I had my alpine strawberries

which really didn't work as they where difficult to get to, to pick, so they will be moved and I will have all this space to plant more flowers. I will have sunflowers and Foxgloves, crocus and Hollyhocks with underplanting of greenery thingys!!!

Here are pots of tulips

just popping through the pansys and violas, as shown to me by Yolanda.

Because my beds are on the small side I actually potted my 'Box' in pots but I think they would probably do better in the beds something I will consider.

I am still compiling my Jungle Seeds list, so that will come another day!

Finally, I am thrilled with my window box at the front,

I think I showed you earlier the crocus that where coming through, well just look at them now! Daffodils coming up as well as tulips

popping there heads out.
But best of all I think it looks great against my front door!

Quite inspired me to plant pots of daffodils and tulips to put either side of my door next spring!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Being a Good Girl!!!

Spring is springing and I'm raring to go, well not really. In the head I am planning this, planning that, but my body is saying in no uncertain circumstances 'NO'! So I have just spent a pleasant time reading through this time last years entries on my blog!
I was organised, with various seeds planted, onions in trays etc, etc. So what are my plans for this year?

Well the view from my backdoor hasn't changed too much, I never did jetwash the slabs last year, but I will not forget this year! The thing that looks like a bandaged finger giving a rude sign is my bananas, I was told that I had no need to wrap it at all, but I wasn't brave enough! The Tree ferns on the right are still in leaf and have had no protection except for fleece pushed into there crown!

The water butt is in and overflowing

but very well disguised by the poor caster oil plant which seems to have survived remarkably well considering how brutal I was with it last year!!! I will sprinkle chicken pellets around its trunk this year, hopefully that will give it a boost!

The Cordyline is looking exceptionally well and I think that is probably because it has been sheltered behind my Bay Bush! It really needs to go in the ground this year.

As does my Trachycarpus, we repotted it last year and to be honest we can hardly move it so I think Easter time will see it going in the ground. The only thing about planting both of these in, is being certain you have them in the right place!!

As to the rest of the garden, well! The gravel works, to a certain extent 'but' and its a big 'but' its all green and yukky and not cream and pristine!!!!!! In an ideal world I would have brick paviors....
these are the ones I really like but at £16.99 per m2 could be a dream

these I could probably afford £10.99 per m2

at least I could brush or jetwash the whole path instead of just a row of pathing slabs down the middle!Maybe they should match the patio and be grey instead like these.....

Couldn't be that difficult to lay could they?????????

Onwards down the garden to near the chicken run

Its a right mess here too, the patch of mud on the right is growing, this is where I let the chooks out for a scratch, if I can rest my run for the summer I intend to put a raised triangular bed in here and move my alpine strawberry plants which are in totally the wrong place at the mo!!!

The chooks, alot happier now we have dealt with the rat and we reguarly get 2 eggs a day but recently 3 a day!
Now my favourite spot

We had to move the heron back as he kept doing nose dives into the pond to catch the fish, I was worried he would pierce the liner! We have a new box for the pond, it has a UVlight and everything, so hopefully should help stop blanket weed (yeh! right!)we should have fitted it last year but basically ran out of time, what with the greenhouse and everything!

my patio waiting for some care and attention. I do love the colour so much that I might actually get rid of the climber as its a right pain to train, any ideas what I should do then???
Tomorrow I will tell you about what I plan to grow in the veg, flower and tropical gardens at the Woodlands Home!!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Lovely Day!

I had a lovely day yesterday, lots of nice things arrived in the post and by delivery.
Firstly the post came and I had two small parcels the first full of seed from a friend on the Hardy Tropicals Forum, I had sent her a cutting of a Brugmansia so she had very kindly sent me a selection of seeds to try! Hmmm could be interesting!

Then Teresa @ Christmas in Progerss sent me a little parcel with some goodies in to make. Now I know you may think me daft joining this group but I must admit I was really well organised last year and in fact practically had my feet up from the middle of November!!! Definately recommended!

Then a knock at the door in the afternoon and a man stood holding these

Then later still my friend came round with these

and later still we ate,what ever this was supposed to be????

The flowers where from my mum in my most favourite colours

The roses are a most lovely dusky pink and the gerberas are the deepest fuschia pink and the lilies scent is amazing. I think this has been one of the bestest bouquets I have ever recieved!
As for the dolop in the pan this is the person responsible

and I can assure you they did get better!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday in the UK, is the day before Ash Wednesday. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. Wikipedia says:- The reason that pancakes are associated with the day preceding Lent is that the 40 days of Lent form a period of liturgical fasting, during which only the plainest foodstuffs may be eaten. Therefore, rich ingredients such as eggs, milk, and sugar are disposed of immediately prior to the commencement of the fast. Pancakes and doughnuts were therefore an efficient way of using up these perishable goods, besides providing a minor celebratory feast prior to the fast itself.

So the main ingredients for pancakes is

Fortunately my hens are laying again and we got these three eggs yesterday! I thought I would take a pic as Aunty Noo was thinking about getting a Barnvelder Chicken as they lay considerably darker brown eggs. Can you tell which comes from my Barnvelder? If you said the one on the left you would be right! But I don't think its that much darker do you? I must admit though Barnvelders have the most amazing coloured feathers

Barnvelders have a most amazing sheen which changes colour as the light catches it, but sadly 'Bree' is totally and utterley a chicken head (stupid)if we approach with a handful of corn she is heading off, squarking, in the opposite direction a true chicken brain!!!
I am considering asking the man who owns the field at the bottom of the lane if I could rent a small corner of it for my chickens this summer to rest the land where they have been for the last 8 months. The reason I hesitate is foxes! Yes I have an eglu and if they are kept in the eglu with the run closed they should be perfectly safe, but I think they need a bit more room. Some thought is needed I think!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Home Again!

My op last Thursday was a success, rather painful afterwards but the surgeon believes that one of my ovaries had been twisting, which would have been causing the pain!
Everyone says I look really well, far better than I have after all my previous ops. I must admit I am very positive that this is it! No more ops! Although still, slightly uncomfortable.
What I have to be careful about is not over doing it! I should be laid back like Tango

Before I went into hospital I was involved in a swop. A dishcloth swop, simple and inexpensive. I recieved a lovely one

isn't it lovely! I can't find the pic of the one I made?

Back again soon!