Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Growing Gunnera manicata from fresh seed off the plant.


 Gunnera manicata , one of the most magnificent plants that we can easily grow here in Cornwall . Look at those spiky stems and it's gorgeous flower spire , or inflorescence .
 I ,ve just got to have a go at growing this from seed , just out of sheer curiosity .


            I guess those tiny orange berries contain the seeds ...so I,ve pulled one off  .
I have no idea wether this is the right time or not  , but there are plenty more to experiment with if this doesn,t work .


I,m only guessing but this should be the way that nature intended it to happen .
 The berries drop off onto the surrounding very damp soil , surrounding the mother plant.
....where they then lie and the juicy surrounding part of the berry decomposes away .
Stratification .

                                                   So I,ve scraped a few off .


         Sprinkled them on to some compost in a little tray , which is very rain soaked .


                                       Leave outside and wait ......and watch  .
                                            Maybe put into cold frame if it turns really cold .
                                  Label    " Gunnera berries to stratify  "
                   I will do another tray of seeds which I have squished out of the berries .
Had a wonderful evening in Truro to see the Ukrainian Boyan Ensemble of Kiev Choir ...singing both Sacred songs and folk songs , with drum , chimes , zither and hurdy-gurdy .
 Go and see them if they come your way ....worth every penny !
 We prayed for peace for them and around the world , before they walked in through the dimmed lights, each holding a candle . A wonderful performance ! Their families must be so proud of each and every one of them !

Monday, 28 September 2015

Agave Potatorum Update


Well , it has certainly taken it's time , but Agave  potatorum is at last opening her spidery blooms . ....and the honey bees are loving it !
Just look at all that pollen on this little chaps knees !


Yes that is our beautiful blue sky ! After weeks of drifting fog and Cornish mizzle ,we are enjoying a wonderful Indian Summer .
Clear nights are getting a little chilly , but WOW !.......I even got to see that Super Blood Moon at 3.20 am ..in my little sainsburys short set pyjamas and pink wellies : )
  I,m afraid I didnt get a very good photo of it though . lol !


Friday, 25 September 2015

Stitching myself Calm


I can only show you a little tiny piece of the medieval project I,m working on right now .
 ...but I can tell you that a little Owl has arrived !..or ..well almost arrived ..he's not quite finished  . lol !
 My crewel work is also very calming and healing . I carry this around in my handbag and do it everywhere we go .

Things which made me happy !


                                  New (second hand ) pink welly boots ! : )


My new friend Hobo , which my clever friend Lynda knitted ....so sweet ! : )
 And a Heart stone which my friend Jessica gave me .Such sweet friends : )


Autumn Gardening therapy


Out with the last remaining Little Gem Lettuces and courgette plants , these are going over now and we,ve eaten plenty . I have just left the one remaining cucumber see it reclining and basking in our Cornish Indian Summer sunshine ,on an upturned dish.


 Now all replaced with the little wispy blades of grass like baby leeks , which I sowed at the very end of the spectrum of sowing time for leek seeds . The best time for sowing is generally around January . I have just bought my leek seeds for next year , Pot Leeks to be sown Dec and good old reliable  Musslebrugh  to be sown February .
We had a few showers over night and these transplanted leeks look so much bigger already!

 I found a tin full of Airfix model paints , varnish , brushes and even a well used saucer to mix and lay messy brushes on and a skewer to prize off lids , in a local charity shop and made some plant labels .
Brought back memories of doing Airfix model kits in the sixties as a child ...that smell....those silly ,icky little lids ....the impossible to wash off paint splodged fingers !


In the picture above , I pulled out yet more lettuces ,which were bolting now , but which I had left because they were protecting the cabbages and kale growing behind them from the Cabbage White Butterflies.
I also hadn,t put down any slug pellets here , so these young cabbages and kale were quite badly eaten . Never the less I transplanted them , there now under that environmesh cloche and this time put down a few slug pellets ....in a few weeks time I know that they will pick up again and be strong enough to hold their own  through the winter.
In front of this cloche are the Shakespeare Onions .
This Autumn I,ve planted Senshyu , Red Blood and Shakespeare onion sets .


Now here is my new pride and joy ! Glen Coe Purple Summer Fruiting Raspberry .
 It is only a year old and already gave us a good two handfuls of beautiful , tasty  ,purple raspberries . I have tied in the new canes ...and am looking forward to making purple raspberry jam .   PURPLE !!!  : )


Getting my hands in the earth has definitely helped to calm the horrible  Post Traumatic  Stress .
 My good friend , with her healing hands and kindest of  heart has given me this little velvet bag with two pink Rose Quartz  crystals , to hold whenever I feel it coming on again ...having a friend who just listens is just the most wonderful thing though .
 I promised my wonderful therapist that I would talk about having this awful thing , in the hope that I might help others with it and how it is only temporary.....and will fade eventually . My heart goes out to our good soldiers  who have come home with it , I didn,t realize that anyone could get this . It is HELL and the most frightening thing ever !
 There is help out there , go get it as soon as you can . I,m proud of you !
As for the big op that I had ....( I had a kidney removed , cancer ) I,m getting much better..and as you can see pottering about in the garden and greenhouse.
I,ve also gone back to dance class, just one hour Wednesday evenings ...MUSIC IS HEALING !  SING ! DANCE ! PUT ON YOUR FAVOURITE MUSIC !
     I,m looking forward to  Yvette Cowles coming to do a dance workshop weekend in November...I will only do one day of this though ...now..shall I do the Bollywood day ....or the Azonto Ghana day ?

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Onions Sets and Woodpeckers


I cant believe how fast my order of beautiful onion sets arrived !  Drat ! I have a rotten cold and very sore throat...... and definitely dont feel like planting  350 onion sets today.


Blue skies here in Mullion the last three days, although there is an eerie  breeze blowing from the east.....leaves are tumbling from the trees after the cold clear nights .
 I was watching a woodpecker up in the pine trees at the bottom of our garden .This is the Greater Spotted Woodpecker. They often nest here amongst the ivy.  There is one who loves to drum against the metal work on the telegraph poles ..he must think he is the finest woodpecker in the kingdom to make such a loud noise .  I was watching this one drumming with a stone in it's beak ...I thought at first he had something stuck on his beak ..but when I crept up to take this photo , he had obviously dropped it  .
  I,m surprised that he let me get so close . They usually slither round behind the branch , rather like squirrels do . We sadly only get about one squirrel in every five years here.
  So , I came in and ordered a big sack of wild bird seed and peanuts . I love to watch them at the bird feeders , from my kitchen window . Those peanuts are so expensive...but when you look out and see this ..... aaah...worth every penny ! : )


                 ........and you can get even better photos of them   !    : )

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Starting again in the Veg Garden


The sun has been gently shining , after weeks of Cornish mizzle and drifting fog . The children are soon going back to school ....there are still lots of visitors to our beautiful Cornwall .
 I.m feeling alot better...I still have a scan to get through ,but I,m trying not to worry about that right now and have kept myself busy to take my mind off it . I have gone back to dance classes again , great to see all the girls again, I,ve been doing lots of embroidery , which has helped ease the Post Traumatic Stress , I really find it quite comforting and have it in my handbag at all times . ...but I,ve put my needlework down this afternoon .
 Time to make a fresh start up in my veg garden .  Time to take down the bean poles.Weed and dig over this bed  , in readiness for the Autumn Planting Onion Sets .


                             The last few remaining purple podded french beans .


 I like to take cuttings fron climbing roses that I come across growing in old and derelict cottage gardens ...sometimes I get something different or even abit special ...but this one turned out to be one I have already.... the gorgeous Dorothy Perkins  . I,d put it at the foot of the beanpole bed along with others ,to shelter over last winter, before I got sick. It is in a large pot , but really got its roots down through the pot and into the ground ,. I had to both dig and lop it ! So tomorrow it will be going to its new home in my friend's garden down at the Lizard .


 Back to the bean poles...take down the last remaining tatters of the Tibetan Prayer Flags, ..and rescue that snail .  The flags still have one important job to do , before going on the bonfire .


I take down and carefully save that precious  plastic coated wire , to use again next year .


This always reminds me of taking down the Christmas Tree after all the festivities are over . Like the  Christmas tree fairy lights . I try not to be too hasty ...and tie the two ends together with the Tibetan Prayer Flag remains ..carefully fold up the rest of it and tie in the middle ...like this ... and into the shed .


                            All neat and will make the job easy to do next Spring .


    The bean poles ,which I cut from my own Hazel Bushes , have been used twice on this bed and I dont think they'd make it to support a third heavy crop of beans , so these will be snapped up onto little pieces for some good dry kindling  for the log burning stove .
 So I finished clearing out and digging over this bed. The birds can now get in and eat up any pests.
Meantime I have got my Autumn Planting onion sets ordered ....
 200 Senshyu , 100 Red Blood and 50 Shakespeare .
 Still so much to do  , but , I can just do a little  bit every day ..it makes me feel happy seeing vegetables growing away  up in the vegetable garden , especially in the darkest days of Winter.
 I have a few leeks , some greyhound cabbages and kale . The parsley has overgrown, but might recover after being cut back hard .The lettuces , courgettes and cucumbers coming to the end. The tomatoes .. we,ve had a fairly good year and we didn't get the dreaded blight .
Tomorrow I will be resting after all this and doing my needlework again .
            Have a beautiful Sunday !  Daisy x