Monday, 25 April 2016

Birdie and Boy

I haven,t actually given her a name as such ,I dont think wild animals or birds should be given names , but I do usually say " Hello Birdie ! "

                                                    She loves grapes .

 This was her nesting place last year in our woodshed ....this year she is in a bush on the front wall of our neighbour's garden . I hope its going to be O.K .there .

                Here is dad , the male Blackbird  , to whom I say " Hello my Boy  ! "
 He has been coming to me for grapes for several years now. Actually they both fly down to me as soon as I take out my garden fork , for slugs , snails , grubs and worms . As I lift and move my flowerpots and tubs , they dive in to take any woodlice hiding there .

I think my Birdie much prefers grapes .....and will come in and help herself if the door is left open .

Friday, 22 April 2016

Earth Day 2016 - An Earth Day Meditation

                                I wish everyone a more thoughtful Earth Day .
This is a picture that I took a couple of years ago of one of my veg garden beds which  had layered up with veg peelings , horse manure , a mixture of green leafy stuff, grass cuttings and brown sticks and Autumn leaves and cardboard .
    The weeds are deprived of light, so no weeding and no digging , other than just lightly stirring it all together in the Spring .
 The worms , wriggled and munched their way through it , all through the rainy Autumn and Winter , creating a beautiful , rich and warm compost in which to sow and plant .
   I had the best veg harvest ever after doing this .

 Note to self ....." I must work harder to eliminate plastic from my life " .
 So I have a horrible orange plastic wheelbarrow and nasty plastic bean net . I have to think  of alternatives .
                                     IT ALL ENDS UP IN THE SEA !

                                                           Shameful !

                                         Where on Earth has that come from  ? !

   It all eventually breaks up and is ground down in to tiny granules in the same way that the sand is made .  Here is a line of this " plastic sand " washed up in a line on the beach .

 Here's a close up of it .....and in time it gets ground down even finer still and the fish and creatures of the sea digest it as they feed from the seabed ....and we in turn eat the fish .

                     The Sea vomits this vile mess up onto the beaches for us to see !
                                    We cant go on ignoring Mother Earth !

                                I wish everyone a more thoughtful Earth Day  .

Monday, 18 April 2016

Monkshood aconite

                                   Good morning and it's all go out in the garden !

 Out of the greenhouse and into the beautiful Cornish sunshine go my seedlings.
                    Kale and Purple Sprouting Broccoli sown on April 5th                    

 These teeny tiny seedlings will be growing away all year under a cloche and will give us their lovely purple bunches of broccoli buds early next spring .  I missed out on sowing them last year , being in hospital  ......and I refuse to buy it from the just doesn't taste the same !
                         That little Wren was there to greet me again this morning .

 I am so glad I went to church yesterday,  with my husband away on a trip , and having to make the effort to walk there , the church bell , really playing on my conscience ....but it is a short walk to our little St Michaels Church in Mullion .....and we have had this really lovely visiting priest while our Father John is having a rest . dear friend Jessica had brought me a whole bucket full of Monkshood aconites for me ! : )  Thankyou Jessica !

 I haven't got a picture of it's flower to show you , but it is just the most awesome thing !

 Yes , it is known for being deadly poisonous , every part of it , leaves , flowers and roots .
 So are Foxgloves... and alot of other things . They are actually related to Delphiniums .
   So it is going into my fern garden , where it will enjoy the shade and the damp and occasional  pool of sunlight .....and I have put on the rubber gloves .

                                         ....and my little helper has arrived  ....

                                         I have never seen this plant up so close ....

                                             They look like bulbs of Fennel .

They are beginning to pass out , so I get then planted at the very back of the fern garden and water them in with rain water .

 The Woodpeckers are drumming up in the pine tree and also on the metal work on a near by telegraph pole .  They are nesting somewhere up in the ivy on the pine tree .

I occasionally buy  peanuts for them...but what they really like to eat are the grubs , which they pull out of the lawn .  I always have fresh water out for the wildbirds .

 So today, another lovely day here in Mullion with sun shining and blue sky ..the Monkshood aconites are beginning to revive again  . Cant wait to see their flowers !
       Meanwhile the star of the show in my garden today is this little Violet which has come up through the crushed rock in the middle of the drive .

      " Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it "
                                 Mark Twain 
 Have a lovely day ! 

Beanpoles up 2016

So with the ground nice and soft after the rain , I dug down about a spade and a half holes for each pole , maybe a little more . Plant the poles and backfill with the earth one at a time .  I usually plant three poles at each end for extra strength and stability , but I think these feel strong enough this time .

Then off into the shed , where I carefully stowed away all the bits and pieces from last years beanpoles .
 It's that plastic coated wire I want ,hanging on the handle . Oh it's so good to see all this stuff here again !

Then back up to the veg little friend following me . She gets so excited when I get out my garden fork .

I now tread down the earth around each pole really hard to make sure it is a good solid Cornish storm force 10 proof structure . Also it is surprising  just how heavy a crop of runnerbeans can be , when in full growth and scrabbling over the top .

O.K. So the top horizontal pole is a bit wonky this is not the Chelsea Flower Show !

I dug up that lovely leek with the purple leaves . I think it is a seedling from some Blue de Solaise leeks I grew last year  or maybe the year before . Seeing it made me get on line and order some D'hiver de St Victor  a heritage leek organic ,which is one related to it .
I do love leeks and am growing lots of them ....I know its a bit late now but I will squeeze then in and make them grow !

Next I sort out the cabbage bed ,which is at one end of the beanpoles ........

Back in the Autumn  , under an environmesh cloche ,  I planted  a small bag of Shakespeare onion sets, which are doing well , a row of some onions seeds which a friend recommended..nowhere to be seen ....and a mere sprinkling of  good old reliable Greyhound Cabbage seeds , also doing well .
The earth being lovely and soft , it was fairly easy to pull out the three thistles, one dandelion, chickweed and an a few damned Hairy Bitter Cress .
 The pigeons love all brassicas ,so carefully I pull the cloche back over doing so I find a couple of large snails !
 Oh well ! That's that job done ! yawn ....maybe I'll put some flags up on it tomorrow .... for fun !

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Preparing the Beanpole bed .

It has been a truly lovely day from beginning to end . All my washing dried on the line !
 Somehow I found the energy to do a few more things in the garden .

                                         I cut and tidied the labyrinth path .

                                                                Before .
Then thought to put up the beanpoles , but as always seems to happen , something else had to be done first... weeding and digging over !

 So with a buzzard circling around overhead , I grabbed my fork and filled that wheelbarrow ..which was then too heavy for me to move . So I,ll leave that till tomorrow .

                                  Well I,ve made a good start , most of the weeds gone .

                 My friend the lady blackbird gathered quite a feast to take back to her nest .

                         ........and I found a few more lovely leeks in amongst those weeds !

                               Even the moon was smiling down on us this evening .
                                              Good night and God Bless  !

Good morning !

Up early this morning to get the washing on ...this is the view across the meadow..I think its going to be sunshine and showers today ..hopefully some longer interludes of blue sky .
 All looking well in the veg garden , leeks and onions beginning  to grow away again ..I know you're thinking they look small , but after my op , I give myself a pat on the back for managing to sow these seeds and getting them into their final place in the ground , as late as the instructions on the back of the seed packet said you can .I will let them grow on to get a bit bigger ,  but will probably use these up as baby leeks , as I will soon need the space for this years crops .

I have three Rossignol Kale plants left here now and I keep picking those leaves and more leaves keep a coming , it is a wonderful plant and a super health food too .

                       I have had to cover these onions to keep a visiting cat off .

Sweet Cicely with its liquorice aniseed scented /flavoured leaves are flowering now .

As I walk on up to the greenhouse baby rabbits scamper away and a little Jenny wren flits about scolding me , she must have a nest near by .
 I take the leeks and shallots out of the greenhouse and stand them on a grid on top of the vegtrug away from hungry bunnies ....but I must get these in the ground soon ..where they will be surrounded with chicken wire .
  I have repotted the sunflowers into those biodegradable sort of cardboard pots ....not sure I like them , they were expensive and after watering the sunflower seedlings in they have gone quite soggy already , the only reason they are not completely collapsing is I have put them all very close together into a plastic bag lined banana box . I hate plastic and am trying not to use it , it upsets me seeing so much plastic washed up on the beach....oh ..grumble grumble grumblie old me today   ! : )

         Anyway ....I picked a goodly handful of mixed salad leaves for my lunch !

The daffodils are nearly over now and the Gunnera manicata is flowering already .

        The absolute star of the show today is my beautiful Camellia "Water Lily"
                                              Put it on your " want  " list !
                                              Time to hang the washing out cheerio ...........