Thursday, 14 December 2017

Happy Christmas


                 Wishing everyone a very happy  and peaceful Christmas !

If you are in the area then please come along and join us at our little church ...St Michael's Church Mullion .
 We have just heard from Father James Courtney , that we will be celebrating Christmas Day Mass at 6pm on Christmas Eve .
 

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

One Very Happy Cactus !


Looking much happier today with a nice mulch of  Marazion beach shingle .


 Made up a wreath for our church grotto .... sore fingers...got a bit of flower arranging wire stuck in one of my fingers too ....ugh !

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Cactus Rescue

                                                What's in the box ?
Well the day took a funny turn ....I felt better...but my poor husband developed a nasty abscess on one of his teeth .... so we had to cancel going to the Christingle service at St Grada church and go to the Helston Cottage Hospital instead  ..anyway to cut a long story short ..the abscess  burst and he is feeling a bit better now .
      Not long after we got  home my good friend came round to see how I was and to give me her beautiful Christingle orange and to tell me how the service went ..I hope I can go next year ..it sounds really lovely !
 Anyway , earlier this morning at our church , she had given my husband this huge cactus , which had once belonged to a dear ol' green-fingered friend of hers who had recently passed away .
 The greenhouse was to be dismantled and another friend , Doug , rescued it ...worrying about it being left outside in the cold wind and rain ..but he was worried about the condition it was in...well she told him that I might know  and took it and gave it to my husband who gave it to me when he got home from the morning service at our church . hmmm....it was very loose and wobbly , which is why we put it into this cardboard box , to prevent it from falling out of the pot , while it was in the back of the car ...you see it was at that moment that we had to dash off to the hospital ! 
             Are you still with me ? lol !


So this evening I decided that I,d get it out of the box and see what needs to be done .

I love cacti and have quite a collection both up in the greenhouse and on every windowsill in the cottage .  I try to remember what they all are and keep them properly labelled .

 I am not sure what this cactus is and would be really grateful  if anyone could identify it for me .
 I was told that it flowered regularly every year..but I should have asked..and will ask my friend if she knows what colour the flowers are ?


 Some of the roots have come away, but I think there is still enough of the root system to keep it alive  .


                                             What do you think ?


How old would you think it is ? I,m guessing about twenty-five years or maybe more .

 I have put it temporarily into this nice new terracotta pot and put back into it the soil that it was planted with in the old pot .
 The earth had a delicious sweet patchouli like scent ..mmm.....it's good earth !
  I will go to the garden centre tomorrow and pick up a bag of cactus compost to fill it up a little more mixed with horticultural grit and top it off with a nice thick layer of more horticultural grit  for drainage and also to steady it a little while it recovers and puts down new roots . 
 I wont water it until the spring , there will be just the slight moisture that will be in the new cactus compost , but that's all .
  So it's an emergency dash to the Trevena Cross Nursery Breage tomorrow ..that's my excuse anyway ! :) (....unless we have to dash to the dentist that is !)

My Hyacinth bulbs are Flowering !


 Look ! Look ! My  "Delft Blue " Hyacinth bulbs are beginning to push up their flower buds !

 A lovely surprise for the second Sunday in Advent . Especially as I,m feeling a bit poorly this morning and couldn't get to church ....which I,m sad about ...as we are putting out the lovely Nativity set , Christmas tree and all the decorations in the church today . 
  Anyway , I know that the Advent Candle Wreath is o.k as I popped in the other day to refresh it...goodness it's such a worry keeping it alive and looking nice through the weeks of Advent ! 
     I,m collecting the special white flowers for the Christmas Day service , from the florist in Helston , the day before Christmas Eve .
     Next Sunday is Gaudete Sunday  - Gaudete - latin for rejoice or joy .
 .....and I think that , by tradition , we are supposed to put some pink flowers into the arrangement , which will be nice ..I have some small roses still flowering out in my garden that if the weather is kind enough , that I would like to use  .
 We haven't had snow here , but it has been very windy .
    I,m thinking of you all out there in the Wintery weather ..take care and keep warm .

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Friday, 8 December 2017

A Trip on the Santa Express - Santa by Steam


Grandpa surprised us with a wonderful trip to the Bodmin and Wenford Railway.


 We were greeted with a spicy hot toddy and mince pies and the children were offered orange juice and biscuits and our grandson even met another little boy from the same school that he goes to !
It was heart warming to see all these excited little ones and their teddies .
  We all climbed on board the old steam train and found our seats. The children were all given a packet of colouring pencils and paper to draw on .
The whistle blew and the train pulled away down the track , through tunnels over bridges ,we looked down into people's gardens , through beautiful countryside . Other trains went past and we waved to them . Charlie Bear enjoyed it too ! He did a very nice drawing while the children went off down to the carriage at the end to meet Santa . Grandma went too .... Grandma didn't like jumping between the carriages very much , she nearly fell over .


Santa was awesome ! He gave all the children not just one present , but a whole carrier bag full of presents !
 We said a big " THANKYOU SANTA ! "
                 The most favourite toy in the bag was the Slinky !
The beautiful old steam train took a good hour and a quarter and the children had a great time . They got the whole steam train experience ....watching the fire in the engine and the steam billowing out from the chimneys and out from under the wheels and the smell of the coal in the carriages , the hilarious toilets , the darkness as we went into a tunnel as we were walking back down through the narrow passageway , laughing and giggling all the way ....and they even played nice Christmas music too .
 Grandma  thoroughly recommends  doing  The Santa by Steam Trip  !


 Then Grandpa took us to the Falmouth Maritime Museum for lunch and to sit and enjoy watching all the ships and boats in the harbour and the docks .
 We ordered a Cornish Pasty and a side salad....and were very surprised that it came with chips !
 I didn't eat the chips .....the pasties are very good indeed..and that pot of tea was most welcome after such a long day !

                                                The Santa Parade !
 Grandma was very tired by now , but when we got home , I had promised that my grandson could help me decorate the window...and he laughed and  laughed and laughed to be allowed to spray my window with a can of spray snow !
You'd think he would be tired by now ! Bath-time and into pyjamas .
 Then I checked my emails while he stood at my side doing little drawings on some scrap paper...."Grandma ? " he said " Grandma ? " " Just checking my emails" I said.." Grandma  look I,ve drawn an anchor , look Grandma...I want to sew it !"  "Grandma , you said we could make a blanket for Charlie Bear...can we do it now ? "
So I found a old terry nappy and let him draw on his own design of an anchor onto it with a felt-tip pen and I spent a lovely cuddly hour or so teaching him how to sew , with a fat needle and some blue wool which he chose .
 Then he wanted to do a ship and a house and a whale ...but we really didn't have time , it was getting too late .
  I began to do the ship ..... yawn .... time for bed ....


                 

Friday, 1 December 2017

St Michael's Church Mullion - Advent


                   St Michael's Church Mullion - Advent Wreath 2017 .
This is my first  time making up the Advent Wreath , I hope it still looks like this on Sunday . Father James Courtney will be doing a special Blessing of the candles ....It will the first Sunday of Advent  .
                         
      St Michael's Church  - Sunday  mass is at 11am     All are welcome !

Following is a little slide show that I made in 2009 . Preparations for Christmas  in our little Church of St Michael's Mullion  .
       
                                    https://youtu.be/zgN8P4fTQ0s

                         We're about to do it all over again .
                             We do love our little church !


Saturday, 18 November 2017

November - Trebah Gardens


 Jessica and I  and two little dogs went on an adventure yesterday . My camera was playing up so I didn't manage to get very many good spontaneous photos .
 So I put together a collage of pics and you can click to enlarge them if you like .

                         One of two beautiful Christmas Trees at Trebah  .
 We enjoyed a lovely lunch in the dog friendly zone of the restaurant ...I had ham salad and chutney in a huge brown roll and side salad for £4.95 and a glass of water and my friend had King Prawns and a hot chilli dip and delicious fat chips  and a cup of coffee ..er not sure how much it came to ..but we were both very pleased with our meals , which set us up nicely for the long walk down to the  beach .....and back . Actually there are so many lovely trees , shrubs and plants that we hardly noticed the steep walk back up hill . 
   We saw beautiful wild strawberries and ripe deep pink Lychee fruits which were falling all around us  . Primroses, Squirrels , Buzzards , Pigeons and Pterodactyls swooped overhead . We saw a Plesiosaur in the lake ...see if you can find him in the top photo ! :)
  Magnificent Bamboozles  and  sleepy Gunnera manicatas which had all been trimmed and each one with an upturned giant umbrella of a leaf to protect the crown from the frost , should we get any . Which reminds me ... I must wrap my outside tap !

The sun was setting through the Tree Ferns as we returned just as they were about to close . A very quick look at all the lovely Christmas goodies in the shop on our way out . ... you must go and see for yourself !
                                     We must go again soon !

Late November - Cosmos


                 Just showing off our beautiful Cosmos flowers today !


 It is 18th November and beginning to turn quite cold at night here in Mullion Cornwall . They are in a tub though and against a sunny South facing wall .
 They also have a piece of string tied around them to give them a bit of support .


             We will be growing more of these next year , they are so pretty .


   Keeping the flowers coming by dead heading them . The ones out in the ground have finished weeks ago .

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Cactus walking , munching snails !


 First the good news..our little dog is home , doing fine and the tail is wagging again .
  Then the bad news..I,ve been noticing sluggy snail trails on some of  my cacti .


 What is going on here ? !! How can a snail walk over a prickly cactus ?
I couldn't find it either.so it has slithered on , walked about and then slithered off and away again !


         ..and then I noticed this !  It has walked on , slithered over the top of it and eaten out just the growing tips !  Now I,m really annoyed ! Can I find the little nuisance .... no ...it has gone and is probably in hiding..waiting to come back again later .
  It's not a very good idea  to eat my cacti Mr Snail ! Some of my cacti are hallucinogenic !
  O.k so I'll get a grip now ! I,ll have to put a couple of slug pellets into the pots .  This has really spoiled the look of the plant..it will probably put out lots of new shoots or pups now , which is wonderful that it can do that and it will take some time to recover ...but ...... I am so annoyed !

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

My Schlumbergeras are flowering !

                 Schlumbergeras flowering beginning of November 2017

 Just a quick one as we are waiting to hear from the vet to come and collect our poorly dog from the animal hospital over in Falmouth .
 I tried to do my embroidery but ... sigh ..I just can't concentrate on anything .
  It cheered me up to see that my Schlumbergeras are coming into bloom .
They,ve been outside all summer and I brought them back into the porch a few weeks ago before the bad weather .


                               They are so pretty and worth waiting for !



Friday, 3 November 2017

Ensete ventricosum " Maurelii "


 I finally dug up my big Ensete ventricosum "Maurelii "/ the Red Abyssinian Banana .
 It has been very happy on this North facing bank through the summer..but I know that it  just would not survive through the Winter here..I have tried .
 I,ve been going on about digging this up for weeks now and my friend gave me a gentle nudge to get on with it !  ( as you can see it was getting dark too ! ) and it is now up in the woodshed safe from the winter weather .
   I will get a bag of new compost to mulch over it's roots , but probably wont water it at all now, until next spring , unless it is looking particularly sad .
 This was an expensive plant and with a little care it can be planted out again early next Summer . This lovely Banana can get between 8-10ft high and 5-10ft wide ....but at some stage it will be too big for me to keep lifting . I have been taking pups from it and bringing them on , which will eventually replace it .
  Musa Basjoo is the most hardy one ,but mine are still too small to plant out yet .

Monday, 30 October 2017

Hopelessly in love with Cacti !


                                 So I went back and bought the other two !


        Not sure what they are yet..the label on that tall one says "Lithops " !!!!

That other thing , is a thing for doing one of those beautiful Advent Wreath candle and flower arrangements on a pedestal at church ..... more on that later...I need a bit more practice  !
 It's not a Lithops  , I do know that , because I have a few Lithops , those are the so called "Living stones "...but I,m not sure which cactus it is . Please can anyone tell me what this is ?


Saturday, 28 October 2017

Rat Tail Cactus -Aporocactus flagelliformis (disocactus)


 A lucky find in a local charity shop and some money towards a good cause  Bolenowe Donkey Sanctuary ....I couldn't believe my eyes ! Aporocactus flagelliformis or also more commonly known as the Rat Tail Cactus ....and I,ve been after one of these for years .You just dont see them around so much these days and they rarely talk about houseplants any more on the gardening programmes ,  let alone cacti and succulents ....bring back lovely Anne Swithinbank !
  It is very wet from a serious over watering , it has quite a lot of dead brown  stems and needs repotting ....


... I can see that it was once very beautiful , it even had a few dead flowers attatched ...it has lovely crimson-pink flowers . I,m sure I can rescue it , if I can just get it to dry out a bit first .


 I snipped off all those brown stems and pulled out all the soggy rotten stems , that were wilting in-between the more healthy ones . I just hope the stems and roots below the surface are alright . No mealybugs thank goodness .


 I have stood it in this plastic  hanging pot and hung it up in my North facing  kitchen window . Hopefully it will recover in the warmth of  my kitchen and then I can just let it go into it's winter dormancy, but I will keep a close eye on it and if it looks like it is getting worse , then maybe , I should repot it in some fresh , gritty cactus compost , before the cold weather of Winter sets in .
   I,m so happy !   Now I have a Rat Tail cactus and a Monkey Tail Cactus
 ( Hildewinteria colademononis ) Two beauties !

Meanwhile out in the garden .....

We tidied the shed and re-organised it , as I do at the end of every Autumn ....o.k so I made a pretty good start ... Cleaning tools and flowerpots , sorting out the ones I want to keep and re-use next year .
 As I tidied , so I came across the bubblewrap cover that I made to go over the outside water tap , to keep it from freezing , cloches and a pile of hessian sacks are now ready and waiting to throw over the crowns of our Tree Ferns should we get a frost warning .
  Most of our tender plants  have been dragged into more sheltered zones and I have 8 hour candles to light up in the greenhouse if need be and newspapers to throw over my cactus collection .
 I still have to dig up my biggest Musa Ensete , which has been fine up until now on a North facing bed . It's outer  leaves are begining to turn yellow in the recent storms , so hopefully with a bit of help , I'll do that tomorrow .
  Hope you're having a good weekend ........by the way ....if you are going to have a bonfire, please dont forget to check for Hedgehogs
                                               ...........and dont forget the clocks go back tonight !