Monday 17 September 2012

Today I made a Troll !

So I,ve been experimenting with topiary ... hee !  hee ! I need to let his big old nose grow out abit more .
 As far as I know he is the only Troll in Mullion .

Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens Plant Sale Day

I so enjoyed our morning at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens Plant Sale Day and hope it will become a regular event .

Thursday 13 September 2012

Petopentia natalensis

So whats in the other box ?
  Ooh !  Petopentia natalensis   with a nicely developing caudex  (like me lol ) .
I was a bit worried about the dry dust peat it was growing in and the leaves a little bit droopy  , so after consulting with the nice folk on the British Cactus Society Forum , I decided to repot her into a mixture of the peat she was already in , with some regular potting compost , horticultural grit and vermiculite for better drainage . The roots were actually growing away nice and healthily in the dry peat stuff , but this should be much better and now I,ve put her up in my greenhouse for a few days to perk up , but will be bringing her in to the house for the winter as I cant afford to use the heater anymore in there .

Tetrapanax papyrifer Rex

Today I have a rotten stinking cold , sore throat and a red runny nose .Fed up as I was too poorly to go to dance classes last night , they were starting two new dances  , Bollywood and dancing with sticks , so now I,m going to be in a right muddle and will have to work hard to catch up next week .
 Anyway , the postman cheered me up by bringing me two parcels  ,  plants I,d ordered on Ebay  ,one of which almost climbed out of the box by itself as I sliced open the cardboard ! I wasn,t expecting such a large plant....but this is my new baby dinosaur T.Rex !
Tetrapanax papyrifer Rex ... eventually  he is going to be HUGE !!   ...and make my garden even more jungle like .

Saturday 4 August 2012

Tremenheere Gardens

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting my new British Cactus and Succulent Society friends and look forward to seeing them all again at the next meeting .
  This was a fabulous trip and I took lots of photos , this being the one that I felt caught the moody atmosphere of the place  ,  if you want more then you,ll just have to go see it for your self , heres the link for times of opening etc .
So here we all are , at Tremenheere, being shown around by Neil Armstrong  , owner and designer of this botanical garden .
  How wonderful to have this fine collection  of rare and exotic plants and trees on our doorstep . A beautiful and natural valley location with gentle paths and walkways  , over and around enchanting pools , streams and waterfalls . Boulders ,  mossy fallen trees , bromliads , graceful ferns , and Gunneras give way to rocky banks with Agaves , grasses , succulents and cacti . Then more  , musas and bamboos , restios and puyas , palms and tree ferns with yet , and please note ,  even more variety than one usually sees .
 Being a little hard of hearing , I would,ve liked to see some plant labels .... but this is a garden that you simply MUST go and see , and I will have to go back and spend more time taking it all in .
 There are also some very special works of Art to explore and experience .

Friday 3 August 2012

Tremenheere Gardens

Here are some of my cactus collection inside my 8ft by 10ft greenhouse . I lost a few precious plants this winter since I can no longer afford to run the heater in there. Everything else that survived , looked dreadful and only now  , getting back into good health . Very depressing indeed ....SO ... I decided to join the Cactus Society again to get back some enthusiasm and inspiration !
 This evening the Cornwall branch are visiting Tremenheere Gardens in Penzance 7pm (Friday August 3rd )  My first meeting , kind of jumping in at the deep end . I am very excited to be meeting everyone and promise to be on my best behaviour : )
 Macintosh and Wellington boots at the ready ... will it still be daylight ? .... bring torch  : )

Monday 23 July 2012

I have a pond and I have bees

So then now working in the dark , I refilled the barrel with rainwater from the greenhouse water butt  and returned the plants along with a new thing called Acorus callamus variegata   ....which looks a bit pathetic at the moment , but should become a real beauty given time .
 I put in an old gate post thingy I found lying about the garden ..oh its one of those things ..a base for a sphere or pineapple or an eagle my case it will be a climbing out place for a frog or faerie that might have fallen in.
This morning, and what a beautiful morning , I couldn,t wait to go and check on the bees and I am happy to say that they were happily going in and out of their original entrances and all is well !

Cleaning out my little pond

So yesterday summer arrived...fiercely hot , too hot for me  , but late afternoon it was cooler and I decided to get the rubber gloves on and sort that pond out .
I knelt down and scooped out all the gunky gooey stuff , weeds and pine needles, laying them to one side to allow any wildlife to crawl to safety...there was no wildlife that I could see , so I decided to totally refresh the water.
  I heaved up this very heavy little barrel from one side , still watching for any frogs or newts and let the water slowly trickle away amongst the herbs , it didn,t smell too bad and in fact there came that lovely earthy patchouli fragrance as it soaked into the parched soil around .
 The water now two thirds gone , but still holding that heavy barrel , I happened to glance down to see .... gulp open nest of furry bumble bees ..... not angry , but definitely surprised . Oh !  Lord ! What to do now ? ! !  The earth had slipped away on the side where I had tipped out the water ! I had to think and deal with this situation very quickly !
 " Firmness and presence of mind in all situations " -  a Ray Mears quote .
No ! I didn,t get a photo !
So with fuzzybees clinging to my blouse sleeves , I quickly finished tipping away the water , noticing as I did so that the barrel was concave underneath and the main part of this exquisite nest  , was in the middle and the bees had made several entrance hole through the earth underneath ; I had to make sure that they could still get in and out , so I placed a rock under one edge and gently made a new entrance through with a stick ....just in case the bees entrance s had collapsed .
  I dont think any of the bees were injured , thank God , I really tried my best here !

On Ponds and Bees

Two things more that I would love to have in my garden , but cant afford....... a lovely big pond and bees.
 Every year I look into it , reviewing the situation , but always coming to the same conclusion , I just cant afford it !
That special rubber pond lining and sumptuous underlay , pump , four or five boulders.....beehives , spacesuit , smoky sedation puffer thing , honey extraction centrifuge thing....expensive...sigh ...
 So last year I bought myself one of those wooden half barrels..actually  , it is not even a half barrel , being just the bottom 12" or so I,d say . Just big enough for one or two aquatic plants.
I couldn't afford the lovely Water-lilies , so settled for a funny looking Water hyacinth and a small bunch of that weed that people put into their fish tanks to aerate and clean the water.
Just these simple plants , the reflections of the sky and the occasional damsel fly , looked lovely , the barrel placed  between the lavender plants in my herb garden .
Then came winter and all the recent rotten weather ....and my little pond didn't look so good any more .

Ficus ginseng

A lucky find in Helston Lidls supermarket . A very nice and fat Ficus ginseng for £1.99
 Very happy me !

Friday 20 July 2012

My Topiary Snail

Today I made a topiary snail , actually I am still working on it . I notice folk in their cars slowing down to have a look at him , which is a good thing down our quiet little country lane ...where children play , chickens wander ,horses clippety clop, ramblers amble and dogs take themselves for walkies and cats curl up to sleep .

Sunday 8 July 2012

I found this little treasure at the market , it is a Eucomis vandermerwei . It is a nice dwarf form , I love its reptilian spots and crinkly edged leaves . I am going to try some leaf cuttings with one of its leaves. I have never done this before ...will let you know how I get on .
 Also my Aloe polyphylla seeds arrived yesterday from Chiltern Seeds . A very generous packet , so I can try several methods to get these to germinate. I have a few in a shallow dish of tap water ..I have never tried this method and have my doubts . I have sown some fresh on arrival  , gently scratching two sides of each seed with a nail-file , very fiddly ...and on the surface of very slightly moist multi-purpose compost to which I added lots of Perlite to aerate and give better drainage. Also sprinkled Perlite over the top....this I have placed in another tray with gravel on the bottom to help wick away any excess water and a clear plastic lid over the top of it all , this will be removed as soon as I see any sign of any little roots or shoots .
 I am giving the rest of the seeds a slightly longer  "winter " period  , although I pressume they have been in refrigeration with the seed company , I have no idea how fresh they are.I know that they should be viable for at least two years . Its just getting them to germinate ! Will let you know how I get on .
 Its been a nice week...New fridge , new toaster , new incinerator, Mary coming round with yummy cherry cake and Di Williams MBE surprise visit to walk my labyrinth ....but so much rain !

Thursday 5 July 2012

           much rain that my primroses are flowering again !
                                               Primula  " Green Lace "

Wednesday 4 July 2012

Schlumbergera cuttings arrived !

Today the postman delivered a little parcel for me .  Shlumbergera x buckleyi cv " Charles Lemaire " cuttings from a new BCSS  cactus society friend . Thankyou so much Juliette....and they already have roots ....thrilled to bits and as you can see I have potted them up already . I cant seem to work out how to send photos on the forum  , so this will have to do . I,m still waiting for my membership pack to arrive and will be going to the Redruth meetings eventually .
 Thats all for now , Wednesday is Belly Dance class day ....must go and pamper myself !

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Hey ! Hey ! We're The Monkees !

O.K Thought you,d like to see how my Monkey Puzzle trees coming along. Well as you can see , I  have 5 germinated  now ,although the two at the front are struggling . The larger one in the terracotta pot is a cutting which has now rooted  but looking a little yellow I think. If I can get it through next winter it will be ok .
 Araucaria araucana is native to central and southern Chile , and western Argentina . It is another of those living fossil trees that I love along with Tree ferns and Cycads . I love its perfect symmetry ..... the one in the middle has already begun to put out two tiny branches .  They will look wonderful planted together in a grove , and fortunately I do have the space for them .
 The nuts take two years to form and are edible , but there has to be both male and female trees . I hope I have a few of each ....but will have to wait up to forty years before they produce cones . They are fine in a maritime location and are just loving this wet and foggy summer .

Monday 2 July 2012

How to get rid of ants .

Actually , most of the time the ants dont cause any trouble , except if they are  " farming " aphids and in this case carrying and transporting them all over your precious plants . ...but if they are seriously disturbing the roots of my veg seedlings ,then I make an ant hotel with a nice terracotta flowerpot ..which they absolutely love and quickly move in soil and all the vast family . I have tipped this one gently over so that you may see inside .... when it is full , you just slide a tile or a spade under it and gently relocate them somewhere else ,  where they wont be a nuisance .
 I had billions of the little wotsits running over my hands ,crawling up my legs and everywhere whilst I planted out the young Courgette plants . They cling on and bite ! Ow ! Ow ! Ow !

Sinocrassula Yunnanensis monster !

..... just look at him now ! 

Sinocrassula yunnanensis

Back in early May I fell in love with this sweet little thing . I gave it a new bowl and fresh gravelly compost and a very ,very little fresh rain water ......

Friday 29 June 2012

Beautiful Slip Ware Pottery

Out with old and in with the new ! Matt Grimmett beautiful slip ware ! Where where you when we visited your workshop in Evesham ?  You were down here in Cornwall ! Unbelievable !  Oh well .... we will be coming back in a couple of weeks time ..because I need plates for my pasties !

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Euphorbia stellata in new home

This interesting plant comes from the hot  , dry areas of the Cape of South  Africa . Here there is not so much rain and the plant has evolved a way to store moisture and nutrients within a caudex . In it's natural habitat  ,this caudex grows buried underground and beautifully marked  , emerald green , serpentine arms trail all around .
 My thanks to David Neville for packing it so well , a healthy plant  , in one piece .
Oh ! What a brilliant day !  : )

Euphorbia stellata

A beautiful little Euphorbia stellata ....I only ordered this a day ago on E-Bay ..I cant believe how fast this was delivered to me .....and SO beautifully and carefully wrapped !
 Perfect condition...I am off to the greenhouse to pot him up !

Monday 25 June 2012

Epiphyllum first bloom of the year !

Been away from the computer for a while , been so busy in the garden and greenhouse.
 I wanted to share with you this gorgeous and first bloom of the year amongst my Epiphyllums. When we moved house some plants were muddled up .I am in the process of sorting them all out .I think this might be E. Cooperi ....please do tell me if you think otherwise . The bud kept me in suspense for a couple of weeks before surprising me with this lovely bloom one morning and delighting everyone with her heavenly perfume . I am sure this was responsible for the sweetest of dreams that I had the next three nights .
 The dance workshop was SO much fun ! We spent this weekend learning modern Egyptian Sha'abi dance and the Malaya Leff Dance with swirling wraps ,high heels and chewing gum .......which Shona handed around ! I borrowed one of Shona's headdresses with the red ,yellow, blue, green pom-poms to help get into character ...but I just couldn,t manage dancing in high heels and dont think I ever will ! lol ! Great music! She's a great dancer ,n, serious teacher , shared lots of tips with us . Bought one of her awesome DVDs . Thoroughly recommend getting along to her workshops if shes up your way .

Monday 27 February 2012

Putting up the Runner bean Frame

Spent a good part of the day lopping out the straightest 9ft hazel branches ,to make this years Runnerbean frame . Then searching for the bean net and then trying to stretch it around the frame ....why does it never reach the ground ....and why dont they make bean net and string in earthy colours ? Too early for sowing the beans yet , but makes me feel Summer is on its way seeing those fluttering prayer flags blowing in the breeze .

Saturday 11 February 2012

Dinosaur Hunting Charmouth again.




A lovely week in Charmouth , fossil hunting.....sadly not finding much this time .
A visit to Groves Nurseries Bridport . I love to that they sell Peas ,beans and onion sets loose in large bins , for you to shovel as much or as little as you want with the scoop provided . This year I have bought Karmen red onion sets , such a gorgeous shape ...Picasso shallots ...a good scoop of Blue Lake French Beans and another of an old Victorian variety of Pea The Alderman ,both of which are good tall climbing varieties . Also very useful are the old bird seed sacks they sell , (at this moment in time covering my tree ferns) I was a bit dissapointed that they didn,t have the last thing on my list " tarred twine " which I,d like to think deters the unwanted bugs on my vegetables ...but to be honest ..the smell of it sends me to Heaven !
We popped into Axminster where I gathered Sequoiadendron Giganticum fir cones and we had a cuppa tea in the River Cottage Cafe . Then to Lyme Regis where I gathered cones from a lovely blue fir tree growing in the graveyard . I look forward to growing all these goodies when I get home .
On our final walk up Charmouth Beach I spied the lovely T.V. garden presenter Chris , I had just read her book from the library before we left home ... well I hope she also enjoyed a nice break away that week ...and I take seeing her as to be a good omen for the next growing season !
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