Wednesday 25 May 2016

The New Kettle

 A nice looking kettle yes...but..we,ve been putting up with the small matter of it leaking water all over the electric base for some time now . Never had a kettle that leaks before .

            I never fill it more than for two or three cups , so why is it leaking  ?
                                                        Blooming nuisance !

 We just kept forgetting to buy a new one when we were out shopping and we,ve been putting up with this for months !    Anyway we finally chose this even nicer looking one . The lid flips up to refill and is lovely and wide . A comfortable handle on the side so you dont scald your hand anymore . There is something nice about seeing the crystal clear water inside .....

         ......and when you switch it on ........and this bit was a surprise to us .....

  It all lights up with little blue lights and makes you feel happy even before you get to drink your tea !  
           I,m feeling a bit happier today and tonight I,m going to dance class .

Monday 23 May 2016

The Sun Dial Bed

 This is my next thing to do ...The Sun Dial Bed  .
 This is a very special place where my old best friend now rests , a few years now .
My beautiful Collie Dog  Megs . I think of her much when I tend this bed . The torrential rain has caused the sundial to slip ... I will have to step in there and straighten it ...I dont want to step where she is .  I miss her so much .
 I used to clip the edge of this bed neatly..but the ferns are so beautiful that now I let them grow , especially lovely as the new fronds unfurl .

I walked many miles with her in these very boots , which I have placed where she lies .
 Its been a difficult weekend , thanks to one rude , thoughtless and unkind person's gossiping tongue....especially when I came to help .
                                                                               Feeling very sad and hurt .

Saturday 21 May 2016

Cacti Flowers and a Cornish Window Box

I,ve been meaning to show you my Schlumbergera opuntioides's been flowering since last November . This was the tiny little cutting , that a very kind and generous gentleman sent me from the British Cactus and Succulent Society .  It is quite a rare cactus and said to be difficult to grow on it's own roots .  Anyway I,m delighted at how mine has grown and begun to flower so soon !  It is gorgeous ! I,m thinking about maybe taking some cuttings from it , to make it bush out ? Advice anyone ?
  The big boys behind were all teeny little thumb sized cactus that I bought from Mr Pilbeam at Connoisseur Cacti  over twenty years ago  ....oh ! ... here's his link for you ! : )

                                           A close up of that pretty flower  .

Through the window , I can see the Blue Tits are very busy feeding their young in the bird house .

 So back to work and I really have to tackle the window box . I,ve tipped it out at the bottom of the bank, where I will sort out the tangled mess of bulbs and pansies , replant or pot them up .

 The old coconut fibre still looks O.K to me and also the (horrible ) black plastic liner , so I will use it again .

Off up to the greenhouse . The rope is there at the bottom of the slope to remind me to slow down  , as it can be deadly slippery just here . I slipped down an ancient flight of serpentine steps leading from a very high Cornish hedge a few years ago , and broke my arm ....I actually heard it crack still haunts me !
 To the left is my Herb Garden ..yes  I know it needs weeding ...thankyou ! : )

Aaah ! nice and warm in the greenhouse ..smells good too !  Propagation for the nation !
 Well maybe not for the nation , but just enough for my family and a a few to give to friends ....the vegetables that is .
 Basil took forever to come up ....I,ve never been that succesful with Basil , it usually ends up getting greenfly and then gets thrown out , but these are looking good so far. Also courgettes, butternuts, squashes, leeks , more leeks .. The Marmande Tomatoes you sent me ,are all up and ready for their big pots now . Husband is growing cherry toms in his shed .

It is all too easy to get side tracked up here in the greenhouse ...I mostly grow cacti and succulents  ,all these other things have to be squeezed in somehow !
  I find myself looking around and things need watering , or things need tying up , or some rare thing has a bud on it  ......

.......and then something else has a flower the size of a dinner plate on it ..that I hadn,t noticed the day before .... and then there's a beautiful fragrance .....

                                       ....and I find myself lost in its beauty !

Anyway !  So I get together an assortment of plants , for a different sort of a window box .

                                  Including this one from the kitchen windowsill .

It is a Kalanchoe tubiflora , also known as Mother of Thousands or the Maternity Plant because it produces babies on the ends of it reptilian  tubular leaves . It is surprisingly tough , I have often grown these outside here in South West Cornwall .
It produces so many babies , that there are always plenty of plants to replace any that might be lost .
I have used Aloe greatheadii , Agave Americana varigata , Aeoniums , mesembryanthemum , a bright yellow sedum ,  pelargoniums saved from two years ago, some other things that I cant remember the names of  and erynguim karvinskianus to fill in the gaps and soften the look of it all .
So here it is almost finished  Cornish Window Box..I just need some more sharp grit to keep the snails off a little bit of rain and then lots of sunshine and we're done !

St Just in Roseland

After all the work in the garden I had been excited to get away for a picnic and an adventure with my good friend and her two little dogs .
 So yesterday was the day ! And here we are at St Just in Roseland  Church .
It is said that Joseph of Arimathea  came with the Child Jesus and landed his ship here has become a place of Christian pilgrimage .

                     The church is open and has a very welcoming feel to it .

I love this stained  glass window of St Anthony , Our Lord Jesus and St Francis all feeding the birds !
                                               I have a soft spot for St Francis .

                                                  The old baptismal font .....

                                    .... and a very much earlier font along side .

I loved the introduction of these little things , which are keeping people  spiritually and prayerfully interactive whilst walking around the church .
  We were invited to take a hand woven Cross from the basket .To who ever made them I just want to say  " Thankyou ! : ) " and that I love mine and am going to take this idea away with me maybe introduce to our little St Michael's Church in Mullion .

I,ve already been looking up how to weave this " Ojo de Dias Cross " and am sorting through my embroidery thread hoard . I will also need some nice straight branches from the garden .

Back out side, we continued to walk along the river side , enjoying the primroses and bluebells and wondering about Little Lord Jesus , helping his Uncle tying up the boat along here maybe . I managed to jump down and collect some precious earth  for both of us , from where those Holy feet may have walked .

Further along we were surprised to find a Holy Well . I put these pictures together as a collage  for you to see .
  The water is crystal clear and quite deep .
   The pathway and simple garden leading up to the well are welcoming , beautifully and I think , most lovingly  kept .

                                          The Holy Well of St Just in Roseland .

                                    Lichens on the branches over hanging the river .

I,m glad we got to go and see this lovely place before the primroses and bluebells fade .
                                      The picnic was scrumptious doodley doo !

Wednesday 18 May 2016

The Planting out begins !

 So we're just back from a lovely week away .... but a little worrying since the morning we  on which we left  , I had young plants only a short time out of the greenhouse , left to harden off ...the weather had suddenly turned very hot . I had to leave all the greenhouse windows open , worried about my veg seedlings and cacti about to flower , but everything is fine . ..and there was also the small matter of my having seen a young deer in the veg garden ,actually on the morning that we left ! No idea where it had come from....never before seen any deer here on the Lizard ....any one know anything about deer around Mullion  ?  Delightful to see , but I was concerned that it would hurt itself as it scrabbled through one of my fences .
  Anyway  as you can see I added an extra hazel pole at each end of the bean frame for extra strength . Put on the horrible green plastic netting that I have recycled for the  last three years . I take great care to remove all the dead vines and roll it up tying a rag to the ends so that I can unroll it again the next season ,like you do your Christmas fairy lights : )

Last Earth Day I made myself a resolution to become more plastic aware , that is I will recycle what plastic items I still have and then use alternatives .
This year I am growing Firestorm Runnerbeans which are said to be a cross between runnerbeans and french beans .They germinated very quickly , these have been hardened off and I planted out about 8 of them . The courgettes are germinating rather erratically , which is good I suppose ...the largest of these I nestled into the warm earth and spread sharp grit around . Six Swift sweetcorn  in blocks of three , I will sow some more direct into the earth now .

 On the other side of the frame I have sown  direct into the earth Blue Lake climbing beans and a few Prizewinner Runnerbeans . I will still sow some more in the greenhouse, just in case and to get succession of crops .
 I have pushed in some spriggy hazel pea sticks for some peas to climb up . The peas are germinating on the kitchen windowsill at the moment...this way the mice dont eat the seed and they dont seem to bother with them once they're up .

I am also trying to not buy so many bamboo canes now , they are shipped in from far away and are expensive . I will use the ones I still have till they are not fit for purpose .
 So this means a little bit of hard work cutting my own  hazel bushes , which I am lucky to have . I make use of the branches , cutting them so that I can hang up my coat and garden tools close by  to where I,m cant do that with bamboo canes !
Bamboo canes get brittle and sharp , you can really hurt yourself on them if you're not careful , I am constantly looking for things to cover the cane tops with , so that no one will poke their eye on them .
I will still use them to thread through the chicken wire surrounding each of the veg beds though , to keep the bunnies out .I just cant get the Hazel sticks to push through the holes in the chicken wire so easily .  I would like to not use horrible chicken wire and make woven Hazel hurdle fences around the veg beds ..but I dont have enough hazel to do this .
 Oh well , there you go ...but at least I am becoming more thoughtful about all this .

 My Tibetan Prayer flags are looking a little worn now , but God and the rain ,the sun and the moon know that I am trying to be a more careful Earth loving person .

                                                        Cheerio for now !

Saturday 7 May 2016

Trachycarpus fortuneii

The last few days have been quite hot here in Mullion  ( I,ve put on my shorts ! ) ....and there is an real urgency to get things done out in the garden , before the ground turns too hard  to dig .
  We had found this little Trachycarpus fortuneii at a local nursery , at a bargain price a couple of years ago . When we got it home , we couldn't decide where to put it ,  the ground was rock hard and it was coming into Autumn anyway so it needed to be put into a sheltered place for the time being . So I dug a hole into the soft and warm compost heap , where it has been fairly happy all this time .
    So the above picture shows the compost heap , which I used to regularly turn over and was my pride and joy .

 Then I got sick and had a big op and couldn't manage do it and the nettles and blooming bindweed has spread through it and actually now the whole area needs some serious restructuring .

 The Trachycarpus seems O.K. I think , but needs to be in its final place in the ground now .   It has put out babies around its base ....maybe this is a sign of the plant being stresses ...not sure .....

       So , out with my trusty garden fork..oh those nettles .....heave ho !..and.... I couldn't photograph this bit.....there was no swearing...but quite a lot of huffing and groaning .

                                            ...........into the wheel barrow .

                         Next to dig a hole ....with my little  gardening assistant .

                                                More huffing and puffing .

                                               What do you think Birdie ?
                                                  " Hang on ! "she says .

                                                          " Wait a minute ! "

                                                                 "Wait ! "

                                                              " O.K ! "

             All clear  ! Line it up and roll over the wheelbarrow and it should just.....

          land beautifully perfectly at the same level it was in the compost heap  .

      Very happy me ....apart from my legs now being covered in mosquito bites .