Saturday 25 June 2016

Moving on to tackle the Secret Fern Garden

 This morning as I walk around the veg garden  , the air is much fresher after a night of continuous light drizzle . I find a couple of baby leeks pulled out and tossed around by the birds .....

The Zebrune Shallots are now doing well , after having been grazed to the ground by slugs , to the point of me thinking all my efforts were wasted of growing these from seed , pricking them out , nurturing them ,planting them out , weeding in between , putting grids over etc  grrrrr ....  but they came back and look to be doing well now .
   So I can take those grids off them and put them over the baby leek transplants .

 I cant help feeling sorry for the little leek transplants ,dropped down into their deep holes with very little earth at the bottom ....but I know that they will fill out and eventually look quite handsome .

So with everything doing fairly well now up in the veg garden  , I can now allow myself to tackle another area of our garden that is in dire need of attention .

In between the Summerhouse and the end of the garage was a very dark and damp corner of the garden ...  I decided to fix up that trellis fence and gate and turn it into a Secret Fern Garden . Look there's my other little friend the Robin !
  So I planted it up with a couple of tree ferns and just nurtured the native Cornish ferns ,which were already in there , er  what else  ? .....Cyclamen ...Cyperus papyrus , Solomon's Seal , Mouse tail plant , Arum Lilies to name a few , but mostly ferns .....and the special Monkshood Aconite that Jessica gave me .

                                                        .......and Honeysuckle

                                                    ........... and foxgloves

                    ................. and the Monkshood Aconite  , soon to flower....

 Actually this is a better picture showing how the Secret Fern Garden is in between the Summerhouse and the garage . Around the back are big old Sycamore trees , which have been coppiced and are growing back vigorously , it is therefore a lovely , cool and shady place to sit during the hottest days of Summer .
 So I have begun lopping down a few of those sycamore branches and doing some serious weeding in there . We need a new seat and those wagon wheels need painting again .
   Now which colour shall we paint them this time ?
        So much to do !  Have a great weekend !

Friday 24 June 2016

Rain !

                                Aah ! Sigh ! The fragrance of freshly fallen rain !

                      This is the puddle where I splosh about to clean my wellies  .

 We had a little more rain during the night and everything has had a good drink . My parsnips are coming up.....but the compost that I used to fill the planting holes is dreadful . After the rain all that is left is nasty wood-chips , I cant remember which brand it was , but this is not good ... I will be more careful in future .

A lot of the seeds I,ve sown in this compost , just haven't germinated including the Climbing French beans that I did sow to climb up this frame . Too late to sow any more , but I have planted two Delicata Squashes here , to hopefully climb the frame instead .

I have now planted out most of my Leek seedlings . This year I have grown Pot  which are short and fat , Musselbrugh the good old , reliable and  fairly normal size one , Bulgarian Giant and the lovely one that has purple/blue leaves in the winter St Victor . The St Victor Leeks are looking the best I,ve ever grown !

                              They enjoyed the rain very much , but need more !

 These are a couple of lovely leeks that I kept growing to flower , for seed saving .

         Oh ! I spy our first little courgettes ! So expensive to buy ,so easy to grow .

Two perfect Cabbages, cut and brought in for lunch . I,m actually growing more and more Kale now though , it's even tastier !

                                         Little busy honey bee on the Sage .

I uploaded this photo by mistake , but since its there now I will tell you . It is going to be another one of Grandmas " In the Jungle " Tents , just waiting for a ground sheet and a blanket to be thrown over it .... lemonade and buns : ) Look there's my Blackbirdie boy checking it out ! He has a beak full of grubs , so his nest  must be close by . The female had disappeared for six weeks ..we feared the worst , but she is back  and coming to the backdoor for her grapes again .
 She may have been moulting her feathers and keeping herself hidden in the bushes  or sitting on her nest ...although she always found a way of sneaking back to me for her grapes over the years . Anyway we are delighted that she has come to no harm .

Friday 17 June 2016

Friday Gift for the Bees

                                                  Dianthus Cranmere Pool

 I bought a gift for the bees in my garden today , from Judy at the Country Market in the Guild Hall in Helston .  She has a lovely selection of pretty cottage garden plants , fuchsias , pelargoniums , unusual indoor plants , cacti and succulents some of which are quite rare .

                  Sweetly , clove scented , I just could not resist this pretty Gillyflower .

              Others call them  Carnations or simply  Pinks .  Now where shall I plant it ?

Thursday 16 June 2016

Early Morning Stroll 6.30 am

I took a stroll around the veg garden , shafts of sunlight through the early morning mist .

                             Everything sparkling with dew and the birds singing .

We did not get very much rain , it didn't even fill the bird baths , but it was enough to get the Runnerbeans to begin climbing the net on the bean frame .

I was persuaded not to sow the yellow birds foot trefoil under the bean frame ,  as a manure crop , to cut and turn into the soil. Apparently it can get out of control .
  While I was thinking about what to cover or grow in that empty space , a lovely foxglove grew and delighted me with its pure white flowers .

      ..and so ..I wandered about the garden then  ,  just enjoying the  flowers .....

                                                              the birds

                                                              and the bees

Tuesday 14 June 2016

Schlumbergera opuntioides update

So here I have a little update for my cacti friends on the British Cactus Succulent Society Forum .   and lovers and geeks of cacti  , wherever  you might be in the world . I know you're out there !
               Shlumbergera Opuntioides in flower still since last November .
About three years old now , a cutting that a very kind and generous gentleman gave to me from the BSCC Forum .
It seems to be just opening one or three flower buds at a time , every now and then , unlike the usual Schlumbereras and Ripsalis  ( Christmas and Easter Cactus  )  which have a mass flourish of blooms and then rest till the following year . This one is quite a rare thing, a kind of half Schlumbergera , half Opuntia .
 It comes from a small location up in the coastal mountains of South West Brazil . Epiphytic , it grows on tree branches and rocks .

                                            Schlumbergera Opuntioides

                            I love it's re-flexed petals like pink coiled satin ribbons .

                      The tips of the leaf pads are often tinged with purple .

Some people find this very hard to grow , reporting that it falls to pieces very easily , mine is on a North facing windowsill .
Let me know if you want a piece , should the worst happen and I have cuttings to spare . .... but it seems quite happy at the moment .
             O.K Fellow Geeks ...Over and out ! : )

Wednesday 8 June 2016

Slugs and Snails

            Leeks , scarlet kale, Romaine cos lettuces and even more leeks .

My heart sank as I approached the shallow purple basin under the water butt tap ...I usually have this full of water from the water butt for any passing thirsty wild animals or birds , also to easily scoop small amounts  of water for the plants in the greenhouse behind it .It also catches any odd splashes so there is no wasted water .
 We,ve not had any rain for a very long time now and the water butt is empty ... I thought I,d stand these little pots ,trays and flats of seedlings in the remaining pool of water ....alas ....a rare snail that can swim ..has got over and eaten pretty much all my Romaine cos lettuces . Sigh ! I couldn't find him .... he must have swum out again .

I planted out about ten of the remaining lettuces and a few of the Basil plants I,ve grown . I,ve always grown Basil on my kitchen windowsill and there, it always ends up getting greenfly . So recently I discovered that you are meant to plant it out .
     Oh dear ! It looks so tender and fragile !
  I have scattered horticultural sharp grit around the plants and also a very , very few slug pellets . I always put covers over or around these areas to prevent hedgehogs or birds eating them . I have used every method there is out there,  to deter snails and slugs .
    The best method I find , is to put a good amount of sharp grit or sand down around the plants , as slugs and snails dont like to slide across it .  Horticultural sharp grit is SO expensive ,  I need to save that for  my precious cacti and alpine plants . I need to go and replenish my sand supply .
      I pick them off myself , during the day , but have never gone out in the night with a torch , as I have often heard suggested .
                            But wait a minute ....." What's that ? " I hear you say .

         Aah ! That is my new secret weapon !  The latest bargain charity shop find !

                                                 It is the Luminous Lizard !

 Yes ! He glows in the dark ! When the snails and slugs think it is safe to come out !
                               ....... I hope they see him and run away !

                                     I also have a snake , to scare cats away .
                                               Still waiting for rain.
                                        Have fun in your garden today !

Tuesday 7 June 2016

Cucumbers Planted out ,Climbing French Beans sown .

 A cool misty morning , which soon cleared and now is too hot for me out there . Glad I got outside early while it was still cool .
 I rigged up another frame of bamboo canes that I found behind the shed and threw in the last of a brown paper bag of Blue Lake Climbing Beans that I had in my tin . Hoping these are still viable , I cant remember when I bought them .

  I picked some Rhubarb for a crumble later on , I grew that clump of  Victoria Rhubarb from seed a couple of years ago . Yep , a normal person would buy a root from the Garden Centre ...well you know me ..actually I am surprised at how fast it has grown from seed and it just shows that it can be done .
I grew three Marketmore Cucumber plants this year from seed and planted two out under this frame see below .

I still need to fix on some sort of net or grid for the cucumbers to climb upon ..maybe some pea sticks will do the job . I am going to sow a few more Cucumber seeds direct into the earth ..for succession , but I think even just these two plants will be enough for my family . It's nice to have some to give away too .
    Husband put the third Cucumber into his new VegTrug . I had been finding the Veg Trug useful for using as a potting bench ,it is at such a comfortable height ,  but  I am now banned from using it as he has now taken over it again . His tomatoes are doing well in his shed too  .
  Anyway..... I am tired , aching  but blissfully happy . Praying for rain  .

                                   Happy little bee on my Purple Raspberry bush .

Monday 6 June 2016

Planting out more Squash babies

Back out into the garden this afternoon , to plant out a few more of my veg babies , this time it's Butternut Squashes ( because we love them , boiled , mashed , roasted or  soup ) .

 I usually grow a whopper of a Pumpkin for fun ( to eat mind ! )This year I,m trying the Jumbo Pink Banana Squash instead of a Giant Pumpkin ,this also grows to an outrageous size . Also trying a Delicata Squash which is smaller ..both of which are said to be delicious  .

I have dug the earth over and fixed in a sort of spiral , a length of pig wire ,with canes .
 They like to scrabble about and climb fact if you can give them more space than this , they would do even better . Next year they will have a huge bed all to themselves !
I have tied coloured threads by each plant , and  made a note of which plant is which , in my little red book.  All the Squashes , Courgettes and Cucumbers look the same to me !
 I will plant out my Cucumbers tomorrow .

This is where my failed raspberries were . Actually there are still a few shoots coming up , but I am going to give them a kick up the backside , by taking them out , potting them up in some extra yummy compost .
  I,m going to create a new fruit bush area in the Autumn .The only Raspberry that is doing well is the Purple Raspberry Glencoe , in another area of the garden . I also have some good blackcurrants . Sadly next doors horses smashed all my lovely plum trees .The apples look as if they are going to be good this year though .
 This messy looking zone in the above photo , is going to be my new Pumpkin Bed for 2017 . It is not very clear from this angle, but it is actually a lovely big circular bed . We are building up layers of newspaper , grass cuttings , cardboard , manure , branches that have been finely broken up , more grass , newspaper , leaves , seaweed and so on and so forth ...and the worms will do the digging for me . By next Spring it will be scrumptious doodlie compost ...for an even bumper harvest of Butternuts !

The lovely Epie is still looking good , day two !  Some Epiphyllums only flower at night and are withered by morning I,m delighted with this one  .

                                    Sun setting over the centre of the labyrinth .

                                                     Where fairies dance !