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 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 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 !

Sunday 22 October 2017

Purple Tree Collard

                                                      Look what I,ve got !

                                                        Purple Tree Collard !

Sunday 15 October 2017

Gete-okosomin Harvest !

                                    Whoo - hoo !  My Gete - okosomin harvest !

 Those who have been following this story will know that I only had one plant germinate , of how the vine got broken off just above the cotyldon leaves , how I took that broken plant and treated it as a cutting and had to wait a further couple of weeks for that cutting to root ..which it did ...of the storms..followed by drought ...followed by relentless rain showers just as I wanted to hand pollinate the flowers .
 People giving me advice I could have done only allowing the one I put on the chair to develop and cut the others off !..the one on the chair rotted I,m glad that I didn't cut all the other shoots off .
 It certainly is a very vigourous variety and can root into the ground as it spreads .

                                     They are best if raised off the ground .

   This one got to a fairly good size though hanging over the chicken wire fence .

I dont know how much it weighs .....I think it might break my kitchen scales...big strong  husband carried it in for me . This one , is the one that I am hoping and praying , will have the best chance of having seeds in .
  I already have a list of veg gardening friends who want to try these seeds and I will be happy to share them out later on in the year .( It will be awful if it has no seeds in ! )
 Thanks to Nancy Wolfe who was very generous in sharing them with me , I have learned so much through growing this interesting Squash  .
 Are there any interested (geeky) Pumpkin / Squash growers around here in Mullion ?

 I brought in all the others and they have to cure in a warm place for a day or so before putting them into a cooler but frost free storage place ...shed / garage / loft .

I ,ve brought in some of the many smaller zuchinni/courgette sized ones for us to try too .
                                          Looking forward to cooking them up .

                     I stripped out the bed and we're back to square one again .

The slugs ate all the leaves off these purple kale stalks, actually I think they were Red Russian Kale ....I,m leaving them ..they might re-shoot  .....they WILL reshoot !  (got to think positive ! ) :)

It is time to feed and replenish the earth and I try not to walk on this beautiful crumbly soil ! still looks amazing !
  Today I will let the birds feed from it , tomorrow I will begin to cover it up , layer by layer build it up again .

                              Leeks , onions ,  kale growing away beautifully now .

  A few cabbages and Purple Sprouting Broccoli under cover , the other side of the bed is resting and being built up again .

                                          Another bed being prepared .

 This plastic mesh fencing hasn't lasted even a year , I couldn't afford chicken wire last year , I,m having a re-think about this . I hate plastic !

 So I have coppiced some Hazel and I,ll see what I can do with that around the veg beds.

                                                     Leek seeds drying off .
Hurricane Ophelia is a coming in from early tomorrow morning , batten down the hatches and take very great care everybody  .