Sunday 29 July 2018

Hot and dry , then comes the rain !

The hot weather is making me feel so tired and I have hurt my back from carrying watering cans ( my husband's discovery of the old hoses in the shed came too late ! )..I am up early 5.30 am to walk the dog while it is still cool and then again late evening along the cliffs .
We walk along this footpath ..... and always stop to rest and admire the view over the gate at the top .

                      This is my favourite Mullion view over the old farm gate .
   You can see how dry everywhere is here .
Then we had a "weather warning "....we used to call this quite simply  "a weather forecast " ..for strong wind and rain !

 So I put out all my house plants to catch some rain ...sorry , that's a bit of an over crowded picture isn't it ? lol !  Click to enlarge my pics by the way .
                     Schlumbergeras , Haworthias and lots of Gasterias .

                                                I love Gasterias ! :)

 I am very mean to the Gasterias  , I rarely water them , but this coming rain will refresh them greatly .

It rained during the night and the wind was strong ..we were worried about the fence blowing down again..but the trees and bushes that I planted on our side of the fence did a good job of buffeting the wind coming in from the South...together with the expensive concrete post that I put in .
   The hot weather is forecast to return , so I rushed to plant out our leeks and all the brassicas that I have grown from seed , sprouts , purple sprouting broccoli and cabbages .These have been waiting in the wings until we used up all the lettuces that have done so well here this year !  This way of doing things seems to have worked out really well ...... apart from the no rain thing .

 I have carrots and lettuces just beginning to come up from a second late sowing..I also have sown today quite a long row of spring onions .
 I haven't been so successful this year with Leeks . I use a lot in my cooking I love their mild flavour , so I,m trying to grow more onions and will use Spring onions too in my cooking instead when the Leeks run out .
 There are a few Celery plants in here for my son in law , who loves his celery and peanut butter .

My beautiful black kale is growing taller , I gave everything a good watering in too .
 My back is aching terribly !
 I have finished my work in the veg garden today by putting another environmesh cloche over everything ,to keep the pigeons and Cabbage White butterflies off them .The whole bed is surrounded with chicken wire and canes .

 Although we got some quite heavy rain last night ( we didn't get any thunder and lightening ), it is still quite dry just below the surface of the earth  in my garden. The puddle where I stamp about to wash my wellies , is evaporating  fast .  We need more rain !
  I put out fresh water for the birds and other poor thirsty creatures .

                          Over all the garden looks refreshed anyway .

      This evening's walkies..looking the other direction towards Gunwalloe .
    A cooler less windy night will ensure we all have a better night's sleep .

Sunday 15 July 2018

Sunday in my Veg garden 15th July 2018

    It is a long walk up to the veg garden from the water butts that we have set up and when they run out of water it is an even longer walk , it's slightly uphill to the veg garden, carrying heavy watering cans from the water tap by our back door of the cottage .  I,ve been struggling with this for years ...and then husband announces that he's found a couple of old hoses up in the donkey shed !
 So I tried one of them out and lengthwise it still doesn't quite make it all the way to the veg garden ..but that bit closer will make it so much easier than before to fill the watering cans .
 We will get a connector and hopefully join up the two as soon as we can .....but I would not be surprised if they announce a hose -pipe ban some time soon . The drought is going on into month three now...and it is fiercely hot .
 This is also not good news for our local farmers .

I grow just enough for my family ...and that is hard work enough for me ..but it is so well worth it . Lettuces have done really well this year for me . So nice to be able to pick nice fresh lettuces this bed there are french beans also doing well , kale which did get eaten by caterpillars but since I put this mesh over them are looking so much better again  . The shallots are not doing so well sadly ...but I have onions coming along nicely .

Not as much sweetcorn , but these two look almost ready to take to the kitchen !

 Climbing Courgettes ..... not climbing the pig-wire frame yet, but are producing lots of courgettes .

French Beans are giving us a good hand full every few days . Mangetout peas are very slowly coming up , the green mesh over them to deter the pigeons .

I am trying to keep things going and have sown more lettuce and carrots under an enviromesh cloche to keep the carrot flies off them .

I can already see lettuce seedlings coming up in there ! Just need to pull out he weeds !

I,m waiting for some rain to get the last of my veggie seedlings planted out .

             Finally , we are so lucky to have so many Woodpeckers here !
                                          They are such a joy to see !
I always put out peanuts and fat balls for them ....and of course other birds enjoy the nuts too .
 They are nesting in the Pine trees makes me so sad when people cut down trees without any thought to the wildlife . We dont have many full grown trees here on the Lizard compared to other places . Trees are precious .
 We still have a pair of beautiful Ravens that sometimes nest at the top of our tallest tree . This year they had one chick..and he's almost as big as his parents already .....they love the cornflakes I put out for them and come when I call them  ....dunking their cornflakes in the water bowl to soften them up !
Occasionally the Buzzard wins this nesting spot...and we always have Owls up there in the evenings ....wonderful to hear them .
 Our pair of Blackbirds enjoy the occasional grape....sadly they lost their one chick this didn't look well just sitting on the grass and then I found it had died one morning .... very sad ...but.. I think they might be trying again ! :)

                       Losing his balance trying to get the last of the peanuts .
I have one Woodpecker that sits up on the telegraph pole and hammers the metal plate on it .....he just thinks this is the most awesome noise to attract the girls !

                                   Sometimes there are two on the peanuts .
                                           They just love peanuts !

   Yes , they love peanuts , but they actually prefer these grubs that they pull out of the lawn .

 I was watching from an upstairs window as this Woodpecker mum was feeding her young fledgling .

Here they are pecking insects out of the corky bark on my Cordylines .

 It is too hot to do any gardening I'm going to sit in my Summer house with a fan on and do some embroidery .

More about this on my embroidery journal  Cornish Needlework Basket .
  We might pop over to Trevena Cross Nursery later on , to look at their amazing Cacti displays and buy an ice cream in the cafe .
 Have a nice Relaxing and peaceful Sunday .

A Passion Flower for Sunday

 While I was potting up the cuttings I just happened to look up and notice this !
 It is a cutting that I took some time ago ..a Passion Flower ...I had forgotten all about it !

                                      What a lovely Sunday surprise !

                                            It needs a bigger pot now ..

           It could be planted outside , but it obviously loves it in the woodshed .
                                   I might try some other varieties .

                                   Have a restful and peaceful Sunday all .
                                  Gotta go ! Going to be late for church !

Kitchen Windowsill -cuttings rooting in water - potting up time

                  Twelve days later , look how those roots have grown !

 So I have potted them up in my recycled plastic pots in multi-purpose compost and given them a good  drink of water .

 I put them out in the woodshed with all my other cuttings , just till they settle in and show signs of growth . Then , when we finally get some proper rain I will plant them all out  .    ( No rain here now going into month three !! )

                                            Impatiens niamniamensis
Here's the mother plant that I took a cutting from . It roots very easily .
   I am going to take off the two tallest branches partly for cuttings , but also to encourage it to grow in a more balanced shape .

              Look at those amazing flowers !      Anyone want a cutting ?

Tuesday 3 July 2018

Kitchen Windowsill - cuttings rooting in water

So I put the herb cuttings into a glass of a few weeks they should grow roots and I'll pot them up in  some multi-purpose compost just to bring them on a bit before planting out in my herb garden .   The herb garden is such a mess and I am waiting for a cool day ,hopefully with some rain , to tidy it up . However untidy , the herbs are never the less very useful to me . I love them .

Moroccan mint , Lemon verbena and Impatiens niamniamensis  a very unusual  form of "Busy Lizzy "with red and yellow flowers .

 I took this little cutting from a bunch of flowers a few weeks ago .... I am so happy to see these little roots !
 Also a couple of rose cuttings .