Wednesday 25 December 2019

Merry Christmas all !

                        Wishing you all a blessed and peaceful Christmas .

 The weather has been wild , windy and wet here in Mullion. I could hardly stand up while taking this photograph over looking Mullion Cove !
 Today though , on Christmas Day , the sun has shone all day , perfect for all those who stripped off and took their Christmas Day dip in the sea down at Poldhu  .
  No , I was not one of them !  ..... My crazy daughter was one of them !
After Christmas Mass we enjoyed a delicious traditional Christmas dinner and a veggie one for me at my lovely son-in-law and daughter's cosy home and enjoyed watching our grandchildren opening and playing with the toys that Santa brought them , such a delight !
  I hope you have all had a lovely day too .

             On the kitchen windowsill my hyacinth bulb has begun to flower  .
I found the Dancing Angels in a local Oxfam charity shop , I think you are supposed to light a candle in the middle but I haven't done this yet .....and there's the four leaved Clover that I was telling you about , that I put in a little frame .

          The perfume from even just this tiny few opening buds is divine !

Up in my greenhouse my Marlothistella uniondalensis , from the Little Karoo , on the Western Cape of South Africa ....... is smothered in buds !
( Martin if you are looking in , this is the cutting you gave me some years ago , look how it has grown ! )

 I cant wait for this to bloom , it has such pretty purple-pink daisy flowers .

 Now , a few years ago I tried growing some rare seeds from South Africa , I have long lost the label , but every year this one has continued to come up , no flower and then wither away .  For the first time today , on Christmas Day it has put up a stalk with flower buds !  I think it might be a Velthemia , either bracteata or capensis .....I should be able to identify it more positively from the colour of the flowers . I,m  very excited about this !

             I love it's wavy edged leaves !   I will update you on this one .

 Here's the Epiphyllum which should not be flowering now , but normally blooms in May time here in the U.K. , and which might not actually make it ...but I,m thinking positive !

 A few of my Pelargoniums are still flowering , but I am not watering them now and they should be going dormant . I haven't the heart to cut down these flowers , I,m enjoying them so much !

 In the vegetable garden we have been harvesting sprouts and leeks and I noticed this clump of Primroses beginning to flower . You see although the weather has been wild ,wet and windy , and we are all moaning that it's cold , it actually is quite mild here compared to other places around England .

                             My favourite Primulas are blooming too .

     And these ....I cant remember what these are called , but they are lovely .

 After a beautiful sunny Christmas Day , the weather is forecast to turn wild ,wet and windy once again  .  I really would like to have some snow to play in !
  Be prepared ! I,ve put my order in !

Monday 2 December 2019

First Frost Mullion Cornwall 2 December 2019

Yesterday evening looking across the meadow . After a glorious sunny day with blue skies and no wind at all , not even the slightest breeze ....I just knew that we were in for a very chilly night

So I gathered together my candles , matches and newspaper at just about dusk ....

                                   .......and got all the plants covered over .

I stand some of the more tender ones on sheets of polystyrene for a little extra warmth .

                           I lit two candles in the lantern for the night.

 This was about an hour wandering around the garden in my pyjamas and dressing gown . I couldn't wait to see the frost !

                           As you can see the sun wasn't even quite up yet !

                                    I took a walk around the labyrinth .

                Ah .... but one should enjoy these simple childish delights !

Looking across to the veg garden , this is where I have planted garlic and leeks .
Some little creature has made a home for the winter here ..I put a broken pot over the top to give him a bit more shelter from the rain .   Maybe a toad !

                On wards round the labyrinth , Jack Frost has danced !

                                   You can zoom in to see those crystals !

             Sleeping Primroses encrusted with beautiful frosty crystals .

  Frosty compost where the worms are taking the goodness down to warmer lower levels where microscopic organisms are busy breaking it all down and mixing it all up .

                  The Leeks are tough and can take the chill temperatures .

  There was ice on the bird bath . I,m so pleased with myself for remembering to wrap the outside water tap !

                                          The ice was not too thick .

        I easily managed to break it up , so the birds can come and drink .

   Over all it was not too heavy a frost , but I wanted a record of when our first frost was this year .
 This will all be gone very quickly as the sun comes up .
I know that for some of you Jack Frost dances all day !
      Brrrrrr.....I,m going in for a nice cup of tea and some brekkers !

Saturday 30 November 2019

Schlumbergera truncata

                                            I am so pleased with this !
 In 2017 I decided to put all three of my Schlumbergeras into one large hanging basket .
  Pale pink and dark pink and white ...or so I had thought , I cant see any white ones so maybe I was mistaken . Or maybe I lost that one.....I need a white one ! Can anyone spare me a cutting of a white one please ? !!!
      Anyway I,m still delighted with it !
 This usually lives in our front porch , but I have someone coming to collect a piece of furniture this morning so I had to move it to save it from being knocked over .
 They don't like being moved when they are in flowering mode and can drop all the buds and flowers . So I thought I'd better take a picture of it now while it's looking fabulous !

Schlumbergeras come originally from Brazil , where they are found growing epiphytically , putting their roots down into the leaves and other bits and pieces that are decomposing there in the nooks and crannies on trees ..they get some of their nutrients from this , but also make their own through photosynthesis  .They also hang down and scrabble about over rocky , mossy banks and cliff-sides .
  They have flattened stem segments which are crab like and the flowers are teapot spout like in shape , unlike Rhipsalis , Hatiora and other Epiphyllums which have more of a star type flower and in my location Cornwall , England these other plants flower in the Spring and get given the common name of Easter Cactus .
 Anyway, the Schlumbergeras usually bloom around about the end of November , which is why it is commonly known as the Thanksgiving Cactus and as you can see mine is bang on cue !
 Wishing all my American friends a very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving Day !

They have become a very popular house plant , in many different colours . Fun to share cuttings and so easy to propagate . Just stick into a pot of compost and away it goes .
This is quite a large hanging basket and quite heavy , so I was delighted to find this clever  plant stand for it . I stand this on a table in the porch and can easily tend to it there. What a clever person to design this !
 I will ease off the watering over the winter months , start again in the Spring . It might need tidying up and a feed with some Baby -bio . Maybe some fresh compost top dressing or even re-pot with some fresh compost .
 It goes outside in a shady spot in the Summer . I usually hang it in one of our trees , up and away from slugs . I bring back it into the porch , as the weather changes in the beginning of Autumn . It then readjusts  and begins to show it's buds , then , in full bloom towards the end of November ....cheering us up from all this gloomy weather !

Thursday 28 November 2019

Wittia amazonica seeds update

 Remember those Wittia amazonica seeds that I sowed back in June ?
  In the ziplock plastic bag , on the North facing ,but warm bathroom windowsill.

                                      Three germinated on the 8 July .
 I kept then inside the ziplock plastic bag to keep the humidity up .
I gradually unsealed the bag although it was still covering the seedlings .

 I pretty much left them alone until today, when I thought I,d take a peek .

 I took off the bag and took a real close up look at them .
 It looks as if I have lost one of them , but I am hopeful for the other two .

 Here you can see the orange blob in the middle of the picture..that's the one that has damped off , I suppose .
 The other two haven't grown any more at all since they germinated ..or only very slightly .

 The mosses are beautiful , but surprising as I did blast this compost in the microwave ..and what are those "grass type seedlings ? They're not actual grass but something else..the leaves are quite stiff .What are these mystery plants !

                    Maybe I should pull them out and pot them up ?

  I,m really not sure what to do ? Should I leave the two remaining Wittia amazonica seedlings to grow bigger or take them up and re-pot  them with some fresh compost now ?
  They are so tiny , fragile and also quite a rare or at least a very hard Epie species to find and if you do , then it is usually very expensive to buy here in the U.K.
  Tricky little things , I put the bag back over them for tonight.....I,m reviewing the situation the song goes !

Wednesday 27 November 2019

Last Autumn Days

               The fleeting colours of the Acer's leaves , before they fall .

                                                  Glorious sun sets .

                                      How  I love , love , love  Autumn !

Wrapping up warmly now with gloves , hats and scarves .
Stormy skies , wind and rain ...gathering sticks and wood for the fire , fir cones , conkers , acorns , feathers and leaves along the woodland paths and down country lanes .
 It is dark so early now ......
We light our gathered kindling and cosy up before the fire . I,m doing my Autumn crewel embroidery again . Adding more leaves to the picture .

The Oak tree takes her time . Her leaves turning paper bag brown before they tumble in the wind .

This little twig doll was found by a house clearance company , in a loft space of a 500 year old cottage in a village in Kent . She has the remains of two feather wings on her back .She was hanging from a large oak beam in side a small linen bag .  To protect the cottage from bad spirits maybe ?

Mullion Harbour looking magnificent , we keep our distance when the sea is wild !

I muddled my photos oops ! ...but here is my Autumn leaves crewel embroidery again  .

 I gather lovely leaves that I find on our walks and embroider them onto this vintage scrap of linen .

 I stitch each one to recreate them on the cloth . I have not decided what this will be made into yet , but am just enjoying the embroidery . Playing with colours .
  Crewel wool is so warm and comforting to work with . I think it is my favourite kind of thread .

Brushed cotton pyjamas , extra quilts and my old stone hot water bottle  !
 A good book , a pile of seed catalogues , a mug of tea and a little more stitching before sleep ......while the wind howls and the rain pitter-pats on my window .

                                      I am dizzy in love with Autumn !