Wednesday 27 March 2019

The Awakening - Tree Ferns

                                      Dicksonia antarctica tree fern .

New leaves unfurling , like the limbs of a baby Orangutan  , I want to stroke them , so gorgeous !
   This moment of their awakening in Spring always takes my breath away .

Sunday 24 March 2019

Scorchio Sunday in Mullion today ! Hot ! Hot ! Hot !

Well , we have a beautiful blue sky here in Mullion today ! After church I had to rush back home and get  up to the greenhouse to open the windows ,  the temperature  is soaring in there !
 Fixed up more shade net too , to protect all my only just germinating seeds in there . More Tomatoes and Yellow Tree  Lupins and Physalis .
 I,m growing Physalis for a friend ..whose little boy said that his friend had taken some of this lovely fruit to school in his lunch box....his friend told him it was called Thistleflowers an orange cherry Tomato..when his Mum told me this , I knew what it was straightaway and decided to grow some for her as a nice surprise  .
  Too hot to do any work in the garden today , for me anyway . I,ve gathered together a pile of my old favourite gardening books and my basket of embroidery and I,m going to go and put my feet up in a comfy chair in the Summer house and enjoy a day of total rest .
 The only book that is missing is my Charles Dowding No Dig book ....but that is because it actually isn't my book ( oh yes it is ! ), but a library book ( no ! ) and someone requested it ( I hate that person ! ) with heavy heart..I had to return it ....
  Oh ! I don't really care ...I have his 2019 Calendar ...signed by him too !
  I really need to buy his latest book ...he is SO much more than just "No Dig ".

     Here are a few of my favourite books . Joy Larkcom because growing vegetables should be fun and beautiful !

Dirty Nails because he respects and includes his love of wildlife and doesn't talk about laying traps or killing anything .
 Bob Flowerdew .....because he is our supreme Master and greatest teacher of all about Organic Gardening . All his books are written with such infectious enthusiasm and so full of precious Earth wisdom .
 I'd like to see more of him on the television again .

                     I,ve collected a few antique books too over the years .

There are obviously some things which we don't do anymore , like some of the chemicals they used to use and quite a lot of the hard work methods which are not really necessary . However there is still much to be gleaned from these old  books . I love the cartoons of Adam the Gardener .Week by Week gardening in Pictures .

My most precious book is this Beeton's Shilling Gardening  Book . It has month by month chapters and I find it very useful for knowing when to prune my grapevine .

 I read and absorb like a sponge all this wonderful knowledge and adapt it for use in my garden .

                                     Books for another day's reading .

Before I go and put my feet up I must sow these gorgeous golden tomato seeds which they were giving away with every packet of seeds bought in Bowden's Hardware shop in Helston !
              Very happy me ! I love these tasty golden yellow tomatoes !

This is the book that I,m really studying at the moment with my aching back !
 Happy Sunday in the garden to you all ! 

So who was Ruth Stout ?

Saturday 23 March 2019

Sowing carrots and Parsnips today .

I think we were all hoping that it was going to be another gloriously warm and sunny day like yesterday ....I put on my sun hat yesterday ! Well it was still quite mild today , a little overcast and just a touch of mizzle in the afternoon  .
 I cleared away the top layer of mulch on this vegetable bed that hadn,'t completely broken down . Underneath however the worms were plenty and busy doing a wonderful job and as you can see in the picture below , the earth is beautiful , rich and crumbly .
 By the way before I start ..I must say that I,m in the far South West of Cornwall , we can sow earlier than other parts of the U.K. So please check planting times for your area before sowing your seeds !

 I made shallow drills ,  this picture makes the drills look much deeper than they actually are  ... I sowed the Parsnips about 1/2 inch and the Carrots about 1/4 inch .

I made two little pathways with cardboard and fine wood-chips , so that I will be able to walk in , thin and weed between them.

 Threw a sheet of fleece over them , weighed down with bricks and heavy sticks.

      Last year my carrots didn't come up at all ...and I think the seeds were bad .
I did make a second sowing , but by then I ran out of space and didn't get very many in the end . Some you win , some you lose ....but we mustn't give up ! Fingers crossed for this batch !

We haven't quite decided how to do the gate into the vegetable garden . At the moment it is just chicken-wire . Our poor old Jack Russel tried to run through as she always usually did and hit the chicken-wire ..she was o.k. just a bit ..well ...surprised !  So I fixed on that ring in the middle of it to slow her down .  I also fell over just can't see that it's there ..but then I always was falling over the chicken wire . No trouble getting one leg over it , the other foot not quite making it !
 This new fully encircled vegetable garden has such a different feel about it ...and I shouldn't fall over while stepping into or out of the individual beds anymore .

I threw down the potatoes and covered with hay .The "Ruth Stout Method" As the potatoes grow up through the hay , I will simply cover with more hay and when it is time to harvest ..the idea is that I simply pull the hay/straw aside and the Potatoes should just be there for hand picking off the ground .
 I love this idea and if it works , I will grow more Potatoes next year .

I took a peek at my Acorns to see if any might be coming up yet ..can you see anything there  ?

         Hang on .....what's this  ? Little red shoot !  Aah......maybe !

                                    The first batch of Sweet-peas are up !

                          The shed is chockablock with seeds coming up !

 I have been growing this Equisetum hyemale in this old washing up bowl for quite long enough is such a beautiful and interesting plant..but not one that you would want to set free in your garden ...being a terrible thug !

So we decided to line this old barrel with a piece of black pond-liner and along with a few other water plants , make more of a feature of it by our front door .
 Still not quite finished , I need to let it all settle before I cut or fold over the edges of the pond liner .

                          I love this "prehistoric " looking plant so much !

Thursday 21 March 2019

All Systems Go !

After all the wild and windy weather I needed to repair the watering hole basket in the middle of the African Keyhole Bed .
 I used the lovely red stems of the Cornus alba sibirica which I cut down almost to the ground at this time of the year .

No expert in weaving I can tell you ! I had a go at weaving a basket hood to shade the watering hole from the hot Summer sun to help prevent the moisture from evaporation .

I will add more into this as and when I prune out the other bushes .

Next we took up all of the rusting and torn chicken wire which I had fixed up around each of the four vegetable beds and replaced with new chicken wire....but this time encircling the whole vegetable garden .
 Chicken wire is wonderful for living in harmony with the wild bunnies , but so expensive now ! Doing it this way , we used a whole lot less of it !
 We also lopped down a few of the Pheonix canariensis lower leaves ....oh my goodness it has grown so big ! Need to buy a little Hack Saw to tidy up the leaf bases nicely . Sharp spines at the leaf base ...beware !

 Planted out a row of Brussels Sprouts and a few Cauliflower babies ....

                                  .........and quickly got them covered over .

 The Daubentons Kale which I planted out last  year is getting quite big now under the cover ...I need to set out slugpubs though !

The Purple Tree Collard is safe from pigeons , rabbits and snails in its hanging basket ! I,m going to take a couple of cuttings from it before I plant it out...just in case !

Lots more pricking out and potting on to be done in the shed . I set up some aluminium reflectors to help with the light in there . It makes such a big difference too ! The tiny seedlings standing up nice and straight .
 I must plant out all of the onions as soon as I can now to make space for the Tomatoes .

 Gardeners Delight Tomatoes I,ve grown so easily from seed ...however I might buy in a couple of Cherry Tomato plants if I see them at a reasonable price .

 Husband got out the loppers and cleared all of the Ivy that had gone crazy up and over the bird house ...he did such a good job !

 SAD to find this little bird nest blown down from a tree during  the last storm ....not that it was being is an old nest ..but because of the plastic string and weed membrane that had been so beautifully woven into it !
    I brought it in to show my Grandchildren and talk to them about Dinosaurs ....did Dinosaurs make beautiful nests with sticks and feathers and moss ?
  They must have been enormous !

HAPPY to find this bucket full of Tulips that had been dug up and hidden away over the Summer as they tell you to do on the gardening programmes ,but never remind you to get out and replant them again in the Autumn !
     Aching back...groan.....but happy !
                         Happy Spring Equinox to you all !

Tuesday 12 March 2019

Monkey Puzzle Nuts and Trees

           Back in 2012 I managed to germinate four Monkey Puzzle nuts .
            ( So happy me ! Oh ! I can't tell you ..I was over the moon ! )

         On the bathroom windowsill , in pots sealed in ziplock plastic bags  .
                  At this stage , I had just opened the bags a little bit  .

                                    Hey ! Hey ! We're the Monkees !
So there were five nuts to begin with . So exciting ! Four germinated and then one of those didn't make it . I was then very worried about the others.

                                                 This was in 2012.
                                 The other three grew healthy and strong .

                               I decided to plant this one out yesterday .

  After a great deal of thought as to where it should go and they need a lot of space . I decided to plant it in the top corner of the Vegetable garden .
If you follow up the tippy top of the baby Monkey Puzzle tree in my wheelbarrow , you can just see my spade in the far corner of the vegetable garden , marking where it would look best in fifty or sixty years time .
Here it will have plenty of space to grow into a magnificent specimen  . Probably not in my lifetime ...but this is planting trees for future generations and for the planet .
                                                Araucaria araucana
                In my opinion , the most beautiful tree on the planet .
  Central and Southern Chile and Western Argentina , where it grows in Auraucaria forests and National Parks .
 Sadly I read on Wikipedia ,that, as from 2013 it's conservation status was changed to Endangered by the IUCN , due to dwindling population caused by logging , forest fires and grazing .
 This is so ,so sad ..... TREES ARE THE LUNGS OF MOTHER EARTH !

    This is a tree that was around during the time of the Dinosaurs !
 It is known as a living fossil tree . Fossilised  Araucaria wood  or lignite can be found , famously at Whitby ,where it is made into pieces of  jewellery .

 I hope that my tree will live a long life and delight generations to come .

I planted another of my Monkey Puzzle saplings down in the Ornamental garden and am still deciding where to plant the third one.
 I,m hoping that I have one of each sex of these trees so that in the future there will be flowers , bees and nuts .

I knew that there was rain on the way , so I didn't have to worry about watering it in .
 What I didn't realise and my husband told me after I had planted this little tree, was that another big named storm Gareth is on the way !
 So I have pushed in some laurel branches and laid down the wheelbarrow in front to give it some shelter .
  Well it was very windy last night ..... but only our garden seat was overturned and no real damage to worry about .
     I was right about the rain !
Take care in this Storm Gareth where-ever you are !