Monday 29 April 2019

I,m growing Avocados !

 Back in January , For the first time ever in my life I dared to try eating an Avocado .  It just looks horrible , green , brown, wrinkled , well , you know how it is when you're a child . My 7 year old grandson wont even try cheesecake...because , he says " I don't like cheese !" and runs off with his hands over his nose . Dearie me !  He will be in for such a treat when he eventually tries cheesecake !
 Anyway , so with that in mind ....I tried eating Avocado ....hmmmm......not brilliant ....but so many health benefits ....I need to try more recipes with Avocado .
 What I really do love , is the idea of growing that gorgeous stone in the middle !

 I remember my mother growing one back in the 70's, she stuck cocktail sticks into it and placed it over a jar of water. It them produced it's root and then the shoot and then she potted it up . My mum can grow anything !
 But why the cocktail sticks ? Seems a bit cruel ! Why not just plant it in nice compost/earth in a pot  or outside in the ground even ?
So I thought I,d give it a go . I put two into a pot of compost in a margarine tub inside a ziplock bag on the bathroom windowsill .

 I wrapped another one up in thick wet tissue inside a ziplock bag on a tray .....

                                  ......and put it into the airing cupboard .

 I put another one on top of a glass jar of water on the kitchen windowsill .
Four months later and here we are ....nothing is happening to the potted in compost ones and no sign of anything happening to the one on the jar of water ....

..... but I peeked into the airing cupboard and opened up the bag ...and lo and behold ...... both root and shoot !

                          Here's a better look at it ! Isn't that beautiful ? !
                                                    I,m so happy !

                              So off to the greenhouse to pot it up ....

From what I have read about growing Avocados stones , this is the point where it can all go  horribly wrong ...people say that their stone rots and that's over . . I,ll be careful with the watering.
I think I,m in more danger of snail and slug damage .....although I didn't mean to put so many slug pellets on it...the lid fell off !
     Fingers crossed..I,m looking forward to seeing it's beautiful leaves .
Have you ever grown an Avocado ? Did you find it easy  ? Any tips for me ?
I will do an update later on . Cheerio for now .

The Cuckoo has Arrived in Mullion !

      Apple blossom in full bloom now , Me thinks it will be a good year for Apple harvest .
Up early 5.30 am .  I can hear the Cuckoo !

   I have just been outside to throw some bread out for the birds . The Cuckoo has arrived in Mullion ! All the way from Africa !
 "  Summer is icumen in  !  Lhude sing cuckoo ! "  written in around 1226 ...we use to sing this in rounds , back in the day , when I was at school .
I hated singing that song...but now I appreciate how old it is ...I quite like it....but I prefer to hear the joy and cheekiness of little children singing it  !

  Another early traditional rhyme we were taught was this one  -

 In April I open my bill
In May I sing night and day
 In June I change my tune
In July far far I fly
 In August away I must

I,m sorry there is no photo of it ....I have seen it occasionally  , but never when I have my camera handy is very similar to a Sparrow hawk .
The Cuckoo lays it's eggs in the nests of other birds ....I hope it doesn't disturb my Blackbird's nest .
   Anyway !   Listen out for the Cuckoo today !

Sunday 28 April 2019

Woodshed - Preparing for Winter .

                             So when we have our split logs delivered .....

It is all stored in our woodshed on top of pallets to keep it off the damp ground .

 So after 15 years the pallets  are rotten , broken , patched up many times and really needed to be replaced . Kept putting my foot through the broken slats !

                      Also there was Ivy beginning to take over in there !

We had been putting this off this horrible job for too long . I need to bring on my vegetable starts in there before planting them out . We need to begin laying down wood for next Winter...Storm Hannah was coming ...we just had to give ourselves the kick up the backside to get on with it ! Husband needed two kicks !
      Everything had to be dragged outside .

 Little helper enjoying a snooze under my potting bench . I know it's small but some how I manage .Perlite on the top shelf . Newspapers on the middle shelf and a big bag of compost which goes underneath .

            Everything out ! Hard work picking up all the remaining wood .

Including the chair with my baby Leeks ....I,m leaving them out now to catch some rain ....I wont plant them out just yet , let them get a bit bigger .

  Groan ..we picked up and wheeled out the old pallets over and over to here, where they await being chopped and sawn up for fire wood or other small projects . There's a lot you can do with pallets , they can be very useful around the garden .

Our local garden centre Trevena Cross kindly gave us these pallets after we'd ordered a new garden seat and quite a lot of potting compost . Trevena Cross is one of my favourite Nurseries  !  Desert and Junglie Tropical plant paradise !
 I dragged out my Banana plants to catch some rain too .

               Then ...lop..lop, tug and pull down as much of that Ivy as we could .

                                           Out with the Jeyes Fluid ....

                     ....slosh , swoosh and scrub it all clean and fresh .

     In with the new pallets , cutting a couple of pieces to fill in the gaps .
                                  So that's the worst of it done !
 I danced on Thursday I had my kidney cancer scan on Friday, yesterday I did Katie Holland's brilliant Bharatanatyam and Bhangra Dance Workshop in Ponsanooth  ...absolutely hard work but brilliant ..I discover that I want to learn more Bharatanatyam which is such a beautiful Dance .
    I sadly haven't as much stamina as I used to have for the Bhangra..I gave it a good try though before sitting out and watching all the beautiful ladies ..maybe I shouldn't have done all that Woodshed stuff !

 Good luck to everyone doing the London Marathon , especially our hero Doctor Bradley Medlock from here in Mullion , you are ALL amazing !
I watched the start on T.V. and saw you all beginning your long , long run to that iconic piece of music they always play for the London Marathon . 
 Good luck to you all ! We are so proud of you all ! 

Saturday 20 April 2019

Happy Easter - Vegetable garden update .

                                  Shhh..... I think it's the Easter Bunny !
  There he sat preening himself in the early morning sunshine  6am this morning , as I approached the gate , on my way through the vegetable garden and on up to my greenhouse .

My vegetable garden is safe from nibbling Easter Bunnykins , with the new chicken wire fence all around . 
 My Peas and  Broad-beans are coming along nicely.
 Rather annoyingly though , despite pushing in lots of branches to deter them , the pigeons got to my Purple Sprouting Broccoli .

 Usually pushing in branches around the PSB would be enough to keep the pigeons off , but I missed one corner and those gorgeous purple bunches of heavenly deliciousness and goodness were quickly snitched and gobbled up by two fat pigeons ..who know just the right time to take them !

 The good news is that I can see more shoots coming . I need to make more gently Bird -Shooing  things , Whirligigs , Potato Hawks , Windmills , Streamers and sparkly old CDs on strings will do the trick .

             The Luminous Lizard is on guard against slugs and snails .

                             So upwards and onwards to my greenhouse .

Packed full of goodies ! Cacti , succulents,  Epiphyllums , rare , unusual and weirdly interesting plants ......and where I start off seeds that need extra warmth ...

  .........although unheated the greenhouse can get quite hot...I open the roof windows . Those are Cucumbers, Courgettes and Butternuts in the white box .

I took down that silver insulation from the roof today is so hot here today, but the green shade net will stay up to protect the Epiphyllums who like it warm and shady .

                    I really need to clean the greenhouse windows .....

                         ....but it also protects the plants from sun scorch .

 These Epiphyllums prefer to be in warm shade ...the buds are getting bigger !

                                 I need to sort out that pot of bulbs.

 I think that label is wrong ..they look like Albuca bractata syn. ornithogalum longibracteatum ...other wise very well known as the Pregnant Onion !

For most of the year it sits in the pot looking like this ....yes a large onion .
           Warning --- poisonous ....this is not edible ..and will make you very ill not eat !

Around about February , it throws up this flower spire and slowly opens with many pretty little star flowers .

I don't bother to collect the seeds , but simply gather up all the bulbs that form around the base of the "mother" bulb and ..well ....I obviously threw them all into one pot and forgot about them .  Another little job to be done , pulling them apart and re-potting and then giving them away to who-ever would like one  . 
A fascinating plant !

 So today I need to prick out and pot on these Yellow Tomato seedlings .
 I use slug pellets only at this stage in the greenhouse and shed .
 I got a free packet of special Dahlia seeds with my Gardener's World magazine back in February.....three germinated..and promptly all got eaten up by slugs....the rest of the seeds didn't appear so I suspect the slugs got them too before I even saw them , over-night .... I ,m sure these slugs are already in the compost that I bought from the garden centre or B&Q.  I,ve been growing vegetables  for long enough to know that if you dont get rid of the slugs and snails ...then you will have no vegetables ...simple as that ! These pellets dissolve into fertiliser when in contact with water and I make damned sure no other creature will be harmed by them .
  Out in the main veg garden , veggies are under cloches . Birds and  Hedgehogs can not get to them and I mostly prefer to pick off any slugs or snails that I find and re-home them across the meadow ..I lure the snails and slugs away by laying large cabbage leaves or lettuce leaves near to my vegetable plants and collect them in the early morning in  my bucket and once again re-home them top of the meadow .
 I tend not to buy or grow flowers that slugs and snails eat .
 I try to live in harmony with nature , I love animals ! Let me know if you need any snails .

                                               Mission completed !

 I have put them back into the greenhouse to grow on a bit before taking them over to the much cooler Solar shed . The other Tomato plants are getting quite large now over in the shed .I need to plant out all the other seedlings to make space for all the Tomatoes and I need to fix up the "rigging" to support the Tomato vines .

 Then I notice ...a few more of the Physallis seeds have germinated ! Joy ! I will pot them on next week . So exciting !!!

                        I also potted up some more Rossignol Kale  .

                                    Kalettes and Cosmos germinating !

 I,m very excited about the Kalettes . I ,ve not grown these before , but from what I am reading about them , they look really easy , good and nutritious .
 They seem to have all germinated very quickly ....almost over-night !
So my next job is to prick them out and pot them on ....and keep them somewhere cool to plant out later on .
  But that's all for is very , very hot here in Mullion this afternoon ..too hot for me  ....time to go sit in the Summerhouse with a glass of lemonade and read my new copy of Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty's  "No Dig Organic Home &Garden" . Yes I finally gave back the library book and  bought my own copy !

          From my home to yours , I wish you a very Happy and Peaceful Easter .

                      ........oh..and do watch out for that Easter Bunny !