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 !

Friday 22 November 2019

Autumn - Rest and Replenish the Earth

We're having a proper Autumn that's for sure with a good measure of wind and rain . Some are having more of their fair share of it , with the misery of flooding , my heart goes out to you .

 I met a new friend in the village this week . She had offered to share some of her Heritage seeds that she has saved with anyone who might be interested .
  Well , naturally I was very interested and how nice to find someone else in the village as passionate about veg growing as me !
 She gave me a very generous bundle of very interesting seeds ( it was like Christmas ! ) and I gave her some of mine and will be doing some cuttings a bit later on to share too . 
   I,m getting that wonderful excited and itchy feeling that keen veg gardeners get ..... I just cant wait to start seed sowing again !  I also cant wait to go and see her veg garden !
  She came and I gave her a little tour around my veg garden, which at first I thought oh ! no !  It is not the prettiest sight to see at this gloomy old time of the year......but then thought..actually , it's not so bad , I,m doing o.k with it and have plenty of things growing away out there in my living larder .
  Right now in my veg garden , I have Brussel Sprouts, Onions, leeks, celery, Purple Sprouting Broccoli , garlic , several kale varieties and parsley . In the Veg Trug I,m growing lots of Spring onions and lettuces ..although the lettuces are struggling a bit now .
 I could sow broad-beans now , but they got so covered in black-fly last year, it rather put me off growing them again .
The herb garden is a total unruly mess ....but that's herbs for you ..that is how they like to be . O.K. so I need to tame it a little !
  So everything is just growing away nicely and doesn't require much attention .
Seed sowing will begin again for me in January/February when I start off with the Leek seeds , then comes the time for sowing tomatoes and peppers and then before you know it , Spring arrives and we are all very busy once again into the new growing season .....

......but now it is Autumn and this is the time to rest and replenish the Earth .

There was a good long gap between the showers of rain and I took the opportunity to get outside and sweep up the precious beech leaves .

 Beech leaves make such a healthy mulch for the earth , they break down beautifully over the Winter months , the worms love them , taking them down deeply and creating beautiful nutritious compost .

 I filled two wheelbarrow loads and tipped them all onto the African Keyhole Veg Bed where I am layering all kinds of good things to feed the good Earth .
 Next year I will be growing Butternuts here again , they did so well the last time I grew them in this bed .  We love Butternuts !

 By this time it was getting dark . My eyes adjust and I didn't realise how dark it was until I came indoors .

 Egyptian Walking Onions , are doing well , dropping their fat bundles of red bulbils all around . They are enjoying all the rain and are getting their roots down fast .

             The sky is very dark and more heavy rain is forecast tonight ....

                              ......and tomorrow ......and the next day .....

       Through our cottage window , our Christmas tree lights are twinkling .

                             Time to go in and have a nice hot cup of tea !

Saturday 2 November 2019

Wild Weather Mullion

 We,ve had some pretty wild weather here in Mullion . I lay listening to the roof rattling last night and torrential rain all day here .
  I,m worrying about my little Blackbird friend Birdie-girl , who I haven't seen for a few days . I hope she is alright .
I re-filled the bird feeders with peanuts and birdseed .
  Look at this poor exhausted and bedraggled Rook , who came to me so trustingly for a few crusts of bread  . He is now sheltering under a bush . Hopefully he will recover and try to fly again tomorrow .
     More rain is forecast ! :(