Tuesday 28 April 2020

Bowiea volubilis - breaking news !

                                                 Bowiea volubilis
                                             Look who's waking up !  :)

A Stroll around the veg garden and greenhouse - end of April

 We,ve had some rain over night , for which I am very grateful , but we could still really do with some more .

Especially in my vegetable garden . No sign of any pea shoots coming up yet .

However , I am very surprised and happy to see potatoes my coming up !
  Hooray ! I was so worried because I thought I had planted them too deeply .
 No sign of the ones in potato bed number two , but I planted  those about a week or two later , so now I,m not so worried !

 I re-potted my Blueberry plant and it is already flowering . I can see the beginnings of a good Blueberry harvest to come . I couldn't get any Ericaceous compost ,  so I have used just the earth that is in our garden . We have rhododendrons and Azaleas in the garden , so I hope it should be o.k .

 I need to sort out a cage or  netting of some sort to keep the birds from taking my Blueberries .
 We are preparing a new Fruit Bush zone up in the Veg - garden . We have been working very hard clearing and burning that area of brambles . It is involving a lot  more work than we expected . So my fruit bushes will have to remain in their tubs for a bit longer . May be we'll get this done next Autumn . Autumn is a better time for planting shrubs and fruit bushes .

 We cut another bundle of Hazel poles for my daughter , who is starting her first Vegetable garden this year . 
 I think that due to the ongoing Corona Virus  Pandemic , a lot of people are having a go at growing their own vegetables this year for the first time . 
  If you have a garden , it really does make sense  to grow your  own lovely fresh vegetables . There are plenty of books and videos and things to read online about growing  your own veggies .
  I have grown a few extra this year for my daughter and neighbours , but not as much as I would have liked to because I just cant get hold of compost  . I need every last little bit of the compost that I have for my Tomatoes . I only managed to have two bags delivered  .

 So we dropped them off , keeping a very safe distance and only the second time we,ve been out since February and we drove straight home again . This felt very creepy indeed . She had some shopping to give us too , as we couldn't get a delivery slot with any of the supermarkets .
  Anyway , she wasn't sure how to put it all together  , and ordinarily I would have gone in and helped her in her vegetable garden , but we cant right now , because of having to stay a safe distance  .
   Such worrying and difficult times  . So that's why I have I put on these extra pictures , showing how we have done ours .
  Soon we will all have fresh vegetables !

 I am using these bamboo canes , probably  for the last time as these are now so old and very brittle . Beans will climb up trimmed Hazel branches for poles so much better than Bamboo , they can get a much better grip . I might push in some twiggy pea sticks to help mine off to a good start .

 I put cardboard down along the middle to keep the weeds down and help the earth stay good and moist .

 The ghostly shrouds are the last two remaining Purple Sprouting Broccoli plants which need protection from Pigeons . Pigeons love PSB !
 In this bed are onions , carrots , turnips , lavender and thyme . The wigwam is ready for French Beans that I am growing in the potting shed and also in the greenhouse .

 In this bed I am growing Garlic and it looks quite good this year . I,ve never really been all that successful at growing Garlic , so I,m feeling quite pleased with these . After these are harvested , I will plant out all my brassicas , which are waiting in the wings .

 The celery has been fantastic ! It  has continued growing over the Winter and I just keep pulling leaves from it to use in the kitchen as and when I please .

 Not a good picture , but under this fleece are Spinach, Beetroot and Spring Onions.

 To the side of them are Autumn planted Onions , which are just starting to grow away nicely now , especially after this little bit of rain .

I left two or three Leeks to flower , for the bees and also so that I can save the seeds for next year .

 The Rhubarb has begun to flower , due to the unexpected hot weather we have been having over the last week or so . I will cut these flowers off . I want more leaves for crumbles ! :)

This is the African Keyhole bed , presently nothing much in there . Just a couple of clumps of Egyptian Onions .
 Ah ! The Butternut Squashes are all germinating up in the potting shed !
 They do very well here in the deep compost that I have built up in here  .
 I will fix up some pig-wire supports for the Squash to scrabble over .

                                          Egyptian Walking Onions .

  Buccaboo the scarecrow ! He is not quite finished yet , but gives me a fright every-time I walk up to the greenhouse !

 My other daughter who loves herbs, wanted to see how my Lemon Balm is doing . It returns and does very well every year . Such a cheerful plant !

                                     All is well in the potting shed .

               All is well in the veg trug . ( Salad leaves and Spring Onions )

 So let's take take a look in the greenhouse , through the window I can see RED !

                               Look at all the Epiphyllum buds !

                                This is the first Epie bloom of the year !

                               Dioscorea elephantipes is dormant .

                                          Cactus Guardian :)

                                          No beans coming up yet .
 These are French Climbing Beans , St Anthony , Coco Sophie and The Nun's Belly Button .

I,ve been so busy sowing vegetable seeds and preparing the vegetable garden that I haven't had time to look at the cacti . For some of them it is time to begin a gentle watering .

                         My happy , peaceful place , in my greenhouse .

                                             Haworthia limifolia

                                              Euphorbia stellata

                 With a nice Ammonite fossil that I found on Charmouth Beach .

              Lithops and the leaf cuttings from an Adromischus rupicola ( I think :) )

Pleased to see the Yucca elephantipes cutting ,that I took last Autumn , seems to be doing really well .

                                               Smothered in buds ! :)

The Cactus that we bought from Groves Nursery in Bridport , my husband named it " Billy No Mates " on account of it not having a plant label .

 The hedgerow is full of Wild Garlic and Red Campion Silene and Bluebells  .
    I hope you are all well , staying safe and keeping cheerful during these difficult days .
 THANKYOU  to all our doctors and nurses on the front line , you are all in my prayers along with all those you are caring for right now .
   ......and all keyworkers ....from my heart , thankyou  .

Wednesday 22 April 2020

Happy Earth Day

                                              Every day is Earth Day !

Sunday 19 April 2020

The Cuckoo has arrived ! Mullion Cornwall 19th April 2020

   The dawn chorus was loud this morning as I opened my bedroom window at 6am . What a joyful sound ! 
    I pulled on my boots and went for a walk up into the vegetable garden  ... and there from somewhere across the misty meadow , I could hear the distinctive sound of the Cuckoo . 

I have only managed to take one photo of a Cuckoo and I,m afraid it really wasn't very good .
 So I have  pulled down from my bookshelf a couple of my favourite old books dated 1896 .
                                Allen's Naturalist's Library
 A  Hand-Book to the Birds of Great Britain by R.Bowdler Sharpe,LLD.,
             Zoological Department , British Museum vol.1 and vol.11 .

  I love the illustrations , of which it says " plates which have been coloured from specimens in the British  Museum and several pictures by Mr Keulemans have been added to illustrate certain representative species of  British  Birds"  .
 Each coloured plate has a sheet of tissue to protect it .

This coloured plate has fallen out . A cuckoo's egg is included in this picture .

The author goes into great detail about the Cuckoo , but for me these two snippets are all I need .

   He actually says that , " a whole volume could be written on the life history of this curious  and interesting bird ! "

One plate  has fallen out and one of the covers is a little torn on the spine, but apart from that, the books are in quite good condition . No , they are not for sale , these two books are keepers for sure !

They have been well loved and I am not afraid to turn the pages and enjoy the contents .
                                    Have you heard the Cuckoo yet ?

                                     " a curious and interesting bird "

Saturday 18 April 2020

Putting up the Runner-bean Frame

     I was hoping that after the rain , the earth would be nice and soft to push in the Hazel poles for our Runner-bean frame , but in the end it didn't rain all that much . So I had no choice but to dig the holes in which to put up the six main poles .
 It was quite hard work and now I have a headache .

I temporarily tied the poles together with some tarred string . I need to find the wire that I re-use every year .....it's somewhere in the shed .
    Shed needs re-organising . Headache . Elbow hurts . Had enough for today .

                So there we are , not quite finished , but the worst of it done .

I,ve sown a first wave of Runner-bean seeds up in the potting shed and a few of them are beginning to break the surface in their pots .
 It is still too early to sow or plant them outside just yet .
It always makes me happy to see the Runner-bean frame put up !

                 Time to go put my feet up and have a nice cup of tea !