Saturday 28 January 2023

Thinking about Dahlias and Ferns

 I've been thinking and dreaming and getting excited about creating a Dahlia bed .

Dreaming about having a crazy riot of colour !

I have had the Kilmarnock Willow cut down to create a nice big space for it . Only thing I have to do is get rid of the stump and all the Ivy that has been creeping about underneath it . I had hoped that the tree surgeons would have taken it out for me .... but I guess they ran out of time . So I will have to sort it out myself , or else it will come back with a vengeance .

The young Monkey Puzzle Tree will now have space to do it's awesome thing .

This was the first one of four that I grew from seed and it is looking proper sexy !

I pulled out two wheel barrow loads of brambles and Ivy roots and tore out  a rubbish sheet of weed membrane . I have covered the willow tree stump with it for the time being as I couldn't face working on this area anymore for today .

 Two wheel barrow loads of back breaking , arm wrenching weeds and the pink wheelbarrow full of willow shoots we cut down the other day . 
Tomorrow we will have a bonfire  .

Seeing the Camellias beginning to bloom gave me another burst of energy .

...and I tidied up the other side of that bed behind the Chamaerops humilis  and removing some of it's leaves . 

Chamaerops humilis grows as a clump and I just like to keep it in a bit of order , to reveal it's lovely trunks and also so that I can see the old lawn roller .

In the pictures above , you can see the Agave americana variegata ,the Sweet pea tub and this Agave ferox are still under some protection . I have been trying to find a really big new cloche for this one . The old cloche was falling to bits and causing more harm than good .

I peered in to my Fern Garden  (the miserable dark damp space behind the garage ) .

The ferocious winter gales had finally smashed down the gate .

It is in here that I mainly grow ferns , not only because I love them , but also in memory of my grandfather who loved them and had a fine collection of them , so I am told .

In the heat of the summer it is a lovely cool place for me to sit and sew or read a book  .We used to have a bench in there .

It really is at it's most beautiful , in the Spring , as the new crosiers begin to unfurl .

So with that in mind , I begin to clear more Ivy , brambles and wretched stinging nettles . 

With the wheel barrows full all three , and me with no strength left in me to empty them , I left another three piles of weeds . 

I might get back to it tomorrow , if I,m not aching too much . AND

I'll try and take some better pictures of inside my secret fern garden . 

 I love you . See you tomorrow x

Friday 27 January 2023

Tomato Seeds Sown Today !


                    Hooray ! My Tomato seeds arrived in great time from Nicky's Nursery .

I had such success last year with these two varieties , grown in my greenhouse and shed , that I thought I'd just stick with them . 

Alicante being a regular sized tomato and Super Sweet 100 F1 being the  little cherry sized ones .

I like how this nursery pack their seeds .  A little paper packet sealed within  foil keeps them fresh and are sent out in a padded envelope , so they are protected . 

I am giving them a very teeny tiny amount of warmth on my Garland Super 7 Electric Windowsill Propagator . I have now put the clear lids over these .

I think the Marconi Sweet Pepper seeds are just beginning to break the surface of the compost . They are in the covered pot at the end of the row . I had a good harvest from this variety last year , but I wished I'd started them off earlier . 

The Cucumbers are already up . I will need to prick them out and pot them up , maybe tomorrow before their roots begin to get tangled up ! These are going into my warm front porch for a while , also some to go into my daughter's much warmer greenhouse .

 Strictly speaking , it is way too early to be sowing Cucumbers . So don't copy me . 

The middle and towards the end of next month will be better for sowing them . I will be sowing another lot for the greenhouse next month .

It depends where you are for getting sowing underway . I,m as far south as you can get in the U.K. ( on the Lizard Peninsula ) Also I can start these tomatoes and sweet peppers early because they will eventually be grown in the greenhouse . 

Growing them in the greenhouse and the shed works for me and we had a never ending supply of tomatoes all through the summer and into early Autumn .

 Even with so called "outdoor " varieties , I have rarely had any success growing tomatoes outside ....but that's just me !   





Wednesday 25 January 2023

Soup day .

It's still cold here in Mullion .

We had quite a hard frost yesterday . 

Not as heavy a frost as you might have further up country . Only the second time this winter that I've seen my garden  as sparkly as this .

My Leeks and kale look o.k. still .

The fields look pretty frozen . 

Not much I can do in the garden today if I wanted to. I brought in the wood and lit the fire .

Just sat here on the floor watching the flames dance for a while . 

Wash hands . Tie on my apron . Make breakfast . Make soup .

This is the famous Tik Tok Justin Schuble Quinoa Veggie Soup  .

QUINOA VEGGIE SOUP ๐Ÿ˜‹ save this for later!! it’s the perfect fall winter soup and will make enough for leftovers! ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿผ see below for the recipe details ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿผ Ingredients: -3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil -4 carrots, peeled and chopped  -1 medium onion, chopped -4 stalks celery, thinly sliced -6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced -Sea salt -Ground pepper  -1 large zucchini (or 2 small ones), sliced  -1 (15.5-oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained -2 (28-oz.) cans diced tomatoes -2 cups quinoa -Ground cumin to taste -Crushed red pepper flakes to taste  -4 cups chicken broth -Handful of kale, ribs removed and leaves sliced , a lemon, squeezed Steps: -add olive oil to a large pan and heat over medium-high heat -add carrots, onions, celery and garlic -season with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until veggies are soft -add zucchini, cannellini beans, diced tomato, quinoa and chicken broth -season with cumin and crushed red pepper -bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes -add kale and stir -add lemon and rotisserie chicken (optional) and stir again -enjoy! Top with some extra ground black pepper  .

I tried to share the link , but it didn't work .Sorry ! Look it up and watch his brilliant video .

This is the second batch I have made . It is delicious ! This batch I am freezing away for another day .

The rotisserie chicken was amazing stirred into it ! 

I'm freezing it without the roast chicken in it , with a view to maybe changing it up and having salmon with it next time .

I left out the quinoa and the crushed red pepper flakes . You just adjust it to your taste .

We had this with some beautiful buttered granary bread and it was divine ! 

This is a very nutritious and hearty , meal in itself  kind of a soup .

Just the thing to warm you up on a cold day like today . 

After lunch we took our walk along the cliffs .

Lovely and sunny , but cold .Very cold and my socks were squelching inside my stupid , rubbish wellington boots !

It was so good to get home and warm my toes in front of the fire !

Monday 23 January 2023

It's a Cheese Flan Day !


                     Up and out to see the Sun rise and hear the birds sing .

                                     Say "Hello ! " to the Primroses .

                                       Bring in some wood .

                                    Get the fire going .

                               Bish !

                                 Bash !

     A mixture of lovely vegetables , onions , tomatoes and a heap of mushrooms .

                                    Bosh !

    And we have a twice the size that I normally make Cheese Flan steaming hot from the oven !

Poached eggs on marmite on toast  with small spoonful of baked beans for brekkers  .

  Do the washing up ...and I mean DO the washing up the sink . Funny how there is never anyone around to catch a tea towel .

                                                 Give the fire a stir .

                               Sit down and enjoy a cuppa tea .

Later on we will take half of this flan over to my daughter and family . Give her a break from cooking today .

The sun is shining here , I can see blue sky through the window . 

I think we might go out for walk , while it's nice . Say "Hello " to the sea . 

It has been a beautiful morning .

Hope you are having a lovely day x Debbie x

Thursday 19 January 2023

Monkey Puzzle Rescue

 So I spent a whole afternoon battling the brambles that had grown over and under the branches of my little Monkey Puzzle tree and it really is not looking very happy .

Last year , someone thought they were helping by cutting the brambles down , but in reality what they had done was pruned them and now they were flourishing . 

 I managed to clear this side of the fence , but there is still a lot to do .

To one side there is also a young Trachycarpus which also needed protection .

This was just before the bad weather came in . I pruned back some of the branches from the Bay tree and lay them down to surround both the Trachycarpus and the Monkey Puzzle tree  . We will burn those branches as soon as the wind is in the right direction , but for now they'll make for a good windbreak until I can get out to continue the job of tidying this corner and planting more hedging .

I hope not ,but , if I lose that Monkey Puzzle then I do have the third one still waiting in the wings , to replace it . 

This one has two leading shoots , of which I think I will take off one , so it will make a better shaped tree .

It is also looking a bit battered in all this cold , haily , windy weather .

So I have popped it into the shed , just until all these hail and sleet showers have gone .

It's looking happier already !

Other big news -  I sowed my first seeds of the year today .

 Sweet Peppers " Marconi " 

       They were great last year and I remember saying that I wished I had started them off a little bit earlier . So I did !

I also sowed a few Cucumbers which might really be pushing my luck . I have two generous packets of seeds so I can always sow some more if they fail .

In the pot at the end are some cuttings of Jiaogulan roots also known as "the Immortality Plant " which I bought from the expert Vegetable Gardener  Klaus Laitenberger .

I am so excited and pleased to have acquired these and am getting them started on my bedroom windowsill . It is a herb with many health benefits . 

 I had to use slug pellets because there were slug/snails eggs in the compost . I am very excited to see some tiny shoots pushing up already .

                                             I get very excited about such things ! 

                                                      That's all fer now !  Debbie  x 

Tuesday 17 January 2023

Nearly all gone .


                            2 . 30 pm  - Lovely blue sky and snow nearly all gone .

     There may be more on the way for tonight ! 

More rain , hail and then a dusting of snow !


We had little showers over night , alternately rain , hail , sleet , snow , rain .

                                             Finally a dusting of snow .

                                   So pretty !   The child in me is delighted ! 

                                       Alas !     Not really enough to make a snowman .

Take care out on the roads today if you have to go out .

Our little lane doesn't  look too bad , but there might be patches of ice .

I think this will be gone by lunch time .

Only yesterday I was happy to see the first Spring Violets in the hedgerow along the lane .

I could not find the Snowdrops , there is a lot of Ivy growing in the place where I usually see them . I hope the Snowdrops will push up through it . 

So it's a sit by the fire and do some embroidery kind of a day for me . . . .

           . . . .  and dream about the warm Summer days to come  .