Sunday, 9 August 2020

Peace...



www.allposters.co.uk

Father, Mother, God,

Thank you for your presence during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.

Thank you for your presence during the bright and sunny days.
For then we can share that which we have with those who have less.

And thank you for your presence during the Holy Days.
For then we are able to celebrate you and our families and our friends

For those who have no voice, we ask you to speak.

For those who feel unworthy, we ask you to pour your love out in waterfalls of tenderness.

For those who live in pain, we ask you to bathe them in the river of your healing.

For those who are lonely, we ask you to keep them company.

For those who are depressed, we ask you to shower upon them the light of hope.

Dear Creator, You, the borderless sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the world that which we need most.....PEACE.

Maya Angelou
(4th April 1928 - 28th May 2014)

Friday, 7 August 2020

A garden of two halves


The front garden is divided quite neatly through the middle by the path to the gate.  On the other side, of course, is the kitchen garden and pond; this side is destined to be purely ornamental.  The photo above, by the way, was taken on 12th May this year would you believe!  Thankfully the snow didn't last long but it was certainly a surprise to have snow in May.  


Quite frankly, my lovelies, the "ornamental garden" is a mess.  Granted, the border on the left of the photo did look rather pretty from a distance when all the wild flowers were in bloom but it's now looking rather sad and unloved.  I believe the white and shades-of-purple flowers on the left are sweet rocket.  They have self-seeded and smell lovely.  The bees and butterflies adore them; I was in the garden one sunny afternoon and the sound of the bees buzzing on the rocket was almost deafening!


The border on this side is particularly full of bluebells.  In fact both the ornamental and kitchen garden sides have masses of the bulbs, although I have culled those on the kitchen garden side quite considerably.  I think these may actually be Spanish bluebells rather than our native British variety.  There are lots of blue ones, but also a few white and lilac/pink plants too.  The yellow flowers on the left of the photo are ~ I kid you not ~ on a turnip that somehow self-seeded in the border!      


Actually, the turnip flowers were very pretty and the bees loved them.


I'm amazed that this peony managed to survive, given that it was hemmed in by a tree (which I think may be a white hornbeam) and the old hedge that we had removed.  Once the hedge was gone, the peony just popped up as if from nowhere and has grown considerably since last year.  It obviously likes this spot cuddled up to the garden wall 😊  

The tree had been rather badly cut back in the past which is why we had it cut down in the first place.  We didn't get around to doing anything with the stump and it is now regrowing ~ we have accidentally coppiced it!  We've decided to let it grow and see how it goes.  I'm hoping that the peony will still be happy once the tree is growing properly again.


The wall seems to give the peony some shelter from the wind.


The blooms are just so beautiful!


As well as "ordinary" daffodils we have masses of these narcissus that resemble the variety Pheasant's Eye.  Since they were already in the garden I have no idea if that is indeed the variety.  They flower in May and are scented.  I dug up loads of the bulbs that were in the kitchen garden border that runs along the path from the gate (I will be replanting some of these back into the border), and from this opposite border on the ornamental side.  I gave a carrier-bag full to a friend, have got about 50 or so of the bulbs ready for sending down to my Mum and have already planted many more clumps in the other three kitchen garden borders!  Once I get the ornamental borders sorted out, I'll be able to spread these narcissus about a bit more.  


I spotted this plant when Adrian was digging out the weeds over in what will eventually be our fruit cage.  I think it's a feverfew, the leaves certainly smell like it anyway.  It doesn't seem to mind that I moved it and has been full of pretty daisy flowers.


Lovely fluffy dandelion 😊


I have made a start on tidying up the ornamental borders.


I rescued this holly (along with three others) from the over-run border; it's so much happier now that it's got a bit of space to call it's own!


Iris sibirica are another of those plants that look delicate but are pretty tough.


This variety, Butter and Sugar, is very pretty.


I moved everything that had been in this bed ~ not that there was an awful lot, to be honest ~ out to the kitchen garden borders as I wanted to make an alpine bed. 


Instead of rocks, I made use of chunky pieces of tree trunk/branches to make planting pockets.  It needs a few more plants to fill it out but I'm really pleased with how it's looking already.  When I've finished planting I will top it off with some grit.


I found quite a few clumps of this little ground-hugging plant in the garden ~ I've been told that it is called procumbent pearlwort.  I thought it was a very sweet little plant, so dug up the clumps that I came across and planted it around one of those holly bushes I rescued.


And finally, a photo that I took earlier in the year of some fungi growing at the back of the pond 😊

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Rhubarb and roses


This raised bed is in the back garden and as I had revised plans in mind for it, I dug out all the plants to use in the shady border in the new kitchen garden.  It was a good opportunity to sort out the rubbly soil, something we are having to work our way through in all the back garden raised beds *sigh*  The soil was all removed and made use of in the first of the new veggie beds in the kitchen garden.  Adrian then started to refill it with sieved soil from another of the back garden beds.  We added a good deep layer of not-entirely-composted compost from the first bin we had filled ~ a somewhat smelly job, but it will gradually decompose in there.  That was topped with another layer of sieved soil, and finally with shop-bought compost.


I thought that roses and rhubarb would be good bed-fellows since they are both hungry plants. I can just as easily feed the entire bed, as it's quite small, as individual plants.  All the plants had a good dusting of mycorrhizal fungi powder over their roots when they went in, plus a couple of handfuls of chicken manure pellets mixed with the soil.  I then topped off the bed with bark chippings ~ which the blackbirds like to dig up and scatter everywhere LOL 


The two rosa rugosa at the back have been dug up and moved a couple of times now, but they don't seem to care in the slightest.  The one on the right is very much smaller as it was actually a piece that broke off a larger plant, luckily with some roots!

The rhubarb crowns were also previously planted in different places, as I bought them from Dobies last autumn and just needed to get them in the ground.  From left to right they are Victoria, Fulton's Strawberry Surprise, and Polish Raspberry Red.  Victoria has had a tough time, to be honest, but there are some leaves just visible so I'm hoping that it will perk up by next spring.  The Fulton's SS is looking very lively, despite being moved, and Polish RR has perked up.  Hopefully there will be rhubarb crumble on the horizon next year 😋   


Our friend, Sue, sent us some blackcurrant and redcurrant cuttings earlier in the year.  The photo above was taken after they had started to grow, but when I planted them they were just sticks with a handful of leaves!  I didn't have any potting compost at the time so just used some of the rubbly garden soil and poked the "sticks" in.


To be honest, I was amazed that they didn't all just curl up their toes and die.  I was even more amazed when not only did they quickly sprout new leaves, they started to flower too!  I even made an extra blackcurrant cutting by cutting a rather long twig in half.


All the blackcurrants have survived but I did lose one of the redcurrants.  They all seem to be thriving and hopefully I'll be able to plant them next year in the fruit cage we are planning to build.


I really wasn't expecting such a good result, and find it hard to believe that such peedie little plants are actually fruiting.  I'm pretty sure I should have really removed the fruit as the plants are so young but I didn't have the heart to.


I suppose if a plant is happy, then it will do it's best to live and thrive 😊

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Craft room close-ups

Following on from my rearrangement of the craft room post the other day, I thought that I'd share a few close ups of my little treasures 😊


It seems that there are a lot of folk who don't like dolls (I know this is a fact but I really don't understand it 😄) but I love my little collection.  These baby dolls are all vintage Rosebud dolls.  I used to have a very much larger collection of all kinds of dolls but before we moved up here, I decided that it would be best to downsize somewhat.  My very first baby doll, Jane (who I've had since I was two years old), is a Rosebud so I have a soft spot for the make ~ she lives in Adrian and my bedroom, along with two teddies I've had since I was a baby.  These little ladies could all do with a spot of pampering in the dolly beauty salon ~ something to do in the bad weather 😊



These three in the bottom right-hand corner of the photo aren't Rosebuds, but I'm rather fond of them so they survived the cull!



Mexican Mama and her baby now sit beneath my mother-in-law's old Singer sewing-machine table.



The plushies just about fitted on this little wall-shelf.  The china houses were given by KLM Airlines to their business class passengers, apparently filled with Dutch gin.  I adore blue and white china (sadly, another of my collections that was downsized before we moved) and regularly used to browse Ebay to see if anything caught my eye.  As you can imagine, these most definitely did!  After all, what's not to love: not only a miniature house, but also a Delft blue miniature house 😉  


The view out of the side window isn't particularly inspiring at the moment, but the sun pours in which is rather lovely.  The wooden Orkney Islands mobile gently sways in the warmth coming through the window.


A better view of the mobile, and some of my eclectic treasures on the shelf above.  The felted ball tree is actually meant to be a Christmas decoration but it's too pretty to only come out once a year.   


And lastly, the Frog Prince showing off his solar-powered glow-in-the-dark eyes ~ just goes to show how much sunshine comes through the window.  I really must get round to making him the crown I promised last year 😄

Monday, 3 August 2020

And then there were three


So that's bed three built and in position.  We tried setting it in the same way as beds one and two, but it was just too much of a trip hazard as it was so close to the inspection chamber.  We can't make up our minds at the moment about what the orientation of bed four should be ~ not that the kit has arrived yet LOL  We'll just have to try it out in both directions and see how it looks.  Then it will be a case of deciding what size kits we should get for beds five and six.  We definitely can't comfortably fit in any more 6' x 4' beds, but hopefully we'll be able use 6' x 3'.

Bed two is filled with soil, ready for the last of the plants I've ordered.  Half of it will be strawberries, and the other half is going to be used as a nursery bed to grow on perennial plug plants ready to go out in the garden next spring. 


The netting and hoops arrived last week ~ bed one now looks somewhat like a bride about to walk down the aisle!  I had a good look at the plants, most of which had clusters of eggs and some even had teeny-tiny caterpillars.  I decided to just cut those leaves off rather than faff about; I'm not convinced that I managed to get all the little buggers though!  Although the hoops are supposed to be for 4' beds, I don't feel that they are quite tall enough once the netting has been fixed in place.  At some point I think I will order the components to make my own, taller, "cloches" for these 4' beds, and use these hoops in the narrower beds in due course.


Look!  Actual broccoli florets!!  You have no idea how excited I was to find this on my caterpillar hunt!!!  Perhaps I'll be sampling my very own homegrown broccoli after all 😊

Sunday, 2 August 2020

Peace...



www.allposters.co.uk

Father, Mother, God,

Thank you for your presence during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.

Thank you for your presence during the bright and sunny days.
For then we can share that which we have with those who have less.

And thank you for your presence during the Holy Days.
For then we are able to celebrate you and our families and our friends

For those who have no voice, we ask you to speak.

For those who feel unworthy, we ask you to pour your love out in waterfalls of tenderness.

For those who live in pain, we ask you to bathe them in the river of your healing.

For those who are lonely, we ask you to keep them company.

For those who are depressed, we ask you to shower upon them the light of hope.

Dear Creator, You, the borderless sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the world that which we need most.....PEACE.

Maya Angelou
(4th April 1928 - 28th May 2014)