Tuesday, 31 October 2006

A IS FOR..................contd

Our wee aloes are babies taken from a mother plant when hubby and I had our one and only holiday abroad in Spain a few years ago. No that's not a flower on them; it's a self seeded busy lizzie. I didn't have the heart to pull it out. I know I will have to pot the aloes up at some point but at the moment I am managing to keep them small by keeping them in small pots. Mind you I don't know where I would put them if they were bigger as they are very lethal. I guess I would have to drink plenty of wine so that I could put the corks on those sharp, pointed tips.

Our azalea was another bargain (excuse the stray poppy in the middle) this time from Aldi. It is completely deciduous and the majority of flowers appear before the leaves.

The Asters, a sure sign that autumn is on its way. The first picture is of one we bought for 10p at Homebase in their throwout area. It was a weedy little thing with shrivelled leaves about 2cm high. Shows what a bit of TLC can do.

Aquilegias are very promiscuous plants. They seed themselves around quite freely and seem to grow anywhere. The third photo is of William Guinness (note the Guinness black(well almost) and white colouring) and is hubby's particular favourite.

A IS FOR..................

I had intended to get some photos of the acers showing their autumn colours; unfortunately the plain green one has dropped its leaves almost overnight. One of the drawbacks of a long summer that suddenly turns to autumn.

The aconitum flower towards the end of the summer. They are commonly known as monkshood (note the shape of the flower) and are poisonous.

Anna Lodden, is part of the campanula family. Because our garden is rather shady when it first starts coming up it can get very tall and leggy. We let it get to about 1m and then cut it to the ground. That way when it regrows we get a lovely flowering at a manageable height and it doesn't overshadow everything else. It also has a lovely scent; especially on a warm summers evening.

How the bees and butterflies love the Agastache. The leaves are quite aromatic; a sort of spicy smell. When there are a lot of flowers out it looks a bit like a candelabra with all the flowers sticking up.

Not a garden plant but a house plant our African violets always bloom well. I love the fact that they are so easy to propergate. Just snip a stem with leaf off, pop it into some water and before many weeks pass little leaves and roots start appearing at the base of the stem and you have a brand new plant. It amazes me that you shouldn't get water on the leaves of the parent plant yet these baby leaves actually grow under water.

We didn't actually plant this antirrhinum; a passing bird or a gust of wind must have sown it for us. We love it and hope it will seed around and come true as it has variegated leaves.

I really like these shorter alstromerias. In a small garden like ours the taller variety can take over. They make a lovely cut flower and really last well in a vase.

These Agapanthus are a shorter variety too. As with a lot of the plants from sunnier climes they do not do as well as they would in a hot sun baked garden; but we love them so are pleased that they flower at all for us.


The weather forecast said today that on Thursday we could have a widespread frost. So I quickly popped the begonias, non-hardy fuschias and pelargoniums into the shed. I will at a later date have to defoliate and generally tidy them up.
I was looking through some of our photos of the garden and think I may try to do a bit of a A to Z of our plants over the next few postings. It will give me an excuse to post a few more pictures. Unfortunately some of our garden plants bloomed during my non-digital camera days so will have to come back to them next year. I wont be using long Latin names or going into detailed growing instructions; all that can be found out from books or websites. This will be just a record and bits of information about our particular favourites. I shall call the plants by the names WE call them; some common, some Latin, some nicknames (mainly cos we cant pronounce the Latin name!). Also please forgive spelling errors; if you say the plant name out loud I'm sure it will sound right!

Monday, 30 October 2006


Whether you agree with it or not there could well be a knock on your door from trick-or-treaters Tuesday night. If you do have children or grandchildren who are going treat-or-treating please follow these guidelines.

Trick-Or-Treat Safety Tips
Make sure young children are accompanied by some responsible teenagers or adults when they go trick-or-treating from door to door.
Ask your kids to go trick-or-treating in known neighbourhoods.
Tell them to use pavements, cross only at the corners and strictly instruct them never to run between parked cars.
They should not go inside anyone’s home unless it’s someone known.
If they go out in the dark, give them a flashlight and ask them to stick to well-lit streets.

Saturday, 28 October 2006


Cuttings and Parent Plant

No visitors this weekend and so I have used some of the spare time to finally pot up the coleus cuttings that had rooted. Coleus are such a lovely foliage plant. They have such a range of different coloured leaves. Of course in England they would not get through the winter in the garden hence the reason I try to take cuttings so that I have a few nice house plants for the winter. They do flower but, personally, I think the flowers detract from the beauty of the plant so I usually pinch them out.


Well what a strange year it is this year. Normally by now we have had a frost which has finished off the annuals. This year though the winter jasmine has started flowering whilst the begonias and busy lizzies are still going strong! The cannas which by now I have usually put into the shed are continuing to flower AND making new buds. I've taken a look at the week aheads weather forecast and it seems temperatures could suddenly drop, so to be on the safe side I will move the cannas, fuschia and begonia baskets and non hardy upright fuschias inside during the week. Then it will be time to start mulching up the tender perennials that we leave in the ground. I'm glad we've had some rain now as I dont like mulching when the soil beneath is too dry. Then once weve had that first frost I'll pop the dahlias away too so that they can start dying down and drying off. Depending on the harshness of the winter there is a chance they would survive in their pots outside but as they are very precious (some of hubbys favourites) I dont want to take the chance.

Friday, 27 October 2006


Hubby and I always make few jars of pickled onions to be ready for Christmas. Of course this year he wont be able to help so Manda has helped keep up the family tradition by giving me a hand with the peeling. Reckon she knows that will put her in good stead for getting a jar of her own! I had tried this year soaking them in a salt solution for a few hours prior to peeling and I must say it was a lot easier. I am leaving them overnight soaking in a fresh brine solution and tomorrow will put them in jars with the vinegar. Bet the kitchen will smell very "oniony" (is there such a word?) by the morning.

Thursday, 26 October 2006


Hummingbird moth <---- just click
I having been trying for ages to work out how to put a video clip link on my blog; and thanks to fellow bloggers on Google have managed this. It was taken last month and had me running round the garden like a woman possessed. This moth moved SO fast and I was only using my digital camera to record it.

Tuesday, 24 October 2006


Now that winter is approaching I have decided to create a new blog. I will use the "Me, my life, my garden" blog to post more about our garden with little stories and bits of information about our garden during the past years. The new blog is going to be a sort of diary going into more detail about our lives since hubby was diagnosed with brain cancer. I hope that by doing this visitors interested in gardening wont be bogged down with information about hubbys condition and, vice versa, visitors interested in the "caring" aspect of my life wont have to go through all the gardening posts. Of course the two blogs are very much part of the WHOLE story of our lives and I hope that many of you will visit both. Hopefully, time allowing, the new blog will be up and running in the next few days.


Monday, 23 October 2006

Hush there's a fairy playing in the garden


The nerines and chrysanths have started coming into flower. They are always the last to flower. Christmas will be upon us before we know it! As our garden is north facing the nerines struggle so we put them in pots and keep moving them into the sun all summer; that way they get a good baking.

My Baby Sister

Just dived on to the comp for a quick minute to email my sister to tell her about my blog. As she will probably be having a look later I'm quickly putting a pic of her on here. She runs a card shop in Jedburgh, Scotland so if any of you are up that way drop in to "From me to you" and say Hi to her. There you are Sis; a bit of FREE advertising!

Sunday, 22 October 2006

Had Visitors!

Had an exciting day blog wise. I've actually had visitors to my blog and some lovely comments. Not everyone leaves a comment or signs the guest book but my web stats say I've even had a visit from China and U.S.A. Isn't technology brilliant (when it works). It's so nice when people do comment though because it means I am able to link and visit their blogs. So special thanks to Ruby, Peacefulmouse and Gattina.
A posy for you/

Friday, 20 October 2006


Was having a look around the web last night and found a site that did a free guest book; so if you have happened to drop by please sign it. Also been uploading some photos to my picasa web album. So easy to do that even a newbie like me managed it. If you click on the picture of the fuschias you can go and have a look at it.

Thursday, 19 October 2006


The whole reason I started this blog was because I wanted an outlet to put down my feelings about my husbands brain cancer. I've many times tried to do this but so far haven't managed it; a) because I dont have the time
b) because I find it too upsetting
I want to put something down in words though so have decided to try to do a "DAY IN THE LIFE" posting. It may mean I have to keep coming back and editing to add more as I dont think I'll have time to do it in one sitting. Any way here goes!
Info:- Hubby cant speak, move or talk. He is totally unable to communicate, unable to feed himself (most meals take at least an hour to get down him) and is doubly incontinent. His arms are clenched up to his chest and almost impossible to move; which makes dressing very difficult. It is thought that he has no short term memory and is not aware of his condition. I dont tell him he is dying - if he is blissfully unaware of it why make him unhappy? We sleep in our living room as there is no way to get him upstairs to the bedroom. The timings are not hard an fast - it only needs a phone call to come in or a knock on the door or hubby having a REALLY bad choking fit or needing an extra long clean up after having bowels open and all routine is changed.
Text in blue is additional information depending on what day it is or if we are due visitors etc.

Been awake for about half an hour. Busting to go to the loo but been holding it cos still dark outside and its so cosy in bed. Gotta get up tho - hubby could rouse any time between now and 8am and if I dont go to the loo, wash and dress now I dont know when I'll get the chance.
Quickly put kettle on - check on hubby. Upstairs for loo, wash and dress - check on hubby. Have a coffee, wash up any evening dirty crockery - check on hubby. Turn on computer and check for post and bank balance - pay any due bills online - check on hubby.
Hubby rousing, chat to him while I open curtains, sit him up and put his glasses on him (dont know for sure how much he can still see but wont chance leaving them off). Go into kitchen and make hubby his morning tea in a bottle - unable to take it from a cup. Takes a while for him to be able to drink his tea - chokes a lot first thing in the morning. Chat constantly to him - I surmise that his short term memory is practically non existent so usually the same conversation every day unless I have any new family or world/sport news to give him. Text Lynn to let her know Dad awake - she will then usually phone. Receive and answer text from Leanne.
Hubby managed most of his tea. Starting to lick his lips so making him some porridge for breakfast.
Give hubby his steroids (only medication he is on) and feed him his breakfast. He has one of his "funny turns" - gazing into space. Always falls fast asleep for about 10 mins after one of these. Manda pops in on her way to work to check we are ok.
Hubby wakes up again. Rewarm breakfast and continue feeding hubby. He manages to eat it all and then falls back to sleep.
Clear up breakfast things. Make my self another quick coffee - check on hubby. Tidy up living-cum-bedroom.
Get hubby washed and dressed. This has to be done while he is laying in bed. Involves lots of turning him on one side and then the other in order to change incontinence pad and get his clothes on.
Using electric hoist get hubby out of bed, tidy up and put washing on and :-
If visitors due the next day - put hubby in arm chair so I can go upstairs and get bedrooms clean and beds made - constantly running up and down stairs every 10 mins to check on him.
If weather fine and shopping needed - put hubby in wheelchair and push him to local shops.
If weather fine and no shopping needed - put hubby in wheelchair and sit him in garden while I do gardening.
If weather bad sit hubby in arm chair and chat to him about family or garden; may put on a dvd for him to watch/snooze to; in which case I will either do some cake cooking (especially if visitors due next day) or other general chores.
If we have a visitor and dont go out for a walk, sit hubby in arm chair.
About once every six weeks manage to book special transport which we can get hubby in wheelchair in. Will then go into nearest town or to a garden centre for a couple of hours.
Try to get hubby to have a drink if he wakes for a while. Sometimes if we are in the garden I feed him an ice lolly. Hubbys brother usually phones about this time.
Put hubby back on his bed. Get lunch ready.
Feed hubby lunch, will have something my self too. Manda pops in in her lunch hour.
Clear up lunch stuff. Change incontinence pad if necessary. Do prep for evening meal. Make any necessary phone calls, open mail, do any other housework or gardening I need to - maybe be very lazy and spend an hour on the computer! Sometimes friend Sue pops in and has a chat. Check on hubby continually!
Try and get another drink down hubby. He finds drinking very difficult and gets very dehydrated - NOT GOOD!
Fridays:- Manda comes and helps me give hubby a shower. This entails undressing hubby, putting him in wheelchair, wheeling him into kitchen and placing wheelchair in a kiddies paddling pool. Using jugs of warm water we can wash his hair and "shower" him the best we can. Then have to hoist him back on the bed and dry him. Then hoist him back out of bed to put dry sheets on bed then hoist him back in. We have it down to a fine art now and can get it all done in an hour.
Make sure any wet washing is put in drier and any dry washing put away.
Depending on length of time needed start dinner cooking. If a "quick to cook" dinner may quickly wash my hair, cut my nails or hubbys.
Lynn phones and has chat to her Dad
Sit up hubby ready for dinner. Feed hubby dinner. Will try to have something eat myself at the same time. As long as he has not had a "funny turn" or choking fit hubby will have finished main course by 6 and dessert by 6.30. Leanne will usually text or ring.
Tidy up kitchen after dinner. Thank God for dishwashers!
Manda comes round and helps me get hubby ready for bed. Usually stays for an hour and makes me a LOVELY cup of coffee. A very special moment in the day to sit down and have someone wait on me.
Get my night clothes on. Know its early but it makes me feel more relaxed.
Hubby usually rouses and try to get a drink down him. Sometimes, if he has not managed all his dinner he will lick his lips and so I'll feed him a yoghurt or some fruit. Usually settles down again by 10pm.
I will watch some tv or go on the computer. This is my chill out time. Sometimes I feel so tired I go to sleep but then usually wake about 2am and cant get back to sleep till 5am (just listening to hubby sleeping) so try to stay awake till midnight; then I find I can sleep till 5am except for the occasional visit to the loo.
Well that's about it. Of course there are all the other little things fitted in odd moments on different days; sorting family birthday cards/presents, putting out dustbins (we have 4 different ones put out on 4 different days!, hairdresser coming to cut hair and all the other little things we all have to do whether we are carers or not. Somehow it all gets done!

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

Tuesday, 17 October 2006


Garden is starting to look emptier now. From these photos you can see the difference.

Sunday, 15 October 2006


Was looking at the title of my blog and thought it about time i went into some of the "ME, MY LIFE" part; so here are some pics of some of the family.


Cant resist putting this photo of my new friend on my blog. Dont usually see spiders this big here. He (why I assumne its a HE I dont know) had a lucky escape as if I hadnt put the light on in the kitchen he would have been flattened by my size 8s!!!!

Friday, 13 October 2006


In to October now so already dreaming about what the garden will be like next year and praying hubby will still be here to see it. Been busy starting to clear the garden up a bit before the winter. This year everything seems to be going strong with no sign of the "dying down" we usually see by now. A few changes need to be made though so I've had to be ruthless and start cutting down, digging up, splitting and moving around some of the perennials. Also planted a few more bulbs for the spring. The annuals like the busy lizzies and begonias are still going strong so will leave them until the frosts finish them off. Its been nice to do it in pleasant weather. The temperatures are really holding and it has meant that I've been able to bring hubby out into the garden in his wheelchair to keep me company. I know I'll always have the memory of him being with me in the future when all the work I've done comes to fruition. There have been some incredible sunrises and sunsets and so I've been taking loadsa photos.

Saturday, 7 October 2006


Posted by Picasa Couldnt resist photographing this wonderful sky.

Sunday, 1 October 2006


Terrible storms today. Dont know if its the air pressure or what but stormy days always affect hubby badly. Wish he was able to tell me if he is in pain or not. Its days like this that I get scared that its the end. Mustnt get melancholy though; lets look at some pics to cheer my self up.





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