Monday, 30 April 2007

GONE TO GROUND

When Andi and Talj arrived on Saturday Andi gave me this..... I'd heard about the latest idea that coffee grounds could help repel slugs but I hadn't realised that they also attract earthworms....and are a GREAT soil conditioner. The Little Gem lettuces are doing really well (we'll be harvesting some this week)....................
but I have noticed the odd slug and snail holes...I don't mind them having a little but I don't want them to demolish the lot so I've sprinkled some of the grounds alongside each plant! Good for Starbucks who are supplying these bags of grounds free of charge.
I've also put some around the delphiniums and the hostas......................
it would be lovely to have a slug free Hosta year.

Having Talj here taking photographs has really made me see our plants is a new light. The close-up shots she takes are fantastic and show up minute details that I don't see with the naked eye. All the years Mick and I have grown Tumbling Ted (Saponaria Ocymoides) we had never realised that it had BLUE stamens, stigma and pollen. This photo was taken by Talj..................................................brilliant isn't it......................... I think I'll stick to frogs!!!

WE'RE ALL WHITE!

I've not done as much gardening as I would like these past few weeks; I hope to rectify that soon...but I'm doing all right.....and........

The garden's doing ALL WHITE too!

Sunday, 29 April 2007

BLOG-A-LONG APRIL - THREE WISHES

Bloggers' Paradise

It wasn't until I popped over to Auntie Noo's blog that I realised I had forgotten all about this month's Blogger's Paradise Post. The theme for April is "Three Wishes"..........it would be all to easy for me to state the obvious wish in the light of this month's sad happenings. I know I should be very virtuous and wish for world peace, an end to famine and a cure for all ills...but I'm going to post about my "selfish" Three Wishes......three things that Mick and I often wished, all with a gardening theme..

To go to the RHS Gardens at Wisley ; so many times we had almost visited it but never quite made it.
To go to the Eden Project; we both love Cornwall so much and this was a special holiday we planned to do one day.
To have enough land to start a small nursery; growing plants that we had raised ourselves; selling them at affordable prices....making just enough money to "get by" but being able to do the thing we love best 24/7.

The first two wishes I hope that someday I will be able to fulfill in both our names. The third???.....perhaps more a dream than a wish...unless of course those 6 winning lottery numbers come up!


Friday, 27 April 2007

PSSST! HERE IS A NEWT!

Not the best of photos but I'm so thrilled to see the newts have returned. I worry every year that they won't come back. Manda and I saw 3 altogether; the female was curling a leaf with her tail; a sure sign of some egg laying going on!

THIS GRANDMA'S LEARNING GRAMMAR

My main passion and hobby is gardening but Hubby and I had always been avid cryptic crossword "doers" and always had a fascination for words. When I was at school (a long time ago now) we didn't just have single English lessons....we had English Literature and English Grammar as two separate subjects. And (shouldn't start a sentence with and) speaking to our grandchildren, nowadays English Grammar and spelling seemed to have dropped by the wayside a little; the emphasis being put on content rather than correct English. But (sure I shouldn't start a sentence with but either!) I know that even I (especially when writing my blog in my "chatty" way), despite all those lessons, often make many grammatical errors. I was, therefore, really pleased when I saw that Mauigirl's Mother had started a blog on the subject of good grammar. Even though I do keep on making the same mistakes at least I'll have a blog to remind me of my errors! Her blog is called Marge's Words To The Wise...click on the picture below to pay her a visit.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

IN MEMORY OF MICK

Soon after Mick passed away I had a phone call from Denise. She offered to make me some memorial cards and asked me if I had a photo of Mick's special flower and any words that I would like to be put on them. Mick's special baby was his white Rhododendron he has nurtured it for over 10 years and it has thrived under his care....so I sent Denise a close up photo of its flowers. Today, the day of Mick's funeral, I would like to share the card with you.



Thank you Denise.

Monday, 23 April 2007

IDENTIFICATION

Mark has kindly left a comment and identified the (what I thought was) butterfly in my yesterday's post. It is actually a Brimstone Moth. I had a look at Mark's wildlife photographs...they are superb....please take a look. Words cannot describe them. You'll find his site if you click HERE. He also has a very good blog which you will find the link for when you look at his photos.

SAINT GEORGE'S DAY


The most famous legend of Saint George is of him slaying a dragon. In the Middle Ages the dragon was commonly used to represent the Devil. The slaying of the dragon by St George was first credited to him in the twelfth century, long after his death. It is therefore likely that the many stories connected with St George's name are fictitious.
There are many versions of story of St George slaying the dragon, but most agree on the following:
A town was terrorised by a dragon A young princess was offered to the dragon and when George heard about this he rode into the village, slayed the dragon and rescued the princess.
The Legend of St. George and the Dragon
St. George journeyed for many months by land and sea until he came to Libya. Here he met a poor hermit who told him that everyone in that land was in great distress, for a dragon had long ravaged the country.
'Every day,' said the old man, 'he demands the sacrifice of a beautiful maiden and now all the young girls have been killed. The King's daughter alone remains, and unless we can find a knight who can slay the dragon she will be sacrificed tomorrow. The king of Egypt will give his daughter in marriage to the champion who overcomes this terrible monster.'
When St. George heard this story, he was determined to try and save the princess, so he rested that night in the hermit's hut, and at daybreak set out to the valley where the dragon lived. When he drew near he saw a little procession of women, headed by a beautiful girl dressed in pure Arabian silk. The princess Sabra was being led by her attendants to the place of death. The knight spurred his horse and overtook the ladies. He comforted them with brave words and persuaded the princess to return to the palace. Then he entered the valley.

As soon as the dragon saw him it rushed from its cave, roaring with a sound louder than thunder. Its head was immense and its tail fifty feet long. But St. George was not afraid. He struck the monster with his spear, hoping he would wound it. The dragon's scales were so hard that the spear broke into a thousand pieces. and St. George fell from his horse. Fortunately he rolled under and enchanted orange tree against which not poison could prevail, so that the venomous dragon was unable to hurt him. Within a few minutes he had recovered his strength and was able to fight again.
He smote the beast with his sword but the dragon poured poison on him and his armour split in two. Once more he refreshed himself from the orange tree and then, with his sword in his hand, he rushed at the dragon and pierced it under the wing where there were no scales, so that it fell dead at his feet.



THE REAL ST GEORGE


Saint George is popularly identified with England and English ideals of honour, bravery and gallantry, but actually he wasn’t English at all. Very little is known about the man who became St George.
Quick Facts about St George
• Born in Turkey (in Cappadocia)
• Lived in 3rd century
• His parents were Christian
• Became a Roman soldier
• Protested against Rome's persecution of Christians
• Imprisoned and tortured, but stayed true to his faith
• Beheaded at Lydda in Palestine
St. George is believed to have been born in Cappadocia (now Eastern Turkey) in the year A.D. 270. He was a Christian. At the age of seventeen he joined the Roman army and soon became renowned for his bravery. He served under a pagan Emperor but never forgot his Christian faith.
The Emperor Diocletian gave him many important missions, and it is thought that on one of these he came to England. It was while he was in England that he heard the Emperor was putting all Christians to death and so he returned to Rome to help his brother Christians. He pleaded with the Emperor to spare their lives. Diocletian did all he could to persuade St. George to give up his faith, but he refused and was finally beheaded on 23 April, 303.
In 1222, the Council of Oxford declared April 23 to be St George’s Day and he replaced Edward the Confessor as England’s patron saint in the 14th century. In 1415, April 23 was made a national feast day .
Patron Saint
St George is patron saint not only of England but also of Aragon, Catalonia, Georgia, Lithuania, Palestine and Portugal amongst others, although he is celebrated on different days.
St George is also patron saint of soldiers, archers, cavalry and chivalry, farmers and field workers, riders and saddlers, and he helps those suffering from leprosy, plague and syphilis.

POTS AND TANS


The weather today has been superb; more like Summer than Spring and I had the most wonderful peaceful, pottering day. It was beautifully warm and I know I've caught the sun...quite a nice tan building up! The top end of the garden is starting to look like a garden centre...and of course some plants have yet to germinate!!!So much is waiting to be planted out once I feel the risk of frost is past...I really have more plants than space so I'm hoping that Talj and Lynn will take some of the extras off my hands. I must admit that a few I have already put into the soil...I just needed to find more space and the soil was where the space was. The baskets and troughs I'll keep an eye on and whisk them in depending on the forecast....no problems tonight though! The one thing we do need is rain...many pots are really dry and I've had to water them a few times. Sometimes it can be hard to water a really dry pot as the water just pours through...you'll find a tip about that on my Ruth's Shoots blog.

I'm really happy with the Aquilegia so far...the seed themselves about and you never know quite what will pop up.
The caterpillar from yesterday has now made his way onto the Iris
and I spotted quite a few of the dreaded Lily Beetle; this one posed quite nicely before he was DIS-posed

On the subject of pests; I've also found a couple of Vine Weevils in the house so be alert!!!

At one point a lovely Damselfly came to sit next to me; typically I'd just take my camera indoors and it was gone again before I could take a photograph. This butterfly did wait around for a while. I've never seen one like this before in our garden.......does anyone know what it is?????

The flowers of the Pixie Clematis are so "ickle" and very pretty. I understand it's not reliably hardy so I must remember to take care of it during the winter.
When I was pinching out the Fuchsias I decided to pop a few of the pinchings into a pot.....if they strike I'll have a few to give away.

They say we may have some rain in the next couple of days; the garden will love that!....and it did cloud over a little at the very end of the afternoon but not enough to prevent me seeing this beautiful sunset.

Sunday, 22 April 2007

GREEN? LEAVES!

If any of you are looking at your gardens and see the daffodils, tulips and other Spring flowers fading you may be thinking "HURRY UP SUMMER.....we want some more flowers...everything is just green leaves". Well you're wrong...look closer...hands and knees if you can manage it. Now look closely at those green leaves......now you see it don't you! The variations in colour, texture,shape and size.......absolutely breathtaking........... And just in case you live somewhere that is still covered with snow.........here is a collage of leaves from our garden today.
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Actually we have, as you know, quite a few flowers out in our garden. I'll do a post later showing you the latest garden news....but for now I must have something to eat....I've been in the garden since 7am and all that fresh air has left me famished!

GREEN THUMB SUNDAY

I'm using my Green Thumb Sunday post as an excuse to show a few photos of a few "happenings" in the garden this week that never made it to my previous posts.

First of all the self seeded Nigella have started to bloom

and so has the Ajuga


these tulips are in a vase indoors...I love the pure white

the Rincinus seed that Libby sent me AGES ago is finally doing something....I'm not sure what yet though. It's taken so long....you should see how big Libby's is now.
Look Talj, at last my Peace plant has opened it's flower!
This is the first of our Aquilegia in bloom
can you see the caterpillar?


Finally...a beautiful sunset

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Thursday, 19 April 2007

FISH SALAD?

I dropped by Petunia's Garden(click to visit) earlier this evening and there was mention of a lettuce called Flashy Trout Back with a photo of a seedling she has coming through. I was so intrigued by the name and the "look" of it that I did a Google and came up with this info;
Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seed in Philomath, Oregon, was growing the Austrian heirloom lettuce 'Forellenschluss' (which in German means "speckled like a trout") because of the beautiful reddish leaf speckles. He noticed the degree of "speckle-ness" varied dramatically from plant to plant and decided he wanted to isolate "the flashier end of the spectrum." Out of 200 plants, he selected 20 of the splotchiest and healthiest, transplanted them to a separate plot and saved their seed. After repeating this process for two generations, he had 80 percent showing the degree of red speckles he wanted; after four generations, he had his new creation which he named `Flashy Trout Back.'
I wasn't going to do a post on my garden blog today as I was a bit "achy" after some heavy lifting today but I've had a nice soak in the tub and feel a lot better now.

This afternoon Leanne and I installed some new garden lights; This next photo I've already posted on my Million Stories blog but as Sheila likened it to an impressionist painting (sounds better than ...it's blurred) I thought I'd post it on here too. One of the 25p bargain Clematis (the unnamed one) is now coming into flower.

22nd February

It looks quite like Nelly Moser or a Dr Ruppel. It's started flowering even before the Montana which is usually the first Clematis in bloom in our garden......I guess it must have liked the TLC I lavished on it.
I love the shape of the Jack-in-the-pulpit buds
and even though it's not in flower yet (though in bud) the shape of this hardy geraniums leaves are lovely
I know the Amaryllis that I have in bloom keeps creeping into my indoor photos; but I love it so much and it's blooms are the size of my outstretched hand.
HAPPY GARDENING

RUTH'S SHOOTS


So many plants and flowers are edible. Why don't you give this recipe a try.

Nasturtium potato cakes Serves 4

1kg waxy potatoes

4 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp finely chopped chives

1 tbsp finely chopped shallots

1 tbsp grated lemon zest

1 garlic clove, crushed

3 tbsp chopped nasturtium leaves

Sea salt and pepper

Peel and cube the potatoes. Bring 2-litres (3.5 pints) of salted water to the boil. Add the potatoes and cook until tender. Drain well. Mash the potatoes, then beat in the olive oil, chives, shallots, grated lemon zest, garlic and chopped nasturtium leaves. Season to taste.
Let the potato mixture cool, and then form into small round cakes. Heat a little extra olive oil in a pan and fry the cakes over medium heat until golden and crisp.


While I'm on the subject of recipes why don't you try this too......
Zucchini Bread
2 cups shredded raw zucchini
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
Put zucchini in strainer and press or squeeze with hands to get excess liquid out. Beat eggs, sugar and oil together. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, walnuts and raisins. Mix together. Add drained zucchini. Mix well. Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

A STROLL ROUND THE GARDEN

Just the one Well it seems ages since I asked you to pop by and have a drink with me. So as a bit of a belated birthday celebration why don't you stop and raise a glass and take a look around the garden.



Wasn't it a chilly night here in Suffolk last night. I'm glad I'd tucked all the tender plants away in the shed and greenhouse.It was a real herringbone sky this morning..click and take a closer look at that cloud just above the treeIsn't this Iris a beauty...just perfect......

and the first of the Senetti flowers is out. I love the colour of this one.

Oops...just realised I've had the Morning Glory seeds soaking for two days; you can see their little roots starting to emerge...pour yourself a drink while I get them potted up.......


These black tulips are living up to their name...Queen of the Night

and the little Leopard's Bane we bought at Roys is flowering..........

I'm so glad the slight frosts haven't affected the Camellia flowers too much..........

and the two tone colour of the variegated perennial Wallflower is really unusual.

Don't you just adore the new red shoots of the Pieris

I'm so thrilled that my experiment of overwintering some Canna in the ground has worked; there are quite a few of these shoots coming through.


Ukbob has just recently bought a Lady Boothby climbing Fuchsia. We've had ours a few years now and it's just starting to shoot.
This is a relative of the Gunnera; but this is an "ickle" one; the leaves only grow to 4 inches at the most in our pond.

I'm so glad this fern is coming through; it's Ursula's Red ................


The begonia baskets are doing well.................
the first sign of a flower bud already!!!


I must plant these Anemone De Caan corms.....I just poke my finger in the soil down a couple of cms and pop them in.
Gosh we've even got some buds on the Acer dissectum...never had those before!

These are the Strawberry Spinach seedlings I've got to plant out. Scarecrow has given me a link to some great information (which includes a warning!)....click HERE to read it. Oh and you must visit her hubby's The Frugal World of Doc blog when you have a moment.....I'd highly recommend it...there are recipes, toys to make and lots more
Ruby is looking so much better than last Autumn...her move to the front garden has suited her.

I know it was in a photo recently but I just love this Cerinthe.........just look at the colour of it's "flowers"........
Hack's Red is still flowering well....it's in a pot...no room in the soil and is getting a bit leggy...I'll give it a prune when the flowers are over.....

Oh I didn't realise how late it's getting...the sun's going down

think we'll call that it for today. See you next time and HAPPY GARDENING!

SKY ALBUM -

EVERY SUNRISE AND SUNSET WE SHARED WAS PRECIOUS

A TOUR OF OUR GARDEN 2006

MEET THE FAMILY

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Thanks Akelamula

DENISE'S WISH FOR US ALL

A 1st Birthday Gift to my Blogpals

Thank you from Ruth

Thanks to Akelamula

creative blogger

Thanks Shaz

Thanks Skittles...worn with pride

created by Denise - given with love

AWARDS!

Rockin' Shaz sxhmoozed me From Mags, Gill, Libby,Denise and Meeyauw