Tuesday, 31 July 2007


How exciting; do you remember I said the Ginger lilies were starting to bud....well look at one of them now...........and in a bit closer........isn't it lovely! The sun has also brought out the Agapanthus....this is a dwarf variety...much more suited to a small garden.....we don't get many flowers on them (I have a blue one as well that's still in bud) as really they prefer a south facing garden...but considering how poor the weather has been lately I'm pleased to see any flowers at all!

Over the weekend I'd noticed that the Rubekias were also starting to bloom................last year I had a few fasciated flowers ....I wonder if I'll get any this year??When I posted a photo of our first hibiscus bloom the other day I had an email asking which one it is.....In case anyone else would like to know it's Hibiscus syriacus "Red Heart"I'm sure I've done a couple of posts now with no beastie photos in them....... that's mainly because I haven't found any new ones in our garden lately.......HOWEVER....the other day in Manda's garden I found these...................
I haven't a clue what they are but haven't spotted them in our garden yet. Manda's garden is much "wilder" than ours and it could be that these beasties prefer that sort of habitat....
Wednesday is the 1st of August....this "summer" is flying past so quickly....on the 23rd August it will be this blogs 1st birthday....I can't believe I've been blogging for almost a year........ The worrying thing is it means that I will have blogged a whole gardening year....what on earth am I going to write about now....I guess I'll start doing what the TV does....endless repeats...LOL The funny thing is when I first started blogging I intended to do posts covering A to Z of our garden...I was convinced I'd find nothing much to blog about and thought at least A to Z will fill 26 posts.......now it's almost a year later and I've still not got further than "F is for..." and that post was way back in January.

Monday, 30 July 2007


It's been a pleasantly full weekend. I had quite a lousy week and was getting really low; but all the smiling faces this weekend have lifted my spirits a little. It's the first time I've been able to take Lynn, Steve and Max the dog on the Riverside Walk due to it being so wheelchair "unfriendly". Manda and Nicole popped round too and "dogsat" and walked Max while we went out to dinner and yesterday Leanne and the girls came over from Colchester for the day. As I've had company I've not really been near my computer for a couple of days...I couldn't believe it when I opened my NETVibes late Sunday afternoon and saw over 150 posts unread on blogs that I usually visit plus a ream of emails to answer. I know I have no chance of catching up with them ALL so "APOLOGIES" to those I miss and forgive me if I only lurk! While I'm having a Blogaround Lurk I'll let Max show you his Photo Album...........

Everyone got home safe and sound; suitably sustained with a Full English Brunch...and with the weather set fair for today I'm hoping to have a bit of a sort out in the garage. The compost tumbler is stuck right at the back and I need to make it more accessible. Lynn kindly took me to a place near Bures where they bag up rotting horse manure (pure gold!) and sell it for 50p a bag. For the last couple of years our garden hasn't had a good mulch in the Winter. Previous to that Mick would, during the course of the year, gradually collect as many bags of manure as he could, mix it with any spent compost we had and leave it in the tumbler to carry on rotting down. We used to call it "Mick's Magic Mix". Although the garden is doing reasonably well this year I can tell that it's lost some of it "oomph"....I don't think "Ruth's Magic Mix" has the same ring to it but I'm sure the garden won't mind!

Sunday, 29 July 2007


Look what I found in our local Homebase...I was sooooo tempted to buy one but was very good and resisted the urge.

The Victorians grew pineapples in special pineapple pits, where the required heat was provided by a surrounding layer of fermenting manure. The Lost Gardens at Heligan in Cornwall have produced ripe pineapples using the Victorian method in their restored pineapple pit. Due to the huge amount of labour involved, these pineapples cost between £600 and £1,000 each to produce in 1997.

A Bit Of Trivia
Workers who cut up pineapples eventually have no fingerprints, this being due to the action of the proteolytic enzyme, bromelain, dissolving them. This trick is well-referenced by authors of the crime novel world.

Saturday, 28 July 2007


What could be more creative than the things that your children and grandchildren make; the pictures around the edge are all Mother nature's creations from our garden.

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Friday, 27 July 2007


I'm not and never will be a Domestic Goddess; Anthea Turner and I have only one thing in common....we are both female!;........... don't get me wrong I DO housework,much prefer gardening
I just don't enjoy it. With Lynn & Steve visiting this weekend I thought I should have a bit of a tidy up; .......in an effort to stave off this "thought" I had a bit of a Google to see if I could find any short cut cleaning tips. One of the sites I came across was Women's Journeys; it's not only about housekeeping; there was lots of other interesting stuff there which meant I had no time to clean the windows took me a while to look through. I came across the following and had to share it:

Author Unknown
It arose one morning from the bowels of my desk, a formless mass that spread and covered itself over anything I was looking for.
"Who are you?" I asked.
"I am Clutter," the mass answered, "and I am here to confound your life. I am the things you refuse to throw out though you haven't used them in six years, the miscellaneous papers, phone numbers, business cards, and chatckas you accumulate and don't put away. I am the inevitable manifestation of your sloppiness. I am Clutter."
I grabbed Clutter and moved it from one end of the desk to the other.
Clutter chortled. "That's my favorite pastime. Moving from one end of the desk to the other."
"What do you want?" I asked.
"To frustrate you. I will resist all attempts to remove me, reduce me, or otherwise eliminate me. It's my purpose to hide whatever important piece of paper you need, whichever phone number you must call."
"I'm throwing you out," I stormed.
Clutter shook his untidy mass sadly, as in pity. Not without looking through me to see if there's anything you really need," Clutter answered. "The odds are slim, but you won't take that chance. And while your sorting through me, I'll re-form in another pile."
"But you'll be smaller, more manageable."
"Not really. You'll decide to keep 90% of me, as you always do. And soon, new papers, numbers, documents will gather, making me more obstructive than ever."
"You won't ruin my life, Clutter! I'll start a filing system. Put a bit of you where you belong."
Clutter gazed at me contemptuously. "The last time you tried that, you created my cousins, Chaos and Disorder. It'll never work."
Clutter had me and I knew it. Attempts in the past to file things alphabetically had only created 26 piles of mess instead of one. I was desperate, so I decided to bluff.
"I'll take a time management course," I threatened. Clutter quite rightly ignored my remark. I wasn't dealing with an idiot, after all.
"Then I'll buy a computer and store you on my floppy disks!"
"And within a month your disk-filing system will be in total disarray, plus you'll have another pile of papers waiting to be entered onto disks. Face it, you can't win."
Exasperated, I ran to the closet. "I'll throw you in here!"
Clutter had been to the closet before me. Shoes were scattered, shirts were unhung, clumps of pants and underwear lay strewn next to towels and a lawn chair. Socks congealed in small piles, looking like the waste product of some nylon-eating monster. Cliff notes from A Tale of Two Cities lay atop the heater.
"Clutter," I yelled. "You have crippled my productivity for the last time. No longer will I be late, no more will I miss appointments, Never again shall I be overwhelmed by your size and withdraw into reading old magazines. I am going out to the store to buy a paper shredder."
I looked around for a long moment. "Now where did I leave my keys?"
Clutter burped.

Well that's enough time wasting Ruth...back to the cleaning.....
you didn't see me do that did you?

Thursday, 26 July 2007


Anyone would would think that one of my ferns had turned rusty with all the rain we've had this summer......
In fact these are the spores which turn brown as they ripen and drop off like dust.

I've never tried to grow a fern from spores...hygiene is really important...at least so I've read...yet Mother Nature manages to do it with no sterilising equipment.

I was really surprised to see that my Spider Lily (Hymenocallis occidentalis) has flowered again. It had already bloomed this year indoors during the Spring and I'd stood it outside to die down and build up strength for next year!I'm really excited to see that two of the Ginger Lilies are starting to form buds....... there are some very important memories attached to these longed for plants (see this post), I know how thrilled Mick would have been to see these buds and I know I'll shed a few tears when I see them in flower.

Another "first time in flower" is our Black Grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus); I think last year's sun must be the reason for this as we certainly haven't had much sun this Summer.

This Pickerel Weed (Pontederia cordata) in the pond has never flowered before either.......it's certainly been a year for "first timers"!
In my "catch up" post on Monday I said that the yellow crocosmia (monbretia) still hadn't flowered..well lo and behold........

if my memory serves me well this particular one was Crocosmia 'George Davidson'.

Our garden is primarily made up of hardy perennials but I do have a fair few "tenders" which as I use as annuals and never bother to take cuttings of. Nowadays petunias, verbenas etc are so cheap to buy as small plants (unless you want a specialised variety) that it's not worth the cost of heating to keep them going through the winter; plus of course where would I find the room! Earlier this year I bought a few single and double petunias they were tiny plants but I grew them on and the following two have really caught my eye.....I tried so hard to get a decent photo of this butterfly; I think it's a female Holly Blue...she certainly had me cavorting round the garden and finally settled on some Lamium .....I couldn't get close enough for a good photo before she flew away over the wall............chasing butterflies is good exercise!!!!!Now I know that some of you have allotments and large vegetable patches so you'll probably not think much of this first small harvest from my Hestia Runner Beans...but they were enough for a single portion and tasted really good.......lots more on there way as well!!! Now I haven't forgotten it's Thursday.............
a thought for Thursday


Wednesday, 25 July 2007

abc photograph Wednesday

I know I'm being greedy doing 2 different types of Photo posts on the same day (scroll down for Wordless Wednesday) but Mrs Nesbitt has come up with the idea of doing an A to Z photopost every Wednesday. It's so nice to join in something that one of my blogpals has started herself and I've decided to set myself the challenge of NO FLOWER OR INSECT PHOTOS!!! and the photo must be taken of something inside the house.........guess that rules out zucchini for Z.................. If you'd like to join in with MrsN's "abc photograph Wednesday" just click on the logo at the top of this post and let her know in her comment box.


This is one of my many pieces of brass and one of my most treasured; it's a double inkwell desk set. 5 or 6 years ago I saw it in an antique shop and fell in love with it. It was so expensive and for weeks I walked past the shop and gazed longingly at it. The week of my birthday I walked past and the price had been reduced down to a mere £5 as the shop was closing down. With birthday money burning a hole in my pocket I just knew I was meant to have it. It is the only piece of brass I've ever bought from a shop; all my other pieces have been from Boot Sales.


Tuesday, 24 July 2007


As many of you know two of my other blogs are FROM A BEE'S EYE VIEW (macro attempts) and RUTH'S SHOOTS (gardening hints and tips). After heated discussions with my computer
overwork, does not compute

I've realised the time it takes both for myself and my blog visitors to bloghop around from one blog to another

why are we waitingand so have decided to incorporate them both into this blog. The blogs will still be left open for anyone who wants to scroll through the old stuff. For the present time THERE ARE A MILLION STORIES and A PHOTO A DAY will remain as separate blogs.

Today I hit the milestone

wow, that many!

It still fills me with wonder that anyone visits my blog...when I first started it last year I thought it would just be me and a few family members looking at it. I didn't even start counting visitors until October when I stumbled across a site that did those "widgety" things. So a big....


to you all.


What a fantastic walk we had yesterday. We left at 11am and didn't get home until 4pm. We were so lucky with the weather; so much of the country had rain....we had cloudy skies but not one spot of the wet stuff.....well not until 5 minutes after we got home...it's been pouring down since. We went via our usual Riverside walk towards the town, followed the old (now unused railway route), went towards the Mill Hotel, over the Meadows to the Croft and finally home. Naturally I took loads of photos...just a small selection here.

I also took a few short videos................
Kirsty the Fisherwoman


Swan Family going swimming

To save me cooking Leanne treated us all to a MASSIVE Chinese Takeaway. Didn't move much after that !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Monday, 23 July 2007


Yet again serious flooding has threatened not only properties but lives as well. Parts of Gloucestshire and Oxfordshire are seriously affected at the moment. Many people have no drinking water some are being told to boil their water. Much of Southern England is under a severe weather warning ........I have been lucky (so far) in my small part of East Anglia and the weather has just been something to have a good moan about......my heart goes out to all those whose lives have been devastated.
Another week's passed since my last "catch up" post and still no sign of a bud on the Cannas and Brugmansias....the mixed up seasons this year are doing strange things to the garden. These Cyclamen don't usually flower until the Autumn...........and there's already autumnal colour starting on some of the Sorbus leaves...............
at least the Hibiscus is flowering bang on schedule....it always starts when the children break up for the summer holidays. When I think of how much I chop it back each year to keep it to a manageable size it's a wonder it doesn't sulk. At least my Japanese Painted ferns haven't minded the low light levels this year...the are right against our Northfacing wall and are twice the size they were last year......
I love the colouring on the leaves.....................
I'm really pleased I took cuttings of the double busy lizzys last year; I cursed trying to overwinter them in the back bedroom but it was all worth it. This is one of my favourite....

The Coleus cuttings have bulked out too...when I think how weedy they looked after the winter....I use them to fill in gaps when early flowers have gone over......this one plant has filled this space in a trough in no time..............

Another cutting doing really well is this Pelargonium...........I had problems with white fly on it during the winter but it seems fine now. I'd love to take more cuttings each year but space is limited......the garden itself is 24 feet by 20 feet (7 and a bit metres X 6 and a bit metres) and as practically every part of it is planted up (except for the path way and and one small bench area) there's just no room for a proper greenhouse.

The basket I planted up of "left overs" to cover the bare area where nothing would grow......is filling out really well.................
and I think I'd better start picking these runner beans.....the dwarf ones are new to me so looking forward to seeing what they taste like......
This lily has started bloming now...it's the same markings as the Turks Cap but faces upwards....being one of the Asiatics it doesn't have a scent........
I'm pleased this Hydrangea is doing well; it's a cutting taken a couple of years ago...purely by accident...I was making up a floral arrangement with some Hydrangea flowers in Oasis and the stems rooted!Libby sent me some Rincinus seed which unfortunately I never managed to get them to germinate. I was lucky a few months ago to find 4 seedlings for sale at a local nursery....they are growing quite well now and I think this may be a flower bud starting.......I've already posted photos of the red Lucifer crocosmia (monbretia) flowering but now the orange one has started to bloom....just the yellow to wait for now....I think the Whisky Mac Rose by the front door is trying to block the doorway....maybe it's aiming to stop the postman dropping off the bills.......LOLBet you thought "Oh no insects today!"....well I'll just slip in one butterfly photo before I go.........

Dependant on what today's weather brings we are hoping to have a "Family Walkabout". Looking pretty dismal at the moment but the day is still young...off to do my "sun dance" now.

the sundance nan

Sorry I'm not getting to all of your blogs at the moment; I'll catch up as soon as I can.





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