Monthly Archives: Apr 2020

It’s a pond life…..

So today rain was due in the afternoon. On this mornings list was to clean out the pond filters and tidy the waterfalls. However Suzy had other ideas which was quite a good call as the rain in the afternoon going into the evening was really heavy. Shoes on and off Suzy and I went for a walk down the road and around part of the country park. There was a man wizzing around on his sit on lawnmower cutting the grass paths wider so everyone can carry on social distancing without walking through the rapidly growing long grass.

Once back it was time for freshly baked croissants and Damson jam before tackling the algae in the pond. Whilst waiting for the croissants, two very cheeky doves decided they would like our moss that’s on an ornamental bird house for there own nest!

Pond maintenance went well so I decided to pot up one of my aubergine plants. I’d seen an old dustbin around the car port and it didn’t look like it had a home or being used for anything so a few holes were drilled and it’s now been up cycled into a pot for the aubergine. When I was replacing it in the greenhouse there was a loud noise outside. Rain! Wow didn’t see that coming. As I started to potter tidying the shed I suddenly remembered I’d left the house phone on the table on the patio. It’s had a lovely wash now and hopefully still works.

Aubergine plant

Time to relax, spend a bit of time sewing and pop out into the garden in between the rain to take some photos of the flowers bursting into life after their shower.

Another highlight of our lockdown day today, it’s shopping delivery day. Hooray. Who would have thought we would all get so excited about bags of fresh food making their way into the house. I could get used to this not going to the supermarket.

The first purple rhododendron coming into flower.
The alliums open more than this morning.
The first of the rose buds.
A gift from the birds I think. I don’t remember planting it.
Star of Bethlehem.
Rebecca doing very well, fingers crossed the rain doesn’t damage it to much.
Digitalis coming into bud.

Recently you may may remember I spent awhile collecting the snails in the garden and disposing of them. Well I’m please to report that the snail count today has remained considerable lower and no chomping of precious plants.

Now slight change of topic. Next Friday, 8th May is the 75th anniversary of the VE Day celebrations. I saw the below poster on a local face book group so Ben and I are planning on having our own mini event. We will be putting out our bunting, not red white and blue as ours is pretty soft colours to match our last Campervan and wearing something Red, white and Blue. We shall enjoy cake and some other surprise treats and just spoil ourselves a little in this challenging time. Why not join us virtually and then send us your pictures of either your decorations or indulgent treats?

So that’s our day today. I should mention when I woke at stupid o’clock today (breakfast was at 4.30am) the leaves on the new tree were still attached to the wall. Phew. I had visions of them going curly in the night like the slippery fish you get out of Christmas crackers. Night everyone x x

Who is this teenager wearing Bens clothes??

Suzy had me up early this morning as the crows had been winding her up and she felt the need to bark at them from the garden. It was 5am! Back to bed for a while with a cup of tea to think about our day ahead and check the weather report. By 7am we both needed breakfast and were about to get up again when we heard a strange noise. Not the crows this time but Ben! Wow. It’s before 2pm and he is wide awake and human. So we all trotted off downstairs for breakfast and it was decided that as it was due to rain in the afternoon we would take Suzy out this morning and walk to the woods behind our country park.

It really has started out quite warm today and bright. As we approached the woods we were met by carpets of bright bluebells. They always make me smile and they are dads favourite flower so we took lots of pictures for him.

After our lovely wander through the woods we went home for a cup of coffee and for me to have a tour of the garden. It’s so amazing to see how everything grows at double the speed when it has rained. Ben will be pleased he gets to cut the grass again so soon 😄

The strawberry plants seem double the height than a few days ago.

Refreshed and refuelled I decided I felt in the mood to tackle our wall art. Last March we had our hall and landing redecorated. We chose a plain colour and Rich and I found a transfer that we both really liked to brighten up the plain wall up along the stairs. Finally a few months ago we got round to ordering it but sadly it was delayed and it arrived whilst Rich was in the hospice. Now some of you know about his passion for tree climbing so, yes you guessed it. We now have a tree in our hallway.

I was surprised how easy it was to put up albeit time consuming but with Bens help and four hours later I was happy with the end result.

Just a few leaves to add.

I wasn’t sure if I’d like the black tree trunk but Ben and Rich had both said it would look great and they were not wrong. It’s so striking. I’m so pleased.

At some point over the next few days I hope to continue the next wall with something else Rich and I chose to do.

After all of that concentration I took some time out to wander round the garden looking to see what has sprung into life this afternoon. That and to take a few more snails to their new home, the carrier bag.

Time for dinner which for me today was baked Camembert with garlic and honey, fresh baked baguette and chips. Ben enjoyed a good old fashioned chip butty. Can you tell we are low on supplies and the shopping is due in the morning?

Who knows what tomorrow holds, buts let’s all hope for some positivity and some sunshine between the rain x x

A strange kind of day.

Today was meant to be a relaxing kind of day after the busy garden projects. You know the kind, drink tea, stay out of the rain and put your feet up. But those of you that know me know that’s not me.

The day started by opening the greenhouse as usual and bringing some plants out to enjoy the rain. It rained the majority of the day which is ok when your garden needs it.

It was meant to be a ten minute job, but I got distracted and decided to pop a couple of the cherry tomato plants into the recently sprayed hanging basket.

Cherry tomatoes.

As I was about to go indoors I spotted some snails happily munching their way through some of the plants. The rain really does bring them out of their hiding places. So armed with gloves and a carrier bag Suzy and I worked our way round the garden collecting them all and tying the bag up to dispose of them.

This was to be repeated a few times throughout the day. Very therapeutic in a strange kind of way.

It reminded me that I still needed to make my snail and slug wash. I’d read up that it was a good organic way to stop them chomping on your delicate plants. So whilst lunch was cooking I boiled up two garlic bulbs in two pints of water and left it outside to cool. Once cool I strained the garlic and put the water into bottles ready to attack the little blighters. I shall let you know how we get on.

Snail and slug repellent.

After some time spent with Ben once he finally got out of bed it was time to cook dinner and unwind with some sewing.

Home made spaghetti carbonara with tomatoes.

So what will tomorrow hold? More rain according to the weather forecast. Hopefully this will help our new wild flower meadow to spring in to life. I’ll leave you with today’s rhododendron photo x

Garden Project – Phase four

I woke this morning thinking I’d just plant a couple of plants in the new border then relax for the remainder of the day. Oh how the day can change!

The new border needed a rake over to remove yet more stones. Then I planted a new ornamental grass in place and decided to plant some gladioli, foxglove and Nigella seeds in a small part along with an echinacea that id managed to grow.

New grass’s in place.
Gladioli, Foxgloves and Nigella planted along with a new Echinacea.

More lettuce needed putting in and I needed to see how the veg pots are coming along (very exciting as the carrots are coming into life)

Red carrots.
Radish.

Feeling quite tired today as I hadn’t had much sleep so after lunch it appeared I had a few hours sleep. I woke with the sun beaming through the window. I checked the weather to see rain forecast for the next few days. Some may not be happy by this but I’m delighted as I may have mentioned before.

Time for change of plans. No time for sewing today. May as well make the most of this gorgeous weather and the forecasted rain and commence phase four of the garden project.

Rich and I had planned to turn part of the lower garden into a wild flower meadow. It isn’t a huge space but we were really keen to encourage more bees and butterflies into the garden. That and Monty made it look so easy.

So as rain is forecast I pulled myself together and got started on our phase four.

The area ready to be prepped.

Who needs a gym when you have a garden? Firstly I had to mow the lawn. Ben kindly mowed the rest so that I could crack on with this area. Then it needed to be raked. I did try this with a manual rake but the ground is so hard I wasn’t getting anywhere. So out came the rake machine. It’s like a lawn mower but rakes. It’s so addictive 😄 Then Monty had a prong type tool to really scrape the ground. I sort of have one. My magic tool that worked well in the new border. The trouble is it doesn’t have a long handle so on my hands and knees I worked my way across. It’s amazing how much moss ect still came up after using the rake machine. The point I was trying to get to is to be able to see bare patches between the grass.

Mummy’s little helper just happens to sit right where I am trying to work.
Bare patches of grass ready for seeding.

Now for the exciting part. I’d bought two mixes of wildflower seeds as I couldn’t decide, so after mixing them together with some sand I set about broadcasting them into the prepared space. Following this you have to stand on them to ensure contact with the soil. Another dance move and workout.

Wild meadow and Summer meadow mix.
Seed and sand mix.
Doing the stomp dance.

How rewarding to stand back and see what you have achieved, then to think how do I stop a certain Suzy pooing on it!

Out came the posts and string and I managed to set a temporary fence. Fingers crossed it works. Lightly watered, rain due phew.

Suzy fencing.

Time to tidy up and check on the greenhouse. It’s getting so close to planting out time.

Some of you may remember I mentioned that we are having a family Sunflower growing event. Bev sent me a photo of how hers is doing last night and I’ve added how mine has suddenly stood upright.

The cucamelons continue to break through the soil today along with some newly planted sunflowers and runner beans. It’s so refreshing.

It’s been another productive day in the garden. I may not be able to do much out there for the next few days. All depends how much it rains. Anyway I may need some indoor time to recover from my garden gym.

I’ll leave you with today’s rhododendron blossom update x

Pond by night.

Garden Project – Phase four

I woke this morning thinking I’d just plant a couple of plants in the new border then relax for the remainder of the day. Oh how the day can change!

The new border needed a rake over to remove yet more stones. Then I planted a new ornamental grass in place and decided to plant some gladioli, foxglove and Nigella seeds in a small part along with an echinacea that id managed to grow.

New grass’s in place.
Gladioli, Foxgloves and Nigella planted along with a new Echinacea.

More lettuce needed putting in and I needed to see how the veg pots are coming along (very exciting as the carrots are coming into life)

Red carrots.
Radish.

Feeling quite tired today as I hadn’t had much sleep so after lunch it appeared I had a few hours sleep. I woke with the sun beaming through the window. I checked the weather to see rain forecast for the next few days. Some may not be happy by this but I’m delighted as I may have mentioned before.

Time for change of plans. No time for sewing today. May as well make the most of this gorgeous weather and the forecasted rain and commence phase four of the garden project.

Rich and I had planned to turn part of the lower garden into a wild flower meadow. It isn’t a huge space but we were really keen to encourage more bees and butterflies into the garden. That and Monty made it look so easy.

So as rain is forecast I pulled myself together and got started on our phase four.

The area ready to be prepped.

Who needs a gym when you have a garden? Firstly I had to mow the lawn. Ben kindly mowed the rest so that I could crack on with this area. Then it needed to be raked. I did try this with a manual rake but the ground is so hard I wasn’t getting anywhere. So out came the rake machine. It’s like a lawn mower but rakes. It’s so addictive 😄 Then Monty had a prong type tool to really scrape the ground. I sort of have one. My magic tool that worked well in the new border. The trouble is it doesn’t have a long handle so on my hands and knees I worked my way across. It’s amazing how much moss ect still came up after using the rake machine. The point I was trying to get to is to be able to see bare patches between the grass.

Mummy’s little helper just happens to sit right where I am trying to work.
Bare patches of grass ready for seeding.

Now for the exciting part. I’d bought two mixes of wildflower seeds as I couldn’t decide, so after mixing them together with some sand I set about broadcasting them into the prepared space. Following this you have to stand on them to ensure contact with the soil. Another dance move and workout.

Wild meadow and Summer meadow mix.
Seed and sand mix.
Doing the stomp dance.

How rewarding to stand back and see what you have achieved, then to think how do I stop a certain Suzy pooing on it!

Out came the posts and string and I managed to set a temporary fence. Fingers crossed it works. Lightly watered, rain due phew.

Suzy fencing.

Time to tidy up and check on the greenhouse. It’s getting so close to planting out time.

Some of you may remember I mentioned that we are having a family Sunflower growing event. Bev sent me a photo of how hers is doing last night and I’ve added how mine has suddenly stood upright.

The cucamelons continue to break through the soil today along with some newly planted sunflowers and runner beans. It’s so refreshing.

It’s been another productive day in the garden. I may not be able to do much out there for the next few days. All depends how much it rains. Anyway I may need some indoor time to recover from my garden gym.

I’ll leave you with today’s rhododendron blossom update x

Pond by night.

Garden Project – Phase four

I woke this morning thinking I’d just plant a couple of plants in the new border then relax for the remainder of the day. Oh how the day can change!

The new border needed a rake over to remove yet more stones. Then I planted a new ornamental grass in place and decided to plant some gladioli, foxglove and Nigella seeds in a small part along with an echinacea that id managed to grow.

New grass’s in place.
Gladioli, Foxgloves and Nigella planted along with a new Echinacea.

More lettuce needed pitting in and I needed to see how the veg pots are coming along (very exciting as the carrots are coming into life)

Red carrots.
Radish.

Feeling quite tired today as I hadn’t had much sleep so after lunch it appeared I had a few hours sleep. I woke with the sun beaming through the window. I checked the weather to see rain forecast for the next few days. Some may not be happy by this but I’m delighted as I may have mentioned before.

Time for change of plans. No time for sewing today. May as well make the most of this gorgeous weather and the forecasted rain and commence phase four of the garden project.

Rich and I had planned to turn part of the lower garden into a wild flower meadow. It isn’t a huge space but we were really keen to encourage more bees and butterflies into the garden. That and Monty made it look so easy.

So as rain is forecast I pulled myself together and got started on our phase four.

The area ready to be prepped.

Who needs a gym when you have a garden? Firstly I had to mow the lawn. Ben kindly mowed the rest so that I could crack on with this area. Then it needed to be raked. I did try this with a manual rake but the ground is so hard I wasn’t getting anywhere. So out came the rake machine. It’s like a lawn mower but rakes. It’s so addictive 😄 Then Monty had a prong type tool to really scrape the ground. I sort of have one. My magic tool that worked well in the new border. The trouble is it doesn’t have a long handle so on my hands and knees I worked my way across. It’s amazing how much moss ect still came up after using the rake machine. The point I was trying to get to is to be able to see bare patches between the grass.

Mummy’s little helper just happens to sit right where I am trying to work.
Bare patches of grass ready for seeding.

Now for the exciting part. I’d bought two mixes of wildflower seeds as I couldn’t decide, so after mixing them together with some sand I set about broadcasting them into the prepared space. Following this you have to stand on them to ensure contact with the soil. Another dance move and workout.

Wild meadow and Summer meadow mix.
Seed and sand mix.
Doing the stomp dance.

How rewarding to stand back and see what you have achieved, then to think how do I stop a certain Suzy pooing on it!

Out came the posts and string and I managed to set a temporary fence. Fingers crossed it works. Lightly watered, rain due phew.

Suzy fencing.

Time to tidy up and check on the greenhouse. It’s getting so close to planting out time.

Some of you may remember I mentioned that we are having a family Sunflower growing event. Bev sent me a photo of how hers is doing last night and I’ve added how mine has suddenly stood upright.

The cucamelons continue to break through the soil today along with some newly planted sunflowers and runner beans. It’s so refreshing.

It’s been another productive day in the garden. I may not be able to do much out there for the next few days. All depends how much it rains. Anyway I may need some indoor time to recover from my garden gym.

I’ll leave you with today’s rhododendron blossom update x

Pond by night.

Garden Project – Phase four

I woke this morning thinking I’d just plant a couple of plants in the new border then relax for the remainder of the day. Oh how the day can change!

The new border needed a rake over to remove yet more stones. Then I planted a new ornamental grass in place and decided to plant some gladioli, foxglove and Nigella seeds in a small part along with an echinacea that id managed to grow.

New grass’s in place.
Gladioli, Foxgloves and Nigella planted along with a new Echinacea.

More lettuce needed pitting in and I needed to see how the veg pots are coming along (very exciting as the carrots are coming into life)

Red carrots.
Radish.

Feeling quite tired today as I hadn’t had much sleep so after lunch it appeared I had a few hours sleep. I woke with the sun beaming through the window. I checked the weather to see rain forecast for the next few days. Some may not be happy by this but I’m delighted as I may have mentioned before.

Time for change of plans. No time for sewing today. May as well make the most of this gorgeous weather and the forecasted rain and commence phase four of the garden project.

Rich and I had planned to turn part of the lower garden into a wild flower meadow. It isn’t a huge space but we were really keen to encourage more bees and butterflies into the garden. That and Monty made it look so easy.

So as rain is forecast I pulled myself together and got started on our phase four.

The area ready to be prepped.

Who needs a gym when you have a garden? Firstly I had to mow the lawn. Ben kindly mowed the rest so that I could crack on with this area. Then it needed to be raked. I did try this with a manual rake but the ground is so hard I wasn’t getting anywhere. So out came the rake machine. It’s like a lawn mower but rakes. It’s so addictive 😄 Then Monty had a prong type tool to really scrape the ground. I sort of have one. My magic tool that worked well in the new border. The trouble is it doesn’t have a long handle so on my hands and knees I worked my way across. It’s amazing how much moss ect still came up after using the rake machine. The point I was trying to get to is to be able to see bare patches between the grass.

Mummy’s little helper just happens to sit right where I am trying to work.
Bare patches of grass ready for seeding.

Now for the exciting part. I’d bought two mixes of wildflower seeds as I couldn’t decide, so after mixing them together with some sand I set about broadcasting them into the prepared space. Following this you have to stand on them to ensure contact with the soil. Another dance move and workout.

Wild meadow and Summer meadow mix.
Seed and sand mix.
Doing the stomp dance.

How rewarding to stand back and see what you have achieved, then to think how do I stop a certain Suzy pooing on it!

Out came the posts and string and I managed to set a temporary fence. Fingers crossed it works. Lightly watered, rain due phew.

Suzy fencing.

Time to tidy up and check on the greenhouse. It’s getting so close to planting out time.

Some of you may remember I mentioned that we are having a family Sunflower growing event. Bev sent me a photo of how hers is doing last night and I’ve added how mine has suddenly stood upright.

The cucamelons continue to break through the soil today along with some newly planted sunflowers and runner beans. It’s so refreshing.

It’s been another productive day in the garden. I may not be able to do much out there for the next few days. All depends how much it rains. Anyway I may need some indoor time to recover from my garden gym.

I’ll leave you with today’s rhododendron blossom update x

Pond by night.

Garden project -Phase three, continues

So where were we?

Oh yes, aching lots from the previous days digging ect. Oh well, as they say no pain no gain! Really??

So today’s project is to get the soil dug over, as many roots and large stones removed and edging bricks relaid. I managed to smash the soil up with the rake then work my way through with some little spikes tool. Not sure of its name. A whole bucket of stones later and another bucket of roots it wasn’t looking to bad. But oh my, so much chalk and what looks like the remains of old terracotta kitchen floor. Well at least I can recycle that to use in the bottom of pots this year. I usually use the polystyrene from the bedding plants but with the nursery’s and garden centres being closed this year I’ve grown all my own plants instead.

So this is how the border looked first thing this morning.

Next was to replace the brick edging. Now I’d had a lesson from dad how to do this recently when I’d replanted the pond area. So I set to work with my trusty block of wood and very heavy hammer and bit by bit the bricks took shape.

Then with another rake over of the soil I evened out the border ready for the manure to be dug in the next day.

Before anyone mentions it, I know it’s not straight and it’s not meant to be. The curves compliment the lines of the pond.

Mid afternoon we had set up a surprise for Jan, Rich’s mum. It’s her birthday today and with lockdown we couldn’t meet up to celebrate. So the next best thing, we arranged a zoom video call and that we would all have birthday cake and candles with a cup of tea at the ready to surprise her along with an out of tune version of happy birthday. (I blame it on the signal delay😀) I hadn’t ordered any cake on this weeks shopping but I did have everything we needed for a lemon drizzle cake.

Lemon drizzle cake.

It was great. So nice to see everyone and enjoy cake at the same time. still not the same as meeting up but when this is all over we will be having a celebration for everyone’s birthday’s during lockdown.

So garden cleared up and knowing I would be completely worn out this evening, I’d prepared home made crumbles this morning. Apple for Ben and mixed fruit for myself. Doubled up the portions to so no need for desert making over the next few days. Main course was chicken enchilada, again with chicken cooked the previous night to make life simple today.

I’d intended to sit in the den this evening with my cross stitch but the weather was so nice I laid on the bench outside in the sunshine for a while listening to the waterfalls in the pond and the birds nearby. (one of the positives of lockdown is very little road traffic on the nearby M25 and A2) Whilst I laid here the bird song seemed to get quite loud. Now I hadn’t seen a sparrow in our garden for years but all of a sudden one was right by me catching the bugs out of Rebecca the clematis and the hanging basket next to me. Quite an inquisitive little fellow.

Mid flight
Sat on the hanging basket bracket taking the bugs out of a spiders web.

I’ll leave you with a few flower pictures. The first rhododendron was taken early this morning. The second late this evening. It’s trying it’s hardest to open.

First thing this morning.
This evening.
Rebecca.
The first cucamelon peeping through the soil

So it looks like Monday may be our last day of beautiful weather. Rain predicted later in the week. Most people I speak to aren’t to happy about this but I’m quite excited. My water tanks will be refilled, ponds refreshed and the strawberry plants will bask in the rain water.

Tomorrow I shall get some manure dug into the soil in the widened border and plant my new plant that arrived a week ago. Then I will wait a few weeks until the plants in the greenhouse are ready to be planted out.

Garden project – Phase three

Feeling energetic today and the need to keep busy and as it wasn’t as hot and sunny it was the perfect day to start phase three of the garden project.

First job though, open up the greenhouse, put the bedding on to wash and get Ben out of bed. Oh hang on, scrap the last one. Ben hadn’t gone to bed yet! Best keep him busy then.

A few days ago I placed some string along the side of the garden as this phase is widening the border. It took a few attempts to find the shape I liked and would work with what I wanted to plant. So final design decided I got to digging out the edging bricks and placing them along the new line to ensure it would work and look good.

Original border.
Bricks up.

That turned out to be the easy bit. Next I had to cut along the grass by the new line of bricks to be able to take the turf up. Now that took some energy and a few tea breaks.

Mummy’s little helper strikes again.
Turf gone.

Time for lunch. The sun was starting to break through and the day becoming warmer, something I could have done without really.

Recharged and ready to go the next stage is to dig over the compacted soil. This job just gets harder. The amount of roots and stones. I forked through as best I could today and thought best leave it for the next day before I do it again. If I’m honest I was also running out of energy and wanted to make sure we had a delicious dinner tonight. Tools away, Ben and I set of for a Suzy walk of which she was happy to join us. The skies are now blue and the sun shinning.

All dug over and of course mummy’s little helper.

Dinner was to be super healthy, Roast chicken stuffed with garden herbs and lemon and for me roasted veg including a whole roast garlic bulb and red onion. If you haven’t tried roasting a red onion whole you really should. It becomes delicious and sweet. Enough left overs for lunch and Chicken enchilada tomorrow.

I’ll leave you for this evening with some more pictures of our garden bursting into colour. Have a good evening everyone and stay safe. X

Advent Bells Clematis.
Napaulinus Clematis, planted alongside our climbing rose arch.
Our newest Rhodedendrum almost in bloom.
Blue bells in full bloom on dads birthday, his favourite.

Lockdown gardening day??

I’ve lost count of what day we are on. I just know that I am keeping myself busy and I am so grateful that I have a garden and beautiful sunshine.

I started the morning by watching some gardening tips. That was the motivation I needed today to get out of bed. By 7.30 I was in the garden and projects lined up. But not until the greenhouse had been opened up for the day. It’s a hive of activity in their at the moment but some of it I am now bringing out each day to harden of before planting out in May. Once this task had been done it was time for project one of the day. Renovating another tatty old hanging basket ready for some cherry tomatoes in the next few days. I forgot to take a photo before but I’m happy with the end result.

Running short on pink so now everything will have to be grey.

Next it was time to pot on some of the herbs and melons I had been growing. I’ve to many for myself so have some to our next door neighbours and got some ready for Bev.

Last year we put three purple obelisk in the garden and although some have now plants growing up them, I wanted something for winter. So I planted a couple of winter flowering Clematis, one on the purple obelisk and one to grow in between the climbing roses we purchased at the Gardeners world live show last year. I’ll add photos tomorrow as I forgot to take them today.

I then heard my name over the fence, it was my lovely neighbour offering me a piece of freshly made quiche. I gratefully excepted and made a small salad to accompany it. You Just cant beat lunch outside.

After lunch I just pottered and did a little work on the van. Even Suzy had fun as I put out her little paddling pool. She was straight in. One happy pup.

The afternoon was spent out of the hot sun catching up with some cross stitch. It’s good to be energetic, but it’s also good to just stop sometimes. I’ll leave you with some photos of the garden bursting into life for the new season.

Rich’s Blue Delphinium.
Cucumbers are on their way
Strawberry’s in bloom, very exciting.
Mummy’s little helper.
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