Monthly Archives: May 2020

Sunday at the car wash…….

Come on, you must have that song in your head now to? Sing it………

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVlpy5USN-E&feature=share

Welcome to Sunday, sunny, blue skies, bit of a breeze, but lovely. We are so fortunate at this difficult time to have superb weather. It would be unbearable with cold days, wind and rain. At least with this weather we can enjoy our daily walks and time outside. Suzy certainly does and this morning was no different. We went out early again and after some running around fetching and returning for treats (Suzy not me) we had a stroll through the orchard. I have to say it was very pleasant. The path is right next to it but it was cooler in there and so uplifting to see the pears, apples and cherries forming. Although lots of the apples had clumps of what looked like spiders nests on them. Very strange. Is this something that apple trees are prone to?

One happy Suzy in the Orchard.

Mid morning I changed a few of the winter pots. The bulbs had finally died back so it was time to refresh. Planted with the vibrant plants Nick bought for us and paired with Freisha bulbs for some later summer colour and fragrance.

We have decided to take dads car to the funeral this week but he would be disgusted at how dusty and dirty it was. Most of it was pollen by the looks of things but anyhow we couldn’t say our goodbyes with it like that.

So swap car time and Ben and I set to work with lots of suds, a brush, sponge and hose pipe. It’s handy having Ben to help wash the cars as he can reach the roof far better than me.

I mean, come on, how much taller?? Love you Ben x

We had lots of laughs whilst washing the car and we may have had a bit of a water fight. Well Ben started it and I got him back at the end with a good drenching. Least it got him motivated to have a shower.

Before.
Nearly done.

I should point out at this moment mummy’s little helper is pleading for my attention!

Cars washed it was time for dinner, Bens turn to cook tonight. Whilst he did this I measured up and ordered a few bits for our project this week. I can’t tell you about that just yet though.

We had a lovely evening with pizza and a movie. The film was the latest Joker. Both of us enjoyed it but it was nothing like the other batman films.

Suzy enjoyed the film to.

Time for a few flower pictures from today before I enjoy a cup of tea with a book. Night. X

The Poppy is in bud at last.
Even as these Alliums turn, they are still beautiful.

Sunflower special edition, update 3…..

So it’s all hotting up, quite literally the weather has been gorgeous this week from Gravesend to Poole. Everyone’s sunflowers have had sunshine and a bit of wind. Some have had guests, but more about that soon.

Let’s start with Auntie Jeanie this week- Last week we saw signs of leaf damage on Sally sunflower. They had started to turn brown and crinkled. Has there been any improvements this week. There certainly has. What has Jeanie been doing? Is there a magic potion involved or is it just tomato feed? Mmmm she’s not telling!

Sally sunflower.

Nanny Bev – Gravesend has had lots of sunshine this week. So much so a new sun umbrella has appeared in her garden. However is this to stop Gerald burning under the hot rays or is it so nanny Bev can sit out for longer, shaded from the sun to sing to Gerald? He is looking stronger this week, she is doing something well.

Those leaves are looking very sturdy.

Jo and Ben – Another sunny week in Dartford with SUNY sunflower and the sunny eight. Some pretty strong winds to content with now that they are all out in the open. There no shading from breeze or sun on that fence. Have they all coped with the move? Yes they have. They all seem to be thriving. SUNY is even showing signs of becoming a budding contender🌻

Oooh is this the first in bud??

Craig and Sam – Now we hear that one of these guys has been very sociable this week and invited friends over. Or have they? Was someone or something trying to steel the limelight? Actually it was Sams sunflower being very naughty and inviting Brian over for breakfast. What Sam’s sunflower didn’t realise was that breakfast was the sunflower. Naughty troublesome Brian🐌 Apparently Sam rescued Brian, but did she give him a flying lesson or hint that Craig’s sunflower was just next door?? Will Craig’s flower take the lead next week?

Craig’s on the left, Sam’s on the right, Brian?? Gone🐌🐌

Jan and Lisa – after a false start Jan’s version deux has been making steady progress this week. She is another sneaky one to watch. Is Jan out there tenderly stroking the pot or is she bringing it in to the house every night for safe keeping? Whatever she is doing, it’s working and there has been lots of growth this week. But look at Lisa’s towering ahead? Her flower seems to have kept all its leaves and hang on, is that another budet forming up there?

So there we have it, another week and the gang have all survived despite a few war wounds. Will there be rain this week to quench their thirst or will we see Brian and gang back for lunch at Craig’s diner? Tune in next week.

A slower paced few days…..

Now that most of the hard work is done I can take the time to potter and enjoy some sewing time.

Friday involved planting a few more plants in, taking Suzy for a short stroll and watching and listening to the air ambulance landing and taking off. It lands on the field just over the road, not on the hospital helipad any more. It’s a great event to watch but it always makes you think what has happened that someone is so poorly to need the air ambulance. I never mind the noise as I know it’s only for a short time and they could be saving someone’s life.

The back view of our house.
Fridays cross stitch.
Radish with the salad tonight.
The first of the delphiniums coming into flower.

This rose was purchased from Hampton court flower show many years ago, it’s older than Ben. This is the best it has ever bloomed

Saturday morning, Suzy and I had a lay in. We didn’t go and get our cup of tea until 6am. When we got downstairs we were met with a note on the floor from Ben.

Wake me up at 11.30 please and please make sure I stay awake! It did make me chuckle.

Although I didn’t need to worry as Ben appeared in the garden at 10.30 and surprised me.

I fell back to sleep and didn’t get up until nearly 9. That is a miracle for me. After this I got up though as I can’t bear to waste my day in bed. Suzy and I had a short stroll then started to do a few bits outside.

The first two cucamelons have been planted in the greenhouse and whilst my neighbour and I had a chat over the fence and a plant swap (I got a couple of pepper plants, fab thank you Karen in exchange for a climber) Suzy decided to have a dip.

It was warming up and most of the jobs that needed doing were in full sun so I decided to start tackling the work bench. Dad would often be squirrelling away here stripping and rewiring panels ect. I know it’s still only been a few weeks but I’ve been in the garden so much to keep me going and help me through this tough time I was sure dad wouldn’t mind me having a little sort out so that I could have a potting bench.

Dad was mid way through renovating this panel so I carefully put everything in a box as it all looks alien to me, so that if need be someone else could continue with it.

An almost clear potting bench.
Cleared and cleaned corridor to the greenhouse.

We often took the Micky out of dad, in his shed with his spider spray and hoover but I have to say it was far easier to hoover than sweep. Dad would have been smiling today watching me do that. Dad could never find a dustpan and brush either and would often return from a shopping trip with a new one. I don’t think I will need to buy any for a while 😂

The garden was a hive of insect activity today. Very hard to photograph them as they are all fast movers. But I did manage to capture these beauty’s this afternoon.

How beautiful.

Ben and I popped out to say hi to Bev and to see how her sunflower is progressing. We enjoyed a cup of tea on the garden before a trip to Homebase to buy some paint for Ben.

Ben rocking lockdown hair.

Once back home we enjoyed a quick dinner then I was back out in the garden feeding the fruit and veg. Whilst doing so I noticed some orange spots on one of the raspberry bushes. After some research it appeared there is a bit of Raspberry rust on one of the plants. So I gave it a quick trim and thinned it out as apparently it can be caused by the plant being to dense not letting enough air flow through. Hopefully I’ve caught it before it reaches the others. Apparently it still fruits ok which is good.

Time to relax and do some more of Suzys sewing. Enjoy the evening everyone.

Tomorrow I shall start with a sunflower blog update for you all.

A self seeded poppy in the front wall.

Miss Lexy goes on a picnic…..

How exciting. We were off out today. But first a little work on the wild flower meadow. It’s a lovely day, a little cooler with a soft breeze but the sky remains bright. I’d spotted a few dandelions in the meadow so I got my handy tool and removed all that I could find. In their place I popped in some Scabious plants that I had spare along with with some scabious wild seeds. There are a few plants popping up now but it’s a slow process, especially when we haven’t had much rain. I treated the meadow to a good water after and made a start on getting Miss Lexy ready for her outing today.

Miss Lexy has been on charge over lockdown and with her solar panels her batteries have been topped up nicely. Fridge on ready for today’s picnic supplies and toilet checked. We had a feeling that public toilets wouldn’t be open at the park and we were right. Always good to have a back up.

Once we were loaded and Ben was awake and out of bed we got ourselves ready for the off with Suzy in tow. How exciting. This was a real treat.

Ben and I had arranged to meet Sam and Ryan with the dogs at Camer country park. It’s not to far from home and I knew it didn’t have a height barrier so all good for Miss Lexy.

It’s very strange meeting up with friends now as you still have to social distance. But in a big open country park with our own picnics and chairs that was easy to do.

A very excited Ben and Suzy.
Keeping our distance.

We picked a spot in the shade for our 2 meter picnic, but do you know what? It was ok. We could see and hear each other and that was perfect. The cafe was even open and managing to serve safely but we had everything we needed. Even a nice cup of tea courtesy of Lexy.

Ben and Ryan even managed a social distance kick about.

After a relaxing few hours we headed home, unloaded Lexy

The day was ended with watering the garden and ensure everything is growing ok and not being nibbled.

I amazed by how this Allium (Sicilian honey garlic) has changed.

The flowers now seem to be closing, I wonder if they are turning into seed heads.

Dinner tonight was a salad I had seen Jamie Oliver make. You can’t go wrong with a Jamie recipe. A roquefort salad with bacon, homemade croutons, walnuts and French dressing also home made. I added pear, I must say it was the nicest salad I’ve made.

Also exciting tonight was how many strawberries there were to be picked. Bring on strawberries every night and every morning.

So there we have it. A lovely day out. Miss Lexy got a good run and Ben saw sunlight 😂

Waterfall day…….

Today’s the day. Waterfall will it won’t it??

A bit more Bob the building and it was time for the grand switch on.

There we go. Not 100% Success as a little came under the rock, however the water isn’t escaping out of the waterfall so that will have to do. This has been a very testing project. We have learnt a lot and although it looks small it’s been heavy work as the rocks around it are extremely heavy. I shall keep my eye on it in the next few days. All that remained was to place the remainder of the rocks along the time to make it look natural.

The finished waterfall.

Brilliant time to move on to something else. The thing with gardening is there is always something to do. As it was still quite cool I planted up some more in the greenhouse. We now have cucumbers, melons and aubergines growing with just the cucamelons to plant in once they have established stronger roots. All the other plants will stay out tonight ready to be moved into the borders and pots. Fortunately I had a spare pot as I forgot id started off some runner beans and so they have a new home next to the sunflowers.

This afternoon saw the delivery of the new pond plants. Two different water iris. Now many of you know that lately we have had an issue with the heron. Because of this i had reworked the netting to cover all possible gaps. But now the new plants would need to go throw the netting as they will be tall. Not wanting to damage the excising netting I rolled it back and placed some summer netting that I could cut a few some holes in for the plants to break through. Then on the winter I can remove it and cover back with the original netting.

The netting from the wildflower meadow was removed tonight also. Currently it looks like long grass with a few others plants coming up but I shall work on this later in the week.

After dinner Ben and I took Suzy on a walk to the country park. I expected lots of people to be out but it was really quiet. Suzy had a good run and she loves to run and jump through the long grasses.

Front garden project

Good morning. Apologies for the late blog but it seems I fell asleep early last night and back to sleep this morning.

Tuesday morning Suzy and I were up early so we got out the front before it became to warm and checked our preparation. Yep the wall was dug over and window boxes filled with soil ready for planting, a blank canvas.

The geraniums survived the winter so of course I’ve kept them. Just tidied them and moved them together a little more. We used to fill the wall with geraniums and trailing geraniums but it costs quite a lot and we wanted to keep on encouraging more bees. Also this year as it turned out all these plants wouldn’t be readily available from the garden centres. So my planning started back in March. I regularly receive a gardening magazine and they often have seeds or special offers on plug plants. Ok plug plants arrive and they are tiny and you have to pot them on but that has proved a welcome distraction in the last few months. They arrive the size of my thumb and about 36 plants to a pack and most I managed to get for about £5 for 36 plants.

For the front wall this year I decided it would be a lot more relaxed with different heights and textures. The window boxes at the top used to be filled with trailing plants but I’ve gone for Scabious plants, some from plugs and some from seeds at the back. These will give height and be a big attraction for bees and butterflies. At the front I’ve planted some geranium and Petunias again grown from plug plants.

Along the bottom in the wall I’ve got the beautiful Pink geraniums but added in sweet peas to climb the railings (all grown in toilet rolls tubes to encourage long roots) and Rudbeckias. I love Rudbeckias with their sunflower like orange flowers.

It was very enjoyable planting out the front as so many people at the moment will say good morning as they pass doing their morning excersie.

After a good watering in the wall is complete. Fingers crossed it will come into life soon and not surcombe to snails. Time to pop out take Suzy for a walk then head to the vets to collect her treatments.

During the afternoon I popped a few more sweet peas in the border and admired the greenhouse which is now far emptier than the last few weeks. One morning I must get in there early to plant in the grow bags.

The weather is also perfect today to sit under the umbrella and while away a few hours sewing.

These alliums are bigger than my hand.
The orange blossom is looking stunning.

Well for today I must motivate myself to get out of bed and todays task come hell or high water will be to get the waterfall complete. Wish me luck. X

Waterfall day gerzilenth……

The day started really nicely. I woke to a well made cup of tea that Ben made me, it was 5.30am but I was awake and it made me smile. At 7.30 we were both dressed and ready to take Suzy out before it got too warm. We had a lovely walk, not many people around and one very happy puppy dancing through the long grass. We had quite a few giggles.

Ben makes me feel so short and I’m really not. 😂
Wild roses in the country park.

We got back to a cuppa and breakfast on the patio. It’s a glorious sunny day.

Now to the waterfall. Has the concrete set, has it worked? Well the good news is that the original leak had been fixed. The bad news is that the water runs below the rock. The concrete hasn’t sealed it. Deep breath count to ten.

This isn’t meant to be happening

Of course, mummy’s little helper is alway on hand.

Almost but not quite.

So what to do next. Guess it’s down to Homebase to get some weatherproof sealant. We didn’t have to queue for very long and got what we thought would work. Straight back to get it applied and fingers crossed it drys and does the job. If not, well I have a plan K!

For the remainder of the afternoon I pottered, planted up some more veg seeds. I’m staggering them so they don’t all come at once. Whilst planting, I left the fruit cage door open as I intended to go back in to water the beetroot. As I turned round I saw this little furry face chomping away in something that she was clearly enjoying very much. Boy did I tell her off. Have you guessed what she was chomping? Our delicious strawberries. Such a cheeky dog.

Bev delivered a lovely gift today. She had organised for these to be hand made so that I could hang them in the garden. I hope you agree they are really nice and are now hanging in the tree near the water feature. Thank you Bev x

The rest of the evening was spent with Ben and I enjoying a roast dinner on the patio and sending out messages to many people on dads phone to inform them he is no longer with us. Some of the reply’s back really being a tear to your eye and laughter from the whitty memories they have shared about dad. I find this is quite exhausting so I ventured back to the garden to plant out some of the Cosmos and to spend a little time unwinding whilst watering the plants. But finally I rest to write this blog before I head for bed. Night all x

Garden project continued.

An exciting day lay ahead. It was time to start planting up the new border today. It has seemed like such a long time ago Rich and I discussed our garden plans but as promised I am carrying them out.

Starting to position the plants.

The majority of the plants have been grown from seeds and plug plants with a small number being taken from cuttings of last years plants. I think for my first major growing mission it’s been a huge success. The greenhouse has been filled to its maximum and I’ve used so many various sizes of pots. The end result dosn’t look much at the moment but hopefully in a few weeks the plants will have settled into their new position and continue to grow and bloom. As long as the pesky slugs and snails don’t eat it all!

Impressive root system on these grown from seeds.

As well as all these plants in went 70 bulbs in this area. Fingers crossed they do well.

Believe it or not though there is still more to go. I have some cosmos flowers to plant and a few seeds and a couple of ornamental millet grasses are on there way.

Cosmos currently in the greenhouse.

The front garden wall was also prepared this morning but more to come on that in the next few days.

So plants in it was time to check the dreaded water fall.

I gingerly lifted its weather protecting cover to reveal what seems like good firm concrete. Hooray. It needs some tidying but it should be good for the grand switch on tomorrow.

So for the final job of the day, move the veg bags to make room for the new sunflower family. I’m hoping when they grow tall they will look stunning against the newly painted fence. I’ve also started to companion plant them to make the most of the space and the soil. Two bags have the variety Shirley tomato in them the others will soon have spinach, beetroot and radish in them.

The new home for carrots, radish and spring onion.

The thing about growing your own veg, herbs and fruit is that it tastes so much fresher and full of flavour. Tonight’s dinner was full of fresh flavours as I used our own lettuce, radish, basil, parsley and chives. Soon I hope to be able to harvest our own cucumber, carrots and cherry tomatoes.

The raspberries are coming along nicely.

So there we have it. Another productive day in the garden. Some beautiful flowers and plants enjoying the sunshine as well as mummy’s little helper x

Mummy’s little helper.
The fox glove, self seeded on the garden has very fine hairs just inside.
Some very happy busy bees in the garden.
Do we have our own crop hearts?
The greenhouse now has empty shelves. But not for long……

Sunflower special edition, update 2…..

Good evening and welcome to Sunday sunflower update part 2. Last week we were introduced to the sunflower family. All the sunflowers have had a busy week. Some have moved home and most have had to withstand strong winds.

Craig and Sam’s week – you may remember that Sam and Craig live by the sea. They have had strong winds this week and baking sun. The sunflowers are looking good despite this and they have moved from the cosy house to the breezy hot garden. There was a bit of a close shave when the plants started to bow their heads but after a quick drink they were standing to attention once again.

Craig and Sam’s sunflowers.

Jan and Lisa – So after a false start from Jan’s first sunflower she is back in the competition with version deux. Being tenderly cared for will it now creep up the support to top flower? Lisa’s is looking like a tough cookie and holding on to that strong stem and dark leaves. Both of their sunflowers are being taken back in at night and in when it’s windy.

Jan’s steadily growing seed.
Wow, looking good there Lisa.

Auntie Jeanie – Sally sunflower had to shelter from the wind in the greenhouse this week as she is feeling a little delicate. She is showing some signs of slight leaf discolouration, has she had to much sun??

Sally sunflower.

Nanny Bev – Has Gerald been behaving himself this week? Well he has had his supporting plants removed from his pot, is this a plan to ensure he gets all the nutrients in the soil?

Gerald looking like he is enjoying the sunshine.

Jo and Ben – Down in Dartford this week we have had some high winds which has meant that SUNY sunflower has been kept in the shed on occasion. But today he is out, free and moved on to be with his fan club. Introducing the sunny eight, the new kids on the block. Let loose from the greenhouse today to be with the big one. How will he get on in his new location and how will he cope with sharing? You’ll have to tune in next week to find out.

SUNY.
New kids on the block.

Waterfall day part? How many days have we been working on this?

Another day, another amount of time spent perfecting the waterfall. Today the plan is to seal in the top part of the liner, concrete in the stone for the water to pour over and get most rocks back surrounding it in position.

Did it go to plan? Well I guess Sunday or Monday we will find out when the concrete is dry and we can turn the water back on. For now it looks like this.

No rain predicted today but it rained anyway.

Thank you to Bev, Dean and Ian for your advice, help and support with this. I’m certainly learning lots of new skills at the moment.

Bev and I needed a few bits so we tidied up and headed over to different garden centre. There was a small queue but it moved quickly. We were given very friendly advice on distancing and the likes before being let in. I have to say even though they were low on stock it was very well organised.

Bev and I went out separate ways and I returned to the garden to start some of the exciting bits. Planting my new plants that I have been nurturing from seed or plug plants. I tackled the pots first. Some needed swapping around and some needed new soil. But despite the rain they are a bit closer to being completed now today.

Upright begonias.
Red dianthus.
Dahlia in bud.

I also managed to plant a few plants in the new border. Echinacea’s and a Geum with it’s hot striking red flowers.

Whilst pottering, I had a text to say my Perscription is ready at Bluewater. I thought it was a good time to stop gardening as otherwise I’d be out there all night. I jumped in the car and headed for the car park. Now Bluewater on a Saturday afternoon is generally heaving but currently there are only three shops open, Boots, Holland and Barrett as far Marks and Spencer’s for food. The mall was like a scene out of a movie. You know when there is that deadly silence and the streets are empty.

One way directional signage.
Never have I seen it like this before.

There were some security staff positioned inside reminding customers to walk on the left and follow the arrows. I guess they are preparing for when they can open more. Even still, it’s very odd!

With everything purchased that I needed it was time to head home. It’s an odd weather day as the sun is shining but the wind is being a little tough. Tonight Ben and I had decided it was pizza night. So with our shop bought pizza and film on netflicks we settled down. It’s usually me who falls asleep during a film at home but surprisingly it was the other way round tonight.

Tomorrow will be week two of the sunflower diaries as an added blog bonus. But for now. Night night.

Honeysuckle.
The first of the orange blossom.
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