marjorie73: (Default)
 This weekend is a bank holiday weekend, which means 3 days off. It is also traditional for the weather to be terrible!


It's been very hot over the last couple of days (you know, the days we've been spending in the office) so of course at around 3 a.m. on Saturday morning there was a massive thunderstorm, with torrential rain, and lots of very loud thunder. 


I'm sure that the rain will be good for the garden and fields, but I could have done without being woken at that time of night!


The forecast suggested that we were likely to get more rain over the weekend, but other than a very brief shower, Saturday was dry (although very warm and muggy a lot of the time) so I was able to cut the grass both at the front and back.  


I had turf laid at the back, when I had the gravel removed last year. The front, where I had tarmac removed, was just replaced with topsoil, and I wasn't quick enough to plant it so have an awful lot of docks and nettles and other things I don't really want,but am gradually working on getting rid of the weeds, and getting grass to grow. 


I also planted some young hydrangeas (grown from cuttings from my parents' garden) earlier in the year, which seem to be doing reasonably well. I hope, eventually, that I will have a selection of bushes and flowers - and maybe even a vegetable patch.




The clematis I planted last year is thriving, and has just started to flower, and my tomato plants (in pots and grow bags) and peas (also in pots and grow bags) seem to be doing well; the tomatoes are starting to flower, and the peas have both flowers and little baby mange-tout pods. 


Given that my track record on growing things to eat hasn't been great, and mostly seems to consist of growing things to be eaten by slugs, or to die for no apparent reason, it is very gratifying! I'm really hoping that this year I will get a reasonable crop of tomatoes. The last few years I've grown them, the fruit has't had time to ripen before it gets too cold, but I started the seedlings off earlier this year, and I'm keeping some of them in pots indoors, so hopefully those will ripen, even if the outdoors ones don't!


So, I've been pottering around, doing a bit of weeding and pruning and re-potting, and I also did various bits of housework, because sometimes you run out of excuses not to! 

marjorie73: (Default)
 Having spent the past two weekends with trips to London, first to see Hamlet, and then for work and to see Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, I was ready for a more relaxed and low-key weekend, so was glad not to be going anywhere this weekend.


Two weekends ago I did a little gardening, planting an apple tree* which I ordered a few weeks back, and which had just arrived. Loki took a keen interest in the process, and in particular in the hole I dug in the back lawn.


(*I say tree. It came as a bare-root plant, and it isn't very big, so it's basically a stick. A very expensive stick.)



I was a little concerned about whether it would be OK, particularly as the weather turned very wet as soon as I got it into the ground, and I worried it would get waterlogged and rot before it could get established.


However, having checked on it yesterday, it appears (crossed fingers) that it is settling in, as it has produced some little baby leaves. It wouldn't do that if it were planning to die on me, would it? It is a family apple tree, with 3 grafts, so if it survives and produces fruit, it will produce 3 types of apple (and be able to self-pollinate). 


I think it'll be another 2 - 3 years before it starts to produce any apples,but hopefully it will settle in and look nice, even before then.



 

With a view to other (quicker) home grown stuff I planted some tomato seeds a couple of weeks ago, and have just transplanted the seedlings into individual pots, and have them on various windowsills around the house. 


Given the uncertain weather and the rather disappointing crops I have had for the past 2 years, this year  I am planning to keep some indoors (probably on my office windowsill at work, which is spacious and well lit) as well as planting some out into the garden. It's the nearest thing I have to a greenhouse. So I shall need to find some large pots, suitable for an office environment!


On a less cheerful note, I managed through a combination of clumsiness and a gust of wind to bash my leg with the door of my car, leaving a *very* painful (but oddly unimpressive, visually) bruise. So yesterday afternoon involved a certain amount of sitting with my foot up, and a ice-pack on my leg.


Today was beautifully sunny, and I spent time [trying to] dig up docks and dandelions from my front garden, although I also resorted to some spot-on weedkiller for the more deeply rooted ones which I couldn't dig out by hand. I also planted out a Hydrangea which I have been growing from a cutting since last autumn, which may one day become part of a hedge at the front of the house.


And Loki remembered ( I assume) how warm the tile roof of the shed gets when it is sunny

 

 


And also demonstrated his walking-along-the-top-of-the-fence skills, which allow him to go all around the garden without ever setting food on the ground!



A pleasant, low-key weekend. 


Of course, I should have been energetic and done lots of housework and such, but I didn't. And I don't regret it, much. 


Springtime

Apr. 8th, 2011 10:36 am
marjorie73: (Default)
 I drive to work every day. The journey is about 15 miles, and takes about 40 minutes, most days. I rather enjoy it, as I drive cross-country through some beautiful scenery.

This morning, it was cold and misty when I left the house, so the first part of the trip was shrouded in dim, grey vapour, with nothing to see bar the lights of approacing cars. However, as I left the town, and started to climb out of the valley, I burst into sunshine, into a wonderful clear, clean day, under a robins-egg blue sk, agaisnt which two hot air balloons hung, silently, as if painted on the sky.

There are signs everywhere that Spring is well and truly sprung. The hedges, now, are a patchwork of brown and grey and green and white - some parts still nothing but bare branches, interspersed with the white of May, and the vivid green of the new beech-leaves, and the grey of the pussy-willow's catkins.

In the fields, the Chestnut trees, too are covered with new leaves, the grass is bright, not yet dried or bleached by the sun. The hedgrows are full of the sunbursts of dandelions and the paler ivory and cream primroses.

This morning, the mist had left dewdrops sparkling everywhere, and coming up over the hills I could look down and see the valleys still filled with mist, the top of the mist lapping against the hills like a great grey lake.

Mornings like this remind me. This is my land. And it is beautiful.

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