Sunday, 30 June 2013

Thank you and good night.

I just wanted to say a big thank you if you have been following or reading my blog.
Google reader is to be no more but my blog has a new home at
or hit the bloglovin button.
I hope you will continue to drop by.
Thanks for listening to my ramblings.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Elusive snails

I know they are around.
I've seen the signs, trails over my squash, courgettes and aubergine.
I've lifted, turned, poked prodded and furtled but I cannot find the little blighters.

I will find them, yes I will!
Elsewhere in the garden.....

the asparagus peas have finally begun to flower. 
The strawberries are ripening at a rate of about 2 a day at the moment.
Not really fast enough for my two fruit-loving fiends but they are so very packed with flavour. Hopefully, a little more sun and we might get enough for 1 each.
I will not pretend to understand the changes with google reader, it all goes over my head. For people who follow my little blog and those who lurk, I will soon be switching fully to wordpress and using bloglovin.
I apologise in advance as I get to grips with the changes, I hope you will bear with me and be very forgiving of my lacking in IT skills.
Hope to see you there.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Helpful robins.

The last time I opened the compost bin, I found that a colony of ants had decided to take up residence.
The soil was beautifully crafted into a network of tunnels, nice.
There were also hundreds of little ants eggs, not so nice.
Not a great picture.
   I have nothing against ants, there was just a shocking amount of eggs and already a huge
                                                               amount of ants.
 I left the lid off the bin and along came a family of robins, parents and fledglings (which were very shy and I couldn't get a photo).


They had a really good feed, the parents didn't mind me being a few feet away taking photos.
I did while away a good hour watching them.
The housework can wait, moments like these should be captured.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Falling in love with flowers

Last year, my gardening motto at the start of the season  was very much
 if I can't eat I don't want it.
We all make mistakes.
Over the growing season, it was great to have so much green but I missed colour.
I did have huge success with cosmos, rudbeckia goldstrum and a daisy type perennial but the overwhelming colour in the garden was green.
This year, flowers no longer rate second billing but are starring side by side with the edibles, mostly.
I still have to work on my planning, I am a work in progress as a gardener.
There are always bees to be found in the garden now, and I'm glad. To me that means I'm getting it at least quite a bit right.

Bargain bulbs from Wilkos, an unreliable permanent marker means I don't know the name.
Calendula "fruit twist"
The "bed" bed which is a mix of flowers, herbs, strawberries and garlic.
I was chatting to my neighbour over the fence this morning and neither of us have seen any ladybirds in our gardens this year, hers is a real cottage style garden so it isn't like there isn't loads to tempt all sorts of bugs.
It's a bit of a worry really. Maybe they are delayed because of the late spring.
I hope they start arriving soon.
I bought this lovely bug house from Aldi, I'd been wanting one for an age so to finally find one that was low cost enough not to make Dave raise an eyebrow was good.


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Champagne bubbles

It was a lovely surprise this morning to find the first of the poppies "champagne bubbles" had quite literally "popped" open.
The casing that held the poppy bloom.
I have to admit, I was obviously very ignorant as to how the poppy would open. Still a little bit in awe of the whole process.
 I have tried sowing several batches of basil with no success what so ever.
I've never been a fan of basil before I came across a great pesto recipe which the kids love.
Rather than having to keep buying pots from the supermarket about £1.50 a time, I used the cheats method. I bought a pot of basil from Tesco, split the plants which turned out to be about 10 individual plants and gave them individual 8" pots.
After 3 weeks I planted the plants in any space around the garden, the plants have a lot more leaves per plant than when I bought it. I've now got plenty of basil and haven't bought any since..
I had bought some chalkboard pens to use on craft stuff I had been messing around with.
It was a happy accident to find that I could use them out does and the writing is weather proof.
It works on some old slate I found in the garden, pots and even pebbles.
It's proving very handy, I may know what most things are but Dave and the kids need a bit of guidance.

Bob the apple tree (as named by Leah)
 And finally....
comparing the garden 17th May
and then on the 16th June.
Very satisfying.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Poorly blueberry

Last year we had an amazing crop of blueberries, we had a  small but steady supply almost daily for weeks over the summer.
This year, the bush just hasn't had the abundance of flowers and the few juvenile blueberries look very lacklustre. I thought that maybe we just got very lucky last year.
This morning I was doing an inspection of the jostaberry when I just happened to glance a the blueberry and then it became very clear what the problem was.
 Scale insects. All the stems were covered in them.
There are various remedies I've found looking on the Internet from biological controls to wiping with meths!
I spent a good half hour popping scraping them off with my finger nail. It was a bit like popping bubble wrap only less satisfying and a bit more icky.
I had them on my lemon tree, which almost killed it off. I knocked them all off and have made sure to keep it well fed and it is bouncing back.
My RHS Gardening Encyclopedia recommends spaying with plant oil in winter which is what I'll do.

So, no bumper crop this year, we'll be lucky to get a handful,  but now I know to keep an eye out in case they come back and for the future.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Just before....

The weather has been grey and blustery.
In the garden, things look like they are just about to happen

Round courgette


And I wait patiently.