November Rains brings yet more Floods.

Well, hello again my WordPress friends, its that time  again for another monthly update. And oh my what a wet month we have had since I last updated here.. So much rain with the odd dry day thrown in-between..

Back at the end of October the weather broke just long enough for us to to get more of our allotment cleared and while my hubby worked on digging and clearing the top end of the plot, I set too and began to cut back the Autumn Raspberry bushes.. What a harvest we have had, both from the early and the late berries, The bushes were still full of wet soggy fruit when I cut them back.

My hubby had also dug up all the Loganberries and composted them. Because for the past several years they had not been at their best and as they are much more tart and sour than the abundance of raspberries we harvest, so I decided we would concentrate on the raspberries for next year and clear space. He also eventually in stages was able to lift out the Dahlia’s, so clogged were the tubas with sodden earth he had to dry out in the green house first before he could remove the soil from around the tuba.. These are then placed upside down with the  cut dahlia storks of around 6″ to 9″, (I still work in inches even after all these years of being metric.. So that is around 15 cms to 22 cms..)  The storks facing downwards to allow them to drain… When completely dry these are then stored in straw… Our Home Begonias and gladioli are stored in sawdust..   These are kept frost free covered in the shed.

Here is a previous image of stored Dahlia tubas from 2017.

Hubby made a metal grid in the allotment greenhouse, where you place the stalks side down and tuba side up, This helps to drain the moisture out of the stalks .. And here they will stay for a couple of weeks until the soil has completely dried and can be shaken off.
Then they will be stored in the shed

Here below is the Before Photo where I weeded and cut back the autumn raspberry canes. The Red foliage leaves are the blueberries these I leave alone.. Sadly we hardly had any fruit on the blueberries this year due to a late frost which caught the bushes in flower…. But the raspberries made up for them.. You always win some and lose some when gardening and you have to take it all in your stride.. Some years are good, others not so good..  Like our Leeks, this year because of the rain many have rotted and have been composted..

Cutting and clearing Autumn Raspberries

And here is the after photo… I have to say my back was aching when I had finished and I left some of the grass and twitch to be weeded out the following day as my bones had had enough for the day.

Raspberries pruned back and ground partly cleared I went back the following day and cleared the patch you see  left of grass and twitch.

I also collected all the finished sweetpea seeds. My idea for next year it to plant many sweetpeas along the trellis where we dug out the Loganberries  and place a net for them to grow up, The frame work is already there.  You can see the stakes and framework in place on the above photo.

Sweetpea seeds

As the title says November has been almost none stop rain too, and many low lying areas not far from us have been hit by floods.. And I count my blessings daily for living on a hill, and even here outside my window  at the moment the water is around ten centimetres in puddles that are no longer soaking into the ground.

Rivers have overflowed their banks and I feel so sorry for all the residents of FishLake  near Doncaster as their streets and homes have literally been turned into a lake, More on their plight can be found at this  BBC news link. The whole village is under water..

So while nothing outdoors can be done I have been spending more time on my  indoor projects and have completed these items you see below as well as I am midway through another knitting project..

And I have been less and less on technology and on the internet  So I have spent less time in WordPress, though I do hope to try and get back into my WP reader and catch up at some point.. But as the Autumn days get shorter and as  winter approaches I am finding I am hunkering down into my creative space more and more as I try to tune out from the bombardment of negative news and tune into my own creative, harmonic creative space..

 I hope you are all Keep safe out there..

So many things going off in the world, Fires, Floods, and Elections!…

Keep your own Balance!..  And create your own Bubble of Peace..

Keep safe and hold each other close..

Until Next time.. 

 

October Already

Hello again, well October has arrived and with it many places have had flooded roads and rivers are running high to overflowing here in the UK,  as for the last few days its done nothing but rain, rain, rain day and night.. 

Click on Photos to Enlarge . 

Cleared out the sweet corn and general tidy up The sprouts are now clearly visible standing to attention

 But thankfully before the rain set in last week, we had a wonderful week of sunny warm weather. Which my hubby and I took advantage of as we got stuck into more chores of clearing on the plot.. The sweetcorn came out and we cleared a space ready for the delivery of  manure which we order later this month.  You can see by the picture below just how the lettuce is growing and we have picked quite a few now, and the swedes are also filling out as are the carrots growing which will be weeded out once they get much bigger.

Lettuce on left, Swedes, and carrots, leeks, January Kings Cabbage and Sprouts far right

 We also reaped in our Butternut Squash and have stored around 24 largish Squash so we are very happy with our harvest of these as you see below. 

Butternut Sqaush

I also cleared out the borders on the front garden of the summer flowers which had gone past there best and also took down the hanging baskets and replenished the wall containers with winter pansies and cyclamens..  Which I forgot to take photos of.. Maybe next time..  I planted lots of chrysanthemums in various colours as well as dwarf daffodil bulbs. My intention is to fill the front border with more perennials next year so as to help with lower maintenance of Summer and Autumn planting..  

But there is still lots of colour in the  back garden and these fuchsias were made into standards by my husband are now three years old taken from one plant as cuttings. They have now been moved into the greenhouse as we have a pending forecast of frost for Wednesday..  

Rainbow light from hanging crystal

Since my  husband cleared and cleaned the pond in the spring its done really well, the fish are happy and the waterlily he cut back hard, and its produced many more flowers this year.  I think in total this year we have had nine or ten  blooms in total, where as in other years we have only had a couple. 

Water Lily in our pond.

You may remember a few months back I began knitting an Aran sweater, It got shelved in July when I went on holiday and upon our return we then started decorating our home and then had to catch up with the neglected plot, so this now knitting project has been completed. And I am very happy with its fit.

My hand knitted Aran sweater .

Have you any projects unfinished? Or have you about to start some..  I am being urged by my inner prompting to start painting again now the garden chores  have been caught up with.  So I will leave you with a gallery of some of the flowers still in bloom and the Dahlias are still in wonderful flower until the first frost hits them on the plot. 

 Until Next Time

  Take Care and Enjoy All you Create

Be it in the garden or in arts and crafts. 

💚 ENJOY! 💚

 

 

September Harvesting

September evenings are now drawing in quickly, much quicker than I remember in my childhood days, but then again the Summer holidays from school seemed to last and last when we were children, and now it seems within a blink of an eye  they are gone, as children break up for the Summer and now already they are back at school again.

So while the temperatures brought an unexpected Late August heat wave on a holiday weekend here in the UK, its now dipped back to normal with a clear chill in the air first thing in the morning.

So before the rain set it Hubby and I got to work in harvesting the potatoes, along with  the ripe sweetcorn cobs, and clearing out the litter of spent brassica leaves and weeds.

Click onto any photo to enlarge.

Just two rows of potatoes dug up here.

So while Hubby got digging the main crop of potatoes up, Picasso, I got busy picking sweetcorn and also pulling up the spent dwarf beans, collecting the pods for next years seed.

While Hubby dug I sorted into sizes and any damaged with the fork will be used first.

 

 

 

Gathering dwarf bean seeds, the rows covered in weed ..

 

 

 

There were also the Dwarf Beans which had finished to pull up and collect seed pods  for saving next years seeds. The rows had got covered in weeds and so this area of the plot needed a good weeding and clearing out.

It’s very satisfying when  its all cleared and raked, I also went under the Brussels sprouts clearing out decaying leaves.

Cleared area after pulling up the dwarf bean rows

Ladybird bug feasting on the aphids and white fly

Look closely for the ladybugs on the  left photo, making a meal of eating the aphids.These little creatures are a gardeners friend, although the invasive species of the Harlequin Bug are now wiping out our UK Ladybird bug..

 

Sweetcorn ready to go into freezer.

Our sweetcorn has done exceptionally well this year, with the heat and often heavy rainfall which would fall in the night. On the left here you see 40 cobs ready for the freezer. There  were cobs still ripening ready to be harvested. Quite a lot, but when we went to collect today it seems our thief had got there first leaving only six small ones..

We are having problems with produce being stolen again on the plot.. We had onions go, and the odd cabbage, broad beans we knew were ripe also went.  You do not mind the odd thing missing but when they take a  lot.. or a whole row.. It can be quite soul destroying when you put so much time and effort into your plot to grow your own veggies..  We have thought of putting our Motion camera on the plot, but as this was a gift we do not want this stolen, as we get a lot of pleasure watching the hedgehogs roam on our garden during the night via watching the play back.

Hedgehog out earlier in the Summer on our patio

I have no problems sharing, we always plant more than we need and give family and neighbours that which we cannot store.

I would gladly give produce away rather than someone think its there right to take it..  Though I am under no illusions people have no qualms with taking what is not theirs..  I just hope they enjoyed what they have taken.. They obviously must need it more than we do.. So we keep planting more than we need .. And are thankful we can do so.

So until next time.

Take care.. and be thankful for what you have, for there are always those less fortunate than ourselves..

Through the Sweetcorn view of plot

Happy Gardening!

Sue

 

 

August Update~ On the Plot.

August has been a very good month, lots of warm Sunshine, hot days, and short sharp heavy bursts of rain.. Though in the beginning of August we did have three days of solid rain..

This has been good for our growing crops, but also ideal conditions for our main enemy~ The Weeds!.. whose relentless battle goes on and on..

Click on the photos to Enlarge:

Even when you have weeded, set seeds, the battle is constant. Click photos to enlarge.

Now I have no problem with weeds, they are all beautiful in their own right, but some are just so invasive and spring up like a carpet, choking and taking nutrients from the crops. The plots are full of them

now re-weeded you can now see the lettuce, swedes, the carrots are too tiny to weed out too close.

 

 

 

 

 

We had several weeks of redecorating our home, so the plot was neglected apart from watering in the heatwave every morning.

This beautiful weather ideal for our Sweetcorn which has grown to the size of me now, and it has some lovely huge cobs just about ready for harvest.

The sweetcorn has loved the heat wave and we have some huge cobs ripening

We have enjoyed strawberries right up into the middle of July, when this next picture was taken. While the early Raspberry canes are now finished, our late raspberries are just beginning to ripen and I have already had three such punnets off, with lots left to ripen.

While this photo was taken in July, These raspberries were the early ones, we are now getting raspberries from our Autumn late crop

We have had some lovely tasty new first early potatoes these were called Foremost  we planted three rows of earlies and six rows of the main crop, which are Picasso Below you see hubby  who yesterday weeded out the rows as the tops had died down, though he is not digging them out yet until the end of Sept, as everything seems to be about a month in front of itself this year, probably due to the mild Spring.

Hubby weeded out the potatoes now the tops have died down, We have 6 rows of main crop and still two rows of early potatoes to dig up.

Above you can see the onions drying out in our home greenhouse, in the middle on the bottom shelf are tulip bulbs from our home garden, I dug up and dried out ready for replanting in the Autumn. On the right these are shallots  which can either be used for pickles or I like to add in stews. 

My Dahlia’s and Gladioli’s have been lovely again this year and they are still  producing lots of bloom

 Inside the Allotment green house we have yellow tomatoes ripening and we have fallen in love with these Crystal  Lemon Cucumbers  

Well that is what is happening on the Plot this month, I will leave you with some busy lizzie plants on our patio.

Until next time

Busy Lizzie’s in one of our patio pots

Happy Gardening!

Gardening and Leisure Time.

I know, I know, its been more than another eight weeks since I last did an update here on my Gardening blog. And I am sure there are those of you who have unsubscribed and I wouldn’t blame you.

But Life away from the internet is what I am embracing more and more of this year, to be honest long spells on the computer drain me more than working on the plot. 

So what have we been up to. Well at the beginning of July we took a holiday and had a wonderful time exploring the Pembrokeshire Coastline  in Wales, and surrounding area, All of that to follow.

But upon our return we had to get stuck back into our home garden and of course while you are away the weeds on the plot don’t suddenly stop growing. So we trimmed back some of our home garden shrubs and trimmed our conifers and made some mulch out of it with the use of a shredder, to spread between the raspberry bushes to save on weeding.

While away we had a kind neighbour who watered our outdoor pots, and the tomatoes in the green house were well watered because of our thoughtful daughter who had bought her Dad for his birthday in June, a Solar Watering system which my hubby rigged up before we went away in the allotment greenhouse and it worked a treat..

A good thing too as the weather here the whole of July has been wonderful, Sunny days and showers, perfect growing weather, weeds and all. With the last few weeks of record high temperatures which reached 38C.. A new all time record here in the U.K.

We are back now to more seasonal temperatures and have had three days of rain, so the English weather is more or less back to normal.

After we got the garden settled. We decided to re-decorate our living room, and dinning room. This done, we then set to and redecorated the Hall, Stairs and Landing.  We finished just two days before the Heat record struck and believe me, all we did that day was rest and drink plenty of liquids. We are just not geared up for such hot weather here in England, not even the fans we put on gave much relief. Our homes don’t have air-conditioning.

So first the plot in photos, since taking these, we have picked all the peas and in total have frozen, nine pounds in weight of peas

 You should be able to click to enlarge these photo’s

Peas, lettuce, beetroot, parsnip

Shelled peas sorted, bagged and ready to freeze

 

 

 

 

 

Another view, the poppies really attracted lots of bees which was our intention

Hubby on the plot, you see how lovely the poppies were we set on purpose down the side of the allotment. The Bees loved them.

Strawberries, Onions, Potatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apples

Dahlias and sweetpeas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the sheds and compost bins we left this area wild this year for the insects and butterflies. There is a large patch of nettles butterflies like to lay eggs on. This was where the pumpkins grew last year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Poppies, these were huge pompom poppies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok and now for some of the holiday photos.. Carrying on the garden theme we we visited a wonderful Castle and Garden in Wales, called Picton Castle

Picton Castle

The gardens were set in 40 acres of land from the formal walled gardens with herbaceous boarders, its herb collection, to the wonderful woodland paths that surround it which of course I just had to explore those magnificent trees.

Inside the castle was no disappointment either it was stunningly beautiful.

 

 

But for me the gardens was where the’Wealth’ lay, with the fabulous shrubs and flowers.

 

So below is a collage of the garden and for those of us gardeners who now have electric lawn mowers, give a thought to those back in the early 1900’s who had to push and pull heavy lawn mowing machinery.

We also went to the smallest City in Wales, in fact St David’s is the smallest City in the UK. but boasts a wonderful Cathedral. So the next collage of photos are some views from  St Davids and some surrounding coast line.

I hope you are all enjoying your Summer in your own gardens and exploring more of your own countryside. 

Much love and 

HAPPY GARDENING!

What a difference Eight Weeks Makes!

Its been a while I know since I posted an update. And what you see here is all to the hard work of my hubby.  After I set too in Spring and over did things. So I have kept to lighter duties on the gardening front. If you hover your mouse pointer over each image it will tell you what is planted. 

So while  Hubby has been busy planting and keeping the weeds down, I completed my knitting projects and also finished a painting which seems ages ago now that now hangs on our granddaughters bedroom wall when she comes to stay.

Eagle and chicks

Short sleeve top

This Short-sleeve top on the right  was completed, and no sooner was it finished than I was itching to start another as I came across some more bargain wool

This short sleeve top I did to add as a short top to the cardigan I knitted.

The colours are the same, its just my camera and the lighting that makes them look different.

I then set about wanting to knit a summer light jumper which I was hoping to take on holiday, but I didn’t finish that in time, I completed it when we came back  home

Summer Jumper,

The colour of this is a turquoise but again the light and my camera do not do it justice.

The back of the jumper pattern in close up here

The Pattern on the back on the jumper in close up

 

 

 

 

 

Now I am working upon a thicker Aran Wool Sweater. I have already done the back and working on the front 

Aran Sweater

The Home garden has been where I have been working, and getting my Begonias which have been stored over winter into pots. Lifting tulips out of the tubs and daffodils. While filling the hanging baskets and wall hangers with flowers for Summer..

Here is what the tubs of Tulips looked like back in April

Tulips

Happy Gardening and Creating!

Until Next Time. 

 

March Update~ Came in like a Lion.

Well I think we have certainly had everything thrown at us this month. Gales, heavy rain, with flooding in some parts of the UK, while others had snow on higher ground.  The Wind battered our lean too shed, which we were going to pull down last year, which we never got around to so the Wind saved us the job.. It was a second-hand shed when we got it, which if its true age be known, must have been over 40 yrs old, we had it for 15 yrs.. So it owed us nothing.

Here it is before, you can see why we called it our lean-too. We built our other second-hand shed using fence posts as a foundation base.

Hubby cleared the area and burnt the wood, spreading the potash on the garden. Nothing is ever wasted . And he put the compost and manure barrels on the foundations.  This is the rough area behind the sheds, and will get levelled out and dug over when some of the waste vegetation has rotted down.. This was where the Pumpkins were grown last year. 

This last week the weather has been better so we have worked hard on the plot. Hubby has now planted 3 rows of early potatoes, and 6 rows of Late potatoes.. 

Click to enlarge

 

The Peas are growing well, and will be put into a cold frame to harden off a bit.. Though you can sow straight into the ground, but we have found we have had more success planting them this way, as birds and mice do not eat them, so there are less misses in the row.. We will set more pea seeds later to stagger the harvest. 

Peas growing well

Cabbage, cauliflower, spouts, broccoli, seeds have been set along with Leeks.

Leeks and young strawberry plants before they were planted in their beds

We also made a new Strawberry bed, replenishing our plants with some bought off the local market..  We will add straw around them a little later. 

New varieties of strawberry plants..

It is wonderful to have some fine weather again and Spring to be in the air, the birds are now gathering worms and insects to feed their young and the home garden although it got quite battered by the high winds and rains for a solid week.  Now is beginning to show more colour. So the remaining gallery are flowers in bloom. 

So Until Next time..

Happy Gardening and Planting. 

February Update: What’s going on in the Plot.

These first early months of the year can be very unpredictable weather wise, and I know compared with other parts of the world we here in the UK have got off lightly so far with clement weather, albeit a few cold and frosty morning.

Click images to enlarge:

As the plot looked this week walking down it to the sheds

But we never count our chickens, before they have hatched as the saying goes, and well remember last years icy blast from the East that hit us in March.. It is easy to get carried away with some mild sunny days and think to start planting, but keep an eye out for those weather forecasts. 

Spring cabbage and plenty of sprouts we keep harvesting in the background

So while hubby has been keeping the garden hoed over and making sure the muck has been well dug in, 

In the greenhouse on the allotment plot the day I took this photo with the sun shining it was 14C aprox 57F outside, and inside the Greenhouse it was 26C.. nearly 80F

Onion and shallot sets in the greenhouse

Hubby unlocking the sheds you can see the raspberry bushes and blueberry bushes all pruned.

Inside we still have butternut squash, and the apples are making lots of apple pies still, We pick through them every once in a while and throw out any which have gone bad.. But you can see we still have plenty to keep us going, 

Butternut Squash and apples in the trays, In the buckets on the floor are the Dahlia tubas

Fruit Cake and Apple and Raspberry Pie

 We are still harvesting Carrots, Parsnips and Swedes too, along with Leeks. making some delicious warming winter stews. . 

We saved a few of the broad-bean seeds and these are them growing in a small cold frame on the plot. next to them were wallflower seeds I planted in the autumn they will be ready to plant out for next year.

Broad beans

On the home front, our bulbs I planted in several tubs of Tulips and daffodils are coming through, these are sheltered at the side of the house right now, but come Spring will go to the front of the house.. Primroses are out in one tub too. 

Tulips and Daffs

Bulbs in tubs

Other projects I have been doing have been more knitting, I got a lot of bargain priced wool, So set about knitting a bobble hat for my granddaughter.. Here she is modelling it 

And I had enough blue wool I wanted to use up before starting on my new wool, so I decided to start knitting a short-sleeved top to go under the cardigan  I knitted a while ago to make a twin set.  This is as far as that has progressed to date. I loved the pattern so much and enjoyed creating it on the hat.. I thought to add it to the centre of what was a plain patterned top, So I worked out the stitches for the centre etc, 

Knitted Top

Those who are new to following here, this was the cardigan it will match.

This is the finished result of my knitting.. It took me around 3 weeks from start to finish..

Well dear friends, that is my February Update.. I hope you are all keeping well, and that the weather isn’t too harsh where ever you are.. 

Take care until Next time. 

Selling paintings, blog visitors help..

Calling all my wonderful friends who visit me here on my garden blog.. I have a new blog which I follow who is needing a bit of a boost in getting known..
May I introduce you to Steve, who does some wonderful paintings in lots of mediums, including amazing pastels..
I hope you go and say hello and take a look at his painting skills..
Many thanks, and a post of my own crafting will be coming this week end.

Keep Busy~ Creating!

Its been a while since I posted here on my garden blog. I have been spending more time off the internet and more time with my hobbies. 

I decided after knitting the finger-less gloves  and snood in my last post to use the same burgundy wool to knit myself a beret.  I found a pattern in our local wool shop and set about knitting it.. nearly each row was different, and needed full concentration and record keeping of where I was when I put it down.  But I was very pleased with the end result. 

Hand knitted Beret.

After the Beret was finished my next project was to paint.. Now  my usual medium I enjoy using is acrylics.. But I had been following Steve on his blog, his love of oil painting and  through his encouragement to give it another try, and already had the oil paints in stock, I gave it another go..  

One of the things which always put me off was the drying time of paintings in oils.. But it also then has its advantages of blending areas where you see mistakes or you need to change. 

So I decided to paint one of my favourite little animals who are at this time of year hibernating, which is a little Hedgehog. 

I called it Hedgehog in Spring 

Hedgehog in Spring in Oil Paints.

Here you can see one which was active in my garden last year

Today as I type this the temperature outside is minus -4°C which is 24.8°F which is cold even for us here in England, and we have freezing fog outside today 

So I thought to show you the little bit of Spring we have in our garden at the moment as some of the primroses are out, and indoors is another piece of Spring in the form of these  Hyacinths bulbs on my kitchen window. The aroma of their perfume is wonderful and greets you each time you open the kitchen door. 

Hyacinths

At the moment I am snuggled nice and warm, reading books brought from the library. While the knitting was underway, I bought audio books to listen to. But I am well into Book one, of a trilogy of books, in the Cousins O’Dwyer series  starting with the first one by Nora  Roberts entitled The Dark Witch.  And I was lucky enough to find in stock in the library both two and three at the same time. So lots of lovely reading to be doing in this cold weather. 

Dark Witch (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy) By Nora Roberts

I am also in the midst of putting a collection of my poetry together, in the hopes to get it self published.. This is something I promised my self long ago, and now feel the need to complete this particular project.   A sample of  my poems can be found mainly on my other blog over at Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary, the  link can be found on my side panel of my blog. 

I hope all of those in the USA who are in the ‘Polar Vortex’  (The link provides temps across USA, and sky phenomena with the Light and Sun halo’s)  So, keep safe and warm.. I know your temperatures are far, far, below what we are experiencing and its cold enough here and minus four, so goodness knows how you are all coping in the extreme cold..

Take care all of you thank you for reading and welcome to those who are new followers. 

Happy Creating