RHS Chatsworth Flower Show visit-part 1

Where do I begin to tell you the wonderful day we had visiting our old haunt of Chatsworth House. This wonderful house is only a couple of miles from where I and my husband grew up.. In fact my husband when he was a young lad, his Dad rented a small holding  on the Chatsworth Estate. He grew up with hens and geese, home made bread, home made butter, and would walk from the young age of 5 the 4 miles it took to get to his school and the 4 miles back with older sisters.  

Image result for chatsworth house

We often visit Chatsworth grounds to walk and Hike and if any one in the UK wants a wonderful day out, I can fully recommend their house and gardens as a well worth while visit here in the UK. 

So the day was good to us, as the previous day had been windy and raining and in fact the day after our ticketed visit it too was raining.. So the Universe was smiling on us, for we only had one light shower.. 

I have lots of photo’s that I took and so in-between my gardening posts I will add a few more posts throughout the Summer of the wonderful gardens and flowers that were on show

So today I will show you what we saw as we entered the show ground, this is only a portion of the pictures I took, but you will get the feel of it as I try to choose the best out of my collection to share for you here. 

Bugs and Bees are so important

So in the header you will see the crowds as we awaited to go through the gates and security.. We were early birds so very near the front of the cue.. Hundreds were behind us.  Click on the photo’s to enlarge. 

 

The first on show were The Bug House Competition. These were created by School children from the surrounding counties. The public were asked to decide the winner by placing a plastic disc in their preferred Bug house, the discs would be counted at the end of the show. 

Next were the Well Dressings for those not familiar with what a well dressing is click the first link and it will explain more. 

These wells are made entirely out of flower petals seeds, bark and leaves etc.. And when I was a child I would help by collecting flowers and also be allowed to help fill in the boarders..

By Clicking the Well Dressing Link you can see more about this tradition which is to celebrate the gift of wells and water

Joseph Paxton journey started out as a student at the Horticultural Society where he first experimented in gardens in Chiswick. He then arrived at Chatsworth House in 1826 as under-gardener. Who would think that almost every Banana grown in the western world today would have been the result of one mans quest to grow bananas to grace the table of the Sixth Duke of Devonshire. To see how that came about click the link HERE

 

There was a new category in the gardens this year, and that was Freeform. These encouraged Freedom of expression,celebrating the connection between plants, sculpture art and people.

So this first one may amuse you. 

Another more serious Free form garden is this one..  The Brewin Dolphin Garden. This garden combines reinforced steel rods with naturalistic planting.. So what you see looking like a meadow, each was planted to make it look like a natural setting..

I hope this has whetted your appetite for future parts to the Flower Show,  not to mention the wonderful blooms like  the ones I will leave you with. Next time some Gold Winners..  

Happy Gardening

~Sue~

 

Summer Delights

Well my gardening friends, where oh where is June flying too. Already we are past the Summer Solstice and nearly upon Mid-Summers Day here in the UK.  So I thought it about time I popped my head up out of my garden and showed you how all things are growing. 

I have lots of photo’s to share, and also lots to tell you about our RHS Chatsworth Flower Show visit too on the 9th of June.. I took so many photo’s there, I was in my seventh Heaven, as I ooh and arrghed over the wonderful blooms and creative gardens on display.. But those I will share next time..  This inspired us to do a make over on our own back garden, which is why I have not had a lot of time for blog land visits .. 

Many thanks for your patience and I hope all you budding gardeners are busy now reaping your hard labours as you see the fruits of your labours maturing before your eyes. 

Welcome also to any new followers..   I have so many new followers now on both my WP sites, I enjoy interactions, so please introduce yourselves, don’t be shy. This is how we share our gardening tips etc. 

So I will show you how things are looking mid June on our Plot and the pictures will tell their own stories. So sit back, feet up, and give your own aching backs a bit of rest.  As I share what is happening on the plot right now. 

A view from the top of our allotments down to the sheds. I allowed the poppies to grow along the boarder and have in the middle one lovely pink pompom poppy.. I will be taking seeds from this little Gem that Mother Nature has gifted my garden.

Pea Row and the beetroots in front with potatoes. We have had several broccoli and several purple cauliflowers and some Orange ones, I forgot to take pictures but they were delicious 🙂

We have several Courgettes now starting to produce.. Some of you call these by another name Zucchini

Courgettes..

These Peas were from bought seeds and I have had my first crop off of them this week

Pumpkins at the back of the sheds, These are for Halloween 🙂

The sweetcorn is to the top left and is about 2ft high now, and in the middle is the Butternut Squash and new peas from saved dried peas from last years crop all which came through. To the right upper corner these are the potato crop.. We have had several meals from the new potatoes and they have been gorgeous .

These are the tomatoes in the allotment greenhouse.. It was a hundred degreesF in there the other day the thermometer was about to pop.. My hubby took a pain of the glass out of the door to replace with wire mesh to allow for more air in there.

Towards the back of the sheds where the pumpkins are are our Blackberries These are a giant variety and the bees are all over the flowers right now. 
Speaking of Bees, We have a nest of them between our sheds, we are very happy they have chosen to nest there. And are no problem. So long as you know their flight path lol

I have also had loads and I mean loads of Redcurrants this year, so I have been busy freezing these.. They are really sweet this year, but you must make sure you pick the ripe ones if you can, as the unripened ones can be sour. ..  So what I do is pick from the bush the ones with most ripe fruit on first.. Then sort through them.

They can be fiddly.. So after picking from the bush on long stalks, I painstakingly pick off each one of the ripe ones and make sure the little stalk is taken off.  Which is difficult seeing as they all ripen at different stages on the same stalk..

I then leave the unripe ones in the widow sill and before long they too turn and ripen..Then repeat the process with them. 

Redcurrants prepared for freezing

I hope you are all having a wonderful Summer.. As record temperatures for 40 years here in the UK soar up and up.. While the humid hot nights are not good for sleeping, if you manage to keep your gardens well watered in the cool of the evenings or early mornings, ( we have been in the allotments as early as 5-30am to beat the Suns heat. )  This is certainly Growing Weather, and a welcome change for Britain’s usual showery cooler summers..

So until next time when I will be sharing some of Chatsworth Show with you. 

Happy Gardening

~Sue~

Rainbow Light Dance. Within the Garden of Love

These are some of my home garden flowers along with a muse of my thoughts
I am very excited this week, as I go to the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show you can google to look it up..
So next week I hope to bring you many wonderful photo’s of gardens that I have seen created.. In the mean time. Happy Gardening.
And take some time out in the Sun to relax and enjoy your own gardens filled with the love you have poured into them..
Love and Blessings
Sue ❤

Dreamwalker's Sanctuary

View from my swing

Silence becomes my friend as I sit in the dappled light upon my swinging seat. Rocking back and forth as I lift my feet from the ground, I become lighter than air.

Lulled in the rhythm, like a babe in arms, I’m content. A smile spreads across my lips as my ‘Knowing’ unfolds the deep mysteries of my existence.

Flower of the climbing hydrangea

Lifetimes are stripped back,  like the darkness, they disappear, as the Sun makes her appearance over the horizon as the New Dawn Awakes.

Each struggle, every action, and every choice ever made has brought me to this moment

of who I AM.

The Sun catches my face sending its warmth across my skin. I see it glow beneath closed lids. My smiles grow wider as I welcome my old friend.

As if in answer, the breeze lifts, and the chimes sing their…

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How the Garden Grows While you are away.

After being away for our holiday in Scotland for a week.. It was surprising just how  quickly everything had grown, including the weeds..  ( if you hover your mouse over each image it reveals what they are )  If you click it takes you to the slide where you can view larger and read full descriptions 

We had left off planting out our sweetcorn, pumpkins, and courgettes until we returned home.. 

The sweetcorn got planted too.. All 40 seeds came this year, a total difference of last year where we had to set twice to only get a poor crop compared with previous years. Proving again there are good and bad years in all crops..  

Below on the right photo you can see the Butternut Squash.. This is fast becoming a favourite of mine.. You can use in soups, stews, and I also like to use in making veggie curries, the milder kind and I personally do not like them too hot.  You can also see in the distance how the potatoes have grown. These were weeded through too. 

 

The runner beans we had shielded in case of any last minuted night frosts were uncovered from their lower shield.. You just never know until May is out.. and we planted Lettuce in the middle of them. And they had really got growing up the supports.  To the right below, is the Rainbow Chard.. This is wonderful steamed or raw in salads with younger leaves.. 

A surprise for me.. What I had thought of as all last years Gladioli’s corms coming through where we had a few last year and I had left all the young new shoots in the ground.. They turned out not to be Gladioli after all.. But Yellow Iris’s.. 

How come, you may ask.. Well.. It has to be at least three years ago, we had a sunken half water barrel that we used as a sort of pond for wild life.. lots of toads and frogs would use it,  all good for slugs and insects, so  we planted an out grown Yellow Iris in there from our small home garden pond as it got too big for it.. So we split it, putting part in the home garden and I didn’t want to just destroy the other half, so put it in barrel pond.  It then outgrew it the following year, and we got rid of the water barrel pond.. As a harsh winter froze the water which led to some frogs dying in the submerged water barrel.. So we got rid of it.. The area you see below is where that pond was.. The Iris’s had large seed pods on, so these must be the Iris’s from those seeds.  Isn’t Nature Grand!! 

We had lots and lots of leeks left over.. And nothing much gets wasted.. So I dug up two of the raised beds and planted some in there. They are closely packed but these I will use first. And all the family enjoy leeks so none will go to waste.

Hubby put up one more net , Each tunnel has two rows over cabbage three sorts, Kale, Curly and Russian  Black kale,  Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflowers etc.. We also had the tunnel protectors off and I weeded inbetween, and planted marigolds in between them all.. The nets protect from both pigeons and cabbage white butterflies. 

Tunnels over Brassicas

On the Home Garden I will finish off showing you our Olive bush, which our Daughter brought us in January for an Anniversary.. It stands at the side of this beautiful Jasmine, which I showed earlier in the year protected by bubble wrap.. Its now in full bloom and the fragrance from it is just Beautiful

HAPPY GARDENING!

~Sue~

Jasmine and the Olive bush..

Planting Dahlia Tubers

Things are moving swiftly now in the allotments as we get things hardened off and now into the ground.. We planted out the tubers of the dahlia’s into their new positions in the allotment last week.. By the time the new shoots appear through the ground we are hopeful there should be no more low temperatures of night frosts..   Click photo’s for further enlargements and to reveal the text about the photos  if you can not see text. 

These are the Dahlia tubers.. Hubby dug out deep holes and filled half full with manure from the compost bins .. Watered well. and covered up. 

The Dahlia’s covered up I staked each one to help show me where they are..
I put plastic bottles on top, as its easy when you are weeding to not see sticks.. This is to protect your eyes if you bend down,, Believe me its easily done when you are concentrating on the weeds.
The allotments also need health and safety.
And its always good to keep a first aid kit in your shed.. We have needed it on more than one occasion, through cuts and splinters

Under the large cloches are various three types of cauliflowers, three types of Kale, And three types of Cabbages..
 Under the small ones Brussels sprouts .

The tomatoes are thriving.. and are coming along well.. We have a few extra plants over.. As we also have them within our home greenhouse too..
So the excess we are giving to our neighbouring allotmenteer , as his are not as successful this year. 

Also in the greenhouse at home we have been busy growing seedlings. Below are what have yet to be hardened off before being planted out. 

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Well lots to be getting on with, and I hope your own gardens are starting to thrive..  Until next time.. 

Happy Gardening 

~Sue~

 

 

Blossom Time.

Today I took lots of pictures both in the allotment and in the home garden. But as some are on my phone from the allotments I will just upload the garden blossoms for today..

Well May is finally here, and today its been more like May weather with Sun shining, even though the wind has been quite strong, It at least got all the washing dry. No more hail thank goodness..

 So today’s post is just about showing you what is in bloom at the moment in the garden.  And for those who have a bluebell wood near them.. Its the ideal time to go and visit one.  Some have been out earlier but here they are just about right for getting the full effect of their beauty in the woods.. 

I took this photo a couple of years ago.. But the woodland was just as beautiful when we went this year

So in no particular order I will  put them in the mosaic and if you click on them it will take you into the picture slide show so you can read better what is beneath them.

I would also like to thank all new followers here too Welcome..It is wonderful to see the numbers rise.. So I hope you enjoy what you see and don’t be shy, I enjoy conversations and swapping gardening tips so  please leave me your thoughts and I will get back to you and your blog when possible.. 

Happy Gardening and Enjoy all the blossoms within your own gardens and woodlands 

Protecting the Tomatoes from the cold

Hello my fellow gardeners,  and yes I know another update so soon.. But I thought I would share how we have been protecting our tomato plants from this cold snap this week.. 

My hubby rigged up this bubble wrap around them over the week-end as it was forecast to drop in temperatures..  And sure enough they have dropped with bitter winds and outbursts of hail and thunder in between for the last couple of days where we live. 

So here are some pictures of the tomatoes as he planted into the allotment green house and the end of last week.

The tomatoes are in and you can see how high they are.. They were all ready for transplanting into their larger pots.  You can also see the bubble wrap draped near the glass as extra insulation.  Click on images to enlarge. 

To keep them warm and stop the cold from getting to them. My hubby rigged up this tent of bubble wrap. He lifts it during the daytime to allow air to circulate or they may get mildew. And yes they are my laundry pegs used too 😉          

 

Here is a look through the glass from outside.. lot of space  behind.

And the forecasters were right.. A cold spell swept down the country bringing an arctic blast of cold air and with it some Sleet and Hail storms with thunder mixed in.. We have had several hail storms now and some heavy showers . Lots happening around the world right now with our weather..  And it’s always good to keep in touch with the long-range forecasts if you are planting out.. Frosts can come as late as the end of May.. And to be honest the way the weather has been ‘acting up’ recently nothing surprises me anymore. 

These two plots have gone back to nature.. The allotment association has mowed the grass down.. And anyone who takes on the plot can have it ploughed free of charge.. But you can see how quickly it gets overgrown. 

But before I show you the hail we have been having.. Remember I said in my last post how if we do not keep on top of our allotments how Nature soon reclaims back. Well the garden plot  above is a photo of a plot vacated only last year when the allotmenteer had a heart attack.. He is now fine.. but he gave up his plot.. He had hens at the bottom and potatoes and beans at the top.. That old apple tree gives the finest of apples and we have had many a good apple from it in the past the previous owner of the plot would offer them out in abundance to all who passed by.. We have a thing going on with our plots and we leave at the end of our plots what we wish to give away.. And anyone who is passing can pick it up and often leaves something in return the next time they come to garden. 

Ok now the weather show.  click to enlarge

Hailing in sheets, part of our back garden at home

Hail and it was soon white over the lawn. we had a few claps of thunder too. 

And this is how big were the hail stones

Well that’s the update for April. See you in May..

Happy Gardening!

~Sue~

Laughter behind the Garden Shed.

Gardening holds rich rewards as we know, and we also know it requires effort and putting in the time or nature soon takes control and your allotment will revert back to the field it once was..

Remember this

This piece is where we had the butternut Squash last year.. The water system 🙂 , still in place.. And has still to be cleared and sorted.. And that rickety old shed is still standing despite the high winds.. but this summer it will definitely come down..

And yes.. I did dig all that piece myself.. Hubby snook up and shouted as I looked up.. He snapped it .. 😉  So no laughing. 😉 

Spring time is when many take on new plots but for many new allotmenteers  they can  be put off with the prospect of digging their first ploughed furrow which when a plot has been neglected for years looks like a field..

So our Allotments offer to plough it up for them.  But once ploughed it requires tender loving care.. And years of getting all the twitch that is the grass and bind-weed out.  As well as horse-tail  which roots break which create more to grow. And you will never get rid of the billions of seeds you unearth each time you dig it afresh… So you have to keep on top of things. Because Mother Nature Gives, but she soon reclaims what is hers.. 😉 

The green house was cleaned and my husband put the grow bags in and filled up the pots with more compost. securing the canes in readiness for the tomatoes 

This is the greenhouse in the allotments.. my hubby got them all ready over the Easter weekend and now the tomatoes are in..Photos next time of them growing..
You can see the Leeks and the rainbow chard in the corner.. Still waiting to go into the cold frame..

Remember the holes that were limed for the cabbages. Well now the cabbages are in.. They are covered up as we have a lot of wood-pigeon who just love young cabbage leaves.. 

Planting cabbages

Hubby planting out cabbages in those limed holes of the other week. They are watered in and then covered.. He will heal them in firmer in a few weeks once the roots get a firmer grip.. This helps get a tighter cabbage or sprout..

Here you can see the Pea rows.. A few misses which I put more seeds into and watered.. And that kneeler is a blessing. to my knees.. 

These are our apple trees.. I forget which is the eater and cooker.. We only got the 5 apples on one last year… So looking forward this year to trying both.
Below you can see the Gladioli  small corms I left in from two years ago now sprouting.. Hopefully they may flower this year.

Here our apple trees a cooker and an eater have more blossom this year

Close view of apple blossoms..

 

 

 These seeds were taken out of the pumpkin we used for Halloween.. I dried around 20 of them.. We set 6 and all have germinated

Now I am usually the one behind the camera and its a rarity that my hubby likes to get in front of the camera.  But when I suggested a selfie of the both of us he happily agreed. So I set the camera up on the  horizontol trellis of the Loganberry fruit bushes

In the foreground are the Autumn fruiting Raspberries and the tall Blue berries, .. The loganberries are on the framework and behind those are the raspberry canes that fruit early summer.

 And below is the sequence of  takes.. These were taken in early morning and I had my Woolley hat on as it had been frosty early morning.. And was blowing a cool wind.  

The camera had a 10 Second timer.. So I had to run.. 

Now this is a shot I was trying with the timer on my small hand-held digital camera. Its timer is for 10 seconds.. ( I was supposed to be in the shot. ) I didn’t run fast enough 

Second attempt.. Hubby was laughing counting down from 10 to Zero.. I nearly made it.. as he passed me my cuppa..

Third time Lucky.. Only Just.

Yayyyyyyy……. Lots of laughs… I ran at super speed around the loganberry bushes to sit down looking all relaxed…
🙂 Lots of laughter and Fun with this Selfie..

 

Cheers! And Happy Gardening! Until next time. 

~Sue~

Easter Weekend Gardening~Marigold tips

Easter is a time many of us get out into our gardens and start to think about planting out our bedding plants.. But its also that time of year that the weather often takes an unexpected turn and plunges back into the cold..

Last year we went away the end of April beginning of May for a week and left our sweetcorn in the cold frame.  However a sharp frost and unexpected snow killed it, so we had to start again.. So do keep an eye out on the forecasts for frosts and low temps etc… And keep those tender plants protected..  The cabbages and Brassica family should be fine if you have hardened them off sufficiently though.. And next week I think we will be putting ours into the prepared limed positions..

So  what have we been doing all week? The best way I think is in picture format..

First my Hubby dug two trenches and filled them with manure. We then carried the old swing frame we use to support the canes to its new position in the garden. The beans are in in the greenhouse thriving.

This piece of land my hubby lightly sprinkled some Manure over and then forked it over.. This is where this year we will plant sweetcorn and Leeks and the Dahlias are going nearer the potatoes this year.

 I set too and started to weed this section out. The line is to help me see where the Gladioli’s are, as they are just starting to shoot through.. Last year we decided to see how they went if we left them all in the ground. But you can see how overgrown they are.. Lots of poppies, which I love, had to come up.

Now you can see the weeding almost done one side of the line. I leave in the marigolds.. You will see these flowers dotted all over the allotment, They are very good at keeping some bugs at bay..

Now you can see I also cleared the path leading up to the greenhouse

 

I also weeded out the ground between the raspberries and loganberries. All shooting nicely now.

Below you can see the view as I stand with my back to the sheds. I left in lots of marigold seedlings I will leave many of these in and also use to transplant back in my home garden and dot around the allotments as they act as  good pest control to certain bugs..

  When you are not using chemical pest controls, these tips and  more can be found on the BBC Gardening  Guide  on why marigolds and Nasturtiums are good for pest control.  Link to the below quote can be found HERE 

Plant combinations

  • Grow French marigolds among tomatoes. Marigolds emit a strong odour that will repel greenfly and blackfly.
  • Grow sage with carrots or plants in the cabbage family to ward off pests. Both have strong scents that drive away each other’s pests.
  • Plant nasturtium with cabbages – they’re a magnet for caterpillars that will then leave the cabbages alone.
  • Garlic planted among roses will ward off aphids.
  • Plant carrots and leeks together on the allotment or vegetable patch to protect against a number of pests. Leeks repel carrot fly and carrots repel onion fly and leek moth.

Make sure companion plants are planted at the same time as your edible crops to prevent pests from getting a foothold.

In the foreground are the Autumn fruiting Raspberries and the tall Blueberries, .. The loganberries are on the framework and behind those are the raspberry canes that fruit early summer.

Click onto the images this will take you into the slide module where you can read more. 

 

So Wishing you a very Happy Easter

and Happy Gardening

~Sue~

The heaviest of the work now done

After two full mornings in the allotments, a helping hand from our Son for 3 hours on Wednesday and the Potatoes are finally all in..  All 9 rows.. Three are earlies ( Arran Pilot)  and the others six rows are main crop  (Picasso) . 

A rare visit from my Son to the allotments, saw big smiles from us, as he helped his Dad dig four trenches for the potatoes.. Our Granddaughter helped fill in.. Both worked very hard that day

Potatoes now all in.. Hubby spent most of Friday morning digging and earthing them up.. Here you see he just made a start.. 6 more rows to earth up .

Today Friday, my hubby earthed up all of the potatoes, all nine rows, Earthing up allows for the water to run down to the roots..   More information about this method and mulching can be found HERE 

Remember the image I showed in the last post?  Click onto smaller photos to reveal more about them. 

The Lime is added to the dug holes for the brassicas to help prevent club-root. The lime is left in the holes for a fortnight. Watered in. And after a couple of weeks we put the young plants in.

 

You can find out more about adding  in LIME HERE. 

But do please be aware Lime burns skin so avoid eyes and skin. 

Watering in the lime. Leave for a couple of weeks before planting in your plants

Cabbage three types-Savoy-Spring and Golden Acre and Hispi Cabbag e. Curly Kale, Cauliflower-white all year round,, purple-Graffiti, and yellow_Sunset, Broccoli- Calabrese. Sprouts have been re-potted today and will come out later.

I kept throwing the blackbird a few unearthed worms.. And he made several trips with beak full to and from his nest in the hedge to feed his young. 

The home garden too is starting to bloom and below is a slide show of some of the  new shoots and flowers in the back garden of our home.. Click on each one to see what is growing  and what varieties  we have used. 

Happy Gardening