Following the Flow

I will be back on my Gardening blog soon, In the mean time this is why I have been absent. Wishing you all A Happy Gardening Season.
See you Soon.
Sue

Dreamwalker's Sanctuary

Arriving back from my vacation can often feel like a shock to the system, as we adjust back into the realm of being busy, as our days of relaxation are soon over.

Having had time away in beautiful Scotland, when I arrived home, the weather in England had been exceptionally warm, and therefore everything in the garden had bloomed, including the weeds.  So, among our first tasks was to set too and water and weed and sow seeds that still needed to be sown and plant out things which had been in the cold-frame which were ready for the allotment.

This was what it was like when we left this piece at the end of April before my holiday.

Sometimes things have to take a backseat and it happened to be my blogs this time that were pending.  So, apologies for those of you who still await my replies to…

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May~ The Growing Force Be With You.

I thought it about time I sat down with my Garden Blog and show you what we have been doing within the allotment.. 

I am also  so very excited to tell you we have our Hedgehog back. In March my daughter bought me for Mothers Day a Hedgehog box, and I put it at the bottom of the garden and it wasn’t long when we had a hedgehog sniffing around and going into it. 

Along with the pressie of the Hedgehog box, my daughter thoughtfully bought dried hedgehog food, and  with our Web Cam we have great pleasure in seeing our little hedgehog sniff around and explore, eating a few pieces  of food most nights in the box as well as finding slugs and snails, worms etc in the garden. He/she is now a regular visitor.  

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Isn’t he/she cute!

I took lots of pictures today in the allotment showing you how planting is going. And at last we are top side of it all before our short break.  If you click onto the photo’s they will take you to the bigger pictures where you can view their captions.

This is how we left the allotment today.  Click on each one to read the captions in the carousel  for more information. 

As you can see, we have been busy. and I have some new additions to plant into my home garden too.  These were some of the plants I got for my Birthday for my home garden.  Again click on the image to read what these are. 

Lots are going on still in the home greenhouse, We have been growing our tomatoes on our spare bedroom windowsills, and they  are yet to go into the greenhouse’  But its full at the moment with  geraniums which were taken from last years plants as cuttings, And my hubby took some cuttings from a potted Fuchsia last Summer. He is training them to become standards. 

My Husband started growing from cuttings last year and training these Fuchsias to grow into standards. They still have a way to go, but they are making strong plants.
All the Geraniums too are from cuttings from last years plants.

 

I also did some re-potting as my Aloe Vera plant was out growing its pot and had created lots of babies.. So these were potted on. 

My Aloe Vera plant was getting too big for its pot and so I transplanted all the babies.

Well that is all the allotment news, I hope you will be patient with me in replying to your comments, as I may not be able to access the internet  after Sunday for a few days. 

Have a Fabulous month of May,  

And Happy Gardening! 

A Time to Plant! A Time to Paint, and a Time to Ponder.

Hello again to those who may still be following, I have been very hit and miss here over at my garden blog this year, compared with previous years.  It is looking like once a month post, so this one may be a bit longer than my usual post, we will see how it goes, so  if you are still with me at the end~  Many thanks for sticking with it and reading, 

To be honest with you, blogging has taken a back seat for a while, as I felt the need to just go within my own silent space and create and concentrate upon my well-being for a time. So I did more painting. A tiger this time, I thought I would challenge myself, as I have always put off doing a detailed painting of tiger for fear of not getting its stripes right.. So it was time to face my fears, and just let be what will be.. And this was the result. 

This was my Tiger painting in Acrylics making my trilogy of Big Cats now hung on my wall.

 

I am sure those who live here in the UK are at last glad to see a little blue sky peep between the grey blankets of cloud that have hung over us far too long.. The weather is certainly a talking point across the world as we had yet more snow at Easter followed by more rain and almost a week of fog here last week that never seemed to move..

In the distance you can see the headstocks of the Clipstone Pit which closed in 1993 More about the coal mine HERE

This was the weather Yesterday as we went for a walk Skies have been grey for so long!.. Believe it or not this was once a big ugly slag heap of waste from the coal mining days. It was turned into a nature reserve called Vicars Water Country Park  many years ago and provides a sanctuary for birds, swans ,geese and ducks.  This was the view from the top looking down.  The mist is still hanging low, but not as bad as it was last week.  To see more photos of the Park click the blue link where you can see the lake and the golden hand which symbolises a miners hand reaching out of the earth. 

While further along the yellow gorse was out along with pussy-willow

 

 At the end of last week, my hubby was feeling well enough after a nasty bout of flu over Easter to tackle the allotment.. We just had a few weeds to clear, as we had already dug over the ground in the autumn in preparation.  So while Hubby got to grips with putting in the potatoes. I got busy planting seeds. We both had lots of rest in-between, and had hot drinks, Hubby coffee, while I had drinking chocolate. 

While the weather was snowing things were busy growing in the greenhouse. Peas, Shallots and Brussels and Cabbage plants growing

Here the shallots went in last week, we covered with mesh as we have a fox who seems to like to play and dig for worms as well as deep holes into our potato rows. You can see the purple sprouting broccoli which the pigeons have devoured on the left.. They stripped nearly all of them,

We have  now put out the shallots which started life in pots in the green house, and I planted two rows of beetroot, different varieties, two rows of parsnips.. I also planted out the corms of Gladioli into a new position.

Here I planted the gladioli. many of last years corms had rotted and gone soft.. You win some and lose some.. I put the small corms in another row. hopefully they will gradually mature to larger ones to salvage for another year.

I pruned back the dead wood of the raspberries and some of the overgrown blackberries, along with pruning out the middle of the redcurrant bush and the gooseberry bush which was hard last year to pick because it was so tightly packed with thorns.

As soon as the Rhubarb showed signs of sprouting we covered with bin, and we have had two tasty crumbles so far from young shoots.

 

Here you see the peas now planted from the greenhouse, much bigger now.. I covered up the rows of beetroot and parsnips seeds I planted to protect from the fox scratching the earth.. There were a pile of chicken feathers on next doors allotment when we arrived. And a large hole in the potato row.. Looks like he likes chicken and chips.. 😉

A closer view of peas now with mesh around we use mesh instead of sticks to support them as they grow.

In the autumn we planted what was left over of the leeks, in the spaces, and we planted some garlic from a bulb.  In the space you now see created I am going to plant some of my dahlias in this patch and some further at the top of the allotment.

The following day  while hubby planted out the peas above, and put more rows of potatoes in, I set to and weeded this patch below. 

 Before: This piece took me two hours to completely clear of weeds and grass.

 After: Here you can now see the leeks I planted around the edge, and garlic in the middle

We still have to clear behind the sheds, and it looks like we may have some bees nesting below the shed again.. So I am happy about that.. And I have to straighten up between the fruit bushes. But we are at last mainly on top of the planting for now. Then I have my home garden to start on.. 

How are things growing where you are? and have you noticed big changes in your own weather patterns?  And how are your Spring Blooms doing? 

Until Next time.. 

Happy Gardening! 

 

 

Snow, Art, Sparrows and Hawks.

Hello again, and where did February go to? I can not believe I only posted once here in the whole of February. But then I have been focusing upon other things.

We did not have half as much snow as in the South and further North of us had We have been lucky, yet there was still enough snow fall to close roads and schools  were closed down for three days. 

While the Winter weather has caused disruptions and chaos on our UK roads, and for some bringing tragedy, for others its been a time to enjoy snow in parts of the UK where snow has been a rarity for many years, So for many youngsters this was the first real snow they had seen in a while.

Sledging. over a bridge on a local walk we take. My Granddaughter aged 7.  Having Fun in the snow. 

The last heavy snow fall we had been in 2010 the year my granddaughter was born.  So while we have had snow,  for many this was the first significant fall they had seen in years.

Making sure the birds do not go hungry. We moved their feeders under the bushes for protection from the sparrow hawk.

Its been important to keep feeding the wild life, who have also been suffering, we moved their feeders around a bit to help shelter them. For where they were, they were more exposed.  And Since January our garden has also had a visitor looking for food.. A Sparrow Hawk.

Sparrow Hawk in January. Now he knows where sparrows feed, he’s been trying his luck at catching them in our garden and came on two consecutive days last week in the snow. So he/she is also feeling hungry. But as far as we know he flew away empty-handed.

While winter here in the UK last week got its teeth into us with freezing temperatures and snow storms, I was huddled warm indoors painting and doodling, while I continued putting my collection of poems together and managed to write my third chapter on something I am working on.

The parts of the green house model making took a back seat for a time.  though I did spend several hours creating these flowers. They were fiddly, but absorbing.

Roses, made by winding folded paper around and around and gluing onto wire.

Here you can see a collection of flowers I made

But my main concentration has been on creating two paintings, they are already hung in my home as I swap my artwork around every now and again.  I paint purely for pleasure . So this was the first I painted, a Leopard. The second painting a Lion. Both of these Animal totems spoke to me in different ways.  And I wrote more about that on my main blog.

My Leopard painting in Acrylic.

My Lion painting in Acrylics

I hope if you have been affected by the Winter weather and storms, you have kept safe and warm where ever you are. 

 I hope Spring  starts to Stir Soon,  I can not wait to reconnect with our garden. 

Take care until next time.

 

 

A Little Time for Craft.

First thank you all of you who  have recently subscribed to my Gardening blog, I was amazed to see the numbers had jumped since January.. So thank you.. If you make yourself known, I will repay the honour of your visits as time allows.. 

Many may already know this is my second blog that I use to devote more to my Gardening and my Travels and Craft more then anything else.. And it often gets neglected when I am busy with other things which has been painting recently. The results of which are found here. https://wp.me/p16xW7-2uA 

 

So some of you may remember just after Christmas I started upon building the model Greenhouse.  Well I am still making it.. Piece by piece, It said the model could take ten or more hours to make.. Well believe me I have spent more hours than ten on it already and its still not completed.. But it is keeping me quiet when I am in the mood to concentrate upon minute bits of paper to make into individual flowers.. 

Here are some photo’s  of what I have been up to 

If you click onto the photos they should enlarge. 

Here you see a paper seed bag at the bottom. The brown card, you can see are boxes and plant pots which also have to be cut out and bent and glued together

Here you can see me making some tiny seed bags.. Each pieces is cut out and then stuck together with paper glue. in the finished bags you see

Here you see after cutting out these leaves how they were assembled on wire before gluing in tiny bead pots.

This gives you an idea of assembling paper pieces cut out from the patterns.. This is a watering Can.. the measurements are cementers

Here is the little Watering Can which was made out of the Ten pieces of separate paper In the previous photo.. Also here you can see the plants I made.. If you zoom into the photo on the instruction page you will see how the flower are each individually made from wire, yellow and pink paper I cut out.. The Banana Palm as well as all other plants made this way.. Which took time..

Here you see books each have little pages with pictures of flowers inside.. You also see a rush mat, two bird houses and a storage box with cover.. The cloth on top also has a fringe around it.. You have to tease out the threads to make the fringes I hope if you enlarge the photo you can see this.

You can see how time consuming, but absorbing this has been.. And I already made the furniture in wood which came in small pieces too,  which I posted here   on my blog

On the gardening front.. My hubby has made a start.. He planted Shallots in separate little pots along with seeds for Cabbage and Broccoli and Cauliflower seeds in trays to start off in the green house.. The English weather is Wild and Wet right now.. Not knowing whether to snow, hail or sunshine from one moment to the next.. 

What hobbies have kept you busy over Winter? 

Until Next Time..

Happy Creating!. 

 

Seil Island Scotland ~ Ellenabeich.

Ok, I know, this post has sat in my drafts longer than I anticipated but here is the post I promised on Seil Island.. Enjoy, as I hibernate some more in my world of model making and painting..  

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When we arrived it was a Sunday, and late in the afternoon, I gravitated towards this sign which stated that where I was standing was once the sea. But by the early 19th century, the area where I stood had been filled with the waste from the Eillan a Beitch, ( one of the old spellings of Ellenabeich. That is now the flooded Quarry behind the village cottages. The village of Ellenabeich owes its existence to the Easdale Slate.

Click on photo’s to enlarge.

Plaque containing information about Seil Island.

 

The village lay out of the streets in their present format dates from 1826. The front of the streets having been built upon the reclaimed land from the sea.

 

The cottages which are built-in slate, were the homes of the quarry workers and their families. And in their heyday back in the 19th Century they were home to more than 400 people.  The whole of Seil Island as per poll in 2001 was said to be 560.

Narrow streets between slate cottages

Cottages turned into refreshment and eating place for visitors

Slate was quarried from the early 17th century, and by the 1800 mining had become a major industry.

The introduction of Steam pumps to remove excess water came into existence around 1807 and made it possible to work in the quarries to the depths of around 80 metres.

The village of Ellenabeich Seil Island

Slate Cottages Seil Island Ellenabeich

Seil Island Hall

Over 130 million roofing slates were produced here, and at that time fetched the price of £1 to £2 per Thousand, depending upon size.  But A great storm in 1881 flooded the quarries and the slate industry quickly declined.

Part of the flooded Quarry

The harbour and slate piers were constructed for slate, at first onto sailing ships and later to steam.

Harbour Wall near Jetty just think each one hand laid.

Look at the slate used in the wall of this jetty

Easdale slate was used to roof the growing cities of Great Britain and more distant cities of the world.  The remains of the wooden steamer pier from where  this crane was removed,  can be seen by the flooded quarry.

The Crane

In 1820 Ellenabeich was a port of call for S.S. Comet, the world’s first commercial steam ship. And passenger steamers continued to call well into the 20th Century.

Seil and Easdale are but two of the Scottish Slate Islands, the other two are Belnahua and Luing, both are visible from Seil Island.

All the Islands have a fascinating history, going back to pre-Christian times.  A lovely video I  found about Seil Island Here.  Showing the crane and cottages.  I hope you enjoyed your trip around this main village on the Island, and learnt a little more about Scottish History.

Oh yes, and remember in my last post I said there was a  9 hole golf course and I walked around it..

Well here it is. 🙂

Golf course on Seil Island

Until Next Time ~Keep Warm And safe! 

A Bridge Over the Atlantic

 One of our day excursions from our hotel in Oban Scotland took us to Seil Island.

We were fascinated to learn that this island was connected by a bridge that spanned the Atlantic Ocean.This bridge was built-in the year of 1792 by Robert Mylne. When one stands close to it, you can only marvel at its construction in stonework. The bridge is called ‘Clachan Bridge’, but it is also known as The Bridge over the Atlantic.  ( If you click onto the photos they should enlarge ) 

Clachan Bridge to Seil Island It spans the Atlantic

I walked over the bridge and took photo shots  of both sides.  And aerial shot from the web, can be seen here.  And there is one also in the snow

Clachan Bridge to Seil Island.

Standing on Clachan Bridge looking North. Seil Island is on the left, the mainland to the right.

Standing on Clachan Bridge looking out over the Atlantic Ocean that flows beneath it.

The Islands main village is called Ellenabeich, it boasts its own 9 hole golf course too, which we also walked around, 🙂 But more of the village in my next post..  As I  have too many photos to show you  for one post, They show you more of the village with their neat small white terrace cottages, and can any of you remember a film called ‘The Ring of Bright Water’? about otters, well  Ellenabeich was the place it was filmed.  In my next post I will share more of Ellenabeich’s History. 

On the gardening front! our seeds arrived from the allotment association which we ordered this week. I planted my own collected sweetpea seeds in the greenhouse early in the week. Other than that, its been grey damp and chilly here in the midlands. And we have some snow forecast for midweek.. So I shall be hibernating a while longer..  

Until Next week..

as I have the next post in my drafts! Big smiles 👍 

 

 

Happy New Year!

Well I thought I must poke up my head from where it has been buried over the Holidays and put together some sort of post for the New Year. 

I wish each and everyone a very Happy New Year and I hope it holds an Abundance of Happy gardening hours along with lots of Fun, Family times ahead. 

This time of year nothing much is happening, though a  New Blogging friend over at Our Organic Veg Trials  is starting out this year on a new venture. So you may like to pay Steve a visit and see how his year progresses.. I know I will be. He also reminded me it was time to get planting our sweetpea seeds, which was a timely reminder as i was late last year, but they did catch up. 

So, just a few photos to share with you.  Back in October we put our Garden motion camera to good use, and got a few videos and shots of our regular visitor to our home garden. Our Hedgehog.  These garden friendly creatures help keep the slugs and pests our gardens do not want at bay.. 

Yet they are finding it harder and harder to access our gardens, because of the sturdy fences and gates we all have around our properties.. So as I have mentioned before, try to leave small gaps in your fences at the bottom which help them navigate via your gardens and not via the road which they often end up as road kill, as they just curl up in a ball when frightened .  ( if you click onto the photos they will enlarge )  I am hoping all hedgehogs are now hibernating and fast asleep until the Spring. 

Hedgehog in October on our back garden

Hedgehog in June

We have also lit the gypsy stove I told you about in this post. and it soon gets the home greenhouse nice and warm.. Though we have only had to light it  a few times when temperatures have really dropped below freezing.. But we are well pleased with it. 

Gypsy Stove has been lit a couple of times during the low temps in the home greenhouse.

So what have I been keeping my self busy with? Well would you believe it, but I have been model making.. Yes Making a model wait for it   a  ‘Green house’ 🙂 Smiles. 

Our Daughter bought our granddaughter her niece, a model green house thinking it would be ideal for her to play with her Barbie dolls.. However, on closer inspection, its a little more complex than a 7 year old could manage.. And to be honest, it has Grandma scratching her head at times, as I glue, mould pieces of wire in shapes as handles smaller than my little finger nail and glue and cut and stick.. 

I will give you an idea..   This is the wonderful Green house Model 

Green House model kit when it is completed Picture curtesy of Bits and Pieces  uk. co. uk.

Below you get the idea of how small these pieces are, and each piece has many pieces you cut glue and put together. This little collection took about 6 hours in total and I have loads more yet to put together.  But I am loving it, and its keeping me quiet. 

My Granddaughter was gifted a Model making kit of a greenhouse and accessories, And Grandma volunteered to put it together

Next time I hope to be sharing more photos of Scotland with you as I put together our visit to Seil Island. 

In the mean time, have a wonderful start to your New Year.. 

And Happy Gardening 

 

Oban~ Scotland.

This is why I have not been around my gardening blog lately.. On Holiday and Preparing for Christmas. Thank you for your patience.. and look forward to catching up with you soon.. Hugs Sue

Dreamwalker's Sanctuary

The above view  is taken of Oban Town, from the  The Colosseum-like structure of  McCaig’s Tower.  The view looks out onto the various Isles in the distance. Below is a plaque which shows you the Isles,to which the ferries travel back and forth, to Mull, and other islands, sorry the focus is out on the one below. 

 

Oban means ‘The Little Bay’ It is from here you take the ferries to Mull, and other islands.  I took these photos from this advantage point. The McCaig’s Tower. Which stands high above the town 

John Stuart McCaig (1824 – 1902) commissioned the build  over a five year period from 1895 until his death in 1902. You can find out why it was built by opening the link.   

Inside there is a garden and it looks like this

To get to the tower you walk the steep climb.. We took the steps…

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