Showing posts from 2018

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day: Rethinking the plot

Writing a post for Blooms Day after an absence of several months is a sure sign that things are beginning to get back to normal, at last.

However, I decided to start this post with a photo from outside VP Gardens. It's hard to resist the first sunny bloom-filled scene of the year from yesterday's walk with friends, especially when we found a host of golden daffodils in nearby Allington, with more yellow springtime goodness* sprinkled beneath a willow tree just beginning to sprout its cloak of green.

Like most of you reading this, spring has come late here this year. The farmers are saying they're a month behind with their work because it's been so cold and wet. I must be one of the few people taking comfort from that because of my enforced 'holiday' from gardening. It was good to get out in the sunshine at last - not just for yesterday's walk - but also to see and smell my favourite 'Thalia' daffodils in bloom.

To be honest I've spent the past …

Things in Unusual Places #22: Tea cup

In the past I've dismissed the giant cup and saucer planters you can buy as a bit twee and kitsch. However, this understated blue one stuffed with large succulents - which graced the shop window of a local funeral directors - made my day yesterday.

Veg Plotting in the news

Yesterday's gardening section in The Telegraph was HUGE! I had a little slot in there thanks to my friend Naomi. Sadly the weather forecast is against most of the tasks mentioned, though today's weather looks generally OK for a spot of raised bed making or plot mulching*, and there's plenty of opportunity for sowing seeds indoors**.

It was so relaxing (and less painful currently) to do this over the phone rather than bashing it out on the computer. Thanks to Naomi who did the latter as well as our call. There are lots more hints and tips here -  not just from me - with some that are doable whatever the weather. Note that the full online version is only available to subscribers.

As NAH says, now I've got to get on with it myself. What are your garden projects this weekend?

* = unless you have a broken wrist
** = which I will be doing... gingerly!

Cocktail and mocktail fun

I'm easing back slowly* into bloggage again. There's been lots of reading over the past couple of months, and my sole foray into garden-related-ish activities was to make some fun, delicious cocktails and mocktails for WI last week. These went down well, and I thought you'd like to see the recipe leaflet I put together, especially as many of you'll have family gatherings and get togethers planned over Easter.

I couldn't resist tweaking slightly Marc Diacono's gin recipe using Seville oranges to make 'marmalade gin' from his late January newsletter. Mine is a cheeky nod to the 'Jam and Jerusalem' WI stereotype, which is so far from the reality in ours. Flavoured gins whether distilled or infused are super trendy and I've found the latter are easy to make**. After a month of infusing, marmalade gin makes a fine Tom Collins. You don't need to wait until next January to make a start on your own as the usual oranges available can be used for…

A clean break

Sometimes fate conspires to take us in an unexpected direction, just like it has with my quest for fitness this year. In the last five minutes of a 5 week trial of walking netball, my feet got carried away in chasing after a ball. I eventually crashed into a cupboard then onto the concrete floor. Ouch.

I've got off relatively lightly. My pride at playing a better and swifter game suddenly came crashing down, which is a good lesson to learn. The more obvious results are a goth-like face without the need for make-up, minor concussion, bruised knees and a fractured wrist. 10 days later, yesterday at last brought good news... the bone has stayed in place without pinning, so I can look forward to 5 more weeks in a plaster cast. No driving in that time and no return to netball for around 3 months.

As is my usual wont, I'm concentrating on what I can do rather than what I can't. However, I'm also having to face up to reality. What I need to do in the garden is out of the que…

How not to look after your Pilea peperomioides

I was really happy when Barbara gave me an unusual looking Pilea peperomiodes aka Chinese Money Plant last summer. Little did I know then just how cool and trendy they are, being at the forefront of the houseplant revival. They even have a dedicated Pilea Lovers page on Instagram with over 21,000 Followers - it's not often you'll find me amongst the hipsters!

I nearly wrote an article on my new treasure back then, but Jane beat me to it with a far more comprehensive guide than I could have managed with loads of links to further information. Jack's written a great blog post on how to divide them too.

When I noticed my plant wasn't looking quite as happy as it should as you can see above photo, I knew just the right people to consult on Twitter, along with Andrew who's acquired quite a houseplant collection recently.

From their replies it's clear I am a perfect example of how not to look after a Pilea as follows:
Place it on your sunniest windowsill - south facin…

Garden Bloggers' Muse Day: Do Something Today...

"Do something today your future self will thank you for" ~ Unknown. This is a great quote for New Year's Day and the ultimate resolution!

Looking at the last few Muse Days I've posted, it's obvious I'm ripe for trying out new things, just like I was when I started this blog. I've signed up to try walking netball and Rock Choir already, and I'm looking forward to the Try Something New event at the Neeld Hall soon. I wonder if this is the year I finally pluck up my courage and go to the Chippenham Ukuleles sessions ('scuse pun).

Garden and travelwise, I'm looking forward to a trip to Ashwood Nurseries in February and the Garden Bloggers Fling in Texas in May. It'll be interesting to see gardens from a totally different climate to mine, as well as experiencing what Texas has to offer, Austin in particular.

I'm going to try growing Lithops from seed in Jane's Houseplant sowalong and my Flowers for Mum project is set to morph into Toma…