Saturday, 11 March 2017

Blooming Marvelous

I have blossom and flowers, everything is waking up. The weather is still variable but I have seen bumble bees working so I am hoping for fruit later in the year. Butterflies appear at the first hint of sun all year round here. I have also seen the first few flies heralding the plagues that are to come.
The nectarine is a mass of blossom and the outdoor peach is not far behind, although less spectacular as it is still struggling with peach leaf curl which it gets every year. I hope that it will be less affected as it gets older.
The early plums are also in bloom but more bees are needed.
I am trying broad beans in the polytunnel this winter. I chose 'The Sutton' which is dwarf and so far they are looking good, I just hope that they again get fertilised.
Finally the kittens are now recovered fully from their spaying and vaccinations and are outwitting the dogs and exploring the garden. At first they would get stuck up things (trees/porch/roof) and I would have to fetch them down with a ladder but now they can go down as well as up which is a great relief to all. This is Dinah up one of the old apple trees this morning.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Catch Up

I know I haven't blogged for months but as I get older time seems to speed up and life has been rather more chaotic than usual. With close family members suffering from illness I have been upping my carbon footprint to visit them in the UK. Tim was also made redundant over Christmas so he is currently in the UK job hunting with silent desperation. The environmental news seems to be all doom and gloom and weather extremes are becoming the new normal for everyone.

There is good news however. I am in the latter stages of writing a book and kind family and friends are currently proof reading it prior to it's being sent to potential literary agents so everything is crossed that someone will like it enough to take it on. Spring is definitely in the air here, with raucous bird song and two days of sun which has found me neglecting my dirty kitchen floor and sowing seeds in the polytunnel instead. I also have cabbage, broccoli and onion seedlings to plant out as soon as I have some beds cleared of over wintering weeds. They were bought from the market because I never got my act together enough to sow my own.
I have however dusted off the propagator and I expect to sow tomatoes and peppers this weekend to be followed by squashes of all kinds later when space allows. The periwinkle has been flowering all winter long. It is a bit thuggish but I am going to leave it where it is as it saves me weeding and I shall put my more delicate herbs and flowers elsewhere where they stand a better chance. It has a loganberry emerging from it so it is productive as well as pretty.
The camellias have also been blooming since December and I have my first dandelion blooming as well. I am keeping some patches of them for tea. I have stopped my anti-inflammatory drugs as they make my heart condition worse and am currently exploring alternative herbs and spices to replace them.
The sweet kittens are now vaccinated and neutered and are ready to start their working lives as mousers (and ratters) we hope. We have eight juvenile meat chickens in the orchard which have settled down well but the white ones in particular are huge and lethargic. They are not used to free range and mostly walk from their shelter to the feeder and back with the odd nibble at the grass. I hope as the weather improves they will forage a bit further afield.
As ever the egg glut has started so some will be frozen for the winter. Hurrah for a new growing year.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Unseasonable Weather

It has been dry for a few weeks now and the days are wonderfully warm and as you can see the sunrise was stunning.
As the taxi driver said to me yesterday "this is not normal". I am watering my pot plants with a hose, there are still butterflies and bumble bees working the flowers which continue to bloom and farmers are worried as a dry summer has led on to a dry winter so far. Apart from a few days of rain in November there has been nothing to recharge the aquifers. Yet again it is going to be the warmest year on record globally and sitting in the sun on my patio I can believe it. Lovely to work in but just "not normal".