Friday, 5 June 2020

Friday

Good morning!  It's been cold, we've had a bit of rain (yay), the clouds have rolled away and, right now, the sun is shining happily.  Lovely!

Yesterday was a pretty dull, boring, nothing sort of day apart from a lovely chat with Val and so chilly that I turned up the heating.  In June!!!  Definitely something to be grateful for, the central heating (and the wherewithal to run it).

I've just been out to take a few photos in the sunshine so here they are - a garden update!

Looking right:


Turning left a bit:


The flower bed is looking pretty:


and the pinks smell wonderful morning and evening:


The clematis is trying to cover the fence with flowers and there are some really big buds waiting their turn across the top.


The tomatoes are coming on well:


So are the mini cucumbers:

Good old garden, giving so much pleasure!

Today, being Friday, is cleaner day so I must make sure everything's ready for them.  When they come, I generally disappear to the allotment so as to be out of their way.  I didn't go in the end yesterday so phew for the rain.  Today I need to do what I didn't do yesterday.

Apart from that, there's very little on.  Beth and I had thought about a lunchtime barbie but we have decided it's not really warm enough and maybe next Friday would be better when we can celebrate the end of his exams with Alex.

I'm getting a bit lazy, I think.  Maybe I will look online and see when there's a space to visit Hyde Hall.  It would be super to visit and have a good walk around.  It will be very different from when I last went at the beginning of March, won't it?
Have a lovely day!  xx















Thursday, 4 June 2020

Thursday

Morning, everyone.  It's a dull, cool, windy start to the day but, as yet, no rain, darn it.  Beeb thinks it's not going to be all that warm but doesn't predict rain so I think an early visit to the allotment is on the cards, just to water, to weed around the baby corn, remove the pigeon barrier from the runner beans and weed around there too.  I also 'encourage' the bean plants towards the canes.

Yesterday was a lovely day because Beth came round while Alex was doing his first exam.  Before then, I had done my shop for the week so that was off my mind and I even managed to find some SR flour so I got two bags, one for me and one for Beth.
Beth and I both said how lovely it was to be under the same roof again.  We maintained distance, of course, and sometimes we chatted and sometimes we did our own thing but it was just really nice.

Personal Training was outside at Lindsey's (she calls it the Garden Gym!) and it was lovely.  No sun and a breeze so one didn't get too hot.  It's now a week until the next session (I now have two half hours per week) so I need to up my game between times!

Then, in the evening, I bit the bullet and wrestled with my tablet which I ought to use more than I do.  I managed to get the Slimming World app downloaded and then tried to download the new magazine (it's free to SW members at the moment but online only) and got all hot and irritated.  It turns out, I had the wrong password for it!  All done now, phew.

I gather Alex was happy with how the exam went so all in all it was a pleasant day!

Apart from the allotment, I have a video chat with Val this afternoon and that's it as far as organised things are concerned but it's Thursday so time to tidy up all the little piles of clutter that have magically appeared all round the house so the cleaners have a clear run tomorrow.  By this evening my home should be as tidy as it ever is.

That's about it really.  I think it's going to be nice - I hope so, anyway.
Take care, stay safe and be happy.  xx

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Wednesday

Good morning.  No sun this morning; what a shame!  No rain either which is also a shame.  It'll probably hold off until after we've watered the allotment!!
I've checked the good old Beeb weather page and it looks as if we can expect iffy weather for about a week before the good stuff comes back.  Not a lot of rain expected (round here, anyway)..

Yesterday was gorgeous!  Perhaps not quite as warm as previous days but still sit-out-in-the-garden stuff so I made the most of it in-between other chores.

SW meeting was really good, as usual.  Not so many of us this week but that's OK.  Then Chris came round and we had a legitimate, out in the garden, six feet away natter about all sorts of things.

Wrapping these two things around was all the other stuff.  Housework, garden, allotment, ironing (nice, empty basket now) and so on.  Two of my order of pyrex bowls arrived which was impressively quick.

Today has started on an up-note.  Look what I saw when checking the plants half an hour ago.


Yes, my first baby cucumber.
I've had flowers but, as happens, they have all been male flowers.  This is the first little fruit so fingers crossed.  All being well, I shouldn't have to wait long as they are mini-cucumbers (gherkins).
Very exciting.  Better start feeding them now.

Beth is coming round today.  Poor old Alex has his first end of year uni exam (he has two more next week) so Beth wants to be out of his way.
The other events are a Morrison's shop first thing and personal training at twelve.  Hopefully it's in Lindsey's garden, but we will see.
It's Beth's turn to do the allotment, so that's OK!

Well, time for another coffee so I will stop now.  Have an enjoyable day and be safe.  xx



Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Tuesday

Good morning.

I've started using the new 'Blogger' and immediately hit a snag.  How do you start a new entry apart from opening the previous one and clicking 'new post' (or whatever it says)?  It took me ages to work it out, just because the (admittedly big orange) button was at the bottom of the page, not at the top.  Oh, well, I will get used to it.

Yesterday was another truly beautiful day.  Warm, sunny, breezy, absolutely delightful.


At quarter past eight, I set off for town feeling more than a bit anxious.  Apart from not knowing which car parks were open (they all were, as it happened), the whole 'stay at home/stay safe/stay alert' thing is now so ingrained that deviating from it is enough to create anxiety.

I should have known better; it was perfectly OK.  It was the easiest drive into town I think I have ever had, the car park I chose was virtually empty, the streets were almost empty, Boots was open and the longest hold up was at the counter where the pharmacist was a little bit late so I had to wait to get my meds.

I had expected to have been handled the prescription form and have to either go to another counter or get them made up at Morrisons but no, the packs were all ready for me to take once the pharmacist had okayed it.

I was home in under an hour and it was a doddle.  I won't be so worried next time although I must investigate either having them delivered or made up at Morrisons so I don't have to go into town.

Later on it was another change.  Instead of having my personal training online, I went round to Lindsey's and it was absolutely delightful to work outside.  I'm hoping it's fine on Wednesday so I can do the same again.

I did my washing.  I did some of my ironing.  I planned meals and started a shopping list. Beth did the watering.  It was a good day.

Today starts with the Zoom Slimming World meeting.  Usually I then moves on to a live chat with Chris but today she's coming over and we're meeting in the garden this afternoon.  I'm really looking forward to that!

I hope your day is good too.  Take care.  xx

Monday, 1 June 2020

Monday and a new month

Good morning, everyone and welcome to June, the first of the summer months.  Pinch and punch for the first of the month and white rabbits to you!  :-)

Yesterday started off beautifully.  I set the chair and little table out in the garden and had a carafe of early morning coffee, very good and strong, drunk from one of my wee coffee cups which is only a couple of mouthfuls but makes me feel a bit sort of continental.  A croissant, some pats of good butter and some home made jam would have completed the picture but - you know - Slimming World and all that!


It was actually so warm that I moved the chair into some shade after a while and enjoyed the warmth, the breeze through the trees next door and beyond and the sweet scent of the flowers.


Lovely!















THen I went indoors and my mood descended rapidly as I sorted out the dishwasher, stacked my half and one litre Pyrex bowls and promptly missed the shelf so they crashed onto the floor.  Darn it (or maybe slightly stronger), muttered I and set to clearing it all up.  Pyrex doesn't half shatter!

I went onto Amazon (I use those bowls a lot) and, to my delight, they had some with lids, proper lids, something they didn't have when I last looked.  So now several new bowls are on their way to me, complete with lids!  Excellent.

After that, the day very much went to plan.  I picked some strawberries, pinched out some side shoots, talked to the runner beans, decided the cucumbers must have grown a good inch or so since the day before and then lounged about in the warmth.  Oh, yes, and I did some washing too.

Down the allotment, the tomatoes I put in on Saturday looked nice and healthy, as did the runner beans, although there are definitely some gaps which will need filling.  I'll defer buying any plants until I see whether the ones I planted in pots actually come up or not.  I should know by the end of the week.

Today is definitely busier.  First thing I need to go into town to pick up my prescription from Boots (not the surgery any more) which is a bit of a nuisance but has to be done.  I'm not keen on going into town and will take the car, not the bus.  Once I've done that (good and early so fingers crossed) I'll come home and do the usual household stuff until just before half past eleven when I'm off to Lindsey's for half an hour of personal training in her garden.  This new, both in place and time.  The time is because she's had to change my usual Friday slot and the place because she's now, from today, doing the PT in her garden when possible.  I'm looking forward to that very much.

The, later on, I might be doing allotment duties; it all depends if Beth can make it or now and, if not, I will instead.

It should all be good so fingers crossed.  A good day for you all too, I hope.  xx

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Sunday

Good morning, everyone.  So the sunshine goes on for several more days and the watering can comes into its own!  Because of the gentle breeze yesterday, it was warm but not hot and, unfortunately, the pollen was blowing around so it was a day troubled with sneezes, sniffles and sore eyes.  I don't know about you, but nowadays, when I cough or sneeze, even though I know it is hay fever related, I feel so guilty.  Suddenly, one gets glares instead of sympathetic smiles. 

Hay fever apart, it was a pretty nice day.  The main happening was meeting Beth at the allotment.  First we watered.  Then we set to with scrubbing brushes, cold water and 'stardrops' cleaning fluid and attached the top of the table and the two benches that tuck in at either side.  This table has been standing under the trees at the back of the allotment for a while now and is getting pretty ropey not but is still good for a couple of years at least.
It has a very good cover which keeps the worst of the elements off but snails and spiders do creep under for shelter so it always needs a scrub at the start of the season.  Ditto for the benches.

While that was drying, we had coffee (keeping our distance) and then Beth showed me her plans for the raised beds which I think we will adopt.  Following that, I got six tomato plants in some spaces and tied some 'restraining' string around and across the broad beans.  They don't need support as such but are easily blown flat, especially once heavy with pods, so this should just be enough to stop them flattening.

Finally, we treated everything to another good drink before leaving, feeling happy and contented.

There's nothing in the diary today.  Normally I'd think 'a trip to Hyde Hall would be nice' but it's not open and when it does open (soon, I believe), one has to book in advance as they are restricting the number of visitors to RHS members only (which I am so no problems there).

I'll probably take the country road out and stroll along for a while, just for the fresh air and the green-ness (I wonder if my mask would mask the pollen as well as the virus) and spend the rest of the day pottering in my own dear little garden.  There's a few jobs that need doing and a very comfortable chair to read in.

I might so a bit of sewing, if motivation hits and it is my turn to water the allotment and do a bit of weeding.

That should fill the day nicely!
Have a good one and stay safe.  xx

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Saturday

Good morning, everyone and thank you for the understanding comments on Thursday's post.

We continue to have quite beautiful weather, don't we?  For me, it has been just perfect.  Not too hot, not humid, a nice gentle breeze to keep the tree branches moving a bit.  I really couldn't ask for lovelier weather (except for rain overnight)!

The allotment is still cracking on.  We're pulling radishes now as well as cutting rhubarb, everything is growing nicely (we even have a few runner beans) and the broad beans have lots of flowers!
It's just all looking - nice.

Definitely one of my happy spaces.

In the garden, I've started picking strawberries these last few days and very nice they are too. 

The tomato plants seem to be thriving, as are the mini cucumbers.  I think I shall do what Sue did and allow one to fruit early while removing the first flowers from the other two.  It makes sense.
The chilli peppers are all growing in their new pots and I've also sown all my spare runner beans as there are going to be some gaps, although not the complete washout I thought it might be.  I really must remember to start them this way in future.

Dad and I discussed the possibility of me and Beth going over for a picnic in the garden but decided to leave it for a bit.  That's OK, it's his call, being the most vulnerable of us by a long call.  I have made a few plans with friends for coffee out in the garden which will be nice, but it's probably too easy to let down the guard a bit too quickly so let's be careful.

Today, it's a nice, easy day until three thirty when I'm meeting Beth down the allotment to do a double watering and, in between, we will scrub down the table and benches.  They are covered but slugs, snails and other creepy things find their way between table and cover so it needs a really good scrub.  Amazingly, I found the scrubbing brush we always use and I'm also taking some nice, strong stardrops cleaning stuff, the drips from which should keep the weeds down under the table and bench!

And that's about it for today.  Nothing terribly different or exciting but it should be a really lovely day.  I hope yours is too.  xx

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Thursday

Morning, everyone.  I'm taking a few day's off from blogging but will be back at the weekend.  I'm fine so don't worry.

Stay healthy and alert.  xx

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Wednesday

Good morning, everybody.  It looks as if today will be as lovely as yesterday.  All warm and sunny and another cushions-out-and-eat-in-the-garden day.  I'm loving this weather as I think we all are and it is something to be treasured, even if it has set off my hay fever earlier than usual.

After the SW Zoom meeting (and very helpful it was too), I set up in the garden, had my breakfast and then set to with the chilli pepper seedlings.  Goodness, they are slow growing; I really should have sown them much earlier.  However, they are nice and strong and now I have nine little pots with healthy seedlings and the race will be to the strongest really.  I will probably use two, maybe three, Beth says she will take one and I will offer the others around to friends.
I found I had ten runner bean seeds left and they are also in their own pots so they are easy to plant out without disturbing their roots too much.  Again, if I don't need them all (fingers crossed), Beth says she will have what's left.
I also potted on the parsley (also very slow growing) and started pinching out side shoots on the tomatoes as they are all cordon style.  I can see that will be a daily duty if I am to keep on top of that.  I also noted some ripeness amongst the strawberries and look . . .


The first strawberry of the year!  It didn't in the least go with the egg custard but I only popped it on for 'display' and ate it separately.  It was sheer bliss!
And there will be two or three more by this evening!

Down the allotment, more runners are through but some evil thing is nibbling the tops.  The slug pellets are now down!  Grrrrrr.
The potatoes are looking good, as is the corn, and there are flower bugs on the broad beans so now I'm on the look out for blackfly to zap!


There are a few things on today.
I have personal training at twelve.  Lindsey is planning to open up her garden for one to one personal training soon, after advice from some local council body, weather permitting.  That will be nice.

Then, not quite so happy, it's my Uncle Tom's funeral at two.  Tom died about three weeks ago and, of course, neither Dad or I feel it is wise to attend.  The funeral company will be filming it and putting it out as a web cast which Dad and I both hope to watch live.  It seems perfectly straightforward - just click on a link and enter username and password.  It's frustrating not to be able to support Diana (Mum's much younger sister) more but there you go - difficult times.

After that I feel I will need to get out in the fresh air for a while so will probably go for a walk as Beth has assumed watering duties today.

I'll probably also get the bed changed today and make the most of the good drying weather.

So that's today.  Goodness knows when I can publish this post; Blogger seems to be having a temper tantrum and is refusing to save and I had to go all round the houses to get the photos on.  I'll post as soon as it lets me and, in the meanwhile, I will copy and paste into a Word document, just in case I lose the whole thing.
Take care, stay well and have a great day.  xx

A bit later.
Hmmm, it wouldn't save and wouldn't save so I couldn't publish.   I wondered if I'd exceeded my 'space' allowance.  I went back and deleted some old posts (quite sad as they are a record of past teaching days), removed the above photos and tried to get them on the usual way through the insert images button and, lo and behold, I could and now it is saving OK.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Tuesday

Good morning, everyone.  A gorgeous day yesterday and today looks like being more of the same, although it's a bit cool at the moment.  I popped to the shed to get today's food from the freezer and wished I had put on my dressing gown.  However, the sun is shining, the sky is clear and the cushions will be going out soon!

Yesterday started off with a feeling of dullness, of boredom, combined with some anger at certain political shenanigans that I don't intend to rant about here.  That soon dissipated as parcels started arriving (orders, not presents) including, to my surprise, the growbag watering topper thingies which I wasn't expecting for a week yet.  I was really pleased with that and, in the afternoon, set to with compost heap, bag of potting stuff, spade, trowel and pots to get the last five little tomato plants out in their forever place.
Evidence!!!

They've survived overnight and seem to have continued growing nicely!

I now have a variety of types; gardener's delight, sungold, and the stripy tiger thingies from the raffle prize, plus one sneaky little sweet millions that jumped into the trolley while I wasn't looking!
No large Italian plum type, which is a bit of a gap but, given that at one point I was panicking about having any at all, I'm not complaining.

Great news.


Not only can I now see four little runner beans at home, yesterday evening there were also four down the allotment.  Yay!
Sadly, the second squash is no more but I have a back up at home and, after a suggestion from 'The Awakened Soul' in yesterday's comments, I shall first see if I have any seeds left and, if I do, I'll try planting a couple of seeds straight out there.
All else is well out there.

I know I'm going on rather about all things horticultural at the moment because it occupies a considerable part of my time and quite a lot of my thoughts right now.  I guess it's loads better the musing on current affairs which are, frankly, quite depressing.

Another nice thing is that, after an exchange of texts with my dear friend, Jackie, we decided that it would be within 'rules' and perfectly safe to meet up in my garden for coffee and then go for a distanced walk out together.  So we set a date and I'm so excited - it's the first organised face to face contact with anyone other than family for weeks, although I have had a few chats with friends in Morrisons and yesterday, on my way back from my walk, I had a ten minute or so chat with one of my tuition families, me on the pavement, more or less, and they by the front door,  That was unexpected and very, very pleasant.

So a day that started off very dull and boring feeling ended up really pleasant.

Today looks to be nice.
At ten, it's our weekly Zoom Slimming World meeting (one pound off - yay) which is always a laugh and then the weekly Messenger chat with Chris is this afternoon as she couldn't make this morning.

Between those there's the ever present gardening including potting on the little chilli plants and putting the parsley into bigger pots.  Also, I planted some aster seeds for colour later on and they are doing nicely too.  I'm hoping Beth will take some of them.  There's also allotment work.  That's watering, battling the weeds and talking to the plants!  If I find any squash seeds, I'll pop a couple in the space left by the dead one and plan out exactly where I want the tomatoes to go.  There aren't a lot of spaces but there are a few.

All the above, together with meals, etc, seem to punctuate the day rather nicely.  I do like an organised day as long as, from time to time, I can have an un-organised day too.
May everything go well for you today and stay alert, stay safe.  xx

Monday, 25 May 2020

Monday

Morning, all.
The wind has died down - phew - and the sky looks promising for a good day to come.  It was OK yesterday, just a bit nothing apart from that breeze.  Today, I think it will be worth getting the cushions out in a while.

Yesterday turned out reasonably industrious after a lazy start with a full cafetiere and pjs until after nine.  No allotment as Beth said she'd water (she didn't come round here afterwards).
I pottered in the garden for a while, got those new plants in, all but one.  The problem is that the soil along that little front strip is very poor - full of clay and not easy to dig.  Combine that with the fact that I really haven't watered it as I should and you get a bone hard ground that nearly breaks the trowel.  I watered it - re-fixed the hose onto the tap at the front and gave it all a bit of a soaking - but got tired of gloves covered in sticky mud after doing two of the three plants so decided to do the third today when the water should have generally soaked down and the ground should be diggable without sticking so much.  Fingers crossed.

I must start watering the front a bit more often.

After yesterday's bean related grumble, I looked and - lo and behold - there are now two wee bean shoots emerging.  Only two, but it gives me hope.  None at the allotment which is strange because they were planted a day before but this week is predicted to be nice and warm so we will see.
Do you think they heard me?

Today is more of the same really.   My turn to water at the allotment and I will go at around five.  Beth said one of the squash babies seems to have passed away.  Luckily, I do have a spare but it is still a bit small so I won't put it out yet but nurture it on for a few days.

Before then, it's just the usual homey stuff, nothing particularly exciting - a bit of housework, a bit of gardening (must keep those pesky weeds down), some sitting out in the sun with the Kindle, that sort of stuff.

Enjoy your day and stay safe.  xx

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Sunday

Good morning, all!  Yesterday turned out to be a bit of an odd day as far as the weather was concerned.  Sunny times, cloudy times, warm and cool, even a bit of rain but not enough to be of any use and, throughout the whole day, a very stiff breeze.  In fact, it is still quite blowy now but 'they' say it should die down by the evening,

Strong wind notwithstanding, it was a lovely day yesterday, a pleasant mixture of busy and lazy.

I met with Beth down the allotment and we worked together to smarten things up.  We decided that the shed really wasn't anywhere near needing a tidy out so we didn't.  No point making work.  I crawled around, dealing with random weeds while Beth gave everything a good watering (which takes longer than it sounds).  When she had finished, we sat down and had our lunch and some coffee while we chatted away about this, that and the other.

Everything's growing well apart from the runner beans, which haven't emerged yet.  I'm getting a bit concerned about them after my experiences last year at home when not one seed grew.  They haven't started at home yet and, if it isn't for the fact that I have planted them in two different places, I'd be starting to think there was a problem with the soil.
I shall give them until next weekend and if there are no signs by then, I will give in and buy baby plants, as I had to last year.  Maybe I need to start them off in little pots, although you are supposed to be able to plant them direct into the soil from mid-May onward.

Apart from that, everything is absolutely fine and doing nicely.

Back home, I got some more tomatoes into pots and out.  I'm now just waiting on some 'growbag  watering pots', not because I'm using growbags but because they are great on pots too, as they provide both a bit of extra depth and a very useful reservoir for water on those hot days.


Like this!

I planted up all the other pots I have apart from the five new ones because I'm waiting on another set of watering pots for them.  The remaining tomatoes won't hurt for another week of being in a pot.

It's going to look like a tomato nursery along the fence by the time I've finished!!

Later on, I set things up for the barbecue.  It was so gusty, it took me ages to get it alight as the matches kept being blown out, but I managed with the help of a firelighter!  After the flames had settled and the charcoal had settled to a dull glow, I got the food on and thoroughly enjoyed sitting out, watching it all cook and reading my Kindle between times (I'm re-reading and old favourite, Scarlet Feather, by Maeve Binchey).
For a diddy little thing with precious little scope for temperature control, it managed really well, although there was one scary point when I thought the bottom was breaking apart.  It wasn't, it was just the red paint scorching and peeling off so now, instead of a red bucket, I have one with a fetching black stripe around the bottom.

It just needs a good clean now.



I will definitely be using it again, very soon.  It really is only big enough for one person as you do need a bit of space to move food around.

I need to get some longer handled tongues or similar though.











Today is a day with nothing on the 'to do' list, not even the allotment as Beth is going to water today.  It feels rather good.
I might stay in my bed things a bit longer than usual, I might go for that long overdue walk, I will probably get soil into the remaining pots, ready for when the top bits arrive, I will read and lounge in the sun (when it is there) and - oh, thought of one thing - those new perennial plants are now nicely happy and need to be planted out, three round the front and one round the back.
So that's one thing I really ought to do.  No, two, because the bucket needs a clean!

I wonder if Beth would like to come round for distanced coffee and chat in the garden.  I'll give her an invite and see.

It feels like it's going to be a really lovely day!  Excellent!  I hope yours is too.  xx

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Saturday

Morning, everyone.
Well, that was satisfying, wasn't it?  I've seen local performances of the stage show of the Sound of Music so I was aware of how it differed from the film version, so that wasn't an issue, and I thoroughly enjoyed the staging, scenery, acting and, above all, those familiar songs.  It was like coming home and it was great!
Now I wonder what next week's offering will be.

Yesterday was a day of two halves.  The morning was very dull, cool and with a few drops of rain.  The the sun came out and the afternoon was lovely and warm.  The only constant was quite a strong breeze which kept the afternoon delightfully fresh.  It's still breezy this morning, and the sun is already shining brightly.  I think it's going to be a lovely day.

I got my shopping done good and early (no queues) and I did my duty at the allotment, watering and doing a bit of weeding too.  Today, I'm meeting Beth there and we will have a little picnic there.  Nice.
Then, later on, I'm having a little barbecue.  Nice.

I didn't get any of that ironing done, lazy me, so that's on today's list as well.

I'll finish off with another photo of the clematis which is busting out all over and is starting to look really lovely.


Have a super day, whatever your plans are.  xx

Friday, 22 May 2020

Friday

Good morning.  It's dull right now but there is a lovely fresh breeze blowing and I'm sure the sun will appear soon.  We didn't have any rain or thunder yesterday and it was quite a hot night so I kept the fan on for the first time this year and it helped tremendously.  It's cooler now and really pleasant.

Jeff turned up, bang on time, to collect the mower so that's now out of the way and gone to a good home.  Now it is just the rubbish for the bin and that's all wrapped in bin bags so not particularly in the way at all.

After he had gone, I set off for the newly discovered garden centre to hunt for plastic pots.  I had a lovely stroll around and some how, four perennials jumped into my trolley as I did so - a phlox candystripe, two campanulas and a delphinium.  They were four for a tenner and look in good condition so I think that's great value.  One of the campanulas is for the back and the other three are for the front.  I've been trying to get the front strip planted with perennials as they are far less of a hassle than bedding plants over the last few years, and I think that once they are in and taking, that's probably about it. 
However - no plastic pots of the kind I wanted.  I drove back through Writtle and on to another garden centre but, woe is me, that wasn't open until ten. 
Finally, I drove on further to the last garden centre my side of town and success!
They are all lovely places and I decided that I will pop back soon, just for the sheer pleasure of looking around.  The two I was able to go into both observed very strict distancing policies and the latter one had all the assistants in gloves and masks as well and distancing marks on the floor all over.  It must have taken someone ages and ages to get it all set out.

One disappointing thing.  Just before setting out for the allotment, I thought I'd check Facebook and I'm glad I did because there was a message from Beth saying she'd got the runs and, given that the loo facilities at the allotment are all closed at the moment, she'd better not go. 
So I went later, when it had cooled down a bit, to water and today I will mow and strim because we have arranged that tomorrow we will go and take a picnic.  She will take hers and I will take mine because we eat such very different things at the moment.
I understand, it was fine, but I was disappointed.

The rest of the day was spent in doing a couple of loads of washing and drying them on the line, a but of housework and, mostly, lazing around outside with book, cold drink and sunhat.  What a life!

Today, the first thing I'm doing is going to Morrisons.  It's usually quite empty at around quarter to eight and there's little or no queueing.  I have my list but I am sure there will be a few extra things in the trolley!

After personal training mid morning, I will pootle down to the allotment to mow and strim.  I* might do a bit of that weeding too and I could see there were some radishes ready for pulling.

The other task is to get that ironing done.  I didn't even start it yesterday so really must.   A shame there's no ALW tonight; that would distract nicely.  Never mind, I'm sure I will find something to entertain.
And that's it really.  Have a lovely day, everyone.  xx


Thursday, 21 May 2020

Thursday

Good morning.  It's not so bright this morning.  Beeb says we will get some sun but this morning we could have thundery showers.  Time will tell.

It was glorious here yesterday.  First thing in the morning I got out my garden table (which I can now get to!) and the cushions I made for the arbour and got it all set up.  It looked very pleasant and restful in that corner.


I had my breakfast out there, and lunch, and between spells of finishing tidying out the shed, I had coffee, etc, there, accompanied by Kindle and various magazines.

The shed is now done and it's a pleasure to walk into.  Jeff picks up the mower this morning, early-ish, and then the only things out of place are the bags of rubbish which will have to stay there until next Thursday when the black bin gets emptied and can be refilled unless any of my lovely neighbours have room in their bins before then.

Apart from that, I had my half hour of personal training and I went to water the allotment at around five o'clock.

And that was yesterday!

Today, the main thing is that Beth and I are meeting down the allotment at around eleven (weather permitting).  I expect we will be sorting out the back - tidying the shed (story of my life right now, eh?) and checking that the table and benches are OK, cutting back some branches and so on.  There's a bit of weeding too and, maybe, watering, depending on what the weather does before then.
Plus coffee and plenty of (distanced) chat.

As already mentioned, Jeff comes in around two hours' time to get the mower.  I've said before but I'm really glad he can use it.

Wrapping around allotment stuff, I have a big pile of washing.  Two loads, I guess, one darks and one lights.  It'd be nice to get them done and dried so I can iron them this evening. 

I'm planning  little barbecue for Saturday.  I've always reckoned barbies are a bit of a waste of time for one as they generate so much sooty, messy washing afterwards but I don't think the little bucket barbecue will take much effort at all.
It has to work with SW so I'm enjoying myself searching around for a few ideas.

That's about it and I'd better go back up, bathe and get dressed before Jeff gets here. 
I'll leave you with a photo I have jut taken, of the clematis.  So pretty.


Have a great day today, whatever you have planned.  xx


Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Wednesday

Morning, everyone.
What a fantastic day's weather we had yesterday.  So warm, sunny from dawn to dusk and a gentle breeze.  Today looks like the same and on Thursday, possibly, we will have some rain.  Can't complain about that.

After the SW online meeting and my chat with Chris, I plucked up the courage to start on the garden shed.

The black bin (not being emptied until a week tomorrow) is now chokka apart from just enough space for one more black bag of household rubbish.  That will be enough as one person doesn't normally generate all that much refuse, not with all the other recycling boxes and bags we have.

To my delights, Jeff said he would be happy to take over the spare mower; I have two because the one I had was cable electric and then we needed to get a battery powered one for the allotment.  I don't need two, nor do I have the space, so had decided to get rid of the former.  It's in the garage now (one of only two items I moved to the garage - yay) so today I will get it out again and give it a good wipe down and clean up before he pick it up tomorrow.

I was surprised at a few discoveries.  I found a few garden tools I had forgotten about and one I had been looking for, I now have enough write-on garden labels to last a lifetime and, maybe best of all, a little bucket barbecue, very similar to this (photo copied and pasted from Images)
Buy Argos Home Bucket BBQ | Barbecues | Argos
I've put charcoal on my shopping list for Friday and, assuming the weather lasts, I will plan in a mini barbecue over the weekend as a treat.
One nice thing is that it will be very easy to keep clean, being so small.

I have one corner and the shelves still to sort out and any rubbish from that will have to sit in black bags for eight days until the bins are emptied, unless I can find a neighbour with space in their bin.

All in all, a very satisfying day's work and it's good to have room in the shed again and to be able to get at my garden table.  That will go up today under the tree so I can eat outside in comfort.

I went to water the allotment early evening.  All is still well.  There's a few evil weeds daring to come up so they are on the list.  Apart from them, mowing and watering, there's a bit of a lull in the work right now, which is nice.

Today, I plan to get to the garden centre when it opens and invest in some large pots and then get them filled with soil.  I'm using a mix of potting compost and garden compost from the bottom of the compost bin.  It makes a lovely, tactile mixture and I hope the tomatoes like it.

I'd like to get that last little bit of the shed sorted out and then I can decide where things can go for most efficient use.  I also need to sort out various small garden 'things' and put them into separate little boxes (I have plenty!!) - thing like those garden labels, string and twine, cane toppers, etc.  I also have a good collection of the lovely Wolf Garten tools and detachable handles and I need to get them sorted and into plastic boxes so they don't get lost under other things.

I reckon that's enough to keep me out of trouble for most of the day.  The elephant wasn't as indigestible as I thought it would be, thankfully.

Have a good day, everyone.  Stay safe and - what's the latest? - alert!  xx



Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Tuesday

Good morning!

Yesterday was a potter-ing sort of day.  I pottered down the allotment and concocted a sort of barrier in front of the future runner beans, just to keep the big birds off them when they pop through.  I have no idea if pigeons go for runner bean seedlings but - just in case.

I thinned out the first sown radishes and came home with some for lunch.  Lovely.

After breakfast I got going in the garden.  Some of the tomatoes are now in their forever homes, the gherkins are out and I've moved a few pots around.  It took quite a while, one way and another, but I'm happy.  I will need to get some more large pots which are not cheap but, dear me, if I will go bonkers with the tomatoes, eh?

 Gherkins, aka mini cucumbers.
 Six tomatoes.
 Four more tomatoes



And more down the fence - the three empty pots are for the other sungolds, assuming they are fit to plant when they arrive.  If not, I'll find something else to go there instead, probably the very smallest gardener's delights which are the ones I sowed from old seed and which have surprised me but which are too small to go out yet.

There will be more to the left of the tayberry as well - when I have the pots
It's beginning to look like a properly productive garden now;  the runner beans just need to show themselves (fingers crossed)

I finished just before three and, as I was tired and maybe a bit achey too, decided I really didn't want or need a walk so I came in and sat down with a book before deciding it was too lovely to stay inside so chilled in the garden on my recliner instead. Lovely!

While looking up, I saw the first aeroplane and smoke trail in two months.  It was a bit of a slap in the face after clear skies for so long. 

Today it much more social this morning.  It's the Slimming World Zoom meeting this morning, closely followed by a chat with Chris.  Very nice.
Then I will go and water down the allotment as it was very warm yesterday afternoon followed, probably, by a walk. 

The other thing is to clear a bit of the shed out.  It's such a mess!  I can't face doing the whole lot in one go so it's going to be like eating an elephant - a bit at a time.

Have a great day, everyone, and take care.  xx


Monday, 18 May 2020

Monday

Good morning.  Yesterday was gorgeous here, wall-to-wall sunshine in the afternoon and very pleasantly warm too.  Today?  More of the same, I hope; fingers crossed.

I got to the allotment by nine yesterday to water the babies (all survived overnight!) and do some of the ever present weeding.  It's a bit of a drag but the only way to keep on top of it is to do some every visit.

Then I set off to find this nursery in the expectation that, as it opened at ten, it wouldn't be so crowded at the start.  I was right, it was reassuringly spacey.  Not a fancy place.  No perfume, fruit liqueur or birthday cards.  Just plants - loads and loads of plants - in what was really a huge poly tunnel with more outside and sprinklers working  so there were no-go areas here and there unless you were dressed for swimming.

The plants looked quality.  Nothing shabby or tatty that I could see.  I got things for Beth now that she has planting space - rosemary, thyme and lavender (she wanted the first two but the herbs were three for a tenner so why not) plus some trailing flowers for her containers (also wanted).
They also had tomatoes.  More importantly, they had sungolds!  I now have three sungolds and am happy!  I know I should have some coming but I have little confidence that they will be in any kind of a decent state when they arrive and anyway, a bird in the hand . . .

I'm now eying up all my larger pots, including some that were tucked away in the garage, so I can keep as many tomatoes as possible.  I think all but the very smallest will go out this week - as many as I can manage, anyway.
And I may be going back to the garden centre for large pots and potting compost!  lol

It's so nice to find another centre that doesn't involve a trek through or round town.  I suppose it's a sign of having a good agricultural college in the village, that Writtle has three big garden centres dotted around the outskirts.

Once back home, I gave the new plants a good drink before having breakfast and then took Beth's plants round to her and we had a good old (socially distanced) chatter while we were at it.  She got them planted out later on and sent me a photo; they do look nice!

The warmer weather has brought the flowers on and I have my first Ooh La La flower, very showy and bright.









Three days ago . . .





. . . and this morning.

It's smothered with buds this year and will look a real picture soon.  It's its third year, so nicely established now.







Today, allotment will be the first port of call.  I don't want to do too much as Beth will be coming down some time this week, maybe more than once, as she starts getting out again and we need something to do, but there's always watering, there's always weeding and I really MUST thin out the radishes.  I know it sounds silly but I hate thinning out - it feels such a waste, somehow.  However, it has to be done.

Then I want to plant out the gherkins at home, get all available pots into the garden for tomatoes and start thinking about where they need to go and I think I will need to move the blueberries as there's wires along the fence behind them and it's perfect for keeping the tomatoes stable.

Inside, there's the usual - wiping around, keeping the kitchen clean and tidy, etc.  I'm not terribly fussy where tidiness is concerned and also more organised nowadays so it won't take all that long.  I might go out for a walk later on, maybe round the estate or maybe out into the country.  If the latter, I can check whether the damson bushes are fruiting.  That damson gin I made last autumn was stunningly delicious and I'd like to make some more this year too.

So that's my day's plans.  I may not stick to them but that's OK.  As long as the basics don't get neglected, the rest is pure pleasure.
Take care, everyone, stay safe and have a great day.  xx

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Sunday extra: a couple of allotment clips.

Looking to the back, taken from the side.


and looking to the front, both taken from the covered part.

(I need to click on them twice to get them to show)

Sunday

Good morning.  It's a bit too early to see the sun but it's supposed to be warmer than yesterday and sunnier too.  It was OK yesterday but when the sun went in, if was still feeling just a little bit chilly at times.

That didn't stop us, Beth and I, from doing what we had planned.  In went the baby corn plants . . .

. . . the courgettes, squashes and gherkins . . .

. . . and the sunflowers are taking their chance (they have cane support).  If they don't 'take', it's not too late to sow more seeds straight into the ground.

The broad beans, strawberries and raspberries are doing well . . .


 . . . but no sign of the runner beans yet (it's a bit too early really).

Anyway, it looks like a proper allotment plot now and, given that it's turning warmer, they should all grow pretty well in the next month or so.

Then we measured up the area that we want to properly smooth off, cover and have raised beds on.  It turns out to be a very convenient twelve feet by nine feet, easy for planning.  We've pretty much decided we want four rectangular beds, two and two, three feet high and that while we're at it, we'll have all the edging 'sleepers' replaced as they are pretty old and rotting.  It's turning into a more major job but we reckon it's worth doing.

I'll be back there this morning to water and then to catch random weeds that think they can come up while my back is turned.  Pesky things.
I made a video clip yesterday but it's not very good so I'll have another go today.  I think I need to learn how to 'stitch' two clips together.

I've also heard of a nearby garden centre that I thought had closed but it just moved elsewhere, connected (I think) with a local agricultural college.  I might head the car in that direction later on and take a look, assuming it's not too busy.  If it is, I'll try again during the week.
It's now sited down the delightfully named Cow Watering Lane.

I now have to decide when to put the tomatoes out the back.  One is definitely ready but the others are borderline so I guess it's one out while the rest can watch from the window.  I'm thinking next weekend for the others, given fine weather.

I'm sat at the PC with my Sunday treat, a cafetiere of coffee.  There's no rush today, no times to have to meet, no social chats, just me and my life.  It feels very restful and relaxing. 
Have a super day.  xx

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Saturday

Morning, everyone.
I had a bit of an early start, well before the sun, but it's catching up now and should soon be shining merrily.  As hoped, yesterday got warmer and warmer and by late afternoon the French windows were open.

I went shopping early morning.  They had flour (no SR though), they had hand gel (I was good and just got two), they had plenty of canned food and they had pasta!
I wonder what the next shortage will be!

Fortunately, the veg delivery and eggs arrived late morning so, when the cleaners arrived, I set off, first to Beth's to take over sugar, eggs, flour and vegetables and then back to the allotment.  I mowed and tried to strim but, after a few futile moments I realised something wasn't right.  Sure enough, the cutting thread was all used up.  It's a sort of cassette and I knew I was out of them so I made an order later and they should arrive Tuesday.

Our plot isn't too bad but I was disappointed because I wanted to strim around the next door plot.  It's run by a very nice elderly gentleman but it's in a right state at the moment.  A few years ago, when he took the plot over, he spent considerable time (and money) getting it looking nice and being productive so it's a bit worrying. 
Initially, we though maybe he was isolating (as he should be) but it is clear that it's last year's debris that hasn't been cleared.
Anyway, I thought that, if he did come back, it would be nice for him not to be faced with total ruin, so I wanted to do a bit of clearing, starting with strimming around to get some of those weeds down a bit.
I can do some next week when the replacement thread arrives.  Just a bit at a time is all that's needed really.

Once home, F and I tried to have our chat but the connection was so poor we gave up and rescheduled for this morning - the connection always seems better in the mornings.

The evening was devoted to Cats.  I enjoyed it very much - superb dancing, costumes/makeup and the words and music were fantastic.  Now wonder that, with the buzz of live performance and audience as well, it's such a success.  It lost some synchronisation towards the end - the sound and the vision were very out of sync and quite off putting for someone who subconsciously lip reads quite a lot, but never mind.

Plenty of flowers on the tayberry this year but will they convert into fruit  Who knows!

Today is planting out day, of course.  But before that, Faith and I will have a more successful chat before I pop off to the allotment with newly arrived battery powered tiller, suncream,
flask, mugs, fruit and camera in one hand and box of plants in t'other.

By the time we have finished, I'll probably rest up for the remains of the day.  I have reading, sewing, knitting, telly . . . I won't be bored, that's for sure.

Hoping we all have a great day.  xx

Friday, 15 May 2020

Friday

Good morning.  No frost overnight here and it definitely feels - well, not warm, but less cold.  Beeb weather expect it to get up to mid teens today, sun this morning and dull this afternoon.  Fingers crossed.

Yesterday was quiet but very pleasant.  I got a load of washing done, dried and even ironed, made a batch of savoury mince, activated a starter and generally pottered around doing 'stuff'.

Beth did go to the allotment after all, doing a bit of weeding including around the broad beans and starting to tidy out the shed.  When I realised she was there, I whizzed down and we had a bit of a chat before agreeing on the time on Saturday.  It was flippin' cold there, with quite a breeze and the sun behind clouds.

I had an email from the lovely Sharon, my hairdresser, saying she's able to re-start at the beginning of July and offering an appointment for me and Beth in the second week.  Of course, I grabbed at it with cries of delights and now it is fingers crossed that it will indeed happen.  I confessed to my fringe chopping; she laughed and said lots of her clients have been 'hacking bits off'.  It sounds rather blood thirsty, doesn't it?

At last, at long, long last, a few little birds seem to have discovered my bird table.  It has literally been about a year since I put it up and the two local pigeons discovered it pretty quickly but little birds?  Nope, I saw not one.
I moved it further away from the house but that didn't help.
So, a short time ago, I moved it again, to under next door's tree and a week afterwards, when I opened my curtains one morning, there they were.  Just one or two tits, nothing more, but the very first that I have seen.
I'm still not getting many but a pair of blackbirds seem to have found it, plus the occasional tit and fingers crossed the word will now get round.
Where it is now makes it harder for the pigeons.  They still manage it but not nearly so often.


Don't laugh:  I seem to have thirty tomato plants plus, hopefully, the three sungolds that are due to arrive in the next few months.  Not bad for someone who was panicking about not having enough.  Beth said she will take some so they certainly won't be wasted.
Here's about a third of them - they have grown from the seeds I won in the SW raffle.  The bits of willow cane look much nicer than the luminous green ones you can buy.  I will keep them for next year!


Today, Friday, is a bit busier.  I intend to go shopping at eight and, at some point later on in the day, take some stuff round to Beth plus veg from the veg box, delivered, hopefully, some time this morning.
At ten forty-five I have half an hour of PT with Lindsey.
When the cleaners arrive, I'm off to the allotment to mow and strim today instead of tomorrow.
And finally, I have a chat scheduled with Faith in the afternoon.

To put the cap on it, this weekend's online ALW offering is Cats.  Brilliant.  I'll try and catch it this evening although I find myself fighting to stay awake beyond around half past eight at the moment so might have to finish it tomorrow.

Stay safe and warm.  xx

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Thursday

Morning, everyone.
Yesterday was a funny old day, weather wise.  It was cold, breezy, there wasn't as much sun as I'd hoped and, according to the Beeb, today is going to be much the same, at least for most of the day.  Then it should warm up a bit.  The weekend will be nice and warm again.
I hope they've got it right!

Jeff turned up at eight thirty.  I plied him with sweet tea and he worked his usual alchemy so it all looks spick and span again.  We managed to have a good old six foot distanced chat about raised beds in the allotment and, as he's made some for others, he know the sort of thing I am after and it sounds as if he will be very pleased to get it all done for us, although I didn't mention that I hoped he would project manage (do the ordering, track down materials, etc)!  It won't be this summer, of course, but maybe over winter when gardening jobs are few and far between for him.
It give Beth and me time to think it all through and come up with measurements, etc.

Beth turned up and we had coffee and a good old chat before I started PT with Lindsey and she popped upstairs and came down again with a bagful of bits and bobs.

Realising that I should have been setting off for a week in Southwold on Saturday, I finally got onto the Suffolk Secrets website and moved the dates to the same time next year.  This is what the company has arranged for all their bookings - that you can select another week later on and, providing any increase is within a certain percentage, there's no increase.
I could have asked for a refund but I didn't want to.  For a start, it's not the owner's fault all this has happened and they must be feeling the pinch quite significantly and anyway I was looking forward to that holiday which I can now have next year, all nicely paid for and sorted.
After all, now I know where to park, etc, if I really want to, I can always take a day trip to Southwold later in the year, if it is sensible.

Today was going to be allotment with Beth but, because it's still so chilly, we have deferred it until Saturday.  Two more days won't hurt at all.  I'm a bit disappointed about today but not seriously so.  Saturday isn't far away, after all, and it should be so much more pleasant.
If I remember, I'll take a tape measure of some kind so we can start drawing out plans, celebrity gardener style!
Saturday is usually mowing and strimming day but I can do that tomorrow instead, no problem.

Apart from that there's nothing in the diary which is quite nice.  I think I might make a batch of savoury mince for the freezer - so useful not only for the basis of meals like pie, chilli, cajun stuff, curry, etc, but also for using up any raggedy bits and bobs in the fridge.  I'll use the Instant pot slow cooker so once it's in, I can just leave it to do its own thing.
I'm going to sort out one of my wardrobes today - and before that sounds 'ooooooh - two!!!-ish, it's very narrow and it's where I hang my cardigans and such-like.  I know there's some really old things that I'm pretty sure I won't wear again now so they can go in the charity bag.  I'll be glad when the drop off facilities open again.
And I think I might see if I can start off a sourdough loaf.  Fingers crossed.

I'd better get going.  The dishwasher needs emptying and I think there might be a bit of washing to get started before I have my bath and get dressed.
Enjoy the day and stay safe and warm.  xx


Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Wednesday

The sun is out and shining merrily, the birds are singing melodically and, if it were a bit warmer, I'd have thrown the French windows open to catch the fresh air.  Sadly, right now, it's a wee bit too fresh for comfort so it can wait.
I think there might have been a little bit of frost on the cars again earlier but, as I slept until nearly six this morning (bliss), it was hard to tell.  The babies are all straining to get out into the fresh air, despite being turned regularly so I think we (Beth and I) will schedule tomorrow for a good old plant-out (appropriately distanced, of course - both we two and the plants).

I've definitely got loads of tomatoes now.  The striped tiger ones are an unknown quantity; I've googled and it could be one of several different kinds so I must be prepared to be surprised.  Anyway, they are really shooting up now and I'm afraid they will need little supports very soon which I don't actually have although I could saw a longer cane or two into shorter lengths I guess.  No, I won't, I've just remembered I have some willow canes that I brought home from a weaving course; I can use them.
The gardener's delights are a bit behind them because they were planted later but going great guns all the same.
And I am still waiting for the delivery of three small sungolds, not postiplugs, thank goodness, but in very small pots.  They should be more healthy (fingers crossed)

The SW Zoom meeting was really good.  Five of us this time, nice and lively.  I enjoyed it.  Then I had a vid-chat with Chris which was also great.

At the allotment yesterday, I was going to just water but decided to plant the runner beans as well.  This was in response to seeing the chap the next plot along but one planting out his little runner bean plants.  By the time they come through, everything will have warmed up again, so it should be OK.
Then I forked over where the baby corn is going so it's ready for Beth to plant out tomorrow and made sure there was a clean edge to that space with he spade.
Finally, I watered.  Everything looks pretty healthy but I'm aware that blackflies love broad beans so they will get zapped as soon as they dare show their faces on my beans!

After that, I just chilled really.  So it was a very pleasant day.

Three things make today special.
Jeff is over at eight thirty.  The garden's not bad but there are a lot of weeds between the slabs at the front so he'll get them sorted for me, bless him, and I need to talk to him about raised beds, etc.

Then, fingers crossed) Beth will be over to grab some things from her work room and also to enjoy a suitably distanced coffee and chat with her old Mum.  Can't wait for that!

Finally, it's half an hour of training with Lindsey.  Excellent!

I may or may not go down to the allotment after that.  I'll see how I feel.  I doubt it will need watering as everything is still pretty damp and Saturday is mowing and strimming day so I probably won't.  We're spending more time there tomorrow anyway.

So - it should be a really good day, fingers crossed.  Hoping you all have a good one too.  xx


Monday, 11 May 2020

Tuesday

Good morning!  It was jolly cold in the wind yesterday, wasn't it?  I was (yet again) thankful for central heating.

I spent some time online with my wonderful techy friend, Eddie, yesterday afternoon while he took me through finding and adding videos from mobile and camera to Facebook.
I thought I'd give it a go in here too, just to see if I can.  It's very rough; I only took it so we would have something to 'play with', so to speak.

Fingers crossed.
It's the garden, by the way.

I had a very quiet day with just one excitement.  The replacement tomatoes turned up and I opened the package with great trepidation.  Amazingly, all six little plants were still alive and seem to be holding their own.  Now I have TOO MANY tomatoes, what with the seeds as well.  Oh, well - gifts for the neighbours and more for the allotment!
Actually, can you have too many tomatoes?

I got stuck into the washing, drying (a great drying day!) and ironing and I am happy to say I now have an empty ironing basket.

Today is a bit busier.  I have the SW Zoom meeting first and then, an hour later, a chat with Chris over the road.  I think I might then pop down to the allotment just to check that all is well and deal with any cheeky weeds.

SO - must get going and fingers crossed the video link works!
Have a great day.  xx

Edit - I sent this on Monday evening by mistake - ooops!

Monday

Good morning.  It's cold but nice and sunny this morning after a very dull and gloomy afternoon and evening yesterday.  There's a brisk breeze so it's going to feel colder than it really is, I think.

Yesterday turned out to be pretty quiet.  I did pretty much what I had planned really except for planting on the baby tomatoes so I'll do that today.  Oh, and I forgot the washing in the machine so it needs a short wash before I peg it out to dry, just to freshen it.

There's lots of lovely, promising things going on in the back garden but one real disappointment - last year I had eight or nine beautiful iris flowers but this year only one has come up.  Do irises die of old age, I wonder?  Or do the corms (I think they are corms) get scoffed by bugs?  Anyway, this is a sadness - I know they don't last for long and when they go over they are positively ugly but they've been a part of my May garden for so long . . .

But apart from that: (photo overload alert)

 Geranium,
lavender,
 lupin
 fuchsia,
 Japanese anemone
 and clematis all doing well.


















The fruit looks OK too.


Tayberry, strawberry, blueberry and autumn raspberry.

Not too shabby for a very small garden.

Back to yesterday.  I spent some time down the allotment.  There was a bit of weeding to do (isn't there always!) and I started cutting back the tree as the back as it was threatening to put one's eye out as one walked past.  It's a bit better now but I'll need to get the steps to saw some off above the shed and out of arm's reach.
I also weeded around the broad beans, popped three seeds in where the first ones hadn't germinated and took off the netting.

Today is very much more of the same although I don't intend to go to the allotment today as there's no pressing reason why I should.  I will use the time to pot on the tomatoes, maybe inside in the kitchen if it's too chilly.
And my fridge needs a food sort out again.

Later on, my techy friend, Eddie, is coming online to see if he can work out why I can't get video clips off my camera and phone.  Indeed, they are not even showing as there.  A puzzle indeed.

That's about it really.  Have a good day and stay safe, please do stay safe while these changes impact.  xx

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Sunday

Good morning, everyone.  Wasn't yesterday a simply gorgeous day?  Warm, bright, calm and peaceful.   Today, it seems won't be nearly so warm, not so bright, but it should be dry.

I got to the allotment nice and early and worked hard on the two chipped areas under the trees.  I can't say they are weed free because they aren't, but you have to look very carefully now.  I noticed that some potato leaves are emerging again, despite having earthed them not that long ago.  Looks like they are very healthy!  I'll give them one more earthing when they've all popped through and that will be it.  The broad beans are still doing well.  They're not nearly as fast growing as runners but they're good and I will take the netting off soon and fix some support canes and twine so they don't get blown over as they grow.
I guess that, temperatures permitting, the babies will go in next weekend.  An exciting thought.

It was one of those days when it had all sounded pretty lazy in the planning but turned out to be more busy than expected.  After breakfast, I went out the front with various tools and the weed bucket and set to on the front patch.  To my delight, under the dying back bulb leaves were a number of plants I put in in the last two years.  The idea is to have perennials rather than bedding plants (less hassle and cheaper in the longer term) so there's a couple of fuchsias and a geranium that are definitely there plus a dahlia that might be coming up - there's something showing where it should be but I didn't investigate too closely, not wanting to cause any damage.  There's also crocosmia and some - oh, I forget the name but it will come to me - tall with trumpet like flowers that you get in posh bouquets.  No, can't remember, how frustrating.  Anyway, there's a few of them too which are coming up nicely plus the mystery summer bulbs I planted without taking proper note of what they are.  They may not flower this year but green is nice too.
The aim is to have something of interest for most of the year round and now I just need something for the early winter before the bulbs and primulas make themselves known.

After finishing that (and it really looked loads better when I had finished), I pottered in the kitchen for a while before sitting outside with some reading material.  Nice.

Then it was off to Morrisons for some fresh veg.  I don't like being right out of broccoli, carrots and parsnips!  There was a bit of a queue but not nothing too bad; nothing like after allotment when I went, saw and came straight home.  No way!

I started watching 'To Jeeves' but, sadly, found it all too same-y, there wasn't enough music and the whole thing was 'upper-class-twit' stuff with not many chuckles or variations so I gave up half way through and caught up with Great British Menu instead.  Not impressed.

The starter is definitely doing OK, full of bubbles and trying to escape from the jar (it's now in a bigger bowl, temporarily).  Tomorrow is the last day of starting the starter and then I will take a good look at the recipe for bread.


Today is more of the same really.
I have a chicken carcass bubbling away in the slow cooker so I need to deal with that.
The allotment needs watering after yesterday's warmth.
The kitchen needs a bit of a tidy up.
I will change my sheets so there will be washing, drying and ironing.
And, most exciting, the baby gardener's delight tomato plantlets need gently moving to their own little pots and the parsley needs moving up too although that's just a case of breaking open the peat pot and bunging the whole lot into a bigger container.

I thought today would be a gentle and lazy day.  It will certainly be gentle but lazy?  I don't think so.  It's going to be good!
I hope yours is too.  xx

Gladioli!!!  That's the name - I knew it would come to me.