It’s been a cold and snowy…

weekend with temperatures no higher than 0 C and feeling much colder in the bitter easterly wind.  Thankfully tomorrow onwards is looking better and warmer.

I’ve decided to dig out and sieve my compost heap as needed rather than in one go. I did a couple of barrow loads during the week, but did little else as plenty of rain has left the plot a bit soggy.

On Friday, which was a surprisingly mild and sunny day, I remembered to cut a handful of  the dwarf Tete-a-tete daffodils for a vase at home.

I had a very quick look round this morning, where it was looking bleak.

Not surprisingly it was really quiet at the horticultural society trading shed with only a handful of members appearing.  I was given some onion Red Fen  sets,  and bought six freshly laid eggs.   In view of the weather we packed up half an hour early.

Have a good week!

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It’s mostly fun

On Sunday I picked up a copy of this year’s horticultural society show schedule at the trading shed.  As you may remember at last year’s show I not only stewarded but also entered nine items and won eight prizes, much to my delight.  Come Saturday 1st September I’ll be there again hoping to emulate that.   Looking through the schedule I think that there are at least a dozen classes I could enter, being a mix of vegetables and flowers.  It amazing to think that it’s only just over five months away and, as yet, I’ve not sown or planted anything.  For me it’s mostly fun and certainly not seriously competitive,  although there are two classes where I’ll be making a special effort to win first prize.

I also bought another primula, this pink one.

I’ve been plotting a couple of mornings this week but it’s been rather too soggy to do much apart from dig out and sieve some compost from my heap.

It looks like the really cold weather is returning briefly over the weekend with a bitter east wind and the possibility of some light snow so it looks like I’ll be mostly armchair gardening again.

Have a good weekend!

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I was pleased…

to be able to do plenty of plotting on four mornings during last week.  I dug up one clump of crocosmia, thoroughly forked the ground over then added plenty of compost.  This is now the new strawberry bed where I’ve replanted ten younger plants.  I then dug up all the old strawberry plants then roughly forked the area over.  I will be adding a couple of barrow loads of compost before digging it over again.  I’ll be planting the gladioli here, along with the cosmos.

I dug up and replanted the Michaelmas daisies moving them away from the dogwood tree.  I think that I will be sowing nigella/love-in-a-mist in this area.  As  you can see the tete-a-tete daffodils are now beginning to flower. All week the robin was a constant companion, and on Friday the female one came and went a couple of times.   I also caught a glimpse of a handful of goldfinches in a tree on a nearby plot.

The yellow primula on the windowsill at home has been flowering well since I got it three weeks ago and last week I bought this white one.  I’m hoping to dig out my compost heap this coming week, as well as sorting out the flower area around the dustbin lid pond where the poached egg plants grow.

Have a good week!

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Tree following, March 2018

Liz  – Here’s the black walnut as seen on a recent dog walk here in Lexington, Kentucky. You can see the distinctive mistletoe, especially over on the left-hand side.  Other nearby trees include an American sweetgum tree ( Liquidambar styraciflua) and an Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus).  Below are black walnut shells  that the squirrels leave behind.

Dulcie is being her usual helpful self standing behind and beside two of this tree’s leaf stems, which are a foot long and litter everywhere.  Charley is in supervising mode, his paws are on more leaf stems and white pine needles.


Flighty –  I had a close look the three medlars  earlier in the week and there’s little sign of any new growth yet.  The picture below on the left shows the lower trunk of one with ivy starting to creep up it.  The other picture shows what a tangle the higher branches are in, having not not been pruned much over the years.


Our thanks to Pat, The Squirrelbasket,  for hosting Tree following.  If anyone wants to find out more, and perhaps follow a tree, please click on the link shown over on the right-hand sidebar.

Have a good weekend!

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I can’t remember…

the last time that I spent more than a couple of days indoors as I did last week. I wouldn’t have minded the snow, which didn’t amount to much and didn’t last long, but with the temperature staying below 0 C it felt much colder due to a strong easterly wind.  I’m thankful that we didn’t get this weather back in December which would have made it a really long winter,  and that it only lasted  a few days.  This coming week is looking much better and warmer, which will be welcome.

This morning I looked round the plot for the first time since Tuesday and was relieved to see that it all looked okay.  Over at the horticultural society trading shed I bought a white flowering primrose which I’ll show once the flowers have opened.

I’ve only ever come across two fiction books that are centred around allotments –  Ivy Lane by Cathy Bramley and Murder Plot by Keith  McCarthy.

However last week I came across the recently published The Allotment Girls by Kate Thompson which I bought for my eReader at the bargain price of 99p.  I’ll do a review once I’ve read it.


Have a good week!

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Sofa reading, February 2018

It was certainly the weather to do plenty of sofa reading during February, and especially this week.

One of the books that both Liz and myself have read recently is A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre.

Liz – There were so many articles written about this author  when this book was published last year that I put my name down on the library reserve list to borrow a copy.  It didn’t disappoint as Le Carre returns to revisit the days of George Smiley through his now retired colleague Peter Guillam. The book interweaves episodes from the Cold War at it’s height with the present day.  For me this author is still a master story teller.

Mike – Among my favourite books are Le Carre’s Smiley trilogy, written during the 1970’s, which includes perhaps his best book Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.  I was slightly disappointed with A Legacy of Spies as, although well written, it seemed to lack a compelling plot compared to his earlier books.

The noted author Val McDermid says that Mick Herron is the John Le Carre of our generation, and having really enjoyed reading the first four books in the Slough House series I have to agree.

The fifth, London Rules, has just been published and I’m sure that when I read it sometime soon I will find it as engrossing as the others.

Happy reading, and have a good weekend!


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I treated myself…

at the horticultural society trading shed today as I bought this pelargonium Frank Headley which has variegated foliage and salmon pink flowers.  It was only 50p, and as you can see I’ve repotted in a clay pot.

I also bought some gladioli Break O’Dawn corms which have white and soft yellow flowers.

On Thursday morning it was dry and sunny so I did some plotting, but there was a bitterly cold wind so I came home earlier than usual for a much needed cup of tea.  I don’t think that I’ll be doing any this coming week as the forecast is for even colder weather, and there’s likely to be some snow.  The temperature is set to remain around 0 C at best with an easterly wind making it feel much colder.

Have a good week!

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