Sunday, 23 March 2014
We try to go for a walk most days if the weather is anything like. Mostly it's up the single track road to Bridge 41. This one, built of solid red brick, canopies the main Cambrian Coast Railway line. Sometimes you see the train heading towards Aberystwyth and feel the bridge shake as it hurtles underneath your feet. On the right hand side, almost adjoining the track, there's a field of sheep and lambs. I love to see them and they seem to grow a little bit more as the time goes on. They've got used to us now and come rushing to meet us at the gate, living in hopes of something tasty to eat, I guess, but they're mostly unlucky.
Back home along the track, wild daffodils are all out on the bank at the edge of the stream.
Anemone Blanda, the little wind flowers are starting to come out in the front border. Talking about wind ...... we replaced the torn half of the polythene sheet with some spare polythene we had by us. Two days and one night later, the gales blew and all but ripped it off again. So back to work with spades and Rhino tape. It's holding at the moment. (only just.)
My Camelia bush has made it through the frost. Most years the buds turn brown before they have a chance to open. This year's a bonus.
Masses of lady birds on the Euonymus bush.
I divided a clump of Hemerocallis (day lilies), blue iris, poppies and planted little bits under the apple trees. The ground was flooded in the winter, but some of last year's plants have survived. Last year's ring of delphiniums are starting to push through. Be interesting to see what grows.
My sister gave me a tub of lettuce seedlings last Autumn - they're looking quite good now.
The broad bean seeds sown in individual cardboard pots have germinated. They'll get planted out in a week or so once the roots have established. One year I had a really good crop of plants, planted them all out only to find that mice had been along the row in the night, scuttled and chewed the bean seeds still attached and left a line of chewed bean tops strewn about as dead as dodos.
Think I might have the gardening bug again, every year at this time it's the same.
Have a good week.
Monday, 10 March 2014
We uncovered the old sandstone trough, silted up in the brook when we moved down here. It used to feed a bricked pipe which provided the drinking water for the house. It now stands outside the back door. I plant it up with bulbs and things in the Autumn. This year there's an explosion of blue crocus which must have lain dormant in one corner of it and have suddenly appeared. I don't even remember planting them but they're a whole little bundle of joy.
It's been a bit of a hard one, this winter. We've managed to clear two bays of the tattered bits of plastic from the poly tunnel and it's already to go to the Recycle Centre tomorrow. Trying to free it from where we buried it all underneath waterlogged soil and stones has been hard graft to say the least. Not even sure whether I want to put another sheet over it, but then, the early veggies are something else. So maybe.
The weather's been lovely today. Clumps of wild daffodils are already in bud above the stream on the Mill Bank.
And you can see where the sheep have been through the barbed wire.
Just heard on tonight's news that UK's Kelly Gallagher's won gold in the Paralympics in Sochi. She is visually impaired and to rely on her team mate, Charlotte Evans to guide her down the slope. So much so that she was only able to distinguish Charlotte's orange jacket and hear her instructions through her headset - travelling at 92 km, made it down to the bottom in 1 minute, 28.72 seconds. Can you imagine it! With all the other horrible news going on at the moment, I think it's just fantastic.
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
I turned my head, looked up and there it was!
In the deep distant greyness of the sky,
A faint arc beyond the hill.
And then suddenly it became clearer, vibrant, stunning, beautiful.
Closer. So close.
And in that moment, I reached out my arms and touched a rainbow.
|And no-one else took any notice.|
Thursday, 13 February 2014
It was a wild one last night! In our thirty six years down here, I don't think I've ever experienced a storm like it. By four-o-clock in the afternoon, the wind was fairly raging and the rain was rattling down in stair rods. I did my best to mend a small rip in the newest poly tunnel but had to give in and dive for cover into the house.
One look through the bedroom window this morning and this is what greeted us - the 30 foot tunnel on the east side, next to the brook looked as if it had been slashed with a knife. The seventy footer one next to it was torn to shreds. Oh well - it did need a new cover - we'd been saying for ages. and it certainly does now.
Spent the afternoon, patching the smaller tunnel with Rhino tape. Brilliant stuff for holding it all together. It was just about in one piece again when I came in. I've got spring cabbage, leeks, onions, garlic and lettuce in there right now.
All my plants were in the disaster area, along with some broad beans, I'd sown in cardboard pots. I'd sown 6 rows of parsnips a couple of days ago. Also got beetroot, broccoli and cauliflowers growing - but they look as though they'd survived okay. It was a bit of a marathon, fleecing up as much as I could, so hope they make it through.
Anyway, the daffodil bulbs are are pushing their heads up where they can.
And the primroses starting to bud..
Good old hellebore flowering again amongst last year's windfall apples.
And Eric? ..... well he slept through the lot of it.
There's another front coming in tomorrow, so they tell us.
Friday, 31 January 2014
Three or four years ago, Tom wrote a blog on Starling Murmuration and posted this video.
A similar phenomena has happened at Westbury, Shropshire, this winter. Westbury is a small village four or five miles away from where I live.There is, as far as I know, no near nature conservation area to encourage them, but something must have attracted their attention. The starlings gather on the edge of dusk, thousands of them. The formations they make are beautiful and the bird song is amazing.
Tuesday, 28 January 2014
Heavy rain again last night, so much so that it woke me up. It was just like someone throwing buckets of water at the bedroom window. I lay there in the darkness, listening to the wind howling and waiting for the next deluge to hit the pane. There's something very comforting, being warm and dry snuggled under the covers and listening to it all going on out there. We have been fortunate that the inside of our house has not been flooded and I really feel for those people who have had to deal with water in their houses for the best part of a month - not good!
When the brook water rises, it carries all the brash and broken tree stumps from up stream and these get caught in the tunnels of the bridge under the road causing the minor or major mayhem according to the volume of water. The floods have been right up to the top of the posts. I can remember a huge tree stump a few years back, being lodged on the top wooden rail and the foot bridge from higher up being dragged across the road by the current.
Another brook which marks the English/Welsh border along the edge of our garden was in full throttle. It carries the water right from the top of the Long Mountain and gathers a massive force by the time it meets the other and reaches the bridge at the bottom of our road. There's an iron grid across this one to stop debris blocking a long black tunnel a bit further down. We've toyed with the idea of using the water for hydro-electric power. O/H built a water wheel some years back but with hardly a trickle in the summer months, we never got round to installing it.
A couple of weeks ago, another grid higher up got blocked and we woke up to find sheets of muddy water flooding poly tunnels, garden shed and His workshop - Yuk what a mess!
I sowed a few rows of beetroot at the end of last summer. Some of it's looking a bit poorly, but one little patch has survived, so not too bad.
I noticed today too, as I took my camera round, the pink flower bud of a bergenia plant was just starting to come out. Ragged primroses out in the front border and masses of red berries on the cotoneaster by the door.
Did you notice the catkins, 2nd picture down? They're early this year, everything is.