Sunday, 3 June 2018

The Kitchen Window Sill Allotment And A Picture Of The Veg and Perennials Plot.

 Lidl have been giving away vegetable seeds with every purchase over twenty Euros.  You just add water and the pod grows into potting compost right in front of your very eyes.    There are Basil, Cherry Tomatoes, Rocket, Beetroot, Radish, Spring Onion, Lemon Balm, Carrot, Aubergine, Cress, Gherkin, Lamb's Lettuce, Dill, Cucumber, Coriander, Salad Mix, Chervil, Parsley and Thyme.  I think its a wonderful way of showing kids how things grow on the windowsill.  Don't you?
The Veg Plot.  I have potatoes growing next to the poly-tunnel and on the other sides.  The plastic boxes are full of perennials that I have made by splitting and from cuttings.  They will be sold at a car boot sale or to some one for the garden.  I put two PLANTS FOR SALE  signs in  the window the other week.  Not that many folk walk round the lane. Up to now only one neighbour came with four of her pots for me to fill with plants.  I ended up giving them to her for free!  Some budding business man am I eh?

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

A Cruiser Sails Into The Bay.

When mum met my dad("In Baghdad where my mother met my dad" and other childhood songs)  in the mid nineteen fifties.  She remembered massive ocean liners like the Queen Mary docking in Bantry Bay. The launches would take tourists into Glengarriff and Bantry.  

Then along came the jet engines and the ships disappeared.  That is until now.  An eight million Euro investment into building Bantry Marina and dredging the harbour. Now means that the cruise liners have returned.  No doubt the EEC funded the improvements?  Good on them.  

This is the Prinsendam.  She's beautiful.  The picture was taken on Sunday afternoon from inside the car.  It was wonderful to see tourists leaving the launches/life boats and walking round Bantry town. No doubt going for a "nice cup of tea" and a pint of the black stuff.

The mental juke box (Neil Peart saying) in my head started playing the following:

Monday, 28 May 2018

Another One Of My Gardens.

We made this garden last summer.  Number one son cleared and levelled and broke rock with his digger.  He also laid the round patio whilst I laboured on him.

The lawn, paths, borders and planting were carried out by yours truly.  Even the perennials were divided and they cost us nothing.  Just our time.

You can see dark green patches in the bottom picture.  That's the Nettle garden tea fertilizer.  I am very pleased with it.  The stench in the barrel of decomposing nettles and water is on the list of bad country smellls.  It's probably in my top three along with slurry and broiler house smell.

I noticed a patch of clover the other day.  Apparently they grow where there is not much nitrogen.  I quite like daisies and clover.  I think the Nettle brew will give the lawn the nitrogen it requires.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Lets Have Our Own Chelsea Flower Show,

Are you watching Chelsea Flower Show on the Beeb?  We watched Sundays preview but missed last nights instalment.  

I prefer the traditional Cottage gardens with Herbaceous Perennials, dry stone walls, allotment themed gardens,  Not the ones that look like the landscaped area outside an office block or bank. Gardens with plants and natural materials: water, stone, wood, lawns, flowers and not concrete.

Any way I thought why don't all us folk in Blogland have our own version of Chelsea Flower Show and show some of our very own gardens?  Here's a couple of photos from one of our gardens designed by ourselves and planted by yours truly.  

Its a labour of love and anybody can have a nice garden, yard for not very much money.  Just lots of work and a love of plants.  Your turn next.  Show us your gardens please!

 The back of the bungalow taken from over the hedge in the picture below.  This was full of brambles, rock and nettles when we first moved here.  Do you like the lady statue?  I think this garden would be good for a back yard.  Lots of pots, ornaments, gravel and plants with a curtain Fuschia hedge.  Its about fifty lfeet long by twenty foot wide.
Number one son and me his labourer made these steps the other Sunday.  It took four hours.  I had the paving slabs left over from the back garden behind the farmhouse.  That's another garden we made last year.  The blocks are second hand and I had to chisel off mortar to make them use able again.  

The building in the background is the old milk house.  Its where my dad's ancestors stored the milk to keep it cool.  I use it for a shed these days. 

Your turn now!

Sunday, 20 May 2018

A Recycled Rusty Garden Table And Carrot Wheelbarrow Planter....

Here are some more of my recycling uses around the veg plot.  I made use of a  rusty old garden table for putting cuttings in pots in the poly-tunnel.  It doesn't look very attractive but its perfectly functional and its not ready for the scrap metal pile yet.  

 I bought this wheelbarrow because it had plastic sides and thus it was very light when moving soil and muck around.  They are not partial to big stones and paving slabs and it finally cracked when we use it for a concrete job.  The wheel is punctured too.  

No worries thinks me.  I utilized the wheelbarrow for growing our carrots in,  So I put it in situ and filled it with a sandy soil mix.  Checking for stones along the way.  Carrots don't like too rich or stony soil.   Then we sowed it with carrot seeds.  

The carrots are sown more than twelve inches above the ground. So in theory Mr and Mrs Carrot Fly should not give them any trouble.  They don't fly above twelve inches.  Not many people know that!
I could not resist giving the new Catmint cuttings a yank and seeing if any roots had formed.  They had.  See picture.  This is now potted up on the the patio garden table.  Isn't nature incredible?  

Friday, 18 May 2018

Royal Family Knitters And Tales About Posh Houses

Seeing that its the wedding of the year tomorrow and the annual day out at Wembley for MUFC.  I have  decided to give you have a free read of another one of my characters from the book that wants publishing soon!

    This is a very strange creature indeed.  Common in all villages, towns and cities. Females seem to out number the males, but there are some exceptions.  They integrate with all members of the social class system and the staple diet seems to be chips. 

I once met a lovely old lady who spent the majority of  her time knitting woolen garments for the Royal family.  It was around the time of  Prince William’s’ birth.  (Showing you’re age there Davy boy! )  The Royal Family knitter decided that Charles and Diana could do with some hand knitted clothes for their new Royal baby.  Never mind the poor and the homeless in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool or even London.   

The Royal families new arrivals need was far more important.  Well we hadn’t had much of a Summer that year, had we?  The lady was a staunch Socialist and Royalist.  Sorry?  Yes.  I said she was a Royalist Socialist  Her rented council house was full of Royal family Coronation mug souvenirs and she always voted Labour.  She hated the aristocracy and the ruling classes, but the Queen was a good old brick.  No doubt she probably thought:
“Look at all the money she brings into the country?  Imagine having to smell new paint every day.  It must be awful having to eat all those seven course dinners? “    

While we are on the subject about my auntie Elizabeth Windsor.  I once had a conversation in a pub (where else?) with a woman who claimed that she had the Queen’s personal phone number:
 “They have got to give it you, you know.” 
Says I. 
“British Telecom,”
Says she.

“They are compelled by law to give you any phone number you ask for.” 

“Oh right.”  Is there any chance of you giving me Pamela Andersons phone number?”
I thought of asking her if she knew God’s email address?  But I decided not to bother.   One could of asked pertinent questions like the following:

1.     Why when it’s Winter, does it take so long for you to turn the outside lights on up in yonder sky?
2.      Do you have problems paying the leccy (electricity) bill like we do down here?
I digress. 
Apparently there is more chance of you dialing any number at random, and the queen picking up the phone receiver, than you have of winning the Lotto!  You can just imagine it can’t you. 
“Hello Elizabeth Regina Windsor here, who am I talking too?”
“It’s me.  Do you and the Duke of Edinburgh fancy popping round for a nice cup of tea and some custard creams?”
Royal Family Knitters often have strange political beliefs.  Some of them believe in the nationalization of the banks, a free national health service, no nuclear weapons and the repatriation for all foreign people.  One election they will vote Labour and Conservative the next.  I think it’s that multi-headed monster they call democracy thingamajig.  Right Mr Hitler!  Labour preserves the health service and builds council houses.  Conservatives let you buy your council houses, cheap rates (no services) and give you permanent holidays on the dole.  Royal Family knitter believes in a revolution and redistribution of eighty percent of the wealth, owned by three percent of the country.  The House of Lords will be disbanded immediately.  But the queen can stay.  She does brings a lot of money into the country, and she even lets you PAY to walk round her house.

I once went to Sandringham (the queen’s posh country smallholding in Norfolk,) suffering from food poisoning.  A very big cook (Little Chef) had poisoned me the afternoon before.   It was a lovely summer’s day, so we decided to go and see how the other half live.  The queen’s herbaceous borders made wonderful sick depositories.
 I stood wrenching and vomiting while tourists passed by with expressions of horror.  Not one person asked me ;
“Are you alright mate?”
or :
“There, there”. 
They just looked horrified as if to say:
 “That scruffy northerner is fetching up in the queen’s borders.  Send for the Beef Eaters and take him to the Tower of London.” 
Eventually I recovered and went for a shufty and mosey round her majesty’s regal pad.  We walked along roped off pathways, and viewed the queens sun faded furniture, pottery and some of her “bling”. 
The Majolica pots were horrible.  If  I had seen them on a car boot sale I wouldn’t have paid a fiver for them.  They were worth about a quarter of a million, or a two up and two down ex agricultural labourers cottage in Cheshire.   The diamond encrusted Faberge eggs were nice though and would have looked good on our sideboard, underneath the flying ducks on the Muriel! (Mural).  Bring back Hilda and Eddie Yates, and Elsie Tanner. 
Talking of  Sandringham and posh houses.  I once helped build half a golf course (the other nine already existed).  I said one morning to a digger driver:
 “Did you have a good weekend Bill?” 
He replied:
 “Not really.  We went to that Chatsworth House in Derbyshire.   It was a Bank Holiday and the world and his wife had decided to visit.  The traffic tail-backs went back for miles.  We eventually got inside and it was full of snobby twonks (he didn’t say twonks).  The house was full of old furniture and paintings.  She likes that kind of shit!  I wouldn’t mind there wasn’t even an effing bar to get a pint!” 
He was so right.  The upper classes could have really learned from the proletariat “great unwashed” who built their stately piles for them.  They could have experienced Formica, Caramac, Stylophones and flat packed wardrobes.  I thought to myself.  “It’s good that working class people have cultural experiences on their days off!”  Perhaps they might become Royal Family Knitters? 

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

More Recycling Ideas For The Veg Plot, Allotment Or Smallholding.

Having served my vegetable growing apprenticeship in the allotments of northwest England and North Wales and a smallholding in West Cork. 

I have come to the conclusion that gardening does need to cost the earth,  No pun intended! 

I made two cold frames from some old block paving bricks I had lying around and the cold frame glass is two doors from a shower curtain.  Yes I use a stick to prop them open and its not got an hinge like those posh manufactured cold frames that you can buy.  But to use one of Catherine Tate's comic characters quote:

"Am I bothered?"

 This one is propped up with a piece of chipboard flooring that was left over from the farmhouse renovation last year.  I didn't use any cement or mortar and it cost me ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to make on a Sunday morning when all the builders merchants and garden centres are CLOSED!  My Japanese onions are doing well.  We ate one for tea the other night and the freshness was better than anything you buy in the shops.  There are some strawberries growing in an old tractor tyre behind the japs.  This could do with weeding Dave!  Behind that is my pallet compost heap.  Its getting big.  More recycling.

Planted with lettuces.  I planted some of my perennials on the perimeter of the cold frame.  They will flower and also be part of my nursery stock.   

If you look closely.  You will see roots on my newly rooted Cotoneaster plants.  They are now planted and sat on my old metal patio table.  Its rusted and corroded patina and frame doesn't look very good.  Put it makes a great plant table in ye olde polytunnel.

More recycling ideas soon!

The Kitchen Window Sill Allotment And A Picture Of The Veg and Perennials Plot.

 Lidl have been giving away vegetable seeds with every purchase over twenty Euros.  You just add water and the pod grows into potting ...