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I bought two Water Lillies from the Aquatic section at the Garden Center. This is for my pond and the Goldfish to hide under. Even more deep joy, the Goldfish are coming to eat food in the morning. They are even showing off to each other. Delightful.
Anyway, I realy wanted white Water Lillies, but these were sold as a cheerful red. However, I have my first bloom just breaking its green cover, and it looks pretty white to me. I cant imagine it changing from white to red, so I am still waiting with bated breath to see if it will open.
The sun is not shining a lot at the moment, and I am not sure if the Water Lilly is too shaded. However... I shall be overjoyed if I have a white Water Lilly to photograph if it does indeed open in the next day or so. This will definately be a photo I will post here on my Mad Gardening Blog.
I am fascinated by Ventusky. There are so many places they are now naming. I found a 'Town with No Name' in Africa a couple of days ago. I am sure there are plenty of small communities in the middle of the Sahara belt. It would be interesting to see them appear on the map. Also any temporary lakes caused by the downpours they seem to be getting.
I reckon God is melting some Ice off Antartica, and spreading it around a bit. I think the Arctic will get a huge dump this winter and freeze up nicely. I recon the Russian Ice breakers will have to work round the clock to keep that Northern Shipping route open. I think its a very neccasary strategic solution to feeding the Far East.
If they are not careful to finish disputing Yemen, and trying to seize it, Big G will finally put his foot down and block the Suez Canal with Saharan sand, and turn it into Concrete. I think the political games need to be sorted out, now, and tell the West to dump their arms sales. We need Agriculture and Peace.
Big G says get ready for a lot more plastics to start washing up from the rubbish dumps we created in the Oceans. We are all going to get some. The Garden Center had some lovely Rugs made from recycled plastic the other day. Too expensive for me, they started at about £180 up to nearly £500 for a large one. Good use for it though! I bet they dont wear out easily either.
Have a blessedly creative day.
We had a long dry spell that was nominated a drought. I was using our bathwater to water the plants and came up with ways of making the water stay just with the trees and roses I wanted to water.
No photos, as my camera is not working, probably because of being dropped and a huge crack on the back. I am thinking another Lumix, so easy to point and press. Besides, I dont fancy a huge camera to lug about. I also destroyed my i-pad before I went into hospital. So nothing to take photos with.
I bought a stunning peice of granite at Auction this week for about £55 which is so cheap the thing could fly. The problem is some twat has covered it in concrete!
I am not for using strong acids, and came up with the idea of using some vinegar. Apple Cider vinegar and cleaning vinegar mixed half and half. I use this for cleaning paintbrushes too, just to see what will come off before using spirits. Thats when I have been naughty and left them to dry out!
Anyway slowly but surely its working. the fine concrete layer is simply scrubbing off slowly with a wire brush, and the thick bits are actually beginning to chip off.
Hidden under this Concrete frosting is a Jersey weight, and a Quoin. I want to use the Quoin as a plinth for a Japanese Acer, that is about 30 years old and bonsai-ed by me. The granite weight will make a super pot stand, or I might use it and get the number of our house put on it, and use it as a rock by the front door.
This is going to be a long project. However I am determined not to use something strong on it like Hydrochloric, which also might alter the colour of the Granite.
Another happy garden project underway.
The first fish for my pond came yesterday, a friend has given it. She is promising two more if she can catch them. I forgot how quick they are. They will be Zippo, Pepe, and 'Arpo.
Its fun doing stuff that takes ages. Very worthwile project to chip away that Concrete.
I have been soaking the crusts since yesterday because they wouldn’t blend down in the Magimix. I thought I could give the crusts to the worms.
Euch... there are bright green snot bits in the bread. I am not sure if they are the dates that obviously have some kind of artificial sugar in them. I couldn’t eat them either. Any sort of non fructose sugar makes me zonked out. I had some yesterday morning and I had problems driving the car home.
If I have honey it has to be local to my area, and be mixed with the honeycomb. Also very small amounts. I use dates to rebalance my sugar levels if I have potatoes or starchy food. They have a slow release sugar effect so I don’t get a sugar high and low from eating starchy foods.
Anyway the green bits are either the dates or the pumpkin seeds have gone radioactive! I think I am going to risk putting this lot through the Magimix now and give these crusts to the worms to sort out.
I am going to need a bigger wormery. The container they are in at the moment doesn’t have holes in the bottom. I also need a permanent location for their new home. Somewhere in my garden that’s easy to get to and ideal conditions for them. They get very good kitchen scraps normally my worms. I chucked the bread the birds wouldn’t eat from the middle of the loaf. I am not surprised it tasted disgusting considering all the good things that went into it.
Right that’s it the crusts get the blitz treatment in the food processor and the worms get a lovely large new worm bin. Actually it’s the same worm bin, just a slightly different spot. The bird table is where the worm bin was.
We had Squirrelgate this morning over the bird table. It all happened so quickly. The Crow was perched ready to make a hop to the bird table and was tapping about his irritation of not being able to get at the bread as easily as the Magpies. Who are looking very fine I might add. Anyway, just as the Crow was getting ready to hop to the bird table, the Squirrel who was hiding in the canopy of the Palm tree, shot down the tree in a complete surprise ambush on the Crow and there was a momentary stand off between the Squirrel and the Crow. Then the dog decided to see them both off and shot over to bark at them so they both scarperd.
It was all very exciting. I had no Idea the Squirrel was in the tree canopy!
I am going to need my Husband to help me move the wormery tub. Later, I am exhausted. I either need a strong coffee or a nap. I have a suspicion the smoking will cease. The new yeast cultures don’t like it. My little dendrills are having a clean up at the moment. Slightly headachy. I think I need to avoid any alcohol for a few days as well. I think this yeast culture is making its own!
Incubating a good bread starter is a tricky business until it settles down.
A couple of mornings ago I saw two beautiful beetles glistening on my Lavender bushes. I haven’t seen this sort before, and scooped them both into a glass with a bit of Lavender to eat. Then I looked them up to find out what they are. It turns out they are Rosemary Beetles.
These are both devastating to at least four plant types and breed and eat voraciously. I should have killed them. I just found that unacceptable. Having left them in the glass jar I am horrified at the suffering I have caused them.
I have been very upset about them. They have obviously fought over the food resources. The glass jar is full of beetle droppings. The stronger of the two is eating all the Lavender, and the other poor blighter has managed to crawl up the glass and is hanging on to the paper cover dying. They both have chunks out of each other. I have to kill them. I can’t let them loose to infest my own plants and become a menace. The situation is a nightmare.
I tried to ask God what to do about it, and He said I would have to sort out a solution, I should not have put them in the same space fighting over the resources.
I suddenly realised this this is the situation we put God in, with so many of our political decisions. The Rosemary Beetles were beautiful, but a potential disaster ecologically to the garden plants. We are an agricultural island. I wanted to phone a friend on Monday and ask Him what to do about the Beetles. I should have never put them in the same jar. I didn’t realise what would happen.
For the Beetles, I think I must make a swift end to their misery and squash them. I take full responsibility for the dispatching of them. I kill the ticks on the dog. Actually I don’t, I get my Husband to kill them. Nasty things though they are, killing things makes me feel sick. I feel like that over eating meat and fish as well. I am just respectful that this protein was a living creature.
How can something so very beautiful like this beetle have the potential to cause untold garden misery. In my ignorance and curiosity I have caused these living things terrible hardship.
The consequences of not finding out what they were capable of would have been a disaster. Finding out they will defend the food and fight each other for territory another revelation. They will both die. One from being killed and driven off by the stronger. Then the food will run out for the one left, and it’s living in its own shit. I have put them through hell.
A huge mistake not to kill them right away once I found out what they were. God asked me what I had planned to do with them. Heck I don’t know. Just admire them. He said that is not how it works in Beetle world.
I have to go and do the deed. I caused this problem. That is the price of my own ignorance and curiosity. I am very sorry that I caused them such a dreadful time, and now I am going to dispatch them because they can’t survive anyway.
The bread I made this morning won’t release from the tin either. I did Oil it. It has gone like a nasty brick. One of those sling the whole lot disasters bread tin and all. I hope I haven’t messed up the actual sourdough starter as well. I may have to begin all over again.
Obviously a few days of getting things very wrong. I must go and kill those Rosemary Beetles.
Right, change of plan? All the food has been eaten and they are actually doing a sort of mating ritual I think. The large one has lost its antennae though. Nope this is a delaying tactic on my part. I was thinking of separating them and feeding them, but God pointed out I would have the same problem just multiplied if I let them make friends. The dog wouldn’t have this problem she is hardwired to kill anything that moves in a sort of vermin like way. OK. I am going to do this in dog dispatch mode. I think I have to step on them.
I did try stepping on them. The one that ate everything escaped the stepping on. Then I had to squish it in my fingers. The one that got stepped on had just some liquid beige stuff in it. The fat one had an orange huge stain. I have ploughed through two very nice glasses of Chablis and had a contretemps with my Husband in the meantime. He just makes mountains out of molehills over every problem. He seems to read that any problem is His problem and somehow I am blaming Him. Another nightmare.
How can the bread not coming out of the non stick bread tin that is evidently not non stick be His problem. I said I needed to look for old fashioned bread tins. That these non stick bread tins are all we can buy and they don’t work. Then you have to try to Prize the bread out because they scratch so easily, and deposit non stick stuff on the bread. It’s not His problem, it’s just a problem.
I can bake bake bread without a bread tin. Heck I can bake it on a Cabbage leaf on a baking tray to be realy local. How can He take ownership of this? Then I have to try to assuage this perceived slight, just to keep the peace. Do I say this is not a problem with the bread tin? How else should I phrase this travesty of non stickness? That the non stick pans are Man stuff from space exploration and make us all sick anyway? It’s still not His personal problem... He isn’t a fucking rocket scientist and didn’t manufacture expensively crap bread tins.
I gave him a stern lecture about not owning fucking problems. That it’s not a problem if there is a solution to it... in this case a fucking Cabbage leaf. Why do we love them so much? They seem to be hard wired with a short circuit to self annihilation... that’s probably why God told us Women to look after them!
No pictures yet, but there will be in the coming months. I am looking at all my plants in a new way!
I described buying Olive Trees a few years back, and how I need to learn to prune them. They have all grown the wrong sort of branches. Tall sticky up ones that aren’t attractive. The centre of the trees have little foliage. I am going to try air Layering a branch each year from each tree.
Instead of thinking I am pruning, and wasting these branches, I am going to experiment with training them when they root and establish. I may end up with a very quick Olive Grove. It also means I can shape these trees. Bring the canopy lower and get these first five more like a bushy pleached hedge. I am studying them carefully at the moment, and working out a plan.
I also have an orchard of very old apple varieties in France. Many of these trees are coming to the end of their life. They are all very tall as well. My plan there is to regrow the orchard. Preserve the varieties and the Pear Tree.
Then what I plan to do is regrow them as Espalier Trees on a structure. The French are superb at doing this. I pass a gentleman’s Potager and admire his skills at this type of growing. I am going to pay him a visit, and ask Him to come and advise me on how to set up the new trellises and show me how to grow the new trees. I don’t want to be clambering up ladders into my Eighties. In approximately five years I should be able to have some excellent apples to pick from the ground.
I also have a Japanese Maple that is unruly. I am going to try air Layering the branches I was thinking of cutting back, to see if I can Bonsai them. I love this little tree it was a gift many years ago. I would like to try to grow more of them.
The next obvious thing are Roses... and Camellias. I see the most gorgeous camellias in peoples gardens. I am going to knock on their door and ask if I can air layer some cuttings. I am happy to pay a fiver for the privilege. Perhaps they would want to put the money to Shelter Box or something.
I have this Bizarre sense my Olive trees represent different Contnents of the World. I am not sure which is which, but the one by my French doors has been restrained since before Christmas. The gales were making it come loose from the ground, and it was beginning to lean over too much. A stretch elastic pink belt came in handy.
Now I feel I need to do the same with the centre tree. I wonder if that is Europe? I thought the one by the French door might have been America, but yesterday, I thought perhaps it’s Russia! They have enough sanctions to get straightened up economically. Besides I like the idea of Russia at my back door! I loved going there.
I am still treasuring my visits to Museums and Art galleries. Coming from a tiny Island that is nine miles long, and five miles wide, it’s mind blowing to get my head around how big Russia is. I really do want to go back and see more Monasteries. I want to go to Old Novgorod outside St Petersburg. I want to go to a lot of museums and galleries. I want to go on the new Silk Road when it opens, all the way to Japan.
Necessity is the mother of invention. Because we are so behind with the weather,I needed a fast start, low cost solution to bringing on seeds, cutting out the potting on and hardening off stages. I just want to grow the seeds in enough soil in a plantable root ball that rots in the ground and feeds the plant. So this is my solution. Seeds that don’t sprout in these containers can be reused for something else.
I also thought this would be a good way to raise money for Shelter Box by doing plant sales at a car boot event on a Saturday morning. I can cover my costs with a few plants, and then put the rest to Shelter Box. If this works I will send for a Shelter Box fundraising kit. Shelter Box needs a lot of dosh for Syria.
I checked out Creative Stone Castings locally who are having a sale after dropping the Husband off for a game of Pétanque on Liberation Square. I may just inset some stone slabs to the lawn. I also checked out Jon Hacket for some streaky Bacon, but it’s two weeks until he can cure enough for us to have a kilo. It’s worth waiting for. I wouldn’t eat anything else. I will portion it and freeze it.
I also bought another broom from Anderson’s in Quennevais. You have to choose a broom, I suppose it’s a bit like choosing a wand at Hogwarts! Anyway I found one to my liking, and am painting it with Annie Sloan paint for the House. Very colour co-ordinated me.
I did intend to plant more seeds. I got sidetracked into a new project. We have a Cordyline Palm in our little garden. It’s messy dropping it’s leaves all over the place. A friend told me recently She uses a few leaves and bends them into firefighters. The resin in them makes them go up a treat.
Well I have some exotic seeds to start. The first ones are Snail plants and Wild Iris. I began to think it’s such a phaff transplanting seeds. I decided to try a bit of basket weaving with the palm leaves. I think if the pots I make are open and loose, they will break down in a year, and just root in with the plant. Saves time transplanting, and doesn’t use plastic so much.
So here are my first two attempts. I did basket making as a child at school. I found myself thinking I could make Estuary nets out of this stuff. It’s so strong. I wonder if actual fishing nets could be made of it. Anyway there’s another thought. I have an old broom, perhaps it could make a prawn net. I like our local prawns.
Dont laugh at my first attempts. The idea is the container is loose woven. I will put some newspaper inside and fill it with ground and plant my seeds. They need to be spaced well apart. So when I come to lift them from the pot, hopefully this little net will keep the roots together and keep the plants more separate. Their roots less disturbed when I move them and the palm leaves will eventually rot down.