Tuesday, 29 May 2007

A re-vist to part of the Garden

This is the full picture which I tried to put alongside, but for some reason, I couldn't made it work. In fact, I have grown to be rather like the close-up of a small bit!

Things always move on in gardens. Some things go over and others come out - that is the nature of things.

Today we are going to revisit bits and add a bit.

These people were out on the Green, they are orphans. The black one has since died so the brown one is very lonely. The farmer always has a few orphans, who are brought up on the green, with lots of bottles of milk. Later they join the flock, but they never do as well as the rest. Very hard work.

This box was made by a local joiner to hold the papers. They used to be delivered into the

telephone box, but 'They' took it away, so we bought a plastic box and put it by the Village notice board, then we bought another and another because they broke, leaked, blew away and so on. In the end G decided that we had to do something better. All the people who get papers contributed. Unfortunately, today was the first wet test and water gets in when the lid is opened, so we have got to be inovative!

This is the second year for this Morello Cherry on the North wall of the house, near the back door. I hope that some of them will set and develop. I shall have to net it if so, otherwise my friends the Black Birds will get them all!

This does not do the Lilac justice. Maybe I took it a little early, it got better than that, but now the first flowers are beginning to go brown. It is by the back door and has been magnificent.

Here is one of two winter hanging baskets by the back door. I haven't had winter ones before, but saw these in a garden centre and decided to give them a go. They have been a great success. I am trying small trailing pansies for the summer ones - planted them yesterday but I'm not sure whether they will work.

These Hostas are near the Conservatory. They are two of many in the garden. I am extremely lucky that the slugs do not do much damage. These, like the rest are now much bigger. They were taken about 10 days ago.

This is a Viburnum - which one? It has been like a waterfall. Just going over now.
You can just see the bird feeding place. There are masses of birds about now, lots of them babies - standing there shaking their wings and saying 'Pleeease feed me' .
This is the same Viburnum seen from the other side - the vegetable garden.
Then I thought I would give you a view of said veg garden. Things are still small - it is no good sowing too early here even with global warming

That's enough for tonight. We will see some more of the front garden next time - soon! And cross the drive too before too long.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Catching up

I haven't blogged for ages, just a few comments on the main blog page. Now I can't remember what I last wrote about, apart from the garden on here.

Oh well - lets go to Saturday. A lovely day and I spent it in the car and a Hotel. It was worth it though. The drive was pleasant - not too much traffic and the countryside looking lovely. The Hotel was too hot but the people and the food were more than good - 103% perhaps?

I always enjoy my old School gatherings. Although the Association will have a limited life as there are no new members anymore, (for various reasons), I feel sure that it will see me out! We had a Committee meeting in the morning, which meant I had to make an early start, but we had lots of good discussions, then to the bar where the drink was free and there were a number of my old school mates and others I have got to know well over the years. No skool uniform but we do have a badge and I had remembered to wear it. Only problem - I had 1 3/4 hours drive home, so had spitzers. Excellent lunch in the best of company and then the Association AGM. I am arranging a visit to Durham later in the year, and was able to drum up some support. By the time it got to about 4.0 I was exhausted with all the lovely chatter. (It was abit like it might be if a group of us purple lot got together!) Got home without falling asleep at the wheel.

Had to leave this earlier as I was the host for a meeting of our new Local Ministry Group. This is a small group of people from the United Benefice (3 parishes and 4 churches). This evening we were discussing how to provide for the young in the parishes - not just the church people. Lots of ideas and I am sure something will come out of it all. Since then I have been talking to my son for at least 50 minutes. They are in the process of some major alterations to their house so he had lots to say (as if he didn't always!) Better be careful because I think he may well find us before too long!! As he is of a similar age to many Purple coos, he will probably understand more of the mad house chat than I do!! Only joking!

When I have got the notes written up from this evening, which will have to take precedence tomorrow, I am going to take those who are interested back to see one or two new photos of the first part of the garden tour, before we move on across the 'drive'. Look forward to seeing you there.

Monday, 14 May 2007

A Little Further Stroll

Before we move further round the right hand lawn, we must catch up on the way we have come already

Just inside the back gate, I mentioned a crab - it is now fully out. That shows you how far behind most of the country we are! Then, a little further along is a large white lilac. It had been promising much for some days and today it really is coming out, though still a way to go to be at its best.

The Kerria is just about over, but a Laurustinus in the bed by the Conservatory is flowering very well and I will try to take a pic between downpours to put here later.

On the way through the little gate, the yellow tree Paeony on the right is almost out. It sets seed most years, but I have not managed to germinate any.

In the far right corner, by the 'well' is a Prunus amanagawa which is blooming like anything,
Now, we follow the lawn back towards the house. There are a number of small plants in flower, which I thought I could show you, but can't find it. You've got one from May last year instead and taken from the other lawn. Half way along there is a Rose, Isfahan on a metal support. You may hear of this later on, when in flower. It looks hopeful at the moment.

And now the Broom - not as good a picture as I should like, but too late to get a better one this year.

As you look at it, behind your left shoulder, is a bed of Austin roses. Not doing very well but they will certainly flower before too long. Here is a picture of Graham Thomas taken on 27 December, 06, in mid Northumberland at 650ft up. Quite extraordinary!
So sorry, the pictures have a will of their own tonight and I can't make them go where I want! Still, they are there to see.

That's it for tonight. We will go to the other lawn next time, I hope!

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Church this morning

Today, I went off to the Church in Cambo, as we only have one service a month. Our Vicar is away, so we had a visit from the young son of our ex Vicar. He is such a nice young man and although there were only 8 of us in the congregation, he preached an excellent sermon with great conviction. The reason for this very short, pictureless blog is that I wanted to share two things from his sermon with anyone who visits.
First, there are so many blessings. We should all look about and find them. If we read the Bible (which I am very bad at) we find masses of things. And even when we are feeling low, we could probably find something. If I sat down now and started to list them, I would not get the Sunday chicken cooked!
Second, a comment from a woman who worked a miracle in improving the behaviour of men in a dreadful prison in South Africa. When asked how she did it, she said "God was always here, I just needed to make him visible" How I hope that just once in a while I manage to do that. God Bless you all. Luv Rho

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Through to the Front Garden

It is time to go through the small gate into the front garden.

And look back at the little gate! The Amelanchia which was what I meant to take can't be seen!!

Although this was never a farm house, the garden is similar in its layout. If you come out of the front door, you look down what was once a short drive, but is now more of a path. To either side there is a lawn, and a wall (listed 2*) goes all the way round.

We have come through to the right-hand lawn. In front is my latest piece of work. There was a huge Ribes, which the year before last I took the clippers/saw to and reduced it to a sensible size. Before, the birds always ate the flower buds, but this year, it had proper flowers on it! Don't know what that should tell me! Behind it are a tree or two, a Prunus mainly and rather boring Viburnums. I have planted all sorts of things in front but at the moment they are making a slow start. I find that shrubs and trees that I plant sulk for a year or two before they start to really grow!

To the right is a hidden path down the middle of the things in the pic. It leads to an arty farty little well, with no hole or water!!. Actually, a water diviner found that there is water about 20ft down! The tree(s) is a Beech which seeded itself many years ago. It was an absolute menace - the branches came almost to the ground and nothing would grow under it. There was a third one which shaded the place where we were adding a Conservatory. The beastly Council people would not let us remove the whole thing, even though if it fell it would demolish the end of the listed house!. They said that walkers coming down the right of way would miss it! At the same time permission was being given to 3 turbines which would blot the view for same walkers going the other way!! Any way, we removed one of the stems and pruned the rest of the tree hard back. It looked like a bottle brush, but now that it has done some growing it looks quite nice again and the shading effect has been partially dealt with. As you can see, things do now grow!

At the far end of that bed is this Seneccio greyii (now called something else). You can just see the top of the 'well' behind it. The Seneccio is all one plant. It is the biggest I have ever seen. I prune out all flowered wood in the late summer and cut it back round the lawn edge and anything that goes up too high. You will be subjected to another picture of this when the shrub behind comes into bloom.

Well, that's it for today. We'll carry on another day. The broom will be over, but I'll put in a picture of it, so that you don't miss it. Bye for now.

Monday, 7 May 2007

What a busy Weekend!

Before I start on the weekend, I must say that it is great to hear how many people are involved with their local schools. It is the most satisfying thing, even if exhausting!

Now the weekend. We had a cousin of G's staying, so:

On Saturday, we went to Wallington. First we 'did' the gardens. So you'll see a few pictures above - I have failed to move them to where I wanted to. Last time, I could. don't know what I've done different. After lunch in the cafe, we 'did' the house, which is always lovely to see, however many times we go. I love to talk to the volunteers, while our guest(s) ooh and ahh ably abetted by G! We came home to 'Sunday' dinner ie a roast.

On Sunday, we got away in good time, leaving G to recuperate! and went to Alnwick Gardens. As there was a gale blowing, the water features were not fully working (to conserve water), but she was impressed all the same. She was blown away by the walled garden, which pleased me greatly as I think it is marvelous, but some don't! We had lunch (a bowl of soup) in the Restaurant. A. was overcome by the wash basins which change colour! After that we walked down to the Castle and gave it a thorough going over! She was enormously overcome by that too, especially the pictures and furniture. I was not so aware before of how 'lived in' it feels. The family really do live in it, in the winter months, - moving elsewhere in the summer when it is open to the public.

I was exhausted by the time we had done all that and A, who is 10 years younger, was fairly weary.
We went on to my step daughter's near Rothbury, stopping at Eglingham (I think! there are several places that sound about the same, and I can never remember which is which,) a tiny 11th Century Church and the remains of a 'Tower'. The church is fascinating and we spent some time there, before going on. We had a very welcome cup of tea and A. was able to catch up with her God daughter. Then home to a nice easy cold meat, baked potatoe and salad supper.
A left this morning and we hope that she got home to London, safely, before everyone else blocked the roads.

Sorry about the awful muddle but I hope anyone who visits enjoys it regardless!

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

A busy day

Been hard at it today. At 10.00 some of the ladies of the Women's Institute gathered in the Hut to spring clean. This is the Hut that I wrote of in another place - i.e. falling down! Since I had last been there a great effort had been made to remove the stage - the piano had already gone - and it is now obvious what a large space we are lucky enough to have. Also rotten wood in one corner, previously hidden, though suspected. A newly covered screen hides the spot. Aren't some W.I. members incredible? One had recovered it in no time flat. She doesn't even live here anymore, but comes to visit her widowed father. Her mother's family have lived here since at least 1800 so she does feel an attachment to the place! Anyway, there we were with a dirty place, not properly cleaned for more than a year. The Group (5 W.I.s) are coming next week, hence the cleaning hormones at work.

One lady washed all the windows inside and out, two others cleaned all the walls. Another swept up the worst from the floor. A fifth washed up all the cups that we don't normally use as we expect about 70 ladies. I had brought my Oreck vacuum cleaner and hoovered under the 2 carpets, over them both and the surrounds after the sweeper. They were mighty pleased when I finished - it was horribly noisy! By then I had to leave, so left them to it and goodness knows what bits of gossip I missed.

(As far as preserving the Hut is concerned, we have decided that we have to try for the sake of all those who went before us and all who will come in the future - very worthy! The next step is a proper survey, so we are looking for a grant of £2,000 to pay for that. Then we will be able to make a proper decision as to the way forward.)

I went home, had a bite of lunch and off again to the School, where I found myself with Reception, working outside, sowing seeds with them. Groups of 5 kept on arriving to have their turn and of course at least one of the last group hadn't finished. I decided that I needed at least 2 pairs of hands, lots of mouths, and the last thing I was surprised to find I had - lots of patience! By the time we had finished there were a variety of containers, with seeds in, all watered and labeled. Some were sunflower, some sweet peas and one carrots. I didn't see what happened there! Probably a great clump of carrot seed in one place! The labels had the name of the plant more or less legible (they were 4-5 year-olds) and most didn't have the owners name! Oh dear! Then as the proper teacher had lost her voice, I was asked to read the story. It was the Enormous Watermelon. Great fun and involved several Nursery Rhyme characters, so at the end we had their rhymes. I am afraid to say I had forgotten 2 of them! After they had got ready to go home, they sang me a song they had just learnt, about a wriggly worm, which gave us all alot of pleasure!

I do love my afternoon there. I never know what I will be asked to do, but whether it is working with the children, or doing something like filing, where I can listen to them, I am happy!

I came home exhausted! However, the best therapy is gentle gardening, so off I went to the Herbaceaus Border, put some link stakes round the Paeonies and weeded to my heart's content, until the beastly East wind got too cold.

There we are, a lovely day and now I have just had time to do this blog before supper.