Showing posts from February, 2009

I woz Googled!

I have not been able to visit blogs for two days not even my own one yesterday! Anytime I clicked on a link a Google warning came up saying I could not be connected as it looked as if the command was coming from an illegal computer or words to that effect! Sometimes I was able to click in to one blog and then was cut off after a couple of minutes! I could not open my own blog yesterday! Definitely worried then,closed down everything checked my Windows defender was working, that was Ok. Then checked if Windows firewall was working that was OK.Then ran a full scan on the Macafee security even though it is set to scan every week. Nothing detected there, not even query?
I am careful about not opening anything I am not sure of and chain emails are deleted immediately. We all get these from time to time passing on prayers etc but anything where you are asked to add your name to a petition etc is a way of gathering email addresses for selling on or spamming.
I turned off the computer and plugg…

Plots old and new

Our new plot! A bit daunting looking at it now,most of it was dug last year but has gotten a bit overgrown through the year. We were thinking of covering it with manure and black plastic and leaving it for a few months to plant next year, but then thought if we get it rotavated and manured in time we could sow potatoes in it for this year and dig out beds as we are lifting the potatoes.Time is crucial now as the seed potatoes will have to be in around April.

Our allotments are about a mile up a private roadway and not many people are aware of it, I could not believe my eyes when I saw this rubbish scattered around about halfway up the road in one of the fields.One of the drawbacks of being near urban sprawl. Zwena is on a mission to catch the culprit.

This is the end bed which was covered with manure,compost, cardboard and black plastic over the winter.I emptied the compost from one of the carrot barrels over some of it. The white fleece at the end is covering 6 volunteer potatoes I fou…

Hydro Allotments

I have hardly been able to get near the computer all weekend as my youngest son and eldest grandson were here playing computer games. I did not really mind as it was ideal weather for gardening.Ed,Kevin and myself spent a few hours there on Sat and as i had forgotten to take my camera I went out alone for a while yesterday and took a walk around the plots.I met some of our new plot holders having a look at their holdings, it is great to see young couples interested in taking up organic gardening.As can be seen in the photo top, nearly all of the plots are nearly ready to go for the new season.There will be great competition this year!

This photo taken from the lower end of the plots showing the right hand side of the allotments

This view is up the left hand side from the lower end also.There are 20 plots here in all and 5 in the walled garden.We had put our name down for a second one and Zwena told us on Sat that the lady who was next to us last year is taking one of the new plots so we…

Katy Jordan

Linda sent me through some photos of Katy today, I had to put one up here! She is only 2 days old today and has the household in the palm of her tiny hand. Linda has put up more photos on her own blog on amateur crafter.Grandchild number 15 and one more to go this year! So far as I know we have 2 First Holy Communions, 1 Confirmation , 2 Christenings and 1 wedding to plan for this year!
We have not had a baby girl in the family for over 8 years since Aoife was born, everyone is going gaga over pink frilly baby stuff!

Baby news and new look scarecrow!

Daughter linda gave birth to baby Katie at 04.05 am this morning, she weighed in at a healthy 7lbs 8 ozs. Mother and baby are great and she hopes to be home tomorrow. No photo yet as I have been under the weather all day with sinus but it is lifting a little now. Linda has 2 blogs on the go, so her readers on the amateur crafter and a photo one she updates occasionally on photo gallery may not see new posts up for a few days but there will be lots of photos up there very soon I would think!

Yesterday afternoon when I collected the grandchildren from school we paid a visit to the plot with a new raincoat for our scarecrow which was looking the worse for wear after standing guard all winter!Kevin and Aoife admiring his trendy outfit, his face needs redoing also but he does look a little more cheerful after his makeover!

Resuscitating the Tomatoes

The Tomatoes had grown long and spindly with no sign of second leaves forming.They were planted on 12th January, they had heat but probably not enough light and grew up thin and spindly.

I mentioned to daughter K. on Friday they looked a bit unhealthy and she said to plant them into new compost up to half of the stem in depth. So nothing to lose on Sat I did just that.I selected 5 of the strongest looking of each variety which is really enough of each if they survive!

Today Tues this is what they look like! They have grown in length again but all of them have tiny second leaves appearing and the downy furry ( very scientific)! stems that tomato plants have are also in evidence.

I have left the others as they were to see if they develop in to anything usable but some of them are actually keeling over today.
I read somewhere that each time Tomatoes are potted on they should be put in the new compost up to the base of the bottom leaves, this helps the plant to develop a stronger root system…

Happy Valentine's Day

An extra post today.No, your eyes do not deceive you, this is Jack from Georgia in the US, and no he has not relocated from there to Ireland! I recently bought a bag in Pam's Etsy shop and this was one of the lovely 'extras' she included. I intend to do a post soon on 'designer' bags and will include it.Meantime jack is wishing Happy Valentine's Day from both sides of the Atlantic!
Today was Kevin's first day back on the plot this year and he was thrilled to be up to his knees in clay again.He remarked to me halfway through that these were the best days!Here he is diligently filling the the compost trench for me. This will be the bean trench, started last Oct, I have been filling it with compost brought out from home.

Another day sorting out the fruit bed, I realigned the whole thing, moved one of the blueberry bushes which was easy as they are now sitting in tubs of ericacious compost in the ground.I dug it over, removing weeds and then we barrowed in 3 lots of well rotted horse manure.Even this did not faze Kevin when I explained the nice black crumbly compost began life as horse poo!There are lots of buds on the raspberries, blueberries and the blackcurrant bush which we gave a slight pruning to yesterday to open up the centre of it and cut out any branches that were damaged over the winter.

The asparagus got a handful of organic fertiliser and a mulch of h…

Spring Cleaning

Today was a beautiful sunny spring day and Kathryn and myself headed up to the plot, to pay our rent for this year which has actually gone DOWN. We started tidying up around the beds and checked what was coming on or not.Kathryn spotted this ladybird on a raspberry cane as we were working on clearing old canes and opening up the bed as there were too many canes per plant.We inherited these on the plot and this is the first time in 3 years we have been ruthless with them and cut them back. We thought it was early to see a Ladybird out and about?

This is the raspberry bed tidied up,we cut out quite a lot of wood and left just 2 of the strongest straightest canes on each plant.They will be tied in next week as march winds have yet to arrive!

We have decent looking rhubarb this year, the sticks are much thicker than any we have had so far and there are quite a few of them coming up.

We tidied up the Asparagus bed also. This is its 3rd year so we are looking forward to harvesting at long last…
I planted seeds for the sunflower Helianthus annuus Giant Single yellow on 8th feb 4 days ago and they have germinated already! These were ones bought from I only planted 5 of them for the moment, one seed in a pot

Tiny little u shaped seedling peeping over the compost, looks like a little periscope checking out the environment before coming up any higher!

I tried a little experiment while I was doing them and covered 2 of the pots with a plastic bag. The 3 without a bag cover have germinated first.

These are all the info leaflet which comes with each packet of seeds.I have a tendency to put things away and never find them again so I have laminated each page, punched holes and I am going to put them into a folder where all the info will be to hand.

plants and pots

Back to gardening,I planted seeds of Kelvedon wonder peas left over from last year on 27th January, not too sure if they would germinate, but they did in about 6 to 8 days.They were in a seed tray so knowing they have long root systems I decided to transplant them. I checked out root trainers on Sat last, My God they are expensive! I had started saving loo rolls for the leeks but decided to use them for the peas instead. I used them plus a kitchen towel roll cut in half and then made newspaper ones as well. We had made these last year for the PSB and planted the whole thing when the time came to plant out as they biodegrade. I cut strips of newspaper and rolled it around one of the loo rolls for size then stuck it down with paper masking tape.

Then to fill the mini pots with compost without pouring it all over the place, I made a scoop from a milk bottle ( with a handle).I have made these before for using around the shed or garden they really come in handy.I then cut the top half off o…

New York Odyssey

My youngest son and baby was 21 in 2007 and we went to NY for a few days.It really is the city that never sleeps and impossible to see in the time we had, but we fitted in as much as we could.We did the uptown bus tour, the downtown bus tour and took the ferry out to the statue of Liberty and visited Ellis Island and of course shopped.We stayed on 7th Ave just a few minutes walk from Times Sq and found it very easy to navigate around the way the streets are numbered.We got off the tour bus at Central Pk and went into the Natural History Museum mainly because we were frozen on the bus! We could have spent hours in there,B. has long red hair which drew comments a few times.People asked was he Scottish or Irish and we saw the only other red haired person we encountered in NY, because it was Thanksgiving lots of schoolchildren were queueing to go in to the museum and one little girl there had a head of curly red hair! Central park is an oasis in the hustle and bustle of the city and the a…

Potty Party

Posting recently about tea brings me to milk jugs.In 2007 daughter L. decided to have a birthday party with a difference. She brought us to The Craft Pottery in The Courtyard in Midleton Co. Cork. We brought bottles of wine and nibbles for the party athmosphere.Susan the proprietor of the pottery sells her own pottery and also does classes for adults and children and does not mind slightly tipsy adults let loose on her pottery!She had a range of blank biscuit fired pieces ranging from small items to large dishes etc for the more adventurous.We each bought our own item and then picked a bigger piece as a present for L.,which we all painted something on and signed.First photo is the group with the finished items ( we cleared away the party remains)!
Left to right: K. with vase: S. with a celtic goblet: L. with her mad cow cheese dish: M. with her vase and also holding the fish platter we gave to L: Myself with jug: J> with piggy bank.

J.,( baby Callums Mom)showing off her piggy bank.Su…

Eternal Optimist

I don't know if it is eternal optimism or just plain fool hardiness but today I set out more potatoes to chit.I cleared away the debris and egg boxes and only reused any seed potatoes that did not have a hint of a tooth mark on them. The remains of them are on the left of the photo, over half of the original ones were thrown away.The centre row are another bag I had bought and are also British Queens, a second early. The box on the right are Coleen, an organic first early which I was dying to try out but had trouble sourcing here but they were sent up to me from Co Wexford.

One of the reasons why gardeners are optimists, today this little crocus was peeping up in my raised flower bed.It is between a lemon thyme on the left and companula to the front. I love the companula as it covers the rocks in a purple cascade all summer.This was a tiny slip my mother gave me years ago and I have slipped it over and over again.

Another solitary bloom, this time it is Dianthus or pinks as they are…

More Nanny Knits

Scott who is now 5 months old, modelling his aran style cardi and hat which I made recently.He seems to think he looks funny in them because he giggled and wriggled while his Mom was trying to take the photos.

Ok Mom enough is enough,I have things to do!

Baby Callum trying out his crochet blanket for size, he is now 3 weeks old and a little angel.
Baby knits are so quick to do, and with 2 more on the way they need to be!