Showing posts from January, 2010

Heigh ho heigh ho its off to work.....

I went out to the plot yesterday but had forgotten to charge the drill battery so the scarecrows arms could not be put on. I charged the battery overnight and today myself and Kevin set off. This is another birthday present getting an airing, its a canvas bag with pockets and tools around the outside and room for the essentials inside.We have no water on the allotments as the pipes were affected by the recent cold spell so the flask is an essential on a cold morning.
It was sunny but very cold after frost , even Kevin opted for a warming cup of tea!We fixed up the scarecrow and left after about an hour. Kevin was going swimming with his Dad so we had to be home early and it was so cold I could feel it coming up through the soles of my boots!
The potatoes chitting on a windowsill, I have not put them out to the shed yet.These are Colleen an organic first early.There were 30 seed potatoes of varying sizes in the bag. I will also put in a second early and leave it at that.
The potato is put…

Sowing the seeds of (Success)?!

The first seed sowing of 2010 has taken place.We are being more cautious about the amount of seeds we are sowing early as I am sure there is too early especially if the weather does not suit young plants being put out when they should due to late frost as we had last year.Most seed packets have a little piece which tells how long from sowing to harvesting for the particular seed and I think if this is extended too far then the best crop is not obtained from the veg.
This morning I sowed Greyhound cabbage which can be sown Spring and Autumn for fairly continuous harvesting.We like cabbage but not a glut of it in a few weeks. The Cos lettuce is a winter variety which can be sown now until it is time for the summer varieties. Cauliflower All year Round is self explanatory again something we like in moderation for as long as possible.
I have made a record of the sowings and will make a repeat sowing the end of Feb
I had compost in the shed since last year when I bought an offer of buy 3 or …

Rhubarb and Robins on the plot

This morning was bright and sunny with a definite hint of Spring in the air so I paid a quick visit to the allotment to check how we had fared over the cold weather, I must say not bad at all!I pulled aside some dead foliage from the rhubarb bed to find nice fat red shoots about to burst forth. The severe frost was supposed to be up to 36cms deep but it has not checked the growth of these. I am surprised as they had not been covered with any manure over the Winter, we had extremely wet weather in Autumn when we should have been doing the last of the digging and covering so the rhubarb has been uncovered in the coldest spell we have had for years.
I am going to pay a visit on Friday morning with suitable work wear to cover it with manure now, as we are forecast another severe frost over the weekend.
I picked up a fork and stuck it into the ground expecting to hit frozen soil and I nearly tumbled forward, the ground is so soft!The frost has broken up the sub soil I think and the thaw has …

Spring is Here!!

We are back to severe frosts but this morning dawned bright and sunny so I decided to check the front flower bed.I think I just needed to get out to the garden anyway and breathe in some 'green' air!Lots of daffodil bulbs around and under the shrubs,I think some grape hyacinth are appearing under the willow. I have heard it mentioned that the frost has been so severe this year it has gone down to 36cms which I think is what they can get in Canada with their prolonged cold winter! Our daffs are a hardy plant to pop up through that. Maybe they knew we were getting a big freeze as they have been up by the end of November early December for the last few years but narry a sign of them this year until well into January?!
This strange looking tree is a miniature tree called a Kilmarnock Willow,
I tie the branches like this each Spring to help it keep its shape as I found the branches are inclined to grow straight up after a couple of years.The string is not visible once the leaves grow…

A Varied Week

The week kicked off with Callum's first birthday party which he enjoyed with extended family, his hands are being held away from the cake but he did manage to get a handful of fresh cream!
Jack got his first tooth!
Scott has been walking for a while but I never got a photo of him in action, I think he just stopped here to pose for the camera.
The weather has not been conducive to outside gardening so I have been finishing off items I had started and which can be done beside the fire!These are two grown up sweaters for Scott.The turquoise wool was part of my stash but a little to girly for a boy so I teamed it with cream for one (with the V neck) and with navy for the second one (with a shawl collar). They are double knitting yarns but I knit it doubled as Aran weight on 5mm needles to make them nice and chunky.
My crochet is very basic and I find it impossible to follow a pattern so it can be slow ripping until I get what I want. The two hats were done like that, I did the blue one fi…

Hard Drive....Slow as a Snail

I have had some computer problems for a couple of days hopefully now sorted by very patient SIL Rob! It took me about 2 hours to get the previous post done as Blogger was loading so slowly.I published the blog and had to turn off the computer after about an hour of waiting for it to load as I had to go out for a few hours.I thought it had published but I could not work on the computer for nearly 2 days to find out. I could turn it on but Windows was not opening.
It was still in draft form when I finally got back online last night!
I have answered every ones comments on the relevant posts until I can visit everyone again.
Thank you for visiting and leaving comments while I have been incommunicado, they are all appreciated.

Gardening Friends Project

I said in my previous post that I had received my gardening by letter package yesterday.Anna over on Flowergardengirl blog organized this mammoth task. There was one recipient for each month we all sent our cards to Anna who then undertook to send all of them to that months lucky participant.It was my turn for this month and what a lovely bundle of gardening related cards etc I have received. My daughter remarked yesterday on seeing the contents of the package it is lovely to receive 'nice' post, no bills ,circulars, junk etc.We have lost the art of letter writing in this age of text and computers.
I received such a myriad of beautiful gifts, the rule being they should fit in an envelope!Handmade bookmark in cross stitch,coffee and cookies, magazines and material.Music, lots of seeds, bought and some saved from the writers own gardens, some of which I have already seen in flower on their blogs! The yard long beans I will have to Google!
Crafty stuff ,scented soap & handmade …

Fog & Frosty Weather

First of all I am so excited by today's post! My gardening by Letter project package arrived from Anna of Flowergardengirl blog. I will do a post about it tomorrow as it deserves a complete post to show and tell!
The Met office said we were in for a thaw and the weather would improve so the Minister for Education said the schools could go back today....but we had freezing fog last night and woke today to treacherous roads with black ice, visibility was down for most of the day as fog lifted and then came down again in a blanket as dusk fell.
High tides yesterday evening meant a lot of localised flooding (again!)Some areas in West Cork were impassable between icy roads and floods. Today at lunch time as I drove out to pick up the girls I found myself looking down on the Lee Valley bathed in fog!It was like being in an aircraft looking out at the clouds.
Top pic could pass for the legendary Scottish village Brigadoon appearing out of the fog once every hundred years!It was a musical ba…


Son Billy showing Callum his first snowfall!The pristine white landscape of the past few days has changed suddenly to wet and windy!The rain beating on the bedroom window woke me this morning around 6.30am.Yes was forecast yesterday that the south would be hit with gale force wind and heavy rain which would fall as snow on high ground and farther up the country.I drove out to Blarney to pick up the two girls who are off school today, the roads are flooded and we have a few waterfalls which appeared overnight, one in particular across from the Commons Inn is pouring down on to the roadway in torrents.
DIL Janice with Callum and puppy Rocco getting in on the act!Rocco is partial to carrots and ran away with the snowman's nose when nobody was looking!
The ground is frozen solid which is why we have water now flowing across roads etc.A lot of houses around the city and country are without water,mainly due to frozen pipes but also because the water level in some of the reservoir…

Snow White

The snow arrived as forecast this morning, small dry flakes falling on very cold ground means it stayed and is accumulating.Forecasters said we in the south would get 3-5 cms of I think we have that now, would somebody please make it stop!
There is nothing like the imminent threat of being snowed in to focus our minds on warmth and food.Last night I made a pot of Leek & Potato soup, I had to buy 2 leeks to make it as ours are frozen out on the plot.I also made 2 brown wheaten loaves, now I have always made brown bread from scratch as it is simplicity itself but I had seen a bread mix in Aldi and I have been meaning to try it out so yesterday I did. One pack makes 3 loaves which for 1.49e and a litre of milk is about as good value as you can get.The mix packet would make a good store cupboard standby, the bread tastes as good as anything I have made or tasted so I will be using it again. I would use buttermilk when making brown bread but it is getting more and more diffic…

Big Freeze

The big freeze is set to continue for another 10 days it seems.Snow is forecast for tomorrow in the south, listening to the radio this morning I heard that the ground is frozen up to a depth of 30cms!This is having tremendous effects on any crop which is still in the ground and will seriously delay spring crops being put in.I took photos at home this morning of the bird feeder and bird bath (water in a flower pot tray). I think this black bird was hogging the bird bath, the thrush was hopping impatiently on the gate post.
One of the bird feeders by the door and the black bird is still hogging the bird bath.
I took Kevin and Scott out to the Lough today as Kevin had never seen it frozen over. Yesterday afternoon some one fell through the ice and the City Council broke all of the ice around the perimeter with a JCB. Crowds of people assembled around the Lough yesterday when schools which had not closed due to the weather left their pupils out. The girls were lucky to get out there during …