Thursday, 28 February 2013

Time to catch up...

Finally I am feeling half normal again and yesterday I managed to spend some time outside. The weather was lovely and warm, perfect for pottering around outside.
I spent most of my time checking on what's happened while I've been ill for the past couple of weeks and when I saw all the jobs that needed doing I decided to write a list, this will give me a purpose each time I go out rather than wandering around aimlessly and getting nothing done.
By the time I'd got to number 42 though I gave up!
42 jobs so far and those aren't even things like seed sowing or scarifying the garden, they're huge projects like replanting the borders and building a new compost bay - I think I may have set myself too many tasks and if that's the case I'll get demoralised and nothing will get done, again!
So instead of doing jobs here there and everywhere a bit at a time I've decided that i will concentrate on jobs in the actual garden first as this is the area we have to look at all the time - well that's the theory anyway!

Anyway, I had another look at those 6 Garlic cloves I planted earlier in the year, I'm amazed they're still growing and showing no signs of rot or death yet. This is the first time I've ever got Garlic growing even to this height
Wish I'd planted loads more now!

And remember those Dogwood cuttings I took here? well every single one of them is showing signs of growth - this is another first for me as I have never been able to propagate it with any success
Dogwood cuttings

And what about those Olive cuttings I did at the same time as the Dogwood? Well, I can't really tell if they're rooting but they're certainly not dead - or at least they don't look it!
Olive cuttings.

As well as checking on things I also managed to find the energy to cut some Willow ready for a Willow fedge (though I'm now thinking maybe a Willow fedge is not a good idea. I need the Willow to help with the boggy area but Willow is terrible for any kind of hedging in my opinion, it just never looks quite right).
I haven't decided if the Fedge will actually go ahead yet so I've just stuck the Willow in a bucket of water for now, they'll be happy there and will start to root pretty soon at which time I can decide whether to pot them up or plant them out.
40 willow whips waiting on my decision, next to the filtered seaweed tea.

I also strained off that Seaweed tea which didn't smell anywhere near as bad as I thought it would. It's now waiting in containers to be put to use but I'm not sure what the shelf life is and how quickly I need to get it used up, I think maybe it's something I should have put off until the summer months when I can actually use it.

Today is another dry day, not as sunny as yesterday but that just makes the polytunnel more comfortable to be in (it got reeeeeeally warm in there yesterday) so I think I'll do some potting up and seed sowing.  Oh wait, I'm supposed to be concentrating on the main garden - oops!

Anyway I will leave you for the moment with a piccie of my garden helper. He helps an awful lot around the garden, what with his digging and pooping (insert sarcastic face) and never really gets the credit he deserves, so here he is
Huntly! My best pal.......holding his best pal - Fimble.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Life in the fast lane

OK so that was an outright lie, I'm currently stuck in the crawler lane, the one where even a 3 wheeled Reliant Robin overtakes at great speed!
I'm finally on the mend which is a good thing but I've also had to admit that I need a doctor (only took 10 days). I rang the doctors surgery at 3.30pm yesterday to try to get in on a last minute appointment only to be told that surgery is closed until Monday :((

I actually ventured outside yesterday, boredom made me do it! I had all these notions of pottering about and doing just some simple stuff like cutting the Willow for a fedge and watering the fruit trees in the polytunnel, stuff that wouldn't take much effort or energy - who was I kidding! I basically made it round to the greenhouse and polytunnel and had to sit down - I was flippin knackered.
I waited for another energy spurt and eventually made it into the polytunnel so I could check on that Seaweed tea I started before I went on vacation.

From this:-

To this:-

Yum yum!  Not!  I didn't even have the energy to drain the stuff and get it into a tub.
Looks gross doesn't it! But it's full of yummy goodness for my plants. Mind you I think I should summon the energy to filter it now while I can't smell anything!

So that was my extent of yesterdays gardening experience, oh, that and reading my 'Gardeners World' magazine. 
Mind you I did have fun watching my husbands Eagle Owls.

Monday, 18 February 2013

There's light at the end of the tunnel

Another gorgeous mild, dry day here in the Highlands and I'm still holed up with this Flu, this is so going to set me back. I should be cutting Willow, digging over beds, finishing the pruning and seed sowing by now!
The Flu itself appears to have just about given up and that's a welcome relief however Sinusitis has taken its place and despite being drugged up on every legal OTC medicine I can get my hands on the pain everytime I move my head is pretty excruciating. It would seem I will just have to ride this one out and while I am so tempted to at least give the gardening a go I know it will just set me back, especially while I have this cough.

So for now I am maintaining some semblence of sanity by reading all those gardening blogs I love - thank you, and catching up with all the gardening magazines I have. While these do fill me with optimism they also headline what I'm actually missing out on in the garden but on the upside I have a whole list of new projects to add to my current list of projects and I'm sure I'll be able to get started soon - fingers crossed!

In the mean time I ventured as far as the bedroom window and took a couple of piccies.

Hard to feel sorry for me "holed up" when I have this sea view to stare at from my bed isn't it! In Spring the field will be full of Lambs and they are hilarious to watch.
sea view from my bed.

This is as close as I'm able to get at the moment to keep an eye on the tunnel. I sneaked out the other day insisting I was checking on it despite feeling like crap, it was all I could do to open the doors I was so weak. I felt a right fool shuffling back to the house.
All that land and no ruddy energy.

Now here's something I spotted in Jamaica and would love for my garden here. Wonder how much it would cost.........
Metal horse

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Jamaican flora part 2 plus..........

So the cotton wool brain I spoke of in my last post didn't turn out to be a dreamy post vacation glow as I had originally thought, it was actually the first symptom of Flu!
Yep I have spent the past week holed up in bed fighting the big fight against what I am convinced cannot be your average Flu, it must be some exotic flu that I bought back with me - does "normal" Flu really feel like this?
I'd love to be able to claim that I have fought this disease both valiantly and bravely but I'd be lieing! Nor did I fight it quietly!
I used to be proud of the fact that I have a high pain threshold but this......this......Flu has been more unbearable than childbirth and has left me as weak as a Gnat in water!
I've finally been relieved of the achy bones and muscles but the vice gripping headaches, acid etched throat and congestion continues, as does Neuralgia and for some strange reason aching bulging eyeballs. To top it off I now have conjunctivitis and want to scratch my eyeballs out and asthma has flared up again - I am not a happy bunny!

However, i promised another post full of Jamaican Flora and so here it is.

Travellers Palm. The gardeners did a fabulous job of training some of them into fan shapes.

Bamboo. This stuff grew everywhere and I love it! I have tried many different varieties here in the Highlands but haven't had much success. I would love a forest of bamboo.

Beautiful Plumbago.

Hibiscus. I saw these in red, White and Blue - so pretty!

Rooms at the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton resort were in Villas and each villa was 2 storeys and had this to greet you on entrance. The gardeners really did do a fabulous job at this resort.

Palm seedpods. We were quite tempted to bring some home and attempt to propagate them but I assumed we wouldn't be able to bring them into the UK.

More totally colourful Bougainvillea.

Sniff, sniff! I so wish I was back there.

While in Jamaica we spoke to one of the gardeners who had a novel way of propagating some of the shrubs using a plastic bag. I'm not completely certain of the procedure so I'm trying to get the information and once I have it I will not only post it on here but will be experimenting with it myself.

I have so much I need to be doing out in the garden just now but I just don't have the strength to do it. I'm a very impatient person and I know I just have to get better but I really need to get those Willow cuttings done and into water before they begin growth in Spring or I won't be able to construct a Willow hedge this year.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Jamaican Flora

2 days back from Jamaica and I'm ready to go back! To be honest I was ready to go back the day we landed, in fact if I'm being brutally honest I didn't want to flippin come back at all! (insert sad, desperate face).

I've had a day or so to mooch around the garden and inspect the damage from recent winds and I am relieved to say that the damage is minor and easily repairable.
I'm currently scratching together our veg plot plans and kind of regretting not having done it before I went away. Why I thought it was a good idea to leave these jobs until I got back from vacation when my brain has been replaced with cotton wool is beyond me!

For now though I will just have to share some of the images I snapped of the gorgeous flora of Lucea, Jamaica and be transported back to the warm, warm climes of the Caribbean.........
Apologies in advance that I don't know the names of pretty much all these plants, though feel free to fill me if any of you guys do!

I do know this one though! A rather large Oleander (?) that makes mine look pretty naff! And I think that is Bouganvilla beneath it - what a lovely combination.

Haven't a clue what this is!

I think this is Bouganvilla. It happily grew everywhere in a rainbow of different colours.

One of my favourite flowers but I have no idea what it's called.

This bush had Jasmine type flowers only larger and with no nothing like Jasmine really....except they're white!

Love the contrast.

That is just a snippet of the photos I took, I'm thinking I should post them in 2 posts - maybe 3 - rather than just one humongous, overly long post.

Now I'm off to stare ate photos of white sands and azure blue waters.  I think I may just need another holiday.