Sunday, 31 January 2010

The Big House

This is where the Rangers are based. I think I prefer our wee bothy,which is the old gardener's cottage. My favourite parts of the park are down by the burn and behind the walled garden where there's a peaceful sheltered shrubbery. So peaceful that deer come in to graze on the roses in winter.
Still struggling with urls and blueteeth etc., but part of the reason I started doing this was to learn computerology. I've had heavy clay that was easier to dig. But courage, ma brave, we'll get there.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

For Peat's Sake

Just been reading more blogs and came across the vexed question of peatfree alternatives. We all seem agreed on the problem and a thought occurred to me -leafmould. It has many of the same properties of peat and I think it would make a good seed compost. I first started gardening before organics had taken off and I turned to old prewar books to find non-chemical advice. Leafmould was often given as an ingredient of composts. It takes a year to break down, and Autumn's a long time away, but I'm off to the woods to inspect the area we stash all the leaves we sweep up. I'll experiment with it this year and spread the results.

Thank You.

Thank You, NHS and bloggers everywhere.
First off, anyone who moans about the NHS or worries about Obama's health reforms will get short shrift here. They should visit St. John's, Livingstone to see how it should be done. Apart from the excellent health care, which we take for granted, I've been so spoiled that when I woke up this morning I wondered when the lady with the tea-trolley would appear. Ah well. But it's good to be home and catching up with the blogs, hearing about your hopes and dreams for the year. (Yes, I know, I need to get out more)
You see, my passion for plants had become my job, and my mental energy was spent fretting about the thousands of bedding plants I grew for the parks. But now I've been promoted (?) to admin., I can leave that to the others, and potter around as good gardeners should, cos it's when you're pottering you notice stuff, like the first signs of Spring or greenfly. I'd advise anyone to take up drawing, as it really sharpens your powers of observation, and that's as important to a gardener as a good pair of boots. But I digress, or BI.d, as it shall henceforth be known. So a big thank you to all you bloggers, near and far, cos your enthusiasm's catching and I'm really looking forward to getting back to basics with you. And if anyone can explain in plain English how to get pix from phone to blog I'd be very grateful. Assume I know nothing!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Hooray for Hospitals And Hellebores

Going into hospital on Thursday for an eardrum graft, and I'm looking forward to a couple of days pampering, followed by a week off work. So I've been busy making lists of stuff for the troops to get on with while I'm away. There's quite a bit of planting to do as the bosses indulged in a spot of impulse buying. Keeps them happy and God knows the wee souls need cheering up. As the snow thawed even more rabbit damage could be seen, but it's on shrubs which will relish a good hard prune. Growth follows the knife my old tutor said. The apples though...I might need to cut them back and hope there's some dormant buds lower down the stem. First though I'll try grafting a bypass if Mick the Marmaliser will initiate me into these dark arts. Wish me luck! While I'm off I'll try and learn how to illustrate this blog and post some pics of the emerging Spring. The hellebores are just beginning to push through. Love them to bits. Soon be snowdrop time, they're all a bit late this year. In the greenhouse I'll sow carrots in tubs and outside I'll make a hotbed and start the onion sets and garlic. Getting hungry thinking about it, so suppertime. Night all.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Yew were right

Grrr. It's always galling to admit mistakes, but the yews that the chaps planted yesterday actually look quite nice. I retire in 10 years, so hopefully I'll be gone before they thicken up into a depressing black line.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Yews are my heart's delight
Hello! As no-one reads this, I will have a wee moan. Bosses! I have so many. Most of the time they're ok, but ...Still, my minions probably say the same of me. We have receieved a load of yews which are to replace the carpark fence. Apart from some poor sod having to break their back keeping them dwarfed, they're just so funereal. They seem to suck up the light. I quite like yews in penny numbers, I love the old one at Fortingall, and there are some lovely gold and prostrate forms. But no. We have ones that, while nice healthy specimens will, en masse, make the place seem like a cemetery. Am sorely tempted to sabotage, but I will leave that to the Summer temps, who usually manage to strim everything we plant.
Was reminded yesterday that January is the gateway, named after Janus, the god of coming and going. So here's to the future, soon be Spring. Candlemas in less than two weeks, and it will be light when I go to work. Yipee! Looking forward to the dawns.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Snow Fair

Aaaargh! So it's not enough that I spent the Christmas break shovelling snow, grovelling to fuel suppliers and rescuing Antipodeans. I've just seen the damage the **** rabbits have done to my espaliered apples. The varmints have been able to reach above the rabbit guards thanks to the frozen snow. Four years work destroyed by ravenous bunnies. Does anyone know how to do a triple bypass on a tree trunk?
If only I was callous enough to kill the little monsters, I'm quite partial to rabbit stew. Sadly, I have "Soft Touch" tattooed on my forehead.