Friday, July 10, 2009

2 Day Catch Up, 8-9th July 2009. Arboretum makeover

Tuesday 8th July 2009 and Weds 9th

Because my 'rounda rounda' washing line isn't very well, Jim put up a proper line for me. I love washing on an ordinary line. Jim can't see the attraction:

Some more of those gorgeous raggy poppies have come out so I made a photo montage of the red and white ones:

One of these is on the new rockery I made behind the sleeping shed. It's really filling up now. I planted a lot of wild flowers there:
I have some house leeks growing out of one of our walls and they are in flower at the moment. The flowers are surprisingly pretty:They're like little stars, aren't they?

The arboretum has become a bit overgrown again and we decided to attack it yesterday. Jim mowed the grass and I cut the edges of the snake shaped rose bed. Well, I managed half of it. I did a few other jobs first. Here's the 'before':
Do click on it to enlarge it if you like.

Doesn't that look better? I had only clipped half of the rose garden edge at that point and dead headed all the roses. Today Jim sprayed them against black spot for the second time. They are already much better and all the new growth is black spot free.
You can see how long the edges were, they nearly reached the middle. I have finished it today but didn't take a photo as I have the other beds to edge first.

The builders have been busy plastering the sun room, the largest of the extension rooms. Martin came to us on the arboretum yesterday and mentioned that he was playing at Peppers that evening. Peppers is a 'music' bar in Feakle, about 15 minutes drive from us. It is famous for the music sessions held there. Martin plays flute and he was billed as the 'special guest'.

We decided we'd make the effort and go. It started at 9.30 but I'm watching the 'Torchwood' series on tv this week, every evening from 9 - 10pm, so we decided to go after that. We had our very first peas and broad beans and potatoes with chicken kiev and our carrots too. Oh deliciousness indeed.

We had never seen Martin play before and he is very very good. There were a few musicians there, the regular fiddler Mark, his mate on the guitar, 2 more flautists, another fiddler, a lad on squeeze box and a lady from France with a harp. It was really crowded but we managed to get a seat after not too long a wait. Martin played a solo and it was beautiful. The lady on the harp played 2 solos and they, too, were wonderful. I've never heard such a pretty and resonant sound. Guinness was flying and everyone had a great time. I think Martin was pleased we had made the effort to go. On the way out I removed the poster from the wall:
Martin is Martin Glynn. I blue tacked the poster to the front of his van today, which he thought was most amusing. He wanted to keep it so I photographed it and gave it to him! We talked much about the music today. Martin's wife is a music teacher and his parents used to have a band, so you can see where Martin gets his musicality from. He is much in demand and I can see why. It's funny, after he'd played his solo, he tried to shrink into the seat, he really is quite shy.

So another surprise evening out for us. It was really worth it and we should make more effort.

Today we carried on with the arboretum, Jim weeded the acer bed and I finished the edge of the rose garden and weeded it then Jim put a layer of compost all along it as a mulch. It looks fabulous now. I just have the edges of the large bed and the small bed to do then it's finished for now.

Then I went down to the orchard and picked more blackcurrants. I gave Joe some before he went home then picked loads, mostly from one bush and we have lots of bushes!
Look how big they are. This is a bush we had already picked from the other day! I came in in time to watch tonight's episode of Torchwood at 9pm. It's getting quite exciting and the last one's tomorrow night. I mustn't forget...

I had a play with Buster earlier. He has a ball on a rope and loves it, especially playing tug of war. Jim took some photographs of us, so I made a montage of them:

It's rather small, so it would be better to click on it to see us in our full glory! In the last one, Buster decides to try and sit on my lap!! He is so funny.

I dyed some more towels navy for our new bathroom. Now I have lots:

I also took a couple of photos of the lobelia in our hanging baskets, they are so pretty and such striking colours:

I took a photo of Buster earlier:

If I can extricate the ball from him, I then manage to throw it and he fetches it, but won't give it to you!

We've spent quite a while this evening pulling blackcurrants from their stalks. A bit of a tedious, and rather sticky job. Jam making tomorrow.

My oldest step Great-grandson Connor has swine flu. Poor lad. He's not too poorly I gather and has something from the doctor to help him over it. In the meantime it's 5 days in quarantine inside the house. It does seem to be everywhere in the UK now.


Anonymous said...

You stay so busy but all your hard work shows in your lovely gardens. Your towels are going to be so pretty for the new bath. That Buster is a doll baby - I can't get over how long his legs are compared to Harriet - she is actually shorter than our cats!!!
Good luck with the jelly making and have a great weekend.

Feedsack Fantasy said...

What gorgeous gardens you have ... they are beautiful, the poppy I had never seen before. Poochie is a cutie ... I am so glad my jelly making days are over ... the orchard makes it just as good as do I. TTFN ~Marydon

Arija said...

My oh my, your garden is fabulous. I too love clothes flapping on a line, there is something so satisfying and CLEAN about it. I love the time I spend hanging them out and folding them up at sunset. I have always cherished those moments as my private time for enjoyment of the fresh clean smell and the changing light....

In your second trimming shot, what are the lovely pink candles on the right-hand side, they look quite spectacular.
Glad you went out for a bit and could enjoy the music and soak up the Guinness and atmosphere.

A line trimmer is great for trimming edges or mowing steep slopes and so much quicker and easier than bending down. I used to mow 3 acres in our mountain top garden with steep sides as well as 10 miles of road verge on the farm.
There is always so much to do in the garden and so rewarding when you can just go out and select what you would like for dinner.

Lovely post BT.

Carol said...

I don't know where you find the energy!!

I've been loving Torchwood (made me cry last night!!)....last one tonight!!

C x

Jason said...

I'm sure you have some method, but when we had to strip loads of red currants we used a fork, slidding it down the strands. Excellent method.

The night out sounds excellent! I shall show Jack the pics of Buster with his red ball thingy that Jack played with lots!


Leatherdykeuk said...

I love those poppies!

Try using a fork for the black currants.

DK Leather said...

Cor! Wonderful fun... loved the pictures of you and Buster :-) and your night out sounded smashing.

Btw... I really like fresh washing on a proper line too, it just looks 'right'!

Sam said...

You know that if you put the 'stork' bits of a berry stem between the prongs of a fork and run the fork downwards it takes the berries off without damaging them? I taughht Jay that after seeing him trying to pipck redcurrants for a jelly he was making once. Poor connor, it is everywhere at the moment, I am dreading it because of Kitty being so small, the drugs are only recommended for use in kids a year and over.
Poppies are lovely, never seen them with fluffy edges before.


BT said...

Hello Mildred. When we first had Buster, he was a tiny puppy and we thought he'd have short legs too! How wrong we were, they just grew and grew! Glad you enjoyed the garden photos.

Hi Feedsack, we keep working on the garden. Buster is a cutie, if rather naughty.

Hi Arija, I wondered whether someone would point those 'candles' out, they're lupins. Jim grew some last year and they've done really well this year. They look wonderful against the dark leaves of the Sambucus 'Black Beauty'. There are some closer shots of them on another day's blog. I'll try to find it for you.

Glad you appreciate my love of washing on a proper line.

A line trimmer? Do you mean a strimmer? I did have one that did edges but it used to make my back ache! I'm so happy you enjoyed the post so much Arija.

You big softy Carol! I thought John acted quite well in Lanto's death but it didn't make me cry, just a bit sad, after all, he has plenty of time for lots more lovers!

Jason, I did use a fork in the end. The only downside is, if they're a bit ripe, it squishes them!! OK for jelly though. Has Jack seen the piccies of Buster yet?

Rachel, aren't they wonderful, the poppies. See above!

Hi K, I thought of you when we were at Peppers, thinking how much you would have enjoyed it. Buster and me piccies are fun, aren't they? Of course you like washing on a proper line!! ~smiles~

Hi Sam, see reply to J for fork and blackcurrants. Ours are ridiculously huge, not normal at all, and often squish with a fork, but I did revert to it last night!

Glad you like the poppies, I'll try and get some seeds and you can sew some in the bit outside your Suffolk barn.

Ces said...

BT you are so full of life! You never fail to make me smile. I love the montage of you and buster. Yes! Line-dried clothes but I put mine in hangers.

BT said...

Thank you Ces. Oooh, there's posh, washing on hangers!

Heather said...

Hope Connor will soon recover. Apparently swine flu is milder than 'ordinary' flu, so why the dire warnings in the press? They do love to scare us, don't they? Those houseleek flowers are lovely and look quite exotic. Stripping blackcurrants is so tedious but the end results are worth it. If you make jelly every time you don't need to be so careful and can just strain out the bits.

Bea said...

Isn't it amazing how much work these gardens take? It's good that they are our passions. We have rain today so I am working inside, for a change.
Love those poppies. I don't think I've seen anything like those around here. My hanging baskets are looking a little raggedy now. I suppose I'll have to cut them back and give them a dose of something.
Blackberry jam? yummmmmmmmmmm

Heckety said...

After reading of all your activities, and looked at your photos I think I need to rest...the energy of yous! The music sounds great! Dilly's boyfriend is apparantly something of a trad singer and she says with a few pints in him he just sits and sings, she says he can get a whole pub going in a few minutes once he starts. I hope I get to hear him. Music is such a gift.
I hope your boyo is soon better from his piglet flu!

BT said...

Hello Heather, Connor is not doing too badly thank you. I think he's a bit sorry for himself. Someone died from it today, with no other health problems. I've always thought of houseleeks as rather boring, but I love those flowers. We usually make blackcurrant jelly but Jim wants to make some jam. Personally I don't like the jam!

Hello Bea. It is hard work but I do enjoy it, as do you. I love those poppies, I hope some of the others are different colours. Our hanging baskets are still ok, but they do get raggy. I usually trim them up and dead head to try and keep them looking better.

BT said...

The music was lovely Heckety. Let me know if you get to hear the boyfriend sing! And if he's any good. Connor isn't doing to badly, obviously under the weather but not serious thank goodness.

Renee said...

The raggy poppies BT. How beautiful Mary does have her garden grow......

Love Renee xoxoxo

BT said...

Thank you Renee! Mary tries!

jinksy said...

What with the vegetables, fruit and blackcurrant jelly, your blog is a vegetarian delight at the moment! Yum, yum...

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your arboretum looks so good now that you have manicured it. I like to listen to Irish music. I have some friends that get together twice per month to play with a small contingent of like minded musicains. That Buster is a cutie. I bet he can wear you out playing with his ball on a rope.