Tuesday, 31 August 2010

New Plants

It's funny how things work out, within minutes of posting my last entry a friend in the village contacted me asking if I wanted all the Perennials and shrubs she was digging out of her new veg patch. So I spent a couple of hours round at Julie's digging and came back with 2 barrow loads of plants, including a lovely Hydrangea and a Daphne. I then spent much of Sunday afternoon planting them. I would have liked to have put the Daphne in the front garden so that people walking past or to the house benefited from the scent in the spring but someone in the past 'landscaped' it 6 inches deep in pebbles so it has had to go out the back. I don't know if it was fate or what but it was just the lift I needed over the weekend.

I took the dogs out for a walk early this morning, the fields look lovely now they have been harvested and the straw is waiting to be baled. After the last couple of weeks of rain it was nice to be out in the morning sunshine.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Time to fess up

I alluded to the fact in my first update that the garden was in a bit of a mess and that this was mainly down to the weather, well if I am honest that isn't strictly true. I had big plans for the garden this year ; I wanted it to look really good for my birthday party in July. Unfortunately it got away from me, the large flowerbeds I have created were impossible to keep weed free. I think this was partly due to the fact that the perennials I have been planting haven't got established well enough to provide ground cover along with the really good growing conditions early in the year. The same was true in the veg patch and the herb garden, as fast as I cleared them they returned. Then I managed to miss a couple of weeks weeding duty and chaos ruled. Those of you you who have been following this blog for a while will know that I do suffer from bouts of depression and I think I went into one about this time and gave up.

I did manage to get it looking reasonable by July but after the party I gave up on it again. The thing that has made me want to get going again was when a Pear Tree arrived in the post, this was a birthday present from some friends and was a total surprise. Having a tree to plant meant that I had to plan the future of the garden as trees are long term things. So I have now decided on what I am going to do. I am going to get some more perennials for the beds in the autumn and plug the gaps. The veg patch and the herb garden are going to be re dug and the soil refreshed to try and break down the heavy clay a bit. I am also going to do some work on the garden studio as I feel if I spend more time in the garden it will help me.

I am actually sitting in the garden as I type this having a coffee break. I have been securing the boundary hedges to prevent the dogs escaping. So at least I am getting some of my motivation back. I know I am going to be have a very hard autumn and winter trying to sort things out, but a bit of hard work never hurt anyone.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Rain, rain go away, come again another day

We have had about 2 days of non stop rain up here in East Anglia, not that we haven't needed it but it is very depressing in what is meant to be the height of summer. Our poor hens have suffered the worst of it, the do have cover but the rain and the mud in their run makes them very bedraggled. I have put down loads of wood shavings to try and improve conditions but really it is only token relief.

I also feel sorry for some of the farmers around here, the weather has been so erratic this year that there are still unharvested fields of wheat out there. At a time when wheat prices are going through the roof it must be a nightmare for them. If they harvest it while it is wet they need to dry it using huge diesel powered driers, this of course not only cuts their profits but is very un-environmentally friendly.

The rain has also stopped me from securing the boundary of the garden for the dogs. They managed to escape earlier in the week through a hedge and fence I thought was secure, quite why you would want to go head first through 2 foot of bramble and hawthorn is quite beyond me but who knows what goes on in a dogs brain? Anyway they have been restricted to the concrete area at the top of the garden since which in fact does also have the advantage of keeping them relatively mud free as well. Hopefully over the weekend I will be able to patch up the escape tunnel.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Update Pt2

Harvest started around here in July and due to the weather it is still going on. The picture is a watercolour sketch of the combine in the fields behind the house. I tried to capture the vast amount of dust that it creates. They run day and night when they can, it is quite strange to see the bright lights out in the fields late at night it looks like something out of a Sci Fi film.

The garden at the moment is a real mess, the weather recently has caused havoc. I did manage to get it looking nice for the party in July but the weeks of drought followed by torrential rain has made a real mess. We have had a good crop of apples off our small Discovery tree, but the veg patch has really suffered. I have also had an attack of Botrytis on the Tomatoes in the greenhouse which has been a real pain, I think I helped cause it by over watering the other crops in there and getting the humidity to high, oh well will know better next time!

It has also been a real battle this year trying to get rid of the Red Mite from the hens. Last year we lost 2 birds to Red Mite so I have been really careful this summer, I have been disinfecting the coup about once a week but they keep coming back, my guess is they are coming from the wild birds that have been nesting in the garden.

The other big thing that has been going on in our lives is a joint effort to loose a bit of weight and get fit. To this end I have started cycling again. I used to cycle a lot but I had a couple of accidents which really knocked my confidence. I am now really getting back into it and am trying to get out for a ride of at least 20 miles each weekend and if possible a couple of shorter rides during the week. I have also setup a new blog to record my trips called Travels with the Pink Panther the Pink Panther is what I call the bike!

Life in the village goes on with the usual round of coffee mornings, church suppers etc but I will fill you in on them in the future.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

I am back. An update of the last couple of months Pt1

Hi everyone, I am back. I am sorry for the long extended summer break, basically it's been a combination of computer problems and pure laziness so I thought I would spend a couple of posts updating you all on what you have missed. I have now replaced my aged iMac which had all but given up the ghost with a lovely new Macbook pro so I have no excuse to ignore this blog any longer.

My last post was back in May when we were having some major work done on the house. We needed to get this done we could press on with decorating the utility room.

In June the Tennis season begins which means Sharron goes off to various tournaments and friends fly in from all round the globe. Earlier this year I had started dabbling with watercolour painting so I spent a fun weekend with a great friend called Meg who like myself is a Tennis widow. Meg who is an artist came to stay while her partner was working in Eastbourne, the visit had been well planned as her mission was to teach me to paint abstracts in acrylics. I must say these was quite a culture shop for me and took me way out of my normal comfort zone.
This is one of my efforts which I have called "Inner fire" I am not claiming any great talent or for that matter any great insight into my inner soul! I just like it!

Also at the end of June I held my first exhibition of my photo's at a local gallery which was really exciting. It went really well and although I only sold one piece the work was very well received.

We were really busy at the beginning of July as Sharron had Wimbledon on and I was preparing the house and garden for a major event, my 50th Birthday party. The actual event fell on the 13th but we had the party on the 17th, I am not sure how many people we had here 70 -100 I think and it was a fantastic day. Lots of friends and family came from all over the country and an awful lot of folk from the village were here. We opened up our 'bar' with a barrel of beer and erected a large marquee for the food.

So this is the first part of the update, in the next part I will tell of the new fitness regime and what's been happening around the village.