Tuesday, 25 December 2007
Monday, 24 December 2007
Friday, 21 December 2007
Direct Sun High: 1C
Weather Today: Another bitterly cold grey day.
I managed to get a bowl of Hyacinth in flower in time for Christmas and the family coming to stay so I took them over to the big house for them yesterday ready for their arrival.
Anyway everyone else is in bed so I will be heading off that way myself now, take care and have a good weekend.
Wednesday, 19 December 2007
Low Temp: 2C
Shady High: 6C
Direct Sun High: 12C
Weather Today: As you can see from above today has been much warmer than of late due mainly to teh sun putting in an appearance for the first time in a week.
Todays picture from our Scotland Holiday was taken at Dalmally, we called in here to take a look in the gift shop and church, the gift shop was open but unfortunately the church was close.
I couldn't help notice in the garden how well the Geraniums have stood up to the cold weather we've been having. I've always considered them to be tender plants but is seems that isn't so as the ones in the picture are no less that 20 feet away from a thermometer that took a reading the other day of minus 6C and these aren't the only ones to survive. I have small group that survived all last winter planted out in the border and are still going well to this day.
Monday, 17 December 2007
Shady High: 3C
Direct Sun High: 3C
Weather Today: Another dull, cold day
I hope you all had a good weekend. I enjoyed my time off although we had a bit of an upset on Saturday evening when Fallon called from town to say that someone had stolen her purse so had no money for a taxi home. Unfortunately they also got her cash cards and driving licence along with a few other things. When Vicki got there some police were across the road so she went over to them to tell them but they weren't really interested telling her to go to the police station, no doubt they had more important things to do.
Today has just been another one of those tidy up days for me. I had to go to the farm for another gas cylinder so I also picked up some more hay for the sheep as I don't want to be running round for hay during my holidays. I wasn't really looking forward to going as the tractor wa playing up last time I went but after a bit of a cough and splutter it didn't go to badly. I will need to get it looked at after Christmas though as I need it to be running properly for when the grass starts growing again.
Saturday, 15 December 2007
Jeanette asked about the deer in last nights post. As with all the pictures at the start of the posts the picture was taken during our holiday in Scotland, at the moment these were taken during our visit to Loch Tulla.
Today I’ve been doing a few odd jobs at home. Someone from the church broke an angel so I’ve been sticking the pieces back together again, I’ve not done to bad a job and feel just about ready to tackle Humpty Dumpty any time soon.
Almost done, just the tip of one feather to add.
I also put up a curtain rail in the bedroom as Vicki has made some new curtains to go with the new wall paper, I will take a picture when she has the curtains up.
That’s about it for today, its been a quiet day.
Friday, 14 December 2007
Shady High: 1C
Direct Sun: 2C
Weather: A bitterly cold day when it was hard to keep warm even when digging
I had hoped to get the border that I’ve been working on finished today but I didn’t quite make it, to some extent because of the cold but also this morning I had to go to the farm to get some hay for the sheep which wouldn’t have been such a bit job if the tractor had gone ok. There was some dirt in one of the fuel cans I use and its got in to the tractor, this was a while ago now but I think it must have clogged up the filters. Its about due for a service anyway so I will see if my boss will let me get them out to it.
Yesterday my sister Judith and niece Suzanne when to New York for a week, I messaged her this afternoon and it seems they had a bit of snow there yesterday.
Yesterday I had to take the Christmas trees to the church. The estate provides two trees and I get the job of taking them round and erecting the bigger of the two which was a ten footer, the smaller one was around four foot.
My mum phoned today wanting to know if we needed them to bring anything in the food line with them for Christmas. They are coming to stay with us over Christmas so that will be nice.
Also yesterday the former lady presented me with a Christmas card and six bottles of wine as a Christmas present which was very good of them.
Wednesday, 12 December 2007
I was only joking about the prize money by the way.
Y'all have a great day,
Tuesday, 11 December 2007
Shady High: 8C
Sunnyshine High: 12C
Weather: A bright sunny day after a cold frosty start to the day.
Yesterday and today I've been tidying up and forking over the shrub border that backs on to the veg garden. There were a few shrubs that needed bringing under control before I could do the forking so I got those seen to and burnt up.
We have some of Vicki's friends from Church here today, they are wall papering the bedroom for us, I think it's been a bigger job than they first thought. I must confess to having no DIY skills whatsoever which is why reinforcements are needed.
Digital Flower Pictures made a comment on yesterdays posting about scotland. I know he lives a long way of but its well worth the journey and the people are really wonderful friendly people.
Well Jeanette I only managed a shandy at the meal because I was driving my parents and Vicki home. Vicki offered to drive but I thought as she doesn't like driving in the dark also she had been at work all day I would do the driving. Thats my feeling about back stabbers too, I would rather spend my time with my family. Its a shame really as I would like to support the community but thats something which is a two way thing.
Monday, 10 December 2007
On Saturday morning misunderstood Tommy and I managed to get the Christmas tree up ready for when Vicki had time to decorate it, this she did yesterday after going to church and she is still at it now. She has finished the tree and is doing other bit and bobs around the place now. I will take some more pics when she has it all finished.
I’m going to finish now and go and give Vicki a hand to bring some of the empty boxes back in to the store room until after Christmas. By the way the Scotland picture is still from the Loch Tulla area, this one being taken from Victoria Bridge which some of you will remember from the West Highland way.
Saturday, 8 December 2007
Wednesday, 5 December 2007
Shady High: 14C
Sunnyshine High: 16C
Weather: Mild for the time of the time of year, breezy with some showers.
My first job of the day is to check on the sheep of which there are 47, these are just across the road from the gardens so its quite a pleasant job to start off the day. I then usually take a walk around the gardens before opening up the potting shed and then checking around the greenhouses. There isn't usually much to do in the greenhouses at this time of year, not in the way of watering anyway. If there is any potting to be done I usually try and save it for a wet day or in the late afternoon when it's going dark. This morning was a bit different in that after checking on the sheep I then had to take the Christmas tree to the house and erect it in the main hall.
Kimmie asked where I grow my Chrysanthemums. They will grow outside with no problem, mine spent all some outside in pots and I then brought them in when they started to flower, mostly they went in to the conservatory but they would be just as happy to be planted out in the flower border. If you live in a particularly cold area though it would be best to lift and store any that you value then either take cuttings or replant next spring.
Tonight I'm going to show you my Hyacinths that I'm forcing on for Christmas time. I bought nine bulbs, three each of pink, white and blue. I've brought them on at fortnightly intervals so hopefully this will give a flowering period of six weeks. They have been in the cold store with the fruit since September, they start off in individual pots and then when it's time to bring them out I pot them up in to the bowls that they will go in to the house in. In this first picture you can see the stage in which they come out of the cold store.
From the cold store they are put in the cold conservatory for a couple of weeks by this time they will have come on to this stage.
Now this is the time to bring them on in some heat so from here they are moved to the heated greenhouse and this extra heat will bring them on nicely as you will see from this picture.
Y'all take care now and I will see you again tomorrow.
Tuesday, 4 December 2007
Shady High: 12C
Sunnyshine High: 12C
Digital Flower Pictures mentioned about Christmas trees today in particular asking what sort of trees we have here in the UK. I would think that the most common one is the Norwegian Spruce although there are several others that have become popular over the past few years the 'Frazier Fir' being one of these along with 'Blue Spruce'. Whatever sort you decide to get just remember for a while at least its a live plant and should be treated as such so don't forget the water. Of course the easiest way out of all this watering and needle dropping malarkey is to buy an artificial one. Some say they are fool proof, others have said that you can't tell the difference, and from what I've seen of some people at Christmas, I think they could probably be right. Anything is fool proof and and looks much the same as anything else when the fool has drunk half a bottle of Whiskey. Anyway for those of us who tend to stick with the odd glass of Sherry or can of Fosters I have included a couple of links below to help you choose your real live for now Christmas tree.http://www.woodsfarm.co.uk/treeinfo.asp?cat=selection
Monday, 3 December 2007
Yesterday we had a very enjoyable visit from Vicki's sister Julie and her husband and daughter Phil and Nikki. Nikki is expecting a baby in January so everyone is very excited about that. They arrived a bit later than expected due to a hold up on the M1. When they arrived we headed straight out for some lunch in a pub, it was a carvery and very nice it was too. We haven't been to that place before but I think we will go again some time in the future. So we all had a good day really.
Today at work I finished off forking over the long Dahlia border that I started last Friday, I just about got it finished for lunch time and a good thing too as it was throwing it down with rain afterwards. I didn't manage to cut the old canes from the main crop Raspberries and I cut down the Herbaceous border but didn't manage to get it cleared up, I will try and get that done in the morning.
The three Christmas trees arrived this morning, one for the hall and two for the church, I have to put the one up in the hall on Wednesday morning with the help of the cleaning ladies.
Sunday, 2 December 2007
For those interested in checking them out below are a few Chrysanthemum links.
This is one of my favourites, Vicki got it as a small pot plant last year, I will be sure to take more cuttings of this one in January. I have the names to the next too but I can't rememeber them off hand but I will check tomorrow and add them later.Bob.
Saturday, 1 December 2007
Here you can see the superviser inspecting my handy work, I'm not sure if he's very impressed or not do you? I guess it was okay as he didn't cock his leg up at it so thats something anyway.
Jim has been kind enough to add me to his blogroll so thanks for that Jim and thanks also to anyone else who has been so kind. I am really pleased to read that Mrs Jim is also enjoying reading what I write - it makes a huge difference knowing that people enjoy what I write, especially since I had to delete all my other stuff.
Also Matron asked about the greenhouses at work, I haven't answered you because I intend to do a posting about them this next week.
Well I'd better go now, I hope you're all having a good weekend - not many more now until Christmas!
Thursday, 29 November 2007
Shady High: 9C
Sunnyshine High: 14C
Weather: A bright and cheerful day.
The various parts.
Wednesday, 28 November 2007
Low Temp: 3C
Today I've been taking the tops off the Dahilia's as the frost at the weekend blackened them off. I also dug up the ones that I wanted to raise some cuttings from next year, they will also act as an insurance policy incase we have a bad winter and the ones left out in the ground don't make it. So I have at least one of each variety drying off at the moment, I will get something to store them in next time I go to the garden centre. Do any of you store your Dahlia's or leave them in the ground I wonder? If you do lift and store what do you use to store them in? I've always used the tradition medium of peat but as that's becoming less and less PC its probably time to think about using something different. There were years when I was at the farm when I lifted and boxed them and never put anything around the tubers and they still seemed to do okay the following year but I don't think this is a standard method.
Also today I've been cleaning up the door handles to the conservatory. I don't think they've been cleaned since Queen Victoria was on the throne to look at them. This information will be totally useless as far as most people will be concerned, with relation to greenhouses anyway as I don't think there will be many off you with door furniture like this on your greenhouse but who knows it might come in handy for something else and I find it interesting anyway just to see the difference one can make.
In this first picture is one of the door catches from the greenhouse before it's removal, as you can see its pretty dirty. I take it off the door completely which is a job in itself as the screws don't want to come undone.
Once this is done I scrape off all the old paint and then put all the pieces to soak in white vinegar. For this job I cut a plastic bottle right down the middle to make a bath. I leave then in a couple of hours or so and then take them out and give them a rub with some fine wire wool. I repeat this process again by which time its pretty much got rid of the tarnishing although one piece as gone back in again and I will leave it there all night as its really bad.
In the picture below I have dirty and cleaned items just to show you the difference. The vinegar softens the tarnish a treat, when that's all removed I shine it up with some ordinary metal polish.
The two pictures below are the first catch I did from the conservatory door, I have the another one off the conservatory ready to be polish and the one in the first picture in this post is from the greenhouse which should be read to be replaced by tomorrow.
The only trouble is they now show up the paintwork! Did you know that in times past polishing the door catches to the greenhouses was the daily job of the garden boy, THIS garden boy will do them once a week if they are lucky and maybe not even that often in summer.
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Tonights picture from Scotland is taken near to Loch Tulla, we went for a run over there on the Sunday.
A couple of months ago I was visiting Merle when noticed a couple of pics she had posted, if you want to take a look for yourself go visit her blog and then look up the Sunday, 9th September, 2007 and you should see the pics I'm referring too. The thing is when I saw them they reminded me of the picture below which my mum has on her bedroom wall. I don't know what you think.
The other picture is of the Christmas tree ornament that I told you about bought in Calendar when we were there on holiday. See Monday, 19 November 2007.
I will be getting off now as my dinner is nearly ready.
Friday, 23 November 2007
Hi everyone, I'm just going to do a quick post during my lunch break today as I have David and Jo coming over later and then I will be going home to visit my parents for the weekend so I won't get the chance again for a couple of days.
Todays picture is a view on the way to Bridge of Orchy, you may have seen another picture of this mountain in my 'Hiking Gardener' Blog.
There is a shoot on this weekend so all the family are up until Monday, I got another 3 loads of leaves from the garden this morning so thats looking pretty leaf free for them. There are still a few pockets of resistance left but they can wait until next week as I need to tidy up the conservatory a bit this afternoon as it looks like the plants had a party whilst I was away last week, there are leaves and bits all over the place.
We had some men round today with another lot of rubbish bin, well I say a bin, but in actual fact its more of a tub and apparently its for putting bottles and stuff in, there is also a bag for papers. The only information is whats written on the bag so I'm not really sure what we are supposed to do with it or anything. There are 11 families living here in the courtyard area and as far as I can see they left only 4 tubs - go figure that one out! They left a bin each at 3 of the houses and the 4th was in the middle of the lawn so I took that one.
Well thats it, my cheese sanwiches and tea have all gone and my time is up so I will say bye bye and wish you all a great weekend. OH YES! I just remembered Merle wants a picture of a picture that my mum has so I will do that for you this time as I went and forgot last time didn't I - bad Bob!
Thursday, 22 November 2007
Low Temp: 3C
Shady High: 9C
Sunnyshine High: 9C
Weather: As you will see from the difference between the shady high and the sunny high there has been no sun today. We started off with showers which gradually turned more persistent during the afternoon so much so that by the time I took Tom for his nightly walk it was well and truly persisting it down.
I got to thinking today of a post I read by ‘Girl Gone Gardening’ http://girlgonegardening.blogspot.com/2007/11/global-warming-report-is-out.html I think most people accept that global warming exists and even those that can’t see it wouldn’t object to us reducing harmful emissions. It seems to me though that the biggest obstacle to achieving unity in this aim is the actual government and its negative enforcement policy, as far as the UK goes anyway. What with the speed taxes, congestion taxes, fuel taxes, pay as you dump taxes and of course the lies about Iraq a lot of people either resent being forced in to making changes by people they see as cheats or just don’t believe what they are being told anymore. You can only lie and trick people so many times before they catch on and once that happens what you say loses all credibility. They have the ability to read every car number plate as it passes so if a driver drives through an area under the speed limit why don’t they credit them in some way, as it stands all there is, is punishment. If you’re as old as me and grew up in the UK there was a time when you wouldn’t find an empty bottle in the rubbish bins let alone littering the streets and this came about by encouragement unlike today’s proposed pay as you dump tax which is one of discouragement, in other words, positive enforcement rather than negative enforcement. The reason you found no bottles is because you got something out of it if you returned them. I remember when I worked at Chatsworth House the gardeners would be always checking out the bins to see if the visitors had thrown away a bottle, it was quite a thing between some of them to see who could collect the most bottles. So you see there is nothing new about recycling, the difference is that these days it’s the government who is collecting the cash which as I say to a lot of people I talk to at any rate is a source of resentment and they see it as just another get rich quick scheme at our expense.
Wednesday, 21 November 2007
Low Temp: 6C
Shady High: 11C
Sunnyshine High: C
Weather: Today has been much brighter and a little warmer.
Hello, how are you all doing? Hope you had a good day so far.
Tonights holiday snap is from the west side of Loch Lomond taken at the visitor centre near Tarbet. We stopped here for a while, Vicki went in the visitor centre and I did some more relaxing. I can't be sure but I think the mountain you can see in the distance is Ben Lomond. Loch Lomond is around 24 miles long and 5 miles wide, just so that we are all clear about things, Loch Lomond is the one with a song written about it and not the one with the monster in it, that one is called Loch Ness and is further north near Inverness whereas Loch Lomond is closer to Glasgow.
Today has been another leaf clearing day has have been the last two, and still there are more leaves to be collected. We aren't talking about a quick 10 minute scratch around with a rake either, this is serious non stop stuff, well except for lunch and tea breaks. They're piled so high in places that I don't even bother with the rake or leaf blower I just fork them straight on to the trailer. I'm taking them in to the wood where I have a leaf pile. I empty out the leaves, level them off and then compact them by running up and down the heap with the tractor, the pile now resembles a big leaf wedge, anyone who's seen a silage clamp being made on the farm will have an idea what I mean, anyone else will have to guess as I don't want to compromise security by posting a picture of it on here - I'd hate to go in the morning and find one of you had been and taken them all!!
Last night we got the parish magazine which is one of the highlights of village life. It starts off with the parish council looking in to dog poo in the village. Im thinking they probably read Red Queens post http://redqueen.typepad.com/the_music_of_things_happe/ and having sorted out their women folk are now checking for similar problems in the local dog population. It then finishes off with a warning by the Royal Mail of a postal scam. In between these articles you have someone saying how the parish council have done nothing to resurrect the bus service into town but that's the same old story. Once upon a time there was a shop, post office, butchers, club and bus service but they all closed (and from what the vicar has to say the church is about to follow). One has to ask why did they close, I wasn't here so I don't know but I assume it wasn't from over use. Its no use bitching about this, that and the other not being available to the community anymore, if you'd used it when it was there I'm sure it would still be here today. The truth of the matter is the village is dead and what we have is a group of people pretending. The annoying part is that its the very same sort of people who killed it off in the first place.
Lets see, what else does it have to say? Oh yes here is a funny bit for you.
Two men waiting at the gates of heaven strike up a conversation.
"How did you die?" the first man asks the second.
"I froze to death" says the second.
"That's awful," says the first, "how does it feel to freeze to death?"
"It's very uncomfortable at first," says the second, "but in the end its not too bad. How did you die?"
"I had a heart attack," says the first. "I knew my wife was cheating on me, so I went home unexpectedly. I found her alone in the bedroom doing some knitting. Then I ran all over the house looking for the man, starting in the basement, but just as I got to the attic I had a massive heart attack and died."
The second man shook his head. "That is so ironic," he says, "if you had only stopped to look in the freezer, we'd both still be alive."
I'll just mention one more thing from the magazine. If you remember I told you how the village club has closed, well apparently its due to be opened again shortly. There is to be a pre-launch Christmas Dinner on the 14th, numbers are limited and seats are £15 per head, it finishes off by listing the committee members of which there are 7 with a further 2 waiting to be appointed.
Tuesday, 20 November 2007
Low Temp: 4C
Shady High: 8C
Sunnyshine High: 8C
Weather: Another cold damp day, it came on to rain around 4pm.
Tonight’s picture is of Callander high street, I know its not very inspiring and I promise there is much better to come but I’m showing them in order so as not to make things too confusing – when you get old you don’t want anything that resembles confusing. Anyway I wasn’t going to show this pic but I though you never know maybe the likes of lets say Merle or Jim might like to see what Callander high street looks like on a Saturday morning so here it is, this is the last picture from Callander because from here we drove round to Loch Lomond which is near to where our cottage was situated. Before leaving we both decided we needed to go to the toilets. I know, its not something you generally want to hear about but the funny thing was that when we got there you needed to put a 20 pence coin in the machine to get in to the toilets and guess what? Neither of us had a 20 pence coin! Luckily there was an attendant there so were able to get some change from him. Life is just one big adventure isn’t it.
Frankie @ Veg Plot has made a couple of comments one being that I shouldn’t have told you all I was going away or you might have come and burgled me – please, don’t waste your time as I took everything worth having with me on holiday. Besides you’d be lucky to get past lord Dastardley and his merry men. As for the comment about missing the snow we did actually see some on the mountains and it was snowing one night when returning to the cottage.
Thanks for all your comments and best wishes while we were away, it was very kind of you all.
Monday, 19 November 2007
HIGH TEMP: 5C
SUN HIGH: 5C
WEATHER – A very dull, damp and cold day. Occassional rain.
One of the first things we noticed when we got to Callander was how friendly the Scots are, we did already know this from when we lived there and is one reason why we keep on returning but after living here for two years and only having people speak when they want something it was a real pleasure to have people come up to you in the street or shop and just start talking like you were their neighbour or something.
Tonight’s picture is of the river and parking area in the small town of Callander. We arrived there at 9:00 am after a 4 hour drive, I parked up facing the river and took a little nap while Vicki took the dogs a walk. I don’t do much driving at home so I did it all on holiday to give Vicki a bit of a break from it. After a rest and a bite to eat we went a walk around town, Vicki was delighted to see that a Christmas shop has opened up, it was just jam packed with all manner of Christmas decorations, we wanted buy one for our tree but it was a devil of a job trying to decide which to buy. Whilst in there a lady came up to us and started telling us how there is this one department store is looking to hire a Santa for over the Christmas period but they won’t set anyone on that is over weight! I know, it beggars belief doesn’t it but that’s what she said – who ever saw a slim Santa – I think if people keep on getting dafter the way they are dogs will end up being smarter than people.
This afternoon I turned a couple of the compost heaps and then raked up some leaves that had gathered by the conservatory. There are lots of leave to collect up now after being away for a week. I think someone has been tipping them in the garden while I was away!
Well I’m going to go and get my dinner now, its always a good sign when I can hear Vicki bangin’ around in the kitchen.
Friday, 9 November 2007
I'm going to be getting off now, I hope you all have a great week.
Wednesday, 7 November 2007
This picture is of a plant that I started off last Spring and as I say there are actually five cuttings growing as one plant. It's now growing in its second pot.
Well I'll be getting off now, y'all take care now.