Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Pricking Out Day.

Today I've spent most of my time pricking out and planting, thankfully the weather has not been so good again so I haven't minded spending all my time indoors.
Below are some Begonia's that I'm growing from seed, these are so small and difficult to transplant but I wanted to do it so as to avoid damping off if possible.

Here are some of the other things that I've been pricking out, there are Lobelia, Nicotiana, Chilli Peppers and some Petunia's here.

These are Petunia's and trailing Lobelia for the South Front wall.

I also planted the Tomatoes in the greenhouse border this afternoon as they were getting too big for their pots.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Tenax Mastic.

Thank you The Gaudy Garden for your comment. The stuff I'm using to try and repair the earn is a mastic that is intended for sticking stone and marble. You have to mix a hardener to the resin at a rate of 3 parts hardener to 100 parts resin. It goes off pretty quickly even on a cool damp day such as today. I also bound the whole lot together with some wired so that it didn't try and seperate before it was set. I slid the earn around on the board tonight and it seemed solid but I will leave it as it is for a couple of days to be on the safe side. I don't know how long it will last as only time can tell us that.

Earn Repairing.

Good morning everyone, I hope you’re having a good day. This morning Bob has been trying to repair the earn that got broken by the frost last January. I’m not sure if I will be successful but at least I tried. It doesn't want to fit together very well in some places but its not too bad and will weather over as long as it doesn't fall to bits again before hand.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Chatsworth Park

View Of Carl Wark.

Everything is going ok apart from a slight sore spot on my left heel. Walked 6 of the 17 miles so far. Stopping for a break.

Going for a walk.

Today bob is going for a walk, click [HERE] if you wish to see some of the details of the walk.

Friday, 26 March 2010


We've just arrived in Richmond after our visit to Leyburn which is the home to one of Vicki's favourite shops which is called Serendipity.


Today me and Vicki are taking a day trip to Richmond via Ripon and Leyburn in North Yorkshire. This is Weaver Of Grass country but I haven't spotted her or the farmer yet.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Work Book (Week 11).

[Click on the page to enlarge]

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


Friendship isn't a big thing
its a million little things.


Today we have gone home to Derbyshire as its my mums birthday and we are taking here out for the day then tonight we are going for a Chinese meal with the family.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Wentworth Garden Centre.

Today me and Vicki went to a garden centre, thankfully there was a bit to see indoors as the weather outside was not pleasant hence the fact that the picture below is devoid of people. This particular garden centre is nice to visit as they have a little garden that is open to the public for free so if the weather is nice you can have a walk round and a sit down. Also there are other retail places there besides the gardening side of things.

I’ll tell you what Emily, if I’d had a can of Stella I would probably be more capable of doing two things at the same time!

No Gardening.

This week Bob is on holiday so there won't be much in the way of garden work being done but no doubt I will find something to talk about even if its only to say 'I just fell over a mole hill'. That'll teach me to blog and walk at the same time. It also proves I'm not a woman!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

New Table And Chairs.

Our nextdoor neighbours are moving out this week and are unable to fit their dinning table in to their new kitchen so as they were selling it Vicki decided to buy it from them. Its a very nice piece of furniture made from solid oak.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Pics Of Last Weeks Walk

Today Bob is over at his 'Hiking Gardener & Misunderstood Dog' blog posting pictures of last weekends walk so if you want to join him I'm sure he will be pleased to see you all, just [click here].

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Work Book (Week 10).

Here is my work book for last week, I've had to post it the old way by scanning the actual pages from the 'Work Book' whereas I have been copying straight from the computer but for some reason its not turning out right tonight. Anyway for a better view click on each page to enlarge it.

Bindweed Barrows

Well spotted Emily Anyone who sticks around long enough will realise I'm like the seasons that govern my life, I blow hot and cold, have dull days and sunny days and in general repeat myself on a regular basis. Anyway just out of interest for those who don't have as good a memory as Emily here are yesterdays bindweed barrow and last years bindweed barrow.



Wednesday, 17 March 2010

A Rabbit Tail Is Best.

I managed to get the ground between the soft fruit forked over and the bean trench dug out so I'm pleased about that.

Also today I noticed that a few flowers on the Apricot tree in the conservatory were starting to open so at lunch time I gave them a little tickle with my paint bruish.

As you can see I use a very small brush but in actual fact the best things to use for polination is a rabbits tail but its the devils own job trying to catch one and even worse trying to polinate flowers with it, the darn things drive you nuts the way they keep on wriggling!

This morning whilst checking round the greenhouses I noticed chew marks on the small lemon tree that I have.

I can only assume its the mouse up to its tricks again as I doubt even a slug would tackle something that large.

Hopefully this next picture will give those hope who struggle with the likes of bindweed. I'm sure there have been those in the past who have said, 'its alright for Bob he doesn't have to contend with all this bindweed like I have to'. Well its true there isn't a bit of bindweed in our garden, Vicki sees to that, she is a proper bindweed terrier so so the stuff wouldn't dare even look at our garden. My boss on the other hand isn't so lucky and there are certain parts of the garden where its a never ending battle to keep on top of it, the Raspberry patch being one such place, so you can see from the picture Bob does understand and he has the back to prove it.

Forking Between The Raspberries

Today I am going to be doing more forking between the Raspberries and also digging out the bean row in readiness to incorperate plenty of grass clippings.

Who'd Be A Woodpecker?

I'm out with the dogs at the moment and welve just been watching a Woodpecked looking for breakfast high up in the branches of an old Ash tree and I couldn't help feeling that its a hard way to make a living.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Signs Of Spring.

I think that we all have a little something that tells us that Spring is here, for some it maybe the first sighting of a Daffodil or buds swelling on the trees or even the ground drying after a long soggy Winter. All these things are pointers to me that Spring is close by also I can feel it in my bones but the two things that really make me feel that the worst of Winter is behind me is the arrival of the first Formula One race of the season which was last Sunday and also the removal of the bubble wrap insulation from the greenhouse which I removed this morning. Or at least half of it was removed this morning. I really hate having that stuff up but unfortunately it’s a necessary evil of the times. How I would have loved to have been a gardener when all you had to do to compensate for heat loss from the greenhouse was to throw on an extra shovel of coal although had I been around in those times I would have cursed having to turn out last thing at night to stoke up the boiler so really I am satisfied with the way things are although it often comes to mind that the more the human race progresses the more backward it becomes but anyway that’s another matter. You’ll note that I only removed half the bubble wrap and the reason for this is that the hot house still requires heating at night so it would be a waste to remove the insulation from that end of the greenhouse. I wanted it gone from the cool house though because that is where the seedling will be going in time and they need all the light they can get also it needed taking down before it got filled with seedlings and other things.

The cool house with and without bubblewrap.

The rest of the day has been spent forking over a border on the north front, there were also a few more roses to be pruned there but nothing to serious, mostly it was forking and weeding and the time passed quickly enough.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Dwarf Iris

Hello everyone. Today Bob is taking a day off from the garden as I have to get all my hols done with before the end of this month so as Vicki has Mondays off I thought it a good day for me to take a holiday unfortunately her boss saw fit to have off the same day so Vicki has had to work but never mind.

Sue or maybe it was Martyn from
Green Lane Allotments asked me if I know the name of the Iris in the picture below.

Well if i remember right its called Katharine Hodgkin and we got it from Bloms Bulbs about 3 years ago. I've included a link to their website below where you will see they have several varieties of dwarf Iris. You actually treat them more as you would a bulb than a normal Iris as all their foliage dies down in a few weeks and there is nothing to be seen of them until next February/March time.

Bloms Bulbs (Dwarf Iris) .

Saturday, 13 March 2010


Lunch Break

Hello everyone. I just stopped for a lunch break. The walk is going well although the weather is much colder and very windy up here on the hill. I'm taking plenty of pictures to show you when I get back.


Today Bob is off walking, I will try and keep you poted through the day if I get the chance. I'm not sure how the posts will turn out as I can't always attach pictures the same post as the writing for some reason so you may get writing in one post and pictures in another but we will see. Also if any pics are posted they won't be of great quality, the good ones will be on the hiking gardener blogspot after I get back.

Its a nice day here at the moment and I'm raring to get going which is always a good sign so I will be off now. Take care and have a nice day.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Seed Sowing Day

Hello everyone. Here it is not such a good day as far as the weather
is concerned but that's okay as its seed sowing day and I would have
been working indoors anyway. Tomorrow I'm hoping for better for my
walk though as the places I'm going are pretty exposed. Right - what
seeds am I sowing then? Well I will tell you there are several lots of
Petunia's, some trailing Lobelia, Impatiens, Sweet Peppers, and a fun
thing I want to try and grow called an Echium. Well best go riddle
some compost now. By the way its always a good idea to buy a good
quality compost for seed sowing also protect from slugs even if you
think you don't have any because they can come in the night and take
all the seedlings as they come up and you'll end up blaming the seed
company for bad seed or something. I usually just put a small piece of
glass over the pot or slip it into a freezer bag. I'll take a picture
later to show you what I mean.

Sent from my mobile device

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Breakfast time

Breakfast time in the village.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

The Flower Garden (Week 10) [Part 2].

Here are a couple more pictures of the spring bulbs, the first one is an iris and the other one is of snowdrops of which we have quite a few dotted around the place.

Did I Prune The Wrong Plant?

This morning I did more rose pruning but this afternoon I'm having a break and burning pampas grass instead.

Whilst watching for signs of the situation getting out of control it suddenly came to me that maybe my life would be easier if I burnt the roses and pruned the pampas grass instead. I'm off to dig up some bind weed now so that will be a fun way to end the day.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The Flower Garden (Week 10).

Tonight I'm going to show you some pictures of Crocus that I took yesterday, I hope you enjoy looking at them.

Before I go Matron asked me if the sheep had any lambs yet, so I will just tell you that they haven't, they usually start around the end of this month.

Another Rose Pruning Day.

Oh dear my poor back aches and my hand feels like the misunderstood
dog spent all day chewing on it. I've spent most of today pruning and
tidying the rose beds on the North. Front. I've also applied a general
purpose fertIliser and worked it in with the hoe, in around a months
time I will apply a dressing of rose fertiliser or something with a
higher percentage of potash. I try to give them a dressing every four
to six weeks through the growing season. Included in tidying the rose
beds is edging the grass, mainly with the shears but if the edge is
broken down I made a new one with the half moon edging knife.

Well I can't stand here talking to you all day as I still have more to
do before I can clean and put away my tools for the day.

Sent from my mobile device

Monday, 8 March 2010

Same Places Different Times.

Today I've top dressed the wallflowers in the main garden with Growmore fertiliser. I think now is a good time to give your spring bedding a feed. I know with these cold nights nothings growing but it takes a couple of weeks for the feed to get through to the plants. Any balanced feed like Growmore or blood fish and bone will do. I use growmore because its easy to apply at a rate of roughly one handful to a square yard. Also if I use any animal based fertiliser the dogs tend to dig up all the plants looking for it which is not good. The one thing you have to remember to do after applying feed is to work it in to the soil or it will just sit there, especially during periods with no rain.

I'm going to show you something now that I find quite interesting and shows what a difference a cold winter can make. I've got the angles slightly different but as you can see its of the same places in the garden the top picture of each set being taken on the 8th March 2008, the bottom one of each set being taken 8th March 2010. The rose in 2008 has shoots two inches long where as the same rose today has no shoots at all and when you look at the bottom picture you would think I went and dug up all the scilla's for all you can see of them yet and its the same story through out the whole of the garden.
8th March 2008

8th March 2010

8th March 2008

8th March 2010

Cool Morning Dog Walk.

This morning is spring like in every sense except for the temperature
which is as cold as many a January morning.
I recorded a temperature of minus 7 in the garden yesterday morning while the rest of the day
was as sunny and as pleasant as now.

Sent from my mobile device

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Work Book (Week 9).

----- 01 March 2010 -----
See to the sheep
1) Took across some hay.
2) Checked and counted the sheep.
3) Put out some minerals.
See to the greenhouses
Checked and watered round.
Put the logs in to store
09:30-10:30 (Summer House)
Put the logs from the cherry trees in to the summer house log store.

Break for tea
Trim Ivy
11:00-11:30 (Office Steps)
Trim any on office steps and border.

Prune roses
11:30-12:45 (By The Iron Gates)
Break for lunch
13:30-15:45 (Barn Wall Border)
Pruned and tied in some of the shrubs growing in the barn wall border. The Pyracantha taking up most of the time as it had become over grown and out of control so I rewired the wall and tied in some of the branches.

Prune any Fuchsias
15:45-16:45 (Japanese Garden)
See to the greenhouses
Check the seedlings and set the mouse trap etc.

Clean and put away the tools
Make a todo list for next week

----- 02 March 2010 -----
See to the sheep
1) Took across some hay.
2) Checked and counted the sheep.
3) Put out some minerals.
Clearing snow
08:50-09:00 (Office Steps)
There was more snow last night so swept off what there was on the steps to the office.

See to the greenhouses
Checked and watered round.

Potting up
09:30-10:30 (Potting Shed)
Potting up some more Dahlia tubers.

Break for tea
Prune fuchsia
Fuel tank passage and pumpend trough.

Break for lunch
Prune the roses
13:30-14:15 (Courtyard)
Trim the ivy on the walls
14:15-16:45 (Courtyard)
See to the greenhouses
Check the seedlings and set the mouse trap etc.

Clean and put away the tools
16:50-16:55 (Potting Shed)
Make a todo list for next week

----- 03 March 2010 -----
See to the sheep
Checked and counted the sheep.
Seeing to the greenhouses
1) Checked and watered round.
2) Repotted a fiscus.
See to the logs
There was a load of logs delivered this morning which needed to be thrown down the cellar. One of the ply wood covers broke in half as I lifted it to gain access.
Break for tea
Dig over the Dahlia beds
11:00-12:45 (Memorial Gardens)
Break for lunch
Dig over the memorial Dahlia bed
13:30-14:45 (Memorial Gardens)
14:45-16:45 (East Shrub Border)
See to the greenhouses
Check the seedlings and set the mouse trap etc.

Clean and put away the tools
16:50-16:55 (Potting Shed)
Make a todo list for next week

----- 04 March 2010 -----
See to the sheep
1) Took across some hay.
2) Checked and counted the sheep.
See to the greenhouses
Checked and watered round.
Clear up rubbish from the borders
Picked up the rubbish from the area’s that I dug over yesterday.
Break for lunch
10:30-10:50 (Home)
Finish tidying up after cherry trees
Raked up what was left of the rubbish from the felled cherry trees and laid turf over where I dug out the two stumps
Break for lunch
12:45-13:30 (Home)
Clean table and chairs
13:30-16:30 (South Front)
Washed off the outdoor furniture from the South Front.

See to the greenhouses
Turn on the heating and check round.

Clean and put away the tools
16:45-16:55 (Potting Shed)

Put out the black bins
16:55-17:00 (Hall)
Put out all the black bins and recycle tubs

----- 05 March 2010 -----
See to the sheep
08:30-08:50 (Field)

Prune Fuchsia's
Indoor Fuchsia’s

Fetch compost

Break for tea
10:30-10:50 (Home)

Start dahlias into growth
10:50-12:45 (Potting Shed)

Break for lunch
12:45-13:30 (Home)

Sow seeds
13:30-14:45 (Potting Shed)

Pot on maroon ivy leaf
14:45-14:50 (Potting Shed)

Pot on green woodpeck cuttings
14:50-15:00 (Potting Shed)

Pick out the celery
15:00-15:10 (Potting Shed)

Prick out aubergines
15:10-15:15 (Potting Shed)

Prick out early sunflowers
15:15-15:20 (Potting Shed)

Finding a home for everything
All the work I'd done to this point was standing around waiting for me to find it a place to live.

See to the bins
16:50-17:00 (Hall)
Put back all the bins and tubs.

----- 06 March 2010 -----
See to the sheep
10:20-10:35 (Field)
Checked and counted the sheep, there was one ewe out on the cricket field which I left there.

See to the greenhouses
Checked round.

Friday, 5 March 2010

I'm Your Man.

Hello everyone, I hope you’re all having a great day and looking forward to the weekend. You know there was a time back when I used to work pretty much seven days a week, or if not actually working I had the responsibility of work 24/7 which is often harder than the actual physical stuff so now when Friday comes its like breaking up for a holiday and even after having had five years of weekends off I still don’t take them for granted.

Anyway Dame Judi mentioned about the fact that I was talking earlier of bringing on Dahlia’s so as to take cuttings. Apparently this is not known to be possible by some of you which is a shame because it’s an easy way to increase your stock of favourite Dahlia’s so for those who missed it last year here is a link to a post I did back then.

[Click Here] to see how to take Dahlia cuttings.

Also with regard to the Rhubarb post last night, you are right about the special forcing pots Layanee These are intended more for outdoors where they are on show as they would look better than a plastic bag but if you aren’t bothered about looks – I’m your man LOL!

Sorry, as I was saying if you aren’t bothered about looks then what I’ve done with the bag will be okay or you can use some sort of tub placed upside down over the crown of the Rhubarb, the thing you are aiming for is to cut out all the light and this is what gives you the nice tender stalks. I don’t eat Rhubarb myself but apparently it tastes much better when forced. Also whilst I’m on the subject you must never eat the leaves of Rhubarb as they are poisonous. Don’t force a new plant as Rhubarb needs time to develop, in fact as with Strawberry plants you shouldn’t even harvest for the first year. The Rhubarb I’m forcing is part of an old root and will be thrown away once finished with.

Rhubarb Covered,

Indoor Friday.

Friday is a busy day at this time of year as I try and reserve it for
indoor jobs such as seed sowing, taking cuttings and bringing things
such as Fuchsia's back to life. Today I finished potting up all the
Dahlia tubers that I want to bring on early in order to take cuttings.
The Fuchsia's have been brought out from under the staging and tidied
up and will be kept moist from now on to encourage growth. Another thing
I did today that should earn me a gold star one day is to pot up 12
early seed potatoes.

I put one to a large pot and they are now under
the greenhouse staging along with the Rhubarb and Dahlia tubers.

Sent from my mobile device

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Forced Rhubarb

I think tonight I'm going to show you a little something I have hidden under the table. As I'm sure you can tell its a root of Rhubarb that I'm forcing in a pot under the greenhouse staging. When you aren't looking I slip a black plastic bag over the pot and as it grows it pushes up the bag. Hopefully there will be a boiling for the boss next time he visits.