Welcome to my blog. Thanks for dropping by. Hope you'll stay and enjoy reading about where I've been and what I've been doing!

I don't mean this to be a replacement for personal emails, but it gives me the chance to put up photos and my scrapbook layouts, so I don't block up your in-boxes, or have to send the same photos and stories to everyone separately!
Thanks, and welcome, to the followers of my blog. I'm very honoured that you enjoy it. Drop me some comments from time to time! It's good to hear what you think about the posts. Come back again soon.

Thanks also to Mary of Mary's Mixes for doing all the work on the blog's heading. You are great, Mary!

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Continuing the tale of the garden.

Well, next episode in the garden story!  The day started off grey but the sun came out again and it was perhaps even hotter than the day before!  We had a short visit to Glentress that morning for a cup of tea and a break.  P1080580The pond next to the cafe is full of yellow flag irises, like the ones in my pond, and I had to photograph the cascade in the burn!

Then when we got home, CB got to work on raising the bed where my apple and pear trees grow.  Both were quite severely pruned in the autumn, and won’t have much in the way of fruit this year, but the apple tree is shooting out new growth and if I can keep it under control by helping it to sprout sideways shoots for now, then that should make life easier.  The pear tree is really not doing very much, and to be honest I could do without it!  Maybe next year!  flowerbedThis flowerbed was not in proportion to the garden either and by raising it just one plank width it has improved the look completely.

You can see how the slabs had been set out like stepping stones, with the weeds growing through the separating gravel, but CB’s next job was moving the slabs together.  the edgesThey’ll be cemented in eventually.slab laying





The slabs I already had were of two different sizes, the 600mm and the 450mm squared, so the larger ones form an edge with the smaller ones laid so that there will be three little channels for pebbles to be cemented into.  The red bricks are for measuring the channels.  So this half of the patio is almost done out, but there are some larger slabs that will have to be cut to fit, so he’s going to do that back at Paddock Farm where they have a cutter.  He’ll be coming back again soon to finish off!  What a star!  I can’t believe how good it all looks! drawbridge Oh and he also laid down some slabs to my steps!  The slope has disappeared. as he has raised the path to the level of the next step.P1080680 



This is the garden this morning after I set up the large sunshade! P1080693

And here is the pond – here are the ponds.  There are actually two of them! - the wooden edges piled with plants in pots, till I know where I will plant them.  Sue from the gardening group is going to come along and advise.

So hopefully the final instalment/s won’t be too long coming!  However I still have other things to write about to catch you up.

Talk again soon.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

where first?

Crumbs!  Where on earth – no, rephrase that – where round about here will I go first?  I seem to be playing catch up – again!  After a quiet spell things began to take off again and I have quite a few things I can blog about now! 

colin and pondFirst let me tell you that CB has been busy in my garden!  I can’t say I was tremendously enamoured of the way it was done when it had its make-over a few years ago, so between us, CB and I came up with a plan!  My first idea was to reduce the height of the long raised bed at the other side of the garden from the house, and that included the pond.  It had been built using planks, so reducing the height by just one plank width, to what you see now in the photo, would make quite a difference.  Well, CB has done it!  It looks so much better – in proportion - and I couldn’t help going out to look at it again and again last night before it got too dark – about 10.45pm it was still light enough.

In the process of taking down the one plank, CB found three bumblebees’ bykes under the soil. bees'bykes One (top arrow points to it) seems to be home to a breed of enormous bumblebee – all the bumblies that have come out or gone in that entrance are pretty large!  The second nest (bottom arrow) seems to home medium sized  and smaller bees  P1080605but the other is under the pond, and smallish bees use the entrance at the bottom of the pond planks!  I set up my iPad to video the action at the entrance of the nests but it seemed not to have recorded!  Not sure why but though I set the thing to video it often reverted to photo mode so was not recording anything most of the time… and I missed such a lot of bee comings and goings! 

P1080606So here is how the lowered bed and pond (where CB is working) looked when we were all but done.  colin and pondWe?  I hardly did anything.  CB did it all!  I just planned out the slab positions for the patio.  Instead of being like stepping stones in gravel, I want the whole thing concreted over, with the slabs close together, and a couple of narrow rows of pebbles, some of which I have collected in various parts of the country, Scotland that is!   I think we may get to that tomorrow after the side bed, under the trees gets raised by one plank width!  It is only one plank high right now.  Getting back to the pond though, it is actually two ponds with a cascade between them.  I need to get the pump into action again before it will work though.

food dehydratorOne more thing that happened today was the arrival of a new “toy”.  I bought a food dehydrator, so I shouldn’t be wasting fruit, veg, meat…. from now on I can dehydrate stuff and store it in jars and use it as and when I need it!  food for dehydratorGood to keep the summer berries going all year round for example.   Sun dried tomatoes, dried mushrooms…… you can dry all sorts of foods, including meat!  Have to go shopping tomorrow!

The weather has been great for the last few days.  Hoping it will continue!

Talk again soon.