In to the Mists

The mists of the Autumn and early Winter have kept the leaves on the Tea Bushes and the covers have kept the small amount of frost at bay. There has been a little damage but not enough to make an early leaf fall and now the rows are covered with floating row covers giving them a little more protection, and there’s a certain amount of leaf growth, I’m wondering if there is chance of a small amount of leaf before Christmas.                                                                             Spending several hours this morning clearing the pipe that serves the irrigation system kept me on the top terrace and in the garden for longer than than I have been able to for quite a time, the rain has been rather professional in it’s out look. Today the garden was mist covered and the grey light made the greens of the ferns and the paths the only real colour.  The last of the nasturtiums haven’t fared so well and I cleaned their beds and those of the late and rather over salad leaves, now most of the tunnels are ready for an early sowing. It was also noticeable that the Peach is showing signs of lots of flower buds. It’a this time of year that I want Almond trees just for of the expectation of early blossoms.

Breath

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There’s a wood on this land. Not a fancy oak wood with towering trunks and epic spreading canopies just a willow wood with birch a few rowans, hawthorn and elder. Trunks are moss covered and in places ivy hangs like curtains. I come here most days and walk the paths, usually at the point of leaving I think I should come more often. It’s like I have two worlds, when I’m in one the other is a memory and the small bridge over the stream is the connecting  point between the two, no wonder bridges are surrounded in myth.                                                                                                                                    Today I came and walked a second time, I needed a bit of a think and although I have resting points in the garden I can always see a job to be done and I didn’t want any distractions. The dogs don’t always come and they were busy barking at the post man so I went alone. Yesterday low sun sent bars of golden light through the branches, not so today, low cloud had settled and everything was silent. I walked a while, stood and walked again, it’s not a very large wood but the paths are winding and you can cover a fair bit of ground while not going very far from where you started. In the soft light the greens, browns and bronzes of the ferns and bracken brought me to a halt, it’s an easy place to spend time in, and time just drifts away if you let it. A thought of time to move, and the question why? and another thought, I should have brought a seat. I drift on another stop to see where the light is coming from on a young rowan and a slow turn taking in the full circle of what’s around me, every thing is still very green, above the branches let go their small leaves now yellow and gold like yesterdays sunbeams and then I breath, a small movement over to the right and an autumnal dog bounds along the path, I get the doggie smile as he goes past and then he’s lost in the bracken, now I have an excuse to stay longer, he’s having such a good time, as am I,  it’s a shame to leave.

In London and back

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The day as you can see mixed the the old and the new. The train was new and had the essence of days gone by, we could have been off any where. The Dorchester Hotel itself a mix of the modern with a twist of yesterday. The confidence one gets from knowing that every possible modern convenience was at hand but still there was time to rest and enjoy in very comfortable surroundings          Although we had just come from taking tea at the Ritz by this time we were on a roll. Taxis swept us from one location to another, I liked knowing that I was with a driver who knew where he was going and that my shoes weren’t going to be put to the test of walking more than a few yards at a time. The promenade at the Dorchester is right before you on entering, we were met, introduced, greeted, seated, we chatted all very relaxed. The hotel is like a big clock, I’m privelaged to have been allowed to see the face and suround as well as the works. I got to see the works when we were esscorted to the roof garden to see the tea bushes. Coming from their home on a Scottish hillside, the bushes had gone on holiday and were looking exceedingly well. I couldn’t help doing a bit of tiding, it’s a gardener thing. Back down through the clockwork and of course the face showed time for tea. It’s a gracious place the promenade, interviews, cake, chats, cake, my tea served with more than a flourish, time never stands still and all the people we met were busy, but time seems to strech as far as tea takers are concerned. Interviews over, time to move to a discreet table, all the press releases had to be sent out before 5pm. I just sat on one of the comfiest chairs, ever, and let the vertigo brought on by not enough sleep and too much cake pass. what now? we went for a posh fish supper, and a play, a good laughing sort of play. the last taxi of the day for us and  back to the train and the amaizing Stephen and his pocket watch. Falling into the arms of morpheus, and back to Glasgow. A second breakfast looking out on a lovely sunny park and trying to make sense of the whole thing whilst eating toast. Fond farewells, happy smiles, I left the city. Of course I got lost, but only a little bit.

Looking Back

 

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 Most of the regular FB posters I know have blogs. We all mean to be regular correspondents, but all find time just wizzes by and before we’ve even thought about it another month has gone by and all our interesting news is still waiting to be celebrated.  When I went to London in August, I fully intended to mark the occasion with a facinating blog. I was on the whole rendered, if not speachless, certainly at a loss. There were FB posts and photos easy and quick, but not the same some how. I’m still not sure how to describe the outing we did some very eventful things in a very uneventful way. The only thing I can do is to string together all the things that made me smile, the people who were good company and made me laugh or were oh so helpful. In many respects the people were the highlights, and what we did although very inportant, and as far as I’m concerned life changing,  were joined together by happy people. From where I live to get the Caledonian Express to London I have to go North to go South. I went to Glasgow, furnished with maps, mobile phone, and a good deal of anxiety. I would like to say here I’m not good at excitement, but I’m a past master at anxiety and fretting. To continue, I got lost. I followed said map, took every turn as I thought, and ended up the other side of the city from where I was supposed to be. A phone call, much touching of half seen phone screen maps, and up pops a voice, with the certainty of every computer, talked me back to where I needed to be. Where I needed to be was about half a mile from the motorway intersection I came off on. The sun shone, my friend laughed, I’m too relieved and glad to see her, rather flustered, and I haven’t even got to the train. I know I won’t get lost on the way to the station, I’m to have a lift. 3 hours of marvellous catching up, and a trip through the City all lit up.  10pm, Central Station, a superb place, I’m there, Trains there, the Boss, who has the tickets, knows where, when, and what, isn’t. Text. Expected arrival 11.15. through all this a little bit of my brain is still working. Luckily so is my friend. Allowed on to the platform, I’m met by Andrew, checked on the list, and allowed on to the Train. Friends are hugged, and waved off, knowing they had done their bit to get me from point B to C, the rest is probably in the lap of the gods. I’m not on my own, I have an Andrew and then a Stephen the Head Guard. It is now 11.35, still no Boss. I did think I heard his dulset tones a few minutes ago. People around me in the Lounge/dining car are ordering dinner, Haggis is chosen, I’m not too far gone to wonder how any one can eat haggis at that time of night never mind on a sleeper train. As memories are fickle things I’m still not sure if the train started to pull out the station 11.45, before, or after the Boss appeared in the doorway, which ever it was it was a pretty close thing. For the Boss this journey is a regular occurrence, me?  I may never recover. Head Guard Stephen Is excellent company, much amusement that I have brought my own tea, and a tea strainer. If I ever have need to do this journey again I’m not sure I will be any better equipped mentally, but at least I will know what to expect. The Boss  on the other hand is an accomplished and seasoned traveler, and takes all in his stride.  7am, off the train and waiting for the Virgin Lounge to open. We don’t need to be any where until noon. Time to catch up. Then it’s making full use of the amenities, recharging phones, listening to the BBC Scotland interview, from the day before, watching the comings and goings and planning who to see before we are where we need to be at Noon. We went for Morning Tea at the Ritz. Some times you just got to do these things.

Tunnels, Tea and Paraffin

It’s been a long time since I bought Paraffin, and boy it’s not cheap. I was expecting the same price as other fuels, but no. Ah well I suppose it will be worth it, when the first leaf comes early. That after all is what the Paraffin is for. Polly tunnels, -well my polly tunnels- aren’t really very efficient when it comes to extra heating, they aren’t in the perfect position and not on a perfectly level texbook site, still we are always up to have a go. All these mental movings are playing merry hell with the schedule,-if I ever Had one- so buying Paraffin and setting the heaters going seemed to be a job that I could be trusted with until the brain started to function again. It’s not quite as bad as I like to make out, yes the voles have taken the last of the Parsnips, but the Celery is good, early sprouting has been pruned by some thing small and squeaky, but that will come back. Over wintering Caulies look very sorry for themselves, but like the Lettuce thev’e been a disaster all season. Late Salad sowings look reasonable and there will be enough for the December Markets. The rest of the outdoor productive garden is being put to bed under mulch until next spring. The last few winters I’ve kept things going as seedlings in the Tunnels and had reasonable success, this Autumn I sowed late seed in the open beds, top dressed and I wait to see if there is a difference in the early crops. Two tunnel’s are now housing the late arrival Tea Bushes,already recovering from the move,thanks in part to the paraffin heaters, and one other has been nearly stripped out, ready to be moved next spring. The reason for the tunnel move is to move my lovely shed in to that  place and frame a covered Tea Drinking space in front of it, lots of plants and benches, with the Grape Vines ,- that have to be moved -climbing up and over, quite looking forward to it. I actually managed to get in to the Peach house and do a bit of pruning, found a Marrow and was quite pleased with the state of the Herb bench, looking better than expected for the time of year, think they really did have fun in the sun.

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A Garden Going to Sleep

The cold has started to take the last of the flowers, and the condensation on the inside of the Tunnels will soon turn to ice. We’ve had heavy rain and strong winds over the last few weeks, making the Indian Summer just a memory and a golden glow in the mind. October was full of things that took me away from the garden, and lots of things will now have to wait until the year has turned. It’s also a good reason not to do any Autumn digging and leave it under cover and mulch for the worms to sort. Tunnel work is still on going, one tunnel is over wintering tea bushes. Arriving too late to be planted and with the bit of garden still unprepared, they’ve been given a cozy billet with the soft fruit, and will stay under cover until the spring, hopefully giving an early flush of leaf 2014-04-07 16.27.46 HDR

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The fruit trees transplanted on the bottom terrace seem to be settling in, although the frame for the Spring protection and the connecting tunnels are still to be finished, another job that may be possible if the weather stays easy. So as usual it’s a work in progress.

Garrocher in Autumn, all about Tea and Veg

Apart from the execive amounts of watering, it’s been a Magical Summer, wall to wall Sunshine for weeks and the garden has been abundant. Now after execive amounts of rain there are still things to harvest from the raised veg beds,most of which have produced three crops. Its time now to clear away what’s left of the Summer Beauty. It’s a bit sad but it makes room for the Soft fruit bushes that needed a new home and the Plum and Cherry trees that will take up their place under a new covered frame, there may even be room to under plant the Cherry Trees with Lavender,- it works in France so might as well give it a go- along with the Daffs lifted in the  late Spring.

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The heavy rain drove me in to the tunnels, along with the dogs, who were too outsidie to be inside and too unwilling to get wet to be outside, thunder made for a very noisy Morning, but we did get lots done. All the Summer stuff has gone on the compost heap, topdressing done, seeds sown,-could be a bit late, but the summer crops just kept on doing and it seemed a shame to pull them, it’s going to be along time until the next Courgette. The next job is pulling down the Runner Beans, sorting the early Straws, and making room for a long bed of early Potatoes

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I mentioned the Tea. Apart from the winds at the begining of the week taking off the floating covers, everything seems to be doing well. It’s hard to tell if there is any new growth, but that’s ok, I want roots down before the cold weather sets in, and of course there is the anticipation of the first flush next year which should come around the same time as the daffs.

There’s such a lot to do

Still getting to know about whats needed in Blog land. Look at this as another practice piece. All the way through the weeks of Glorious weather and I seem not have taken any photos. Time seemed to be taken up with constant watering. There will come a time when watering will mean the turn of a tap, but it won’t be this year.  I seem to remember saying that last year, probably the year before too. My two Markets for the Month are done, and I’m looking forward to getting down to the Garden jobs [pending, and in some cases long time pending]. Theres the top Terrace to fence, thats got to be a really, solid job. Facing East and North the fence will take the brunt of the Winter winds, theres nothing on that side to shelter us, and the hedge needs some time to fill in. Somewhere behind this lot will be the East Fence.

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Alearning Curve

Never done a blog before, and I certainly have no idea where this will appear.I’ve changed the header, I’m writing in italics, no idea if I can add photos, suppose I had better try. There we go,a photo, so it could be that I wont be able to blog again, for a month on this page, but I have another page, all about how we are going to start growing Tea

June 2014, Lupins

June 2014, Lupins

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In the beginning

In the beginning

Prior to new raised bed.