Latest posts by Dinah

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 25/11/2016 at 17:44

Do they call them allotments because they mean a-lot to people? It's been warmer up here in the north of Ireland, but temperatures are dropping with the maddeningly early nightfall.

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 24/11/2016 at 20:20

The grocery van made it up here despite the frost and ice. The bin van didn't, but then bin lorries are very flighty on ice

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 23/11/2016 at 20:14

3 golden smiley faces for Guernsey Donkey2 for braving allergies to look after the cat.

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 23/11/2016 at 19:43

Hmm yes, I guessed right, you do dry the dogs first! I know this behaviour very well. In our house the cats get dried first. It is a good thing to do in winter because if we get chills it is OK, but if the cats get chills, they not only get far more miserable and play up consequently, but there are often vet's bills with the elderly ones. For a quiet life, one dries the pets first. Some of the cats now actually ask to be dried, and will not stop asking until it is done.

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 22/11/2016 at 21:43

Yes! do have a go at taking cuttings from your Clematis. They are very easy, I take a piece about 6 to 8 inches long in summer, trim it too half way between the bottom nodes (the bits where the leaves sprout out) take off the growing tip and all but a couple of leaves. Then I put them in, covering the lower one or two sets of nodes in soil (the nodes are where the new roots will sprout).

I live on the North Coast of Ireland. I see more boats than cars in Winter, and few people other than the local shepherds. It is wonderful, and the rents are amazingly cheap if you are happy to live somewhere that gets cut off by snow. If you keep good stores of food you are OK. We are all stocked up ready for a cold spell

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 22/11/2016 at 20:57

You can start the Sweetpeas now in the greenhouse, or in a cold frame (I must remember to get another cold frame my self)   Yes, the Nigella and cornflower are best planted in spring now. You can put them in up to late September to start them, and they usually survive over winter, but if it gets too late in Autumn the seed will be more eaten or rotted in the wet than germinated, so it is best to wait till it starts to warm up again.

My favourite plants are Clematis. I have a huge collection that I have grown mostly from seed, or from pinched cuttings.

The two main types of cultivated Sweet-pea are both very pretty. The perennials don't smell, but are very reliable at returning each year. I have some seed grown, woodland species sweet-pea plants. I like all species plants best. I find that though they haven’t been bred to be as big and beautiful, they have more resilience weather wise - and that has to be good up here!

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 22/11/2016 at 19:44

More cold-frames. Yes of course. I've filled them all up with overwintering plants again, and I need another one for seeds. Well spotted GWRS!

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 22/11/2016 at 19:07

Hi Loana, Cornflower and Nigella are very well behaved and sensible things to grow. Great for Bees too. Sweet peas are lovely. Are you growing the scented annuals or the perennials? They can be put in now, since once they have grown a few inches they will sit and wait patiently on a cool window sill until spring and then leap into an early start. Watch for slugs though, even on a window sill in winter. I have no idea how the slugs get in the house, but once in they can run riot.

Your air-born garden furniture sounded very alarming. You will have to watch where you put pots and seed trays too. I remember putting some seeds in vermiculite to stratify, and the plastic trays took off, with the vermiculite flying everywhere in the wind. It was actually very funny, but I think that was when I started putting things in the fridge instead.

I didn't mean to put anyone off stratifying! It's just that nature seems to be so, so much better at it than me. I look at the way the blueberries and blackberries and raspberries, and various species roses, have populated the mountain, and not just tough bushes, the marsh orchids do fine left to themselves, finding out the sheltered pockets, and they all need a period of cold to start them growing. I manage two or three lableless "some-things" coming up, somewhere other than the tray where I put them. Maybe I'm too busy looking at my failures to count blessings. The wind has produced quite a lot of nice trees, shrubs and perennials that wouldn't be there if I hadn't planted them, even if they did come up on the other side of the garden. 

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 22/11/2016 at 17:18

The wind is dropping now a bit - just as it went dark, so I didn't get out there.

I'm thinking of planting the seeds that need to be stratified - at least that is something important that can be done indoors. 

I still find it difficult to sort out what to do to protect the trays from wind and rain, and have often kept them in the fridge up till now, but I've lost a few batches to drying out in there, so if anyone knows how to keep them from being washed and blown out by rain and wind I'd love to know methods. I tried plastic bags, but slugs got in as the tape dissolved

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 21/11/2016 at 23:39

We don't get flooding on the mountain (obviously) but the behrn sometimes floods, and the two estuary towns expect to have bits washed away most years.

What can happen here is that water moves in such quantity that walls and bits of the cliff-side road get washed away. The walls and roads that go are usually those built recently. You can only use dry stone walls to successfully hold back a mountain load of water - they just let the water through, whereas it just builds and builds behind mortar walls, until it undermines or simply pushes them down. The cliff-side roads usually go if the Sloe, Gorse and Hawthorn bushes have been rooted out. Modern road building methods tend not only to take the root defences away, but then add impenetrable walls and wider, flatter roads that don't gully water away because the ditches are sacrificed in favour of the widest possible vehicle space, for faster vehicle speeds, and probably for the scenic views. I have finished my small rant now. Sorry for that folks.

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