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Latest posts by Topbird

Dumfries House East Ayrshire

Posted: 24/08/2015 at 13:07

Lovely photos Lily P - the knot garden / bed is looking good.

Can you go in the house yet? Seem to remember watching a programme about this place a couple of years ago.


Posted: 24/08/2015 at 08:43

Fidget - hope I didn't get you worried there. It's Aalborg (spelling?) that's the party capital - not Aarhus. Love Denmark (all Scandinavian countries in fact) - sure you'll have a great time! 


Posted: 24/08/2015 at 08:28

Morning all. 

Sunny here at the mo but black clouds looming on the horizon - heavy rain forecast from 11am onwards. The garden has had a good watering over the last week. It is amazing how much fresher and perkier everything looks from getting a good drink. Was looking quite tired and 'gone over' 2 weeks ago - now starting to look as it should .

Holiday plans sound very exciting P'doc - would love to do a safari.

Steve - we might be available as crew when our time is our own - but for now life & work gets in the way of nice stuff. 123 weeks time (not that we're counting you understand...)

Fidget - OH goes to Aarhus a bit for work. He is usually on ridiculously early (3.30 am) starts when he goes there - not good as it is supposed to be the party capital of Denmark. Usually stag and hen doos. He wasn't impressed that there was set of ear plugs on the pillow instead of a chocolate when he went for the first time! Think he quite enjoys it really if he has a chance to look around. Hope you have a good time!

Pat - glad OH is on the mend

Office day for me today so best get dressed


Posted: 23/08/2015 at 22:04
Yummy things to eat on here tonight - that cake looks delicious Fairy.
Steve - have never sailed in the Solent. OH has - said it was very busy but lots of nice places to go.
Fidget - we were also in Monterey about 15 years ago - lovely holiday. We went to the aquarium to while away a couple of rainy hours one morning. They had to kick us out at closing time! - fantastic place to visit.
That was where I fell in love with sea otters - they look like aquatic teddy bears but to see them swimming underwater - wow - they are so graceful. And to watch them use tools (ie rocks) to break open a crab is amazing. Spent a second day at Point Lobos just watching the otters for hours.
Didn't get to see any whales though.
Big Blue looks like it's going to be a good programme


Posted: 23/08/2015 at 14:37

Whereabouts are you Steve? Do you have any Grand Plans for an expedition?

We were sailing off the East coast which (I have to say) was really pretty boring sailing - brown water, relatively long distances between harbours and no islands to seek shelter in. Favourite places to sail are the Ionian and in the Clyde. Similar scenery and sailing - just different weather! 


Posted: 23/08/2015 at 13:31

Thanks Jo - I'll have that with a cuppa tea right now - yum - love blackcurrants 


Posted: 23/08/2015 at 13:10

Oooh - pie and ice cream for me please if there's some left 


Posted: 23/08/2015 at 13:09

What sort of boat is Tyro Steve? She looks great.

We had a 29 footer Salty Dog some years ago. Made a very silly offer at a boat sale when torrential rain and gale force winds put off most buyers and to our surprise it was accepted.  She had a brand new engine and other stuff which was part of the attraction.

We had her ready for the glorious summer of 2003 when every day was a sailing day. It wasn't until September we found out her big problem - she leaked. Not from underneath but somewhere on top whenever it rained. Spent days mopping out the bilges, drying cushions etc - not to mention sealing every single hole we could find.

We made it better but not good enough. Next year was a wet summer - so we sold her. Since then we've had to rely on chartering. Still good fun but not as much fun as having your own stuff around you 

Jo - hope you dry out soon - still hot & humid here but we might get wet later on.


Posted: 22/08/2015 at 11:31

Phew - it is el-scorchio here - 33.5C in my shed at the moment - thermometer in the shade - windows & door open all night. 

Decided to knuckle down and do some jobs first thing so driveway & paths weedkilled (too breezy earlier in the week), south facing mini-border deadheaded and weeded, carrots, peas, courgettes and parsley picked for tonight, bed stripped and washing on, kitchen cleaned - so far.

Have come in for a cool down and cuppa then it's back out to do a bit of a tidy up in the veg beds and cut the grass. 

By then it will be lunchtime and I am hoping to put my feet up in the shade with a good book and enjoy the rest of the day. Might have to 'accidentally' turn the sprinkler on for 30 secs when I'm near enough to get caught by it - nothing like a quick spritz of cold water on a hot day 

Hope the rest of you enjoy your day although it does sound like a real east / west split today. Hope nobody has any problems from the forecast thunderstorms.

Runny - sorry to hear your news - shingles is a horrible disease - hope you aren't bothered by it for too long.

Pat - hope your OH is feeling better soon & I hope you're being strict with him about hand washing etc. I made my OH wipe loo, loo handle, door handles etc etc with a cloth wrung out in dilute bleach solution when he had it. Towels etc were also very strictly 'his and hers' and he wasn't allowed to touch anything in the kitchen till he was better. 

SYL folks


Something to go with roses

Posted: 22/08/2015 at 07:34
The rugosa roses are very tough, disease resistant and make nice tall, really quite dense shrubs - so they are ideal if you want some protection for slightly more fragile specimens. Can highly recommend Roserie de l'Haie. It has beautiful deep pink to magenta double blooms, is strongly scented and, if deadheaded regularly, flowers all season long.
Another good doer for me is the DA rose Wisley 2008 - pale pink, well scented old fasioned flower heads - mine has been smothered in blooms since May & has lots to come.
My roses are underplanted with the usual suspects of bulbs, pulmonaria, hardy geraniums, nepeta and alchemilla mollis (spelling ?). I quite like the geraniums such as Anne Folkard which scrambles up through the lower parts of the roses. Rozanne does a smilar thing (not quite as much) & both have long flowering periods. I also quite like penstemons for some later season colour.
If you are thinking about a border majoring in roses may I suggest you think about having a few nice posts put in and training one or two lower growing (abt 2m) climbers. Some of the shrub roses such as Gertrude Jekyll can be trained this way & you can also put a clematis with each one.
Enjoy planning!

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