Monday, February 25, 2008

books review

can you have too many gardening books? not till the shelves are full!! and I think there's just about enough space here to squeeze in these two books I've been asked to look at. they are from a new Royal Horticultural Society series Small Steps to Sucess, published by Dorling Kindersley. they contain a surprising amount of useful information and some inspirational photography. I really like them, a good read for a wet afternoon, we seem to be back to the cold wet yuck here.
the Easy-care Garden, Jenny Hendy. this book starts off with some beautiful pictures of garden types, such as 'wildlife', courtyard', 'formal' and others to inspire you. the chapters that follow give 'shopping lists' of which plants to buy to get the particular look you like; information on how and where to plant them and what to do to care for them. there's also useful information sections on soil types, pests and diseases and a further gallery of beautiful plants to think about planting.
these pages look at 'Right Plant, Right Place', full of 'I want that plant' photographs! following pages describe how to create raised beds, mixed borders and container gardening with all the information you'll need to care for them. an idea I particularly liked was for an 'Aromatic Herb Border', a great ides for a vegetable grower looking for inspiration.
Shrubs and Small Trees, Simon Akeroyd. more clear and bright photography to get those ideas going! this one also provides planting inspirations to get the look you're after. there is soil, pruning, feeding, clearing. planting, staking instruction throughout. there is also a good section on pruning and caring for fruting trees and bushes.
how about a 'Fruit Border', shopping list provided with planting, soil and care information to get the best results. another one to interest home vegetable growers! there are other planting ideas for which shrubs and trees to plant to carry the gardening interest through the seasons. very useful.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

open water. .

photo stitch of four photographs taken at Crinan
click on photo for larger image

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


a walk along the Crinan Canal on Monday with my friend Sally, thankyou very much for a lovely day!
mirror reflections on the water
the view from the last gate at Crinan
and Ruaridh to throw sticks for, he's a good dog!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


these little daffodils are always first out,
and these are my new boots, Salomon Adventure Trekkers. I've had them on several times, mud water, washed off with the hose, been riding in them and dug the garden.

they haven't leaked and were purchased from the internet. I have been refunded for the ones I bought from a well known outdoor retailer, and thanks to Trevor at their head office for sorting this out.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

hiding. . .

I was moving stuff in the garden and a big spider jumped out. . .
and I ran away . . .
Tansy looks very well fed, wonder where the spider went?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

spring! flowers!

Iris Harmony, some more to be seen growing at Wildside
the snowdrops have come up round the purple helbore which is pleasing
and the underside of the helbore
anther hellebore, so pretty, please excus my grubby fingers. .
and I've made a start in the greenhouse with some of the seeds that arrived last week. two types of onions, Walla Walla and Red Baron. and some bunching onions to use in salads as they grow.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Equine Market Watch

EMW do a lot of good work with some very needy horses. Its one of my charities to give to.

Monday, February 11, 2008

destroyed in the name of Progress??

Lismullin site handed over- to road contractors;;By - Unknown.

The Lismullin archaeological site in Co. Meath has been handed over to the contractor building the M3 motorway, the National Roads Authority (NRA) has confirmed. The move means the controversial roadworks may begin on site immediately.NRA archaeologists have already studied the site, which includes a number of stake holes forming an enclosure. Carbon dating suggested they were likely to be at least 2,000 years old.A souterrain from about the 10th. century was also discovered on the site. Archaeologists said it was possibly used for defence during the Viking invasion.The archaeology had also been the subject of a study by an expert group set up by Minister for the Environment John Gormley to determine how best to proceed, once the prehistoric nature of the site had been determined.The expert group which included Conor Newman, the State's foremost archaeological expert on Tara, and Dr. Pat Wallace, director of the National Museum, advised that the archaeological remains were in a "very vulnerable condition". This meant they could not withstand preservation in situ and, therefore, "excavation is desirable and in the best interests of the archaeological remains".Efforts to contact Mr. Newman and Dr. Wallace were not successful yesterday, but the department's website noted the 2,000- year-old remains were "too fragile to remain in situ and must be recorded and removed".It added that "preservation in situ of Lismullin is not an option".

Sunday, February 10, 2008

seeds galore

these are the new seeds I've ordered for this year. there's so many left from last year I hope to get them used up, and lots of seeds can be stored for a long time so they should be just fine. I buy seeds from lots of suppliers, this order is from Gardening Organic, and I have some interesting seeds left from last year from the Heirloom Vegetable Seeds. and if anything appears not to work I can easily go to my local garden centre to replace them there, I always get my seed potatoes and compost from them.
and thanks to Freecycle, a worldwide recycling group, I have a new-to -me wheelbarrow. I don't have a big garden but it really does save your back using it to carry stuff about.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

nearly. . . .

the snowdrops in the garden are nearly opening, still a bit chilly
the helleborus, teasing with its spotted inside
a lone crocus in a pot, hope it gets some friends soon!

its still wet, cold and miserable here. I did manage to get one veg bed dug over but its had no manure this winter, hopefully the past few years worth of improvements will hold out and I'll use a seaweed fertiliser. I'm not sure I've ever grown anything before without at least six inches of manure for it to snuggle into- hence the always forking carrots and parsnips. they might not look fabulous but they always taste amazing!

Friday, February 01, 2008


this is a great site for cat lovers, engage sense of humour!!