Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Monday, Monday...

Some days are just meant to be doomed from the start. Today was one of those days. I have so much to do, jobs on an unwritten list full to bursting with things that need doing, preferably yesterday too!!

So what went wrong today? Well, I woke with a headache and that stayed till early evening. This made me feel weary and irritable, like all you want to do is curl up somewhere and go to sleep. Like a cat. Just needing to be left to get better and start over . The weather was lovely too, such a waste. My eldest daughter was away heather burning again, earning another £50 for her labours. Heather burning has to finish on Wednesday, after which it is deemed that Grouse get around to the busy work of nesting.

In the garden, however, life goes on. This Mahonia is beginning to flower now, lighting up the back of a border beneath the Pear tree. The narcissi are still doing well, keeping their heads up in this warm weather. My neighbour's Magnolia stellata has come into flower already and will look magnificent in about a weeks time. It grows in a very sheltered position and is a delight to see. Elsewhere there are buds appearing on everything, or thats how it seems. I can't wait.

Before dinner I took youngest daughter up to ride. It's only three miles away but sometimes even that seems to be too far. I wish the ponies were at home, we would save so much time...and so much petrol!!

The Robin was back in the tree at the end of the garden singing the evening in. Simon Cowell eat your heart out!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Sunny Saturday

Today was the warmest day this year, as far as I am aware anyway! I did not get half of the jobs I had planned to do done. It was far too lovely being outside. I did some more gardening, mostly digging out weeds. The wild birds thought it was fantastic having worms to peck at every time I went away for a cup of tea!

The dogs lazed in the sunshine. My son took photos of pieces of his Honda Civic that he is selling on various Forums. Eldest daughter caught up on some school-related work and the youngest went off to a friends for a sleepover.

I planted up some cuttings of Mint for a school sale that is coming up in May. Herbs are always in demand....even Mint! And anyway it is so easy to root in jam jars of water.

I ended my day by taking E.D. up to ride the horse we share with it's owner. We had the Arena to ourselves and the coolest part of the day. Dinner was cooked when we returned home. Lazy evening.

The plants today are this Viburnum tinus, now lighting up the back border with it's white blooms, and the Berginia 'Bressingham White' at the top of my Blog, which always does well for us.

Lets hope tomorrow is a good day too.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Friday Afternoon

This afternoon I had an hour or so to get some more tidying up done in the garden. How I wish I could tidy the house as easily, I would always rather spend time sorting things out Outside than inside!! 
I have pruned back a sprawling Rosa 'Max Graaf, and the bushy Rosa 'Felicia". I took cuttings from the Rubus cockburnianus and then cut half the plant down. I discovered that 'it' has sent out long roots giving rise to loads of baby shoots...... hopefully providing me with lots of new plantlets. I found  these purple primulas hiding under a plethora of dead sage stalks and removed last summer's decaying foliage from a clump of Hemerocallis.

My youngest daughter came up to me clutching a blue carrier bag full of seed packets. She had that look about her that said find me some plant trays and compost and I just might enjoy planting some of these. So I did and now we have trays of purple poppies, sunflowers, snapdragons and pot-marigolds lounging in the relative warmth of the greenhouse.

Once I had filled a large compost bag with dead leaves and prunings I called it a day and had a well earned coffee. Then I took the camera round the garden, recording what was new today, such as the Heleborus orientalis on the bank, some celendines and the busy bees and wasps out collecting nectar. My garden Robin sat in the Oak tree and sang the evening in. What a lovely way to end a day.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

In the garden

I went around the garden this afternoon looking at everything that is already in flower. I was surprised to find a few unexpected treasures as well as being glad that the narcissi, large and small, were lighting up the generally green landscape.

We have Pulmonaria, that beautiful blue with spotted, hairy leaves. There are some tiny blue Anemones, starry and innocent looking. The Chaenomeles has deep pink buds eager to burst into lush Quince-like blooms. The Forsythia has already covered itself with dairy-butter blossoms, stuck all along the straight, sky- reaching stems.The Pear tree in the back garden is becoming laden with buds, promising it'simple snowy white flowers, like a mini snowstorm. There is a creamy hyacinth, probably having been planted from pot once upon a time. It has survived under the shelter of a Rosa glauca and is both unexpected and fragrant. The tiny Chinodoxa, white-eyed blue, are hiding amongst the leaves of perennial 
geraniums. The ornamental currants are hanging their pendulous claret-redflowers amidst that particularly
aromatic foliage, which I can't say I like but there again I wouldn't be without at this time of year.
My stock-check of flowers today was a joy, it didn't take long but made me realise that there was a lot more going on out there than I have had chance to realise
whilst I have been at work recently. Thank goodness for holidays.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

A Wet and Windy Easter!
Hasn't the last year flown around. Easter already. This photo is of the sky on Saturday, all threatening and moody. The River Tyne was filling up, full of debris and mud, dark and heavy. The new lambs are wearing little polythene raincoats to help prevent hypothermia, the 'in' colour this year seems to be bright blue! Our ponies are still sporting outdoor rugs and are no doubt looking forward to being rug-free when the sun decides to come out. Watch this space.
We have had a reasonably idle Easter. Good Friday was a horse riding day. The girls went out in the morning and luckily missed the rain which came down late afternoon. I took my old collie for a walk, following the ponies. She loved the chance for a longer run out. She gets very stiff these days when she gets cold, 14 years young and still trying to chase rabbits.
On Sunday my children all went to see their father over in Cumbria. The house was very quiet. We had time- and a little sunshine - to make the most of the afternoon. We went out and did some gardening! Tidying up, discovering new shoots, pruning off dead wood, generally doing things. It all looked better afterwards, even though there is still loads to do. One job I am putting off is the pruning of the Rubus cockburnianus, an ornamental 'Blackberry' relative. It is looking quite stunning at the moment, with it's great arching coloured stems and prickly spines. At least I will get lots of cuttings when I do get around to pruning it!!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Sitting here at 11.30 at night, darkness outside, everyone else tucked up in bed, I think that I must be crazy wanting to stay up for even a few moments longer in order to "Blog".
It's a Diary thing though, isn't it, and I've enjoyed keeping some kind of Journal on-and-off since I was very young. For whatever reason.
This morning my son managed to do the 'out-of-bed-food-teeth-clothes-grab-stuff-exit -to-work' thing in 30 mins flat, quite good for him! The girls and I still managed to leave 10 mins later than we should, again!! It's a 14 mile drive to school and we always pray that we don't get held up behind a lorry or tractor, or suchlike. As usual, all was ok, just, and I continued on to work - with Radio Four instead of music.
School was busy, lively, frustrating, amusing, annoying, challenging and the usual hive of activity it always is. I never seemed to have enough time to chat to colleagues today and really fancied a great big mug of hot chocolate by lunchtime. How is it the middle of March already? We only have three and a half weeks until the Easter Holidays...and I'm just not ready for that quite yet. The year is catapulting itself forward far too fast.
My two daughters went to visit their father tonight, they will stop over because of the distance, and he will run them to school in the morning. The house has been so very quiet without them, I have never really got used to them not being with me all the time. Because of this I went up to help my partner with the ponies tonight and on the way to the stables we saw this wonderful sunset. I took the shot through a hedge so that I had some contrast in the picture. I just loved the deep orangey red, it was like we were looking into the glowing embers of a fire.
Good night!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

A day for doing....

Sunday may be a Day of Rest for some, but in my house, more often than not , it is a day for getting those jobs done that you didn't get done the day before, or even the week before.
We began by driving up to put out ponies; feed, change rugs, put out, muck out, hay, water, tidy up - leave to do next task.
My Partner dropped me off at the house whilst he went on to see to his mother's livestock. My kids, 14, 16 & 20, were still in bed. All right for some! Cups of tea, sleepyheads wanting someone to prepare breakfast for them, old dog wanting to go out. What bliss Sunday is.
Cleaning and cooking , tidying and chucking stuff into the bin. ( until it gets microchipped...horror of horrors) That was my day. Girls seemed to want to use the computer and watch trashy imported soaps, singing along to the more musical ones, playing the piano over the top of everything else and regularly disagreeing with each other.
My son has his 'project car'. It takes an awful lot of his time up, buying bits for it, surfing the net looking at 'how to do..' tutorials or sourcing more bits for it. His friends come round to help take more bits off it. There never seems to be much being put back on! Thats why I posted this photo. That was it this afternoon. He thinks thats progress.
Sunday Dinner happened, ending the 'doing things' phase.. A glass of wine, good food. A program about Lambing with Kate Humble followed by a very young looking Prof explaining the wonders of the universe with passion and ease. That provided perspective, reminded me how amazing the Northern Lights looked one evening up in Sutherland a few years ago, and that nothing lasts forever. Not even Blogs....thank goodness.