Katiepede's Blog

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Feeling tight? Recycle your tights! April 29, 2012

Filed under: Nature — katiepede @ 4:06 pm

Ahh ha, intrigued? Oui?

 

Not only do old tights (I think they’re called pantyhose in the US), make excellent grass heads, (you know you want to make one right now)…. but they are also brilliant as ties for plants! A friend a few years ago gave me this top tip, and I have used it ever since.

 

 

(Image from recyclethis.co.uk)

 

 

You only need very small bits from the tights, but they are softer than string and do not dig into your delicate plants. I have just tied up my mange tout, (they were going a bit crazy), but have in the past used them for tomatoes etc.

 

You do you your bit to save the planet, you don’t need to spend any more money, and your lovely plants remain happy! Everyone’s a winner (baby, that’s the truth)!

 

In other most excellent news (can you tell I watched Wayne’s world last night?!), the borrowers have returned my camera! Yay! So once the ‘Great UK rain of 2012’ subsides I shall be able to take photos of all the things trying to grow in the garden. The poppy seeds I scattered are starting to flower, and the beautiful peony (Paeonia) is as well. Also, in the warm room my courgettes are juuuust thinking about sprouting….

 

Awesome 🙂

 

Dum de dum de dum…. April 26, 2012

Filed under: Nature — katiepede @ 11:34 am

Whilst the weather continues spoil my fun (how very dare it rain in Britain?! ;-)) it forces me to work on my assignments (a very good thing indeed). However, I thought might take a few minutes out and take you on a trip around the plants inside my house!

My camera still eludes me, (borrowers methinks), so I am using my boyfriend’s fancy-pants DXR thingyme jobber…. (all very technical you know).

 

I have been steadily growing my collection over the last few years….

 

My gerbera is flowering again. It was bought for me two years ago by a friend, and puts on a show every year 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Peace lily (Spathiphyllum) has a few browning leaves, which I must remove, but in general looks very healthy, and its leaves look lovely next to the gerbera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the kitchen windowsill my tomatoes are growing bigger each day, here are two of the mighty tumbling toms!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the money plant (Crassula ovata) I was given as a cutting by a friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Umbrella plant (Schefflera arboricola) was only about 15cm when I bought it….. just look at it now! It’s grown a little wonky, but I still love him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the more peculiar plants I have is the parrot plant (Impatiens niamniamensis). It’s flowers look like little parrot beaks! Bought at a plant sale at the local botanical gardens, it was very small, but has since thrived and is now quite big. Both the parrot plant and umbrella tree will live outside for the summer when it warms up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In growing news…. the sweet peas are looking happy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the sweetcorn will need re-potting very soon (hurrah)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have more house plants to show you, but I think I may leave those for another rainy day!

Happy planting 🙂

 

Two years have passed….. April 24, 2012

Filed under: Nature — katiepede @ 9:27 am

Two years today I lost one of my most favourite people, my Dad. Now, I don’t wish this to be a somber post, rather one to share with you just how much I loved him. Both my Mum and Dad have always shared their love of gardening with my sister and me, and I have no doubt that this has rubbed off. And it was Dad that inspired me with his vegetable growing. Radishes, sweet peas and runner beans were his forté, and I have so many memories of running about pulling up radishes and eating them (soil and all) straight from the garden.

 

(My sister and me with sunflower for the village competition. To the left our Wendy House made from scratch by Dad)

 

I also recall how every summer in the early warm evenings, my sister and I would follow him to the top of the garden with an apple from the tree. He would pull out his trusty pen knife, and cut it up. We would sit there, just eating the apple with our Dad.

 

 

I miss him terribly, but am so lucky to have had such a wonderful Dad. Thank you… x

 

I am so British (or is that English)…. ? April 23, 2012

Filed under: Nature — katiepede @ 2:56 pm

That opening gambit is because today is St. George’s day…. a day when we celebrate being English. However, as he was Roman, born in, what is now Turkey, it seems slightly ironic that some rather far right political parties wear his flag whilst arguing their ‘Englishness’….

 

Anyway, this is not to be a political banter, rather whilst I sit here drinking my English cup of tea (product of India), I am indeed English and proud of it, but I am so much more as well. I realise that my roots originate from a great many nations…. and (I know that if my boyfriend reads this I shall be condemned in his eyes as a hippie forever), we are indeed all the same.

 

So with that said, happy St. George’s day to everybody….

 

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(Personally I feel sorry for the poor dragon)….

 

Quick gardening update:

(Basil planted, courgettes planted, all of the Maris piper potato plants are now growing, and all 18 sweetcorn have sprouted… so I might be gifting some sweetcorn to my lovely friends very soon)!

 

Happy Earth day! April 22, 2012

Filed under: Nature — katiepede @ 12:44 pm

A very happy Earth day to you all! As residents of this fine planet I hope you’re having a wonderful day. 😀

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So there are more little sweetcorn sprouts appearing, and everything else is getting bigger 🙂

Yesterday I removed yet more bindweed…. and tidied up a few bits. My other half fixed a very strong bracket for my new large hanging basket my Mum bought me for my tumbling tom tomatoes…. I keep hearing people say that there may be snow in May?! So I think I will wait a wee longer to plant things out.

Oh I also tried a spot of organic pest control yesterday. The garden is full of ladybirds :-), and I moved a few (very gently) onto some of my spearmint (Mentha spicata) which seems to have an infestation of aphids. I saw them munch away on a few… but fly away later. However, my friend consoled me saying that if they have laid any eggs then their larvae will be extremely good in controlling the aphid population.

 
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(Image from: bbsrc.ac.uk)

I may pop a few courgette seeds in later. I will plant these in a large bag thing on the deck… Last year I put them in the raised bed and it took over everything else. The courgettes were very tasty though!

Happy planting! 🙂

 

Prog Rock Flute?!……. April 20, 2012

Filed under: Nature — katiepede @ 1:58 pm

Yes indeedy, I did just say prog rock flute! Last night my lovely boyfriend took me to a concert, as an act of spontaneity, and because I play the flute. Anyway, I didn’t know such a phenomenon existed,… until now! It was so much fun, and was hilarious at times. Think normal prog rock crossed with jazz flute (re: Anchorman)…. and you have prog rock flute! An original member of ‘Jethro Tull’, Ian Anderson is obviously very accomplished, and he plays some mean flute, with some funky tunes, but I would suggest that people should go and have a listen for some comedy value alone!

 

How might I lead this topic back to gardening? Well (and I hope you all like this), but as we were driving home, I asked Bob whether the band Jethro Tull was named after the guy who invented the seed drill. I had remembered learning about him at school,… so upon arrival home a quick google revealed that the band was indeed named after Jethro Tull, an agriculturalist who was a big part of the British Agricultural revolution and invented the seed drill in 1701…. (Yup, see what I did there)? 😉

 

A quick check of the plantation station (i.e. the warm room upstairs), has revealed my sweetcorn are already germinating! At least 3 are poking their little heads above the soil, I am quite impressed with their speedy growing!

 

Also today I went out at lunch and met a friend to have a coffee and discuss some work. On the way home I detoured through the park to see how things (on a far larger scale) were growing, and was met by some beautiful blossoms.

 

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I then popped into my favourite little fruit and veg shop, and simply couldn’t resist a bright red geranium (Pelargonium), I always was a sucker for a red head…. (points if you can tell me which film that quote is from)!

 

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Right, that’s enough for now, I better try and tidy up a few loose ends with work, however for some strange reason I have a strong urge to go find my flute……..

 

Lovely weather…… for ducks April 18, 2012

Filed under: Nature — katiepede @ 2:16 pm

Ah yes, it would seem that to quash fears of droughts across the UK, the heavens opened last night, and have remained so! Alas no gardening for me today, but at least everything is getting a good watering. My quick walk to the post office this morning meant having to disrobe several items as soon as I got back home. (That will teach me not to wear more suitable trousers, i.e. ones that don’t suck up water from puddles,…. why oh why do I still keep buying trousers with enough material to make several tents, and the sleeping bags to go with them)? Anyhoo I digress….

 

The writing of my assignment has definitely waned today, and as I write this I can smell some coffee in the cafetière waiting to provide me with the energy required to go forth this afternoon with well constructed sentences! On a side note, I offer this advice to everyone: never buy cheap coffee….. I bought value coffee once, not the instant stuff, but value stuff for the cafetière. Now I am sure that none of you is as foolish as me, however I decided that it smelt ok, and would (if maybe left for a few minutes longer), taste fine. How wrong I was…… it was nasty, really nasty…. the only resemblance to normal coffee was the colour. I wouldn’t consider myself a coffee snob (I bought value coffee, enough said), but I do try now to buy stuff that has a good strength and is at least fair trade.

 

Righty, I must get on, as I am cooking a roast later, and I need to have done more work to warrant such a delight! But I leave this photo I took last night of my mange tout happily with their wigwam. I hope everybody is having a good day, possibly gardening, possibly not, but a happy one whatever!

 

 

(Whilst writing this I received a knock at the door and the postman delivered my polar bear from Birdeye…. it would seem those months of feeding Bob copious amounts of fish fingers have paid off)!