Tag Archive | Christmas rose’ (Helleborous)

Winds In The Park & A Special Birthday

What a windy few days we had this week with storm ‘Imogen’.  Here in the Midlands we weren’t hit as hard as the southern half of the country, however I did see a couple of trees that had lost large branches in our local park which was sad to see.

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The weather really has been strange this winter with more storms than usual and it has been very mild.  I think a lot of plants are quite confused about the time of year, though I’m sure they will adjust.

Whilst walking my dog this week I saw my first daisy….I don’t think I have ever seen one flower this early:

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Also I saw rhododendrons beginning to flower which is also a bit early, but beautiful to see on a cold damp day:

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Another thing I found on one of my walks this week was a Christmas rose (Helleborus).  This is about the right time for it to flower, but I would have missed it if I hadn’t walked through a quiet wooded area in the park for a change:

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This week in my garden at home:

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This week I have noticed that my rhubarb is growing well now (and I still haven’t got around to mulching it all with manure – I better hurry up).

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I transplanted this rhubarb from my allotment last January so this will now be its second year, so I will be able to harvest a small amount this year and I am already looking forward to it!

“If you transplant rhubarb it is best not to harvest any the first year and only a small amount in the second year to avoid weakening the crown”

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I have also noticed that my spring cabbages are beginning to grow a bit and it will soon be time to give them a feed.  I need to lift the net and remove the yellowing leaves first though:

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The garlic that I planted in the autumn in the ground is doing very well.  I planted some ‘back up’ garlic in my cold greenhouse which is also doing well, so will have to find a place in the garden for it soon:

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You can see in the right hand photo above that my broadbeans seeds and leek seeds are now growing well too.

In the garden my chives are poking through now and so too is my comfrey:

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These things show me that Spring is on its way.

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Inside the house the flower seeds that I sowed last week have now all popped their heads up too, which is surprisingly quick (lobelia, dhalias, marigolds, and antirrhiums):

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To speed their germination I decided to give them a bit of ‘bottom’ heat in their propagator by placing it on top of my radiator, with a chair placed against it to stop it falling off….and it worked a treat!

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This week in my garden outside I moved my rosemary and mint forward and sunk them into the holes where my blueberries sat last week before I moved them.  I am keeping the mint in pots to stop the roots from spreading and the rosemary is a young plant.  By sinking the pots in the ground it keeps the roots a bit cooler which means I don’t need to water them so often in the summer.

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I gave the rosemary a bit of a hair cut too:

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I also decided it was time to give my bay tree a hair cut too, so it doesn’t grow too big.  It certainly looks neater now:

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Out in my small front garden I also gave my three spirea plants a good prune.  I find this stops the plants growing too large.  I planted three spirea plants approximately thirteen years ago and all I ever do is prune them in February and they look good every year…they were well worth the £2 each that I paid for them!

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This week in the home:

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This week Mr Thrift had a few days off work and we decided it was high time we sorted our cupboards out as they had become a bit messy.

We found things in them that we didn’t know we still had:

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We found some little plastic things that cover the screws in our plug sockets, that we didn’t know we had and we also found a couple of birthday candles that I must have bought and forgotten about – unfortunately my youngest daughter turned sixteen last November so I will have to pass them on to someone else to use:

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It took a while to sort everything out but it’s nice to have tidy draws and cupboards once again:

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This week there are two birthdays in our family.  The first was my step mothers.  My dad and step mum came round on Saturday (my step mums birthday) to watch Leicester City play on the television….this was a spur of the moment thing so I wasn’t prepared.

While they watched the first half of the match I made my step mum a birthday cake.  I did it as quickly as I could using my favourite ‘throw it all in’ recipe and I whipped up some chocolate butter icing to spread over it and I grated some white chocolate on the top.  I just managed to light the candles as the whistle blew for half time:

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I don’t think I have ever made a cake so fast, but it proves that it can be done quickly (though a little bit of the butter icing did melt on the top as the cake didn’t have time to cool down as much as it should have, but nobody noticed).

And it is my eldest daughter’s 18th birthday….where on earth did that time go?

She has grown into a beautiful, intelligent, well manored lady, who we are both so very proud of.

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I spent Wednesday and Thursday making a large cake for a her.  My daughter’s middle name is ‘Rose’ so I decided to have ’18’ roses around it.

I made three sponges and eighteen little mini cakes and decorated it with icing:

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My cake isn’t perfect, but I’m sure it has saved us a lot of money and ‘homemade’ cakes always taste nicer than shop bought cakes….and more importantly, my daughter loved it (thank goodness).

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Thank you for reading my blog today, I will be back as usual next Friday.

Have a lovely week!

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Planting Broad beans And Homemade Planters.

It’s been beautiful weather at the allotment this week.  Each day has started off cold but by the afternoon I have been working in my short sleeved T-shirt.

I noticed my Forsythia has started to flower:

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and the daffodils are looking lovely too:

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It’s has been feeling very much like Spring.

I noticed that there are buds on some of my fruit trees.  I was especially pleased to see the Quince tree I planted last month is growing.  I always worry a little bit just in case trees that I buy bare-rooted don’t grow (even though I have never had one that doesn’t).  So it is always a relief to see the little buds in spring:

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The area underneath my large plum tree is looking ‘spring-like’ too with daffodils and primroses:

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The ‘Christmas rose’  (Helleborous) is flowering well now and I noticed the first ‘For-get-me-nots’ (Myosotis) are starting to flower.

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Last week I ordered some ‘snow drops in the green’ and they came on Tuesday so I planted them.  ‘In the green’ just means that they have been lifted just after flowering so you can see what you are buying and it’s easier to plant them where you want them in Spring, rather than planting bulbs later on in the year.

I ordered more Snowdrops this year for my woodland area, in memory of my old friend who passed away last February when the Snowdrops were flowering.  I would like lots and lots of Snowdrops in this area, so I decided I would buy a few each year until I have enough.

Snow drops are really easy to plant ‘in the green’.  I just dug a hole and dropped them in and watered them well.

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This week at my allotment I planted my broad beans that I sowed at the beginning of January.  The variety is called ‘Aquadulce’, which is an overwintering variety.

I like to make sure my broad beans are well supported, as they do sometimes ‘flop’ over.  I use small canes and string to support the beans.  I use two strings at different heights:

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I also put little balls on my outside canes to stop me from poking my eyes when I bend forward to weed or pick the beans.  These balls were brought in the sales a few years ago from Argos.  They are balls that are used in children’s ball pits, with a slit cut in each one so I can place it on the canes.

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This week at my allotment I also decided it was time to neaten up the area at the front of my plot.

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At the front of my plot is an area full of couch grass, where I can park my car when I bring it.  It is really useful to have this space as it is great for unloading my plants etc.  However, where it ends it is scruffy.

After lots of thought I decided it would be nice to have some flowers here, in long thin planters.  This would stop the couch grass from growing through the soil, but I found that this would be expensive to do….so I spent a good few months wondering how I could do this cheaply and last week I finally had an idea:

A few years ago my dad gave me some wooden grocers boxes with the bottoms removed.  The idea was to use them as mini cold frames with a piece of glass resting on the top.  For a few years I used them like this and they were great, however I stopped using them when I inherited my polytunnel.  So they have sat on my plot unused for three years, until this week:

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I took the sides off the boxes and used a saw to cut them down to the size I wanted and then put them back together.

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I then gave them a paint.

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I removed some of the grass at the front of my plot…

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…and put the boxes in place.  I hammered posts in the ground to stop the boxes from moving and covered the soil at the bottom of each box with weed suppressant to stop the couch grass from growing up through the boxes.

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I then filled the boxes with my homemade compost.

I think the boxes will look lovely filled with some flowers over the summer….I’ve just got to decide which flowers.

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I hope you enjoyed reading my blog today.  I will be back at my usual time on Monday.

Have a good weekend!