Sunday 26 July 2020

100 Days - fifty 2nd unfinished yard

It has been a source of disappointment to my mum, who used to run a specialised alpine plant nursery, that I have had very little interest in plants and gardens. I grew some cabbages many years ago when we lived in Pittington, and I have pretty much just mowed the grass everywhere else, but I think I am finally getting into the family groove. This tatty yard was what we acquired when we moved to Moss Side:

The business end, in the shade by the back door, remains home to the Julians and a large fern:
but the rest is now jazzed up and full of growing things:
The sunny corner has a selection of stuff-with-purple-flowers, kind of by accident, and some struggling courgette plants that need better protection from the snails:
The pond is settling in nicely and, thanks to all the rain, is now full, and even has some little wiggly things swimming around in it (not frogspawn, probably larvae of some kind of fly). 
The bug hotel is made from a chunk of old pallet and is gradually being filled with decaying wood, leaves, pine cones and moss. I made the roof from some sliced open coke bottles:
There are lots of new plants against the south facing wall:
but the snails have been having a lovely time there. I can see snail/slug patrols are going to become a feature of my evenings.
The herb bed is however coming along brilliantly;
as are the oaklings:
All in all I am proud of my progress and am enjoying going out and seeing how everyone is coming along when I come home from work. I am trying not to be impatient because I want big things with lush growth filling the yard with green, and it still feels very sparse. Time will tell.

Friday 24 July 2020

100 Days - 51st Empty Nest

I have been brooding and feeling sorry for myself because it has rained the entire of July and so I have still not had to christen my red watering can, and the snails have been feasting every night on the clematis flowers, and I found one snuggled up in a courgette flower yesterday morning, despite them being surrounded by crushed eggshells as a deterrent  The pond is filling of its own accord but we have not been back for more plants. I want to post some nice before-and-after photos of the yard ... but I want it to be finished, or something, and the gate is too damp to paint it and there is not enough break in the rain for it to dry out. We had a fab trip to Chester Zoo on Tuesday, but Tish has all the photos. 

I got up this morning to an empty nest. I missed the youngest, Captain Tom, taking his maiden flight by mere moments. 
This afternoon they have been back and forth, with mum and dad still providing the fish.
Ospreys are amazing.

We had a queue outside the office mid morning today because apparently google maps said we were open 7-11am. The P739 card says to go the for opening times but who are we to argue with google maps, so the manager told Steve to open up and serve people. I mean, stupid people who don't read the card have been turning up at random times for the last four months and have been told to go away, but the gods of the internet decided we were open so we opened. 

I went to the library and got a nice book about creating a wildlife garden, though it is mostly full of stuff that I can't do. Hulme library is not open yet but the one near work is so I can get stuff there. Small steps in the right direction. We have masks, we can go to the shops. Tish's favourite place will be open at the weekend. Monkey and Toby are playing volleyball in the park, though probably not in the sports centre till September. Monkey passed her first year at uni. Life goes on. Not sure why I still feel so disconcerted.

Stay safe (no promises about next posting) (and not beating myself up about it).

Saturday 11 July 2020

100 Days - fifty (half way): Milk in first

I realise this can be a bone of contention but I put my milk in first (I think this is a teapot people thing, teabag-in-a-mug people do the milk second thing). I put some milk in the cup, then I pause and look in and usually decide to add a little bit more. Then I wait for the tea to brew. Then I go to pour my tea, pause, look in the cup, decided there is a bit too much milk and drink a sip of the milk out before I pour. 

(Just passing the time waiting for the rain to stop)

Stay safe. See you tomorrow.

Friday 10 July 2020

100 days - 49th: saying no, and yes

It's my long weekend off; on Thursday Stacey asked if I would work tomorrow and I am proud of myself for politely saying that I had plans with my garden. Last week my Sunday test kit collection round was cancelled due to lack of interest. Then the government opened the pubs. Today Stacey asked me if I was happy to start doing the collections again because the numbers had gone back up. So I said yes. Oh well, not as much garden stuff as I had planned.

Rhubarb from Julie and Al's allotment became rhubarb and ginger jam this evening:
Elsewhere in the kitchen the mango now looks like a miniature tree:
And there are some very tiny chilli sproutlings, from some seeds that Monkey and I acquired at Wahaca many years ago when she was in London being a Monkey:
I went to B&Q with Julie for paint, and came home with an Acer. It was in the reduced section, but hopefully will add a bit of greenery to a corner of the yard
Pretty thing sprouting in one of the pots, not sure what:
and tiny flowers on the thyme:

Stay safe. See you tomorrow.

Friday 3 July 2020

100 Days - 48th day Small joys

Today a lady stopped and asked me the way somewhere. It made my day. Nobody asks the way any more. I used to consider it an important part of the job, but smart phones have made my local knowledge redundant. 

Monkey has been reading 'The Secret Commonwealth' to us this evening, while we watched the chicks preening and 'pancaking' (lying flat in the nest, almost completely invisible). Every few days when we visit the osprey cam they have grown. The other day I realised they are only a month old, it's an astounding transformation, from this:
to this:

And in the three weeks since I first noticed the sprout, the mango tree has grown to about 4 inches.
Things growing makes me happy.

Stay safe. See you tomorrow.