The diary of two novice gardeners and allotmenteers

Chris and Steve's Weblog – City Chickens

Tag Archive: family

Adam – 20th February 2017

I find it hard to accept that a whole year has passed since I lost Adam. I miss him more than ever. He should still be here with his family. I know that if he could he would be telling us all to enjoy life. He used to say “Life is great” but it will never be the same for us without him. This weekend has been very difficult.  Adam died on Saturday 20th February 2016 and I’m sure that in spite of how difficult life was for him at that time he would still have chosen to live. Love you and miss you my lovely boy.

Viola Sororia Freckles

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Quite unlike any other variety, Viola Sororia Freckles bears violet, speckled flowers from spring through to summer. The blooms are carried above neat clumps of heart shaped foliage. This Violet will self-seed freely. Perfect for growing in containers or rockeries.

These tough little plants will seed themselves anywhere. They’re  strong like Adam was strong and they will be growing all over the garden along with lots of other Violas next year and every year in memory of my brave boy.

 

Christmas Rose – Helleborus Niger

On Thursday this week I shall be going to the local Lidl store to buy some of these beautiful plants. At six for £7.99 I shall be a happy lady. I have kept back some tête-à-tête so I shall pot them up together. This will be another reminder of Adam as this combination of plants grew along under his bedroom window at the house on the hill. When they were at their best I would take him a photo and the twins would often just pick them as toddlers do and take them in to him. I asked for White Hellebore to be included in Adams funeral flowers and they looked lovely.

Christmas roses have a deep growing root system so the roots should be planted downward rather than spread out below the soil surface and the crown of the plant should be an inch below the soil surface. Apply a layer of mulch around the plant. Every spring remove old, tattered foliage and feed the plants with a balanced water soluble fertiliser.

Black Eyed Susan – Rudbeckia

Another welcome gift from my daughter-in-law Deb. Three large healthy roots of this lovely hardy perennial. Deb is a gardener with her own successful company www.daisy-chain-gardens.co.uk. Thank you Deb.

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Charming, daisy-like flowers with prominent, cone-shaped, blackish-brown centres appear in abundance from August to October. This beautiful ‘black-eyed Susan’ is an excellent choice for the middle of a late summer border and it associates particularly well with ornamental grasses. It is a particularly free-flowering variety, that is best planted in bold drifts in a sunny or partially shady site that doesn’t dry out over summer. Information and picture from crocus.com.

Ready for Season 2011 – Sean 40 Today

We have started to think about the new season. I know it is too early yet to sow seeds and I am determined to be patient. First thing on the agenda is to get the seed potatoes and start them chitting in egg boxes on the window ledge. I am sticking to earlies only again this year and planting them all in bags. My favourites from last season were Vivaldi, grown from potatoes bought from Sainsburys and Sharps Express, bought as seed potatoes from Focus. I am just growing those again this season. The second task is to get the parsnip seeds in in February if we have a fine dry day.

I intend to have another go at onions from seed as I have good seed left. Last years were not too good and got neck rot and went soggy before we could harvest them. I am not sure what I did wrong but will have another go.  I have Onion Ishikura, Ailsa Craig and a Sweet Spanish Onion. My instructions say sow very thinly in February under cloches or March to April out in the open. Ishikuri are salad onions and are meant to be harvested as spring onions, when they are about six inches high and pencil thick.  Ailsa Craig and the Spanish Onion are mild cooking onions which stay in the ground longer and are harvested when they have formed a large bulb. I have just read that the Ailsa Craig are known as Winter Onions and so should have been sown in the winter ready to grow on and harvest the following Autumn.Because of Christmas, very bad weather and flu I haven’t been to the allotments for a few weeks so I am looking forward to my first visit of the year. I am sure there will be lots of tidying up to do but hopefully a few nice surprises too.

Happy Birthday Sean. 40 today!!!!!!!!!

Red Letter Day

Today is a special day as it is twenty five years since Rob joined Royal Mail. He has hardly had a day off sick in all that time and I am very proud of him. Twenty five years has seen him change from a young man into a wonderful Grandad.

 

Top Scorer

libbieWe had a bit of a darts match on Saturday night and after Jan had shown the boys how to do it by winning the first run, Rob turned out to be top scorer by winning the final match. We had a very good night with plenty of eating, drinking and laughing. Libbie stayed the night which was lovely as she hasn’t stayed for ages.

Sean and Deb couldn’t make Saturday so they came to dinner on Sunday with Jem. They always come loaded with presents and this time I got loads of flowers, a book to read. a sensitive plant, and a lovely chocolate cake chosen by Jemima. So all in all we had a busy but happy weekend.

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Rob and I popped to the allotment at dinner time today to take the poo buckets etc and came home with a bag of beans the last of the tomatoes and the first of our new cauliflowers out of the tunnel on plot 8.

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Silkies

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We need to find a home for our new white Silkie bantam pair as we are unable to keep cockerels at home. We would prefer to keep the hen but no-one wants to buy just a boy. They are a lovely group and would be perfect for breeding if only we had the space.

The weather over the last three weeks has been perfect for growing with plenty of sunshine and rain so we have been busy harvesting and weeding. The crop this year has been wonderful. I think its down to the good season rather than any improving skills from us. I have ordered overwintering brassica plants and the onion sets ready for planting so we have to get cracking and clear the beds for them. Last years onion sets bought from Focus have given us a great crop and should see us through till next year. They have been dried and put into netting bags for storage. Although we still have potatoes to dig up we have already eaten and given away loads and have some stored in paper sacks for later. We have done much better this year with potatoes as we have grown most of them in bags rather than in the ground.

Its throwing it down with rain this morning and Glenn and Adam are fishing at Pool Hall for a few days. The fish are weighed and photographed and then returned gently to the water.

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