Chris's Weblog – City Chickens

Monthly Archive: December 2008

Mantis 4-Stroke Tiller

My surprise gift to Rob this year is a Mantis Tiller. Hopefully this will alleviate the backache he gets when digging over the beds at the allotment. I bought it direct from Mantis online. I will do a follow up post about this when we have put it to the test.

Mantis 4-stroke Tiller

Update – Well the Mantis did everything we expected on the plot but what we didn’t expect was for it to be stolen when the plots were raided by thieves. They even took our spade and fork.

Christmas Surprise – Sansa Fuze

41ygmlbwunl__sl160_aa115_.jpgMy son Glenn bought me a nice present for Christmas this year. A Sansa Fuze. He had downloaded a few books by my favourite authors and I can now lie with my eyes closed and have a story read to me, bliss.

update – he seems to have started a trend, now my partner, Rob, my sister-in-law Jan and my Sister Cath are all to be seen wired for sound.

Rosa Pascali, Rosa Margaret Merrill and Crocus Ruby Giant

rosa pascaliThis morning was a little milder and so I planted a new rose, Rosa Pascali, alongside the chicken enclosure. There is already a rose there, Rosa Margaret Merrill, which has been in the garden for a couple of years. Both are white and both are scented so they should look good in front of the new Clematis I put in recently.

Pascali was bred in Belgium and introduced in 1963. Like its parent, Queen Elizabeth, it presents one fragrant, creamy-white bloom per stem. It is a modern bush rose that grows into a sturdy, upright plant and has pointed blossoms well suited for cutting,  blooming continuously or in flushes all season.


rosa margaret merril

Rosa Margaret Merrill has delicate, double, exceptionally fragrant, pale pink to white flowers from July to September and crisp, dark green leaves. This vigorous, cluster-flowered bush rose is perfect for an open, sunny site with fertile, moist, well-drained soil. Offering good resistance to disease, the beautiful high-centred to cup-shaped blooms make excellent cut-flowers.



crocus ruby giantI also divided fifty Crocus Ruby Giant between two pots

Crocus tommasinianus Ruby Giant was introduced in 1956 and is rich reddish purple with yellow-orange anthers.  It will naturalise readily. Bred in Holland, even when closed, the sturdy stems hold the flower heads up above their leaves.  It will flower early in Spring, and is attractive to insects. While needing a well-drained position and loving the sun, it is more happy in shade than most crocuses. Its capacity for spreading means it will establish itself wherever it is put.