23 December 2021

Second Hand Window Cleaner.

There has been know painting for me today as I've caught up with what I can do until I know what else Vicki intends. I think I've done okay for a novice decorator though, I've got two rooms ready and painted the ceiling throughout the rest of the house. So I had a bit of a tidy round this morning, took out all the painting things from the dinning room and gave it a sweep out and put some things back on the wall that I removed for decorating.

This afternoon I spent quite some time cleaning down a second hand window that I've got for the garage. There was all sealant around the edges from when it had been in it's last location so I cleaned all that off and washed it all down so it looks as good as new. It's a plastic frame so there's no rot to worry about.


22 December 2021

Painting The Dinning Room.

 Today we have been painting the dinning room walls. When I say WE I mean Timothy-Michael and I. Although as I said previously Timmy is under strict instructions not to over do things on account of his injured leg.

The first job was to piant around all the edges and corners which proved a more difficult and time consuming job than painting all the rest of the walls. I still have some work to do on the radiator but I ran out of time also I can't get properly with the brushes I have so Vicki is going to fix me up with something else which she says will do the job. Lets hope it does or we may end up with a stripy radiator.

21 December 2021

There's No Fooling Timothy - Michael.

 I finished work last Friday until in the new year so me and the head gardener are spending this week doing some work up at the cottage. One of the first jobs was to stack up some logs that we had delivered last week. I didn't have time to do it when they were delivered because I had to get back to work. I wasn't really skiving off as such as I am going to be feeding sheep and stuff over Christmas and New Year so I will more than make up for lost time then but I don't like to abuse a situation and I have plenty of time this week to stack up the logs.

Unfortnately the head gardener is not going to well at the moment as he has hurt one of his back legs. The vet doesn't seem to think he has torn or broken anything but he has several different lots of medication to take and has to rest as much as possible. There is one particular tablet that he has taken a dislike to and it's proving to be a challenge to get him to have it. Mostly he will take his medicine in cheese but not this tablet, he knows it's in there and just spits it back out. I even ground it up and put it in milk which he likes but there's no fooling him, he wouldn't take the milk. I've had some success today by dripping it in marmite and then wrapping it in cheese and then leaving it in the corner somewhere for him to discover for himself and so far that is working out okay.

15 December 2021

Potting Shed Spruce Up.

 Me and Timmy stayed over at the cottage again last weekend and one of the jobs we did was to tidy out the potting shed and give the walls a coat of paint. Because of distractions such as going for walks, drinking tea and playing ball we only managed to get the top two thirds of the walls painted in white. The next time we go to stay we will try and paint the bottom part with grey and then we can start moving things in when we move them up there.

9 December 2021

Kicked Out.

Me and Timmy sent the weekend over at the cottage. Because we are just finding our feet there at the moment the ok only heating we have is a couple of log burners which go out during the night and when they do I end up with Timmy trying to move in to the sleeping bag with me. This picture was taken in the morning after I vacated it - I think he had ideas about having a lie in.

29 November 2021

Camping Out At The New House.

 At the weekend Timothy - Michael and I spent the weekend camped out at the new house. We had a few jobs to do and I also wanted to get a feel for the place. I think we arrived roughly at the same time as  Storm Arwen because not long after arriving the power went down and didn't return again until the evening for a couple of hours before once again going off not to return for a further twenty four hours but we were okay. We got a stove going in one of the rooms and we had a propane cooked to boil up water for tea and make something to eat, we were actually very cosy. We didn't get a lot of work done on the Saturday as it was to wild outdoors and it was a bit too dark indoors to do a lot but we did meet the neighbours who are really nice people and made us feel very welcome indeed, they even lent me a pan for the cooker as we didn't have anything there like that, just an electric kettle and a microwave which were both useless. We also got to find out some details of the area from our visit to the neighbours. 

My bed for the night in the corner.

Timothy - Michael tested various sleeping places within the room during the night.

24 November 2021

New Beginning.

First of all I will apologise for this post being out of sequence as it should have been before the previous post but the computer with the pictures on it was out of order but it's back in action now so here goes.

Over the past few months we have been looking to buy a property as the house we live in belongs to the estate which I get as part of my wages so eventually I would either need to start paying rent or leave so we decided to buy a place so that when the time comes we have options.

So after lots of searching and disappointments we found this cottage and was fortunate enough to get the chance to buy it. That was back in July and it has taken until last Friday 19th November before everything was sorted and we were finally able to get the keys and use it as our own. For the time being we are going to be decorating and sorting out a few other little jobs with regard to the d├ęcor and of course in time there will be some jobs to be done in the garden.

Below is the front of the house taken from the lane. 

Again, this the front of the house but looking the other way. The front garden that you see here is south facing so will get lots of sunshine.

This is the end and back of the house. There is another property joined on to the end of our house. We haven't met the neighbours yet so we are keeping our fingers crossed.

This is the view looking from the back of the house and this is the view Timmy has from his perch at the top of the stairs which I showed you in the previous post.


23 November 2021

Timmy Found His New Spot.

Today we went over to the new house for the first time since getting the keys to the property. As we aren't moving in properly until April we are just taking a few things over a bit at a time in the cars as and when we go. Today's visit was mainly to take a look around the place, take some measurements and make a few notes as to what needs to be done, mostly in terms of decor and what have you. Of course I will be doing lots of work in the garden but there is no desperate rush with that at the time being. Another reason for the visit today was to take the dogs over to see how they liked it and as was to be expected they were quite eager to explore, especially Tess who was in to everything. Timmy was his usual self and very calm about it all and soon found his new favourite place which was on the top of the stairs. This was no great surprise as he is often to be found keeping an eye on things from the top of the stairs back at our old place. 
Timmy's has a new favourite place with a view out across fields.

Timmy soon found his new favourite place and was very laid back about it all.

28 June 2021

Sweet Pea Update.

 As promised here is an update on the progress of this years Sweet Peas. I'm going to have to get some dead heading done soon so as to keep them flowering.

27 June 2021

Delphinium Update.

 Some who follow this blog will have seen the series I've been doing on the Delphinium  crown bud cuttings that I took last year, well today I can show you one that has come into flower. This is the only one that I have planted in the ground as I'm growing the rest on in pots to try and bulk to the plant rather than allow it to flower this year. I just wanted to grow on one to give you all an idea of what to expect from the end result. 

If you want to see the whole series just click on the labels for this post.

A few posts ago I showed you the Sweet Peas having just been planted out. Well they are all growing away well now so tomorrow I will post an update picture for you. I will also be posting about a new project that I am embarking on over the next few months so stay tuned.

21 April 2021

A Cherry Blossom Time Of Year.

Hello everyone, 

This week I have been spending a lot of my time cutting grass, in particular the lawns. I have been over them a couple of times this year already with the tractor and whilst it does an okay job, especially at knocking off all the winter rough so making it a more manageable job for the Allett mower which does a much better cut. Because it's the first cut with the Allett mower I also need to mark out the lawns so as to get the stripes right, this takes up quite a bit of time which is why it's taken me twice as long as it would to normally cut the grass. If we don't have rain soon I won't have to be bothering myself about cutting grass though as everywhere is getting to be very dry.

One of the main features of the garden at this time of the year apart from the Daffodils are the Cherry trees which are all full of blossom. Below are a few pictures for you to take a look at.


19 April 2021

Sweet Peas

Hello Everyone,

On Friday afternoon I planted the Sweet Peas but didn't have time to net them so I've just done that this morning.

This year I have put them in a new place as I think they will have a better impact here rather than the veg garden/Orchard area. For the last few years I've been planting them against the north facing wall of the walled garden and they have done very well even though they never get any direct sun on them. The netting they climb up is hooked on top of the wall and the plants eventually reach the top.

13 April 2021

Geranium Planting.

Today I spent most of my day in what we call the courtyard although strictly speaking it is actually the old stable yard which long ago would most likely have been home to the horses and carriages.

I started with a general tidy up of the center area which involved the usual weeding forking and edging type thing. I have some Pelargonium Geraniums and an ornamental Banana plant to go in the center bed when the weather warms up. 

To finish off I did a little planting job around the wall bottom. At the far end of this wall there is a Geranium, not the Pelargonium sort that I have for the center bed but the hardy perennial kind. Anyway last Autumn I split it much the same as I did with the crown bud cuttings on the Delphinium except the cuttings were shoots rather than just buds. These have been grown on over winter and are now able to be planted out. As you can see you can soon have a lot of plants from just one mother plant. In fact what you see here is just a fraction of the plant. Since planting these I have taken as many more cuttings again which I intend to use to reduce the spacing between these plants, and there is still quite a big plant left at the end of the wall.

 The frustrating thing for me is that no one ever sees this sort of work or the savings. All anyone ever seems to talk about is grass cutting and the things one doesn't do. It's that time of year where everyone is making comments about lawn mowing as though I have suddenly got something to do after sitting around twiddling my thumbs all winter.

7 April 2021

Dahlia Planting

Since returning to work after my extended Easter holiday I have been planting up Dahlia beds. The weather has turned quite cold here so as it's a job that involves some digging it's proving to be quite beneficial, especially as the soil is also dry and working well.

Below is a picture of one of the Memorial Garden beds with the tubers set out ready for planting. If you are planting a whole bed with a limited number of plants it's best to set them out first so as to get an even spacing They are planted in staggered rows but once they get going they soon become a single mass and even when planted that far from the edge of the lawn they will eventually grow up to the edge. So as you can see from that it's good to give them plenty of room, especially if you are planting large tubers. If you click on the (Memorial Gardens) label you will see what I mean.

Before placing the tubers I also give the ground a dressing of general purpose fertiliser which then gets worked in to the soil as you do the planting work. To finish off the job I went round the borders with the edging shears which I always think is a worthwhile thing to do if you like it nice and tidy looking.

22 March 2021

Barn Wall Pruning Work.

Today we have been doing some pruning work along the barn wall and border. This is work that continues on from the tree pruning that we did last week.

First job was to tidy up the Ivy on the wall to the steps. The Ivy is under control so it was just a matter of trimming the side and then taking back last years growth. I don't know if you can see in the picture but there are some nice wrought iron rails above the Ivy.  

I think it makes quite a difference to the look of the place once done.

As we move along the wall there are some Dogwoods and a Pyracantha that need pruning. There are several other shrubs as well but they can't be pruned just yet as it would cut off this years flowers.

I just cut the Dogwoods back to last years cut and removed any dead or weak growth. The Pyracantha has to have a degree of training as well as a prune. There are a couple of interesting features in the wall that I don't want to cover so it has to be trained to the wall but around the obstacles. 

This year I added a loop around the statue in the wall, I think you can just make it out if you look close. I now need to get a shoot growing off to the left of that loop to balance things out. Also in this picture you can see a Euonymus to the left of the Pyracantha, this was also given a bit of a trim. As you can see I still have the Dogwood prunings to pick up and cart away as I ran out of time. The Euonymus can be grown as a shrub but as there isn't enough room for that I've trained it to grow flat against the wall. The chunk that's missing out of the left hand side is where some non gardening person decided to install a bird box. I expect it will fill in again with time.

18 March 2021

Pruning Afternoon

This afternoon we had a bit of a pruning session in one of the shrub borders. I say pruning but it was a bit of a mixture of proper pruning with some clipping. I prefer to prune for a more natural look but some of the shrubs such as the Berbris lend them selves to clipping where as the buddleia's get a proper pruning. We finished off by putting everything through the shredder and returned it back to the border It was a nice day for it, dry and quite warm in the sunshine.

Below are a couple of before and after pictures.

16 March 2021

Restoring The Balance.

 We had cause to try and save this tree recently. It got pulled over by the weight of the snow that we had a few weeks back. It was virtually blocking the entrance to the wedding barn so if I could if I couldn't get it back under control it was going to have to be removed which would have been a shame.

Thankfully I was able to save it and at the same time keep it looking respectable.

This is a side view before the work began. Apart from blocking the doorway it was also covering a border.

This is the same side view after the work was done. People can once again walk under it without having to duck or bang their heads.

This the view from the other side and gives a better idea of how far it came away from the wall.

Here is the finished article. It's still away from the wall but I've managed to get a certain balance to it so that hopefully it will reestablish it's self with time.

15 March 2021

 I've managed to get a bit more work done on the graves in the churchyard. This first picture is a reminder of as it was like shortly after I started back in February. At the very beginning there was also Ivy covering both the gravestones as well as the ground.

This is how it was after the initial clearing and after I removed the Ivy from the graves and went over the surrounding area with the brush cutter.

This next picture shows the work I did lastly on the next four graves. The Ivy had climbed the sides and was starting to grow over the top so I removed it from top and sides plus underneath which was the most difficult part as I couldn't get to it very easily. As you can see in the foreground the original graves are now cleared. I'm undecided whether to put in a little plant, maybe a primula or similar but would that be overstepping the mark as the graves are nothing to do with me.

Here are the last four graves I cleared looking from the other end. You can see some of the Ivy I had to remove from them.

14 March 2021

Scotts Pine & Noble Fir.

One of our jobs this past week has been to pot on these Scotts Pine trees. I bought them in last year as bare rooted plants and the boss wants them growing on to make bigger plants for planting out in the woods at some point.

After buying in the trees last year it inspired me to have a go at growing some from seed so a few weeks ago I sowed a packet of Scots Pine and Noble Fir seeds. The Scotts Pine are in the half of the tray nearest and as you can see they have germinated very well. The Noble Fir are proving to be quite a lot slower, it looks like I might get a few plants from them eventually. For those that don't know the Noble Fir is often what you are getting when you buy your no drop Christmas trees.

10 March 2021

Crown Bud Cutting Spring Growth.

Today I thought I would give you an update on the Delphinium crown bud cuttings that I took last July. There hasn't been anything to see over the winter as all the leaves died back but this past week or so they are showing signs of life again. In the next few weeks I will be looking to pot them up to a bigger pot. If you didn't see the original posts when I made them, go and take a look either by following the labels to this post or click [HERE]

7 March 2021

Something Different.

Today I thought I would post something a bit different to the usual gardening things. I took these during our daily walk around. I like to make sure things are in order and no one has been up to any monkey business.

Below is the head gardener checking out the snowdrops by the woodland walk, no doubt whilst keeping an eye out for squirrels also.

This building in amonst the trees is the old water pumping station, it's no longer in use and is slowly decaying with time.

4 March 2021

Bird Box Terrace

Yesterday we moved some of the Dahlia tubers from being stored in the potting shed to the conservatory in the hope that if I keep dampening them with water on warmer days they will start to put out shoots so they get a head start once planted in the garden. A bit like spritting seed Potatoes I suppose.

The ones below are called Border Princess and will be going back into the Memorial Gardens borders.

Also yesterday, as I was supposed to be taking it easy I put up a bird box. It's been waiting around in the potting shed for a couple of years so I thought it was time it did a bit of good somewhere. I don't really know much about birds so not sure if it's in a good place or not. I read that some birds like to fly straight into the box whereas others prefer to perch and look around first  so I've tried to accommodate both here because apart from the hole that you can see in the middle there is also one at either end which in my book makes it a terraced bird box. Anyway I will keep an eye on it and see how it goes. I think there are probably a lot of better places to nest around here to be honest.