12 July 2022

Lots Of Dead And Dying Plants.

 Today has been slightly cooler with the odd spot of rain that did no good at all.

For the past two weeks I've been banned from entering 75% of the gardens on account of Lady Gaga staying. I wasn't allowed to mention it at the time but I think it's okay to do so now. So first thing this morning I took a walk round the bits I'd been excluded from to check out how things were doing and it wasn't good, in fact it was heartbreaking. The geraniums in the wall always get watered twice a week if there is no rain and so with the heatwave we've been enjoying and no water for over two weeks they have suffered a lot, I think they are smaller now than when I planted them. There looks to be a colourful show from a distance but when you look close the plants are stunted and shriveled, the flowers being their last attempt to make offsprings before they die and not those of a healthy display.

Below you can see what I mean, four big flowers on a tiny shrivelled up plant. If this plant is to survive it needs all these flowers removing before a good watering. The dead plants are pansies.
Below is one of the two new trees that we spent several hundred pounds on this past spring and that too is showing signs of drought stress simply because I wasn't allowed to do my job. I will be able to bring that back okay.
This next plant was actually in a corner by the backdoor to the hall which I hadn't got round to visiting when I got a phone call saying it needed some attention. I got great pleasure telling the caller that this is what happens when you stop the gardener from doing their job. I think they got the impression that it wasn't a good day to hang around talking to me on the phone. I'm not sure this plant can be revived.
So today I've had another busy day watering but at the moment it's like fighting a fire with a water pistol. Of course another thing that comes to mind is that after the last drought a few years ago I bust a gut day after day is sweltering heat only to be told by several people afterwards that I must have had it easy with having no lawns to cut all summer! So this time I'm thinking that maybe I should just take it easy and not bother trying to keep things alive, at least if I get accused of taking it easy this time I will actually have had the pleasure if you know what I mean. Trouble is though I'm a proper gardener therefore I don't like to see the plants suffering.

Also this morning I found out that John, one of the guys I work with, came off his motorbike on his way home last Friday and is laid up at home with a punctured lung. I sent a message to wish him a speedy recovery.

11 July 2022

Access Is Fully Restored.

 Today has been super warm so much so it's been hard to achieve much in the gardens.

First of all I would like to apologise for my lack of response to your comments, all of which I like to try and at least acknowledge. A while back I was getting some spam comments so I made it so that I needed to verify them before being published but I went and forgot I'd done it so I was just thinking that no one was commenting. Then today I realised what was happening. Anyway I've now published all your comments so thank you, I really do appreciate your interaction.

I'm back at work now for the next four days and after the heat of the past few days I was keen to take a walk around the gardens to see how things were coping. There are plenty of sweet peas on offer, none of which will be picked I'm sorry to say. Sadly the days of the big house enjoying produce from its gardens are long gone and I fear never to return.

I also noticed that the crop of peaches is coming on well and I think soon there will be some worthy of picking.

I got a message this afternoon informing me that Lady Gaga has left the building and that my access to the gardens has been fully restored.

10 July 2022

A Bit Of Hay Making.

 Today the weather has been very warm right from early on in the morning.

First thing after breakfast I usually take Timothy - Michael for a walk. This morning on passing the farm just up the road from us we came upon Norman unloading some hay from a trailer to the barn. So as he was alone I took the opportunity to offer to help which he accepted. So for the first time in years I climbed up onto the trailer and threw off the bales of hay into the barn for Norman to stack. Once completed Timmy and I continued our walk.

The rest of the day was not so active and we spent a lot of time sitting around, mostly in the shade. Days like this are a good time to admire the garden and maybe plan some things for the future. Below we are both enjoying the shade while I admire the garden.

Another job I have been doing on a Sunday is to feed all the pot plants. of which there are many. I feed the flowering and fruiting plants with a potash feed and the green plants such and the banana trees with Miracle gro. It takes over an hour as we have a lot of plants in pots but it seems to be paying off.

Also yesterday afternoon I watched the Grand Prix from Austria.

9 July 2022

A New Purpose In Life.

 Today has been warm and sunny once again.

I made this little creation below. The people who had the house before us left it behind and as we won't be using it for its intended purpose I have given it a new job in life. The silver Cinneraria is meant to symbolise smoke and the red Geranium is the fire.

I didn't do much of anything today other than a bit of potting on. I did clean down the white bench and moved it round to the front garden and then in the afternoon I watched the sprint race at the Austrian GP.

Vicki found out today that the caretaker has decided not to leave after all which doesn't surprise me. I just hope that everyone who donated to her leaving event get a refund. My retirement date is set for the 26th August 2022 so not long to go now.

The picture below is of the evening sky over Rusholme after a glorious summers day.

8 July 2022

Black Currant Picking

Today has been warm and sunny once again.

I spent the morning pottering around and catching up on things around my own garden. I picked up the windfall apples which has been a daily task over the past few weeks, there is a heavy crop this year. I also put canes to the Chrysanths that I have growing in pots as they are starting to get quite tall and in danger of falling over and perhaps breaking off. I want the option to cut them for the house so they need to be grown straight for that.

After lunch I had a little nap before starting on picking the fruit from the one and only black currant bush we have this year. As we don't have an area of garden for fruit and veg the bush has been grown in a large container and for saying that it was roughly dug out of the ground and put in a pot just this past spring I am very pleased with the crop we got from it. Some of the berries are a bit on the small side but there were plenty of them and I was able to fill three quite large bowls as you can see in the pictures below. The fruit will be frozen and used over the coming year on my daily bowl of porridge which I have to start the day.

I finished the day with some pot watering followed by a bike ride to just past the dog training corner on the way to Carlton.