Friday, 31 January 2014

Bag End through the year: Greenhouse/nursery

January 2014:  Not much going on here at this time of year but it's still a favourite part of the garden. 

Bag End through the year: Potager / Fruit Cages

January 2014:  The Potager is a depressing mess, the arched cages haven't survived winter as well as we had hoped and the old strawberries & raspberries are still to be dug up. Next to the greenhouse LP has prepared the ground for our planned strawberry cage.

A strange few days

It's been a strange few days and I'll be glad when January is over and done with.  Last week I learned that whilst I am not ill, I am not as healthy as I thought I was and a few adjustments need to be made.  Nothing to panic over, not quite ready to talk about it.

On Friday we attended Bert's funeral.  The crematorium was 'standing room only' and it was a good service but it has been a shock to see our friend go from "poorly" to "goodbye" in less than four months.  Even when in great pain Bert was always cheerful and loved the part he played in helping to create Bag End.  We are all very sad he won't see it finished.

(March 2012 helping us move a huge pile of pony poo off the drive)

On Saturday morning I started to sneeze and that, together with a constantly streaming nose, did not stop for three days;  I haven't had a cold this bad for ten years.  I spent the entire weekend collapsed either in bed or in front of the woodburner.  Management was considerably more sympathetic than Daisy who just wanted to go for a long walk ... For a brief, fever induced moment, I considered being trendy and taking a 'Selfie' showing what three days of constant tissues does to nose/philtrum/upper lip.  Be forever relieved I didn't.  

The rain relented mid-week and LP came in for a couple of days proving that I am completely surplus to requirements in my own garden.  On Wednesday I didn't have the strength to do much more than tell him what to work on, and then return to the sofa collapsed in a heap.  Without any assistance from me he lined the "stepped" raised bed with DPC, spread our remaining tiny supply of bark chip over the most worn sections of paths, and attacked the stumps in the nursery area with serious malice!

Daisy Is Not Happy.  She does not understand what crime she had committed which resulted in my refusing to walk her at the weekend;  in Daisy-World going out with Daddy just doesn't cut the mustard.  Now that's he's gone back to wherever he goes when he is not here Her Ladyship reckons my day ought to be filled with car rides to fell-sides.

Her life is full of disappointment but the restorative powers of a new rugby ball should never be underestimated.

On Thursday morning we worked in the greenhouse.  That is the Royal We again - I sat in a corner and told LP what I wanted which was another raised bed.   I think I'll get more use out of the sheltered greenhouse space if I grow in soil, I hope it will help regulate the temperature in summer, supposedly my tomatoes will be better and even if none of the above is true, I just want to do it :}

He was only available until lunchtime but made a great start and will be back on Monday.

Today I am back to wobbly legs, head full of porridge and feeling utter rubbish again. Yesterday three separate people told me I looked absolutely dreadful and that it sounded like I had flu, not a cold. I am starting to wonder if at least one of them might be right?

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Bag End through the year: Side Garden

January 2014:  The biggest section of garden and although it took until last year 'tame', is coming together nicely.  Lots of new growth - tassels on the Garrya elliptica (along with black spot that I need to get on top of), new buds on all the laurel bushes, tiny new shoots under Euphorbia amygdaloides robbiae.  The perennial wallflower, Erysimum bowles mauve has a solitary flower and daffodils are pushing at from the back of the long border.

And a mess I normally hide from view - one day this will be a bed near the house, for now it is a dumping ground of decking materials and the rest of an old oil pipe which still has to be dug out.

Happiness is . . .

. . . a new rugby ball.

Very soon it will be punctured, that's OK - easier to carry around when half inflated. 

Then it will be shaken like a rat until it is very, very, very dead. 

Then the real damage occurs and the seams will be ripped open.

At that point it can be disembowelled.

This process takes about four months, Daisy is in doggy heaven and we think it's an absolute bargain!

Saturday, 25 January 2014


It's always been a puzzle why I regularly find one of the sunflower feeders on the ground.  Occasionally I think it might have blown off the shepherd's crook but if it hasn't been windy then I have no explanation.

I have now:

I love the Rooks which visit us nearly as much as I love the Red Squirrels.  The pictures were taken last November but I 'lost' the memory card ....

(Lightbox feature still not working.  On the 'Something is Broken' Blogger page a note was posted that "we're working on it" - on 20th January)

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Faux Snow?

Our first 'blizzard' of the year lasted a mere ten minutes and the snow didn't settle.  It was pretty impressive whilst it fell though :}

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Capturing a moment

It starts slowly at first, then spreading to fill the sky with wonder.  These pictures don't fully capture the beauty but they do help to relive the memory.

I don't know why the images aren't showing in Lightbox mode.  I have the setting turned on, guess Blogger is having a confused moment :{  

Monday, 20 January 2014

It's about time we had a bit of progress in the garden

It was a shock to see that the last time LP worked here was 26th November.  The combination of holidays and appalling weather means that seven weeks have gone by since we made any progress on the Veg Patch. 

On Monday morning I left LP to finish construction on the 8 metre long bed whilst Daisy and I had a pleasant walk at Mawbray.  At Management's suggestion we are going to mount an IBC tank next to the black trellis (as soon as he's able to weld a steel frame for it) so a new panel has been fitted in and we've finished all the inner bits and pieces.  The DPC is to keep wet soil away from timber and the plastic conduit will hold bits of rebar onto which I can fix plastic hoops when I want to cover the soil. We've also added coach bolts to the front edge and a couple of internal braces.  I have visions of the constant weight of wet soil pushing the boards out and I'd really prefer that not to happen :}

We* were able to make a start on putting soil in the bed but ran out of daylight before much could be achieved.  Never mind, it might be slow progress but at least we're going in the right direction.

* that's the "Royal We".  LP did all the lifting, I stood around in supervisory capacity.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Bag End Cam 6

I really must sort out a routine for regularly checking the Trail cameras.  Leaving it weeks and then having 1,685 pictures to scan through is stupid.  Thankfully today was one of those 'dark, dull, need light on all day' days so Daisy grumbled about the lack of exciting walks and I hunkered down in front of the PC and got caught up on all sorts of desk work interspersed with the mind-numbing task of checking through the Cam pics.

After much deleting, this is the "best of the rest".

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Busy Tuesday

I'm out of the habit of getting organised for early morning starts but it's worth it to be back at the yoga class which I thoroughly enjoy.  Back home, eat, then straight out again with Daisy makes it a busy day.  A gentle (just under) 3 miles around Whinlatter.  A bit of slightly off piste wandering around searching for a route up the flank of Ladyside Pike until I found the path I was looking for.

    Not where you might expect from the photo, but there's a path out of the back of this clearing

As this was just a little afternoon dog-walk I didn't have a full rucksack and with snow down to about 500m and it would have been silly to go up there.   It was fun, however, was take some pictures of the valley opposite clearly showing the routes up from the Spout Force parking (which was closed for some very overdue resurfacing, thank goodness).

At the weekend I had another freezer cooking session.  I stopped on the way home to drop off some curries for my 'pony poo' supplying friend who is nursing her husband at home.  His cancer has spread at a frightening pace and I don't think he'll last the week.  She calls me her 'Meals on Wheels' provider :{