Friday, January 30, 2009


My kitchen growing Hyacinth has started to flower, the scent fills the kitchen when im making coffee...
The name comes from the Greek myths. A young man called Hyakinthos was loved by Apollo. A jealous rival caused the wind to blow hard when Apollo and Hyakinthos were practising with a discus. The young man was fatally wounded, and where his blood came out flowers blossomed.
Apollo called them Hyacinths after the young man.
Beloved by children who watch them grow in glass jars to see the roots forming, and by gardeners who love them to flower early by forcing them.
The lilac scented flowers bring some cheer as the Siberian winter weather is blowing in.
Its cold outside....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Late Garden Bird Watch

I sat down today at the kitchen window for an hour looking at the garden counting the birds that flew in throughout the hour. My own late Garden Birdwatch.I have submitted my results to the RSPB online. The fat balls hung by the kitchen window had seen some action.I was suprised to see the two House Sparrows fly upto it a few feet from me to feed...

A pair of Blue Tits hang onto the fat balls.I forgot to take the green netting off these and they seem to have lasted ages, compared to the fat balls with no netting.They are so quick in and out of the garden from the privet.

A pair of Female House Sparrows hopped around the right hand border. You can see the green tips from the spring bulbs growing out of the tubs.
A Robin, and a Blackbird came into the garden too, high above in the trees a Crow and a Magpie watched on.
This years bird watch surpassed last year when none appeared in the hour that I watched.Its good for the soul to sit down and watch them with a cup of coffee in hand.
I will look at the new Thompson And Morgan plant catalogue I got yesterday.They are offering plug plants and pot plants.I may cheat and buy a few from them to give the summer garden some colour and scent.

Monday, January 26, 2009

New Growth

The Sedum has all new growth at the bottom of the plant. It has the leaves curled up like little Roses that capture the fallen rain between them. Little gems of water.
I went to the allotment on friday to dig some of the beds. The rain had turned the soil very sticky and cloggy.
I left the big bed to dig, and two new ones to form. I moved the Broadbeans to the Cabbage bed, and the two Garlics I found in the soil as I turned it.
No seeds have come yet from Marshalls, maybe tomorrow.
I want to move my Strawberry plants into a new bed by the Rhubarb. It has died back to the ground but has little red spears appearing from the crown.
I worked the weekend and missed the great garden birdwatch. I will try to do an hour watching this week to fill my form in.
The seeds I planted have started to germinate. The Leeks, Red Onion Florence, Cabbage Excel, and the Peas in the paper pots.
One of my Hyacinths has flowers on in the kitchen. I will photograph that tomorrow in daylight.
January is speeding by so quick. Things are growing now.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Garden Jobs And Growth

The left hand border yesterday. There is signs of new growth on many of the plants with new buds formed and leaves growing.
I planted some pass along plant bulbs today, some Red flowering Crocosmia from a man at work.
They had languished in a plastic bag for a month or two. They are in one big pot, and two little pots.
I have been tidying up the house plants and garden today moving the baskets down ready for clearing and replanting. I have trimmed the Rose bushes and took the dead leaves off.
Its too damp to sweep up, but when its dried I will.
The Tulips, Hyacinths, Daffodils, and Crocus are pushing up from the soil. Little green swords are growing slowly from the soil.
I replenished the birds food and changed the water so it was fresh.A few Blue Tits dive bombed in for food, but otherwise it was quiet on the garden birds front.
It was a day for doing garden jobs. I find its easier to do a few every day, rather than trying to do it all in one day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Patayter Caper

Taken today in the cold, grey day the one Hellebore with a flower bud growing over the birds water bowl.These had spectacular flowers last year, with the most amazing design in the centre. I like the blurred feel for this flower bud, above the cold and damp soil, with last years leaves fading in the soil.
I went out today to find seed Potatoes at Wilkos. When I got there they had all sold out. I cant believe how quick they emptied their stock!
I walked to Homebase and was leaving when I found Seed Potatoes on a trolley by the exit.
I have two mini bags of New Potatoes called Charlotte and Nichola for the garden grow bags. I will start them off indoors like last year on the kitchen floor...
The allotment Potatoes are Sharpes Express (first early) and Maris Piper (maincrop). I bought some Leek Musselburgh seeds which I have sowed tonight. I bought a Horse Radish root too from Wilkos, and a Hot Chilli Tabasco seeds to grow in a pot.
The birds got a bag of bird food. I got a text saying did you buy any food for yourself? Which of course I had not!
I need to order some seeds from Marshalls. I want this year to grow some Pumpkins, Butternut Squash, and Patty Pan type Squash. I could not find any Squash seeds so I'll mail order them.
The gardeners book has come out so I can write down what I have sowed and when. To try and keep track of the garden and allotment.
Spring may be a few months away but I am preparing for the coming growing season. Buying seeds and tubers makes me happy for things to come and vegetables to harvest.
The blog post title comes from the musical Oklohoma which I watched with Cat. I loved the rural spellings in the songs...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Spring Plans

The cold weather does not seemed to have slowed down the slugs in the garden. They have been feasting on the colourful Polyanthus flowers.
In a almost bare garden these splashes of colour are a welcome relief from the wind and rain. It even snowed a bit but it was too wet for it to lie.
I will go shopping tomorrow for some vegetable seeds and the seed potatoes for the allotment. It is that time of the year when the new stock comes out in the cheap shops (like Wilkos) and the garden sections of the DIY stores (like B and Q).
I have Cabbages and Parsnips planted. Hil's gave me some Onion sets ready for the late March planting. I want some Leek seeds, Carrot Seeds, Squash seeds, and Purple Broccoli seed...
I need to plan the summer Plants I want to grow from seed. I am saving newspaper to make seedling pots from newspaper. There are fifteen pots made so far.
Hopefully one of the Hellebores will flower soon.The bulbs are growing slowly in the wet ground. My camera batterys have been recharged ready for some new photos.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


The Rhodadendron Shamrock has these delicate flower buds on it.I cannot wait for it to flower with its lime green flowers.This was a pass along plant from Hil's.
It seems quite resiliant to the cold winter weather and being in a pot because of its need for Ericaceous soil..
I hope the flower is as pretty as the bud.I'm working all weekend so it will be short posts.
I enjoy nurturing new plants and trying to make them flower, and fufill their potential..
I have been like that since my first trick of growing a Spider Plant.
D.G.Hessayan has a lot to answer for :)
His houseplant books inspired me to look for the plants within his book.My mum gave me it for Xmas one year.The passion for gardening exploded from then.
Their is something satisfying in seeing a plant grow, and flower with your care.I have been hooked since!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Flowers And Seeds

The Petunia in the hanging basket is made of strong stuff. It is flowering in January despite all the cold weather and freezing temperatures.
I looked around today at new growth on the winter survivors. The Sedum has grown at the base of the plant, compact green leaves that will grow upwards when its warmer.
The Verbena Bonarensis is growing at the base, and amazingly the Chrysanthenums are growing new plants at the base beneath the frost bitten flowers.
The soil has many bulbs pushing up from the ground now. I cannot remember what I planted where so it will be a suprise when they do flower.
I sowed the last of my Cabbage Excel seeds today ready for this years growing season at the allotment. I also sowed Parsnip seeds in my green container.
I harvested some baby Leeks Armor and Carrots Amsterdam Sprint which were lovely and long, and not eaten much by slugs.
There are already Cabbages at the Allotment. I want to buy some Leek seeds and start them off in the greenhouse.
I am still deciding what Vegetables to grow this year. The ones I enjoyed the most last year were the Potatoes, Cabbages, Onions, Courgettes, Parsnips, and French Beans.
I will grow herbs and soft fruit in the garden as it is nice to walk from the kitchen to harvest them for cooking.The pleasure from eating something you have grown is amazing..
Before all the growing I need to prepare the allotment beds.Digging over, and adding more compost to make the soil deeper over the clay.
The thought of cooking and eating the Vegetables will keep me going through the heavy labour of digging over eight beds at the allotment.
I enjoyed the soil on my hands today harvesting and sowing seeds. My garden spirits have begun to glow after the winter.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bird Watch

I got the latest RSPB magazine that mentions that the yearly Garden Bird watch will be held on the weekend of the 24th and 25th January 2009.
Across the UK people will sit or stand for an hour and count the number of birds in the garden at the same time across an hour.
The RSPB collates all the data (from 40,000 plus people) for a snapshot of the bird population across the UK's regions.
Last year in the hour that I did it not a dickie bird appeared!
I hope they visit more freely when i am sat watching with my pencil and identification poster!
They do cheer me up when the garden is still sleeping through the winter.My own garden spirits...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

House Colour

The other colour in the house is from this lovely Amaryllis, bought from last years Autumn flower show.This is the second flower spike to grow and has four flowers on it.
I think of Strawberrys and Cream when I see it.I do like the big blooms, on my coffee table..

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pink Day And A Puppy

One of my house plants in flower.The Xmas Cactus that Cat got me last year has flowered. Two of these delightfully complex flowers.It reminds me of a ornate fish swimming through tropical waters with billowing pink edges..
I have Amaryllis flowering too.All the rest are waiting for the Spring.
Its gone from being freezing to mild and wet.I still need to get to the allotment.We went to see Hil's who was puppy sitting for some neighbours.
He was a lovely chocolate coloured Labrador, with very cute eyes but sharp teeth.He was called Bruno (see side bar)
The bulbs in the garden are growing slowly, and even my kitchen Hyacinths are growing slowly.
I have one more day off before going back to work.I need to start making paper pots ready for the spring.I want to sow lots of seeds to make flowers..

Friday, January 09, 2009

No Place Like Home

This is the Robin musical egg.It opens to reveal a Golden Robin on gold leafs.It plays there is no place like home.

A picture of a Robin over looking a country river with a bridge in the foreground...

Art imitates nature.Here is the Robin today in the garden feeding on the bird table.Cat took the photo when I was at work. She is a budding nature photographer.All my recent shots were blurry.
I watched a documentary about Cuckoo's after work today.They are not as sweet as I thought, doppleganging other birds to raise their young and lobbing out the other chicks to their death..
A weekend off beckons, this Robin has made his home in my garden...

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Fragrant Flower

The Hyacinths at Cats have developed faster than mine in my kitchen.I have three bulbs growing in the kitchen windowsill that are at the open leave stage.
This faster Hyacinth has opened and started to flower, with its lovely candy sticks smell.
I have a half dozen in the garden too but they are still slumbering under the cold soil.
Its good to have some colour and scent in January.The simple Hyacinth is a good symbol of the seasons moving from winter towards spring.
I hope mine flower soon.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Spokane And Stone Cat

The stone Cat looks on in the garden.The soil has frozen solid now. The birds water bowls have solid ice in them now. I will refill them up with fresh water so the garden birds have something to drink and wash with.
The buds I noticed today were on my two Camellias, the Hydrangea, the Raspberry bush, and the Shamrock Rhodadendron that Hils gave me last year..
The tender plants have succumbed to the cold weather. Jack Frost is clearing away last years plants ready for a new growing season. The bare patches will be blank canvas for new planting and colourful flowers.
The Roses need trimming to encourage new growth but I think I will wait a month.
I read on my comments there is a Lilac Festival in Spokane. The 71st festival since 1938.
I am not the only one who loves the dreamy Lilac flowers.
It has been below freezing for five days here. The thought of Flower Shows and Festivals reminds us that warmer days will come soon. Sunny days with fragrant flowers and soft breezes.
I will take some more photos soon of what is flowering in the House...

Monday, January 05, 2009

Lilac Dreams

Even when its cold and dark the site of a plant or tree with buds on gives us hope that it will be spring soon.When the bulbs start to flourish in the cold soil and when these Lilac tree buds will burst into leaf.
The Lilac tree has the biggest pot I have ever bought to accomodate the big root ball.It is a healthy six feet tall and is festooned in these tight buds.
I hope it will flower this year so I can stand and smell the Lilac flowers.My Nans sister has a Lilac in her garden and I used to stand in front of it.
When I move to a house with a bigger garden the Lilac will come with me and be dug into the ground.I did not want to plant it here and then have to disturb the roots when i moved again.
The thought of Lilac trees is nice when its freezing outside like it is today.I have a few days off after today to get back into the garden to photograph whats growing..

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Xmas Cactus

This is the Cactus I got from Pat and Celie for Xmas, a tall columnar one with spines and white fur. Reminiscent of my old man of the Andes that i owned before.
I actually went to the allotment on friday to see how things were doing.
We picked some Leeks, Parsnips, and the Brussel Sprouts that had not gone over. Ooops left it a bit too long I think. I will know this year to check them more often.
The beds need digging over and extra organic matter dug in. A job for next week I think.
The amaryllis here has flowered, and the true Xmas Cactus too so i can photograph them when im off from work.
As one year ended and the new one began so I plan for the Spring.
The seed catalogues need looking at and new plans drawn up for the coming growing season.

Friday, January 02, 2009


Floral fireworks for the New Year.I hope this year is as good as last year.
Happy New Year!