Wednesday, 28 February 2007

A tonne of gravel and a cat

Been busy busy busy, beavering away trying to get the framework of the garden built before things start growing in earnest. To that end I had a tonne of gravel delivered yesterday - it appears that you can have any colour you like, as long as it's white. Anyway yesterday afternoon, said gravel arrives on a truck and is dumped outside the back door. Meanwhile Jo and the boys go off to the cat home and come home with "Patrick" - weird name for a cat, but nowt to do with me LOL, a couple of pictures of him are with the Jordan ones.
The pictures here are the "after" pics - I'm quite pleased with it be honest, and will be even more so when I get the plants in. Hopefully there's going to be shedloads of flowers, with toms, cukes, chilli's, sqaushes, melons, courgettes, carrots and peas all mixed together - but we'll see - there still really isn't a lot of space - but I do have extension plans. The seeds sowed the other day are germinating happily, I dunno whether Impy's idea to water them with clove tea to help prevent damping off disease is working but it certainly isn't doing any harm !!!

Sunday, 25 February 2007

Some people actually read this !!!!! Well they are friends and family but hey that's better than I thought. In response to a huge mailbag (well two e-mails anyway) asking me to post more pictures of Cyprus - I'm setting up an album with pictures of stuff for you to look at if you want (it's the picassa link on the right), I wouldn't want to spoil my rivetting narrative with too many pictures now would I.
In an attempt to show my dearest middle brother that I am not a complete "plant geek", I'm going to tell you first about Jordan. GO IF YOU CAN !! I appreciate that we are lucky being only a 50 minute flight away so it's easy for me to say. We went this week for a couple of days, and wished we'd gone for more. Went up Mt Nebo - the place Moses is buried and looked out over the River Jordan, the Dead Sea, Jerico and Jerusalem - then onto the Dead Sea for a bit of a float. A little tip here - don't drink the water it tastes horrible. Second day took us to Petra - wow just about sums it up, any photo's I've taken don't really do it justice. We didn't get to see Karnack (Templar castle), Jerash (major Roman ruins), Wadi Rum (desert), where Noah died, where John the Baptist baptised Jesus, where Lotts wife turned into a pillar of salt etc etc. It is very biblical !!!

And now onto plant geekiness, been hard at it on the garden the last few days. Gave my bourganvillia it's final haircut, I'm glad that job is finished - I'm covered in scratches, finished my raised beds and defining my borders with planks to edge them, sowed a bucketful of seeds (well not really a bucketful but quite a few anyway). Alyssum, dianthus, mesembrianthemum, dahlia, some more tomatoes, verbena, rudbeckia, zinnia, hollyhocks, oregano, passion flower and camomile all now snugly in the propagator or the mini-greenhouse. Divided up a canna for a neighbour, she got two new plants and them re-potted, I got two plants for free - everybody is happy, took cuttings of a couple of succulents - don't know what they are yet, I'll be looking them up later, after I've been out onto the patio to prick out some more chillis.

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Home alone

Well Kind of....Jo has gone off to Damascus for the weekend with the girls shopping, taking in the culture, shopping !!! So it's me and the boys slobbing around eating pizza, watching rugby and football without a whinge, life is good LOL.
Well like I said last time, the drought was broken, apparently we had all February's rain in three days, but the reservoirs are still half full (or half empty depending on you view on life) and water rationing in the summer is still a distinct possibility.
However conveniently ignoring that possibility my planting, sowing, growing and building goes on apace. I found a garden centre in Paralimni this week which is the best one I've found here yet. Bought a mandarin, a pomelo, some gazanias, some seeds and some osteospernum's all for under £20, also found a wood yard there - so now have built some more raised beds to put things in.
Garlic has been planted outside, carrot seeds have been sown in one of the raised beds and I've planted out some Green Zebra toms that I sowed before X-mas, I've scattered some poppy, nigella and calendula seeds on a piece of land I'm not really going to be working this year as the soil is really really crap - and will see what happens. Off to do some more pricking out, if anybody is reading this see you later.

Sunday, 4 February 2007

As night follows day

So pricking out follows seeds germinating. If seeing the seeds poke up their little heads sends me all of a quiver, then pricking them out fills me with dread - it's the only gardening job I truly hate doing - and tend to leave it until the seedlings are just about screaming at me to let them out and give them some space. But today I sat in the sun in the backyard (it's so much easier when the sun is shining - but then most things are) - pricking out tagetes (courtesy of Windy & MB), chilli's (BP & Flo), toms (Dom) & lavender (Icy) . This was after finishing lifting the concrete on the other side of the house and digging over the prospective beds. The soil is either all chalky or about 10 feet away sand - several trips to the stables beckon !!! Basil and thyme seeds were also sown today.
The drought was broken yesterday - it rained for 24 hours solid, rivers broke their banks, roads were flooded, people stranded - but my raised beds stayed where they were supposed LOL. I was planning on doing all todays work yesterday, but because of the rain - went to get my haircut instead - now normally I wouldn't mention something so mundane, but it was fantastic. went to some place in the Turkish half of Nicosia, they shaved me, gave me a head, neck and face massage, a cup of coffee, washed and cut my hair all for £7 - I don't think I've ever been quite so pampered !!!

It's been a good weekend !!!