Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Sun, seeds and studying

The weather forecast keeps telling us every night that there is going to be rain in Cyprus, don't know if that's wishful thinking on the part of the Cypriots, along the lines of if we say it enough it will happen. It's barely rained at all. Which is just as well really because this weekend is the start of the summer visiting programme. My brother in law, his wife and their two kids arrive for a week or so on Saturday, followed by, a couple of days after they leave, my Mam and Dad. It's about now that Jo starts manically cleaning and tidying althought everything is already tidy and clean !!!! That combined with a new shift pattern (which I can't complain about cos I drew it up), studying for the RHS exams and putting together my plant portfolio (for the design part which needs to be in by April 20th) means that the next few weeks are going to be fairly hectic in the Reed household. So when I've written this I'm going to sit in the garden and do nowt !!!
On the gardening front, not much is happening as I wait for the seeds I sowed at the weekend to germinate - generally the other stuff that already out is just growing as it does. The few plants I thought would struggle on the water front are struggling but I guess it's no surprise !!

Monday, 26 March 2007

Cypriot summertime

Yesterday the clocks went forward, the same as in the UK and we forgot, spent at least half the day in a minor timewarp, however it's all sorted now - and to my surprise it's meant that this morning it was still dark when we got up !!! It was a beautiful hot sunny day yesterday - a walking Charlie topless kind of day (that's me not Jo !!). Spring is definitely here, when out on the bondu it's obvious that more and more wild flowers are coming into bloom everyday. In the garden things are realy starting to put some growth on too, the first tomatoes I planted are now about 18 inches tall and have their first flower trusses, the gazanias are starting to flower together rather than just one at a time, the sweetpeas starting to climb the wigwams. I've out up a trelis at the back up which I hope some everlasting sweetpeas (courtesy of Windy) will grow and I've planted out the pansies I sowed months ago. The citrus I bought were looking a bit unloved in the beds so I've dug them up, given them some fresh compost and some food and put them back into big pots. Jo wanted some hydrangeas that she saw in a garden centre - so they are in big pots too, very pretty they are but they are going to need loads of water to keep them happy. On that score I've put a bin by the back door into which all the washing up water goes and I'm using that to fill me watering can for watering the shrubs. It can be a bit like "It's a Knockout" getting the water there especially if Patrick is under your feet !!!! Speaking of Patrick he is now less of a cat - but he doesn't seem to be holding that against me.
I just about finished sowing all my flower seeds yesterday as well as some lettuce (ta Flo), still got sweetcorn and some beans to sow but there's plenty of time for them yet. The snails are still feasting on the lettuce I bought, but only the green Cos types at the minute, they seem to be leaving the red frilly stuff alone, they don't seem to like Kio or at least they aren't leaping into the beer traps like the slugs did at home !!!

Thursday, 22 March 2007

World Order Restored

Well some of you will be pleased to see that I am back in Cyprus again, and won't be able to be prosecuted under trade desciptions or whatever it was Wren was on about tsk. I left the frozen North East yesterday morning, (wearing the coat I'd had to buy on arrival cos I'd forgotten to take one - a tip don't ever be in desperate need of a jacket at Schipol Airport unless your filthy rich or have jusr robbed a bank!!!!), where the temperature was -1 and arrived here last night where it was 17 degrees. It was good to see people, most of whom seemed intent on inflicting severe damage on my liver - so thankyou (in no particular order) to Nick, Stevie D, Thompa, Dave, Kevin, Phil, Pat, Colin, Brian, Michelle, George, Simon and Ant for giving me the opportunity to talk b****cks for a few days, Viv for feeding me and buying cheese and dried onions (don't ask), Helena and lastly the chef at Jury's Inn Newcastle who got up early everyday to make me breakfast. It was good to see you all !!! And to those I didn't get to see, or didn't get to make a second visit - sorry !!!
On first inspection, my seedlings/little plants have managed without me for the week - I may have lost a couple of melons - but I've not given up on them yet and there's plenty of time to sow some more. Outside the shrubbie tree thing that I didn't hack back too much turns out to be a mimosa(I think) - it's all awash with yellow flowers, the bourgainvillea which I did hack back is sprounting back into life - it is lovely but the spines on it aren't !! The first flower trusses are forming on some of my tomatoes, the carrots seem happy, but I need to sow somemore as they appear somehow to have clumped themselves together I think they may have had some help from a cat (but revenge will be mine - the poor little bugger is to become less of a cat today). One of my strawberries is flowering as are my citruses. Not so good are the things eaten by snails - they've chomped quite a few marigolds and some small tomatoes, but it's a lesson learned - don't plant them out til they're bigger - do snails like beer or is it only slugs ??. Speaking of lessons learned - I need to get my finger out - I need to get my Plant portfolio and a certain amount of course work to college by 20th April if I'm to do the RHS exam in June - and my laptop is broke - so feel free to nag !!
And I'm all excited - (yes my dear brothers it's sad !!) - Whilst potting up some some thymes - which aren't going to die on me this year thanks to Teatree's advice, I noticed growing out from under my hibiscus some fresias. Now I've tried every year to grow fresias, from seeds, corms in the house in the greenhouse and failed miserably everytime - and what do I find here - well they just grow. What do I know about gardening ?? Anyway this prompted my to investigate further - my plumbago has started to flower, the big citrus out the back is covered in flower buds and an as yet unidenfied climber has got some yellow flowers on it - I've only been away a week !!!
BTW when I get round to it I'll probably link RedClanger/Impy, Teatree, Wren, Max, Bob et al to this site if none of them have any objections.

Monday, 12 March 2007

Home Newcastle

And before you all start bursting into song with the immortal "Busker" lyrics, it's only for a week or so to sort out some work stuff back home.Be back in the UK from Wednesday, I've dug out my wooly jumpers!!! I'm looking forward to having a few beers with some of my mates and generally visiting a few people who I wasn't expecting to see again until summer.
Spring has most definately sprung here, it's been noticeably warmer during the day - to the extent that I was pootling about shirtless today - and we haven't needed the fire in the evenings. It's been a long week at work, was on for 7 days, but now am off until I come back from Newcastle. So today have been making full use of the sun and have been out planting stuff. I've found a nursery in Paralimni, which is great, I bought some strawberries, lettuce, cukes and aubergines plants for about tuppence ha'penny along with a lemon (£4) and a pomegranite tree (£4) so am well pleased. So today they were either stuck in the ground or potted on. I then went upstairs onto Mattie's balcony - which has become my seedling factory and spent a pleasant hour or so pricking out - and yep I said pleasant, it's so much more fun when the sun is shining !! Tomorrow it'll be more seed sowing and probably some more pricking out - unless I get the urge to go back to the nursery.
Over the weekend we bought a ginormous barbeque - it's a cheating one cos it's gas fired mind - I don't think there's enough lighter fuel to get one this big going - you can fit a whole cow on it !!! We tested it yesterday and I think Mattie did actually eat a whole cow - he is his father's son...Sam picked at things and said what's this green stuff or it's a bit burnt - that's all down to his Mam LOL.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

It's March and it's......

Without wanting to cheese anybody off - it's starting to warm up. It's been in the 20's today, sat here in shorts and a t-shirt.

I seem to be getting a few more people looking in on this - so I guess I've got to keep it going now don't I. Not really too much to say on the gardening front, other than Cyprus had loads of snails and they really like marigolds. Little gits. The Greek Cypriots eat them by the kilo - we seized 85 kilo's the other night (you aren't allowed to bring them over the Green line) - I reckon they were released in my back yard !!

Hello Wren - good to see you, in first with the helpful comments - but why did you publish it twice. Tsk

Like I said not much to report at the minute - been too busy at work - yep they make me work and have to go back in tonight. Hey ho