Friday, 14 October 2016

Good Gardening Days

Today was a good gardening day.....slightly cooler with a bit of sunshine.
And it was productive.
I began the morning by cutting back elder growing all along the barn wall.
It was a long way to drag the cuttings to the new bonfire site.
I also began pulling up the nettles there.

There`s still quite a way to go. I like to keep it clear.

In the polytunnel the first bed was completely dug out by Anne on Monday and filled with manure and our own compost. We hope no blight spores remain.

There are still a few things to harvest....such lovely colours.

Anne told us about the visit from Peter the Pond.....he came to try and find the leak in the lake, which he did quite easily. He also had a look at our pond and said that parrot weed is now on the list of invasive water plants. He liked the watermint and said it made great tea.
With that in view I pulled out as much parrot weed as I could reach.
We have left it on the side for creatures to crawl back to the water.

I planted odd feverfew plants into the new area and they seem quite happy after a few days in situ.

The crabapple continues to delight.

My next job was to spread chippings round the area cleared on Monday by me, Paula and Anne.

An ash tree has seeded itself along the fence.
A strong, sturdy sapling.

May the first frost stay away so we can continue to fill the house with vases of dahlias.

The interior of the shed is now filled with fairy items.

Watch this space as there are new plans afoot.

Quite excited about this.

Monday, 3 October 2016

As October Begins

Today I have been tackling nettles as tall as myself so my arms are tingling this evening.
The weather has been glorious, so I set to on the hornbeam hedge by the orchard.
We also had a go at trimming the willow arch which has gone a bit wild.
The Michaelmus daisies were buzzing with bees and hoverflies.

The dahlias continue to delight.

One of our latest projects has been to develop the area around the new trees.
It isn`t quite finished due to some fantastic borage plants which I can`t bear to pull up.

I levelled a huge bump in the grass, created when the compost heaps were there. Now that it`s the new entrance, the poor Workmax lurches over it laden with luggage.

This is a "before" picture.

Many flowers continue to bloom in all their glory.

Aubergines are only just coming in the polytunnel.

This is the next area to develop. we `ll have to get going with it fairly quickly.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Flora and Food (Keffalonia)

I saw the island spelled in so many ways that I took what seemed correct for the title.
We have been away for a holiday with my sister, my nephew and his wife and the new baby Henry who is 4 months old.
The Greeks love all children and babies even more. so there was a lot of joy to be had
 from all the fussing.

My first astonishing view is from the plane where you can distinctly see the curve of the earth. It never fails to astound me as we fly over Europe, the sights that can be seen if it`s clear.....the Alps still laden with snow, glistening in the sunshine and casting deep shadows across the surrounding areas.

Our villa was lovely with views to the sea in front and the mountains behind.

I even had a yoga deck to myself, where I did some practice with the heady perfume of jasmine alongside me.

(I didn`t use the ball!!)

The extensive garden was lovely with a deck at the bottom overlooking the sea, a lawn which had to be cut on one of the days, a hammock slung between trees and a barbeque deck.

In the garden we saw lizards and beetles. We heard beautiful birdsong, often absent in the previous places we have visited. And at night we marveled at the turquoise bats (pool light reflection) 
 zipping over the pool.

This airy beauty is called gaura. I have tried to grow it without much success.

I`m not sure what this climber is called.

On our short, daily walk to the beach and restaurants, we passed a banana in full flower.
It was fascinating to watch the daily changes. The petal peeled back to reveal stamens.... being busily attended by bees, flies, wasps and even butterflies.

Every day, on the way to the beach, we stepped through water running down the steep hillside, coming from the mountains and gushing down the gulleys. This is an unusual sight for me in Greece.
Because of the dampness, tiny maidenhair ferns were thrivng.
Plumbago in full of my favourites.


A type of clematis I think.

Our favourite restaurant was Klimatis, Lourdas, right on the seafront....good food, great service and nice atmosphere. And they were very welcoming to little Henry.

The best dish here, for me, was moussaka.

And the walnut cake with icecream was pretty good too.

On one evening we hired a personal chef to cook at our villa. Sounds a bit posh but I can tell you it was a brilliant experience and was very reasonable price-wise.
Here is Viva our chef for the evening, a lovely lady who cooked us a delicious meal.
She has built up her own successful business, spending the summer months in Greece and the rest of the year in America.
All our washing up was done and the kitchen clear, at the end.

Here is some of our food.

It was all delicious and I would most certainly recommend it.

We visited Argostoli, the capital.

Viva told us we could walk along the causeway there, to spot turtles.
Well I did not believe it. They are such a rarity.
However after a great lunch in one of the restaurants alongside the "lake," my eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw a head come out of the water. Thinking to myself, it couldn`t possibly be a fish, no-one else took much notice of me.
Until a turtle swam right past when I went to the loo.

They came right up to the promenade for film, photos and just generally to be enjoyed
and astounded by.

Who would have believed it.


Loving the sentiment