Saturday, January 21, 2006

Saturday 21st January 2006 - Weather: Blue sky but a nippy wind!

Mark bought me a new tool today. As we drove to Braintree to collect young stepdaughter we passed a garden with a big For Sale board outside and lots of bric-a-brac laid out. As we whizzed passed I spotted an old fork, so, on the way back, Mark pulled over and jumped out to have a look. He couldn't resist and the chap wanted five pounds, but all Mark had on him was 4.10, so after a little bit of haggling and jovial chatting, money changed hands, and he loaded it into the boot. I believe it is a mucking out/straw fork with rounded ends to prevent spearing baby livestock. ***(see note at end!) It will be ideal when we go to the stables to collect some more manure for my compost heap in a few weeks time ready for pumpkin planting. Most of my tools now are second hand and years old, and the irony is, these old tools go on and on....the lovely new shiney Wilkinson Sword fork Mark brought me snapped in two whilst carrying out some light digging in the garden!

At Christmas Nanny Lucas and Uncle Bill gave the kids Paperwhite bulbs to grow. These highly scented little daff like flowers, I have been told, are not hardy and really should be binned once they have flowered. Of course, I shall try and get them to come back again next year. However, after potting up and leaving in the conservatory, they put on lots of growth and all have lovely fat buds. Today I could smell them, and sure enough, the flowers have started to open. The scent is a mix between your great grandmas wardrobe and cat pee! However, they are very pretty and I have 2 inthe dining room and 1 is left in the conservatory as that will hold off the buds opening so as one fades, I can replace with fresh.

A little by-the-by, here are our baby hamsters! Had to give in and give them a really good clean out today as boy were they STINKING!! Phewee!! Eight babies, all with eyes and ears clear and open and all eating solids and drinking from the water bottle. We estimate they are 20 days old now. Around St Valentines day they will have to be seperated from mum as they will become sexually active, so a little trip to the pet shop I fear....just have to convince the kids!

*** Just wanted to add we found a website about the old fork that Mark brought for me and it is an old potato digging fork - the balled ends are to stop the digger from piercing holes in the lovely fresh spuds! Looks like it was a bargain to as this website sells that at around the fifty pound mark! I will put it to good use at spud digging time and will be very upset if I spike any!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pest control in the perennial garden
If you have any good tips please post trhem on my blog

One of the many advantages of growing perennials is the ability of these beautiful flowers to return to full bloom season after season. While this ability to bloom repeatedly is one of the things that makes perennials so special, it also introduces a number of important factors into your gardening plan. One of the most important of these is a proper pest control regimen.

While a garden full of annuals starts each season as a blank slate, the perennial garden is essentially a work in progress. The fact that the plants stay in the ground through winter makes things like proper pruning, disease management and pest control very important. If the garden bed is not prepared properly after the current growing season, chances are the quality of the blooms will suffer when the next season rolls around.

One of the most important factors to a successful perennial pest control regimen is the attention and vigilance of the gardener. As the gardener, you are in the best position to notice any changes in the garden, such as spots on the leaves, holes in the leaves, or damage to the stems. Any one of these could indicate a problem such as pest infestation or a disease outbreak.

It is important to nip any such problem in the bud, since a disease outbreak or pest infestation can easily spread to take over an entire garden. Fortunately for the gardener, there are a number of effective methods for controlling both common pests and frequently seen plant diseases.

Some of these methods are chemical in nature, such as insecticides and fungicides, while others are more natural, like using beneficial insects to control harmful ones. While both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, many gardeners prefer to try the natural approach first, both for the health of the garden and the environment.

There is an additional benefit of the natural approach that many gardeners are unaware of. These days, it is very popular to combine a koi pond with a garden, for a soothing, relaxing environment. If you do plan to incorporate some type of fish pond into your garden landscape, it is critical to avoid using any type of insecticide or fungicide near the pond, since it could seep into the water and poison the fish. Fish are extremely sensitive to chemicals in the environment, especially with a closed environment like a pond.

As with any health issue, for people or plants, prevention is the best strategy to disease control and pest control alike. The best defense for the gardener is to grow a garden full of the healthiest, most vigorous plants possible. Whenever possible, varieties of plants bred to be disease or pest resistant should be used. There are a number of perennials that, through selective breeding, are quite resistant to the most common plant diseases, so it is a good idea to seek them out.

Happy gardening,