Saturday, 30 July 2011

El Mundo Bueno

Off to Salou in Spain for some summer, since I'm not getting it here.

This is the view of the sunset from the balcony where I'll be staying. I should be looking at this in person, this evening.

Hasta la vista!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Cat stuff

Oh. Mitzi just came in the kitchen.

I have very few pictures of her, although I see her regulary in the garden. Mostly on the left side, though she does wander over into the neighbours on the right, now that the dog is gone.

So I saw this little cat face, looking at me through the mesh (keeps out the bugs, best I can do without a screen) and then she came in. Didn't eat anything, thank goodness.

Just had a bit of a scratch. Cripes.

I may as well just tattoo it on my forehead, "cat lover".

Friday, 15 July 2011

Nemesia and Nasturtiums

Well this

isn't really a patch on this (Cantigny Gardens in Wheaton, Illinois, taken May 2010).

But then I don't have all day, every day to nurture my plants to perfect fruition. And perhaps, I put too many seeds in the pot - as in, the whole pack, in one go - well, I wanted some Nemesia Strumosa KLM beauty. And for good measure, a red and white version of the same. So that's two packs, in one go, some 300-400 seeds each.

Still, it looks pretty enough - oh darn, I'm really not good with seeds. But I can try again next year.

However, I am heartened by my Nasturtiums.

I took some expert advice from someone who grows them beautifully, and moved them to a sunnier spot. It was all a dud last year, but I have some fantastic buds, and even some flowers now. I'm hoping for a good crop for my salads - they make a bold statement with some lettuce and tomatoes, and taste rather peppery. I haven't looked lately but you used to be able to buy them in Sainsbury's.

Buy them? I'll grow my own, thanks!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Oh, umm ...

I've just made friends with Mitzi.

It's only because Big Bro hissed at her. She only came round to say hi, and see what the fuss was about, and he did that sssss thing at her. I didn't think that was fair. So I followed her back (there wasn't far to go) and gave her a scratch.

As only a cat lover knows how to do. Ears, cheek. Scoodge, scoodge.

I didn't mean to be a cat lover, it just comes natural ...

Vegetable Productivity

I had a very productive weekend, the one before last. But I didn't get to tell you about it. I get behind myself on here during the summer, because either I'm out there doing, or in here writing.

But let's start at the top. When I finally planted the tomatoes a few weekends ago, I just left them. Finally, I got them staked and tied.

Plus, I put some "companion" plants in, namely Marigolds (the tagetes variety). Apparently, they repel "eelworm" and other sorts of garden pests that would attack your tomatoes. Well, I don't really know about that. I've had tomatoes, some years with the Marigolds in between, some not. Not much difference, I still have had a good crop. But, it looks nice.

The tomatoes did so well in the week, with a lot of rain, I had to tie them in again this past weekend - growing very nicely, with lovely flowers, which means some lovely toms.

Next in was the cucumbers - I don't know if I'm late or not, but here's hoping! They actually all have little tiny cucumbers on them. Fingers crossed. If it all works out well, I could be giving them away.

They haven't done much in the week, but I shall nurture them. Sorry, that picture is a bit blurry, I'm still getting used to my new camera.

And then there is the courgette (zucchini). This time it's a yellow variety, and I'm very excited about it. It doesn't look very big now, but it does have tiny little courgettes ready to pop! Or so it seems ... it was an interesting experiment last year, especially when you don't see them until it's too late!

Must keep an eye on them, when it starts spreading like a mad thing ....

And finally, I put in those pretty plants I bought at Phoebe's, at the same time as the veg. Just to jazz up the left border a bit. I am told the one on the left is a Snapdragon. I didn't know that, I just thought it was a lovely colour. The one on the right is of course a Dianthus, or a "Pink" - still smells like cloves. Lovely.

But vegetable-wise, it's all very tame at the moment. I'm waiting for the burst! The rain is useful, of course, even if it means no sun for this little sun-worshiper.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Close Encounters

So, I stepped out the kitchen door into the garden late-ish Saturday night. Before I rounded the corner to the patio, I felt my foot brush against something. Something sort of brushy.

I took a few more steps then thought, "hang on."

Sure enough, very close to the kitchen door, a dark, prickly blob.

Now oddly, my lighter also appears to be a mini flashlight. I say odd because that seems rather advanced for a lighter that was 4 for £1 at Poundland. But handy, nonetheless, especially when hunting hedgehogs at night.

The light, as you see, is blue. So this is a pretty crap picture, to be honest, but at least you get the sense of the little guy.

I think he was a bit shocked having almost been stepped on by a Croc nearly the same size as him. I did get up surprisingly close, since he wasn't moving, and his little face was barely visible. I was a bit worried there, for a minute. Did I stun him?

I was glad to see also that the cats, who yes were wandering by, gave him a wide berth. Very sensible.

I couldn't resist peeking out and shining my little light on him from time to time, making sure he was okay. Finally, I left it for more than a minute(!) and thankfully he'd moved on his way.

But what was he doing so close to my kitchen door?