Friendly flowers

Nasturtiums like poor soil. They have large seeds about the size of a pea. I think they would be great for children to grow. You can plant them in succession over a few weeks and they first put out tendrils with umbrella shaped leaves. When it rains droplets gather on their leaves. Then in late summer, or early autumn the flowers appear. Trumpet shaped, the flower from pale yellow to deep red, with diffeepatterns and stripes as well as full colour ones. You can eat the spicy leaves and flowers in salads or on cold soups. I think the victorians used to use them as food decorations.

Garden in sunshine

A less blurry shot of the yard. People asked me why its not as dried out? I think we have a microclimate. The yard is enclosed by bushes and the houses. The sun comes round in the afternoon but doesn’t stay on it for too long because we are on the ‘wrong’ side of the hill so it gets shady at East an hour before sunset. I also think because there’s a wall and we cram plants together everything stays moist. I have trouble drying my washing because it gets quite humid. Also because I put one hanging basket under another when one gets watered it flows through to the bottom one. And as they are underneath they are a bit more protected from the hot sunshine. Each pot has a bowl or a saucer underneath to catch and keep the water and I make sure each pot has crocks or broken polystyrene in them so the roots don’t get swamped.

Photosynthesis

It took centuries to discover why plants are (usually) green and how they grow and create food from thin air. I was watching a programme about botany last night and there was a long explanation about the science of it.

First people experimented by weighing a plant before and after tending it for five years and finding that although it gained weight it did not affect the soil. Then they tried growing plants but without light, which meant they would not thrive. They realised that they created starch in their leaves, but took time realising they absorbed carbon dioxide and gave out oxygen as a byproduct.

The whole programme was very informative but I wasn’t taking notes. But the idea that humans could understand it and may be able to use the process artificially is amazing. The ability to turn sunlight into fuel would be something that could help humankind.

Raspberries

We’ve got a good crop of raspberries coming on the bushes this year. It’s because hubby cut them right down at the end of last season. We’ve never really followed instructions for growing things. We’re more a ‘bung things in and see’ type of gardeners! This was last week. I need to take some more photos but my hay-fever is making my nose and eyes run so I’m staying inside. I hope we will have enough for a few to have with scones. Our cherry tree has more fruit on than I thought. A lot blew off in strong winds but we should get a decent crop when they ripen.

Tree feet?

A rim of moss a foot up the trunk of the tree from its roots. Must be where the rain splashes up. But to me it looked like feet or hands reaching down into the soil. If the roots grasped the soil would squidge up like mud. Spurting up because of the force and strength of the tree. What would happen if trees had muscles. If a simple ivy can twist and squeeze a stem perhaps a tree could tighten round a car or a building. Seeds get into cracks and grow and break stone. Time allows them to do this. The growth is slow. But it can change the landscape.

Clematis

Clematis on the fence. Duplicated photo, magical early flowers before the leaves come out. Pale pink, fresh looking, giving the Spring a start. Daffodils over, bluebells opening. The new season is coming. Hardly any rain for a month. We’ve been trying to hand water every day but I haven’t got my pot plants sorted out yet. That will happen in May. Hanging baskets to come soon. It all needs a good tidy up.

Rain

Rain on my window, blurring the view smeared across the surface. April shower crashes down. No thunder or lightning but we may get some. Hidden tomato plants snug in the plastic greenhouse.

My friend now has an allotment. I have offered to water her plants while she’s on holiday. An old gardener there said the plants in her greenhouse will need watering daily! I’m glad of the showers now, they will help fill up the water butt’s. Large blue barrels filled with rain water. It’s good, we had a very dry march so the rain is welcome.

Westport walk

Round the back of Westport Lake is a wilder area which is being looked after and tidied regularly so overhanging branches and growth is turned into little layered fences to improve the habitats. I thought it was being done by the local wildlife Trust but it turns out it’s being done by a couple of elderly volunteers, except its now down to one man as his friend has been ill. I had to thank him for all his hard work. It seems he’s not getting much support and that’s a shame. Anyway I thought I would say something.