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... the sky is baby blue, and the just-unfurling leaves ...
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gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1269
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 17 2:05 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

I hope all goes well for you too gz.

Black thorn-sloe bearing bushes-have serious thorns, Cassandra, and damsons don't, a census I have just conducted from those folks here in the library. They are not in flower here yet, but are I expect 'down south'. Damson gin is a goer, too Cassandra, but to me not as good as sloe gin. I am impressed with the shopkeeper's ability to spot an honest shopper when she sees one.
I am currently working in my new shed making the base vermin proof. This involves a run of bricks on the inside and a run of mortar on the outside. Not a big job, but has to be done. With a run of 4 days to myself I will finish that if the sun stays out (read rain keeps off). And I also plan to put down some anti vermin traps outside and some poison inside, as insurance. I don't like poison but have to do something to stop them attacking my goods inside the shed. If I get time I will also build a hatch to put over a hole in a barn roof where a window blew out-a small job but it has to be done. It will stop the wet getting into the building I have on or to other roofs to attend to as well.

It looks like a bumper charcoal year then MR. We have had a few BBQ days up here but not today, pleasant, dry but not hot, and a bit windy.
The library will be closed now till next Tuesday. I expected them to be open on Saturday-it is a normal day for most people. I guess it is Easter, a time for sorrow and joy.

gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 5771
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 17 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

All OK here, the house swimming pool had 6" waves at 3am
Cook was more compact and veered further east so it missed us an Auckland, but it has caused havoc in Thames, Coromandel and Wellington...now wreaking its worst on Christchurch. All places that were wet already.
Hope the work on the shed goes well Gregotyn, Spring weather can be fickle!

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1585
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 17 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Lesser celandine is a non-native, extremely invasive species, Mistress Rose. I have never seen bees or butterflies visiting the flowers, nothing eats the leaves, nothing eats the tubers (well, they're ranunculus, likely poisonous.) I can dig it - little tubers left behind enthusiastically regrow. What I dig goes into a heavy duty black plastic bag for a year before dumping into compost heap - and it regenerates. The worst patch is near the seasonal brook, which it can wash into and spread even further. In several states it is banned as a noxious weed. I did plant 'Bowles Double' and 'Brazen Hussy' (black leaves) which are also beginning to show thuggish tendencies.

Spring is sprung. What's flowering in my woods? Lots of pretty things. Natives (some introduced): Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis. Virginia bluebells, Mertensia virginiana. Trillium - several species are up but not yet in bloom. Non-natives: Yellow anemone, Anemone ranunculoides. European wood anemone, Anemone nemorosa. Lots of narcissus. Japanese dogtooth violet, Erythronium japonicum. Jeffersonia dubia and J. diphylla. Lungwort, Pulmonaria saccharata. Lots of fumewort, Corydalis solida. Lots of little blues: scilla, Scilla sibirica; two leaved scilla, Scilla bifolia; Grecian wind flower, Anemone blanda; Glory of the snow, Chionodoxa lucciliae.

Thanks for asking, Mistress Rose. My eye if fine Apparently I have a slight thickening of my tears, "dry eye," and should use eye drops once or twice a day. Most noticeable when I wake up in the morning. My father's mother had the same issue.

Yesterday I got the remainder of the greenhouse shade cloth up.

Busy time of year for all of us - gregotyn is sorting / shifting / re-arranging / moving. Cassandra is busily occupied at home and also out-and-about. Gz is battening down the hatches as wet weather sweeps through. And Mistress Rose is busy in (and out of) the woods. Stay well, all of you. Remember to take some time to enjoy these precious Spring days.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8208

PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 17 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Glad you are all right Gz. Hope everyone else is and there are no landslides/floods or other nasties.

Sounds as if you are going to be busy for a while Gregotyn. Good idea to vermin proof things if you can.

Hope you manage to get your washing etc. done soon Cassandra. The lady in the shop sounds very nave as you say, but trust is a nice trait, so hope it is never abused for her.

Jam Lady, I didn't know if lesser celandine was native to you or not. I can understand why you are trying to get rid of it.

We had another productive day yesterday. We opened the little kiln and the yield is far better than previous firings as we packed the wood in well. Got it all out, and not too many brown ends either. Husband went up to the woods early and lit the big kiln, then came back for breakfast and to collect me, as son is away for the weekend. I made 3 more besom heads, but I didn't take the drawknife with me, so wasn't able to make the handles. Something for next time I am up there. Husband did some other work around the place, so both of us were busy. We finished about 8pm, still in the light, which was really nice.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1442

PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 17 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have dry eye also JL - I use a product called viscotears which does not require as many applications as it is, as the name suggests, quite viscous and so hangs around for longer.

I did indeed get two loads of washing done, despite the 12 degrees, scudding clouds and breezes. The rest will be done tomorrow. Mean time I have unpacked the stick vacuum and steamer that I bought some time ago - the vac is charging in the shed and the steamer is now put together (measured against the space it will occupy once the kitchen is rearranged and found suitable), and I will play with them both tomorrow before putting them away again till I have a suitable kitchen to use them in. The vac will give a once-over to my silk prayer mat that was removed to the shed, swept to remove dog hair and has been upside down to loosen any embedded dust for some time. Once vacuumed it will be rolled up with some epsom salts and stored for when the bedroom is looking less like a building site.

The roll of linoleum that I was given in a Freecycle trade some years ago has been bequeathed to the neighbour over the road who is doing up his kitchen for the first time in 40 years. He is thrilled and wanted to pay for it. I explained my philosophy of not accepting money for things I have been given in my turn, so he is providing some roo meat next time he goes shooting. Sounds good to me, if not strictly within the bounds of my philosophy.

Also carted several more loads of stuff from the kitchen out to the shed to empty out cupboards. Tomorrow I will try to empty out a cupboard I can remove so I feel I am making progress on that front.

So nice to not be cramming things into a day sandwiched between days when I have to be elsewhere. And to be able to plan for future work tomorrow.

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1585
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 17 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have an assortment of non-native invasive, weedy plants. Along with lesser celandine, Ranunculus ficaria, there is garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata. From Japan / Asia there is multiflora rosa, Rosa multiflora, a deliberate introduction by the USDA. Took birds a couple of decades to decide it was yummy. They now eat, poop, disperse seeds. At least we are too cold for kudzu, the vine that eats the South, another deliberate, USDA introduction. Several honeysuckle, worst is Japanese honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica, but also bush honeysuckle, Lonicera maackii, another intentional introduction that got away from gardens.

Some you are also familiar with, such as Japanese knotweed, Polygonum cuspidatum.

Non-native lawn weeds such as dandelions, Taraxacum, and plantain, Plantago major.

A plant I regret introducing, yellow dead nettle, Lamium galeobdolon.

Invasive relatively easy to control - barberry, Berberis thunbergii, another bird-dispersed issue.

Some "foreign" plants that naturalize but weave themselves into the landscape without excessive problems include coltsfoot, Tussilago farfara.

I believe there are North American natives that have naturalized / become invasive elsewhere - goldenrod, Solidago; in Japan for example.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8208

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 17 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You have been busy Cassandra. Glad progress is being made anyway. I need to have a turn out of our kitchen cupboards as there is a lot there that has been kept as 'might come in useful' or that I don't use these days, so might as well go.

Jam Lady, I know most of the British plants on your list, and we have some foreign 'invaders' too. Some of your native conifers do very nicely over here; Western red cedar can reproduce quite nicely here, as can Douglas fir, and both of them take up a bit of room. We have Western red cedar in the woods, and one or two that have been cut down or fallen down have reproduced, so we keep an eye on them and remove them before they get too much of problem.

We went down to the 17th century village in Gosport yesterday to see how they are getting on. We started by giving a demonstration of cross cut sawing using a large saw, as the sawyer knows us well and knows we can do the job. Then went round the other houses and met a few old friends. The loom I designed is in a different house, and is still being a bit temperamental. They were doing a bit of refurbishment on it, but the work they had achieved recently was very good. They were working on a worsted twill, which was finer than anything I ever tried on it and looked good. We found one problem was that I had the weavers bench made so that I could sit comfortably on it and reach fairly well along the pedals with my feet, but the current weavers are rather shorter than me and also have shorter legs, so the struggle a bit.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8208

PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 17 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Decided to have a day out yesterday and went down to the Wey and Arum canal in Sussex. On the way we got buzzed by a Spitfire out of Goodwood Aerodrome. Quite awesome as it probably wasn't more than 50 feet above us.

They have done a lot of work on the canal since we were last there, and we went towards the Wey. They have replaced one lock and are about half way through another. Doesn't sound much, but there is a lot of work and fund raising in building a lock and getting the canal in water again between the two.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1442

PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 17 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I do hope they get the canal working again - nothing sadder than a derelict one - I saw a few around London when I was there and they looked so lonely having once been such hives of industry.

I have had a couple of fairly productive days what with one thing and another though have yet to finish the one task I set myself for yesterday which was to empty and move one of the kitchen cupboards. At least it is almost empty but suffering from that sad state of having had all the identifyably useful things removed and now having the 'do I keep it or don't I' things remaining. I will take them all out and put them on top and go through them with an eye to the tip. But that is tomorrow's job now. I did get to play with the new stick cleaner (good for the purpose for which it was purchased, but not recommended if you need something for carpets), and the steamer (great for stainless steel surfaces, not so much in the shower, but then nothing but the eco-cloth seems to do that job with any enthusiasm), and three loads of washing as well as two of dishes (not that I am that dirty, but the mugs all got scoured to remove tea stains and then washed).

Today was the History Room and due to a dearth of visitors in the morning I also got done that which I set out to do there. So they now have plans and elevations of my version of our new kitchenette to draw on and criticise, I have sewn in the 5000 ends of yarn from the stripey scarf and the graph for the sheepy beanie has been drafted up using three different graphs from Ravelry in what I hope will be considered an original. But as it is a gift copyright should not apply anyway.

I started a pair of socks using the blended merino/nylon that I spun for the purpose and entertained several guests in the afternoon - one of whom spent over $90.00 on books, so it was worth opening up on Easter Sunday after all.

Happy Easter all. I will bore you with some photos tomorrow.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8208

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 17 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

A slightly belated Happy Easter to all of you. Sorry, I forgot yesterday.

You had a productive day at the History Room Cassandra, even if you didn't get your cupboard done.

The Wey and Arun restoration has been going on for years, but they are making good progress. The problem is that in the UK, as you know Cassandra, things are a bit crowded, so land tends to get 'repurposed'. The next stretch to be put into water will have to have a couple of bridges over to a house and a field, so extra expense. These things are run by trusts, so they might get grants if they are lucky, but otherwise it is fund raising and doing what they can with volunteers, and contractors for the rest.

Had a productive day in the garden yesterday. I evicted some of the curly kale plants that were pretty well finished, dug a trench down each side of the bed, leaving the PSB in the middle, as that is still going, and put in the remainder of the potatoes. I then managed to sow the rest of the seeds for this year, which are now divided between the green house and a warm window sill in the house. Hope for better germination this year as it was too cold, even in the house, last spring.

The quince tree is starting to come into flower, but hope it holds back a bit as we are forecast frosts this week overnight, with one quite sharp one. Luckily nothing else has come up, so no risk to them.

Husband had another go at the pond and found another hole in the liner, so that is now patched, and hopefully it will now stay full of water.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8208

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 17 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The weather forecast was for showers yesterday, so we didn't open the charcoal kiln. We had some charcoal from the little kiln to bag, so we did that than I made the handles for 3 more besoms and husband assembled a couple that are to be delivered to one of our outlets, as I never seem to be able to get them straight. Managed to finish the frame of the basket that has been in the jig. Not too satisfactory, but I should be able to make something out of it.

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1585
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 17 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Absurdly warm weather - would you believe 30 degrees Centigrade one day! Summer sheets on the bed, flannel sheets put away. Plants hurling themselves into bloom. I'll provide a link when I finish the entry on my web site. Outside water turned on.

A week ago Saturday there was a potluck garden party that friends of mine host every April. Camellias in flower, very pretty. Tomorrow is the press preview for Chihuly glass art at the New York Botanical Garden. Here's a link to his studio / web site: http://www.chihuly.com/

And I think that this Thursday we'll start uncovering my bananas. Which will also enable me to get at that hose bibb so the water for that faucet can also be turned on.

But today we're going to Costco - I need to fill my car's gas tank for the drive to NYBG and home again. Will stop in to their warehouse / store for this and that, go to Lowe's for spreader/sticker (the Ranunculus ficaria is not as dead as it should be, I need to re-spray and discourage it further) plus Milorganite - hosta are up so I need to discourage deer who think they're a delicious part of the salad bar. And himself said that he'd come with me and we'd go out to lunch.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1269
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 17 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Glad all well for you, gz. People would pay good money for wave machines in their pools and there nature provides.

Shed now getting 'stuff' into it, man stuff, tools and clothes and those other things I just can't throw away, but still have to waterproof the outside at the base, but nearing completion inside as an anti vermin 'wall' is being built and only 7 bricks to go.. I had a bonus on Monday a man gave me an old horse-drawn potato ridger in good order. I have had to hide it!-they go missing without trace if left out on full view. I have also bought a new gate for my entrance, just need a post about 8 inches square and in the ground around 3 feet. and a dose of concrete to surround it. It shouldn't take more than a few days, but it is hard digging where the post has to go.
I have had a horse come for summer grazing, an 18 hand grey, and lovely quiet personality. He seems settled.

I am glad all went well in the woods MR, I start out around 5.30am and there are the signs of life visible even at that time and of course I can do more in the shed as it is light up to around 7 pm plus now. I am still selling firewood which surprises me, but there we are each to his wants. I am juggling a few irons in the fire right now with a desire to get stock for winter, but also to complete the move. Stock is important for winter, but moving is on top of me now. and I want that settled before autumn. I am hunting a scrap dealer locally who delivers a skip to be filled and then comes back and takes it away. and they are few and far between round here. Something will turn up.

You are making rapid progress Cassandra, ready for when I come over to Aus. The friends have been on to me to go so I must. It will include a trip to you, as they go there for caravanning holidays and there son is now in Tasmania, but I don't know where yet. I am worried about MR having a throw out of the 'may come ins', think we may have to have a word! I find as soon as I throw it out it becomes a necessity!
We have a chap who does locks up in terms of providing the haulage for diggers and spoil removal for some of those up north and in the midlands canal reclamation projects.

I will see you all on Thursday with updates on the scrap situation.

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1585
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 17 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Well, it's late, I'm tired, and the linky coding is just not working for me. So if you want to see what I photographed in my garden on 17 April go here

Scroll down below the three most recent diary entries to get to BelleWood in Bloom 2017. Hope you enjoy the flowers.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8208

PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 17 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Son's birthday is in April, and when he was little I was never sure whether his birthday party was going to be inside by the fire, or in the garden as a picnic. Very variable weather here, and sounds as if it is with you too Jam Lady. Currently we are settled fine but a bit chilly. As only the onions have put their heads up in the garden, I am not that worried about frost at the moment, although I am hoping the quince flowers will be all right as they are coming out fast. Very pretty too, but do hope for a good set.

We emptied the big charcoal kiln yesterday, so both ended up a delicate shade of black. Not too bad a yield for the first firing of the season, as the hearth needs to be dried out again. We delivered charcoal to one of our outlets, who was glad to see us as she had sold out. Two besoms and some sawdust to deliver today.

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