Back in August I took some geranium cuttings for next year. I usually take about twelve with one or two spares and I try to pick cuttings from the different colours so that I get a continuity. I currently have red, white, pink and peach. I am always on the look-out for that elusive blue, which hasn’t been invented yet (as far as I know).
The cuttings stayed outside until last week when I brought them in to keep them safe against the risk of frost damage. I put them on a window ledge. This one faces west, which is ideal because they get the evening sun but not all day sun. They all have well established roots now and every one has started flowering. You can see in the picture how they like to grow towards the sun. Each and every one is leaning towards the light and the sun.
So my babies are indoors now. I will water them once or twice a week until April when they will go back into the borders and make a colourful show. Yes, I could go and buy plug plants from the garden centre, but this way is just so much more fun!
The next stage is for me to bring in the medium sized plants, which were the babies last year. We have been promised frost! soon so I need to get on with it.
It’s pickle time at the cottage so I’m putting my cares and worries away for a little while to wallow in the smell of salted vegetables and vinegar. Yum!
We always make mustard pickle at this time of the year and I have to add here that this is really Jim’s forte. I am just a helper. The ingredients are mainly, shallot onions, cauliflower, marrow, runner beans, a little flour and mustard and vinegar. We use the ordinary sort of malt vinegar, not the one with spices in it, but that’s just a personal choice.
The vegetables have to be prepared and salted, then left overnight with a tea-towel over the top. This process extracts the excess moisture. In the morning, the vegetables are washed off and put in a large pan to cook. When cooked (imagine delicious smell), they are thickened with a flour paste mixture and then put into prepared jars for Christmas.
Here they are, all ready to give as gifts (just need the labels) and to eat ourselves:
Now, isn’t that a nice way to spend an afternoon?
I’ve been asked many times how I prepare runner beans for the steamer and the table, so here is a little video showing the correct way to do it:
One thing I forgot to say on the video is ‘you need a sharp knife’.
Here are this years baby geraniums. I usually propagate them in August, so that they have a good month or two to get going before I bring them indoors for the winter. Once indoors, they will stay on the windowsill until April. It’s a long time and I have to nurture them. It’s worth doing because they will be perfect for the borders next summer.
This year I took slips, two from each colour, red, white, pink and peach. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they will all take. I don’t use hormone rooting powder. It really is not necessary for these accommodating little plants. They root very easily; you just have to make sure that you take the cutting properly to avoid die back. (see my previous post, link below).
I’m still on the look-out for a blue one! No luck yet.
Yesterday and the day before were very rainy here in my part of England and the little pots were up to their necks in water. That’s not a good thing because the roots will rot, so I brought them indoors just for one day to dry them out. I think they appreciated it.
The next step will be to bring in the plants which were last year’s babies and pot them up in larger pots ready to store indoors in a frost free environment (my back room).
If you want to read more about how I do it, you can click here and check out last year’s post, which goes into a bit more detail.
These daisies come up every year and sometimes are just a little too prolific, but I like things I can get a lot of so I put up! with the profusion. Can you see the bee on one of the flowers? Last year it was hover flies and I got stung twice on the arm on two separate occasions. I’m hoping that won’t happen again this year because I’m allergic to stings and bites and suffer miserably.
Here is the hanging basket just outside my back door. The nasturtiums aren’t flowering yet, but they will be soon I think. Just as soon as we get some sunshine.
On Sunday last, Larry cooked a tasty barbecue. We had steak and lamb chops. Next time I fancy doing kebabs of some sort so here he is making an addition to the grill to cook kebabs on. Does anyone have any good recipes for kebabs? I’m new to barbecues and could do with some help please.
Jim’s runner beans are all up, even the ones in the pots. Last year was a disaster to start with and he had to replant the lot. Then in the second coming (so to speak), they did so well that he had the best year for runner beans ever.
Here the ferns and in front the tomatoe plants. To the right is our camellia.
We had lots of beautiful clematis flowers this year. This one is called ‘The President’.
Last year I took care to spread around lots of the white nigella plants. We are rewarded this summer with some lovely specimens. Common name is ‘Love in a mist’. So romantic, don’t you think?
The sweet williams are just starting to flower.
and we have lots of bright red poppies.
Lots of joy in the garden isn’t there.
It’s just so nice to see flowers blooming after our long, wet winter. Here on the wall is a beautiful clematis, which gives us much pleasure.
And here a honeysuckle, just waiting to open up…
Life feels good at the moment and here at the cottage we are all three enjoying our retirement. There is time, at last, to do the things we want to do. Life moves slowly. We have learned to adapt and it’s good.
We had some really fine weather over the last two days and my flame tulips opened right up. I’ve been watching them growing from my sun-lounge and couldn’t wait to see them open up. Here they are in all their splendour.
and the camellia bush is flowering early this year. That’s a bonus. There are lots of flowers on it and such a joy to see.
and before I forget, the butterflies are out and about too. I just managed to catch this one sunning its wings in the sunshine. It’s a peacock – gorgeous, aren’t they.
Have you seen any butterflies recently?
Today is Mothers’ Day in England. We are earlier than most places. I consider myself very lucky today. I have had two visits and a phone call.
Thinking of my own mother, who died in 1992, I remember a very Dutch lady who loved her tulips. So here is a toast to my mum and her tulips.
Is there a flower that you associate with your own mother? If so, which one comes to mind?