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Posts Tagged ‘horticulture’

What You Doing?

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Actually young man I am trying to ‘cat proof’ my flower/bulb beds.  After your last visit I decided to take advice from various people who know and re did the Hexagon planter planted it up with gladioli then covered it with stones.  This I have been told would do two things, firstly deter you and secondly help keep the ground moist during summer.

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So I shall be collecting small stones to place along the lines of gladie’s and lilies in the back garden, then I also covered part of the main bed with them in the hope this really works.  As this is a work in progress I shall save up the pictures and tell the whole story later, don’t hold your breath though this is a ‘can’t be rushed’ thing, but it’s getting there.  I also bought some Hebes which I have planted behind the Hexagon.  Here I cleared the ground, placed plastic over the area covered it with sand then earth and planted the Hebes in an arc.  Unfortunately we had a rain storm and the rush of water from the fields not only brought loads of earth with it but washed away a bit of the plastic around the last two plants.  But all is sorted, once we realized what had happened Michael re-laid that covered it with earth and watered them in.

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Now to the Lillie garden.  This is how it looked after the hot summer, loads of weeds and a stone wall that was a disgrace, so it was my priority. The first thing I had to consider was the water pipe. This runs from the large cisterna behind the house into the header tank, it also takes the overflow from the tank down into that cisterna – when it rains – so I couldn’t cement it in.  What to do? well I cleared all the weeds then looked at the Lilies to see where they came into contact with it.  This done I next removed all the stones from that horrid ‘wall’ and started again.  This time I concentrated on the plants and pipe together.  The first thing I did was build up the end wall near the step, clearing things as I went, I moved along tidying it up. Next I cemented it all together added topping stones job done.  Where the pipe ran through the bed I used the violets (which had self-seeded) next to it as part of the cover then covered the exposed bits with stones. This made a small narrow garden at the front into which I planted some baby bulbs so whatever comes up will be a nice surprise.  The metal support you see in the top used to hold a water pipe until the new cisterna was built. Michael had secured it in place so well we couldn’t get it out, so it has Sweetpeas planted round it which are growing and hopefully they will cover it but I have other things that can climb if not.

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This is the Mint garden that runs from the Lillie bed down to the cisterna. Again this was full of weeds and looking rather shoddy compared to the Sage bush on the other side of the water duct.  This was a little bit easier to sort out, once weeded and cleaned up I just covered the ground with stones, cemented the edge, filled in various holes. You will notice a small patch at the end of the bed this is part of the path leading up to the fields one day it will be concreted over just here so this is still a work in progress.

This Is Horace

DSCF3271 (640x480)I found him hiding in the tomato grow bag one year not very amused when I disturbed him. I have seen him around the garden on the days when the sun is out so glad he’s ok.  He and the others that live here have often flummoxed  me as there is no water up here, no pond, nada.  So where does he go? where does he and the others – there are smaller ones – live?  We hear them on a spring or autumn evening, croaking away but although like the bats, we see them where they go in summer for coolness we’ve no idea.  Ah well it is and will remain one of the forests mysteries.

 

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

 

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Well the gardening is going strong this is one of the bulb gardens my wife built, the stones are there to hopefully deter Puddytat from using it as a toilet.   He is still here little devil woke me the other morning chasing breakfast in the wood shed which is behind the bedroom.  I could hear this noise and wondered what was going on so took a look and there he was along with a smaller version which, I presume, is his mate.  No kittens here matey!!!!

 

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Its been a long time since we ventured west to Terra Alta, so this afternoon being fine and warm we decided to visit the wine celler at Corbera d’Ebre.  This time of year is a busy one the grape harvest is in full swing. It’s now that you see the tractors pulling trailers loaded  with grapes along the roads to the various cellers to be pressed.  We arrived at Corbera late so having around 2 hours to wait we decided to take a trip up into the mountains.  We drove along winding roads through passes then down from Terra Alta to the valley turned west again and headed back up into the mountains along more winding roads and another pass.

Along the way we followed a mechanical grape picker on its way to harvest yet another field, saw tractors with trailers parked in vine fields ready to start work after lunch.  Most of the grapes are grown on short stubby vines which have to be picked by hand, hard but rewarding work.  We stopped off in Gandesa for a drink and as we sat by the road, the Moto GP 2 support lorries drove past on their way to Aragon.  Back at the Celler which was now open we bought some wine and nuts then headed back to town.

 

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During the week I was over our other terraces and noticed this tree growing with strange fruit, so I asked my wife if she knew what it was.  Having posted it on FB she was informed it was a Strawberry Tree, neither of us had heard of it before so when we went to petanca we took two of the fruit with us.  It turned out it is a local tree and you can eat the fruit as long as its red.  The fruit has a nobly outside which made me wonder if it was a type of Lychee, but it has pips inside so I wont be the one eating it not saying who will though…  so guess who’s been lined up to dig up the two young ones we found and plant them on the lower level????  ooooh me back doctor…..

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Now if anything says anything about how things go up here this plant does.  It is supposed to stand erect and the flowers hang down like bells.  It self seeds so we can expect a few plants from it.  But I digress, as you can see from the photos it has decided that it prefers laying down and spreading to standing upright.  The flowers are doing fine, however, the large white bell shapes stand up instead  of hanging down but it does not seem to mind.  When it was planted it seemed to struggle a little so my wife put it next to a lemon Geranium and it took off, seems it likes company.  So when its finished flowering and the leaves have gone she is going to trim the geranium then put a support under the plant in the hope that next year it will get it right – yeh???

 

So it has been a fairly quiet week really, I went into Reus to collect my driving licence, then shopping and finally school. Two hours of learning Spanish and as of next week its twice a week, next term its 3 hrs a day……. anyway I do enjoy it.

 

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s 11.40 on a Sunday morning sun’s shining and for the past few hours Michael has been sitting in the fly free zone working on a new book whilst listening to the song of a thrush. As for me I have been busy in the garden putting finishing touches to the walled bed. Now you may be wondering why I am posting on Michael’s blog, well its like this. I have joined a garden blog on FB and normally I would just post on there or  Michael would write a blog about what I have been up to. This morning however he was up early and is now busy writing. But he did have a look round on here first and as soon as he had finished I grabbed my chance hehe.

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It is a strange thing but gradually over the years I have been putting the garden in place but only in my mind. But last year Michael made me steps up to the cacti garden and things just took off from there. I edged the steps with stones and made small bulb terraces, then if you look to the right of this picture that is where I built a small wall and re-planted my Saffron crocus.

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The next thing was to have a small olive tree removed as it was too close to the house and replanted in the south field. It was whilst this was being dug up that the large rocks were discovered so I decided to make a small walled garden for some of my roses.  Then Michael suggested that I make another garden behind the wall incorporating the stones so this is the result – it’s now finished – and I have planted two of my hostas – Bill & Ben – in it along with one or two other plants, covered the soil with gravel so it prevents the sun drying it out too quickly and I now have a classic little garden.

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The problem here is that we don’t get much water during the summer which normally runs from June till mid September so we have to collect water for the garden from the river. We store it in cubes of 1,000 ltrs which is strictly for the garden. But there is a little trick I learnt from ‘The Witches Garden’, and that is to get a lemonade bottle cut off the bottom say about half way up and insert the capped end into the soil and fill with water. Next get an empty 6 ltr water bottle cut the top off that and fit it over the  bottle in the ground, this will then produce a self watering unit and keep the plants moist. I have done it before and it does actually work although I have to place a stone on the top to keep the larger bottle from being blown away.

So today I have made three of these water units and placed them next to the roses in the new garden. I then made a ring of stones which when it gets cooler tonight I shall cement in place thus making a ‘waddy’ which when I pour the  water in will make sure it soaks into the ground for that rose and does not run over the ground. I now have three more to make plus one for the lavender. So busy, busy ,busy.

Right I have to go need to get dinner I hope you like this I shall continue with another update later. I will post this tonight but if not then tomorrow when I have finished.

© C.A.Bosc

(Wife and Poetess)

 

 

 

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Today finds us sitting the FF Zone (fly free zone) enjoying the sun which is around 20° today. My wife has been suffering with her tooth and yesterday the last bit of root came out so her gum is quite sore.  So I decided it would be a jim-jam day and apart from sitting here in the sun she gets cool coffee and toofy pecks to make things better.

I’m enjoying sitting outside working, we both have our machines on the table and there are plenty of distractions. Boris and the others have been singing and diving around along with another newcomer to the fold.  We don’t know what this one is but its small about Robin size with a beak which I would say is for winkling out grubs, however when it opens its wings its back is yellow.  But it fits in nicely here as it spends most of its time shouting the odds or bathing in the water bar.  The Wall Walker is back and busy with his new nest either that or the eggs have hatched and its feeding time.  We missed so much at the beginning of this year, but are steadily catching up.

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It’s like the poppies.  We always imagined them being English, but they bloom everywhere here, the hillsides and our part of the forest are full of them.  My wife has counted around 5 different types in both red and white, taken the heads to sow more seeds in autumn, only to find the mice have been munching, I opium they enjoyed them.

© Michael Douglas Bosc

 

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