Saturday, 22 August 2015

21st Century Garden August 2015

A day late I know. The garden seems to have become a tangled mass of weeds and plants that have gone to seed, I know how they feel. The weather has been unpredictable at best, it usually rains on the days when I'm not busy doing other things. I might be making excuses too, I've been in a not gardening place. :(

There is some produce to see however:

Yes that's an apple, one of two which magically appeared! 

The peas have got a second wind, while the beans are intent on world domination.

 The sunflowers we planted are almost as tall, they add a splash of colour and hopefully will provide Autumn food for the birds. 

 Talking of wildlife, it seems a rather enthusiastic leaf cutter bee has taken a couple of rooms in the bee hotel. 

The leaves are now turning brown.
I seem to be flower mad this year, the snap dragons are beautiful and popped up in a whole range of colours. 

This morning I captured a bee visiting. 
Flight of the bee!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Snappy dragon.

Have you ever wondered why you wake up in a particular frame of mind, or in my case, mood?  I sometimes go to bed with my head in a good place only to wake with a cloud raining on my parade. It is almost as if a dream has left a stain like the ring from a cup. I have learnt over the last few years how to "cope" when it happens, at least most of the time. The exercise I get from my three outings each week has of course helped, the jogging is coming along nicely. I am still very slow, but I am told the important thing at this stage is not speed, but the stamina to keep going for longer, speed comes later. I haven't lost any weight, Mike says it might be because the fat weight has become muscle weight. I feel much fitter, so I'm happy to keep going even if I'm still as heavy as a hippo. 

Yet my mood over the last week or so though has had me snappy, anxious, and tearful. I have been going out for my run, but I have been reluctant to venture out at other times of the day. I am prone to panicking too. The other day Mike couldn't find his keys, he took the spare set and rushed off to dialysis. I then turned the house upside down, rushing around like a headless chicken, even though I knew I should calm down and stop fretting. I just couldn't stop myself. 

Snap dragons. 
I will with time, and a bit of kindness from myself and others, find myself in a good place once more. I always have before.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

This One Is For Eric.

A month ago when I started my new fitness regime I could barely jog for the 60 seconds requested by the podcast, so I repeated week one. 

Week two came along and the 90 seconds had me gasping for air, the 90 second recovery walk seemed to last about 30 seconds, so week two made a second appearance. 

I am now on week 3 (my fifth week) and the podcast has me running* for 3 minutes, walking for 3 min. running* for 90 seconds, walking for 90 seconds and then repeat.  

Today I decided that I would run to my local shop. I was inspired by a chap called  Eric Gelber who is currently running 135 miles through Death Valley and beyond. I managed to run / jog 0.7 miles in 7.5 minutes. I know it isn't far. I know it isn't fast. I know that I am 40 pounds (nearly three stone in old English) overweight. I know that I am PROUD of myself for making such massive progress. I am off my couch and on my way! Every time I feel I can't go on I think of Eric and his "Just a mile to go" message. 

*For running it might be appropriate to say jogging through treacle, but I am moving!!!!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

21st Century Garden July 2015

Good morning everyone, where has the past month gone? I'm pleased to report that I am on my fourth week of jogging, I don't run for long yet, but it is getting a tiny bit easier. Any way back to the garden.

The peas are finished, I have harvested the last of them and put them in the freezer to enjoy over the winter. 

 The first beetroots are ready too, those got made into a delicious salad.

The first of the early potatoes are up, we will eat them baked in their skins with chilli this evening.

All around the garden we still have plenty going on.


Bell pepper

Dwarf French beans

More French beans
 The young beans make a wonderful salad along with roasted hazelnuts.



Do you remember the photo of the beans last month? Well the runners have taken to the sky, it is actually 6 inches above the trellis!
Runner beans

Runner bean flower

Courgette / zucchini
Last month I showed you all how beautiful the rose arch is looking, the pond has matured beautifully too. 

It would appear that "everything in the garden is rosy."

Monday, 29 June 2015

July Jog

Over the last fifty-two years the nearest I have come to sporting prowess is walking to school. As a child I spent more time reading a book than running around. My youngest sister could run faster than me almost as soon as she could walk, I remember her chasing me with a carving knife around the flat we lived in after I had done something to upset her. I can't remember what it was I did, but I do remember it was me who got smacked and locked in the wooden larder that stood in the hallway. 

At school I was the kid who was picked last for the team games, netball, hockey, rounders (a bit like baseball for anyone outside the UK) and whilst I was happy to sit and make daisy chains during the summer rounders matches, standing around in my games kit during the winter was no fun. At primary school sports days were kept short by selecting the best children for each type of race, more daisy chain making for me, my youngest sister provided the proud mother moments in our family. 

The one thing I have always done though is walk. Between the ages of  seven and eleven I walked half a mile to school, a lot more than many kids today. During the summer at secondary school I would walk the two and a half miles to school, spend the hour and a half lunch break walking round and round the buildings and fields and then walk the two and a half miles home. I might not be built for speed, but I did have endurance. Endurance wasn't something that my school valued though when it came to sport. In fact I'm not entirely sure how I was viewed by my peers or teachers. Possibly the fact I came from a deprived area lead them to believe I was something I wasn't. It took me a few years to realise, but when we were doing a biology survey of the environmental effects of pollution on lichen I actually heard two teachers discussing which areas were to be covered "we'll have to send Lorna to Horseley Fields, no other parent will allow their daughter to go there." So I was sent, alone, with just my clipboard and paper.  I later learnt that Horseley Fields was part of the red light district. 

I remember after the first London Marathon in 1981 I told a friend that I fancied running the following year, they laughed at me. I never considered running again. 

I have continued to walk. I walked while pregnant, I walked with prams, pushchairs and baby carriers with children on my back. I walked them to school and then walked to do my shopping.  I love walking, sometimes I think I could be the Forest Gump of walking. 

So after a life-time of life only running for a bus I have decided I need to stretch my wings and try a bit of running. The NHS reckon I can get from Couch to 5K in just nine weeks. Maybe it will take me a bit longer, but my aim is to be running 5K around the park by the time the Wolverhampton Marathon takes place on Sunday 6th September. I might not be entered for this year, but maybe, just maybe, I'll be up to a half marathon by next year. 

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

21st Century Garden June 2015

I'm a couple of days late, it isn't always easy to get onto the computer, life and Mike get in the way.

The 'P' garden is doing well.



More peas

We have a possible "funny vegetable" entry.

Weird courgette.
The onions and carrots are looking promising, although who knows what is actually going on below the surface. For all we know, the carrots are presently being munched by carrot fly or slugs.

The tomatoes are starting to flower, possibly a bit late, but without a greenhouse, I think there is very little more we can do.

The dwarf french beans and runner beans have made an appearance.



The new raspberry bush has got its first fruit, much earlier than the old one which we practically destroyed trying to move it from spot to spot (Mike's idea!). It has started to recover now, but we thought it was dead and bought a replacement.



The Japanese quince is looking good, hopefully it will hold on to the fruits and I will be able to make quince jelly again.

The garden is maturing beautifully. Who remembers this wooden arch from 2011?

I was going to put a photo up in July, but it looked so beautiful this morning I decided to show you all a month early, I might just repeat myself next month. The photo is obviously from the opposite side as we put a shed up on the concrete pad.

The borders are full of flowers that the bees love. 

Foxglove, with bee runway.

Love-in-a-mist / Persian Jewel / Nigella Damascena

The bee hotel now has eleven little bees waiting for next spring to arrive, with adults still making their homes in it.  

I love my garden, I just hope I can hang on to it.