Monday, 4 May 2015

In no particular order

















Clematis, everywhere.  Gorgeous isn't it.

The first precious rhubarb, made into Nigella's rhubarb shortbread.  I found it recommended on a couple of blogs, the first one I can't find now, I think I know who it was, but I can't find the post, and the other one was Nimble Fingers and Steady Eyebrows.  If you were the person who pointed me in that direction, do let me know and I'll credit you properly.  Anyway, it was as both ladies said, absolutely delicious.  All gone now.  We don't mess about in this house when there's something good to eat.  It's eat or be eaten.

A perfect hosta.  Perfect.  No snail holes at all.  Yet.  In a few weeks it will look absolutely horrible, it happens every year.  I'm thinking of putting it in the front garden, planted through gravel, in the hopes that the gravel will slow the snails down a bit.  After it rained yesterday I could see them all from the kitchen window, sliding happily around the garden.

Our dear little piggie.  So thin, and rather old, but still gamely hanging in there.  Eating her nuggets and carrots and cucumber and celery and grass.  She's almost six, not ancient, but she has some breathing difficulties which slow her down a bit.  We look after her the very best we can.

More apple blossom.  Worcester Pearmain.  Later than the first two, so I hope there will be other apples around to pollinate it.  We can't have too many apples in this house.

Fresh green herbs, pea tendrils and some new salad leaves.  Despite the chill, some things are cracking on in the garden.

A little brass band music in a Victorian bandstand by the sea on a Sunday afternoon.  Quite a crowd had gathered, people of all ages.  It made me happy that something that hasn't changed in decades is still appreciated.

A little nesting and a pink flamingo.  I saw a gull predate a tiny little coot chick this afternoon.  The first time the parents drove the gull off.  He hung around, and next time he got lucky.  It wasn't nice to see.  Nature red in tooth and claw I know, but it's pretty brutal.

Otherwise the bank holiday was lovely.  An extra day to the weekend is a very fine thing.  Of course I shall be a day out all week now.  Wishing you all a very good few days.  CJ xx

46 comments:

  1. Pretty photos one and all. Sad about the Coot chick. Yes, nature can be brutal.. :-( I'm glad you had a nice weekend. We did too. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  2. Lovely photos CJ! It is astonishing how much difference a few hundred miles further north make, we are well behind here vegetation wise, except the rhubarb, that's ready and delicious. Bless the little piggie, the fresh grass must be so scrumptious. Have a lovely week. xx

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  3. I'd be cautious about planting the hosta out if there are a lot of snails, even though gravel. They take it in their stride here, or whatever the molluscy equivalent is. In their slide perhaps. If it's doing OK where it is I'd leave it, perhaps with a ring or two of copper tape around the pot. Then maybe put the pot on the gravel?

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  4. A snippets post! My very favorite kind. The clematis is so pretty. I don't know if I can grow it here but I have always liked it. Oh, and hosta too! I miss hosta from when I lived in the northeast. It's too dry for it here. I remember for some reason thinking it was called "hostis" or something like that when I was a kid. I think I was corrected by someone else who thought I was calling it "hospice." Silly. I enjoyed seeing your piggy; I'm not sure I've heard of one living for even six years so she seems to be doing really well. I would like to have a guinea pig someday. I think I'd be the one doing all the work, so I'm holding off. :)

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  5. Beautiful photos as always. That gazebo is adorable! The photo of the pier is my favorite. So sad for the little chick but I guess that is nature!

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  6. So many pretty shots here CJ!!! Im so glad you all had a great weekend and I sure enjoyed those photos from the garden! And YAY for baking...that looks delicious! And I absolutely love live music.....what a treat for you all!!! Keep the garden shots coming! Just fantastic!!! Happy days in the garden to you!! Nicole xoxo

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  7. Those hostas are looking great so far! With all the rain we've had over the Bank Holiday the snails have been out and about. The only time they have remained snail free was the year that one of the ducks nested in them but, sadly, not this year. I love a nice brass band in the park and your little piggie is adorable. Sounds like a good weekend was enjoyed. xx

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  8. Hi CJ - I love reading your blog, usually over a cuppa first thing - the picture of your little Piggie reminds me of the one my sister and I had when we were young. Thanks for sharing the recipe, will make some later as our Rhubarb is flourishing, especially now we have had some rain - happy days

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  9. Hi CJ, sounds like you've had a very good weekend, I'm going to have to try the rhubarb shortcake. I made a rhubarb cake yesterday which we ate with a dollop of clotted cream for pudding. Delicious. What is it about hostas that make them so appetising to molluscs? I used to have quite a large collection, but I'm now down to three, all grown in pots, top-dressed with gravel and stood on gravel. I don't use pellets so I am vigilant about checking the pots. Your salad is coming along nicely, it looks like you're not far off your first snipping. I sowed my third wave of salad leaves yesterday and will keep doing this every couple of weeks until August to keep us in fresh leaves until the autumn. My three apple trees at the allotment were humming with bees yesterday, what a year for blossom it's been. And I took my newly finished quilt to the allotment very early yesterday to photograph it amongst the blossom. Don't think anyone saw me, Blogland has such a lot to answer for!

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  10. fortunately Clevedon still feels good in the clouds! didn't know you had a piggy! x

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  11. We are spraying our hostas with Grazers to try and keep the slugs and snails at bay - maybe a vain attempt but we have to try,

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  12. Love the pea tendrils! They are amazing things aren't they!!

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  13. Our rhubarb was planted in the wrong place and has barely grown in the last couple of years. We moved it a month ago and it has perked up but we'll have to let it settle in and recover before we can harvest any. I love the sound of the shortcake so might have to buy some rhubarb to make it. I'm really enjoying reading your warm and generous blog. Have a great week. Sam x

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  14. Some lovely looking slug and snail food.

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  15. Thank you for the rhubarb recipe, that is Perfect Timing as ours looks like a Triffid.

    My hosta got got a couple of years back, so I replanted it in gravel in its pot, had a word with the people with shells and one foot, and so far, so good :o)

    Looks and sounds like a lovely peaceful weekend was had, it was a good one here too. Although I am now also a day out....xxx

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  16. I forgot to mention Mrs Armitage! How lovely to see her. We do so miss our piggie. Give her a big cuddle and a smooch from us xxx

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  17. Good to see that you enjoyed the long weekend, despite the poor weather on Sunday. Thanks, and you too. xx

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  18. I often make that rhubarb shortbread and it is wonderful. I had no idea it was a Nigella recipe though, I think I just picked it up from a blog.

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  19. Rhubarb shortbread sounds delicious. Two of my favourite foods combined! Wonder if it would work with gluten free flour?
    The hostas here look pristine and beautiful too. I'm really hoping they don't get decimated by snails and slugs. They did quite well last year; maybe because they're planted in tallish pots on a paved yard. I'm not really keen on using slug pellets.
    Maybe try some grit or crushed eggshells? Apparently coffee grounds work well too. Not that I'd know - it's been strictly instant around here for a while now!
    S x

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  20. Awwwwwwwwwwww...you know I always love when Miss Piggie makes an appearance. :-) Oh and flamingos TOO!!!! Best blog posting EVER! LOL

    Have a great week. :-)

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  21. Everything is lovely - especially the clematis. Ours is about to flower. And our hostas are just starting to appear.

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  22. Awww, seeing that gull take the coot chick would have spoilt my day, I hate things like that. I can't bear to watch wildlife programmes on tv, I'd love to but the horrible bits upset me for days, softie that I am. Lovely to see your cute little piggie, they're such lovely critters. I think I shall have to look up that rhubarb shortbread recipe, it looks delicious.

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  23. What a lovely guinea pig. I think they make such nice pets. And how fascinating to see a close up of the pea tendrils - so clever that they know how to twirl and twist to grip the support!

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  24. It's a funny week when you have lost a day. I spent all today telling the children that it was really Tuesday and not the Monday they thought it was!

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  25. Ooo! Bank holidays. I'm going to start creating my own...

    I think all the spring photos are lovely. All the green and growing, so why is it my favorite photo today is the pier in the distant gray? Am I contrary today? I always enjoy your photos, but that's my fave today.:)

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  26. That first pea shoot pic ... I love it, you could title it 'tenacity' I think.

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  27. Hey CJ,
    We have a Montana going completely barmy this year. It is simply breathtaking. Nigella does the best cakes. The one I made at the weekend was one of her recipes, but anything with rhubarb in gets my vote. I have been gift a very large plant by a neighbour. It is at the allotment. I am so happy!
    Leanne xx

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  28. This post made me smile as it captured some of our weekend too! The rhubarb shortbread looks delicious I picked some of ours yesterday and made crumble and jam with mine! We also went to Bristol for the day I was hoping to see the fishing boats in Leigh Woods but ran out of time! Sarah x

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  29. clematis not flowering here yet, but the rhubarb is looking good, that shortbread does sound tasty x

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  30. Just beautiful to see things in bloom and flourishing! How fun to be able to watch flamingos! Glad you had a nice long weekend. I just got back from a little trip to meet a friend I don't get to see often enough. It was a great time, but I'm happy to be home, too! Hope you have a wonderful week, CJ!

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  31. That Rhubarb short bread does look amazing. I have some coming on at the moment too and don't want to let it go to waste though I don't have a problem with snails. You can crush egg shells and scatter them around the base of your plants to deter snails - might be worth a shot.

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  32. Oh wow - rhubarb shortbread - who knew? Sounds amazing. The growth in your garden looks great - really healthy. I look forward to seeing how everything progresses. Fingers crossed in this household for a good apple crop too ;o) J9 x

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  33. I was just thinking I need something other than my standard rhubarb crisp recipe to use up the rhubarb from our community garden. Thanks for the great idea! Our hosta plants end up with holes too, but I've not seen any snails. I think our problem might be slugs. The life of a gardener - if it's not one thing it's another. :-)

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  34. Nature can be a bit harsh can't it? Including seeing your sweet piggie getting older. My Max is 10 1/2 and I look into his wise brown eyes and am so thankful he is doing well.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  35. Lovely photos and blog, so much colour going on at the moment, it's lovely, poor piggy, they are the cutest wee creatures :)

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  36. The rhubarb shortbread looks delicious, I am going to check out the recipe.

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  37. While admiring your photos in this post, C.J., I was reminded of my good friend's herd of guinea pigs. She had a small securely fenced backyard and for a time she let her little herd keep the grass in the backyard neatly clipped as they happily munched away! xx

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  38. That rhubarb shortbread looks delicious - I shall have to give it a try, and your little guinea pig looks very content, enjoying the spring. I gave up on hostas years ago, and don't grow delphiniums or lupins for the same reason. Slugs and their ilk are rife in our garden, so I try to encourage wildlife which will feast upon them instead. I did find that copper tape around the base of the bird feeder stopped them form scaling it, though. Glad to see that your plants seem to be doing well, despite all that cold weather :)
    Cathy x

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  39. My son thought they were called mini pigs for absolutely ages and it was so sweet hearing him say it that I didn't want to correct him. The rhubarb shortbread looks delicious, I'll have to try that recipe. The clematis is amazing. I'm on the hunt for an evergreen one for screening in our garden. Enjoy what's left of the week, I feel like I'm a day out too. xx

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  40. Thanks for the link to rhubarb shortbread, CJ, two of my favourites combined! When visiting the public garden near to my parents' home last weekend, I chatted to a woman whose pride and joy was her hosta collection. I asked about slugs and was told that she's happy to cough up for nematodes which she applies every 6 weeks - expensive but it works. I had some success in keeping the little blighters at bay with wool pellets and the more traditional method of picking them off. They've been eating my tulips here so time I went out to show them who's boss again! Caro x

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  41. You have made a lovely blog!
    If I'm to get anything done today I shall have to ration the length of my visit and come back and have a another look later :o)

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  42. What beautiful images. Our hosta get munched on too.....I think its slugs by us

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  43. Thanks for the rhubarb recipe. I have three big plants and was looking for a new recipe. Looks delish! I am trying crushed eggshells and coffee grounds around some of my plants to keep the snails off. Lovely photos as usual. Have a happy Mothers Day!

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  44. Ooh, the rhubarb recipe looks good and quite straightforward so that'll be one to remember. I wish I had your lettuces!
    When I biked to our local country park last weekend, a chap was telling me about how he'd seen a gull picking off young goslings - he and his wife had been wondering what was getting them as each time they went there were fewer goslings, until they saw the gull in action. I wonder if anything would eat the gull in return. It's probably too big for the peregrines.

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  45. That rhubarb shortbread looks delicious, thanks for the recommendation and links. I never know where I am for the week following a bank holiday. Our local park in Leeds had a bandstand and a brass band would play in it every Sunday afternoon during the summer. We could hear if from the house, it was lovely. xx

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