Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Sun at last!

As I write this I can see into the back gardens and the sun is shining and the temperature is very warm for this time of year. Finally, the weather seems to be cheering up and it is feeling positively spring like. I think the allotment might actually dry out a bit now. Thankfully, it didn't flood as it is on the side of a fairly steep hill, but the ground is still saturated and being a clay soil, it is heavy going when digging. After a year of minor production but a lot of digging out of weeds, the plot is not that weedy this spring and I have already managed to dig half of one section where the potatoes are going to go this year so I am feeling happy about progress. Trouble is the seed potatoes we sent away for are well advanced in chitting, even though I only set them up last weekend. Certainly one type even has roots so really does need to go in the ground. I can see a trip to get washed up seaweed from the beach coming very soon. I only ever take seaweed that has been washed up and is beginning to rot on the beach. Being a tourist destination I'm sure visitors don't want to encounter the sight and smell of rotting seaweed so I like to think I am helping out the tourist industry in my own small way. I dig a deep trench, put damp seaweed in the bottom, and then place the chitted potatoes in the seaweed, before back filling. I don't bother earthing up unless I need to, last year I didn't have to. We had a really good crop of pretty clean potatoes that tasted just like potatoes used to, so many of the varieties you buy in the shops have very little flavour compared to how they used to, I'm hoping for the same results this year too.

I've had an odd thing happen with one of my Cymbidium orchids. I got it from a fellow member of our now sadly defunct orchid society, sadly he is no longer with us either. When he gave it to me he said it was white, but last year when it flowered it was a distinct shade of green. This year it has flowered again and this time is a creamy white colour. I can only think these changes are caused by environmental issues, nothing else has changed. Both of my Tolumnias are looking good, one even has a flower spike. I grow them in clear pots in hydroleca and they get dunked quite often. I then hang them up in the roof of the greenhouse. They seem to like this treatment, even if their leaves go a dark maroon red colour. I suppose this does re-create their natural environment in the wild quite well.

My knitting work is continuing at full steam, in the run up to Christmas I had a rush order and have had a lot of other things to make too. I am currently designing an Alpaca hat for the Alpaca farm, which I hope to get done in time for it to be available at Easter when our tourist season really gets going. I am also knitting up a shawl the pattern for which I worked up from the vague email message the designer sent to the alpaca farm. For lace it knits up quite fast, but it isn't something you could knit all day as it would drive you mad after a while. This is why I like to work on at least two projects at the same time, it keeps your mind alert and if one takes a lot of concentration then having the other as the opposite can be quite relaxing.

Until next time, keep safe and have fun.

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