Sunday, 30 April 2017

Sunday - How to plant a clematis or any plant

Using the gel from disposable nappies (diapers)

This morning it is fine but with a breeze, quite pleasant. I had been wanting to plant a clematis I had grown from a cutting, I decided today was the day. 

Using the gel from the nappies that had kept our plants going whilst we were away. If you are using a fresh nappy, pour a jug of water on it and leave for 15 minutes or so, the gel will quickly take up the water and begin to swell.

I scrapped the gel out of the nappy, There is some cotton wool in there, it does not matter, it all helps.

A bowl of compost.

Mix the gel into the compost as if you were making pastry.

Water the plant in its pot so its easier to get out

Dig a hole away from the fence.

The hole needs to be deep enough to take the plant in its pot, Do not dig it too deep. Tip the plant out of the pot and just loosen the roots.

Put the plant in the hole and angle it backwards towards the fence, I have trellis on the fence which I want the clematis to climb up.

Back fill the hole using the compost with the gel and firm down.

Then use some of the soil you dug out on top of the compost, firm it down, I go round it with my boot and make sure its well firmed in. Add a bit more soil if you need to.

Clematis like their roots in the shade but their head in the sun, they do not like full sun on the roots, so place a piece of stone or slate over where the roots are.

Water it in and that's it. The gel will keep the plants watered when its dry, it seems to last quite a while before drying out, if, like us, you have clay soil it will help to break up the soil, in free draining soil it keeps the water where you need it.

I did find it easier if you are just wanting the gel, and not to use the nappy as a reservoir, to cut the outside part of the nappy. Using it to stand plants in pots on, its better to slit the inside and open out to contain the gel, the outer covering of the nappy is more or less water tight, keeps the gel where it should be.

So the rest of the day, apart from prepping the supper is going to be spent reading or surfing the net.

Saturday, 29 April 2017


Fine morning so laundry out on the line, dried, folded up and put away.

DB playing bowls this afternoon, so a bacon sarnie for lunch, he then went for a short siesta. He will get tea at the club so I plan to have a cheesy jacket spud for my supper.

Pulled some more rhubarb, there is tons of it, will pull some more and take it to the coffee morning on Wednesday.

At last managed to get a look at the herbaceous border. Its so dry it is cracking. I will water it later. Have several plants to put in, will be digging out planting holes, mixing the contents of an unused babies nappy with compost and planting into the compost. The plants we left whilst on holiday did well using the moisture absorbing jell that is in babies nappies. I bought a pack of the largest ones, used 3 for the plants in pots. You need to soak the nappy with water, it will swell as the jell absorbs the moisture, then leave the outside cover on, but split the inside cover and remove it, the pots just sit on trays on top of the moist jel. The plants will take up the moisture as they need it. The nappies do not have to be the expensive ones, supermarket own brand are great, I bought size 6 from Lidl for just over £3. A lot cheaper than buying the packets of water retaining jel

The rest of the nappies will be used mixed in compost and also to surround the roots of plants, the jel holds the moisture for a long time. In our very clay soil its the only way I can see to keep some of the plants going. I will let you know how I get on. They should cut down on the amount of watering we have to do. DB will also put the jel into the planting holes for the beans and lettuces etc that will be going into the garden shortly, once the risk of frost is past. It also works well in hanging baskets and containers which can suffer badly in dry weather.

A relaxing day for me, I might do the ironing shortly and maybe spend an hour or so in the sewing room. I need to sort out samples of the things I make to take to show the gallery owner where the artisan fair is being held. We are going over to see her on Tuesday. I need to source some christmas fabric for mats etc.

Two nights running no supper to cook...cannot be bad.


I have just spent 2 hours watering the garden, there are big cracks in the soil. The strawberries are in full flower, hope we do not get a frost it will kill them, will have to get DB to put fleece over the bed.

Going to cook my jacket spud in a while........

Friday, 28 April 2017

Coming Home day

Except we are already home!!

Another load of laundry done, dried on the line, sunny and blue sky. One more load to go tomorrow and all will be 'washed up'.

Step sons birthday today, my DD2's birthday in 12 days, they will both be 49, times flies.

Shopping, lunch at Sainsbugs, compost from Morrison and the car filled up with fuel.

Now, opinions grand daughter is getting married in October, the invite came this week, a bit early, but still. They have asked for money not presents........I am not too happy about this, I was going to give them money anyway, but it seems a bit cheeky to me, what do you think? Maybe I am old fashioned, but to me a wedding is the time to ask for things that will be used in a future home, not money which can be squandered away on nothing. They do not have a home they are living with my daughter, no sign of anything, they cannot afford to buy, so council has been approached. GD knows that new houses are going to be built close to her mothers, she told me some time ago she wants a new house, not a 'grotty one someone else has lived in'. I also know from experience that there will be no thank you for what ever we give them. You will remember we went to see the baby a few weeks ago, GD did not even speak to us until I spoke to her. The baby quilt was never acknowledged either.

I was brought up to say thank you for things and I brought my children up the same way, it seems now that good manners have gone out of the window and its taken as a right to be given things. Just my opinion....fwiw..............

We enjoyed our fish and chips, cooked to order and a decent plate full, apart from making a sandwich at supper time thats it for today.

Thursday, 27 April 2017


I have a load of laundry to do and its raining!! Towels in the dryer, duvet cover in the washer, if it clears after lunch I might just get the duvet cover dry on the line.

Reasonable nights sleep, I slept in this morning so DB brought my breakfast. Managed out of bed by 10am, washer is on with the duvet cover in.

Over the holiday we did managed to find a compromise. DB is not going to play as much bowls as he has and we will go out for a day and have an occasional meal out. Holidays have yet to be sorted, but it may well be that we go for short breaks somewhere not too far away. I had thought we might go to the isle of Wight, but he has vetoed that. 

I am concerned about his mental health, he does seem to be getting worse, but until he acknowledges it himself there is nothing I can do except bite my tongue, which means I am going to have a very sore tongue!! There were several occasions whilst we were away when 'things' occurred.

One thing I need to make absolutely clear. I have cared for DB for over 25 years. Anyone who has not lived with him does not know what he is like.....there is never a week goes by but he has some problem which he expects me to solve instantly. I am not God!! When he has been in hospital I have a job on my hands to get him up again, the last time was particularly difficult. I have no choice but to be cruel to be kind. I keep telling him that one of these days he really will be in trouble and I will just ignore him, does not make a scrap of difference. The constant drain resulted in my pacemaker having to be fitted, but his attitude has not changed. So please when you read my blog bear this in mind.  .......Thank you.

If I get another comment like the last vicious one which was uncalled for I will close my blog forthwith and will not open a new one.

I have not had a chance to check the garden, but the clematis on the front fence is right out in bloom. DB says that the wind had blown over plants in the nursery area. I need to get myself sorted and get them in and do some badly needed weeding.

As you can see from the pictures the roots of the geraniums I took the cuttings from last week have started to  put up new growth.

This is one of the cuttings, I think it may have rooted, it has put up a flower bud. I will be taking it off, I want the plant to put on more growth before it flowers.

The drying beans DB sowed before we went away, we may have to pot them on, cannot put them in the ground until the chance of frost has passed, these are climbing beans. The pods are left on the plants to dry, the beans harvested and stored in airtight container.

The orchids in the bathroom and sewing room have, all but one, put up flower spikes. I was watching a programme on TV about global warming, it certainly seems to be the case this year, things are coming on much faster than usual.

DB is bowling this evening, not a match, just a roll up, so we ate at lunchtime, bacon and onion fritatta with salad. I had a couple of pears which were showing signs of 'going off' so cut of the suspect bits and sliced them . We had them with yogurt.

Freezer audit to do, then  menu for May and the shopping list. We are going shopping tomorrow and having fish and chips at Sainsbury, so two nights I do not have to cook. Hooray

Duvet cover almost dried on the line, its on the radiator in the hall now airing off. I need to sort through the laundry basket and put a load in to go out first thing in the morning, fingers crossed it does not rain whilst we are out!!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017


From our break away.......we booked for 7 nights, gave up this morning, its just not us any more.

I took our duvet and its a good job I did, the duvet on the bed just did not cut the mustard.

We had every sort of weather on the way home, rain, hail, snow and sleet.

Everything has been put away or is in the washing basket.

Monday, 24 April 2017

On holiday

Lousy internet connection, we have decided to leave Thursday a day early.

Confirmation, this is no longer the right type of holiday for us.

Thursday, 20 April 2017


Any one for Rhubarb???

DJ 6 weeks old today.