Friday, July 21, 2017

Bees in our gardens

I don’t know what is happening to the bees. Whatever it is, I don’t like it. At all.

They die en masse and why? Nobody really knows. Pesticides? Monoculture? Pollution? Predators? Illnesses? Virus? The list can go on and on. Really depressing if we consider that these lovely creatures are on this Earth for 100 million of years.

Whatever we are doing is really bad.

I feel helpless and because of that I try my best in welcome them in our garden. I look what they like and, by now, I let plants grow thinking more about them than anything else. After all, the garden is not infinite and we have to select so why not?

For example, the weed. Yes the weed.

Bees love what so far I considered "weed that has to be eradicated form the garden”. Not any more. If the little girls like it, stays till the flowers are over. Actually, the garden gets a wild touch that brings the feeling of the fields and the view is simply beautiful.

Just by chance (and because in that time I thought it was a “good” herb) we saw that bees love dead-nettle (lamium purpureum) so we let them grow. And look. It is so pretty!

Monday, May 30, 2016

And the first rose of the year was…

…Abraham Darby! Again.

I have almost cheated because I didn’t want to repeat. Don’t take me wrong, the Abraham Darby rose is just wonderful but, again?

It must be the location, because even after waiting already for days —more than a week actually— and there was no other rose near opening.

Perhaps it is better protected against the weather, perhaps it gets more sun. Who knows, but it is the earliest by far.

Here you have it, beautiful like a rose!

Abraham Darby Rose

The curious thing is that after the week, every bush in the garden started to flower like mad. They knew they were in a competition of sorts. Clever girls.

Happy spring, everybody.

Friday, July 3, 2015

The weather and its consequences

I can’t believe what I am going to write.

I miss English weather!

All right. Breath three times, better four and don’t panic. I know that it sounds crazy but really, for the garden the best climate ever is the English. It is mild and wet and the most important thing it is not so anarchic, unlike the continental climate which it has the garden in a continuous fun fair.

Today rainy, tomorrow dry, this morning hot, this evening cold as ice. Perhaps it is the climate change. Who knows.

One annoying example. The sweet peas.

With minus 10ÂșC is not wise to seed them in February so you wait, naturally. Well, be happy if you get a flower at all in the middle of July. And if you win the lottery perhaps you’ll have more than three flowers.

So you end up buying from the nursery and guess what: they never have the sweet peas you want.

I am defeated, I miss English weather.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Shirley Temple peony two years later

I had to measure because I couldn’t believe my eyes. That cute little plant we bought two years ago is now a big girl, a beautiful big girl. 130 cm tall and 100 wide exactly aaaaand full of buds. Flowering even before other peonies in the garden and in the shadow. Clever girl.

The scent of the flowers of the Shirley Temple peony is simply delicious with a jasmine note. Really.

We could not buy better. The adventure was worth.

Paeonia “Shirley Temple”

Monday, May 18, 2015

The first rose of 2015: Abraham Darby

From now on I will publish a photo, I hope, of the first flower of the garden. Well, in this case the first rose.

This year the competition was very hard. After a proper pruning it looked like Sebastian Kneipp was ahead but Abraham Thomas started to shoot in a way that by now is two meters high again. Then our friend Leonardo Da Vinci got a chance and although is now a huge bush, the flowers are taking their time.

But I didn’t realize what was going on on the front garden. Who knows, normally I run through without looking so I missed the lovely Abraham Darby.

We had to almost cut down the edge there and the roses had at last a lot of sun to profit from. And here it is: the first rose of the year.

So pretty and so pink inside. You just want to eat it!

Abraham Darby English Rose (David Austin Rose)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Growing Shiitake mushrooms (I). The ways

It was that documentary, I swear. We were watching a documentary about Japanese cuisine and there it was. The Shiitake mushroom plantations in the middle of the forest and it came to our mind that we had no idea what to do with the by now five square meters desert under the pine tree in our garden.

Reading here and there we learnt that not only the Shiitake is full of nutritious properties and it is a delicatessen but that it is really easy and cheap to grow. So Shiitake mushroom it is.

There are two ways of growing Shiitake as far I know. One is super easy and the other is very easy.

The super easy way is buying the substrate with the mushroom injected. Basically you do nothing and in few days you get results. The other easy way is inserting already infected pieces of wood with the mushroom in a big log and sooner or later the Shiitake will find its way of popping up.

I’ll keep you inform about the latest news in the future. I hope it works.

Preparations for growing Shiitake mushrooms

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Black Madonna rose

Of course you end up knowing all the names of the roses you have in the garden. At the beginning it looks impossible but after a while the names come to you even without thinking.

There are occasions when the rose itself shouts at you “look at me and stop memorizing!”. And in this case is totally right. Although is a rose with a really beautiful deep red colour, it is not as a bud.

This rose is called “Black Madonna”. Looking at it only something with “black” could only be proper but I have no idea of the story behind the whole name. Which Madonna is it after? Do you perhaps know about it?

Black Madonna 

It is a tea rose and its best characteristic is the velvet touch of the petals.