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.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

A Break

from blogging for a while, I need to regroup after the last few days.

I may well be back at some point so keep checking.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Montana Rubens Queen Elizabeth on the front fence.

Two plants put in when we moved almost 2 years ago. There are dozens of buds still to come out.

I would like to get 2 montana alba for the other end of the fence, see if I can get them to join up.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Geranium cuttings

I have taken the geranium cuttings, this is how I do it.

Cut off fairly long bits of the plant and strip back all of the large leaves, just leave small ones at the top. The plants grow the large leaves which, at this stage you do not want, you want the energy to go into producing roots.

Stems stripped of all but their top leaves.

Look at the cutting and reduce the stems by cutting just below where you have stripped a leaf from, the roots will come from the leaf axils.

I used a deep trough as I had a large number of cuttings. push the cuttings into the compost until they are just above the compost, water. If you use plant pots at this point, plant 2 to a pot and use a plastic bottle cut in half to cover the cuttings, 

Cuttings covered with the bottles, keep the cuttings away from the sides of the bottles, so moisture which forms inside does not wet the leaves and cause the cutting to rot, the bottles are a miniature greenhouse and prevent the cuttings from drying out. put them in a warm sheltered spot, do not let the compost dry out and keep looking for signs of rotting. watch for signs of the plants putting on new growth. I take the bottles off after about two weeks and gently pull the cutting, if it moves it has not rooted; put the bottle back on and try again in a couple of weeks, the plants need to be kept in their little greenhouses until they are big enough to pot on. Do not be tempted to plant them out, they need a short time longer in the warm, once the danger of frost is past they can be planted out.

There were signs of the plants putting up new growth from the bottom, so I potted up the roots in plant pots, they should grow on.

The cuttings are now on the front window cill where they will get some sun, although if it gets too hot I will move them into the shade, they have 2 chances, either they root or they don' this space.

The trays will go on the kitchen table whilst we are away, well watered before we go they should be ok for the week.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

This is the comment that made me decide that I have had enough, they have not even got the guts to post their name. Shame on you. Why carry on reading if you are so disgusted? 

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Wednesday": 

Thank goodness for your sane reply and heres hoping it is read and this blogger changes her attitude. Good grief, the man had an accident and, as you say, thank heavens he didn't hurt himself. The poor man is treated like dirt and she needs to re read her own blog. I've been reading with my mouth hanging open since the poor man was last in hospital. Cannot comprehend her attitude. Haven't bothered to comment but thank goodness you have and as you are friends maybe she will see Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Wednesday": 

I also had a very sarcastic comment about the post I did about my wrinkles, I refuse to rise to personal comments. If you do not like what you see do not read my blog, clear off and bother someone else.

Posted by Anonymous to  My Life in the country. at 12 April 2017 at 09:

Blog being closed

I am sick and tired of being vilified on what is my blog, so it will be taken down tomorrow and I will no longer be blogging.


Very grey morning and windy. I want to do the geranium cuttings . We have to go and collect the shears we left the other day to be sharpened.I want to do the geraniums cuttings this morning so they have a chance to start to rooting, they do not like hormone rooting powder so will just be slipped into compost with plastic bottles cut in half over the top. Either they grow or they don't.

Can I make one things very clear......... we have a joint bank account which pays the bills etc, each month we have pocket money, OH paid for the mower from this money.......I did not see why, as it was his fault, it should come out of the joint account. My pocket money is spent on my quilting.

He announced yesterday he was not going to argue any more, just express an opinion, so nothing has changed. He also realised that he could not cope on his own if he leaves or I leave, so the status quo exists. I am still feeling very down, but not saying anything, if he doesn't pick up on it then I will just have to carry on  regardless. One thing is for sure I am going to go my own way for a change and do my own thing. 

Mac and cheese tonight with salad. 

Tuesday, 11 April 2017


Very large black dog sitting on my shoulder.

Mower is repaired, I told the mower man to make sure he charged OH for the repair, he quoted £25.00, he gave me £10 back when OH was not looking. All the grass has now been cut.

Blood test this morning then on into Melton to do some shopping, fresh fruit etc for our holiday, if we go. I also got a sonic thing that is supposed to scare cats away. I am sick of cats using our garden as their toilet, they can just go and crap in their own yard for a change.

OH is very subdued and quiet........he jolly well need to be. Enough said.

I am doing nothing else today, he can do what he likes, I am sitting and reading. Supper is ready to be cooked, beef and beans stew.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Melt down moment

I knew it was coming, and all over the lawn mower, DB insisted it would go in the car, I knew it would not, he blew a gasket.......said he wanted out of the marriage so I told him to go!! Funny he is still here. He knows damn fine no one else will have him, his precious son has not been to see him for months. I am sick and tired, very tired.

The mower is in the car after I unfastened the handle even then he wanted to put it in the wrong way.....aarrgghhhh......I am really fearful for my mental health.

I cannot be bothered to do any cleaning the place can go to the dogs for me.

Sunday, 9 April 2017


After yesterdays fiasco I now have to sort out a repair place and get the cable replaced. There is somewhere fairly close to us, but I need to go and suss it out, its off the busy Nottingham Road and I do not want to have to do an emergency stop with the mower in the back, that's if I can get it in the car. May have to detach the handle. So much for putting back the removal money, it has slipped another month back, if he carries on at this rate it will never get put back!! I will be mowing the grass until I can afford to get someone to do it for me.

Its another lovely sunny day, washer is on, I stripped the bed, it will dry. Its not to be so nice tomorrow but will wash the towels anyway, they will hopefully dry.

DB has removed himself from my sight by hiding in the garden somewhere. I told him yesterday if he ends up back in hospital I will not be looking after him.......I have had enough. He just does not consider anyone but himself, and despite numerous warnings to take it easy and not do too much, he just goes his own sweet way, well, he can continue and I will go mine.


We went out this morning to find the lawnmower place. When we got there it appeared to be empty, there was a chap in the yard who told us the business went bust 12 months ago, but he gave us a card for a mower man in a local village. I will phone him in the morning and see what he has to say. I am not sure if he is mobile or if we will have to take the mower to him.

Its been another really nice day, the wind began to get up a bit this afternoon so the sheets etc were brought in and folded ready for ironing.

DB did not go for his siesta........he ended up sitting outside. Things have been rather frosty between us can stay that way.

As we went out this morning we ran into the 10k marathon round the vale.....I had forgotten it was on, it finished at our village hall so the car park and village was rather full, we came back a different way, avoiding the runners, although the bike riders were also out in force.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Stupendous Saturday

The sun is shining fit to bust, I put a mixed load in the washer on a cool wash and its almost dry. The weather is supposed to be ok tomorrow so will strip the bed it will also be out on the line early.

DB decided to clean out his shed, stuff flying all over the place. I have re-potted the plants I bought the other week and put a couple more in the garden. DB is going to mow the grass after his siesta. I am going to dig out the Camellia and pot it up before it starts flowering. I also went onto the front and wove in the stands from the clematis that were making their way towards our neighbours fence. The pot with the green hosta in is on the front, I need to put some liquid feed on it.

Not a lot going on here just now, life has calmed down a bit. I am thankful that my health seems to be improving at last. I do get tired, but my energy levels seem to be better. I am being strict about working an hour and then sitting for a while.

Bacon fritatta, jacket spuds, tomato and celery salad for supper tonight. I have the chicken defrosting for tomorrow.


Well DB really excelled himself today, he mowed over the cable to the lawn mower, good job it was connected to a circuit breaker.....No way is he going to be allowed anywhere near the mower again, guess who will be mowing the grass from now on!! I am spitting.........can hardly bring myself to talk to him. He is a b****y idiot.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Friday and I am freezing

R & J came this morning. R helped DB put the wood round two of the beds, so they are ready to use, I just need to get compost to put in.

J & I sat in the kitchen, I had a pot of beef stew on, made tea for the workers and chatted generally. J had not seen the wet room since it was completed, nor the re-jigged sewing room.

After they left bearing rhubarb, apples, gooseberries and blackberries from the freezer I moved the photinia and planted the Rhododendron whilst DB cleared up.

2 raised beds completed. I will get the wood for the other two beds when I can afford it. The one on the left has shallots in, although the left one looks wider it is actually the same width as the right hand one.

The Rhododendron is now in the ground, it should flower, it was very pot bound, fingers crossed we do not get a frost.

The line marking where the patio is going, actually looking at the picture its not straight.....hmmmmm.

It has been quite sunny, but after lunch when DB went for his siesta I was freezing, so turned the heat back up. I must have fallen asleep at some point, woke up when DB came in after his rest.

Fish wedges and garden peas for supper tonight, just need to cook it.

I guess that Hester and S are at their boat now, preparing to sail off into the sunset taking their new home to its permanent mooring, it will take them a while, safe journey, it will be a bit of a steep learning curve for them. I am so pleased we managed to see them before they took the boat home. Bon voyage and safe journey......

This time in 2 weeks we will be on our way on holiday. I need to get my brain into gear and start sorting stuff out.

Thursday, 6 April 2017


Another bright day, I went off to get my haircut. Once back tea made, we drank it sitting in the garden.

I have tied in the clematis at the top of the garden and also planted a rose I was given up there. several of the clematis have buds forming, so hopefully we will have a bit of a show this year Thats me for today, it took me ages to dig out the clay for the rose to go in.

Nothing of any interest going on, the chap did not come last night to finish off the gate, he is coming tonight, I will ask him about the patio in the garden, hope it is not too expensive.

DB was 'messing about' in the garden, he plans to cut the back lawn after he has had his siesta.

Pork and bean casserole for supper, mashed potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli for supper.

I am sad, I had an azalea that a friend gave me many years ago, we always called it Edna's azalea, it was fantastic and bloomed every year. I looked at it yesterday and it appears to have died. I will leave it for a while, just in case.

This was it in bloom last year.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

OMG look at the wrinkles!!

What a shock when I saw this photo, still I suppose its not that bad for a 74 year old. Wonder if I should have a face lift before the wedding??? Joking of course, could not afford it for a start, people have to put up with what I look like, my face is lived in!!

A fine morning, we went round to the little chapel for coffee......Nothing done in the garden this morning. I have decided to get another bag of wood mulch and spread on the herbaceous border, will top it up with compost from B & Q. hopefully the worms will drag it down and help to break up the soil. I doubt I will live long enough to see friable soil, but you never know. It will be a case of no dig unless I am putting plants in or moving them.

Quiche and salad tonight for supper, it should have been belly pork, but I forgot to take it out of the freezer yesterday, so Saturdays dinner tonight. Pork on Saturday, or may be tomorrow.

I need to make the lemon drizzle cake for the chaps at the woodyard. We have a bag to take back and I am going to order another bag of wood chippings. before I spread them I need to put in and move some plants in the border.

Decided to do a bit more weeding this afternoon, the weeds seem to be getting bigger by the minute. I also need to tie in the clematis into the trellis and put in the rose tree which we are going to piggyback on two trellis's.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017


Today is my eldest daughters 36th wedding anniversary.

There are two people missing from the photo who will not be celebrating with us, Jeffs Dad passed away in 1995 and Nick, standing in front of Karen in 2015.

The photographer called for the brides family to join a photo,Jeff, David my ex, Mark and Nick were missing. They were sitting in our car listening to the football on Radio Leicester!! 

This Photograph is framed and hangs on the wall in the hall. Karen has lost her veil, her Dad stood on it and ripped it off. I was not a happy lady, I spent hours sewing baby lace all round the edge of the thing!! I eventually unpicked it and used the lace on some of Becci's baby clothes.

Its a bright morning, we are off to see the new baby this afternoon, with side visits to Aldi and Wilko's. DB is muttering about  putting the wood for the beds together. as usual he wants to do it 'his way' I would like it done the right way..........handbags at 10 paces!!! I have told him I want nothing to do with it and he is not to come maoning to me when it does not work. He is a severe PITB.

I have no plans for the morning, I peeled enough spuds yesterday for tonights supper, they are in the fridge. Beans left from last night just need heating up and I will cook the sausage when we get back whilst the spuds are cooking  when we get back.

Chap coming tonight to do the gate. DB and I had a conflab yesterday and have decided to extend the paving over to the laurel hedge, I will have to move 4 plants, but thats the wettest part of the garden, it might as well run under the slabs, we are just having 10 put down, there is plenty of bare earth to drain the rain away. Parts of the garden are cracking already and its not summer yet. I really need to get a couple of tonnes of small  pea gravel  and silver sand to put over the soil and let it get worked in. I just cannot face barrowing the stuff round from the front. This is the worst soil we have ever gardened on.

DJ with his mum,

Great Grandma, Nanny, Mummy and DJ.

Not a really successful visit, despite arranging to go this afternoon, when we got there they were out. We sat in the car for 20 minutes, I was about to set off to drive home when they turned up. No apology, in fact grand daughter did not speak until I said 'good afternoon' to her.

We stayed just an hour and came home. I am keeping my thoughts to myself.

It rained quite heavily as we travelled into Leicester. Not a successful trip to Wilko, although we did get tent pegs from Aldi. Wilkos have stopped making the shower gel we used to use, so I need to look for a replacement. I bought a bottle to try it.

Quickly cooked supper when we got home, sausage mash and the remains of the beans from yesterday.

The chap has been and put the hinge back on the gate so we can close it, he is coming back tomorrow to fit a third one in the centre and alter the lock tomorrow.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Busy Day

Two loads of laundry out on the line, one lot is almost dry. Have also steam cleaned the kitchen and wet room floors as well as the Monday clean. I am crackered.

Its the day for the mobile library, so books sorted out to go back, will be looking for one or two extra as we are away at the end of the month.

DB spent the morning in the garden. The chap came about the gate, he is going to put another hinge on and also use stronger screws. I have asked him about putting a few slabs in the corner of the garden where we would like to sit. Will see how much its going to cost. It will make a shady seating area if we get a sunny summer.....

No gardening for me today. If P is at the mobile library I will ask her round for a coffee, she does not see many people and appreciates a chat now and then. Will also remind her its the coffee morning at the chapel on Wednesday.

Checked the bank this morning, all that lovely money dribbled out, its the beginning of another month....hey ho.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Sunday, Sunday

It was bright when we finally made it our of bed this morning. An hour in the garden for me. Not that I managed to do much, the soil near the bungalow is so heavy. I did manage to weed some of it, cut back a couple of plants and repot the acer, the roots were coming through the bottom of the pot. I have also top dressed the Camellia and azalea with ericaceous compost.

The soil is so heavy you could make dinner plates with it.

The Crown Imperial, early flowering this year.

The top of the garden, see the rhubarb, think I will be having a market stall!!

Any idea what this is? I think its a weed!!

The Rhodi still in its pot, the soil needs to dry out a bit and I also have the move the photinia which will get swamped.

Re potted Acer, just breaking into leaf, top dressed the Camellia and azalea.

DB spent his time on the new veg beds. An hour was quite long enough for me. If its fine tomorrow I may do another hour after the library van has been.

Roast pork for supper tonight, I bought a butternut squash yesterday, will roast it with the potatoes.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Shopping Day

It was fine when I got up so put a load in the washer, it rained!! It was still spitting when I put it out, but it has dried, I need to fetch it in before it rains again. When I was putting the washing out I managed to slip on the grass and take the skin off the side of my foot on the edge of the path, thankfully it did not bleed much, but is now turning an interesting shade of purple!!

Off to Aldi. They had rhododendrons in for £5.99, quite big too, so one found its way into the basket, I have put the pot where I want to plant it, in front of our neighbours fence, hopefully it will grow fairly quickly and she will not be able to see through into the bottom of the garden where I am planning a little seating arbour.

I spent £55 on groceries, that includes food to cook and take with us on holiday. I need to get my bum into gear and start pulling stuff together.

My quilting friend is due back tomorrow from Cyprus, I am expecting moans, the weather has not been too good.

The top hinges on the back gate have come undone, we have had to wedge the gate shut, phone call the the fencing chappie, it needs fixed asap. I do not think the screws were big enough. It cost enough to put it in, the hinges should last more than 12 months.

Spending the afternoon reading with my feet up..................