Monday, 5 December 2016

In winter, I plot and plan. In spring, I move

The title is a quote from Henry Rollins and it pretty much says it as it is. List and more lists of things to do over winter to prepare for spring, and what to do in spring once we get there. Satisfying or frustrating depending on the weather of course. The deep frost we've had on and off this past week or so has definitely made an impact on what we can get done, so more website updating it is.

Putting together Chrysanths and Alder twigs and cones for the cafe flowers

This week is a bit of a blur due to back pain and lack of sleep, or exhaustion just by being in pain but I'll do my best. Full of pain killers and a heat pad on my back I game fully headed in to work. In a bid to keep on top of and up with things I got the cafe flowers done, having to use shop bought flowers now as there is nothing left to use in the gardens. I teamed these Chrysanthemums up with Alder twigs and cones and they will brighten up the tables, especially at the weekend for the Christmas fair.

After a lovely clear day it was a gorgeous sunset, you can see how frosty everything is in the photo

Sunset through the trees

Driving home, Tinto in the sunset

Jo joined me again this week and we had hoped to start digging in the new gardens on the middle terrace but I am too sore and the ground too frozen. We opted for pruning behind the office with me doing the hawthorn hedge because it was a the right height and I could stand and prune and not have to bend over. Jo started the Black currents which make a nice hedge along the back of the stock beds but they haven't been pruned for a couple of years and are outgrowing their space and over shadowing the stock beds. After lunch we had a warm cosy afternoon in the office. I carried on with the website update and Jo finished sorting through all the seeds, they are now all ready to bag up. It was an earlier finish so I could get home and organised to go to Daniel's parents evening. Every year he gets better and better with the teachers full of praise for him, his hard work, good marks, great personality and a pleasure to have in class. It's good for him to hear and for me too, take away on the way home to celebrate.

A touch of winter at Whitmuir

Another word on the blackcurrants. Once pruned and thinned out the black currents will crop well next year and regrow quickly. They are a good fruit to grow in these higher, colder more exposed areas such as where the nursery is. They take any amount of cold, wind, frost, clay soil and indeed seem to grow in most soils and always fruit well. If you are looking for a tough fruit for your exposed garden, currents are the one for you, black, red and white, all have the same ability to cope with adverse garden conditions. I grew all of them very successfully in my last garden which was very exposed at 850 feet above sea level and I got huge crops every year. Indeed I eventually had to thin the number of bushes out as I couldn't keep up with the amount of fruit they produced. They also make a good deciduous hedge, not thick enough to keep anything in or out, but useful non the less.

The farm trees with a real frosty topping

Lovely frozen patterns on water in the sales area

Mahonia aquifolium

rosehips in the hedgerow

Making the most of another frosty Friday Jo and I set up the sales table in the hall of the Whitmuir building for the Christmas fair on Saturday. Lots of lovely ideas for Christmas presents and bulbs to plant, very similar to the table I did for the bat conference last week. A few other people are having tables as well, so it should be good if not festive. David was in the nursery too starting on the new garden on the middle terrace. He started digging where the pond will be, ideal for a frosty day, warm but hard going too! I think a even a powered drill would have struggled to get through the frozen ground. I really need to get better so we can really get going on this huge project. Sadly Jo won't be around to help for the next month or so as she has a new contract, hopefully we will see her again soon. We got home to find out Christmas Approved Foods order had been delivered. Three big boxes of bargain goodies which will be used as gifts and for the house. The whole lot was half the RRP and all in date too, I love a good bargain. You can see their website here

Our approved foods order

The weekend arrived, although I never feel it is these days as our weeks are so topsy turvy. David was off to a bat conference for the day and I was ordered to stay in bed and rest my back while Andrew and Linda kept an eye on my stall along side Andrew's. Needless to say I couldn't stay in bed all day and headed over to Whitmuir at lunch time. It was a busy day with had good sales and catching up with friends and nursery customers. I did get told off when David arrived to take down the stall, hey ho. We headed home to change before going back to Whitmuir for their dining evening. Another great success with fantastic food, company, service and atmosphere. We were spoiled for choice with a great menu, looking forward to the next one already which is on Saturday 17th December and will have a festive flavour to it I'm told. 

Chocolate and cardamon mousse with marzipan biscuit

Another day another Christmas fair with the Quercus stall, not only is it good to make sales at the fairs but we hand out leaflets and talk to people about the nursery, all good advertising for next year. It was also good to catch up with folks I know from the area. David helped set up and then came back to pack up as I'm in too much pain with my back to do anything but stand or lie down, hopeless I know. It was a short fair, 12 noon to 3pm so I was home at a reasonable hour and caught up on bits and pieces around the house for a while. Bulbs are selling well, which reminds me I really must pot up the ones for the nursery. The beds aren't going to be ready for planting until spring now, but if I pot them up at least they can start growing then I can plant them straight out in the ground. It will be exciting to see the next area of the nursery come together, watch this space.

Home grown eggs to bake with

I've come to quite enjoy winter Mondays, indoors in the warm, catching up, cleaning the house (maybe not so much) and back to cooking and baking. Feeling like I m starting the week, read for anything, prepared, organised (ha ha, who am I kidding). This was another such Monday, I'm even managing to tick things off the big winter to do at home list. Today the coat and boot cupboard got cleared out, more stuff to the charity shop and space made for peoples coats. Now the eldest two have left home their great muckle boots and coats don't need to take up all the space.

This weeks bake was florentines, with a nice chocolate coating on the base, yum!

We've taken a break from our day trip Tuesdays for now as we've got plenty days to swap around over winter. This means David can at last get back to gliding, after a couple of refresher days on a Tuesday with an instructor he's airborne in his own glider again which makes a happy David. This Tuesday eldest son and I were off to Wishaw General for what will hopefully be his last visit about his arm. Thankfully the cast was cut off and x rays showed it is healing but not as much as hoped, so he is on light duties but at least back at work and college, another step forward. Home to work on some wedding planning, if I get ideas on paper perhaps it might not seem so daunting?

So there we are, another week, no idea where they are going, but they are. Hope you have a good week, take care.

Working on wedding ideas







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