Colours Galore – Garden Joys and Surprises

Every Spring and early Summer I look forward with anticipation to see the outcome of all the things that have been planted in the garden and greenhouse. My earlier blog at the start of June showed photographs of Spring flowers and the early growth of vegetables in the greenhouse. So how did they all turn out? Well as always the results were mixed, but we keep persevering. Lately I have grown the large begonias, and they are lovely, but they unfortunately keep bowing their heads so they are hard to see and appreciate. Next year, all being well, I think I will give the dhalia’s a try. ๐Ÿ™‚

Let’s start with summer flowers.

The fruit and vegetable side of the garden has proved quite productive, in spite of my earlier misgivings about my tomato plants. Four types of tomato were grown and they all produced a good crop. I also tried a new cucumber seed for smaller fruit and they were better than my expectation both in numbers and taste. Peppers were not so good as I had insufficient space in the greenhouse, so put them outside where they didn’t receive the care they deserved and were damaged by slugs and bugs! Those in the greenhouse did much better ๐Ÿ™‚ We did get a bowl of gooseberries from two small bushes, which were stewed and sweetened and consumed with our morning cereal. Rhubarb was fertilised this year and gave us two crops for crumbles and pies.

Here are some of the results.

Other bushes and plants also brought some real colour and charm. This is the year of the hydrangeas I think, as they have been superb.

Look at me, dressed to impress!

Last year, this little Acer tree looked as if it was almost gone, but I decided to give it another chance and surprisingly it burst into life! It certainly needs repotted, but I am just awaiting the right time to do so! Everything and everybody needs another chance!

Finally, my willow tree at the bottom of the garden is not looking good this year. I saw the resident grey squirrel hanging upside down from one of its branches in early summer and I thought, is it chewing the tree bark? A neighbour commented that her apple tree was also looking poorly, so on checking on line I learned that squirrels eat the bark from trees and also use strips to build their dreys! So sure enough the bare patches on both tree barks seem like conclusive evidence! It’s the squirrel!

Reflection: Now we look forward to the Autumn colours, and the Spring flower planting, if all goes well. I’ll finish with the words of F E Pettingell 1899

Through the changing seasons, of the changing year, with its light and shadow with its hope and fear. Through each glad fulfilment, and each sad defeat, we have safely journeyed, and again we meet. Through this changing year, by His guiding providence we assemble here.

Well many of you I have not yet met in person, but thank you for reading / following my blog, and by God’s grace and mercy, and through your faith in Jesus Christ and commitment to Him, we shall meet one day!

Enjoy what remains of Summer – Matthew!

The Burrell Collection & Pollok Park – Glasgow – Scotland

The Burrell Collection Museum reopened in Glasgow on the 29 March 2022, having been closed for refurbishment since 23 October 2016. Admission is free and there is a very nice cafe and retaurant along two sides of the building, and also other ‘cafe’ like facilities for teas and coffees. The refubishment cost, is said to be around a cool ยฃ68,250,000.00, almost half of which was pledged by Glasgow City Council. So after waiting for the crowds to die down we decided to make our first visit at the end of May, and it proved to be a very interesting afternoon.

The Museum’s architecture, design and its location within the park I find very pleasing to the eye. This sense of beauty and design continues inside, and I particularly enjoy the gallery that runs full-length alongside the woodland at the rear of the building. The changing woodland scenery which is viewed through the glass windows that reach from roof to floor level, combine God’s artistry with that gifted to man.

The refurbishment has brought many changes, with new areas being opened up to the public, and even items in storage, some of which circulate in the viewing galleries, can be viewed if you book an appointment. Some of the new displays are spectacularly combined with the use of modern technology. These photographs show but a few of the thousands of items on display, and the history of this amazing collection can easily be researched on line. It will take a few visits to truly appreciate the wide range and variety of art on display.

Pollok Park is also home to Pollok House a National Trust for Scotland property, once the home of Sir John Stirling Maxwell and family. The house and garden are just a short walk from the ‘Burrell’, so if you are planning a day in Glasgow this park has everything you could wish for in terms of interest both indoors and out!

Pollok House and surroundings

Reflections: The field on which the Burrel museum was built has been a playground for me with my siblings (see below), and also for my children and grandchildren and great grand children throughout life. The ‘Children and Youth’ departments of our church have also used it for countless numbers of games of ‘football’ and ’rounders’ on many summer nights. The children’s smiling faces, shouts and hoots of laughter you will still hear if you close your eyes for a minute! ๐Ÿ™‚ The Burrell Collection now attracts a much more diverse and perhaps ‘upmarket’ group of visitors, but it’s good the local young folks and families still have a place to picnic and play! In fact Glaswegians are spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding which park to visit.

One thing I notice as I visit parks and gardens, is the number of folks often sitting on their own, seemingly just reflecting on life and its events. My own garden, and especially my seat in the greenhouse ๐Ÿ™‚ I really enjoy for the quietness it provides. which gives opportunity for prayer and reflection in this noisy and increasingly chaotic world. As I write this I was reminded of the Elvis Presley and Jim Reeves song made known world-wide many years ago, (You can still hear them sing it on ‘You Tube’) but here it is sung by Michele Lane, who for me, sings it so beautifully.

I enjoyed listening to it again so hope you enjoy it too!

Pollok House Gardens

Have a great summer wherever you are

Matthew

Home and Away!

This week we have been enjoying the beautiful Spring weather, with an outing to Glendaruel, and some days in the garden!

GLENDARUEL HERE WE COME!

There was a cloudless blue sky, as we set off last Saturday on a day trip, but not knowing exactly where we were heading. A bit like a mystery tour really! Direction and destination were chosen as we drove along, Clyde Coast or the Lochs?, the beach or the hills? but in some ways our destination was dictated by the time available before dark, and traffic conditions. On reaching Loch Lomond-side we heard there was an accident ahead, so we turned left to Arrochar and the ‘Rest and be Thankful Pass’. Roadworks and congestion there, so now a left turn down ‘Hells Glen’, and at last the road was almost empty. Then on to Strachur, right for Colintraive until we came to the little village of Glendaruel.

You have to watch out for the sign as the village is now just off the main road. There are very few houses in the village, but there is an hotel, and a beautiful little church and churchyard on the banks of the river. And much to our suprise there is a canal longboat to be seen sitting on the hotel grounds.

Kilmodan Church in its present setting has a history going back to around 1610, but a church in the area is recorded as early as 1250-1299. The latest Church building was restored in 1983.

The ‘Ratho Princess’ looked a bit like a minature ‘Noah’s Ark’ miles from the sea, but it added more interest to our walk around the village. We also recalled memories of our first visit to Glendaruel, it was a Sunday School teachers outing on Easter Monday 1956! When we arrived back home from our day trip on Saturday, we found the photos to confirm that! From the above photos you will see that the lady hasn’t changed a bit!! It was a great day out, and we travelled home via the Dunoon / Gourock ferry, arriving just before dark. Well worth a visit.

THE GARDEN

The garden is looking well as everything bursts into life now that we are into Spring. So this week the grass was given its first cut and the edges strimmed, which helped to highlight the beauty of the flowers that have already appeared. Here are some of the flowers that I photographed as I looked around. Can you name them?

The greenhouse is well behind schedule this year due to a number of factors, but the plan is to get the seeds sown within the next couple of weeks, so watch this space as they say!

Reflection:

When I wakened the other morning to another cloudless blue sky and the birds singing in our hedge, the words of this song which we once sang at school and church came back to mind.

For the beauty of the earth, for the beauty of the skies, for the love which from our birth over and around us lies; Father unto You we raise this our sacrifice of praise. For the beauty of each hour of the day and of the night, hill and vale and tree and flower, sun and moon and stars of light; Father, unto YOU we raise this our sacrifice of praise

The news these days is grim on many fronts, but may your soul find rest in God alone! Psalm 62.5-8

May you enjoy the Springtime as you have opportunity!

Matthew

My photographic Review of 2021

Another year of travel restrictions due to Covid has resulted in us spending almost all of the year at home, so most of the photographs this year have been taken locally or on ‘day trips’ from Glasgow. However as we look back on 2021 it’s amazing to remember all the interesting places we visited, some for the very first time, and the joy and peace we had in doing that. So here’s a picture or two per month!

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Reflection: This year started with some optimism as vaccines were being rolled out, and the slogan ‘we will beat this together’ sounded more plausible, but then along came the variants!

Thankfully the latest Omicron variant is reported to be less severe than those that have gone before, so we pray that this downward trend will continue in 2022. A visit to Glasgow city centre just before Christmas told its own story. Gone was the sound of laughter and the bustling Christmas market in George Square. No ‘big wheel’, ‘flying chairs’, ‘helter skelter’or ice rink, fun and joviality had given way to just a few families with kids who had come to see the lights and the nativity scene, plus some folks handing out food and drink to the poor and homeless.

But hold on a minute, is ‘families with kids who had come to see the lights and the nativity scene, plus some folks handing out food and drink to the poor and homeless‘ more in keeping with the Christmas story, than a ‘lets eat and drink and be merry‘ lifestyle, especially in the current circumstances? The British Prime Minister caused outrage recently when it was disclosed that last winter some government departments were partying while people were self isolating and others mourning the loss of family and friends to Covid 19.

This Christmas I was caused to stop and think again about the reason for Christmas, which this new carol, so beautfully sung, challenges us to do. Take a minute to listen!

I hope you enjoy the photographs, and like me are challenged by the new carol.

Hope to see you again in the New Year. Every blessing to you and yours.

Matthew

Autumn’s coming on!

The electric blanket is on the bed, the central heating has been turned on for a few times in the evenings recently, and there is condensation on the car windows early in the mornings, so we can expect to be scraping the ice from the windscreens anytime soon! Yes Autumn is here, and the greenhouse has now been emptied of its plants, the leaves are changing colour in the garden, the apples are starting to fall and the picnic season is almost over for another year.

Saturday was a damp drizzily day, so we headed for Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, which is always worth a visit, but with far too many exhibits to see in one day. All Glasgow museums are ‘free of charge’ although in fact we contribute to their upkeep through local council tax.

There is a huge variety of things to see and no matter your taste, you are sure to find something to catch your interest.

The galleries themselves are a work of art and provide the perfect backdrop for the paintings and sculptors. I think how amazing it must be to have the gift and talent to create things of beauty, just starting from scratch! Here are just a few of the paintings I admire.

So now it’s time to get the daffodils and tulips potted up for Spring 2022 , and hopefully I can get started to that this week. When we arrived home from Kelvinside the rain had stopped so there was time for a quick look around the garden to see the flowers and plants still showing colour. Here are some pics.

Reflection

Thinking about art and gardens, don’t you think Autumn wonderfully displays the artistic hand of our great creator God? There are also a number of songs and poems written about “Autumn coming on” which highlight how swiftly life passes. I remember ‘the Gaithers’, singing this one which is rather sentimental and filled with pathos, but none the less captures the moment, especially as in life we face trials and sorrows.

Through changing seasons, We’ve shared life’s little days, It seems unreal, Our souvenirs still look so new! We reminisce, And must confess that this is true, We sang lullabies to babies cries, In the springtime, Oh, how the time seemed to fly, We had scarcely put the crib away, When, like magic, We looked up the aisle, And beheld a lovely bride, We waved goodbye as, one by one, They joined life’s parade, Then at a bugle call, He stood proud and tall, There went our baby! Tho’ seasons change, Hand in hand, we’ll travel on, Still in love, Tho’ autumn’s coming on. by Bill & Gloria Gaither

The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes finishes his dialogue in chapter 12 with the well known words: “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, โ€œI find no pleasure in themโ€. He then brilliantly goes on to poetically describe old age, by speaking of a time when legs shake, there is a fear of heights, eyes dim, teeth are few and hearing is a problem. I always smile when I read that chapter, for even although the message is to be taken seriously, I am so grateful for our National Health Service which provides health care free at the point of need. Now old people here are provided as needed with ‘Zimmers’ to help them walk, cataract operations to implant new eye lenses, false teeth and hearing aids! And am I glad! ๐Ÿ™‚

But in spite of our National Health Service life moves inexorably on! At Church recently we were looking at a verse from 2 Samuel 14.14 which says “Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him.” So what plan did God devise that we might escape banishnent from Him and the finality of death? One word answer – JESUS! His name you see means ‘Saviour’. By His substitutionary death, the sinless Saviour bore our sins on the cross at Calvary, was buried and rose again to God’s right hand. Now he offers forgiveness and new life – FREE. That’s why He said, โ€œI am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?โ€ John 11:25

It’s good to remember our Creator while we can, it’s never too late!

Matthew

‘Garden’ please come in!

I was given a new arrow shaped notice by some of the family that simply says ‘Garden‘. So all that pass by are being encouraged to have a look. So no pressure, but we’d best keep the bit nearest the gate looking tidy ๐Ÿ™‚

This year I tried growing different varieties of fruit and vegetables in the greenhouse with varying amount of success. Cucumbers, and tomatoes, in spite of early misgivings, have all produced a very good crop, tomatoes in fact a bumper crop. The coloured peppers have been ok, but the fruit has been a bit on the small side. Potatoes and carrots grown in bags and bucket have been fun to grow and I think the results were amazing. Cropped 100 potatoes from the ten sown, and the carrots yielded 22 from the bucket and plant pot. (See the video below)

After a promising start and much care and attention my bags of strawberries produced an abundance of leaves and shoots but only a handful of small strawberries. So what did I do wrong? Perhaps they were fed too much with a strawberry fertiliser bought online? Help please. My two small gooseberry bushes produced their first fruit this year, but not enough to make jam. The rhubarb also produced its first decent crop this year enough for some rhubarb crumble on a couple of occasions. The apple tree is looking good, but too early yet to pick them.

In my last garden report I was able to show you some of the flowers that were enjoyed earlier in the year, so here are some pics of those that have appeared since.

Now here’s the wee video on Carrots – ‘From Seed to Freezer

Reflections

Today I spent time again in the garden and greenhouse. But yes, today has also been a day of deep reflection. As I sit here writing this blog infact, thoughts that I had earlier, have come flooding back, causing me to stop and ponder. After breakfast I was reading from a magazine a short report regarding life in the country of Northern Macedonia. I consider myself quite well versed in geography, but I knew little or nothing of this relatively new country in the Balklands, which was previously part of Yugoslavia. So that kept me busy for a while doing some research, looking at pictures of its people and countryside online and reading of the diversity of its people and its economic poverty. It is evidently amongst the poorest nations in the world, where people have suffered so much in my lifetime.

Then like everyone else we were confronted again on our tv screens by the chaotic scenes at Kabul Airport in Afghanistan. The sense of fear and desperation was palpable in people’s voices and faces, as thousands make every effort to flee from the threat posed by the Taliban, after they so easily over-ran the country.

We have been recalling the promises made by Western Nations just a short 20 years ago, saying that we would never abandon the Afghan people. They must ring hollow in the ears of the Afghan people now.

We often say that the world now is a global village, but how helpless we feel in these situations to do anything which we feel would make a difference.

I was recounting that Jesus was in Israel at the time of the Roman occupation and oppression. There is the lovely story in Matthew’s account of his life, where it says ‘Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.’ What an apt expression of people in Afghanistan and in so many parts of our world today, ‘harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.’

Last night our Church was praying especially for the situation in Afghanistan, and for all those ‘harrassed and helpless’, perhaps in the near future we can help be the answer to our own prayers. Meantine the message of Jesus’ love and compassion continues to be beamed around the world. His death and resurrection make fulness of life to all who will come to him a reality.

How blessed to have a garden, and to live in a country that has known peace for the last 75+ years.

I trust your garden has flourished in 2021.

Matthew

Matthew

Sunny Morayshire – the place to be!

We took the 200 mile drive from Glasgow to Elgin in Morayshire recently, and enjoyed a week of relaxation and of visiting places of interest along this lovely coastline in the North East of Scotland. We travelled from Glasgow to Perth, where we took the A9 road, which is a very scenic route, but was as usual busy, with many roadworks. We returned via Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth and then to Glasgow at the end of our holiday, completing a 400 mile plus circuit.

Elgin has a number of places of interest, and on our first day we visited the ruins of the 13th century Cathedral, and the ‘Biblical Garden’, which is just next to the cathedral. We had hoped for a tour of the cathedral, but were told on arrival that you have to prebook on line! The Biblical Garden was free to enter.

Work on building this cathedral started during the first half of the 13th Century, and the cathedral eventually became known as ‘the Lantern of the North‘. It was destroyed during the Protestant Reformation around 1560. Photographs were limited without access, which was a shame. The ‘Biblical Garden’ was lovely to wander around in the peace and quiet of the place.

Later that day we visited Duffus Castle. We had driven past it many times, it was great to have the opportunity to explore it on this visit. There was a mobile cafe next to the car park, where we enjoyed some ice cream and a cool drink, before starting our walk.

We never come to this area without visiting the nature reserve and bird sanctuary at Spey Bay. It was strange this year to see the river Spey with so little water, but we had just experienced an unusual long dry spell of weather. The millions of stones the river has deposited over the years is a sight to behold. Just once over the years were we fortunate enough to see an osprey catch a salmon here, but there is a monument which captures such an event.

No time to tell of all the other places we visited during the week. However here are some photographs which illustrate the beauty of this area.

The following is a 1.5 minute video I made of our day in Burghead, which we fell in love with this year. Just watch how busy the beach is!!

Click on photo to start video

Reflection

It’s so good to get out of the city for a few days. We have enjoyed many holidays here over the years, and revisiting brought back many memories of the fun and laughter we had in the past with family and friends, as we swam in the sea, picnicked, climbed, walked and cycled. This year at Finechty we heard someone calling us from the beach, and were hugely surprised to meet Sarah and her husband and young son, (the great grand-daughter of my late brother), who were following in the family tradition with a holiday at Sandend.

We also had a ‘catch-up’ dinner with my ‘sister in law’ and ‘niece in law’ at ‘The Galley” in Whitehills. They both had lost their husbands in recent years, but it was encouraging to see how they were both moving on with their lives having their faith and trust firmly set on the promises of God.

People Make Glasgow is the marketing brand of our city, but I think that is true in all of life’s situations, and was certainly true of our holiday. The joy of interacting with others, family and friends for sure, but also people from all different ethnic backgrounds and cultures.

Heaven is going to be an exciting place, not only will JESUS be there, but the Apostle John describes in his book one scene that says:

And they sang a new song, saying:
โ€œYou are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
Revelation 5.9

It’s good to book your holiday well in advance, but I think infinitely more important to ensure your place is secure in that heavenly land, especially in this day of pandemic. And the cost? FREE to us, because we have nothing to offer in payment, it’s a gift from God! But we need to accept it. How do I do that? Read the book of Romans chapter 10 verse 9 and then speak to God in prayer, confessing your need for forgiveness and acknowledging Jesus as your Saviour and Redeemer, and committing your life to Him.

Have a great holiday

Matthew

Early Summer in the Garden and Greenhouse

It was a very cold Spring here in Scotland, but in early May the weather started warming up at last. Here is an update on the garden and greenhouse –

Blooming June – the Garden

Daffodils were a bit of a disappointment this year as a spell of frost and snow arrived just as the flowers were about to open, but amazingly some did survive, and the tulips coming on a bit later more than compensated as they seemed to go and on!

It’s nice to see the rhododendrons and clematis in flower again, without too much effort from me, and also the shrubs and bushes bursting into life, not to mention the apple tree and lilac, which shout out to you ‘summer has come’! I’m afraid I haven’t done too much this year in the way of planting ‘annuals’, but I have however planted from seed some french marigolds, sunflowers, tom thumbs, coleus and cornflower, and some begonia corms.

The greenhouse is doing fairly well, and this year I’m trying to grow quite a few different fruits and vegetables. Cucumber ‘F1 Socrates’ is proving to be fantastic, the cucumbers are smaller in size but delicious in taste and are cropping very well. Tomatoes are Tigerella, Shirley F1 and Ferline F1. The latter is one I’m trying for the first time, it seems to be struggling a bit, but it may come away yet. There is a variety of peppers, three bags of potatoes, one bucket of carrots (Autumn King 2) and two bags of strawberries, and lots of ‘tom-thumb’ lettuce. So between cutting the grass and keeping everything in trim its enough to keep me busy. Here are some photographs of progress so far.

Reflections

With the wonders of camera, computer and the www, I have been able to show you the best of my garden and greenhouse. What I haven’t shown you are the plants some slugs have eaten, the parts of paths that need weeding, or my Spring plant pots that have yet to be emptied and cleaned. In a small garden it is difficult to find a spot to hide them away ๐Ÿ™‚ I guess if you are a gardiner you are in much the same boat!

Got me thinking, ‘social media’ is a bit like that, we (including me) tend to emphasise the positives and try and bypass the negatives. The ‘about me’ section on Facebook usually paints a glowing picture of the person we would like others to believe that we are, and seldom do you find folks telling you how they have messed up! But of course we all do at times.

I’m reading a book this month entitled ‘Gentle and Lowly‘ by Dane Ortlund, concerning Jesus Christ he says, ‘in the four gospels accounts given to us in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John there are 89 chapters of text, but there is only one place where Jesus describes his heart. (The heart in biblical terms is the centre of who we are, what defines and directs us) So what will this man Jesus, who claimed to be the Son of God say? He says, ‘I am gentle and lowly in heart’. Ortlund goes on to say ‘The posture most natural to him is not a pointed finger, but open arms’!

You can read the full words of Jesus in Matthew 11 v 28-30. Jesus said – “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.โ€ Now there is an open invitation, but folks are so loathe to come.

So I’m thinking, what two words would you or I use to truly define ourselves on social media? Mmmm, let me get back to you on that …..

Happy gardening!

Matthew

REDWOODS, RHODODENDRONS and more!

We have continued our ‘holiday’ day trips around the West of Scotland, and are thankful that so many beautiful places are within easy driving distance from Glasgow. The weather has also heated up now, with plenty of sunny summer days.

The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh has a number of ‘outposts’ around Scotland, the nearest to us being in Dunoon, so we made a trip there to visit the Benmore Botanic Garden, which is a magnificent mountainside garden just a few miles out of town. It has a spectacular avenue of Redwood trees, and a rhododendron collection said to be one of the finest in the world.

There were fifty ‘Redwoods’ in this avenue but one was blown down in a fierce storm in recent years. In contrast it was lovely for us to walk here in the quietness on a warm sunny day and to take in the majestic beauty of the place.

Here are some more photos of parts of the garden which takes in fifty hectares.

There is a section of the garden set aside for rest and contemplation, and it too was situated in the middle of some magnificent trees including redwoods.

We next made our way to the ‘Dolphin fountain’ and pond, and admired the wide range of plants and flowers.

The afternoon passed all too quickly, and soon it was time to head back to the entrance, over the little wooden bridge. Then, on our drive back towards the ferry, we drove through Ardentinny and found a few beautiful spots along the way for our proverbial picnic!

Reflections – A visit to a garden is so good for our souls, and for peace of mind. It’s amazing how many words have been written about the beauties of God’s creation. Here are a few selected verses from Psalm 104 speaking about the ‘garden of life’.

Praise the LORD, my soul. LORD my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendour and majesty. He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved. He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains. They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. The birds of the sky nest by the waters; they sing among the branches. He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work. He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivateโ€”bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts. The trees of the LORD are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. There the birds make their nests; the stork has its home in the junipers. I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD. Praise the LORD, my soul. Praise the LORD!

I hope you enjoyed our trip as much as we did, and that you too are able to get out to explore the beauties of God’s creation wherever you are.

Matthew

Time for Strawberries?

Well they are not quite ready yet! The ‘bare rooted Karona’ strawberry plants only arrived this weekend! So thoughts of strawberries and ice cream, strawberries with morning cereal and evening salad, and strawberry jam, will just need to wait a wee while, so stop licking your lips! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve grown strawberries a few times in the past either from seed, or from plants bought at the garden centre. This year looking on line I came across a nursery selling ‘bare rooted’ plants so thought ‘that sounds interesting’ but what like are they and how do you plant them?

The plants arrive by post – two bundles with elastic bands!

Not quite ‘love at first sight’! Is this the right time of year with snow around and temperatures below freezing? and what’s the procedure? Thankfully with the wonders of the internet I found the answers to these questions, time will tell if they are the right answers!

Separate the plants and soak overnight in water.

I had already ordered a couple of strawberry bags as strawberries featured in this year’s ‘garden plan’ so it was good I had these ready in stock. Here are some pics of the planting.

Watering and fertilising tubes, the felt keeps the tube from clogging while planting! The top of a lemonade bottle makes the perfect filter funnel for watering tube!

So working from the bottom of the bag and filling with compost as you go the plants were put in place making sure the crowns of each plant were above the compost. So now its time to call in the ‘boss’ ๐Ÿ™‚

Greenhouse is currently unheated, apart from a 80 watt tube heater.

I only scored 9.5 out of 10 for missing one of the planting holes ๐Ÿ™‚ So will these strawberry dreams become a reality? Watch this space, but I have every confidence in the Creator.

Other signs of life in the garden

So time to look out the gardening gloves and the spade and trowel, Spring is on its way!

Happy gardening!

Matthew

PS: After one month the strawberries are all showing signs of life!