Saturday, 19 March 2011

A morning off for good behaviour....

Ok, I've often wondered about all of your days, today here is half of one of mine - I'd love to hear about your saturday morning................ This saturday morning,  no work looms and I've a day of things to do, but I don't have to go to the office (and be chained to a computer as I'm writing up)! My life begins with coffee - so the kettle goes on! Whilst I'm waiting for that I venture into K2 (utility room, 2nd kitchen (K2)) and find wellies and grain. I'm in my pjs of course - aren't we all at this ungodly hour - its 7am.........!
Then I pop out and check the day out, if its not blowing a gale and raining I go out and have a peek............mind on, only IF its not raining! A bit of snow on the hills still - a bit chilly but a nice clear day!
Then to the hen feeding - I've a bin of it in K2 that means I can scoop some up and give the hens some grub. Good way to use up a tin! Grain is free from work as its the 'floor sweepings' after they've finished work, the floor is swept up and bagged - free to anyone who wants some for hens. Bit dusty but they don't mind.............
I'm what you might call slow in the morning until I've had one or two cups of coffee, door open - Karin the hen gets a bit impatient and comes inside.....................wanting some brekkie!
I have to be quick smart and get her outside and give her a bit of grub - not long until she's joined by her chums...............
Eggs to collect - and a clean up - and then from seed tray by the sink to drain! Then into a box - ready to swap/sell for something!
Then for a wander through to the downstairs sunny room and check the plants give them a water. Open up my (very - not)  hi-tech seed propagation units (big plastic food tubs (£2) with lids) and give them a bit of air.

Then time to check the cuttings and make sure they're all OK. Then its time for my cuppa - time for a sit down and to check ebay for plant seeds and sales.
I'm lucky, santa got me an ipad and for this kind of thing its very helpful.  I do like my cuppa - I can do both at once, brilliant.
I've sold a few seeds today so time to get them sorted and packed up!
Before all that sorting and posting I know it is time for a bit of which I have to say is the best site on the planet - I have learnt so much on here and its spurned me on to have my own little 'patchwork' cottage industry even from up here - I've so many virtual friends on here that I find life up here so much less isolated - thank you all!! Anyway having said hello on there the next task of the day really is to get the seeds sorted out before 8am!
Time to rake out the recycled envelopes and begin to fill them with seeds to go here there and everywhere - I wish I was so well travelled!! The postie comes at about 10-11am so if I get them sorted in time, he will take them for me - whilst I'm still in my PJ's I've got that job sorted!
Bit of daydreaming out the window watching the hens in the side of the garden wandering through the newly establishing willow hedge.  Their days are numbered in there though because this afternoon this area will be fenced off from them - I've two fences to put up and a couple of gates (which I hope my brother will make), so for today I'll enjoy them out there - then its time for Einstien and the girls to stay out of my garden.
A few cuttings to list on ebay now that I've got the seeds done, this Tradescantia is a good house plant here and very easily propagated - folk like these and I do sell a few of them.
The Tolmeia also are getting ready for a new home, these four are off to Perthshire, but I won't post them until Monday - I don't like plants being in the post more than overnight - from here its easy enough, all our post flies out of here everyday and I can get plants from up here in Orkney to Cornwall in less than 12 hours 99% of the time! One advantage of our distance, we have airmail!
However, as I try and get more plants sorted there is a small revolution happenning in my sunny room.

He's up on the bench, pulling at my fingers - someone wants to play! I've been presented a bright pink bone - it would seem the puppy wants some time too!
 What can you do, can't exactly ignore him - time for a bit of a play! But, I've a few things to do this morning in town - my daughter has an extra cello lesson - she has her grade 5 examination on Monday - so time to think about getting her into town and I'll have a bit of time at work, in the polytunnel whilst she's busy.
Before we go in I check for milk, need to get some out of the freezer - we keep milk stash in there so we don't ever run out - long way for milk from here - We did have some - left it out before we went into town, dropped her off and then woo hoo - got into the polytunel at work - I've been given a corner from the chap I teach with, I'm not working on anything except a thesis at the moment - I've no excuse to be in here during my working week - I'm chained to a computer! However, this morning is rather special - I'm in town at our college, I've got access to the tunnels and NO one is here - all to myself - yippee. Oh look a hole in the door - time for a peek!! I'm so excited a couple of hours in here all alone!!
I'm not a proper gardener - which we've talked about before (Janet did to begin with - and we've agreed there is no right or wrong way to garden, only your own way!) - I'm lucky - I do this for work, I've kind of have a bit of training, a bit of grannie and granpa's hand me down knowledge, bit of experience from working at various nurseries and a bit of 'good life' how can I do that better inspiration and lots of years of plootering away by myself. But, I still don't consider myself a proper gardener - I'm absolutely still learning  everyday! But, today, some time in a polytunnel, all by myself - bliss - oh the anticipation seeing the latch.....
First thing first, my shallots to check (sleeping still, bah humbug!) and then my potato onions (snoring!), then time to lug the seed box to do!

Before any work though, time to find my apron. When I'm in the polytunnel potting up or doing anyting really - I wear a kitchen apron. You heard right - an apron. When I was working in Fife with a huge nurseryman (6ft 6) my first day he lent me an apron - told me to bring my own if I wanted - but 'In MY nursery, no need to go home messy, your pay doesn't come with a box of soap powder' we were told. Never seen anything like it and felt a bit daft in the potting shed in my apron - but blow me down - its a great way to keep clean when plootering about with compost. Good for stashing the labels and pencils and seed packets!

 I'm now a convert - I never pot up without it - or if I do, I don't feel right - aprons and potting sheds are now a must for me - quite a strange but simple idea to keep you clean. Perfect!  Next..... time to find a space to work on the potting benches - I love these little planting areas - so simple - some plywood a couple of screws and there you go - a potting area to die for!!
I told you I'm not a proper gardener - we use one type of compost at work - general all purpose - does everything from seeds to potting up - if it  needs more minerals we add them - otherwise one size fits all. It works and makes life a whole lot easier when you're potting up alot of stuff.
There are my trays before they were filled and labelled (I did remember the labels!) - today I've done tomatoes, onions, leeks, squash, courgettes, rosemary, cape gooseberry, chillis and lavender. They have gone onto a heated sand bed - I asked for a bit of bench space and I was given an area of heated sand, I wasn't going to complain - my tunnel isn't up yet!! Then I went for a bit of a nosey - and in the other tunnels (we've 4 at work, and one under construction) - low and behold - a tunnel full of early cabbage - just shows what you can do with a bit of shelter even up here!!
Don't they look good? Anyway thats my morning just about done - the apron now a bit more mucky I lost track of time, whoops! I ended up driving in my car wearing it to pick up my daughter- not unusual - I am not readily known for my stylish outfits arriving in a mud splattered apron wearing a wooly hat - nowt unusual for me! But as I looked down at my fine attire, outside the cello teachers door - I did stuff the apron into a ball as I took it off hasitly! Then we popped back to the tunnel to tidy up and then go home!
Time for a quick drive home and a bit of lunch - I've really enjoyed my lovely time this morning - I must have been good - to have such a lovely morning! In the afternoon I did a bit of fencing with my son and finally I've reclaimed the garden for my own. I have to say however - my fence is not very aesthetic but its functional! The dog is very upset - he couldn't get in beside me today - and the hens could't either - (insert an evil laugh here). The dog forgives me after a cuddle though.............!

Not a bad morning off! I wonder how yours was?


  1. Lovely hat, but you look chilly?

  2. Hello there - Elephants eye - we've still got snow here - on the hills - its not very warm and a bit windy - chilly but happy - !

    Thank you for popping past - how was your saturday?

  3. I really enjoyed your post thank you. Never thought of wearing an apron in the garden but you're right it is a good idea. I've only just become an apron convert in the kitchen so I think it'll take a little longer to get one on me in the garden. My Saturday morning is a work day. I taught three classes of drama to young children. We were doing drama about superheroes and had great fun concocting stories about superheroes who'd lost their powers. Sunday is my morning off and I think I'll spend a bit of it in the garden tidying up.

  4. I think your morning was much more hectic than mine, but at least it featured some contact with growing things.
    My morning: up at 7.30, did a blog post, checked a few blogs.
    Had breakfast, loaded washing machine, washed last night's dishes (we were out Friday night and couldn't face washing up when we got home. Our dishwasher is broken just now).
    Chatted to daughter as she had breakfast, and waved her off on her first driving lesson. She is so excited to be 17 and learning to drive!
    Had shower and embarked on thorough clean of bathroom, finishing up with washing the floor.
    Tidied living room and dining room in preparation for daughter's 17th birthday party tonight.
    Had cup of tea while listening to daughter's account of first driving lesson, which went well.
    Went into town with daughter to get her hair cut - and that's the point at which the morning ended. The only gardening-related thing I did was to make a mental note to water the containers at the front door.
    Good luck to daughter with the cello exam. My children do a lot of music, so I know what you're going through!

  5. Phew you two have been busy! Veggiegobbler thank you for sharing yours - great image of you teaching young superheros. I did think the apron in the garden thing was insane when I first had to do it - but its second nature now - I wear them in the kitchen too - enjoy your sunday!

    Thank you for the goodluck Linda - didn't help the cello untuned tonight we have to get it fixed tomorrow!
    YOu've had a very hectic day - thank you for telling me about it. Balancing life with children and everything involves a good bit of juggling! Happy birthday to your daughter - xx

  6. Gosh, are you sure that was just a mornings activity? What time did your morning end 3pm? lol.
    Well in comparison mine was quite sedate. I started the day waking at 6.30 but it is Saturday so there was no way I was getting up so I sat up in bed and read a couple of old House Beautiful magazines, having just moved all of my things from storage I am emptying boxes of books and finding all my treasures. The up with the birds making a lovely bowl of porridge, I had to share it with Moo because like peedie with his pink bone he has a way of looking at me. Several loads of washing in and hung on the line to dry and then a little adventure up to the hill fort in the forest with Moo where we met lots of his woofy friends. The sun was shining here which put me in the mood to spring clean so I pulled out my steam cleaner and scrubbed the tiles in the bathroom. I also did lots of paperwork sorting and shredded lots of paper. Must decide what to do with it instead of sending it to the recycling bin. Would it work in the compost bin do you think? I know that cardboard does. Speaking of compost I did a little stirring with the fork when I emptied my kitchen bin into it. Filled up the bird feeders and then sat down for an egg sandwich. So not much compared to your day.
    I do love reading your blog. Thank you

  7. I loved hearing (and seeing) your Saturday morning Fay!
    My earlier part of the day yesterday was fairly typical at this stage. My little family tends to have a bit of a sleep-in - till about 8am. Then we up at different stages - I feed the chooks and a couple of odds and ends. Washing on, then a always do a cooked brekky on the w/end. Usually our eggs, some (tinned) spaghetti and some local (chicken - not ours) sausages. Then I take son to his w/end casual job at big shopping centre about 30 mins. drive away. cheers Wendy

  8. Cheri, the cellist informs me we left the garden at one - so it's a morning plus an hour!! Paper should work fine in compost bin, I read something about not using glossy coloured paper, but I might have dreamt it! Your morning sounds lovely!! Oh what I'd give for a walk in the woods. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Duchess what a lovely morning- when mr flowers is here we have a cooked brekkie and have a lovely catch up. My son wasn't up before the cellist and I left, I like those kind of days where the house slowly wakes up. Chicken sausages sound yum!!

  10. Great post faye ....may do one of my own soon :)

    want to pick your brains , how do i take cuttings from
    a. persicaria (least i think thats what it is ...and b. asters ?

  11. What a lovely morning! We had breakfast in bed (plum and honey pancakes, of course), then off to the Women's Institute for a tasty flapjack, then round the charity shops, and then to the library, and flicking through books while eating a spot of lunch and waiting for the home made bread to come out of the oven. Not as productive as your morning, but a lovely one nevertheless! xx

  12. Hi Fay,
    Sounds like a lovely way to spend your Saturday morning,doing what you love at your own speed.I love your sense of enthusiasm that comes over in your writing.Have a good day!

  13. Hallo! Glad to know I'm not the only one who wears an apron to garden :) Karin is too gorgeous! Phew, what a morning 'off'!

  14. I loved reading and seeing your morning :-)

  15. A great Saturday morning well told. And who said you were not a real gardener, don't listen even if it was yourself that said so.I have been gardening for forty years and still don't know the half of it.Even those that take pride in being master gardeners will never know all there is to know. So I dont want to hear this again. Hope the polytunels are well pegged up there.

  16. I really enjoyed that Fay - and I must get myself an apron! Can't think why I'd never thought of it before. Though it won't stop me getting dirt on my nose from pushing my glasses up...

  17. Hi Fay, I am really glad to have found your blog, it is very inspirational. I moved to Orkney about a year ago and assumed that I wouldn't be able to grow much but you have given me hope. I am a garden/gardening novice but am going to dig me a vege patch. Are there groups/classes for beginners in Orkney? Take care, Steph

  18. What a lovely spot you have. Enjoyed your morning, even if you tuckered me out lol! Great idea wearing an apron.

  19. Hey there chaps nice to hear from you all. To be fair my day started at 6.45 and my morning *ended* at 1pm.

    Jane you're always very busy on your blog!!

  20. steph - look out for the classes list which goes out in the paper later in the year - there will be both normal and vegetable gardening classes at the local college then. Aside that there are quite a few lovely active gardenin clubs here. Depending on where you live.

    I'll drop you an email - :) Nice to see you on here - I don't think I'm inspirational - delusional is more like it! You can grow loads in Orkney - but you just need to tweak how to do it to make it work - don't despair!

    Thank you for the comment!

  21. Janet I have a similar problem - but I normally wear contacts so I forget about the glasses down the nose!

    The apron is genius isn't it - I thought he was insane - but it worked - there he was all 6ft 6 of a hulking bloke in a flowery apron - the image stays with me!

    I need to pick your brains about a couple of things I'll email you later :)

  22. Alistair thank you - its me who thinks I'm not a real gardener not anyone else

    I've seen a few polytunnels in dire need of pegging down - the best I've seen up here are ones with fishing nets over them (and the odd greenhouse adopts this strategy) pure genius.

    Thats what I love about gardening - learning every day - not one day the same, not one seedling identical. How are your begonias?

  23. Julie and Jenni thank you!!

    I do like to hear about your days - I'm too enthusiastic at times, when I start talking flowers - folk tend to find something pressing to do - so I guess the blog is good - focuses all that energy out there rather than make a few ears bleed!

  24. Mrs squirrel I replied via Frugaldom but email me direct if you want more information - link should be on here. xx

    Easy to do them right now I'd do root cuttings or split them up.