Archive for February, 2010

Potato grow kits have arrived and a very useful addition!

Last weeks order from Marshalls ( arrived this weekend, containing my Potato grow kits & Aubergine seeds. Over the next week or so I’ll start chitting them to give them a kick-start before planting out in March/April – but depending on weather conditions, I might move them into the greenhouse first before they go outside.

(Blurry) shot of a small section from the kit. The box at the top right is where I keep my seeds packets/unused seed.

Whilst emptying the courier box I noticed this rather interesting all weather growing guide.

Simply by rotating the ‘inner’ wheel to the desired crop, information on when to sow (indoors & outside), transplant and harvest is displayed.

In the centre of the wheel contains details on planting depth & spacing.

As freebies go, this is fantastic! – Thanks Marshalls


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Spring just around the corner?

Yesterday could almost have been mistaken for a sunny day in Spring rather another wet and cold February day . The best I think¬† weather wise, we’ve had so far. Under clear blue skies and hours of sunshine, working out in the garden was just the ticket to chase away the winter blues and looking around I can see tell-tale signs of seasonal change as Snow Drops and Crocus¬† bulbs are just about breaking the surface.

Even Smokey ‘The boy’ seemed to be full of life this morning. . Certainly too quick to catch on camera!

However…..that was yesterday and these are the views from the kitchen windows this morning!

So…not much gardening to be done today then! On a positive note, it’s all very picturesque out there so maybe we’ll take a walk out into the countryside this afternoon.

The weather channel predicts more of the same tomorrow morning. Should be a fun drive into work!

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First seeds ordered for this years vegetable garden.

Although I usually purchase my veggie seeds/plants from local nurseries, there’s a couple that have caught my attention on the web this past week. I’ve just placed my order and am eagerly awaiting delivery.

Firstly, we have Aubergines, something I’ve never grown before. I’ve chosen a compact variety which I intend to grow in large tubs in the greenhouse.

A very decorative baby-fruited Aubergine. Ophelia produces an abundance of beautiful, glossy, dark purple fruits of just 50-60g each. Compact and perfectly suited to the greenhouse or growing on a sunny patio.’

Ophelia – Aubergine

I’ve been musing over trying out Potato grow kits for a while now and think they would make for an ideal experiment this year. Each kit contains x3 Potato Gro-Sacks, x15 Potato tubers and fertiliser.

I’ve decided to go for a couple of ‘Taster’ packs which consist of first earlies, second earlies/salad & main crop.

Here’s the varieties I’ll be growing –

Swift ‘The extra-early’ first early with a delicate new potato taste. Gives high yields of oval white skinned Potatoes.’

Charlotte – ‘A favorite salad potato recommended by top chefs for it’s mouth-watering flavour!’

Maris Peer – ‘Remarkable purple scented flowers and superb flavour. The perfect Patio Potato.’

With limited space left in the veggie beds this year, I think these grow bags should be perfect for extending my growing area…and hopefully produce a bumper crop!

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Something Red for St. Valentines Day

O.k, so they’re not a red rose’s, but I think our late Amaryllis bloom is equally attractive!

Shot here with my Macro extension tubes.

Back lit with a desk lamp.

Not bad from one bulb..looks like the second pair will follow soon.

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Nottingham Night Light Photos

We had a great time in the city center last night to see Nottingham’s Night Light festival. I had my camera gear with me so here’s a few pictures I took whilst we had a leisurely stroll around.

The wheel of Nottingham.

Pyramids of light.

After watching the light shows just outside Nottingham Castle, we ventured into the grounds to see the various plants and trees lit up with multicolored lights.

Looking back towards the city centre.

Ever changing lights lit up the trees as we walked towards the band stand.

A different kind of tree?

Turning up the heat on this chilly night.

Heading back to Old Market Square.

‘Sparky’ the robot – get too close and he’ll squirt you with water!

….and roaming the city streets – Ruth, the musical nun!

I haven’t laughed this hard in ages, she was brilliant! – Blessssyooouuu!

I’ve uploaded a few more to my Flickr account which you can find here –

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Stuck Macro Extension Tube.

I had a bit a of a scare at the weekend whilst trying out my new macro extension tubes. I’d stacked all three tubes together and fitted my 50mm lens to have a play around with them. After which I found that I couldn’t remove the lens off the extension tube EF mount because the little ‘eject’ screw had fallen out.

After about an hour of careful prodding and poking I managed to get the screw back in place- including the very tiny spring that holds the locking mechanism in place. It was a sweaty hour I can tell you!

Since then, everything appears to be o.k. and at least I know what to do it happens again…which i hope it doesn’t!

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Ice shower.

We’ve been having a few ice showers these past few days but despite it being bitterly cold, I think it makes for an interesting picture when caught in the light.

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