Archive for March, 2012

Tips for a cooler greenhouse

Top tips from the Guardian on keeping your greenhouse cooler during the summer month.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/gardening-blog/2012/mar/30/greenhouse-summer-shading

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Rambling – Kinder Scout

Eager to test out my new GPS ordnance survey map app called ‘Outside’ for my iPhone I’ve spent the last six hours taking a stroll up and over the high plateau of Kinder Scout in the Peak District.

The app features a rather handy offline browsing feature used for pre downloading maps prior to heading out. This really came in handy as although I had no problems receiving a GPS signal, 3G mobile signal was zero therefore no chance of downloading maps on the go. Simply search the area by name, postcode, poi or manually on the map and download the map tiles you need based on the surrounding area.

The weather this week has be uncommonly summer like for the time of year but today was much cooler and overcast therefore perfect walking weather with not too much cloud to spoil the views.

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I parked in Edale and headed up into the village.

Past Edale church (noting the time) and past the Ramblers Inn – which I promised myself a pint of cool stuff on my return.

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There are many routes in the area and I hope to return and sample a few more. Today I headed out of the village and along the start of the Pennine Way.

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Down through Upper Booth Farm and enjoying the views of the stream below on my left and moorland on the right complete with watchful sheep and playful lambs.

A couple of miles down the trail i reached the bottom of Jacobs Ladder – a very steep trail upwards towards Kinder Scout. Thought I’d take a breather before taking the plunge and got chatting to a group of Mountain bikers who had just cycled down….very brave souls!

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Taking in the views as I look back. A huge amount of ‘up’ still to go!

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Almost at the top.

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Resting on one of the giant boulders having a much needed cuppa and enjoying the views. Being a flat plateau there was an icy wind though.

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At Kinder Low and the trig point….beaten to it by mans best friend 🙂

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Looking at my app map, I was originally going to turn right here but thought I’d head straight on and towards Kinder Falls.

Looking left t Kinder Reservoir and Manchester City far off in the distance.

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Walking around the top of Kinder Fall, it’s a looong drop down and very windy up here hence the blurred photos.

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Finding shelter from the wind and taking a breather whilst I consult my app map.

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The app allows you to create waypoints which you can use as a guide line along your journey. As I’d taken a detour, I reentered a few waypoints that would seem me cross Edale Moor and back on to the trail again.

Edale Moor, getting wetter and wetter as I picked my way around the peat mud. At one point I lost a walking shoe and had to grab it before it sank 🙂

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Back on the trail thanks to my app and past the amazing looking gritstone tors. I expected this one to growl ‘Zuel’ from Ghostbusters.

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Picking my way down the trail back towards Edale for that promised pint!

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Such a great walk and as I mentioned above there’s so many trails to choose from, from short to long. I’m already plotting waypoints for the next trip!

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Hidden paths

I’ve installed a new GPS/ map app onto my iPhone and was keen to try it out during my lunch break (and a great excuse to get out into this summer like sunshine). It’s always nice to have a printed map when we’re out rambling but I do like the idea of having something to track my route or to geotag a particular feature or even photograph.

On my way I noticed a path that was mapped but i never knew existed, especially as the entrance was thick with brush. I’ve been working here for well over 15 years and I never knew this path was here. Curious I picked my way through and was amazed by what presented itself in front of me.

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Checking my map to make sure I’m not trespassing, the route through the field was listed as a public bridle way.

At the end of the field and another new area to explore. I see many future lunches being enjoyed on that bench!

The woods were alive with birds including quite a few Woodpeckers…I’ll bring my camera next time as my iPhone’s telephoto options are somewhat limited.

The recent warm spell appears to have brought the out a few very early Bluebells.

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The trees are still bare, but it won’t be long now. Such a great time of year when the buds open.

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Fifteen minutes later, I’m through the woods and heading back to the office….but checking my watch, I have time to go back and walk the route again. On a day like this I couldn’t resist!

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Well helloooooo Sun!

Now this is more like it, sun sun sun. Tipped to be the hottest day of the year with temps zooming rapidly up past the 22c mark, you’d be forgiven  thinking it was June let alone only March.

Not since last October have I’ve enjoyed a full day pottering around in the garden under the warm sun and there’s lots to be done out there.  I’ve made a good start on clearing away the winter litter around the paths and beds, have weeded and scraped away the moss from the paths. The greenhouse has has a good scrub and as well as my canes and various pots and tubs ready for the growing season.

My seed potatoes are currently being chitted and will be placed in the grow sacks for the third time very soon. For a small garden or lack of growing space i can’t recommend these enough especially as they can be picked up for just a few pounds now. Add 3 -5 seed potatoes and continue to earth up during growing and look forward to a bounty crop that you can get at with your hands as opposed to the risk of digging and slicing then accidentally spade.

The pond really is in need of a good spring tidy as it’s practically fully covered with oxygenating plants. I generally leave this blanket of growth over the winter to protect and provide  food for the fish but i can see the Lillies below about to reach for the surface and so this cover needs to be removed by about  2/3rds. I’ve noticed Mr Heron lurking about  so  maybe it’s time I invested on a decoy…the only problem is, i really don’y like those horrible plastic heron things…any suggestions?

Clearing around our strawberry patch I noticed an abundance of Ladybirds. Have always liked these colorful insects so nipped inside and grabbed my camera.

 

The weather widget (yes I’m a tech geek!) says hot hot hot for the rest of the week so now that the clocks have changed and the evenings are a getting a bit lighter, I’m hoping to get out there for a few hours after work. Fingers crossed!

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Up and down

Spring is finally here and with it, here and there there’s little splashes of colour starting to appear. I took a walk out of the office during lunchtime along darkened corridors of hedgerows, bushes and small tree that are now tipped with tiny green, yellow and white buds. A few more weeks and it’ll be a wall of color.

Looking up.

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Looking down.

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Plant finally flowers after 40 years

Such a great story from the Telegraph regarding plant that has finally flowered after a 40 year wait.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/9150500/A-40-year-wait-for-plant-to-flower-and-then-it-dies.html

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