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2021 Gardening Discussion renamed (National Gardening Week )

LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 783 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited June 17 in Cancer Coffee Break

Good morning everyone,

It is National Gardening Week this week, it has crept up on me, I didn’t realise it was this early!

Yesterday the weather was still lovely and was able to spend some time planting up some seeds, put in the greenhouse. As ever hopeful they will sprout, but I am not very patient. 7-21 days is a long time to wait for any sign of life! Haha.

This thread can become our new Garden chat where we can share gardening stories, tips, photos, etc.

I know many of us find being in the garden a place of peace, quiet, relaxation. Pottering about can be very calming.

Who else is getting back into the garden?

Looking forward to chatting with you all soon.

Lou xx

A few weeks ago.

Comments

  • Chilali1531Chilali1531 Posts: 135 ✭✭✭

    Morning from a sunny-ish Toulouse 🌤

    Makes a nice change from the last week where it’s either been grey, drizzly or pouring tho we realllly need the rain for the garden. We seem to have spent many weeks covering & uncovering plants ( as we have many cacti & succulents here) due to wild temperatures. -6c at night & 24c in the day. So that’s one of Peter’s jobs along with the snail removal ( one of the few French delights I will not eat!) . My job is to remind him 😉Evenings are not my active time due to joint inflammation, neuropathy, lameness... so he ends up doing most jobs from around 4pm onwards.

    So we’ve planted tomatoes, red & green peppers & lots of flowers. We had a very meagre crop of leeks harvested early April which were more like spring onions in size ! Very tasty tho. I managed to make a chicken & leek bake & a quiche with them. 6 months of growing ...not sure it was worth it !

    We also have some cress growing ... quite funny, Peter’s never seen small cress like we used to grow on the window sill as kids ( coming from Puerto Rico) & in France it tends to be large water cress. So when my mum sent us a packet of seeds he planted them in a big long plant pot & was surprised when I said they were ready to eat last week! But we had very nice egg & cress sandwiches !

    We’re still in lockdown here tho from tomorrow we’re allowed to travel more than 10km - yippee! I’ve been doing my daily walk around the houses & enjoying seeing all the spring flowers & blossoms coming alive. My friend & I have started the MAS club (Microcosm Appreciation Society) whereby we send each other a photo of simple flower or insect or piece of nature each day. That’s one thing I’ve really learnt to do since getting cancer & living thru Covid. I’m sure I’m not alone here.🐞🕸🦋☘️

    Well folks, time to get dressed & hobble around the park ! Take care, Ali xx


  • JerseyBobJerseyBob Posts: 116 ✭✭✭

    @Chilali1531 @LouiseJ

    Hi everyone

    Love your tulips Lou. As you know, we don’t have a garden of our own now, but we do have a communal garden which is quite nice but I don’t think there are too many green fingers around. It has been a boon for Mary and I lately though and we often sit in it and have a sandwich or read the papers. It is a good focal point for meeting and chatting to our neighbours too, and we are all planning a garden party for everyone to get to know each other. I think we do already but it is a good excuse for a party and a glass or two. 👍😀🍾🥂

    I can’t imagine such extreme temperature changes all in one day Ali. we have put our winter coats away now and are hoping we won’t need them again for a long time. Haha,egg and cress sandwiches are my favourites. I love traditional afternoon teas. They are popular here but somehow, they don’t seem to be the same as the ones we used to have in Yorkshire tea rooms. Think, Betty’s fat rascal scones.

    The MAS Club is a wonderful idea and your photos are lovely - cheering and uplifting. I am in a little group who have a ‘Music for Relaxation’ get together once a week. We have been encouraged and welcomed by MacMillan who are allowing us to use their premises and they have an electric piano too. We are fortunate in that COVID has been overcome here and we are free to meet up in groups which is great.

    Here is part of our little garden.

    Rob xx

  • Chilali1531Chilali1531 Posts: 135 ✭✭✭

    Hi Rob

    Yum, fat rascals ! These last 2 years I’ve been spoiled by a friend who lives in Ilkley- near Betty’s- who’s sent me a Christmas hamper ! Their Christmas coffee is lovely, strong with a slight chocolate tinge.

    Your little garden is delightful, I love the wall. Before, when I lived in Paris I just had a balcony but had so much pleasure with all my potted plants. You don’t need a huge space for those little moments of joy do you?

    Ali xx🐞🪲🕷

  • JerseyBobJerseyBob Posts: 116 ✭✭✭

    @Chilali1531

    Hi Ali

    I know Ilkley very well. Mary’s sister owns a static near Addingham which is only four miles from Ilkley and we often stay there. As you know it is a lovely spa town with great restaurants, bars and river walks, not to mention proximity to Ilkley Moor itself. How lucky you are to get the Betty’s Christmas hamper. Mmm.

    We had an interesting day on Wednesday. You have probably read about the French fishing boats which sailed to Jersey and barricaded the harbour over fishing rights following Brexit. We thought it could get unpleasant but the the weather was awful and they all looked rather dishevelled and worried rather than angry and hostile. I think there is a sort of bond and understanding between them and the Jersey fishermen and I hope they can find a way through so they can all cooperate and make a decent living. Perhaps the politicians should keep out of it. 

    Rob xx

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 783 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good evening friends,

    It’s been lovely to read all your news and see great photos too. Ali the MAS club is a great idea, definitely worth doing, such a simple thing that brings joy into a day.

    The spring flowers look lovely, great photography.

    Rob your gardens look very peaceful, a lovely space to sit and ponder or read quietly, or chat with new friends.

    You both talking about Betty’s cakes, I have ordered from there too before, delicious cakes! Yum!!

    Rob, I was going to ask you about the flotilla of boats offshore, the news here makes it all sound very alarming, with the British and French naval ships present. Let’s hope it is resolved soon.

    It has been a cold dreary weekend here, no garden activity at all!

    Ali, I have some leeks to pick too, I had them in the green house over winter, then they have been outside a while. They have done more growing since being out than previous 6 months! I think they are ready now. My spring onions were disappointing, very rubbish really.

    So far I have 1 cucumber, a few sunflowers, and a few peas growing . Nothing else has germinated yet, giving it another week before starting over, haha.

    Hope you all have a peaceful evening,

    Chat soon,

    Lou xx

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 783 ✭✭✭✭✭

    First harvest of the leeks. They are not easy to dig up! Lol! Got a few left which may grow a bit more.

    They smell gorgeous mmmm yum yum 😋.

    Lou xx

  • JerseyBobJerseyBob Posts: 116 ✭✭✭

    @LouiseJ

    Hi Lou

    Your leeks look gorgeous, I can almost smell them from here.

    Apart from the Jersey Royal potatoes, Jersey’s favourite vegetable is traditionally beans and everyone used to grow them in their gardens or anywhere they had the space. They were used to make the Jersey Bean Crock which is a traditional casserole of dried beans, pork belly or trotter, shin beef, carrot, onion, parsley and thyme and salt and pepper. The beans are soaked in water overnight, drained and placed in a Bean Crock. The contents are cooked in a large clay casserole dish and left to bubble gently for several hours. A local restaurant still specialises in the dish, though they don’t use a pork trotter thank goodness. They serve it with garlicky potato wedges - Mary and I love it. The meal was so popular that Jersey locals were known as ‘Jersey Beans’ and Guernsey people still call them that.

    Rob xx


  • Chilali1531Chilali1531 Posts: 135 ✭✭✭

    Dear Friends

    Lou- great leeks, about 10x bigger than ours !

    Rob- the Jersey bean crock looks a little like Cassoulet which we eat here but they use duck. It’s delicious.

    Unfortunately I have bad news. I’ve had a relapse & am back in hospital about to start a heavy protocol based on immunotherapy, chemo with a view to a bone marrow transplant in 6 months.

    It started about 2 months ago when my bloods were v low & I was in bed for 10 days exhausted. So they stopped my oral chemo pills to let the body rest & I’d been feeling really good for a few weeks, bone marrow check completely free of cancer etc. Then 2 weeks ago I started getting very bad pains in my bones which were different to the usual sciatica / arthritis type. Last Thursday it got too painful so they got me in, put me on a morphine drip & did tests.

    Sure enough the leukaemia (ALL) is back. They’ve started chemo blasting to stabilise me & tomorrow we’re off with the new drug which apparently floors you (Blinatumomab). Fingers crossed ...

    I haven’t told my children yet, they’ve both got a stressful week. I’m wondering how & when. This for me is definitely the hardest part. My parents are having their first holiday for months, meandering around Wales in their caravan so I want to let them enjoy that & get back home first. I don’t want my dad collapsing in a field with his angina ! You have to laugh ...🤣

    Of course I’m feeling all sorts of emotions but I’m surrounded with wonderful friends even if they’re often far away. So hopefully I’ll still be sending you little updates with pictures of my 4 walls. It’s a protected environment so no leaving my room for probably 4 weeks to begin with. The medical team are fantastic tho & we manage to laugh a lot ( tho when the steroids stop it may be a different story altogether !)

    Take care & keep sending lovely photos ! Ali xx

    ( below photos were taken only a week ago - what a difference a week makes!)

    My grapefruit tree, lots of buds & smells gorgeous.

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Chilali1531

    Hi Ali,

    Oh my word, I am so very sorry to hear this news of a relapse. This is so terrible for you, to go through treatment again, and so upsetting for you and the family. I can understand your decision of waiting to tell the children and your parents until it seems like a 'better' time. It is the most difficult thing to do, you and Peter must feel very overwhelmed and in turmoil right now. So I am assuming Peter will not be able to visit etc either for a while? It is good to hear you have a great team of drs and nurses around you though.

    I know everyone here will also be so sorry to hear the news but they will all be so supportive too.

    I am here for you at any time, please msg or post, I will continue to post things and don't worry if you are not able to respond etc, just know I am thinking and praying for you.

    Love the photos, especially the one of you in the garden with the grapefruit tree.

    Sending you a huge hug and lots of love,

    Lou xx

  • JerseyBobJerseyBob Posts: 116 ✭✭✭

    @Chilali1531

    Hello Ali

    Oh no.I am so sorry to hear your news. No wonder you are feeling lots of emotions. It is understandable and very thoughtful and loving of you to keep the news from your family for the time being.

    It is good to know that your medical team are such good company in addition to their professional rôles. It will help make your time in the protected environment easier to cope with. Like Lou, I will also keep posting and adding photographs and whenever you feel you are able and want to reply, it will be good to hear from you.

    Your photos are really lovely.

    Mary and I have lit a special candle for you and you are in our prayers and thoughts.

    Rob xx

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 783 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good morning everyone,

    Well finally over the last few weeks it seems the garden has blossomed with summer plants, the four and vegetable plants are now growing.

    I have been getting photo memories coming up on my phone lately, everything was so much further on last year.

    We are trying to revive the grass, overrun with moss and weeds, not an easy task at all!

    This years offerings so far look like this…

    This year I planted sunflowers in the ground, they are in early stages still only a few feet tall at the moment.

    How’s everyone else’s garden plans going so far? Send some photos in.

    Chat soon,

    Lou xx

  • JerseyBobJerseyBob Posts: 116 ✭✭✭
    edited June 19

    @LouiseJ

    Oh Lou. Your garden looks amazing. You really do have green fingers. I think I would be tempted to just sit in it with a glass of something but I know it would not look nearly so good without all the work you do.

    Well, since we do not have a garden, I will just post a photo I took in our travels around Jersey.

    Rob xx

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 783 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Morning Rob!😀,

    Ah thank you so much, I think your idea is perfect though and I don’t do that enough! Must try harder! 😂🍷, haha.

    I love this photograph! You know you and Mary could start to make postcards and sell them, your photos are so good!! 😊

    Have a great day, chat soon,

    Lou xx

  • JerseyBobJerseyBob Posts: 116 ✭✭✭

    @LouiseJ

    Hi Lou

    Well, Mary is a really good photographer and she used to make calendars to send to family and friends. In the end it got a bit too much as she was doing calendars of people’s families and animals and she didn’t want to let anyone down. I used to get involved with those as some of the photos were damaged and I used to restore them using Photoshop.

    Ironically, though Mary has a very sophisticated camera with all the lenses and filters, most of our Jersey snaps have been taken with our ordinary smartphones. I think you have put a thought in our heads now, and maybe we will make a 2022 calendar.🤔

    Rob xx

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