Monday, April 27, 2015

Eternity in the hearts of man

Echium Friday
I've wanted to use that phrase for a long time. Its out of context and relates to God but I still love the words. Today I went to the allotment for an hour to see what the recent rain had done and whether I could get my first picking of Asparagus. Four hours later I thought an hour had gone and came home. Certainly eternity or a paradign shift in my concept of time. 
It was just glorious out in Filey today. I had seen the light on the beach at 9am when I spotted the shining sea from the top of Cargate Hill as I did a quick shop at Angelas. Inland , with a cool breeze and blue skies it was perfect gardening weather. Yesterday I had been out at 6am in St Oswalds , watering the flowers, as I had forgotten on Saturday. The Iron work on the South Gate was covered in ice. The temperature in the allotment greenhouse however was over 30C today, and its no wonder all the sunflowers are up after 4 days , but the night temp must be nearer 3C. 
The Asparagus is showing , but only just. I couldn't justify picking the 4 first shoots all over 1cm thick. I'm quietly  pleased .

Echium Monday
My allotment neighbour D is in Lanzerote , land of lava . Little does he know that here in the no volcano any where near soil of Filey Allotments is growing my very own Echium , a native of the Canary Islands. It has grown 30cm in a week , beating the Blackberry , usually the fastest grower.
The recent rain though relentless for hours in Queen Street, has barely moistened the soil by the railway line. The Horsetails have begun their latest offensive , but I am on to them . 
Tomorrow I shall spend the day filling the baths with water with the hosepipe, check my micropond for signs of tadpole life, and try and plant some neat seed rows just to fit in with all my neighbours who are all school of Percy Thrower and his update Monty Don. I am school of Rosemary Varey and Blue Peter. John Siddle once commented that my gardening style was Organized Chaos. I'll take that as a compliment. One thing is sure . I will arrive at my very own corner of Filey and time will stand  still .

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Skylarks and Vipers Bugloss

Meaux Road , Routh ER
Cyling through the lanes around Sutton in Holderness with my school friend Christine Addinell over 50 years ago I remember the first Wild Flower I could not identify at all not even its  family . 
I remember just where it was, in the hedge, just before Routh Church (brass rubbing expedition) and could not wait to look it up .
Experience now tells me that it was probably a garden escape, but it was there in my book nevertheless Echium vulgare (oka Vipers Bugloss). 

I still use my childhood flora, though have had to progress to Roses 'Wildflower Key' , and Staces 'New Flora of the British Isles' after my serious Botany courses :still intuitive identification , though not scientific , rarely fails me as long as I have plenty of info to back it up. Years and years as the daughter of a fisherman  led to a childhood of sitting still by river banks; Derwent,  Hull , Bain, Cover and Ure with nothing to do but watch and listen . My sisters and I learned to recognise Mayflies, Stone flies ,Damsel flies and the like so that we could tell our father what fly to use.

It sounds idyllic but it wasn't always, sometimes it was just boring. I probably became a reader at that time too. I soon learned to name all the plant life , loved fungi  and lichens as well as the vascular plants  and started my own collection of Wildflowers pressing and drying and displaying in accordance with Instruction for Collectors PLANTS  (British Museum ,Natural History 6th Edition).
So  I nearly threw away all the Rowling Herbarium when we moved back to the cottage from Kiaora , but I started again and have for the past 5 years been enjoying monitoring for Plantlife  on KM Square OS TA1081and collecting again . I look again at the specimans collected as a child , and remember the river banks!

This year Plantlife and the BSBI *have moved on in the National Plant Monitoring Scheme , a more scientific and rigorous Survey has just launched . My allocated KM GRID square has changed to OS TA1281, and so now I have the opportunity to monitor some different habitats including  Maritime cliff tops and slopes

 I joined FBOG (Filey Bird Observatory and Group) last year. I'm not a dedicated birder but their latest Bird Report makes it quite clear that the study and understanding of the flora of the Filey Area (and beyond ,DG) is integral to the wider picture of what is now called Filey Nature**. I have member benefits now , and can have access to Rocket Pole Field for my survey so will be introduced to the protocol by Jack Whitehead next week. Sue Hull tells me that a wildflower patch has been sown there and is keen for that to be monitored .

Burton Agnes E .pininana 08
The child who learned to watch Skylarks and spot Yellowhammers down East Carr Lane every Sunday, and at 15 found her first Echium is now aiming for the National Collection . Not really, but am thrilled to be expecting a good inflorescence on my allotment of Echium pininana which , is safely through the winter. 

*Botanical Society of the British Isles ** Yahoo Group .

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Don't blame me for the state of the NHS and Social Care..

Or my aged parent. The people doing stats, the economists, the politicians and everyone on the Bayswater Omnibus with the exception of the baby know that everyone grows old . Thankfully people are living much longer than in those days . I just can't understand why no one realises it and factors it in to the Budget forecast for the NHS and Social Care .

Why do I have to feel so guilty because my aged parent is in full time care in a Care Home in Beverley where the Care Staff are paid so very little ? 

 Mothers Care is not free .   It is not her fault she is old . I have had small use of the NHS really , and I have paid my way all my life, taxes and N.I.  My fathers contributions paid for my mother, who never really worked for money after her 4 children were born. She never stopped working however, washing, cooking , ironing , cleaning , gardening . She was in the WAF, and knows what a World War is like. She remembers her brother coming back from Dunkirk after standing so long in the water that when he got home his clothes were mouldy.

The sooner the agencies dealing with an increasingly AGED population get together and liase properly the better. My Gnome of Zurich sister doing Mothers finances has to wait months and months before adjustments are made in payouts and payins.


Its very difficult some times visiting my mother , who is really well cared for , mostly happy and contented, who is always clean, well fed. Her laundry is efficiently done and returned, her room  and bathroom always spotlessly clean.

Its really DIFFICULT because those kind carers and cheerful cleaners  are paid so VERY LITTLE for a job we will probably all need doing for us .

A little note of JOY. Mother and I had a lovely time together in the garden yesterday without coats. She was still able to name the shrubs and flowers and we both took such delight  in the prospect of spring springing and grass rizzing. 

WE found a few Sweet Peas had lasted all winter and were blooming outside in the raised beds next to the French Doors . I put one in a glass next to her Steradent as a surprise fragrance for her .