Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Brownlee brothers keep going

This Sunday afternoon I am watching Alistair winning the World  Triathlon. More importantly for me and for Yorkshire , his brother got going again after his bike failing, and he is finishing  only a minute later.

Keep going , keep going its saying to me. 

Its been a trough for the last few months.

  • Although I'm glad that after 5 cancellations I finally got my routine keyhole surgery done , Ive been trying to cope with the way my Mother is sinking into Dementia, and finding I have had to admit I cant keep going twice a week to Beverley. My husband is my priority , as now know that all his health difficulties this year may be helped with open Heart Surgery, so we await the go ahead judgement  when we return from our Holiday of a life time. I hope to blog it as we go  and bore every one rigid with the Heritage sites of the Rhine as we do the cruise from Amsterdam to Basel. I have not even been able to think about it , knowing that it could be cancelled at any minute  as Colin is not able to go at all. He is being so patient and calm himself, and as I watch him struggling to walk a few yards and I find  negative thoughts surfacing and imagine scenarios abroad. I am kicking them into touch now. 
  • My allotment is generally the place where I shine and show off to family and friends. BUT new neighbours at the plots next door are not only amazing landscapers and planners and clearers and weeders , they  both have rows and rows of huge brassicas and potatoes and the prospect of winning Best Plot.  My allotment partner already has the best crop of Elephant Garlic I have ever seen , and will soon have a stone free portion of our plot. 
  • Though-I can claim to have an unusual Plant on my bit of land as my Echium does its Little shop of supposed Horrors, and know that as yet I have not been challenged for bringing an alien to disrupt the brooding calm of Filey Allotments. (I say this as there seem to be huddles of Car owners disputing as where to park , and mutterings of discontent , but in the scheme of things they just all need to grow up).
  • Even the kudos I give myself doing my Plant Surveys for NPMS has paled. Who am I trying to kid, I can't tell the difference between any of the sedges and rushes , and It will take me some serious study to do so. 
So , as Ray said last week in her Daydreamer Blog, I too am, or have been , in the Doldrums. I am getting wind in my sails again  as I try on  dozens of outfits, read the Rhine Maps from Stanfords and plan which of the 36 museums In Basel needs a visit from me.
Peveril Castle taken by Reuben
And this afternoon after our family Sunday Lunch at 5pm our  small boys have been telling of their week away in a cottage Derbyshire . I let Reuben age 8 borrow my Digital camera and we have had a slide show on the TV from this laptop. R has taken 497 pictures. Some are the usual small grandson stuff with accompanying tales , mostly of Lavatories, but Colin and I have really enjoyed all the entertainment for Sunday evening as the boys talk us through the holiday .
Im ready to get going again , will try to be positive, thanking God and counting my Blessings.
One of Rs many selfies

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Aliens and Sojourners

This is my alien Echium pininana sp. The silver thing in the front is just a  cut up crisp packet on a stick to frighten pigeons,. My Alien has a sparse midriff caused by winter damage. The cane is 6'high so you can see how far my Triffid has grown , its an alien because its not a native species. Its is not an I.A.S( Invasive Alien Species) because it rarely survives a North Yorkshire winter, and although hundreds of seedlings could  come from the seed of this one plant, they are so easily spotted and removed . 

Impatiens f. By River Hertford
 I have twice been in a group visit to nearby Flixton Carr with Tim Burkinshaw  of the Carrs Wetland Project . Here he explained how Impatiens glandiflera is now an I.A.S and it is being removed from the banks of the River Hertford as part of their Conservation Work , as it taking over from all the native Species.
Impatiens f is my favourite example of Seed Dispersal . I have picked the plant  for years to equip class after class of Children with a great example of ballistic dispersal . (Great maths too).The seeds may explode out across from the plant 23feet . 
Land  management these days is beginning to catch up with Good Practice in the light of mistakes made in generations before.   Hedges were removed across our agricultural land in the 1950s and 60s as fields were merged to increase  the food supply in Post War Britain . 60 years later costly remedial schemes and set aside grants , and hasty schemes and   long term schemes of enthusiastic professionals and Nature Conservancy groups  try to repair the biosystems.
R Hertford 
 . I remember my father talking about it when I was a child, as we drove frequently from Sutton village across Holderness to  friends in Skeffling.
 We'll rue the day ' He used to say ,
 and he was right.  My sisters and I recall passing through the villages of Preston, Keyingham  and Patrington being told each time the changes that were observed. '
So what about aliens ? Who decides what is a good alien or an IAS? Obvious species like Japanese Knotweed can grow through Concrete and damage foundations, and yet was introduced as an Ornamental by our passionate Victorian Plant hunters . I can call it  an undesirable alien .

Ive just been down Queen Street and checked to see if the removal of the Japanese Knotweed has been successful . Judge for yourself! ..>>>>>>>>>>>>

Gardeners all over Britain are growing  or trying to grow to an inflorescence of the Giant Vipers Bugloss Echium pininana.  Bees love it and one flower spike can last throughout the summer . I want to conserve bees, who I understand are also a threatened species. Echiums are great for this. Am I worried that my alien species will take over Filey ? Am I worried that in 100 years time they will be serious problem because Global warming has meant that all seedlings are likely to survive a Filey Winter? I am thinking about it responsibly. 

Here is a little sojourner for you . This Aquilegia is growing in a crack in Sandhill lane by the iron  bridge to St Oswalds and the Country Park . I give it 2 weeks before the SBC team are out with their weedkiller.