Sunday Jobs – Mr Whippy The Cactus!

This Sunday, I did a few things I’ve been meaning to get around to for ages…like repotting my biggest cactus into a bigger pot.

I call him Mr Whippy (that’s an ice cream in the UK if you’re confused!) as he’s all twisted.

His proper name is Cereus Forbesii Spiralis.

Can you believe he’s grown by half since January?!

I haven’t measured him, but I’d say he’s at least 40cm high, if not a little more.

I have a book about cacti and it says he’s from South America and can grow up to 1.5 metres high!

Maybe you can’t get a good sense of how big he is from these terrible pictures, but the new pot now dominates the entire living room window sill! He’ll have to find a new spot…but there aren’t many places to put a HUGE spike cactus!

It kind of looks like he’s giving the finger to the outside world, he’s so straight!

We had some orchid mix leftover which I put on the top, thinking it would help drainage and look nice, the rest is all proper cactus mix…almost a whole bag!

I love cacti and house plants…but we don’t have many South facing places to put them, they get less light when they point North and then they start to stretch and grow in funny shapes when they have to reach for the light.

My Mammillaria are having babies too!

I had to throw away the parent plant last year (insert sad face here) but in 2019 I think it was I potted up 2 of it’s babies. For 2 years they didn’t do much until a few months ago when they both had a growth spurt and produced little offshoots.

So…my babies are having babies!


Food For Free When You Look For It!

I went for a walk yesterday down the country lanes near me.

It’s surprising what you can find when you’re looking out for it!

I always knew there were blackberry bushes in the hedges as we went blackberry picking when I was younger, but I haven’t done that in YEARS!

I did see a few bushes, although I hoped I’d see more than I did. Maybe they were just hiding in the overgrowth!

It’s not quite time yet for a lot of things, but they seem early this year. Or is it me?

What can you do with finds like these?

  • Crumbles and Pies
  • Jams and Jellies
  • Freeze Them
  • Smoothies

There were some at the end of the lane and I found another patch later on.

Not quite ready…another few days or so.

And what amazed me was I found 2 apple trees in the hedge! IN the hedge!

At least, I think they’re apples!

I also found the biggest wall of Holly. I know where I’m going for that this Christmas!

And there are a few other fruit trees which are not quite ready yet. This one that I always thought was a plum tree from far away is an apple, I think. The farmer trimmed it back last year, so there is only the top fruit on there, that was rude of him!

And when I got home, this little bush was looking rather dapper.

Does anyone know what kind it is? I’ve no idea, but it comes out every year with lots of little flowers. It always look like it has been stepped on but that’s just how it is!

And I also saw the lettuce I sowed a few weeks ago has popped up. This is 2 or 3 weeks growth I can’t remember. I sowed them quite close together because I was just experimenting. I didn’t think they would ALL germinate!

The parsley, basil and coriander in the tubs below are also doing quite well.

It’s amazing what you can grow in a small space!

Summertime and everything has grown!

I’ve had a rough few weeks where I’ve been ill and stuck inside. Now, that I’m emerging outside once again it feels like everything has suddenly had a growth spurt!

The flower beds have filled in and the flowers are blooming.

We had a few tiny new potatoes which my dad grew in containers. Homegrown potatoes are SO MUCH TASTIER than shop bought ones!

The few radishes left on the top are going to seed and the onions haven’t got very big yet! And the spaces where the potatoes were are now filled in with parsley I believe. There’s still a couple of potato plants on the bottom of this planter.

And I went for a walk today. It was beautiful and sunny, the blackbirds were singing their pretty song. All the hedges were overgrown so I had to be careful on the back country lanes that I walked where cars and tractors could see me!

How dare the butterflies not sit still long enough for a portrait? That’s just rude if you ask me!

Plants and Herbs and Little Bits…

Today it hasn’t rained! In fact, it’s the 2nd day in a row where it hasn’t rained and even better, the sky has been blue all morning and not a cloud in sight!

It feels like summer has arrived. Finally!

I repotted some plants the other day, my big cactus that I call Mr Whippy (that was the name of an ice cream van that used to come round when I was little…a Whippy ice cream is one that is soft and squirted into a cone in the UK, or at least it was where I am…haven’t had one in a while).

Mr Whippy is a type of cactus called a Cereus Forbesii Spiralis and comes in all kinds of funky swirls. It has grown by about half in the last month or so after a year of nothing. The one in the foreground is a Christmas Cactus, I forget the proper name for it.

Just look at this big boy!

And my Dracaena has suddenly sprouted up too, even growing a little side shoot…it’s had a baby!

In the garden the potatoes are reaching for the sky…and things like chives, mint, thyme etc. are all growing strong. No idea what the flowers are but they’re pretty!

And the pink carnations from last week are still alive!

It was Mum and Dad’s wedding anniversary yesterday and he got her the most gorgeous bunch of flowers…

Everything looks brighter now in the bright sunlight…

It’s a Bank Holiday Weekend in the UK. I think there is one more in August sometime and then that’s it until Christmas. So, people are out and about, the traffic is very loud today – lots of motorbikes!

I love it when it’s like this, you can hear people mowing their lawn, there’s lots of noisy birds hopping on your garden fence watching you (how dare you sit in THEIR garden?!!) and even though it’s busy outside (we live next to a busy main road) the day still has an air of lazy holiday about it.

My brother came round today and we sat in the garden and had bacon butties (Dad’s are the best in the world- fried bacon in a toasted ciabatta bun with lots of butter). So typically English with my bacon butty and cup of tea – haha!

He brought his dog round too, a mix of Labrador and Spaniel…she didn’t know where to look or who to pester for a bit of bacon with 4 people munching away!!

So far, I managed to get only one row of knitting done on my orange jumper…but it’s something!

Hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend! x

Saving Fabric Scraps!

Every so often I have a clear out and donate unwanted items to charity shops.

I’m a bit sceptical about donating wool and fabrics because I never see them for sale in the shops (honestly I never even shop in them, I just mean I don’t see them in the super quick 10 seconds when I drop stuff off!) and frankly, I do wonder if they can even use half a ball of yarn and a bag of scrap fabrics.

Usually I put a few bags in my car boot and wait until there is enough to donate in one go but there has been a big bag and a big box of stuff in there for months now due to the pandemic and not being able to drop off stuff.

I did place a bag of scrap fabrics in there, thinking maybe someone could use them…but then, seeing all the eco-friendly crafting and re-purposing posts everywhere, I thought, you know what? I’m going to get them out of there and actually do something with them. And so I went and dug them out of the boot.

I have enough bigger pieces to cut up if there aren’t enough in this tiny bag, but I thought either a patchwork blanket or something small, like a bag. I already have MILLIONS of both knitted and sewn Christmas stockings from last year, so I don’t need any more of those. Quite a few of the scraps are Christmas fabrics.

After a week or so of really warm, almost summer weather, the weather took a drastic turn for the worse – it snowed and tiny ice-hailed yesterday! It was like regressing back into winter and when I got up today the water in the bird bath had frozen over! Poor lil birdies!

BUT…I did manage to find a use for the fabric scraps after all – wrapped around my plants as insulation on my windowsill!!!

I re-potted them that day too…so you can see a bit of dirt on the spikes, I’ll knock that off later. Hopefully it wasn’t too much of a shock to their systems!