Finally the day arrives


As its January it’s so easy when its cold dark and miserable to just stay inside and look at the garden through the window. As the plants withered and the grass grew I looked at the garden and thought many jobs needed doing but as it was cold,i just put it off day after day after day.


I have bare rooted hellebores all potted up in my cold frame and I’ve ordered some seeds and plants online too, which are still to arrive.I’ve bought more houseplants to fill spaces left by christmas decorations and even planned what I was going to do as far as the spring is concerned.But up until today,I just couldn’t drag myself into the garden to do them.

Last week I ordered a cheap garden arch (it was only £9.99) to complement all the garden accessories which I’ve collected over the past few years. It came today so I built it inside and later sited it outside over the path. Overall I’m pleased with it and hopefully the David Austin “Penny Lane” climbing rose will start climbing up it come the springtime.

Once completed I mowed part of the lawn,swapped a few plants around,cleared an overgrown flower bed of withered stems and dead leaves so….finally after two months I’ve actually done some gardening 😄

I also planted and repotted some bulbs in pots and around the garden luckily I managed to get a big bag of daffodils for only £1. What was on the list and whats been done ??

Deadhead plants and tidy✔

Cut top of lawn✔

Tidy garage✔

Wrap up exsiting plants ✔

Put pond netting on and tidy

Build and site new arch ✔

Plant bulbs ✔

What’s left thats not on the list ? – Tidy out front, build a vegetable raised bed in the back,treat the lawn for weeds and moss the cut back the hedges,that though can wait for spring.


Peace Shattered

Another few days of ambling about without the slightest inclination to do anything,it must be January. I suppose I’m a little run down as I’ve been working hard before and after Christmas and New Year,with just a few days off here and there.

I did get out in the garden for a short time and did a few jobs mainly tidying up some plants,emptying the baskets and sorted out the shed a little bit but apart from hearing the housebuilding diggers moving into the field next door I did do much else.

I’ve just been on to the Braintree planning application website and read a number of the letter objecting to the development (mine was actually the first) which is really just an exploitation of the local area by the developers Redrow. The planning is for the erection of 350 dwellings (including 40% affordable housing), the creation of internal roads, footpaths, open space, SuDS features, a substation, a pumping station and groundworks.

This application if approved will decimate wildlife destroying their habitat in this area, cloging up roads,which were never meant to carry traffic, such as this and also put a strain on the local resources turning a village into a small town,without the services to go with it. The nearest fire stations are in braintree and witham some 4 miles away, the route along congested country roads,the surgery has no doctor just a locum.

Redrow don’t provide the housing people in Essex really need, just expensive executive housing for the few, not the many. If they were providing 100% affordable housing maybe it would be different.

It’s the same everywhere in the UK where the Conservative government, Conservative local governments and greedy construction companies,who put shareholders first,before local residents who live in these places everyday,decimating what once was a green and pleasant land.

“Soon these pheasants will no doubt be history

Darwin Updated ?

He travelled the world studying exotic creatures in dangerous lands, but the disease that marred Charles Darwin’s life may have been caught closer to home as he trudged around Britain collecting insects, shooting birds, and picking up stones, researchers say.

The Victorian naturalist who gave the world the theory of evolution is a strong contender for the most famously ill scientist in history. His diaries, notebooks and letters brim with despair over ailments ranging from diarrhoea, rashes and heart palpitations, to vomiting, muscle pain and incessant flatulence. While hypochondria undoubtedly played a part in Darwin’s misery, researchers have failed to agree on what illness or illnesses, lay behind his poor health. Medical historians have proposed everything from the insect-borne Chagas disease or panic disorder with agoraphobia to lactose intolerance and recurrent vomiting brought on by an unusual genetic mutation.

Now researchers in the Netherlands have come up with their own explanation for Darwin’s many afflictions. Rather than some exotic infection contracted overseas, they suspect he picked up Lyme disease from an infected tick while on field work in Britain as a young man. “He had a lot of different symptoms: involuntary twitching of muscles, swimming of the head, a shortness of breath, trembling hands, and all of them came and went, and that is quite typical of Lyme disease,” said Erwin Kompanje, a clinical researcher at the Erasmus University medical centre in Rotterdam.

Kompanje and his colleague Jelle Reumer at the Natural History Museum in Rotterdam searched online databases of Darwin’s notes and correspondence for any mention of symptoms that might betray his underlying illness. When Darwin was in Argentina in 1835, he described being bitten by the “great black bug of the Pampas”, an inch-long blood-sucking insect that can transmit Chagas disease, which can damage the heart, oesophagus and colon. But the Dutch researchers believe his mild fluctuating symptoms, which started to appear before he reached South America, are more consistent with Lyme disease. The infection is caused by Borrelia bacteria which are carried by certain ticks.

In the 1990s, the US researchers Thomas Barloon and Russell Noyes concluded that Darwin’s symptoms pointed to panic disorder with agoraphobia. But Darwin travelled widely in his life and rode a horse until the age of 60. According to Kompanje and Reumer, the panic-like symptoms may themselves have been a product of Lyme disease, which can lead to attacks lasting not minutes but hours and days.

On top of Lyme disease, the Dutch researchers agree with a 2005 diagnosis by the British researchers Anthony Campbell and Stephanie Matthews that Darwin was lactose intolerant despite his fondness for sweet, milky puddings. The condition could explain his stomach pains, vomiting and flatulence, they write. But other scientists may not be convinced by the Lyme disease hypothesis. The condition is known as “the great imitator” because the symptoms mimic so many other diseases. One common sign of being bitten by an infected tick is a red bullseye-type rash, but such a mark is never described in Darwin’s writing.

Richard Wall, a specialist in ticks at the University of Bristol, said: “Borreliosis is a particularly difficult infection to diagnose symptomatically even when the patient is available because of the diffuse and highly variable nature of the clinical signs; some researchers even question the existence of a chronic form of the disease. So, retrospective diagnosis at a historical distance of 200 years, while interesting, must be considered as highly speculative.” Stuart Carter, professor of veterinary pathology at Liverpool University, said: “Darwin was keener on riding and shooting when he was supposed to be studying medicine at Edinburgh and so would have been likely to come into contact with potentially disease-carrying ticks.

Hence it is possible that he was a chronic Lyme disease carrier, though such a condition is still not generally recognised. “Darwin’s well-documented hypochondria is not an unusual finding in very gifted biomedical people who are constantly searching for links between cause and effect,” he added. “Considering he was alive in the pre-antibiotic era, if he had a chronic bacterial infection, he did remarkably well to live to 73.”


I’ve blogged before on Charles Darwin the post can be found here :

Freewill is to mind….what chance is to matter

Original Thinking

This is a repost…the original can be found here : Darwins Ailments Explained

New Year Greetings

A “Happy New Year” to you all and I sincerley hope that the holiday period was a good one for you all. For us and for me in particular it was a quiet one and fairly boring too,with no real jolities happening,however I go into the new year full of optimism as usual.

For Christmas I was fortunate to get the pressie I wanted, a Mountfield SP164 self proppelling petrol lawnmower from my beloved. So from now on it’ll mean no more annoying electric cable while mowing the lawn. I’ll keep the old one though for winter and first cut use.

I’m optimistic that this year will be a happy one for us both and personally I am full of hope going forward. The christmas period saw me aquire my first cactis and also a orchid that was on special offer. Later that day I also bought some succulent seeds from Wish which I hope will be the start of another project.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Overall I have ten house plants which I hope to keep alive for as possible. It is difficult in our house as it is not particulaly well insulated and suffers a little in the cold weather with drafts. Fingers crossed that I’ve experience all my bad luch first.

This morning I decided after watching a archive gardening show from the 1980s on YouTube,that later on in the year I may try to dig a circular flower bed in the middle of the lawn as the soil is not particularly good having been filled in and generally has sunk in several places.

I will of course plan it first but i’m hopeful that it will add to the overall look and feel of the garden,should it not be such a good idea i’ll try somewhere else.

Growing Schedule

My aim in 2019 is to plant all the seeds I have collected and use both greenhouses and cold frame to the full,next year. I also want to make a big dent in my chemical and organic plant food and thin it down,while producing great plants. Deciding what chemicals to use on what plants using the what I’ve got and using it all up avoiding any unnecessary waste. With plant feed NPK is all important N being Nitrogen P being phosphorus and K being potassium. Many also have Magnesium in the recipe too.


Growmore is also the ideal fertiliser to use before laying turf and sowing grass seed. It should be applied throughout the growing season at the recommended rates. Simply spread on the surface of the soil and hoe or fork into the top surface. If conditions are dry, the soil should be well watered for best results.

Seaweed plant growth stimulant is a pure liquid seaweed extract plant growth stimulant, for use with fertilisers. It is widely proven in scientific research to stimulate germination, rooting and establishment from seed to mature plant. It improves natural plant health and the ability to withstand environmental stress. Ideal for flowers, shrubs, trees, fruit and vegetables in the home, garden or allotment.

Rose & Shrub Fast Acting Plant Food Granules are ideal for use on established plants or for planting new roses & shrubs. The get to work instantly for healthy, beautiful roses. Contains a unique mix of 5 nutrients carefully balanced to provide rose plants with essential nutrients required for optimum growth and flowering.

Chempak A soluble rapid growth plant food formula as used by exhibition growers with higher nitrogen for spring feeding. All Chempak Soluble Plant Foods contain seven essential trace elements, far more than ordinary fertiliser. They are fully soluble which means they start to work instantly. Chempak Formula 2 has a high nitrogen content, particularly useful for the start of the season, getting the leaves and stems of young plants off to a strong start.

Fertilisers enhance the growth of plants. So it is once again good to reiterate what is in fertilisers and how they affect the plants. This goal is met in two ways, the traditional one being additives that provide nutrients. The second mode by which some fertilisers act is to enhance the effectiveness of the soil by modifying its water retention and aeration. This article, like many on fertilizers, emphasises the nutritional aspect. Fertilizers typically provide, in varying proportions:

The three main macronutrients are:

Nitrogen (N): leaf growth

Phosphorus (P): Development of roots, flowers, seeds, fruit;

Potassium (K): Strong stem growth, movement of water in plants, promotion of flowering and fruiting;

three secondary macronutrients:

Calcium(Ca): in the form of calcium pectate, is responsible for holding together the cell walls of plants.

Magnesium (Mg): is involved in several different processes, including photosynthesis, which nearly all living organisms are dependent on.

Sulfur (S): is also used in the formation of certain oils and volatile compounds found in the onion and garlic family.

Many available fertilisers have different amounts of NPK additives with some used to improve a particular area of the plant. Sulphate of Potash for example has 48% potassium while Superphosphate target phosphorous as a main ingredient with 17.5%. Other feeds promote allround growth these being Phostrogen,Seaweed and Rose & Shrub mixes,while Epsom Salts helps reduce yellowing of the leaves.

Wonderful Christmastime


It’s here again !

Christmas has crept up on us once again and its time to once again to celebrate the fact that we’ve made it through the year. As with most years there has been highs and lows for us both personally and generally for everyone else, in the country and around the world.

It’s again the time to re-aline ourselves to the fact, that there are things we can’t address in life “Life & Death issues” but there are so many that we can change,helping to aleve the man made problems that affect us all. Lets strive to change things for the better,stop bickering and fighting with one another and finally learn to love each other too, ridding the world of greed and suffering,the tension that is all around so that we all can live in peace and tranquility everywhere……….

Merry Christmas

Postcards at Christmas ?

Monday 18th December

In just over a weeks time it’ll be Christmas day and as of yet,I haven’t sent a christmas card or bought any presents. To be honest money is tight,I have however got ideas in mind of what to buy and probably I’ll go out tomorrow after writing the few cards I’m going to send. To be honest christmas is bittersweet for me as two of my children don’t speak to me at all,probably their thoughts tainted by their mother who never was much of a giver,more of a take and keeper.


On the flip side I couldn’t be more happier with life contented in love and happy taking the risk of just being myself in life. Its might not be interesting to many who have their own agendas but I find happiness in life is more a thing of the head and heart rather than what money can buy.

All in the garden has ground to a halt and at the moment I’m lacking the inspiration to do anything other than watch TV. Last week Endeavour and Inspector Morse,this week its music,Paul McCartney,Neil Young and today “The Boss” Bruce Springsteen.

Springsteen is a musician who hits the right notes with me and his storytelling in his songs. In the past the songs took me back to the things in life and people that had disappeared and a time I wanted to go back to. Now however I’m more content in life happier all round and I see these songs maybe as he does as “Postcards from the Past”.

“Remember all the movies, Terry

We’d go see, Trying to learn to walk like the heroes,We thought we had to be

Well after all this time, To find we’re just like all the rest,Stranded in the park

And forced to confess, To hiding on the backstreets, Hiding on the backstreets

Where we swore forever friends, On the backstreets until the end”

Its disappointing how much christmas has changed over the years and how people see it as a period of excess and partying rather than what it celebrated for almost 1900 years,the birth of Christ.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’m not at all religious mind you however I totally detest the greed and over indulging that Christmas has become thanks to the capitalist and moneymakers.