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Spring is nearly here!

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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:36 pm

Looking back over previous pond visits I found some pictures of a pond visit from our Koi Club on Sunday the 15th July 20009, we had a glorious day for it, sunny and warm.
What a dramatic change the following day, a sudden very localised ferocious hailstorm hit our area mid-morning.
We had been to the Glanclwyd and as we travelled back from Bodelwyddan we saw locally the damage it wreaked was quite bad and long lasting, particularly on our plants and trees, see pic below of shredded waterlillies. The hailstones did this same damage to all my fruit trees and soft fruit.
The gazebo was still up from pond visit the previous day!


Some of the hailstones were the size of ten pence pieces, that is around the 2cm mark, hence the damage!
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July 16th hailstorm.jpg
July 16th hailstorm.jpg (37.98 KiB) Viewed 630 times
Filigree'd lillies.jpg
Filigree'd lillies.jpg (32.55 KiB) Viewed 630 times
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:36 am

I found a picture of my pond lilies taken before the freak hailstorm in July 2009, before and after is quite dramatic, the weird thing is we had such nice weather before and after!
There is a date of the 1st August 2009 but that is from when I put pictures in folder from another camera I used on our short holiday break at Trearddur Bay.
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Waterlillies before the 16th!.jpg
Waterlillies before the 16th!.jpg (48.2 KiB) Viewed 625 times
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:58 pm

No doubt due to the continuous good weather I have had a remarkably good crop of Jostaberries, see pic below, also a very good crop of Morello cooking cherries and another cherry that's a 'wrong label' bought as a Kordia black sweet cherry, its turned out to be dark red and anything but sweet! (first pic)
Not as sharp as a Morello cherry but close!
Anybody not tasted a Jostaberry before you will get your chance on Sunday if you are coming here for club meet as there are still lots left despite picking about three kilo's of them this week.
A Jostaberry is the worlds first cross between a gooseberry and a blackcurrant and is vigorous, thornless and disease free, it tastes and looks slightly more like a blackcurrant but larger.
I have a few spare Jostaberry plants if anyone wants one.
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mystery cherry.jpg
mystery cherry.jpg (57.87 KiB) Viewed 621 times
Jostaberry 2018.jpg
Jostaberry 2018.jpg (83.31 KiB) Viewed 621 times
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:22 pm

Well our pond visit went as planned, the food from the barbeque was served up by David our village chip shop proprietor who volunteered to help us out again (to our grateful thanks) with our 18 guests and club members. The burgers, local lamb chops and chicken drumsticks were barbequed and presented by him on time and all well cooked so no complaints there. We were also lucky with the weather again with a beautiful hot day with just a gentle cooling breeze to ripple the koi pond.
Overall, the day went seamlessly and I would like to think people enjoyed themselves.
We put a lot of effort into providing a pleasant a day as possible for our club members.
However, we have decided that last Sunday was the last club visit we would cater for.
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby roselanekoi on Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:32 pm

I certainly enjoyed the afternoon as I'm sure everyone else attending did.

The two Jostaberry plants I came away with, never leave Phil's empty-handed if you are a gardener, are currently residing in large tubs of peat whilst I decide where to put them permanently, a spot in my new raspberry cage seems favourite.

Last winter I purchased a number of bare-rooted raspberry plants to start a new raspberry bed with very mixed results. The autumn fruiting varieties, all gold and autumn bliss, have taken very successfully and are now fruiting but the summer fruiting glen clova and glen ample have not fared well at all. All 5 glen clova have failed and only 1 of the 5 glen ample have survived. It's a bit mystifying as all the plants were planted at the same time and into the same soil. I'll have to get in touch with the suppliers Primrose and see if I can get some replacement plants.
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:08 pm

There's an old saying, 'be very careful of what you ask for, you may get more than you bargained'.
It's certainly the case with the weather this last week or so.
We have enjoyed dawn to dusk sunshine almost unremittingly for over three months and I was hoping for a bit of rain to assuage my daily task of watering everything in the garden and greenhouse, you can almost guarantee the school holidays period will attract the rainclouds:
It never fails!
A very dear nephew invited us down to South Wales for a few days last week where he was on holiday with his wife and two young children, to catch up on family gossip and to chill out. In fairness though we were only rained off the beach once during the four days we were there and this was at Barafundle Bay, a tiny beach near Stackpole Head on the South Pembrokeshire coast. It was a fair hike with no shelter back to the car so we got a good soaking, but we all dried out quickly when the sun came out again. There are lots of lovely clean and some quite isolated sandy bays down there, a few with lovely rock pools for children (and adults) to explore. Our great niece aged 8 and our great nephew 10 really enjoyed the beaches, a different one every day, it's a long time since I built sandcastles with a bucket and spade and explored rock pools!
Some of the tiny beaches or coves have peculiar names, like Church Door Cove, Skrinkle Haven Beach, Manorbier Beach, Bullslaughter Bay and Huntsman's Leap Cove!
It's a stiff hike to some as they're quite a bit off the beaten track and can involve a scramble over rocks and up steep paths and steps, but certainly worth the effort for the stunning views from the cliffs alone.
I thoroughly explored this particular piece of rocky coastline many years ago as I was stationed in an army camp a stones throw from some of these fascinating beaches and coves and grew to love this whole area of Pembrokeshire, (not the army though!)
So, if you like to get away from the Grockles,( a certain type of holidaymaker,) this is the area to go to, if a beach is slightly crowded, go to the next one. I find most Grockles like to park next to or better still, on the beach so a walk usually deters most of them!
Also, there are plenty of excellent mostly licensed seafood restaurants around this area and a good few are very reasonably priced, because of competition I would guess.
The bottom picture below is one of these very reasonably priced restaurants, The Old Sailor in Pwllgwaelod, I found some years ago that serves beautifully fresh seafood. It is situated as you can see from picture, in a quiet little bay, this is just to the north of Fishguard near Dinas Cross. We all ate outside as it was a lovely warm day, the restaurant is the large white building to foreground nearest camera and my photograph was taken from the stunning Pembrokeshire Coastal Path.
The top photo is view from off same Pembroke Coastal Path further along, gives you an idea of the beautiful views to be had, I noticed a lot of the vegetation is still scorched from summer though!
Attachments
Pembroke Coastal Path.jpg
Pembroke Coastal Path.jpg (31.01 KiB) Viewed 539 times
South Pembrokeshire.jpg
South Pembrokeshire.jpg (32.43 KiB) Viewed 539 times
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:13 am

A quick one!
Just recently, along with many thousands of fellow anglers I would imagine, I received an email from the fishing licence section of the Environment Agency warning me to look out for Pink Salmon!
My dilemma now is: should I mention Morrison's or Asda to the E.A, they've both got shelves of it!
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby roselanekoi on Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:48 pm

I think you'll have difficulty in hooking the pink salmon in ASDA's.
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:59 pm

From pink salmon neatly on to red plums! I have had a bonus year for big plums this year, possibly due to the cold late spring that prevented effective pollination by bees of some of my early flowering fruit trees. However the few trees that had some pollination then had a long scorching hot summer that has produced a bumper crop of large plums that are sweeter and darker than usual, not a huge crop but what there is is oversized from normal.
The plums in pic are 2 Denbigh plums to front left, 2 purple Marjorie's Seedling plums at centre and back and 2 Jubileum plums to the right, the Jubileum plums are normally the largest!
The haphazard pollination this year has had a knock on effect as shown by the BBC news item from 24th August titled: 'Weather sparks Denbigh Plum shortage ahead of festival' and shows a picture of a Denbigh plum tree with just one solitary plum on!
They blame the ' Beast from the East' we all still shiver at and also the summer heat wave!
From my experience, they obviously either never watered enough or had very few bees/other compatible plum trees about where the tree is located, or, it simply flowered earlier than mine for some reason and missed pollination through frost. I have the perfect example in my garden! My Opal plum tree is fully self fertile and flowers the earliest of all my plums, this year it flowered just as the "Beast from the East" howled to a finish, result: just 4 plums low down on tree this year, The self sterile Denbigh plum next to it flowered a week later with most other plums, missing most of the cold and frost. I normally rely on the Opal plum to cross pollinate my Denbigh plum as they overlap flowering periods, not this year, hence the smaller crop.
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Plums 2018.jpg
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:00 pm

Addendum to the last post is; I spoke yesterday with a chap I know from our village who is a very keen gardener and fruit grower showed me his Denbigh plum tree, the only plum tree he has in his garden, curiously, it also had only one plum on this year!
I took him a mixed bag of plums as a consolation.
As a matter of interest, his tree, a standard, is older and larger than mine!
I have picked, stoned and frozen about 8lb's this afternoon and also given two or three pounds away.
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