I tend to ramble on which makes my posts rather long so I only put small pictures on. If you'd like to see a bit more just click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Toot Toot!

Look what's coming past our garden at the moment:

Bit of a beast isn't it?

This is The Cambrian steam train which West Coast Railways is running between Machynlleth and Porthmadog (or Pwllheli on certain days) every weekday during the school holiday.

Having grown up with steam trains this is a lovely bit of nostalgia for Paul and me, the toot toot of the whistle and the chuff chuff sound bring back lots of memories. It isn't really too noisy, it has to slow down for the bend just before it gets to us and the station is only a minute or so up the road so it never goes really fast past us. Isn't it funny how people travelling on steam trains love to wave?

So what's happening in the garden? Not a lot really. We've had the most horrendous wind and torrential rain recently so for the last two weeks it's not been possible to get out and do anything. Today has been a nice dry, sunny day so I spent an hour dead-heading and generally tidying up and it looks so much better for it.

The dwarf sunflowers are still putting on a good show. We're saving the seed so that we can have two varieties next year, I've already bought a packet of a different type from Wilkinsons as they were half price!

The gladioli suffered with the wind breaking the tops of a few stems which I've had to cut off today. There are some fuschia in the black pots which we didn't have room for, we'll try and get them back into the garden next year if we can. The dwarf lupins were a bit of a disappointment as they became rather straggly, I might not bother with them next year.

The cherry tomatoes got quite knocked about too. Paul has staked them today as there is quite a lot of fruit on them which we hope will ripen and taste as good as the bigger plants (Gardener's Delight) we have on the balcony. Those are almost finished now and although we weren't overrun with tomatoes they were very tasty and we've had plenty to go with our salads.

I love the tall lobelia in the corner which is now flowering really well. Poppies seem to be taking over next door's garden but of course nothing is being done now that the house is empty.

Even though the African Marigolds had a poor start they have recovered quite well and I really like them. I've already bought some seed (half price again in Wilkinsons) ready for next year, I'll just be careful to make sure I don't put them out too early next time!

The pink Prairie Mallow is looking really lovely now and I think it goes so well with the purple Dwarf Veronica, unfortunately the Veronica is starting to die off by the time the Prairie Mallow is in full bloom.

The Montbretia is in full flower now, not as good a show as last year but I have moved it to group it together. I think it will be better next year.

This little wall is looking lovely. The geraniums are a lovely double flowered variety which we brought with us when we moved. The white lobelia is supposed to be a trailing one, it doesn't seem to have trailed much, I wonder what the secret is.

And these begonias are a real sore point! They were ordered from Thomson and Morgan, a collection called Fragrant Fountain which is all yellow/apricot/cream shades. We bought two collections, 9 in each, and the delivery was delayed so they had a very late start. Of the 18 tubers about a third of them haven't come through. Of those that did only two have grown to anything like a reasonable size and the flowers are coming through a quite dark red. I feel a letter of dissatisfaction coming on! We've found Thomson & Morgan's customer service (over a different matter) to be very disappointing and we definitely wont be using them again.

The veggies continue to do well. Plenty of runner beans and carrots, the parsnips are going great guns, the salad leaves are plentiful, the radishes and peppers are very tasty and the two red brussel sprout plants are doing OK although if I grow them next year I've learnt that it would be better to net them as something's munching away at the leaves and I can't find what it is!

We've got someone coming on Saturday to discuss hard landscaping the garden. There's not much that can be done really as it's so small but it will be nice to have more attractive paving so I'm looking forward to seeing what ideas he has.

That's about it for this time. Thanks for dropping by.


Rainmac said...

Fab pics, such a shame you've had so much rain, we've had hardly any. My two boys would love a trip on that train x

Maggie said...

Love your comment about passengers on steam trains waving. When I used to stay with my Gran in Dolgellau I used to stand on the garden wall and wave to the train as it went past (down a steep hill and over the main road to Barmouth and then the goods yard too) and quite often the train driver would wave back. What a thrill! I loved that train, lovely journey from Dolgellau to Barmouth, beautiful mountains, and then the famous Barmouth Bridge. Such a shame the line went under Beeching, my parents had intended to go on its last trip but it never happened as after the hard winter of 61/62 and the following floods some of the bridges more inland were damaged so it wasn't worth repairing them since the line was closing anyway. Sorry, am rambling!

Best wishes from Liverpool