José Ascaso had been riding his chestnut mare most of the day and was beginning to feel tired. Together, they had made good progress deep into the Pyrenean valley alongside Rio Ara. His plan was to spend the night in Broto, a small mountain town, and ride on into Ordesa Gorge the next day. The valley had become steep and narrow with the mountains rising to 6000 feet on both sides. He hoped to spot the Lammergeier, it is known to fly in the gorge. It is a large vulture with a wingspan of almost 3 metres and weighing up to 7 Kg. It feeds on bone after the other vultures have taken the flesh of dead animals. [Read more…] about Exclusive – Chandler’s Ford man found in Pyrenees
Summer is approaching but don’t be tempted to put out summer bedding until the risk of frosts are over, and make sure they have been hardened off before planting out.
Dahlias can be planted out at the end of the month. Stake any herbaceous plants that will flop over or be damaged by high winds. [Read more…] about Gardening Tips for May from Wellie
It’s another very welcome bank holiday weekend and for many of us there will be more time to relax, catch up with friends or indulging in a creative pastime. As someone whose artistic attempts are, at best, minimal, I do find it interesting to hear how others find the inspiration or ‘spark’ that leads them to put pen to paper (or should that be fingers to keyboard?) to write a play or book, or to pick up brush and oils to paint a picture. [Read more…] about New Discoveries and Finding Inspiration in Chandler’s Ford
Prune Chaenomeles (ornamental quince) and Forsythia after they have finished flowering. Check roses for black spot, remove any infected leaves and treat with a fungicide. [Read more…] about Wellie’s Gardening Tips for April
This market is carefully managed, with the needs of regular local stallholders in mind, and features around 12 stalls selling locally-produced food and crafts (no traders). [Read more…] about Review: Chandler’s Ford Produce and Craft Market
Lift and divide overgrown clumps of herbaceous perennials that were not split in the Autumn.
Overcrowded clumps of snowdrops and winter aconites can be lifted and divided after they have finished flowering. [Read more…] about Wellie’s Gardening Tips for March
Complete pruning of climbing and bush roses before new growth becomes too strong. Once winter flowering heathers have finished, trim them back with shears to the base of flower stalks.
Cut back ornamental grasses and other perennials left for winter interest. Prune shrubs hard such as Cornus and Salix grown for winter coloured stems. [Read more…] about Wellie’s Gardening Tips for February
Midwinter can be a tough time for wildlife in the garden. Make sure there is a continuous supply of food and fresh water for them. Prune redcurrants and gooseberries, if there is no risk of frosts.
Rhubarb can be forced by covering crowns with a bucket, box or forcing jar. Winter prune wisteria by reducing last year’s growth to spurs of two or three buds. Remove any leaves on winter pansies and violas with downy mildew and black spot. [Read more…] about Wellie’s Gardening Tips for January
Yesterday, we went to see the Mummers street play in Otterbourne, Hampshire.
It is a very old and traditional folk play and depicts King George slaying the dragon, Turkish knights and other adversaries. It was good fun to watch and the costumes were very colourful. [Read more…] about Otterbourne Mummers: Traditional Mummers Play in Otterbourne, Christmas 2016
Keep raking up those leaves from the lawn and borders. If it’s a mild winter, continue to cut the lawn if it’s growing, but raise the height of the mower blades.
From now until the end of March is the time to plant any bare rooted trees, shrubs and roses. Check stored fruit, throw out any that are rotten. Reduce watering on houseplants. [Read more…] about Gardening Tips for December by Wellie
I went to Chandler’s Ford Produce and Craft Market this morning and realised that Christmas has indeed arrived.
The market was held at the Age Concern Centre on Brownhill Road (just next to the Co-op and the Fryern Arcade). [Read more…] about Christmas at Chandler’s Ford Produce and Craft Market 2016
Jobs to do as winter approaches and the garden quietens. Rake up leaves on the lawn. Tie-in long whippy shoots of climbers and wall shrubs.
Bare rooted roses can be planted now. Prune bush roses to prevent wind-rock and clear up any fallen rose leaves, especially if they suffered from black spot and rust, to reduce the chance of infection next year.
[Read more…] about Gardening Tips for November by Wellie
This is a lovely month with the trees starting to change colour, but the temperatures are dropping and the nights are drawing in, so get as many jobs done in the garden before it gets too cold.
Wallflowers can be planted now, providing foliage ground cover all winter, and fragrance and colour next spring. [Read more…] about Gardening Tips for October by Wellie
This morning, I met Karen Stephen and Catherine Griffin at the local produce and craft market.
They were promoting their first book: Secret Lives of Chandlers Ford: A Collection of Short Stories.
Mike introduced this book and its four authors before in this post. [Read more…] about It’s Back – Chandler’s Ford Produce and Craft Market
Make the most of the warmth in the air and soil, before the temperatures drop at the beginning of Autumn.
Start planting bulbs for spring display now. Tulips are better left until November, but daffodils need to be planted now. As a quick rule for depth of planting, bulbs should be planted 3 times the height of the bulb. [Read more…] about Gardening Tips for September by Wellie
Summer is in full swing, and to keep your garden looking lovely there are a few things to do this month.
Dead head regularly to maintain flowering, cut back perennials that have collapsed. Summer prune wisteria. [Read more…] about Gardening Tips for August by Wellie
Have you heard of a social group called Men’s Sheds?
I have met some lovely men from Men’s Sheds in local events before.
Men Shed is a social network for retired men (and surprisingly, for women too).
They are also called, endearingly, shedders (make sure you spell shedder correctly). [Read more…] about Public Meeting: Men’s Shed Coming to Chandler’s Ford
Dead head roses and bedding plants regularly to prolong flowering. Keep containers watered and fed to ensure continued good performance.
Cut back hardy geraniums to ground level after they have had their first flush of flowers to encourage new foliage and more flowers later in the year. Divide congested clumps of bearded iris after flowering. Check clematis for signs of clematis wilt. [Read more…] about Gardening Tips for July by Wellie
Another episode from Boats and Bikes…
Cycle Time Trials – the 1970s
I found the competitive side of cycling to be just what I wanted at that time. I needed a new angle on cycling and this was it! I managed to be moderately successful and I improved my “Personal Best” times over the distances I raced – mainly 10, 25 & 50 mile events. [Read more…] about Growing up in Chandler’s Ford: 1950s – 1960s: Rotrax Memories; Joy of Powerboat – Part 14
Everything in the garden is in full swing now. Dead head spent flowers so that the plants don’t use all their energy into making seedheads, rather they can produce more blooms instead.
Carry on cutting the lawns regularly, mow in different directions to prevent wear patterns and to encourage upright growth. [Read more…] about Gardening Tips for June by Wellie