A Tax rose is but a rose by any other name

Socialise and chat about other areas of your life
688 posts
P.P.S. to Susi Q

And an Acer tree too! Does it have flowers?
Glad you like it Sajehar - it's taken 5 years of hard work to get to this stage :D

the shrub in your photo is definitely one of the Eunonymous group - there are lots of variations on the leaf shadings, yours looks like "Silver Queen" to me - I've got one in the back garden.

the pink flowers in the photo are hydrangeas that I got from Sainsburys (£12 each) this year - will have to wait and see if they survive - they do need lots and lots of water to get well established. The purple onr in the tub near the shed in one of the earlier photos is also a hydrangea (and also from Sainsburys !).

the Acer tree does get tiny flowers, but they are so small as to be almost invisible ! It's the leaf colour that I love :D
I’ve haven’t been posting on this site for about a month. A MONTH! My, how time flies.
And not because of any family/personal disaster/emergency either, but because of bloody Microsoft. They only went and locked me out of Word…. The dictatorial toe rags!

I couldn’t open ANY of my docs, or even read them, let alone copy & paste them. I live by copy & pasting with my posts to CUK as I always manage to lose any posts I type direct via the website. The cyber gremlins have me marked! I don’t know what I hate more; the cyber gremlins or Microsoft.
Anyway, I now have Word back again courtesy of my nephew. He was supposed to come about 3 weeks ago to fix it but kept putting it off as he had something big going down. He was being most mysterious.
Turns out he was applying for a new job as he loathes working in a call centre. He made it through two interviews, being short-listed and found out yesterday he has the job. THEN all was revealed; he’s going to be a civil servant working in the home office!
After the congrats came the jokes about wearing pin stripes, bowler hats and carrying a black brolly… poor sod! I was the worst offender and for my sins was subjected to my nephew’s best ‘Et tu, Brutus’ mock glares.

Any road up, all my hard work (albeit intermittent) in the garden has finally began to pay off.
Considering I only started off to make it respectable, more for the sake of mum’s memory than anything as dad and me had let it go to wrack & ruin, I think I’ve done a bloody good job. Not only do I think I’ve done mum proud, I’ve also put my own mark on it too…. And loved doing it.
I’ve restored the rockery complete with retaining walls, steps and stepping stones so’s I can do the weeding at the back. I’ve added a birds & bees sanctuary, built two ponds, added loads of different plants and generally transformed it.

The sanctuary is my fave part and is a huge success. The small birds absolutely love it and flock there; quite literally. It affords them loads of protection from the kestrels (we have loads of those around here), tons of food and they now treat the pond with its fountain as a spa!
At first the fountain frightened them and I was going to take it out. But SM assured me they’d get used to it. They did. I’ve seen blue tits splashing around in it using their wings like paddles. And the black birds stand on the top step with their backs to the fountain, spread their wings out and use the fountain as a shower. I love watching them. They don’t seem to be frightened of me as I can get surprising close before they get edgy. I back off then.
My record sighting so far is 4 goldfinches on the niger seed feeder, seven blue tits (including fledglings) around the fat ball feeder, two robins and a black bird with his lady wife all happily sharing the sanctuary. It's truly wonderful to see.


Some before & after photos now.

Back garden March this year
back garden 1a.jpg
June this year
back garden 4.jpg
back garden 4b.jpg
The compost bin being emptied prior to removal and transformation into a dalek. Plus I had to remove the shrub next to it as it's roots were being invasive.
back garden 5.jpg
The removal of the bin and shrub revealed a rather pretty wall dad and me had forgotten was there as it had been covered up for so long. The dalek (when finished) is now going in the front garden.
back garden 6a.jpg
My second pond above the newly exposed wall dug out and in place with ANOTHER fountain. That was bloody hard work. David C gave me the idea with his suggestion of buying a 80 litre plastic box. I bought an actual pond former in the end from the net. It cost £21 inc P & P.
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My second pond in June with planting, my Russian peasant and working, solar powered light house!
back garden 11.jpg

I think you’ll agree that for a beginner I’ve done a bloody good job. Had some failures of course. The slugs ate EVERY SINGLE ONE of the 45 busy lizzies I planted out and even though two of my three blue moon roses have buds on them it looks like they’re going to be pink not blue. I’ll sue who ever I bought them off under the Trades Description Act if I don’t end up with at least bluish mauve roses!

My conversion of our compost bin to a working dalek is coming along great guns now. It nearly gave SM a heart attack tonight. I’d put it in the workshop as I’m still working on it. It's ears, eye and main toilet plunger arm light up at night.
SM came out with me to put away the chairs as the wind was picking up. I forgot to tell him about the dalek and when he opened the doors to the workshop he was confronted by a dalek looking as if it was about to exterminate him. He actually screamed!
SM excused his fright by declaring it was very realistic looking and that one does not expect to be confronted by a dalek in a glorified garden shed. That’s his excuse, and he’s sticking to it.

I especially like this photo taken next to the bird sanctuary by SM. It looks like there’s the ghost of a person behind me. It’s obviously a trick of the light, but I like to imagine it’s mum’s spirit looking on approvingly at my efforts to restore her garden. Her ashes are scattered in the garden, so it could be so if ghosts existed, which of course they don’t.
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Why the heck is it on it's side?????
I also look a wreck clutching one of my hospitalised geraniums. YUP! I set up a geranium hospital as dad wrecked most of them getting them out the box they turned up in. I had an Intensive Care ward – two picnic tables under the window box looked over by Apollo and Anubis – and my Recovery Ward to my right. Once they bud I discharge them into the main garden to strut their stuff.

And finally my feverfew. It's offical, my possible cow parsley/hemlock/feverfew is feverfew.
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Time for some sleep now… nice to be back.

P.S. The dalek is called Zygolex. Why?
I'll give you a clue.
By the way, "I'll give you a clue" is the clue..... he, he, he!
Bet nobody gets my dead cyptic clue.
Very quick reply as just off to work but stunning garden Sajehar, many congrats.
Mine is a jungle and too busy on house to think garden right now besides the odd bit of watering.
Amazing achievement Sajehar. I too have been working on my garden. Absolutely nothing acheived like you have!! Inspirational.
Glad you are back, missed you.
I've put a bird feeder up. So far the birds do not seem interested? My sister assured me they will eventually. Her daughter has one and it took a few weeks for the birds to chance it.
Sajehar wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:29 am

because of bloody Microsoft. They only went and locked me out of Word…. The dictatorial toe rags!

I couldn’t open ANY of my docs, or even read them, let alone copy & paste them. I live by copy & pasting with my posts to CUK as I always manage to lose any posts I type direct via the website.
I have to assume you are using some version of Windows, in which case there's a little programme called "Notepad" already on your PC which can be used for simple text operations. If you want something more complex then Open Office is free and will do pretty much all that Word will do.

https://openoffice.en.softonic.com/download
Hi Sajaher
So glad to have you back. I was worried the feverfew was hemlock and you had tried it, so very pleased to know you have been creating a Dalek instead :D

Gardens looking great, it's good therapy isn't it?, takes the hate out on slugs and feel the good spirits of previous gardeners whom have all added to the soil over the year's

Kr
MrsA
Your garden looks great ,i didn't bother with my hanging baskets last year ,bought 90 plug plants online .
Done 8 baskets and 2 basket that attach to the wall ,got another 11 to do later .
I still have my allotment ,i have got some shrubs i want to plant on it .Haven't got the time or patience for veg .
When my nephew gets his stuff out of my shed ,going to stick my models in there ,and might get one of those monitors that send video to a mobile phone so i can keep an eye on Malcolm .
The one i have is fine for the shed near the front door ,but hasen't got the range ..

I was looking at those 80 lt plastic boxes in £stretchers .
Just off the M6 junction 11 there is a big garden center .They have above ground ponds ,all they are are plastic frames with two layers of tough plastic .Yours complete with pump £500 :D
Thinking of doing something like that ,home made .
Henrietta, Pet66, MrsAverage and David C

Many thanks for the compliments on my gardening efforts. I was under the naive belief that once a garden was thrashed into shape it would kind of look after itself with just a bit of weeding once in a while. Fat chance!
I spend about two hours a day at least (in bits & bobs of time) weeding, dead heading, watering, etc, etc, etc…. it’s never ending!
Just as well I really enjoy being in garden; it really is very calming for some reason. Even when I’m jumping up and down in frustration over say the bind weed, I jump up & down calmly. When I yell at my begonias for being such wimpy ones in comparison to the stout bushy ones outside the library, I accuse them nicely.
When I castigate my solitary (so far) blue moon rose for being such a traitor by being a really washed out looking pink instead of – at the very least – a blueish mauve I did so gently and then promised to feed it with my Vitex Hydrangea Colourant (for changing pink hydrangeas to blue) which I duly did.
However, either my pink blue moon rose didn’t like being castigated (even gently, the wuss) or it didn’t like the Vitex stuff because it went all droopy on me. And it’s STILL a horrible dirty washed out dingy pale watery pink colour. But I went all Zen on it, and forgave it for being so bloody awkward. Next time I feed it with the Vitex stuff I won’t double-up the amount. Maybe it just needs normal strength Vitex? Even just a tinge of blue will do…. For now!

Pet66,

The birds will come, I promise you. And you don’t have to go to the extremes of creating special sanctuary’s for them either. SM has compared me to the bloke from ‘Close Encounters of a Third Kind’; the one who obsessively sculpts mini-mountains out of mashed potato to attract aliens.
My pondlet had one major fault. It killed local wildlife. Bit of a bummer that for a sanctuary. I awoke one morning only to find a dead rat/mouse in my pondlet. The poor bugger had fallen in and drowned. Those of a nervous disposition regarding death and/or mice/rats look away now.
back garden bird sanctuary 5.jpg

The origins of my pondlet; an ancient stainless steel inset hand basin bowl found lurking at the bottom of mum’s garden chest.. It was its sheer polished sides that were so fatal to the luckless rodent.
back garden bird sanctuary 1.jpg
SM: Why are you blow drying a dead mouse with your hair dryer?

Me: That’s just it. I don’t know if it’s a baby rat or a full grown field mouse, so I’m blow drying it dry or I’ll have to wait for ages for it dry in the sun otherwise before I find out.

SM: Fine! But why do you want it dry in the first place?

Me: So’s I can tell whether it’s a mouse or rat. I thought I already explained that.

SM: Let’s start again. How does blow drying that dead rodent help you identify it?

Me: Easy! According to the Rentokil website mice have hairy tails and rats don’t. Plus mice have bigger ears proportionately than rats and whiter under-bellies too. And smaller feet….

SM: But how does blow drying it help….

Me: I’d have thought that was obvious. It was soaking wet when I fished it from my pondlet so I can’t actually tell about its tail or ears as its hairs and fur are clinging flat to it. Plus being wet means its colouring is darkened so I can’t tell about its underbelly colour either.

SM: I can see there’s a certain logical madness in your method, but why blow dry it through a chip pan?

Me: I’d have thought that was obvious too. So’s Nelson doesn’t nick it if I need to go inside to answer the phone or go to the bog or something.

SM: Who the hell is Nelson?

Me: Nelson’s that albatross sized gull that come to our garden. Dad called him that after the seagull from the car insurance advert. I’m happy to chuck him the dead rat mouse when I’ve identified it….. Bugger! I can see now it’s dry that it’s a field mouse…. It’s definitely got a hairy tail and its ears are still huge… and a whitish underbelly too.

SM: What difference does it make whether it’s a rat or mouse?

Me: I couldn’t give a monkey’s if my pondlet drowns baby rats, but I’m not allowing it to drown innocent little field mice too. I shall have to build a ladder for my pondlet so’s they can climb out if they fall in.

SM: Why don’t you build them a water slide and diving board while you’re at it! Maybe some mini sun loungers so they can dry off after their dips? Perhaps some courtesy sun tan lotion too?

Me: Don’t be silly; that’s going to extremes. Besides, I don’t think they’d know how to use diving boards or sun loungers properly and why would mice need sun tan lotion? They’re covered in fur…. A water slide might be a good idea though.

As it turned out I built neither a ladder nor a water slide for my pondlet. But I did build steps for it made by gluing broken tiles together scrounged from next door as they were replacing their roof.
My carefully worked out tile steps glued together.
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My tile steps in situ.
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Just one problem. I came back to the pondlet sanctuary area a few hours later to add yet another bird feeder. The water in the pondlet had gone all whitish and cloudy; a bit like Cleopatra’s fabled baths of asses’ milk.
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I’d used Unibond’s ‘No More Nails’ to glue the steps together without realising it re-dissolves if immersed in water. I’d progressed from drowning wildlife to potentially poisoning it instead!
I hadn’t read the instructions properly, but even so! The useless stuff shouldn’t re-dissolve ESPECIALLY as I’d left it to both set and fully cure for over 48 hours before putting it into the pond. Serves me right for not reading the instructions first.
I had to strip the whole lot out, thoroughly wash down both the steps and pondlet, and re-glue the steps back together again. I used car body filler the second time. No chance of that re-dissolving itself as it’s designed to withstand being assaulted by oil and petrol let alone a bit of poxy water.
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However, it was worth the extra time and effort for I also have proof positive that my new steps do indeed saves local wildlife lives. I haven’t managed to capture mice scrambling up my pondlet’s steps with my very basic mobile phone camera. But I have managed to capture about the only local wildlife my camera could handle, as follows:

A boring photo, but take note of the snail under the water by the top of my steps on the right hand side as you look at the photo.
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Half way up my ‘Stairway Not to Heaven.’
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“Cheers for that, Saj. Your tastefully terracotta steps saved my life.”
It’s nice to pretend to be appreciated, even if it’s just by a snail!
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I LOVE those photos of the snail, it’s so cute. I hate the word cute but it’s the best one I can come up with.
I decided not to chuck it over the back wall as a thank you. Plus after saving its life via my steps (I’m assuming here that snails can’t breathe under water and drown) it seemed a shame to go and then kill it.
I didn’t tell dad that. He thinks I killed it as he hates snails. Wish I had now seeing as what those gluttonous sods did to my busy lizzies. Or was that the slugs? Same difference minus the shells.
Maybe I should’ve taken MrsAverage’s advice, “it's good therapy isn't it?, takes the hate out on slugs and feel the good spirits of previous gardeners whom have all added to the soil over the year's.” And killed the shell bedecked slug after all. Mind you, I’ve chucked so many over the wall since then that I suspect I already have. All it got was a temporary stay of execution. Oddly enough, I hope not.

SM in his wisdom thinks my gardening is good for me as he often intones, “gardening is a most noble pursuit.” A pursuit, by the way, which he most assiduously avoids, noble or not. He’s less keen on my interest in Monty Don though.

SM: Monty Don says this, Monty Don says that. He’s a bloody gardener for god’s sake NOT a guru.

Me: You’re just jealous cause he looks better than you in wellies and braces.

SM: That’s a back-handed accolade I can happily live without, thank you very much! You do realise he’s just a heavily marketed middle-class woman’s man tart. I bet when the cameras stop rolling he drops those secateurs as if they were hot stones and the real gardeners then come in to do the real work.

Me: MEOW! Put those claws away, Mr Catty. Who are you to call me middle-class? I’ll have you know that I’m classless.

SM: You said it!

Me: MEOW again. What is your problem? You don’t hear me making a fuss about that goody, goody-two shoes bland blonde you’ve got the hot’s for from Waking the Dead, do you?

SM: If you’re referring to Dr Nicky Alexander she’s actually from Silent Witness….

Me: Same difference!

SM: and you confuse being a goody two shoes for being a lady. For your information she’s not a bland blonde but possesses a very delicate English rose type of beauty.

Me: English rose beauty my arse! She’s such a total drip she makes my sickly blue moon rose look like a Chelsea Flower Show winner.

SM: I’m surprised you haven’t tried to contact your gurning guru about that blasted rose of yours.

Me: The magnificent Monty does not gurn; he smiles wolfishly… a bit like you, actually. And how do you know I haven’t already emailed the Delicious Don through Gardner’s World about my rose?

SM: You Haven’t….. Have you?

I haven’t; not yet anyway. What I’m definitely going to do is what Alexander_18021 suggested about using the freebie ‘Open Office’ software from the net instead of Microsoft’s Word.
I tried using MS’s Notepad. It actually has all the features I usually use bar the most important one. It doesn’t have a spellchecker, and I’m utterly lost without a spell checker. So, as far as I’m concerned, Notepad is a waste of hard drive space.
I tried installing Open Office myself; joined up and everything. But when I finally got to the bit instructing you how to install it I didn’t even understand the first instruction.
MS (as in my MS not Microsoft) had a go too but also failed.
I think he did that deliberately as he’s been pestering me for ages to change to his beloved Linex. If he can handle installing that monstrosity, he should’ve been able to manage Open Office? Bit of sabotage there methinks. He nuts about Linex and thinks Open Office is a Micky Mouse app. He would!
But all I want is the word processing equivalent to a small run about car for picking up some shopping, dropping the kids off at school and the occasional day trip out, NOT a double decker bus!
I barely use 10% of Word as it is. Come to think of it I don’t even know what 90% of Word actually does let alone use it. Does anyone actually know what the ‘Insert Table of Authorities’ tab means, never mind what it does?
So I’m getting my nephew to install what I want when he gets back from his well-deserved hols.

On a more up to date note, had a really busy week last week. Took dad to see a consultant about dad’s wonky knees on either Wednesday or Thursday; I forget which.
The appointment with the consultant went well. Dad’s knees are shot with hardly any cartilage left in them causing rubbing problems with bits free-floating around, with both problems causing dad considerable pain. It’s too risky for a full scale operation to replace his kneecaps but he’s going to have them cleaned out or something via micro surgery. He won’t be able to run for any buses after the op but will be in a lot less pain. So that’s good news.
The bad news is that he’s going to have to wait between 6 weeks and 6 months for the op, and when he’s had it he’ll be laid up for about three weeks. That means I’ll have to wait on him hand and foot till he’s mobile again. Still, if it improves his pain and general mobility it’ll definitely be worth it.

We also went to a funeral on Friday as one of dad’s many cousins had kicked the bucket. The funeral was one hell of a ‘do’, with a terrific party afterwards. The Irish, and their off spring, sure as hell know how to have a real knees-up of a wake. It turned out that my dad’s dead cousin was actually my dad’s dead uncle, making him my dead great-uncle not a second cousin, or a cousin twice removed. Can never remember which expression applies.

That’s the trouble with Catholics; they tend to have massive families. My dad’s dead uncle was actually younger than my dad as he was the youngest son from a family of 13 kids. In most ‘normal’ families aunties & uncles are a lot older than yourself, not a similar age or even younger; hence my confusion. For the first 10 – 11 years of my life I thought my dad’s youngest bro was my cousin instead of an uncle as he’s several months younger than my youngest bro. Weird or what?

Monday is my ‘ME’ day. I sacrifice it for no man, or woman, except for the direst of dire emergencies. I had a lie in till 6.30am and, after SM dropped me off, I spent the morning splitting my time between potting around the garden and working on Zygolex then off to me AA meeting.
I had the entire afternoon and evening to myself as SM, dad and bro’s were watching the world cup at some cronies place complete with barbeque. I have no interest whatsoever in the World cup so read and worked some more on Zygolex as it was too hot to garden. All on my lonesome…. BLISS!

On that happy note I shall sign off now.

Chow for now X
P.S.

Got SM confused with MS (Microsoft) by calling him MS at one point, but can't be bothered editing it. Am watching The Abyss at the minute... one of my fave films.
688 posts