So where's the snow?

Muddling through life from Austria to Wales; God, life and a small black dog

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So how has your garden grown?


Following a warm and damp winter, we’ve now had a warmish and damp summer. The neighbours are blaming us, saying it came from England – and some of it did!!!!  There was one time in late spring when temperatures got to the low 30s,and today, August 30th, we have all the signs of an early autumn. We’ve harvested the carrots, as the tops were turning, but what a crop!  The parsnips are looking good, but they need to wait for the frost to sweeten them up. We also had loads of peas and broad beans. The courgettes and Okaido pumpkins haven’t liked the colder nights, and have slowed right down in growth, and the strawberries were lousy. The sweetcorn may not ripen with the continuing rain, we’ll see.  BUT loads of redcurrants for a first attempt at wine, and blackcurrants for jam and liquor. Such a difference form this time last year when the whole valley was drying up.

The geraniums haven’t liked the damp and cold, and have reacted by going nuts in their flowers, here another example of a white plant bearing a red flower.


Next year we’re planting less sorts of veggies but more of them, carrots, peas, broad beans, Okaidos, strawberries.

The summer has still gone too quickly. Some of the sycamores are starting to change. I don’t mind a early autumn, if we get snow in November and the crisp dry cold, rather than the soggy dampness of the past few years that went straight to Dave’s chest.

But it’s been an unusual summer. The hay crop has been rained off several times. Cold nights in August.  Sooo much rain. So how has your summer/winter (for those in other climes) been?



Who’s eating me Geraniums?


I noticed this white stuff on one of my pots, so being at our leisure decided to have a look.


We cut the stem off, chopped and chopped through the hollowed out stem until we saw a stripey end peeking out.


Another snip and this little wasp fell out. Never seen this before. Know there are wasps that do this. Wonder if its due to this warm damp summer and the bugs are breeding? Anyone else seen one of these little guys? He was about 1cm long



Garden time – pea harvest!


I think this year must be our all time best for peas – we only sowed one packet of sugar snap, but in three rows.


They were beginning to fall over- obviously not having read the packet on how high they should grow!


Nice warm damp summer and result – and we beat the caterpillars again. First we had to strip them from the vines.


Result, one third of the freezer filled with both podded peas and chopped entire peas. Note the laptop for musical accompaniment.


Now just need to not eat them all by the autumn!


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Garden project

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The weather has been too nice ot sit behind a computer and Dave and I having costed and thought about it decided to go ahead with the new Pavillion in the garden . This all started with taking the berberris bush out and its grown and grown. The main problem was getting rid of the stump of the Pine tree that used to stand there.

We’ve got all the geraniums on it, oh, might have room for some more!  A honeysuckle and a rose on the corners, a budlea, the quince bush and a honeysuckle type bush around the sides. It’ll come into its own more next year. We didn’t like the roof which came with it, but will use that for the party.

After seven years, it had at last rotted enough for us to bash through the roots and heave it out to become a garden feature………Our work  now looks great and in the coming weeks we’ll have a barbecue and party as an opening ceremony!

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Geranium puzzle


My favourite plants on the patio are my geraniums and especially the striped/flecked ones. We keep them over winter in the cellar and do take cuttings. So this year, two of my older plants have got confused. Half the plant has true coloured petals and the other the flecked ones. Anyone any idea why????



Tree Eating Moths……..


Last year, along with the drought, there were a lot of trees in the Lungau that were infested with caterpillars. They form nests, strip the tree and then I daresay make a cocoon somewhere. Yet, I certainly didn’t notice many  more moths mooching about  last autumn. However, there are even more affected trees this summer and they show up so much now that all the trees are in leaf.


Quite ghostly with the horrible nests and cobwebs they make, even turning the bark white. I suppose, like the plague of flies in our attic, they’re a result of the relatively mild winter. Lets hope this winter  is a really cold one and kills the little b*§$&ers off!


It’s called the winter moth. Apparently the males abound in the autumn, but the females are flightless or near so, and once mated lay the eggs in the bark of the tree, and once they  hatch, the caterpillars are chewing away, sometimes before the leaf emerges.  The tree will recover, even putting a second show of leaf on.

These ones in the picture below have started munching on grass, that could be a problem!