The Estuary

The Estuary

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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

July, August,September 2016

No posts through the summer. Too busy gardening (and playing Pokémon Go).

It is almost a year since we moved to Devon and this will be my final blog post for the time being.

Summer has been fun. We have enjoyed having a succession of visitors. I have relearnt how to bake scones and have provided a few Devonshire cream teas!

Ready for visitors!

In my last post (June 2016) I showed my first pickings from the garden. Two bunches of sweetpeas and a small bunch of radishes.

The garden has provided continuing produce and entertainment through the summer months.

A good supply of runner beans
Plenty of radishes

A good crop of chillis

Enough to pickle

I picked sweetpeas for 3 months


Paul has been building a rockery for his modern miniature daffodils and other alpines

We have enjoyed using the firepit Paul gave me for Christmas.

Fish and chips in the garden with Sam

Discussing the meaning of life etc. with Mark

I have also had time to track down local sea food
Tasty Clovelly lobster!

And of course play Pokémon Go....

I am level 21 now and have 76  Pokémon in my pokedex!

But now Summer is coming to an end along with my first year in Devon. I think I am gradually adjusting to retirement. My plan for the coming year is to avoid too much planning...

Final bunch of sweetpeas for this year.

I suppose I could do a Pokémon Go blog....

I caught this one in the van

 What a happy retirement...

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

June 2016

 Another busy month in the garden.....

First crop of radishes
31st May
First small bunch of sweetpeas
9th June

I have enjoyed spending long days working on the wall
and have made good use of the garden carrier made for me by Steve for my 60th birthday.

I am hoping to make a seat in this bit of wall and grow some taller hedging plants on top to hide my short cut into the farmer's field.
We have visited several NGS gardens. (Private gardens that open to raise money for charity.)
This lovely garden on Exmoor belongs to a friend from the Bridge Club.

I am also pleased to report that we have found a jolly good supplier of local fresh fish.
Dan the Fish Man who we met up with at Appledore Quayside and bought lobster and Turbot.

My mother was very pleased with this little lobster.

We have been for a couple of walks along the Tarka Trail

Tarka Trail near Fremington

There was a very high tide in the estuary.

I'm getting used to retirement, but don't want to get old too quickly. We used our old people's bus passes for the first time last week. Quite handy to travel to a nice French restaurant and not have to worry about driving home and the buses come every 10 minutes!
On Tuesdays I volunteer at the Old People's Home so that makes me feel a bit younger. I have been helping some of the residents grow salad crops in the garden and we have been making things for the summer fayre.
I added some macramé bracelets to our stall and enjoyed meeting a few more locals.

 I am gradually settling into this new life and seem to be busy enough most of the time.

Today I picked a slightly bigger bunch of sweet peas!


Thursday, 26 May 2016

May 2016

May has been a busy month in the garden. Lots of sunny weather has meant plenty of time spent outdoors. This is what we came here for!

At the beginning of the month Harry helped us transfer sleepers from the drive into the garden. Well  we helped him.

Suddenly these immovable objects can be lifted by one man!
Combination of lift and drag - in the rain.
This two man rope technique worked very well and the rain stopped.

My raised beds - nearly done.
Ready for planting.

Courgette plant, runner beans and lupin growing happily.

Joe came to lend a hand towards the end of the month.

A chance for us to admire his new car and have a ride in it with the top down!

He helped with various heavy jobs and prepared my second raised bed for planting.

Herb garden started with rosemary, sage and thyme.

Meanwhile Paul's pond and bog garden plan has been gradually evolving..

At this point it looked a bit of a mess.

Now its coming on and Paul's raised beds are looking promising.

Change of plan. Empty it all out and start again with help from Joe.

We had another interesting visitor earlier in the month.

He's hiding, but not very well.

And now he's come out for a proper photo!

So the main activity this month has been gardening, but I have also found time for bridge, the Exeter Alpine Garden Society show, garden bird watching, shopping (mainly for garden stuff), weekly volunteering sessions at the old folk's home and last but not least a weekend away at Paul's nephew's wedding.

It was a lovely weekend. Beautiful bride and bridesmaids and more beautiful weather.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

April 2016

April has been an enjoyable month with lots of good weather and visits from family and friends. Mark came at Easter and Sam came and helped with some tree surgery.

Bridget and Ian visited from Shropshire. We ate and drank, played cards and did some sight seeing.

Paul and I have been playing bridge together on a Friday afternoon and we also played in a charity competition at a local stately home.

It was a very big house with beautiful grounds and views but the room where we ate lunch was most unusual!
We have spent a lot of time in the garden. Despite snow, rain, thunder and lightening there has been enough sun for me to get my traditional sunburnt nose!
I planted out my sweet pea plants quite early. Fingers crossed for no late frosts!

I helped Paul remove the final annoying sycamores from the hedgerow.
I pulled on the rope while he did the chain sawing.
They mainly fell where we wanted them to.

We burnt some of the twiggy bits and pieces on a very large bonfire.
This will eventually be the site of a raised bed so the grass doesn't matter.

We have an unusual pink bluebell growing on the bank.

Finally we bought some more eggs from the neighbouring chicken farmer.

One egg was much bigger than the rest.

Farmer John was right it was a double yolk!

Thursday, 24 March 2016

March 2016

 In the sea
My February swim.
The whole sea to myself at Putsborough beach

In the garden

It finally stopped raining. At last we could cut the grass.
Paul strimmed it.
And I raked it...exhausting.

My end of the Devon bank has a splash of colour!

This daffodil was already there.
Its quite a pretty double.
Looks nice with the primulas we rescued from the skip.

 Paul successfully felled a number of overgrown hedgerow trees that would shade the garden

He burnt some twiggy bits but we are stacking the rest. We may install our logburner in the house.
We've had it for years but never used it.
The weather was warm enough to sit out in the sun to eat lunch and look at the progress so far.

Chilli plugs arrived and are now  growing nicely in little pots.
Paul has been able to plant some of the specimens that moved house with us.
Starting with some bamboo.

 Out and about 

We visited Hartland.

There are amazing rock formations at Hartland Point.
Lovely sea.
A few days later we visited Hartland Abbey. They have lovely walks through the gardens down to the coast.

This cottage belongs to Hartland Abbey and was used in the filming of 'The Night Manager'
This is the shore next to the cottage

We made our march visit to the Eden project. We had a picnic in the Rainforest biome. Lovely and warm!. On the way back we called in at the Cobweb in Boscastle and met Harry for a drink.

We drove with the top down (wearing our matching furry hats).


Three horses appeared on the estate after a night of high winds.
There was quite a lot of police activity to watch from the upstairs window.
Eventually the horses were returned to their owner.

 Social Scene

We continue to enjoy having visitors. George and Louise came to stay for a night and then they caught the helicopter to Lundy Island. They were spending the week there with a group of people doing conservation work.

Bridge lessons are going well and on Friday afternoons Paul and I play at a very relaxed bridge club in Braunton. We also played in a charity teams competition which started with a champagne reception and lunch - very nice!

 On Sunday our neighbours opposite invited a few of us over for drinks - very nice!

I made my 'Easter Special' to contribute to the nibbles - very sophisticated!

Happy Easter!