: Greetings from the tropics of Birmingham  ( 1623 )

Princess Starryshapes

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Greetings from the tropics of Birmingham
« : June 26, 2015, 07:21:59 AM »
Hi there!

I'm joining you on the kind invitation and advice from my dad, 'King Tommy' Who assures me that you are all alovely bunch o'folk and would welcome even a novice like me into your fold....

I have grown in the past nothing more than a few pots of herbs and a mini courgette variety (as big as a finger...) a mini squash variety (as big as a duck egg) a mini turnip variety (which were as big as a golf ball and tasted like crap) and spinach. So my gardening know how is somewhat (extremely!) limited...

This year, however, me and my partner (OK, my partner) managed to tame the bramble jungle that was my garden and turned it into something of a marvellously huge- for suburban council properties- and very empty garden. So we decided, after about ten minutes of deliberating- to turn it into a veggie growing haven and eventually get some chickens. We haven't got any chickens yet- though we do have a beautiful little home for two lucky chooks- run pending- and have managed to sow, plant and so far not really badly murder many of, a rather blooming garden allotment!

We have- and the list is impressive for a pair of complete beginners, I think!- French Beans, Peas, Courgettes (normal size this time!), squash- still a small variety, three different, or maybe even four different varieties of tomatoes (I get this interest in toms from my da), cucumbers, potatoes, parsnips, carrots- we have just sown our second batch after the 'carrot fly resistant' (yeah, right....) set that we sowed first time around were attacked by approximately 10 million carrot flies (I literally NEVER exaggerate haha) radishes, iceberg and various other lettuce, garlic chives and spring onions, beetroot, red cabbage, rainbow chard, broccoli, sprouts, kale, leeks (probably all dead now), chillis (mild), peppers and a recently acquired aubergine plant from Aldi of all places- for £2.99! celeriac... oh, and strawberries... We have a verdant herb garden with dill, fennel, rosemary, thyme, lemon thyme, marjoram, oregano, lemon balm, mint, sage, basil, coriander (WHICH, I am proud to say, we rescued from the reduced stand at morrisons and brought back to life and which survived four nights of frost before turning into a massive bush!), parsley- flat leaf and curly, chives, tarragon, St John's Wort, lovage, sorrel, yacon (which was tiny, is now absolutely massive and I have no idea what its for, but King Tommy gave it to me and said I needed it!), Comfrey, and flowers, two fuschias,a few different salvias, bergamot, lobelia, lavender, something called 'Mrs Moon' which looks pretty dead kind of, an acer which I picked up for the measly sum of just £4,99- whata bargain!, sunflowers which are struggling a bit, I want a load of climbing flowers and bushy butterfly and bee attraccting types too.... oh and we have a smelly compost bin! woohoo!

SO that's what we are working with.... We have lost about 4 squash and courgette plants completely to the slugs, and they have had a go at various other crops, and we are mainly keeping these under control with organic wool pellets, beer traps and garlic water seem to be working mostly at the moment. SOme stuff is growing at a rate of knots and other stuff is trailing behind a little bit but for the most part our garden is growing beautifully. And I never thought I would say this, but after years of health problems, mental and physical, gardening has turned out to br a very therapeutic endeavour. We even have a stretchy, springy 100 foot hosepipe- the kind that start off tiny and get massive- this has been a god send, cos you can imagine how many tips it would be into the house with a puny watering can and all those plants!

So thats me, or us.... I have other interests too, I am a hypnotherapist and an artist and I love to write. After my potatoes, partner and dog, (in that order haha!) writing and drawing are my favourite things. I am currently undergoing a massive redecorating project in 4/5 of my flat after a devastating flood a few months back,and when I say the living room is red, it really does't convey just HOW red it is. I mean, it is really, REALLY red. The rest of my flat is full of more gentle colours, but I figured, go bold or go home! I am an artist after all!

I absolutely LOVE colour and want my garden to ultimately reflect that. If anything though, this project has taught me that I have to be patient, be prepared to get it wrong- like really wrong- feel our way through it, learn as we go and have fun!

After that lengthy intro, I will give your eyes a rest...

Bright Blessings!

Starryshapes- oh and Starryshapes is my handle cos I like things that are starry shaped :)

L xxx
“You-you alone will have the stars as no one else has them...In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night...You-only you-will have stars that can laugh.”
―Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Big Gee

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Re: Greetings from the tropics of Birmingham
« #1 : June 26, 2015, 12:28:38 PM »
What a lovely introduction! Far better that a "Hi I'm Lucy from Brum".

It seems like you've leapt in "full swing" Lucy - I think that's the best way. I started veggie growing in 1975 armed with a spade, a hoe and a fork (that I got as a special offer set from the Janet Frazer mail order catalogue) and the most important thing of all - a shiny new book called "The Vegetable Plotter" by Dr. D. G. Hessayon. I was just married (most of us got married in those days), and we'd just moved into a council house with a gigantic big garden that looked as if it hadn't been touched by anyone for 30 years. The rest, as  they say, is history. I grew everything that was in David Hessayon's book (or attempted to at least). What I did discover was that the process is totally therapeutic for mind & body. If more people did the same the Drs surgery's would empty.

You have the perfect tutor there in "Poppa Tommo" he's a very knowledgeable and proficient 'pro'. Not many of us accept that our old fart parents can be experts - but you have one there!!  CW ;-)

Lovely to have you on board Lucy - contrary to popular opinion this is not a forum for experts, we love to help the novices (gives us a chance to show off & stroke our egos). So ask away - no question is too simple or elementary. We'll also love to see the results of your new venture. If you need help with posting pics then just drop me a line. If you want to do a bit of home study on your own, then you're welcome to browse my allotment site at:
http://aeronvale-allotments.org.uk or just click on the wellies in my signature!

ENJOY!
 

scary crow

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Re: Greetings from the tropics of Birmingham
« #2 : June 26, 2015, 08:23:46 PM »
Have  to agree with Big Gee that that was a great introduction Lucy and can i just say welcome to a great forum thats very down to earth [pardon the pun ]  some great members on here including the old boy [tommo ] some  great chat and a wealth of  knowledge here so get reading and chatting   ..
                                                          '' Aitch'' .

Princess Starryshapes

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Re: Greetings from the tropics of Birmingham
« #3 : June 26, 2015, 09:29:08 PM »
Thank you both for the lovely welcome :)

Thoroughly appreciated! You will soon begin to realise that I love to waffle on ad infinitum about most things, especially stuff that I find interesting (mostly myself lol, but, hey, who doesn't?! I own my not so latent narcissism fully and wear my self-obsession badge with pride! hahaha!) If you find yourself dropping off into a trance whist reading my verbose posts then remember, I am a hypnotist and it's all part of my plan..... you don't remember giving me your credit card details about five minutes ago do you? See it's working already.... ;)

I remember purchasing a Pippa Greenwood organic gardening booklet from a church book sale after a really weird religious thing I attended a good number of years ago and leafing through it with interest, thinking 'maybe one day I'll be bitten by the garening bug, but... well bugs in general make me feel all itchy and I hate having dirty fingernails....' but here I am several years older and much MUCH wiser (believe me, the 'other me' from many years ago wouldn't be this coherent or literate let alone able to raise a garden full of baby plants....) fully bitten, infected and literally itching to go!

I'm really loving the process of the whole gardening malarkey and having to get creative- which I always love, a creative challenge!- with things such as finding healthy, non-poisonous-blue-pellety ways of banishing the evil slugs, I wouldn't want to poison my friend's kids or my wunder-hund Molly-Moo, and befriending the creepy crawlies who are supposedly our buddies - still seeing a massive spider racing towards me makes me feel a little bit perturbed but watching one of the eight legged beasties wrapping up a massive bluebottle makes it all worth while :) ! I totally agree that more people would benefit from cultivating a plot of land and growing veggies than they do from being pumped full of anti depressants, or at least do both at the same time, it would be interesting to see how much people benefit from getting their hands in the earth and growing things as well as growing themselves....

Anyway, as I was saying before I got sidetracked (another talent of mine...) THANK YOU for the warm welcome, I really appreciate it and look forward to getting to know more of you better :)

L xxx

“You-you alone will have the stars as no one else has them...In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night...You-only you-will have stars that can laugh.”
―Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

wonky

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Re: Greetings from the tropics of Birmingham
« #4 : June 26, 2015, 10:31:53 PM »
And its a big welcome from the sub tropics that are South Yorkshire. Couldn't help but think that the daughter of a king should be a princess so welcome Princess Lucy or even Princess Starryshapes! But as our Tommo now appears to have lost his crown I guess that is no longer relevant.  Welcome anyway and really hope you enjoy your time here.

Princess Starryshapes

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Re: Greetings from the tropics of Birmingham
« #5 : June 27, 2015, 01:16:01 AM »
I think being a princess is a state of mind, personally and besides, King Tommy is still King Tommy, he's just focussing on his other commitments right now lol  :P hahahaha!!! Unless of course you were suggesting an uprising? Eesh.... what have  done?!?!

and thank you too for the warm welcome :)

L xx
“You-you alone will have the stars as no one else has them...In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night...You-only you-will have stars that can laugh.”
―Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

aftermidnight

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Re: Greetings from the tropics of Birmingham
« #6 : June 27, 2015, 01:42:49 AM »
Just throwing my hat in the ring and saying Hi! from that generic old upstart across the pond  ;).

Annette

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Re: Greetings from the tropics of Birmingham
« #7 : June 28, 2015, 11:21:30 AM »
'Bout time you had an avatar, Lucy.

I'll kick it off with this one.
The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing

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Re: Greetings from the tropics of Birmingham
« #8 : June 29, 2015, 12:03:51 AM »
Here's my twopence worth:




 

spuds

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Re: Greetings from the tropics of Birmingham
« #9 : June 29, 2015, 07:26:08 AM »
Here's my twopence worth:




  Princess Tommo has a ring to it!  with this avatar 
Spuds (mick Ford)
is that the kettle I hear boiling
Newton Abbot Sunny Devon ( most times!)

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Re: Greetings from the tropics of Birmingham
« #10 : June 29, 2015, 07:30:25 AM »
That princess starryshapes is perfect, Gee, sums her up perfectly....now the, Lucy...let's see it up on your profile!
The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing

Big Gee

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Re: Greetings from the tropics of Birmingham
« #11 : June 29, 2015, 11:48:34 AM »
She's already ahead of you mate!!!  lol(1)
 

Princess Starryshapes

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Re: Greetings from the tropics of Birmingham
« #12 : June 29, 2015, 06:34:40 PM »
done and done..... even managed a couple of quotes from one of my fave books.... one about a rose (very apposite) and one about stars.... also very apt.... I like things that make sense lol

:)

And once again thank you all for the warm welcome..... today I made little netting tents for all my broccoli, sprouts, chard, kale and cabbage plants (or  Brassicaceae family plants (not sure if the chard counts...)- I've been doing my homework lol) to hopefully avoid the curse of the caterpillars.... and netting tents for my strawbs..... for the curse of the birdies.... and filled up all my slug drowning pools with cheap beer (2% lager £1 for 4 cans from tesco.... them slugs ain't very highbrow) and sprinkled wool pellets lavishly around stuff cos, well, you can never be too careful with them thar slugs.... My lettuces are shooting up and the peas have grown 2 inches over night, but my beans are a being very slow at growing. Also there were maggots in my dustbin which made me gag when some of them fell on my foot when I as putting the rubbish out.... nothing that a pot of boiling water didn't cure- on the maggots, not my foot! I'm not the animal cruelty type but a fast death to a couple of hundred maggots I can live with rather than an infestation of flies next to my front door. No thanks.

In other news, the decorating is complete in my flat... almost three months of waiting after the Easter time flood that decimated most of my walls and ceilings. The carpet in the living room go down on Thursday and the man is coming to screed the kitchen floor on Wednesday then laying lino on Friday, so I will be going down to visit Poppa Tommo and co on Friday night/Sat morning with an immaculately decorated and tidy flat and will have that to look forward to returning to a few days later! AT LAST! It looks hella-cool in here, I have in the last couple of months acquired chandeliers- purple, a fire surround and hearth stone, beautiful long purple and cream curtains, a gorgeous red and cream living room, a large and chunky dining table and four chairs for a third of the price it should have been, a bespoke wooden framed mirror, due to be delivered when we get back from Devon, a garden full of veggies growing daily, a green sunny kitchen, a slatey bluey purple lilac type hallway, and a delightfully blue bathroom, and will soon have brand new floors down in all of them...lots of other new and beautiful things, and it is with gratitude to my parents (poppa and momma Tommo) and my recently deceased grandfather that I can attribute this cosy home and abundant garden- as well as us of course, and all our hard work! Next on the list is my bedroom, but I'm in no huge rush after this epic decoratathon....

When my grandmother died about 8 years ago, a while later we got a bit of bequeathed cash and I bought my dog, Molly, with some of it, and I can think of no better way to remember someone fondly than with new life. I adore my dog to the ends of the earth and back, for all that her Houdini-inspired-badly-behaved-in-public-despite-being-incredibly-well-behaved-in-the-house-just-to-show-me-up-as-a-bad-mother-nuttiness drives me potty, she is the apple of my eye and brings me so much joy. So how better to remember my departed grandfather than with an abundant garden and a beautiful home to enjoy after a day toiling in it!? I think both of them would be thrilled to know that their hard earned cash has been spent so carefully and with so much thought and I know that every ounce of goodness that comes from the garden will do so with my gratitude to my granddad wherever he is now, and every time Molly shits in my pea patch my nan will have a giggle.

« : June 29, 2015, 06:42:19 PM Princess Starryshapes »
“You-you alone will have the stars as no one else has them...In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night...You-only you-will have stars that can laugh.”
―Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Lottylady

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Re: Greetings from the tropics of Birmingham
« #13 : June 29, 2015, 10:33:28 PM »
My gran taught me gardening....they had a huge long one and many a weekend we went out taming it. Some plants to this day I don't know the name of...but when I do see them I squeal..grannys plants....I still have their black victorian edging...grandads antlers he found up in Scotland,,,old tool box....a big old trunk...and the attic left hand corner is full of boxes of stuff.

Welcome aboard.....Ive been to the last of the art classes Ive been attending.......outisde by our village pond.....even tho we in London we call it a village. Told to paint the space between the trees. Opens your eyes...actually out there painting ...enjoyed it ....pic off to be framed for our little group exhibition. Im glad I went as I want to sit and paint the garden.
.....maybe even the allotment...doodling with water colours.

Glad your home is homely...big welcome to the shed 

Lottylady

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Re: Greetings from the tropics of Birmingham
« #14 : June 29, 2015, 11:00:47 PM »
oh and I got 2 dogs..Buffy + Bonzo.  :-)=

Princess Starryshapes

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Re: Greetings from the tropics of Birmingham
« #15 : June 30, 2015, 07:51:04 AM »
thank you lottylady, I would love to see pics of your hounds! Im a houndaholic and they make me so hapy with their schmoochy little faces!

thanks for  the warm welcome :)

Xxxx
“You-you alone will have the stars as no one else has them...In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night...You-only you-will have stars that can laugh.”
―Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

wonky

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Re: Greetings from the tropics of Birmingham
« #16 : June 30, 2015, 10:48:57 PM »
Just found this underneath the gooseberry bush that is better known as facebook.

Princess Starryshapes

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Re: Greetings from the tropics of Birmingham
« #17 : July 01, 2015, 10:11:54 AM »
Just found this underneath the gooseberry bush that is better known as facebook.

that is quite possibly the awesomest thing I have ever seen.....
“You-you alone will have the stars as no one else has them...In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night...You-only you-will have stars that can laugh.”
―Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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Re: Greetings from the tropics of Birmingham
« #18 : July 11, 2015, 12:16:39 AM »
 :-)= Greetings Princess starryshapes or should I say neighbour as I am a brummie the sunny southside of brum. I would have welcomed you sooner had I been in England I went to Spain as you joined. I must say what you have done in your garden is a credit to you really healthy looking crops. May i wish you all the best for the future in your garden and  on here.  Grin2:-)

Princess Starryshapes

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Re: Greetings from the tropics of Birmingham
« #19 : July 18, 2015, 05:37:59 PM »
thank you Dave from west Heath, I live next door to Thomas Aquinas secondary school so we really are neighbours! it was an exiting day today because we found tiny pea pods in our pea plants! everything is starting to fruit and we spent the afternoon and part of the morning hanging wall troughs on the walls and a hanging basket with strawberries in and potted and planted tonnes of stuff. fab.fab. I love my garden. You will have to come over for the grand tour some time! xxx
“You-you alone will have the stars as no one else has them...In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night...You-only you-will have stars that can laugh.”
―Antoine de Saint-Exupéry