The Life and Times of this Old Git

Location: Teignmouth, Devon, United Kingdom

I'm married with two grown up children and four grandchildren, My wife of 47 years is Sue and we are the same age. My two children are Pamela (blogging occasionly under and Roy,who was recently Paralysed from the waist down due to an Absys on his Spine. My 4 grandchildren are (oldest first) Gavin, Hayley, Thomas,and Zoe. Sue and I are both retired and we're disabled too, her with a badly Arthritic back and spine, me with lung (COPD) and Heart problems.I have always loved Fishing (all sorts) Sue started fishing with me about 8 years ago, now she really enjoys it too. We both love m'cycles and m'cycling, Sue owns and rides her own bike which is a Custom 1981 250 Honda.I own a 1979 Honda CX500. We are both members of this motorcycle club ( view or join our club on or see my blog post Dec 2007 blog "Getting old, never", of course we're badly resticted now due to our illness, only riding in really good weather.Just over three years ago we lost our best friend and Baby Mojo the border Collie, Gone but never forgotten. Please feel free to use any of our photo's but do let me know you have used them, thank you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

MY HOBBY FUCHSIAS (Buying guide).

 Here is a blog on Choosing and buying Fuchsia's. First off you have got to decide what you intend to do with your fuchsias. Are you going to want hardy plants to put in the garden, perhaps to make a large bush or to trail over say a wall, or are they to plant into a permanent large pot because you have little or no garden.Then you have to decide on flower colour and size. If they are for summer bedding then choose an upright bushy type again size and colour as you prefer. As far as most people are concerned the other type is for your hanging baskets or half baskets you need a trailing variety again flower colour, flower size etc is your choice.The following are my favourite varieties. Firstly Hardy varieties "Tennesse Waltz" this is my no 1, its very easy and forgiving to grow (an ideal starter)usually a semi double with the sepals rose madder and the corolla lilac/lavender its an upright vigorous grower. Then here are a few more good ones" Garden News"is the first a double large flowered variety, very vigorous and tall growing type with pink Sepals and Majenta-rose Corolla this one is very early flowering. The last of hardies I will describe is "Snowcap" a semi-double this has Scarlet sepals and White Corolla with reddish veins, this one is very easy to grow and is versatile as to its habit.Next on to upright style bush types that can also be trained as standards or half/standards (not all are suitable) I have a few favourites of this type the first is" Peppermint Stick" this one I love its so versatile, its Sepals are Carmine going paler towards the tips the Corolla is Royal Purple splashed with Pink, this is an upright bushy/self branching variety very prolific in flowers and easy to grow. Next comes" Swingtime"this is described in most books as an upright but I would describe it as a very versatile lax grower, Most people love the colours of sepals bright red, with a lge double corolla of milky white with a faint red vein, these flowers are extremely prolific and the weight and amount make the branches trail. The last I will describe in the upright catagory is "Royal Velvet" this is another beauty, the growth is upright and vigorous (ideal for a standard) and the large flowers are very very prolific,the leaves are a dark green and the Sepals have an almost luminous Purple Corolla with red Sepals. The final catagory is Trailers, for Baskets, half baskets or any say rockeries etc. My favourite in this is "Harry Gray" a small but very prolific flowered double with a bushy habit. The flowers are White occasionally tinged pink with the sepals flesh coloured pink, planted up in a basket this one is stunning. Next is "Red Spider a free branching very vigorous grower, with a long tube and Sepals that are deep Red and curl up, the Corolla is a dusky Red.Again a lovely Fuchsia.The third and final one in this group is "Marinka" (also a varieagated variety called Golden Marinka) this is another very vigorous plant all the tube and Sepals are a deep dark Red and planted carefully to make the most of the available light is stunning and a real show winner. Here are pictures of two of my favoured varieties "Tennesse Waltz" and "Golden Marinka".

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Here are a few more photo's of our beloved Teignmouth.The first three are taken from the botanical gardens in Shaldon. The next ones are of the Shaldon Botanical gardens.Finally a couple of Teignmouth river beach and the area known locally as "Polly steps", this beach at low water is where we collect small Mussels, plenty of Winkles and of course our famous huge Cockles these are no doubt the biggest I've ever seen. At low water in these areas we rake just under the surface of the sand for the cockles, they are at their best in the summer months (those without an R in the month) according to local tradition.

Monday, April 23, 2007


Here are a couple of photo's that may bring back a few memories for Haddock," Hele Bay Pub".

Now winters gone and summer is near,
The warmer days fill us all with good cheer,
We hope Jack Frost is all done for now,
Flowers their heads no more have to bow.

We've spent many days in Nursery shops,
Planing our gardens and vegetable plots,
In front of the fire on a long winters night,
Choosing seeds to make our gardens so bright.

Fruits like strawberries and juicy blackberries,
Beautiful Tomatoes as ripe as red cherries,
It could be that Gooseberries are your real delight,
But dear old Rhubarb still delivers a bite.

Now it could be that veggies are your bread and butter,
But if asked what their grown in can causes quite a stutter,
Runner beans straight as a yard of pump water,
Probably planted in ale or in Porter.

So were obviously spoilt to know what to order,
To know what to plant in Garden or border,
But of one thing for sure you all will agree,
Summer cant get here too fast to please me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

MY HOBBY Fuchsias and container Gardening.

Here are a few photo's of some of the things we planted up today.We usually do about 6-7 long planters, three short planters, 5-7 hanging baskets, 2 wall planters and 4-5 round pedestal planters, not all of these are for us we also do some for family and friends,this is why we plant so many seeds and cuttings.I will post photo's of these in about 6 weeks to show progress. Abe Lincoln of reminded me to mention that any plants whether in pots/baskets or even in the ground benefit from a few slow release pellets especially if they are going to be in situ for any length of time, Miracle Grow is probably the best known of these and can keep slowly feeding right through the season.

These are two supermarket polythene bag containers we found a few years ago when a shop was refurbished (I wish now we had picked up the rest) I drilled six large holes with a special type of drill I had for fitting wing mirrors on cars (years ago) and when the busy Lizzie's grow and fill out they look great. It takes about 20 plants to fill each one, I will also take photo's of them in a few weeks.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

MY GARDEN .(Early Season)

Today we spent in the garden, Potting on lots of little plants into the next size pots, I think potting Fuchsias on into only the next size up pot is important.When taking tip cuttings I put single ones into a 1.5" pot, two or three in 2.5"and so on. When these cuttings have rooted (about 3 to 6 weeks) pot them on singly in these small pots then every 3-6 wks pot them on again into the next size pot, repeat this at least twice more, its a lot of trouble but well worth it. When potting on gently firm the soil around the plant never push too firmly.My cutting compost is simply grow bag peat(as cheap as possible) then mix 70 parts of this compost to 30 parts of silver sand or fine vermiculite or perlite and plant. When plants have rooted and been potted on for the first time you can apply a weak feed to them every third or fourth watering, Any weak liquid feed will do to start ie Growmore liquid, Phostrogen or Vitax, water like this until potting into the next size pot, when potting on use a good quality multi purpose compost. Here I'm afraid I have to go a bit technical, every serious plant grower has his own formula for growing wonderful Roses, Vegetables, or flowers that they keep secret.But all plants need slightly differing feed types so I will try to explain a plants needs.When choosing a feed you will need to understand that fertilisers (feeds) contain three main (and lots of minor elements)these are Nitrogen-Phosphates-Potash And are shown on your feed packets as N -P -K. For a typical feed of say Growmore would be 7.00 7.00 7.00 or said as 1-1-1 feed. Now to help simplify this they try to put all feeds into these single numbers, ie Vitax 103 is Nitrogen13.00 I part, Phosphates 0 o parts, Potash 43 3parts, simplified to 1 -o -3 , no well I did say it was a bit difficult did'nt I. Now to finish i will try to explain what I understand these elements do (remember I'm no expert).Nitrogen helps growth, makes green foliage and increases plant size. Phosphates stimulate root growth and speeds up the flowering. Potash helps plants (especially Fuchsias) take up the nitrogen for leaf and stem growth,prevents soft growth and helps fight diseases finally helping flower colour. Fuchsias (and possibly other plants) benefit from different N-P-K feeds at different times during their growth I will touch on this on a later blog. I promise nothing too technical on my next blog.

Monday, April 16, 2007


We have just returned from our latest trip to North Devon and our caravan, we had a really wonderful time with most of our old friends returning for Easter. As I have already mentioned in a past blog, our site (Mill Park) has changed hands over the Winter, it has been a difficult time for most of us waiting to see what changes had or would be made. So far things are not too different but the only real thing most of us are a little upset about is the loss of the the real fun and camaraderie of the old bar. The new people own other property that lends itself to the cafe/restaurant/wine bar type of club room not the pub bar and family room/play area that we all loved and hasten to add spent a lot of money in, but hey we knew things would change. While we were there for 11 nights we had 9 good warm days and sat outside for most of these. We had visits from our friends from Stratford on Avon Mick/June they stayed B and B at the the Sawmills pub and were very impressed by it, about 12-13 of us from site met them their for a few drinks and enjoyed the evening (at least we now have somewhere else to drink if ness). The picture shows Mick/June and Pete Chadwick and me enjoying a cuppa outside the van. While the weather was good Sue and I took advantage of it and went coarse fishing on the site pool, we both enjoyed it, me especially with two really big bags of fish on Thurs 26 lbs and Sunday 36.2lbs, Sue had both sessions 2-3 hrs shorter than me but still ended with double figure nets.For the purists reading this all fish were returned unharmed to the water. Among my first days catch was this 6lb+ Carp.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

MY HOBBY Fuchsias Part 2.

About 4-5 weeks ago I took a few Fuchsia cuttings just as the early parent plants started making growth, These I planted in a mixture of growbag compost and some sharp silver sand that I obtained about 8 years ago, I have been unable to find it exactly the same since. Now perhaps I should mention before I go much further, I must admit I'm afraid that I still use all Peat based composts. I know I shouldnt but 2 years ago I went peat free with disastrous results, possibly not the fault of the medium but the total cost of my losses were over £90 which I can ill afford, then there is my loss of time and enjoyment to consider to. Perhaps one day I will be forced to use peat free until then I will just feel guilty. Now back to my cuttings ,these were deposited on my (our) bedroom window sill (I get grief every year over this) until last sunday morning when I brought them down to start hardening off in the cold frame. This morning I potted on about 70% of them (the rooted ones) which are pictured, also the donor plants which i will use again and again, a lot of these will still make very reasonable plants. Also in the pictures are Busy Lizzie seedlings Allysum, Lobelia and trailing begonia plantlets.

Monday, April 02, 2007


On our recent trip to N Devon we saw these beautiful views of Watermouth and Ilfracombe the
day was far from ideal with a fair amount of sea mist about, even so we felt these pictures were worth taking. On a later trip we will retake them and blog them then as well. We are only home now for a few days for hospital visits and paying a few dreaded bills then away for approx 9-10 again. It will soon be time to start gardening in earnest planting hanging baskets, tubs, planters etc, so we will probably be home for a week next time. P . S . I've just checked the cold frame, We have seedlings of F Marigolds, Lobelia, Allysum, Busy Lizzies(Impatients) all coming through nicely.


Here are a few pictures of the flowers in my front garden that are out at this moment. The last photo is of the home made cold frame that I tried to put on a blog about a month ago. There are at least 7-8 more garden photo's I will post them on a future blog

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Were back from our 10 day trip to N Devon. We certainly had mixed weather while we were away, including beautiful sunny days, high gusty windy days, frosty mornings, and a few wet days thrown in, almost all the seasons in one week. Here are a few photo's to get me quickly back into blogging. I hav'nt checked the Fuchsia cuttings I took 2-3 wks ago yet, I'm hoping while we are home to be able to pot them on into their first pots. I will post photo's on a blog very soon.