Friday, April 24, 2009

Parts of the picture...

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Spring is very much here with warm sunny days, cool early morning mists and low cloud on an evening. We have been on several walks in the Picos and surrounding areas, taking full advantage of the weather. The cats are both well now with Wentworth having the few 'off' days when he has been in a fight or is in need of deworming! Gawber is very solitary but is more affectionate either in the openness of the garden or within the security of the house.

Luis is as busy as ever with his crafts and tending to the vegetable garden. We have decided to try and market his mosaics in much the same way as we did with the cane and rush seating: to specialists - in this case garden designers, gardening companies and garden centres; to individuals through various public markets and fairs. The house-name plaques and pebble mosaic paving will be the main focus to begin with. We think that there will be a few interested people out there so we will give it a go and see. He really has developed his artistic flare and understanding of the materials and had become technically competent over the last few months. We will set up another blog/site in Spanish to promote the mosaics and the chair seating. Watch this space.
The last picture is of some planters we made from left over concrete. They have just has a coating of yoghurt to encourage lichen and moss. I think they look rather good.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Spring blossoms and hard grafting

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With the arrival of longer days, we start to see greater number of plants in blossom. We have recently finished enjoying the white and purple blooms of a specific plum tree that produces a small sweet fruit and the "piesco", a type of old fashioned asturian peach. At La Pasera we are enjoying the white cherry blossom from our own old cherries. We are told that the biggest one has a very good variety of cherry. We are hoping to try them towards the end of May, it will require the use of a tall ladder or scaffolding to get to the fruits. We intend to graft it next year if we feel it is good enough. If not, the birds will enjoy them and we will continue to use the tree to support the hammock.
The apple trees are behind and as a result we were able to graft one of the apple trees with a nice variety of russet apple that my sister Rita has. This grafting was done by attaching to one of the branches of the parent tree a pencil thin, last year´s growth and non-flowering shoot. This is the first time I have done any grafting and I am looking forward to see the results later on in August. By this month you should know if the graft has taken. I am following the grafting method shown to my by a neighbour. Later in Summer, during July and August, I intend to have a go at bud grafting, this method was explained to me by a small and local fruit tree producer. Fruit and nuts are an important side of our diet and we have increased the number of trees that can provides us with produce. In the garden we currently has several wild hazel nuts, a walnut, two old and a younger cherry trees, three large and a young apple tree. Since we came to La Pasera, we have also added to our orchard two pear trees, a greengage, an orange tree, two piescos and an avocado tree still very young as we grew from seed. Additional fruit and nut trees are scattered around in adjacent fields.