May 24, 2019

Caroline’s Garden Diaries 25.05.13: Bits and pieces

Oh, it’s good to be retired. Can spend a happy half-hour after breakfast going round garden with scissors looking for a few bits and pieces to cut for vase to sit on kitchen window-sill so I can look at them while washing-up; such a small and trivial activity but such pleasure – first, tour of garden, admiring gorgeous creamy Madame Alfred Carriere, one of my favourite roses; watching bees bumbling in another favourite, Rosa moyesii; examining newly planted seedlings of pretty annuals, looking promising after all that rain. Then, picking a little bunch of things from all over the garden, finding new combinations – last week, for instance, my bunch included very pretty species Penstemon, each flower slightly different wash of shades of purple, some with blue lips, together with some stems of Firecracker, loosestrife with dark browny-bluey-purply leaves, and grey ferny leaves of Artemisia (invaluable plant in garden and for cutting) – they looked so good together, must try to replicate in planting. Today’s has dark-red Astrantia with Alchemilla mollis (another I’d never be without) and one little sprig of deep-rosy Heuchera, plus a couple of different greeny Astrantias and some pale rocket. Very pleasing.

Meanwhile, gardening supplement of Saturday Telegraph had article by Sarah Raven on virtues of self-sowers, including Aquilegia, and also one about ‘new naturalism’ at Great Dixter, Christopher Lloyd’s garden. One aspect of naturalism is self-seeding, another is using wild flowers like cow parsley and ox-eye daisies in a managed way – selecting best forms and cutting back others before they seed. I also loved the description by Fergus Garrett, the current Head Gardener, of problems of introducing later seedlings into an already full bed, “nowhere to put your feet and no question of turning around….……. have to snake out of the bed without snapping a stem”. Sounds familiar.

For more of Caroline’s Garden Diaries Click Here :


The next Knit and Natter gathering is on Monday 1st July 10.00am to noon in the village hall.
Further information from Rachel Hirst 01904 468336 or

Have you seen the Community Noticeboard?

The Community Notice Board on the Parish website allows anyone in the villages to tell the community about things you have for sale or wanted, items you would like to Freecycle, Lend or Borrow, Requests for Help (e.g. Volunteers, Housesitting, Babysitting, Car and Lift Shares). A bit like a ‘Small Ads’ page in a newspaper. All listings are free for use by Parish residents.

You can see the Community Noticeboard from this link or via the menu at the top of the website (under ‘Community’)

You can submit items for inclusion from the link here

Guinea Pig/Rabbit Hutch

I have a hutch in a very good condition, going spare. It’s perfect for two guinea pigs or a rabbit. it has separate sleeping quarters etc. Based in Sand Hutton. Call me on 01904 468512

Community Library News

Unfortunately the community library cannot be open this coming Monday – 17 June. Normal service will be resumed on Mon 24th.

I have recently been restocking with new titles both in books and DVDs so why not pop in and see the ever growing choice available. Enjoy a complimentary tea or coffee whilst you browse!

If you have books (fiction, biographies or autobiographies, in a clean condition) or DVDs that you have finished with, please consider donating them to the library for others to enjoy. Contact me on 468396.

Please support your community library – it’s completely free.

Garage sale

Garage Sale – This coming Saturday 15 June 2013 from 10 till midday or thereabouts, at Balnakeil, Claxton. I’m helping a friend clear her husband’s garage of miscellaneous tools, various door locks (with keys), brass wall sockets and light switches, plus other bits & bobs! Also some garden equipment.
Contact Fiona on 468001 if you have any requests or queries.

Dog Fouling

Dog mess is an unpleasant aspect of dog ownership but it is every owner’s duty to clean up after their dog.

Unfortunately, there is an increase in dog mess being left in Claxton & Sand Hutton and whilst many dog owners do always clear up after their dog, some are clearly not doing so. The Parish Council therefore ask that all dog owners please ensure they clear up after their pets and either use the dog waste bins provided in Claxton or take it home and dispose of it in domestic bins.

It is an offence to leave your dog’s mess behind. If you are caught not clearing up after your dog, you could be prosecuted and fined up to £1000.

Please help to keep our community clean and pleasant for all.

Caroline’s Garden Diaries 9.6.13: Hawks or Doves?

Years ago, I read that another name for Columbines was “Doves in a Basket” because the flower looks like a group of doves – penny-dropping moment, realizing that Columbine came from Latin for dove, columba; that its botanical name, Aquilegia, comes from Latin for eagle, aquila, and that all these names were saying the same thing, these flowers look remarkably like birds. They really do! Can never see them now without seeing fluttering wings, and gentle necks; some people see more eagle than dove (all right, not hawks), and one I know sees vultures. This revelation also taught me that flower names often tell you something.

Another name for Aquilegias is Granny’s Bonnet, which I think refers to a form in which, so to speak, the birds’ heads are tucked under their wings, unless Granny has a bunch of vultures on her head. I’ve also got a delightful form, looking like a little girl’s ballet dress, pale pink frills under purple skirt.

All these have come over several years letting only the best-looking columbines seed themselves (and chopping off heads of those I don’t like…). When we first came here, there were only rather washed-out pink ones in the garden and I missed all the whites, blues, purples, deep-pinks doves and bonnets that I’d had in our old garden. Luckily, I brought about ten seedlings with me that must have brought their blue genes with them; they’ve intermingled and produced some real beauties.

For more of Caroline’s Garden Diaries Click Here :

Caroline’s Garden Diaries 6.6.13: Yellow Roses of Sand Hutton

June morning, and Frühlingsgold is out, what bliss! Described in my dictionary of roses as “one of the finest shrubs which can be grown in any garden of sufficient size to contain it and show off its beauty” – think this means “don’t prune too much and let it do its thing”, because it does have long arching branches and when festooned with its large creamy-yellow flowers, is, as dictionary says, “a wonderful sight”. The first time it flowered, I found myself saying rapturously to it ”oh, I do love you!” and then hoping nobody had heard me.

Another rose I’m very fond of, Cantabrigiensis, has been out for a few days already. Quite similar in its flowers, single creamy-yellow, but shrub itself is quite different, sturdy upright branches, very prickly, with delicate foliage; it’s a hybrid, bred in Cambridge, “a distinct improvement on both its parents” says dictionary rather rudely.

And then last night, noticed yet another of same colour – I think I must like primrose-yellow – is just out. This one is Agnes, a Rugosa hybrid bred in Canada; a straggly bush but redeemed by double roses of that lovely colour and scent.

It must be summer!

For more of Caroline’s Garden Diaries Click Here :

News in brief + Manuka honey

Not the way to make a sale!
This week I had the misfortune to encounter a very angry young door salesman who became abusive when I told him I didn’t buy from door salesmen. I was friendly, polite and pointed out that I had a sticker on the door that asked door salesmen not to call. He immediately became angry and demanded to know who told me to put it there which followed with aggressive questioning. I told him that it was none of his business – politely but maybe a little tersely – his agitation grew worse and he launched himself into a torrid of negatives about ‘posh people in big houses’ that didn’t give ‘people like him’ (out of prison 10 days and trying to work. From a council estate. No chance in life. Etc etc)

I’d like to know who employed him, where he came from and why he felt he could speak that way to someone he didn’t know? Any suggestions?
I did feel sorry for him as he stormed off in a temper but I also thought that it was a very intimidating approach and wondered how many others had him call.

Manuka honey success
My dog had a very deep wound that would not heal despite antibiotics so I smeared manuka honey on it. In a few hours the infection was drawn out and collected in a hard lump. The following day it dropped off and the wound was closed.
Manuka honey is a New Zealand product and comes in varying strengths from 5 to 25 depending on the antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties. I paid £20 for a 500grm jar. I buy Manuka honey as it cures many illness, helps oxidise the blood which helps create a healthy body environment. No infections can survive in oxidise blood with a healthy ph level.

Honey was used during the last World War as a wound cleanser and saved many lives. That was the days before all the processing and additives, colours and flavourings.

However, I wondered if local honey that is unprocessed would be of equal value. It would certainly be cheaper. It would be interesting to hear from local beekeepers.

One hundred and four and not out – and not bad for an old man!

Rowntrees and Huntington cricket club member, Andy Main (62) of Claxton scored his third century last weekend in a cricket career that has spanned over 50 years when he began playing as a very young lad in the 1950’s.

Hat trick

Do you have a hat that you’d love to be a bit creative with? We will be holding a free workshop when we’ll show you how to make the most of your hat with ribbons and bows, buttons or flowers. In fact, the accessories are endless. All you need to bring is your hat.
If you’d be interested in attending let us know.

Give a dog a home

The Yorkshire Coast Dog Rescue is a small charity that was set up to help the stray, abandoned and mistreated dogs from around the Yorkshire coast area. If you could give a dog a home, foster or help they’d love to hear from you.