Thursday, 15 September 2011

Riddle of the Mystery Plant solved!

Blue Sky, Sunshine, Gardening and a Mystery Solved

Not so long ago, I posted about my mystery plant in the hope of finding out what it was.

It had seeded itself in one of the hanging baskets that are attached around the bird table, so my guess was that it was produced from seed out the wild bird mix. Thankfully, it wasn't hemp!

Several suggestions were made as to its identity, with the most likely being some type of red stemmed buckwheat. This, indeed, is what the mystery plant has turned out to be.

Now that the flowers are beginning to die back, you can clearly see the buckwheat forming. I've never seen this plant before now, so still haven't a clue where it came from or how it got here: there doesn't seem to be any buckwheat in the wild bird mix I'm using. I'll save the seed and replant it all next year, as the plant looks rather pretty with its tall, slender red stems and clusters of pale pink and white flowers.

After the windy, wet weather that resulted from the tail end of Hurricane Katia, it was great to see the sun shining and the temperature soaring today. By lunchtime, it had reached a balmy 24C here in Frugaldom, so it was definite T-shirt weather and perfect for getting out into the garden.

Weed, weed, wedding again - cobbled front yard done and then I set about tidying up the strawberries.

Plenty of runners have appeared, so I potted up over twenty of them for transplanting next year.

While weeding between the plants, however, I noticed a new set of flowers coming, which surprised me! As I was cutting away the old growth where previous strawberries had been harvested, I kept finding more and more new shoots.

As usual, I never kept any of the names of the varieties of strawberries we have, so if anyone can let me know what I should do with them, I'd be really grateful. Do I leave these flowers in the hope that they'll bear fruit this late in the year or should they be nipped out to allow the plants to strengthen before over-wintering them?

More broccoli was harvested, along with the last of the peas and some tomatoes. While picking the tomatoes I noticed how much fruit was coming on the cape gooseberries. Who'd have believed these would grow so well outdoors in Scotland?

In preparation for winter, I built a mini glasshouse around the tiny grape vine to see if it survives until spring. There's no space to take it indoors, so here's hoping we get a mild winter. Failing that, it will get moved into the outbuilding and can sit by the window.

The pond got topped up today, to the great excitement of all the ducks! It wasn't long before they were all in there, splashing and diving around like the crazy feathered marauders that they are.

It was great fun for Scruffy cat, too, as she was pawing the water and trying to catch the splashes. Daft cat!

One of these days she is going to fall right in and Joey, our drake, will take great pleasure in chasing her.

By early evening, it was still bright and dry, so we headed out for a walk to see if we could spot any badgers. We have seen them, but not close to the house.

A neighbour a few doors along from us has one coming into his garden at nights, so we're hopeful of catching a glimpse of our resident Mr Brock sometime soon. Unfortunately, it wasn't tonight.
Our walk took us along the lane by the woods, which is where we normally see deer and badgers. We did see a fox, but it disappeared before camera was at the ready. I'm amazed at how many flowers are still in bloom and the heather is still a rich purple along the bank of the stream.

The calves in the adacent field were having a great time, chasing one another around, tails straight up in the air and hooves flying all ways.

They all came to an abrupt stop when we passed, some being more inquisitive than others. This one was very brave and ust kept following us.

Thankfully, there was a fence between us and them, as heap big daddy bull was out there, too!

By the time we were returning home, the sun was setting over the hill and it was getting quite dusky.

Probably, this would be a great time for badger spotting, but the hens and ducks still had to be put to bed and Scruffy cat found to ensure she didn't try to sleep in the chicken hut again!

What a lovely day it has been - we need a full week of this so we can get the kitchen roof replaced but, sadly, the weatherman reckons otherwise.


  1. It really is a micro-climate there isn't it? I've noticed that when you mention temperatures, it is usually warmer than the other Scottish bloggers say - maybe the vine will survive quite happily!

  2. Hiya Frugaldom. Archie Sparrow the baling string guru smoked the wild bird seed in his book.

    Great blog. Have you any books planned? I think your blog diaries would certainly be worth getting published.

    Keep writing!!

  3. VM, I know the vines do survive in our region, but mine didn't get off to a good start. It's still just a baby, one of the Aldi specials from earlier this year, and it didn't help that it was the last one on the shelf, so looked a bit stick-like and sorry for itself. LOL

    Dave, I love writing and have often attempted to get serious about it, but there's always something else crops up that needs the focus of my attention and, more often than not, hard cash. Generating enough income to keep afloat while juggling blogs, forums, websites and other people's work doesn't leave much time for my own creative writing. I would, however, make the time if I secured a contract. LOL

    The days of being paid to write articles for magazines and newspapers seem to be long gone and the pittance earned from ghost writing website articles is soul-destroying, infuriating and embarrassing, to say the least. If you have any ideas about how I might progress, please let me know. :)

  4. I write for sentiment mainly. Firstly because I love writing. Secondly money is not everything. Yes we all need it but we should all give something of ourselves. What's the point of it all if we can't give something? Thanks for sharing your thoughts and giving us your blog. I know what time and thought goes into it!

    I am currently writing a book and it's going to get published - even if I self publish it. Why don't you do the same and sell it through your site?

    Put my name down for the for the first copy!

  5. Thanks, Dave, I appreciate your comments. I've actually published quite a bit over the past 12 years, but none of it my exclusive work and none of it in my own name.

    Publishing is something that's very close to my heart and has been for more years than I care to remember. The first glimmer of hope that I could possibly earn a meagre living from it, then I'll be tap, tap, tapping away at the computer non stop in an attempt to bring readers whatever it is they want to read. (Within reason.) :)

  6. Hey there frugaldom, sorry quiet, hope you are good. Strawbs, not a chance of fruit this late on, I'd rub out the flowers. We've done this at the tunnels at work where ours have here and there come into flower too, save weakening the plant! All looking ace!

  7. Frugaldom - why not write a book about getting out of debt? Sorry to state the bl€€ding obvious, but in this financial climate, I reckon it would be a best-seller!

  8. Orkney, I'll snip the flowers off and leave the plants to store their energy for over-wintering. I've potted up the runners still attached to the main plants for now, hoping they'll root fairly quickly.

    Writing-wise, I do have a few projects on the go but they seem to have been on the same 'go' for some time. Each time I set myself a challenge to complete a project, life gets in the way, so there has been nothing published other than ghost-written articles in newspapers and online plus the occasional guest blog.

    For anyone who has been following Frugaldom for a while, you might remember that it was the writing that got me into trouble in the first place. I never shy clear of controversy, but from now on it can't result in a landlord feud ending up with us being asked to leave! LOL

    I'll leave you with a bit of guess work -


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