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User Journal

Journal Journal: Another baby in the house

The monkey puzzles are doing well. There are a total of four seedlings now. The biggest is 10 weeks old and 9cm high.

Last night the first of the pomegranates sprouted. Growing pomegranates outside, up here in the sub-arctic at 52N (i.e. Cambridge UK), is likely to be challenging. Nonetheless it's worth a try.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Making progress

Good news: I should be in paid employment again in a couple of weeks. An offer has been made and accepted but the paperwork has to be issued and signed.

A third baby monkey puzzle showed up two days ago and is still only 3mm or so above the surface of the compost. The second one had a difficult birth (it had trouble getting rid of the seed case) but the oldest is romping away. Now 33 days old, it is 73mm high. There are eight more seeds planted but even if none of them sprout, I reckon three out of eleven isn't too bad.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Two purchases

For a reason that is too complex to go into right now, we bought an old church pew a couple of days ago. It's longer than average, very close to 2 metres, and very heavy. It's in very good condition but needs patchy wax and/or varnish and decades of human grease removing from it.

Accordingly, I went to a Homebase store this afternoon to buy some very fine steel wool (00000 grade for those interested in these things) and a pot of furniture wax. In their pot plants selection, they had a very nice succulent for only £2.99. It's obviously an aloe and, I thought, A. Ferox. The identification was confirmed when I got it home.

The aloe has dark green fleshy leaves completely covered in lumps and spines. Apparently it may grow 3m high and 2m across when adult, though as I don't have that sort of space available it may have to be rehomed before then.

The monkey puzzle is now 3cm high, has around a dozen leaves open and the distinctive cluster of unopened leaves around the growing tip. It's now very obvious what it is. Better, another seed has lifted its case above the compost, so there's another treelet in there!

User Journal

Journal Journal: A new arrival!

One of my monkey puzzle (Araucaria Araucana) seeds sprouted yesterday afternoon. There was no sign of life at lunchtime but by 6pm several mm of green was showing. It has about doubled in height since, to around 10mm. Looks like these things grow quite quickly when they get started.

I don't know whether the baby is a little boy or a little girl and I'm unlikely to find out for another fifty or sixty years unless DNA sequencing becomes cheap and easy.

Back in late August I visited Sowerby Hall, near Bridlington on the East Yorkshire coast. In the grounds there is a stand of mature Monkey Puzzles, several of which had either male or female cones on them. Quite a few nuts had fallen but most had been eaten by squirrels. I rescued eleven of them, two of which had been slightly nibbled but looked as if they may be viable. All eleven have been in moist compost since returning home just four months ago now.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Hello world 1

Is this thing switched on?

Testing, testing, 1, 2, testing.

tap tap

I can't get this damn thing to work. Is there anyone here who knows how to drive this?

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