Tuesday, August 31, 2010

East coast hike

It is definitely rainy season in these hills 
For some time I have  been thinking of  starting an exercise  program to get fit.   So I decided to join Hike Barbados on Sunday afternoon. The hike was on the east coast, a mere fifteen minutes drive  away  from my home. It started at 3.30 pm and to my surprise there were over 30 persons who had turned up for the  hike.
It was hard going up this slope
The terrain was tough for hikers like me who hadn't hiked for some years. I had done this hike before and knew that it would be challenging. One had to have the agility of a mountain goat to traverse these trails.
These flowering rubber vine cryptostegia grandiflora shrubs dotted the landscape.
Wild flowers along the way
View to the south east
View to the north east
Inland view of Chalky Mount, which consists of several small villages perched on the ridge. They are  known for their potteries. 

Most of the terrain consists of  clay, shale and sand stone. The land slips easily during heavy rainfall.  You can see the effects of wind and water erosion. Much of the soil and  vegetation have been stripped by the elements exposing the porous rocks. The hike finished around 6.30 pm  and by that time my feet were on auto pilot. That was a good hike!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A roadside view

Last year I had my helper  dig up some very old and  bad looking hibiscus shrubs that bordered the perimeter of the property at the front along the roadside. I replaced them with Christmas palms and plumeria pudica.

Today we completed the job and I counted a total of thirty nine Christmas palms  and about  thirty seven plumerias. It will take about  four years (geez sounds too long)  to be fully appreciated providing we get adequate rainfall.
The grass was cut today and more rain is expected so I gave it a lower cut than usual. The dwarf  yellow alamandas were trimmed back earlier this year and boy they are flowering up a storm.

The yellow galphimia glauca aka thryallis (showers of gold) now occupies this space that once housed an old tree stump. I have planted an avocado tree in the middle replacing the stump.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Weedy Wednesday

I was up at 3.00 am and I couldn't get back to sleep. So I started to do some house cleaning. I swept downstairs  and  went  on the computer.  I was back in bed by 4.30am and slept until 6.30 am. I got up and mopped the floors. I made a cup of coffee and around 7.45am I decided to do some weeding. I have been saying that for several days and I couldn't find anymore excuses why I couldn't get it done.

I looked at one of the areas to be weeded  and started with gusto. I pulled on my gloves worked continuously  until 11.45 am. I couldn't ask for better working conditions.  The soil was damp, it was breezy and I was working in the shade of an enormous ficus  tree.

Soon things were looking better,  spaces were appearing where weeds once thrived. 

By and by the weeds were piling up in my cart. More weeds were thrown on the cart and soon it was overflowing. Another weed pile started on the ground behind the cart. I didn't finish it all, there was  a small piece  left that I plan to do the following day.
I was thirsty, so I collected some ripe limes from under the tree and made some limeade.

I took a lunch break and guzzled down three glasses of limeade, it was delicious. Limeade is very easy to make. I squeezed enough limes to get a half cup of juice. I added  eight cups of water and  one and a half cups of sugar. A final garnish of some Angostura bitters and it was finished.  

I tried getting back to the weeding  after lunch but it wasn't the same, so I decided to cut the grass.  I jumped on my mower and got to work. I worked   into the evening and finished around 7.00 pm.  I wondered if it was that cup of cafe I had earlier.......hmmn. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bloomsday August 2010

My orchids are slowly making a comeback after being divided and repotted many months ago.

These mesmerizing blue water lilies are quite rare in Europe.

Many are surprised to hear that blue ones exist.
Welcome to garden bloggers bloomday where gardeners from all over the globe post what is blooming in their gardens. My garden is sodden from the frequent heavy showers we have been experiencing. For more bloomsday blooms please stroll over to May dreams gardens  to see what is blooming.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

potatoes au gratin

Last week we had dinner with a good friend who lives between Canada and Barbados. He is a fantastic cook and had made some potatoes au gratin (potatoes in a sauce and topping) that was to die for.   I hadn't made this dish for some time and had a yearning for it.  My sister in law who now lives in Tortola had mentioned to me that she would like the recipe. So Judith this one's for you!

 You will need

several potatoes peeled and sliced
3 cloves of glarlic
half of cubanelle sweet pepper
a handful of  chopped basil
black /white pepper
salt to taste 
2 tablespoons of butter
1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch
2 cups of low fat milk
1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese

Cut peeled garlic in half and rub the interior of a shallow  pie or tart dish well.  Then grease the dish using a small amount of butter. In another bowl peel and slice the potatoes, cut up finely the garlic, sweet pepper and basil,  and toss into the potatoes. Sprinkle some salt and some ground black pepper or white pepper to taste. Layer the potatoes in the greased dish and dot with butter.

In a medium saucepan, melt about 2 tablespoons of butter and add 11/2 tablespoons  of corn starch. Cook cornstarch and butter for a few minutes on a medium heat. when the mixture is lump free add 2 cups of low fat milk.

  Keep stirring the mixture until it thickens coating the spoon. If the sauce looks too thick add a little more milk, if it is too thin add a small amount of cornstarch dissolved in a little water to the sauce.

Add 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese, remove from the heat stirring constantly until it is lump free. 

Pour cheese sauce over potatoes  and bake in a preheated oven 350 F bake until potatoes are tender and golden at the top.

Bon apetit and enjoy!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Friday's flowers

These night blooming water lilies open around eight o'clock at night and close around eleven o'clock the next morning.
The pink pride of Barbados, I think this is the prettiest of them all.
Pink vervain or porterweed, this is one of the larval food plants of  the buckeye butterfly. This shrub grows 6-8ft tall.
 Malay apple or pommerac, the crop was so sparse this year that I didn't get one to eat.

 Hello folks, it has been some time since I have posted, my sincere apologies to all.  The rains are on schedule and even though it has been raining frequently,  temperatures and humidity  continue to be  high. Still, there is an occasional breeze wafting through every now and then making life a bit more comfortable. Weeds, weeds are everywhere, so this weekend I will be very busy. Friends and  volunteers are welcome, I will feed you, and this is a promise!
 Sunset in Speightstown

 Speightstown's jetty

  Last Sunday,  hubby and I had dinner at a little restaurant in Speightstown called Wave Rider. It was very inexpensive  and the food was fair. However the ambience was cozy with an open vista to the ocean. I will give this place a 6 on the scale of 10. Wishing all gardeners around the globe a happy and peaceful weekend.