Saturday, 28 January 2012

Sodden sunshine

Some good progress was made today, I can tell by the fact that my muscles are stiffening up!  After collecting six bags of very good manure during the week, we dug four of them into the trench for the hedgerow that's going around the new vegetable garden.

Then I continued with the long task of clearing the flower beds that surround the patio. Happily I made it all the way to the corner of the wall.  There were lots of stones to take out, both small and large, an old raised bed structure with rotten wood and an almost collapsed willow hurdle.  I salvaged the uprights from that but the rest was rotted and went into the garden waste.  By the time I'd removed all that I was down to the layers of sodden soil and puddles were forming, so I abandoned it for the day.  The remaining manure was dug into the other flower bed which is pretty much ready for planting, unless I can persuade the OH to build up the stones a bit more so I can have a deeper bed!

Noticing that the tips of the tulips are just peaking through in the patio pots I decided it was time to move them around to the front of the house.  This involved many trips with the wheelbarrow, and a Rosie dog escaping out of the garden! Tidied up the leaves around the front, and moved some of the pots that need a bit of TLC...

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Winter Gardening plan

Here's the current known plan (it will be edited).....

  • Sow LEEK seeds
  • Chit POTATOES - give them 6 weeks before planting out
  • Plant hedging
  • Prune grapevine
  • Cut back clematis
  • Cut back existing hedges

  • Plant ONIONS, GARLIC (to April)
  • Start successive sowing of PEAS and CARROTS
  • Sow BRUSSELS seeds  (to April) - plant out after 5/6 weeks
  • Sow BROCCOLI seeds  (to June)  - plant out after 5/6 weeks
  • Cut back dogwood

  • Start successive sowing of BEANS in pots

Monday, 23 January 2012

Highland dress!

Take one jacket, one kilt and one kilt extension piece:

Then join the extension to the back of the kilt with glue or Sellotape with about an inch overlap (need the extension as the kilt made from an A4 sheet of card isn't quite long enough to go around the 2ltr bottle):

Attach the kilt to the bottom of the jacket (glue or tape) with about a half inch overlap, making sure that the jacket is centered over the main patterned part of the kilt:

Join the jacket top around the bottle using the cut slits:

Fasten the back of the kilt closed tightly around the bottle, and there you go:

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Hedging prep....

Now we're into the New Year, I'm finding that I'm more inspired to get out in the garden. Last weekend I started my planning for what is going where in the vegetable beds - it's pretty much sorted now, and luckily I've got enough seeds from last year (open and unopened packets) that I don't actually need to buy much. Back in the summer, T&M had a 20% off sale so I ordered my potatoes (Foremost - 1st, Maris Piper - main), red and white onions, and garlic. I'm just waiting for those to arrive now....

So the plan is, for the four beds nearest the house:
  1. Potatoes Foremost
  2. Legumes - peas, dwarf beans, mangetout
  3. Tender - squash/pumpkin, Swiss chard
  4. Brassicas - sprouts, broccoli
For the four beds behind the shed, two of which need prepping/rebuilding:
  1. Potatoes - Maris Piper
  2. Onion - Alpha (white), Red Emperor
  3. Soft fruit - raspberries, blackberries, rhubarb - all already planted
  4. Carrots and leeks
Today, we've removed the turf and loosened the soil for the trench where the new hedge will go.  This is to create a new vegetable garden area behind the copse and on the bottom half of the slope.  The hedging will be mixed evergreen and shaped to no more than 5' (in quite a few years time!), and create an enclosed area which will house the poly-tunnel and the new veg beds.  Once this is all in we'll probably get rid of some of the beds in other areas of the garden.

I've also finally finished clearing/weeding the left flower bed by the steps and spread the extra soil around. I'm still not convinced that it's deep enough because of the concrete slab base for the wall - there's only 9 rows of bricks on the wall and on the far end of the bed, the soil is only 2 rows deep.