Friday, 25 April 2014

I'm back, well sort of

We have had a couple of nice sunny days lately (not today unfortunately) & I have been quite busy, only most of it not in the garden. I have had a lot of ups & downs lately & to be honest I'm not really sure what I am doing anymore.

So it was time to get into the garden. I have been pottering around for the last few months but without actually doing anything.

So off came the front of the compost "Dalek" & out has come most of the rubbish in it. I have sieved it & this time thrown away (dump) what hasn't rotted down. Most years I put it back in with the hope that it will eventually rot down & be useable, but then it never has.


You can see lots of bindweed roots at the bottom, these have come through from my neighbour's, so this year I will move everything & try to get rid of all the weeds too.
The sieved compost didn't amount to much but it had been put into a tyre stack & my first lot of potatoes have gone in. I will earth them up as I get more compost out of the bins. I still have another stack to fill, I also need to get to the tyre place & see if I can get more.

I seem to be procrastinating too much.

I owed some sweetcorn earlier this month into toilet roll tubes, they have already sprouted & I have planted them into my box. I have left plenty of room to top it up with soil as they start to grow. This makes them much better anchored & stops them getting knocked over. They also need a lot of nutrients & water as they are in a very small area & I can do that better in the box than in the ground. Also the gap allows air to be trapped when I put the glass on top at night just incase we have a frost (which isn't really likely this far south).


I had already sown some tomatoes, Garten Pearle for hanging baskets. These have grown really well so I popped them out of their cells & into the hanging baskets. The other tomatoes I sowed haven't even sprouted so I need to sow some more.


I have already taken off the bubblewrap. It stayed up really well in places, it didn't on the roof but that was due to the wind taking it off (the roof that is so of course the bubblewrap didn't stay up there).

Now, what else. Well the blueberries are doing well, lots of flowers. I built a planter for strawberries. Finally got it finished & planted up. Strawberries are flowering already.


It's making it look like I have done so much, but I haven't really, it's taken me months to get this far, I just don't have the energy.

So, I will just take a look at my garden looking neat & tidy (header picture). Just a shame it's from last year. Oh, yes, I finally got my seeds & stuff from Spalding's, might as well have not bothered, half the stuff I had wanted was no longer in stock & I had to choose other things.

Too many things I had hoped to come this year haven't. I need to pull myself together & get on with what I do have. Stop thinking I can have better & accept what I do have is all I will ever have.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Spaldings

Do any of you remember the competition we had back in December 2012 for a spring bulb planting? If not it's here. Well I'm still waiting for my prizes. i was supposed to have £50 to spend so it was choose what you wanted & e-mail it to them. Well e-mailed several times to be precise, then the person dealing with it left so I had to e-mail someone else, still never got any of it.
So I have just e-mailed them again. It's taking the pi** really isn't it. Would have been easier to give me a code & I could have just ordered it straight off their site. Don't think I will be bothering with them again, although it does look like it all feel by the wayside with their club.
Oh well, off to buy my seeds from the local Garden Centre, I will keep them in business instead.
P.S. the sun is shining today, I have been enjoying it in the greenhouse.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Yucky Vine Weevils

A couple of you have mentioned that you luckily have never had any. I wish I didn't. It all started a good few years ago when one of my Rhododendrons went limp, well at first I thought it needed watering, then I tried feeding but no success. Then I was watching Alan Titmarsh (love him) on Gardeners World & he started telling us all about Vine Weevil, penny dropped & I was straight outside emptying out the pot & yes there was no roots left at all & loads of little grubs all fat. I didn't manage to save it but I did go out the very next day & bought some killer.

So for those of you who haven't seen any, I found some more :(


Now the grub on the left is a nice fat one, but on the right is a casing from one that has become an adult, so I know know they are on the loose. Not very happy.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Oooo, sun, oh rain!

It's been a bit of a funny day today. It started off with rain but by the afternoon the sun came out & shone beautifully. I literally ran out into the garden, I was not going to waste it although I was in the greenhouse (it's still a bit chilly). And it was a very good job I did.

Disaster...... I have an infestation of Vine Weevil larvae. I only found it as I was top dressing some of my overwintering pots. So I have spent the afternoon brushing & washing all the roots of my important plants & repotting in the hopes I can save them.
I should have known this would happen. For all the rest of the plants I have used a chemical killer (sorry all you organic gardeners). I can't risk any of them having grubs hiding in their pots as I have my Rhododendrons to think about. Then I will get some moth balls & put them in the pots to help keep adult's away.

On a better note I finally got the lead for my camera in the post. I still have a long way to go before I know how to use it properly but I have found some of the settings, especially the close-up focus.

Camelia flowering

Snowdrops

Greenhouse (baby changing table on left)

Still harvesting carrots

Onions/garlic in cells & strawberries
   I feel a bit better after getting outside. I think we will all be happier when Spring arrives.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Another beautiful, but chilly day

I managed to get out into the garden again today. This has lifted my spirits (I suffer S.A.D) along with some good news I got yesterday eve. A dog that has been on the run for 2 months was finally caught & after winning a competition I saw the painting of my puppy.

I spent the day in the greenhouse tidying up & moving things around. There were a lot of very big spiders (horrible) to contend with but I got through most of it. The old bread trays have come in very useful & fit perfectly on the shelves of the baby changing unit. Cleaned & swept.

Now it's this time of the year that's great to clean all your pots & posts. Those nasty little plastic things you write on so you remember what you planted are the bane of this. Most of the time I end up throwing them away after I have spent hours with a rubber trying to get the pencil off. Well not today. I found the perfect way to clean them, I just have to share this (you probably all know but I didn't) Well indoors I use a Magic Eraser (Flash & JML) to clean stubborn stains, how stupid have I been. They are not cheap (£1) as they do not last long but they are worth it. Well today I grabbed it & used it to clean the pencil off. OMG!!! It just came off so easily, without rubbing or anything. So I can recommend to any of you that if you find it hard getting off that pencil with a rubber then use a Magic Eraser. You will be laughing at the ease of it (rather like the way I laugh when I use my Cuprinol fence sprayer).

So all in all it's been another good day. I hope your's has been too. I'm still waiting for some snow though.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Weather

The one thing us Brits love to complain about is our weather. It has rained here so much that we have had floods & the ground is so wet it's like a mire. Luckily I live on a bit of a hill so the floods haven't taken over mine but just a little way down the road people have had to evacuate. To be honest I don't know what they were thinking of buying a house on the flood plain but then they do look lovely with the river running alongside (converted mill). The only thing that would make me buy a mill was if I converted the wheel to produce free electricity, but then you live with the knowledge it may flood & take precautions.

Anyway, today has been lovely, a bit chilly but sunny & not windy. I got on with building the baby changing table I got on Freecycle to use as a potting bench. It was a bit bigger than I anticipated but I got it done & it is lovely. In fact it is perfect, so if any of you are thinking of getting a new potting bench have a look for a baby changing table first. The only alteration I made to it was to take out the clips that hold the top in place, this is so I can remove it to tip any rubbish onto the compost heap easily.

I also bought myself a new camera, well it's second hand, the only problem is it didn't have a lead to download to the computer or charge it. So I have ordered one online & hopefully it will be here in a few days.

My garlic has been planted into cells, so have my onions, they are both already growing. I can't plant them out yet as I haven't decided what is going into what bed. I also want to change the layout of the garden so I have a bigger growing space.

It's already February & I can't wait for spring. I already have all my seeds & I'm now saving up my toilet roll inners for my runner beans. I also found some Calabrese that has survived, small head but very tasty.

We have more rain forecast for this week. Hope the weather is good to you wherever you are.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Storm damage

Well it's all been happening here. The storm hit us Monday, high winds & loads of rain. When I went to bed everything was still standing but by Tuesday morning it was a scramble between the rain to try & repair & retrieve everything.

The roof on the greenhouse blew off, 2 panels completely broken, 2 missing. Luckily I had kept all the old panes when I replaced them with the plastic ones, so gloves on hands I carefully replaced them all. Now this wasn't the only happening at 10am, mum's door finally gave up the ghost & she couldn't get in her home. So there she was sat in my house waiting for a locksmith (Christmas eve- double charge?). At least she kept the dogs entertained for a while but it did take me 3 hours to replace them all & remove all the soaking wet bits from inside the greenhouse. During winter I use it to store all my seat cushions & fabric bits from the garden. The electrics were a problem too, luckily the fuse had gone on the main box for the circuit & not the whole house.

The whole of the garden is soaking wet, luckily not flooded like some down here in Kent. It's more mud than grass & the dogs took delight in taking as much of it indoors to dry it out. Hurry up summer. A lot of my seeds are all soaked too, I think I will invest in some plastic boxes to keep them in instead of the cardboard shoe boxes I have.

I now have the heating going in there, the candle & plant pot trick, to see if this will help but at the moment there is so much moisture in there I don't know if it's really going to help.

I hope everyone else managed to get through the storm with none or minimal damage.