Saturday, 27 April 2013

Know your enemy.

I am loving looking at the potential for lots of tasty morsels that is the bounty on my window ledges.
Part of me is itching to get on and get things planted up.
This week's good weather made it very tempting to think that there was the potential to plant up right around the corner, then today I saw the forecast was for a widespread frost and I was grateful I had resisted.
So out came the protective fleece to cover the perennials that are mostly hardened off, any potted flowers seedlings are bunking down under the bed grow houses  and all the grow house are zipped up tight. 
Beside keeping one eye on the weather, I "liked" the Thompson and Morgan facebook page and that flashed up a warning in my news feed (very useful),  I didn't need to be told twice.
This past week served as a warning as to how much of a potential baking the garden could get over the Summer so I got some of those water retaining crystals.
Last year, I must admit, I was a bit iffy about using them and only sprinkled them in the hanging baskets and one or two pots. Call me old fashioned, it all seemed a bit unnatural to me.
This year, I am using more pots, troughs, bowls and generally anything I can stick some soil in and grow stuff in. Fact is, the stuff works. It doesn't harm or affect the edibles. It will help me to conserve water. I can live with it.
In fact I'm putting it in all the pots now.
 I've been using polystyrene for drainage, I don't have many stones or rocks going spare in our garden.
 I think the water retaining crystals vary, these ones call for you to just sprinkle a layer, water then cover with soil and water again. 
So, the and snails have started to try and decimate some plug plants so now I'm on my guard.

I haven't previously had an issue with slugs but I think I've just been lucky and that luck has now run out.
They seem to have taken residence in the raised beds along the back wall.
I've laid down a load of coffee grinds and egg shells.
At the moment, I just do a morning patrol but once I find the torch shall do an evening patrol too.

The other day, these (tulip tarda I think) started to open up. They are like a ray of sunshine in a pot.
Have a productive weekend.


Thursday, 25 April 2013

Blooming marvellous!

Very tiring day, doing some real gardening helping out some friends.
Don't get me wrong, I firmly believe and acknowledge that container and bed gardening is not to be sneered but rarely does my little patch of this world give me cause to feel muscle strain and back pain!
 I loved every minute of it.
They think I'm doing them a favour when it gives me the opportunity to play around with green stuff on a grander scale then I ever can in our garden.
All that said and done, I am shattered!
So I'm just going to share some photos I took this week out and about and then do a proper post tomorrow

A local park, the light was amazing.
These could be smelt even before we caught sight of them.
 And so, to bed.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Sunshine makes everything look better....mostly.

Yesterday was glorious here but I was stuck inside then today I've been nursing a headache that just won't quit so I thought I would blog in an attempt to distract my brain.
I pop out into the garden every morning to open up grow houses, this morning was a surprising dusting of frost but the plants are coping. It's mainly perennial plugs that I'm hardening off and growing on for friends so it's even more important that they survive.

This massive cloche on the left was a real bargain, I got it from a garden centre last week for just £10. It is a bit of an eyesore but I reckon it'll be great for the Autumn. At the moment it is covering some early sowings of beetroot, carrot and radishes from last month and peas and broad beans we did last week. There are a few other things growing but they're purely experimental at this stage but I'll report back when there is something to report (good or bad).
The garden really is a mess with lots that need clearing and chucking.
The ikea bag I've been growing in has given into the elements so I'm going to transfer the soil into a new grow bag I got cheaply.
I have some onions that have rotted so they will need sorting.
 I have pots to clear and things to be chopped and composted, just a few more weeks till the council start their green collection.
There really is not a huge amount to be proud of at the moment but there is progress.
The apple tree has leaves busting out all over and the blueberries and jostaberry bushes looking full of potential.

I am hardening off these I've grown from seed.
For colour I've growing cosmos brightness and rubenza, calendula fruit twist and teasels.
They have been in here for a few days, I open is up during the day and zip up at night and so far they are coming along. I'm going to allow them about two weeks like this and then they should be okay to leave unzipped all the time and then ready for planting out.
Plus, putting them outside has alleviated some of the strain on the window ledges which are full of tomatoes and the like.
And this is the one tidy patch of the garden. I have to be honest, I don't find primulas the most exciting of plants but they have done me proud this spring giving a much needed splash of colour.
Hope it's been a good weekend.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Shame on me!

I have an apology to make to anyone gracious enough to listen.
Yes, I have neglected my blog. I became distracted.
Some lovely friends took me to a crochet class for my birthday at the beginning of the year and got me hooked (pun intended).
I had always wanted to learn to crochet and have had 40 years to catch up on and get out of my system.
The thing is, once I stopped, it was really hard to get back in the swing of things. No matter how desperately I wanted to. I do like blogging, even Dave noticed how much,  but it does actually go quite against my personality. I am  not a gregarious person, never have been and I could probably happily continue blogging without ever receiving any comment or contact, not that I don't appreciate the comments that I do get.....
Ok, I suppose it comes down  to the fact that I just love gardening and am happy to just share that with anyone who will listen.
Thank you if you are still listening.
The blogging may have ground to a halt but the gardening has continued in earnest.
I've added an new bed upcycled from the kid's beds.
I took out the lavender then lined and filled the bed.

I've since planted up thyme, rosemary, garlic and new strawberry plants and a few perennial plants. Weather permitting, it can get at least 6 hours of sunlight in a day so I'm hoping the strawberries will do well for me.
The house is chocker-block with young plants. Every window is full of greenery.

The kitchen is overrun by plants.
The future is green.
These pictures were taken a few weeks ago so I will take some this week and show you how things are going.
It has been wonderful these past couple of days, spending hours in the garden, enjoying the sunshine and seeing progress in so many areas.
No matter how much I scrub them, there is always some ground in dirt under my finger nails, as it should be I say with a smile on my face.