Friday, April 20, 2007

Builders on the roof, Me on the Patio!

I was up and buzzing around, the builders came...

Apparently who ever had fitted the flue had done a real botch job and they where surprised we hadn't sprung a leak earlier! So done and fixed!!!

Cleaned out the chickens, I'l still using the straw I wrapped the banana in and they love it. I have seperated the run from the eglu and this is looking through the run, a chickens eye view'!!

they love it when I put the new bedding in and scratch away for ages.

So you ask what do I do with the old bedding? Well I follow Scarecrows lead and water very thoroughly then use it as a mulch...

well if we are going to have a drought I may as well be prepared and the straw has been in the pen a couple of weeks so hopefully they will have eaten all the seeds!

I got a phone call from my friend with MS, she sounded upset so went up. Prior to getting MS she has suffered for years with Raynaud's Disease ( poor circulation to hands and feet) and it has now become so serious that her GP has had her admitted as a day case at the hospital on Monday (without any arguments from her, very unusual)and is expecting her to be kept in. She showed me her legs, which are purple to just under the knee and freezing cold and her hands are going the same way, she says it is so painful! As if she hasn't enough on her plate. Fingers crossed they can help her!

As you know I keep my 'tropical' plants on the patio, it has its own micro climate as it is south facing! I was trolling round 'Ebay' again this afternoon (very dangerous) and have decided to re design this area as well, so the plan is... looking down the garden this is the end of the patio on the left

you can just make out the banana on the left of the pic. Right remove all untropical plants (to the bottom) lift the five slabs and remove gravel, re-edge, compost ready for planting.

just infront of the banana you can see a palm, Phoenix Canariensis. Well I followed the winter instructions and I think its died well it looks it in the middle!! Never mind. So the plan for this is to dig everything out, except the banana, edge and compost.

Don't forget my garden up here is only 13ft wide! So I am removing a row of slabs to widen the bed, the big green bushy plant is angelica and it hits 6ft+ every year so that can stay. Beyond it is a fennel which must be in its 4th or 5th year so is really past its best, so I will probably take that out to. I have 2 small clumps of Myscanthus that I hope have made it through the winter. So again give it a good dig add compost edge and then decide where I am going to put everything!!

What do you think I have under these?

Yep! Tomatoes, well I had so many in the greenhouse I thought it was worth a try, I just put the lids on in the evening and take them off the next day! They are not dead yet!!!!!

Well only a short blog today, I might drag hubby out to Hardy Palms in Bristol tomorrow, then again I might not. Right off to make tea have a great weekend everyone. Lets hope it rains soon! (At night, of course!!!)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

There and back to see how things are growing!

I haven't done as much as I should have, because I am so pooped but I did do ALL the ironing!!! (shock). I went roundto the neighbours to get some more wood and as they weren't in I thought you might like to see their garden....

I am looking down their garden from the edge of the patio!! Walking down the garden I pass this....

I keep forgetting to mention to hubby about it, we want a second pond because we had no tadpoles survive whatsoever, we have talked for a long time about putting a second pond in, with no fish, so frogs and newts (yep we have them too) could live and suvive happily!! Then walking on to the wood pile

I think I have seperated all the pieces I can, the rest are really tough!! Looking down the garden from the wood pile and it looks like this...

theres a stream down there and he has built a bridge over to the field he owns!!! Now if I turn round and look back up the garden you can see how big it really is...

What I could do with this, I would be in 7th heaven! Its quite sad really everyone in the row of cottages and this house plus two houses the other side of the row, have gardens as long as this except us, only one person uses the full length of their garden, they are all mowed and kept neat but thats it!!! Anyway past the tree on the right you can just make out my white dormer window!

I promised a trip round the greenhouse so here goes...

top shelf, surfina's and sweetpeas, next shelf, nasturtiums and sweet peas, very bottom, chinese artichokes!!

these are some of the Cannas, dawdling along!

mainly flowers on this shelf, cosmos, Cornflower rothrockii,

across the back salad leaves then, morning glory, cornflower, more cosmos and icelandic poppies....

OO I forgot to photograph the top shelf! Silly me anyway its full of tomatoes, chillies and peppers! This is across the back with the brugmansia stuck in the middle (the only place it will fit!!!) More trays of toms and peppers and Coleus.....

the tall plant on the right is another 'something different' to grow....

Ruth do you remember the matchbook of wildflowers you sent...

There where 10 and I think 5 have sprouted! The thing is none of the little matchstick bits where named so I have no idea whats growing, makes it fun!!!

Next to them are the begonias..

Alcosia (Elephants ears) on the left Canna on the right...

another Elephants Ears..

in the corner the cucumbers..

I have always grown them up a trellis, last year they grew right across the roof and out the door, I think most people grow them this way otherwise the slugs and snails would have a feast! You can see I use slug pellets in the greenhouse, because those wee beasties are hiding everywhere, I do try not to use them in the garden though!!

Then under the potting bench, we have more cannas, 2 Eucomis bicolour (pineapple lily)fuschia, ginger and something else I can't remember the name of!!!!

the gunnera (no its not in the greenhouse I just thought you might like to see how its coming along...

the banana by the pond..

bananas on the patio...

new leaves too...

and ironically the one that had the most protection in the greenhouse looks dead!!!

yet the trunk is still firm! I might have to lob a bit off the top and see what happens!! Next the caster oil plant..

some new plants, these don't include the ones I 'won' on Ebay..

and right by the back door the fig..

right off to make a cuppa now, catch you later!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


The builders where due to start on our leak in the roof today, they arrived on time then left to finish a job that they had fallen behind on and will be back Friday!!! Never mind they always do a good job so won't complain!

The Rayburn went out last week and I haven't bothered to relight it, in the evening its a bit nippy but nothing a pair of slippers and a jumper can't fix!! I have oiled the hotplate, did you know about this? I only found out 2 years ago, so you oil it with veg oil

and kitchen roll then use something to prop open the lids slightly so there is an air circulation and it stops them rusting!!

Clever huh!!

We watched that ITV Climate change programme last night and are doing some research into 'wood pellets' as an alternative to the solid fuel we use. 3 tons to be exact,we have always been very conscious of our huge carbon footprint so I have emailed everywhere to see how easy it would be to convert our current stoves!! I'll keep you posted.

My cucumber making a bid for freedom

I was concerned about it going to the greenhouse but the windowsill is quite cold as hubby pulls the curtains each evening. As I was potting them up to go in the greenhouse look what I found

first fruit!!! Silly things! Anyway now they are in nice big pots in the greenhouse

and I shall just wrap some fleece round them each night!!

My Red caster oil plant

coming along nicely! But sadly my cordyline which I bought with my garden vouchers is looking a bit ill..............

it didn't look too pot bound but I have repotted it anyway, I might have to e-mail the jungle folk!!!

this is bed 4 looking back up the garden, the canes at the far end I will use for the butternut squash, I will make a tent like trellis between bed 3 and 4.
beans top left going over the arch, some of the potatoes are in on the right the rest will go into bins or bags then I had an awful thought??????????????????????????
I have run out of room????????

now bed 3, the end closest to me is for butternut squash then I had planned to grow sweetcorn and squash in here!!! So where does the salad stuff go???? Bed 2 is full of onions, bed 1 has garlic, carrots and parsnips in!! MMMMMmmmmmmmmmmm?
Now this looks like an interesting spot..........

Once I have moved the compost bin I reckon I could make a triangular bed here, just right for salads hey!!!! Another use for that wood!!!!

Must dash got to get Tori, remind me to take you round the greenhouse! Lots going on in there!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Working hard!!

Well I was a good girl for once (halo) and did a load of housework last night but not the ironing I hasten to add!! I had to do some more work on my secret mission this morning so eventually got started in the garden about 13.00hrs when it looked like this....

I have moved alot of plants around in this bed, nade room for the blackcurrant bushes and alpine strawberry plants on the right, constructed 2 arches and planted my peas and french beans! So it now looks like this...

I have planted my Victorian Peas which climb to a massive 6ft!! over these arches. I decided as I had such a diddy veg plot I had to make good use of it and thought upwards was the best way!!

of course I was assisted by Sassy! I think! mind you if she does that when the carrots and parsnips are in there she will be for the high jump!!!!!

It doesn't look much different but it is I have moved quite a few plants around.....

The blackcurrant and alpine strawberry plants are at the back and this is where I have planted my Climbing French Beans! (thank you Lottie)

I can't remember if I told you of my bargain buy at the veg shop awhile back I got a bag of Jeruselam Artichokes for 50p as they had started going a bit soft, so I bought them and popped them in here and LOOK!!!

there growing!!!! Have to find a home for them too!!!

My foxglove tree plants I got from Worcester, how many days have I had them?? just look...

growing quickly!!!!

The Great Pip Challenge I haven't shown you them recently, remember I grew the ginger from a fresh ginger root and the date palms from some dates my hubby had at Christmas

Sheila asked what I was going to do with all the wood I was getting from my neighbour, well first off I shall edge all the beds it gives me a deeper bed to work with and seperates the lawn from the flower bed (at the bottom), in the tropical area it will keep the soil on the bed and not the patio!!! Other than that who knows but knowing me it will come in handy somewhere!!!

I must admit I'm getting quite excited about the tropical area, but I am being good and getting veggies underway first. I have been looking at this and it shows lots of peoples jungle type gardens and I am beginning to think apart from the veg patch I may do jungle at the bottom as well!!!!!! He heeeeee!!!!