Thursday, 13 April 2017

Things are starting to grow

Some photos of the flowers & growth in the garden.
President Roosevelt.

Cherry Blossom

self seeded Rhododendron 

Pierris 

Camelia

Euphorbia

Heuchera 

Braeburn apple

Seed pods, will let these dry & sow them next year

not sure if this is a type of bee or a fly of some sort, see them often in the garden but they never stay still long enough to see them properly
Update, the flying thing is a fly called a Bombylius major and it lays eggs in bee nests so not a good insect from that point of view.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Mothering Sunday



So last week I ordered some more seeds, the last lot never germinated. I'm hoping these will. There was nowhere near 80 seeds in the pack, didn't bother weighing it to see if the weight was correct but suspect it included the wrapping.


The second set of seeds looks good. The Gromwell is for my Apothecary dye garden. The root is used to make a dark purple colour. The Anthemis was a freebie so I will have to google it to see what it can be used for.


I picked myself up a new hose as the other one I had is beyond saving. Although I love using these expandable ones they just don't last, I sometimes wonder if they are worth the cost. This one was only £8 off the market so not too bad if it only lasts a few years.



I also picked up one of these, something I've wanted for a while. Nice thing was that I picked it up for £8 with a bottle of ethanol thrown in. 

Today I picked up some more strawberry plants to fill up the trough I bought the other week. 
I also ordered some lavender from T&M, special offer for less than £5. They are only small but hopefully I can grow them on to use as a hedge out the front, to keep the neighbours from sitting on my wall (bees being a buzzing deterrent). 

Hope you all had a lovely Mother's Day, mine forgot.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

What to do during Winter??? learn to crochet

Well whilst I was waiting for Spring to come I had Winter to contend with. We don't often get snow this far south, this year it was again one evening of solid snowing only to wake the next morning with it all gone. My dogs were very upset.

With no gardening I get very bored so I have been learning to crochet to go along with the knitting & sewing I do. I have found many videos on You Tube & its been fun learning.

First I made my mum a throw(blanket), that was not easy & I really should have started with something a little less adventurous.


Snowflake Afgan
I did have fun making it & I have to admit quite proud even if there were some mistakes (mum will never know).

Next I made a wrap, the instructions were not very clear & I ended up undoing it & remaking it until I finally figured it out. Even then I had still gone wrong but at-least I know for next time.

Mobius Crochet Wrap available to buy on e-bay
Most of my items are being sold to raise money for Help 4 Heroes, there are also scarves/snoods available.

Next I crocheted another wrap in donated wool. This was a lot easier but still didn't got 100% right. The sizes were a little out & it's only now I'm realising USA size is not the same as UK size.


Peek-a-boo wrap available to buy on e-bay

Friday, 17 March 2017

Lovely weather


The weather has been lovely this week so I've been out in the garden. It helped that I also had an extra day off work.

Parsnips


First I sowed some carrots & some parsnips into my boxes. These are filled with a sand & compost mix which lets the roots grow nice & straight. I will thin them out as they grow.
I have sprinkled some vermiculite on the top & covered with my racks so no birds or mice can get to the seed.

Carrots


Inside the greenhouse it's been getting very hot during the day, I did consider sitting in there & having a sauna.
I got to sowing some lettuces ready to go into my troughs outside. The strawberries didn't do well in there but I think lettuce will and it's all the cut & come again type.
I also sowed some runner beans, only 9 this year as they will be growing up the archway rather than having a whole bed dedicated to them. 
Runner beans in pots, lettuce in the trays

I also sowed some Thai Basil a little while ago, it has germinated & beginning to grow well. I also sowed some Lemongrass, so far only one seed has germinated but it is supposed to take a while.
I took some cuttings of my trailing geranium.

Basil on right, Lemongrass on the left.
 I also got round to popping my Sweet Potato into some compost, probably left it far too late.

Sweet potato
 The Geraniums survived over the winter in the greenhouse. The greenhouse is insulated with bubble wrap and they are sitting on the tray of the heated propagator to give them some warmth. I have turned this off now but they have all grown and as you can see they are all in flower too.

Overwintered Geraniums

The trailing Geraniums also survived


Outside I moved one of the mini greenhouses to the side of the doorway and the Blueberries in-front of the new bed. At the moment the carrots are in front of them but the box will be moved.


Now the strawberries. They hadn't done well in the trough a few years ago so I had used hanging baskets last year. I had hung them on the arch but they were awful to water & ended up drying out. It did mean that the slugs & snails didn't get them but I'm sure the birds made up for that. So this year I had a brainwave & decided to use the space along the greenhouse to hang a deeper trough. The trough didn't come with hangers so I bought some replacement chains & used those. Now as it's hanging along a side the chains were uneven, so I took 3 links out of 2 of the chains so it now hangs evenly & flush against the glass. Hopefully this is deep enough & I've added water retaining crystals to help. I bought some new plants as the ones I already have are at the end of their usefulness.
We have rain forecast for the next few days, hopefully it won't last long & I can get out in the garden again soon.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Ooo!! Look, I finally got back in the garden.

Everything fell apart over the last few years, that's not to say it's all together again yet. Depression can be a bad thing, it can make you lazy too. I feel better when in the garden but then don't really think about taking photos or coming back in to write on the blog.

There is also the lack of good weather during the winter so been sewing and crocheting but nothing is selling. Did buy a new sewing machine which is nice.

So, back to the garden & the nice weather we had yesterday.

I managed to build a new raised bed, took out 2 old ones & turned it into 1 smaller one. Put down 3 pavers & some shingle. Still need to fill it up but that can be done over the next few years.


I have 2 glass shower doors which fit over the top so I can use them as a mini cloche to warm the soil, they are frosted so it will also stop any scorch by the sun. My archway will be used for my runner beans to climb over.


These are the other 2 old beds, they will also be removed or at least moved over a bit as they are in the way of the shed. I mistakenly ordered the wrong size new shed last year so I had to shove it up into the corner but it sits too high and I can't get round it to mend the fence or weed so it will need to be moved slightly. To do that I will need to move the beds as you can see.



The top bed has a plastic greenhouse on it which I use to grow my cucumbers in, that has now been tidied up.



I tidied up the other bed, nice and clear now.



I had to re-pot my Blueberries, they are already starting to grow. I had to raise them on feet as they had got a bit boggy where the water wasn't draining away.


This year I've also started my Apothecary garden. There is Woad growing and also Alkanet. These will be used to colour the natural soaps I like to make. There is also some Plantain which I put into my balms. I will be making another bed next to this one, I already have Poppy (seed for exfoliating) and Rose (for petals) there, just need to define the bed.


The dock is for colouring in the soaps too, the root gives a pink colour. I need to see if the leaves can be used for anything too.




I cleared all the old strawberries out of my trough. I will be using this for lettuce this year, well that's the plan anyway.

Now I need to sort out all the pots and both compost bins. Oh and I've already found Vine weevil so will need to check all my pots again.

Everything is starting to get growing, hopefully I will keep on top of it this year.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Terrible blogger

Oh dear, I had intended to keep this blog up & do lots of work this year in the garden, but again I didn't do either.

The experiment with the floating fibre stuff in the pond didn't work at all. Nothing grew so I sowed some more lettuce & waited for it to grow before transplanting them, but they just died.

The sweet potatoes took off well & I was left with so many slips I had nowhere to put them. I tried offering them on Freecycle but even then they didn't get taken & I had to throw them in the end. I haven't harvested the ones I ended up keeping, they are in pots & I'm wondering if I can over winter some as I know they haven't had enough time to get big enough.

Normal potatoes did well, still have some in the ground although the tops have now been cut back.

Tomatoes did reasonably well but the plum type still haven't all ripened, they seem to take a lot longer to grow than the normal round cherry type.

Then the lawn mower decided to die on me today. Now it's only a few weeks out of it's warranty, I'm absolutely disgusted that it's done this. Looking at it properly I discovered that the air intake is underneath & has no cover. Hence the fact that when I finally took the cover off to take a look, this is what I found.


As far as I'm concerned this is a major flaw in the design. If I had known this was filling up I would have opened it long ago, however that would have invalidated the warranty.

So that's just a warning to anyone out there with a Qualcast lawn mower. Now I have to go & buy another mower. I tried it after cleaning & there were sparks coming from the motor so I don't think it's going to be useable.

Not a happy bunny.

On the other hand I have been up to quite a bit this year. Instead of gardening I have been trying to set up a business. I have named it after my nana, Lilian.  It's called Lilians Treasures and I can be found on FaceBook, Pinterest, Instagram, e-bay and Etsy.

https://www.facebook.com/LiliansTreasures
https://www.pinterest.com/lilianstreasure/      (pinterest will only allow 15 letters, hence no S)
https://instagram.com/lilianstreasures/
http://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/lilianstreasuressevenoaks ( had to add Sevenoaks as name had already been taken)
https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LiliansTreasures

I am making quilted picture ( I call Quiltures). I hand paint on fabric & then quilt them. I then frame in a box frame with either a single or double mount. I have made a few & sold some. I have also made some Christmas items, hopefully these will sell at the Christmas Fair I will be attending in Eynsford, Kent.

Do take a look at my new business, I can do almost any picture & they do make lovely unique gifts. I also intend to add some other handmade items throughout the year.

 These are a few of the commissioned pieces I have done so far.





I think the pug & beeboy are the best, just so cute.  I have added a page on this blog with all the ones I have done, some already sold but I can always do another (except with the commissioned pieces as they are personal to the purchaser). I am always happy to make more if anyone would like one. (you can't blame a person for trying).


Saturday, 9 May 2015

Photo update

Sweet potatoes
 The sweet potato tuber is in soil, I keep this warm & wet to let the slips grow. I then pick them off & put them in water to grow roots before potting then up, if they already have some roots then I pot them up straight away. Keeping them warm & moist seems to work, before when I've just kept them in water indoors I've not had any success.

cucumbers & squashes

apple tree blossom
Both apple trees are in bloom this year, normally they alternate.

Sorry photo's are a couple of weeks old now. I will take more as everything has grown tremendously since then.