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.