Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Mum's garden

Well for the last few days I have been very busy in my mum's garden. She has gone away for a few days & I decided to surprise her.
I had thought at first it would be a simple job, replace the 2 short panels that had broken, trim the trees & just put in a few plants. That was in my head, the reality was not the same.

The 2 small panels turned out easy, sort of, they just fitted into my car with the back door tied closed. Took out the old ones & slid the new in easy. Then I made the mistake of cutting back the trees, they are supposed to only be bushes. That's when I discovered the rear panels were totally buggered & had to be replaced too.

Now these rear ones being a boundary fence are 12 foot tall. Not only will these not fit in the car they have to be lifted & slotted into the concrete uprights. So off to B&Q. I can't believe that they only cost £2 more than the small ones but still at £21 each it adds up & all panels  came to £80. Now 2 panels on a trolley pushing up the hill all the way home, I was surprised to find my son actually helped. Not only that but he climbed the ladder to help slide them in. Took a while as we both ran out of steam, they were heavy & not easy to maneuver, not only that but I had to clear the rear alley way from all the rubbish that had been thrown there by the neighbours. I also had to cut some planks of wood down for the last panel as the size is not normal.

I then had to paint them all as mum had never done it with the old ones, another reason why they needed replacing. I put in lots of new plants & made a herb garden in the little half moon brick bit. 2 new solar lights. I also had to repoint some of the patio, there is still a bit needing to be done but rain has stopped play at the moment.

Today I raked & mowed the front lawn for her. I also recut the edge so it's nice & neat & crisp. A couple of new plants too, trimed the old ones & her rose bush which she planted far to close to the wall but I can't move it or I will probably kill it.

Unfortunately mum doesn't look after her garden.

So she will have a nice surprise to return to.

Please note that I did return the trolley to B&Q.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Sorting out the blog

Well I'm not happy with Google & Virgin media. I don't know if any of you are with Virgin but after Google took over Blogger & you tube they stopped people using their virgin e-mail accounts to access their products. Basically they just want every one to use their gmail, so I had to take the plunge & open a gmail account. I am not happy that Virgin (a massive company) did not stand up for their customers.

So I am finally back on line, however as I am now using the gmail account for the blog I will not get any comments sent directly to my laptop & will only see them here.

So what has been going on in the garden? not much really. I still haven't finished stripping the old paint off the garden furniture, just been so tired.

The runner beans are sky high, been picking them daily but still manage to miss some which end up getting stringy (yuck).

The French beans bush type were a waste of time although a nice purple colour, the climbing type have produced leaves but hardly any beans. Every year I say I won't bother again but at least they don't go stringy when left.

There are 4 lots of potatoes, 2 in tyres which are doing really well with the top growth & the other 2 are in the pots I used for my sweet potatoes last year.

Tomatoes are doing well, I have Garten Pearl in baskets which are just not stopping. Then I have some plum types which I want to use to make sauce with. These are still green, probably had about 4 off so far. Now I did put them into the slow cooker to make puree with but unfortunately I left it on overnight & well..... Never mind, there are plenty more waiting to ripen.

The blueberries are finished, they made 4 jars of jam for mum. The raspberries are almost done, 8 jars of jam made considering most were stolen by the dogs. Didn't get many strawberries but the ones we did get were eaten straight away.

The best has been the cucumbers, I really love Socrates F1. All female, smooth & sweet. So worth growing as they perform wonderfully, even outdoors. We have had so many that we haven't been able to get through them all.

The weather has been very hot & sticky. Today it rained really hard, I had to unblock the drain as we were getting flooded. Luckily it soon drained away. It's still wet & raining now but not as bad. Stupidly I went out to the bin in it & got soaked. We have had a few good thunderstorms this summer which have looked spectacular.

There won't be much chance of getting out into the garden this weekend, the forecast says the rain will continue.

Rain stopping play
 The dog had dug a hole, again, which is hidden under the plastic cloche in an effort to stop her. I have now removed the wire which was along the left border & managed to tidy up to the road cone, so far I haven't caught her on there.

my little grow space
 I have plans for the top end but haven't had time nor money to get it sorted. I really need to fence it all off & level it as the whole garden slopes.

apples & raspberries along fence
 This year & last year the dog has eaten the berries & ripped the plants so I really need to put these somewhere where she can't get to.

Potatoes growing really well
 The type on the right are Roosters but the on left I used normal potatoes that had started to sprout (not seed potatoes). I don't know what type the were but I always have success doing this. There is no blight at all.

 I have 2 Braeburn apple trees but for some reason the fruit alternatively rather than every year. They are not ready for picking yet but are getting juicy & fat.

sweetcorn in pot
 Now I have grown my sweetcorn like this for 2 years now, I don't get may cobs but the one's I do get are lovely & big. We have already had a cob off & Dale said it was lovely. I followed my friends recommendation of cooking it whole in the microwave for 4 minutes, then cut the end off & squeeze it out. So much easier than all that peeling.

Garten Pearl
The baskets dry out really quick & need watering twice daily but there are loads of fruits, the only downside is they are very small.

I did raise the raised beds but I still need to fill them with more soil, that will have to be done when there is nothing in them. I have lost a blueberry bush to the dreaded vine weevil so that will have to be replaced at some point.

I can now start to catch up with everyone's blogs.