Monday, 1 February 2016

A new year!

Last year I decided that I would start growing veg again this year, I had everything planned - what I was growing, where it would grow etc etc however I have had to take a reality check and reign my enthusiasm in a tad.
I used to try to do it all - keep a house, look after animals, renovate the land, grow veggies, build 'stuff' etc but it got too much and I ended up losing all interest in absolutely everything. I couldn't keep everything in check and felt like I was juggling balls and despite being busy all the time nothing seemed to be getting done.
Then last year I gave it all a break, all of it. The polytunnel housed plants in pots or with no homes instead of fruit and vegetables, the garden probably got weeded once, the land renovations halted and I only built the odd piece of garden furniture. I took the year off and was determined to get back to it this year.
I'm not old - 44 - but no spring chicken either and health issues mean there are days when I physically cannot do anything, depression often seeps in and makes everything seem so much more traumatic and I simply cannot do the things I could do only 5 years ago.
So for the sake of my own health and sanity I have decided what is important this year and reigned the rest in.
The polytunnel will continue to house those plants while I spend this year renovating the land to make new homes for them but I will concentrate on small areas only and will get one area finished before another is begun.
The garden will be weeded and then mulched to help keep back the weeds releasing me from that chore every other day and project making will be stalled until/unless I have time. The only projects outside of gardening that I intend to do this year are a few furniture renovations for the house - which I am redecorating - and some items I am making to sell in my online shop.

As for the first garden area to be tackled, this is it!
The borders are to be extended and a huge patio laid. A new wall will be built to the left side replacing the fence (hence the boards behind the border) and it will be smothered in shrubs and climbers, especially over the aviary at the back.

What can I say about this one.
The sleepers have to be dragged out and those back borders have plastic underneath gravel over them - did nothing to stop weeds though. This aviary is also getting some colour to it.

This is going to be alot less lawn and alot more plants - yay for plants!

Dreadful! Even the dishwasher got dumped out there over xmas when it broke - it's since got to the landfill though. The house walls are what will hold me back some as we have to erect scaffold to get the harling on the walls.

This is also on the list for renovation this year. It's quite an extensive area and while MrTG does need some of it for stacking his building materials we're going to utilise at least half of it from the house side. Hoping to plant trees but we have a small issue with that because we had the rock on the ground set to about 3ft, nothing is growing in that! If you look closely behind the old digger you'll see tree stems, these are willow and we had to use the digger to dig out a trench along that back line and infill with topsoil so we could plant the willow.
I think I may have to build some massive planters for any other type of tree but this area is extremely exposed so I don't know what to do yet, I'm no tree expert and have no experience in this area. The sea is extremely close to us - you can see it behind the digger - and any wind from it can be seriously strong though not usually cold because although it's the east coast it's actually south of us.

This area will no doubt stay the same. There are about 500 plants in this polytunnel if not more, most of them are just waiting for a new home and have been stuck here for a few years. I have a feeling that we may need to renew the plastic on it this year as there are a fair few splits now. Most of them are along the bottom so if I can get a couple more years out of it by repairing rather than replacing that's what I'll do.
Before I can ever grow veggies in here again though I need to raise some on the beds more and add more top soil, some of the beds are too shallow because the area tends to hold water and so those beds can be very soggy.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Birds, birds, birds

I do not have the patience to photograph birds!
I deliberately placed a feeding station outside the living room window so that I could watch the birds and see what comes and goes, usually I forget to even bother until I happen to pass the window and see a blur of colour as a bird flies off.
Yesterday though I thought I'd drag up a chair and hide behind the curtain and see what happens along. How boring???
The Blue tits are brilliant because they're not at all shy and couldn't care less how much movement I make nor do the Robins but the Finches are so ridiculously skittish I had to hide behind the curtain and just point and shoot while guessing where they were.
It kind of worked and I was really pleased to see the greenfinches have returned to the peanut feeder this year.

This pic was taken a couple of weeks ago.

I'm not entirely sure what this finch is. It has the same wing colouring but is brown rather than green - maybe a female or a youngster?

Monday, 30 November 2015

Well that was a quick change

Wow, is it ever cold out there lately! What with that and the rain I'm keeping off the garden as much as possible. Thankfully I'd done a fair bit of filling the new sleeper beds with topsoil and compost before the naff weather hit though I do still have a fair bit to go.

Luckily I have plenty more soil available and thanks to my daughter bringing me home about 200 Wallflower plug plants I can fill it up for winter to stop the cats using it as a toilet.

I'm thinking we have a slight land drainage problem

When we first moved here 3 acres or so was completely plastered in awful gorse bush. We wasted way too much time and money trying to clear it without researching the correct way to go about it, this resulted in us simply regenerating new growth. We finally decided to pull all the gorse out with a digger, scrape the whole land with a digger and then literally go round pulling up all the little bits of roots that we could find. We now have land that can be mowed but we still haven't resolved the gorse problem - it really is a tenacious plant that isn't even destroyed by fire - we tried!
We can live with it though because the mowing will prevent it gaining any height and we thought it eould eventually stunt the overall health of whatever was left.
No such luck!

See all that dark green stuff? That's gorse and it's decided that if it can't grow up it will make a lovely prickly carpet instead.