Monday, 27 January 2014

DIY compost and Rose cuttingsDIY compost

I think winter is finally going to show its true colours over the next few days, the weather forecasters are all doom and gloom predicting yet more floods and heavy snow so I don't think there'll be much going on in the garden until spring begins to poke it's head through.
All is not lost though for those of us lucky enough to have some undercover areas such as a greenhouse or a polytunnel to work in.
I sowed Sweetpea the other day, I could never imagine a summer without a continuous supply of this gorgeous flower - so easy to grow and so willing to just keep on blooming. I used seed that I harvested from flowers last year but also threw in a couple of other packets that I bought 2 for £1 in poundstretcher - these cheapie pound shops may be naff when it comes to things such as PVA glue or Sticks like s*** (have experienced both unfortunately) but I've had great results with their seeds and even better results with their bare root plants especially Roses.
I also had another treat from my daughter that works at a local DIY store, it seems 8 Thread Palms were due for the skip and I was offered them first. I have no clue what I am goiong to do with 8 of these

Thread Palm
which apparently could grow to an eventual height and spread of 25m x 2.5m. The description suggests that they are tolerant of salty and windy conditions which they will definitely suffer from here but they need winter protection and that's where the problem will occur once they get to any decent size - I'm not one for going out and fleecing things over in winter but I'm guessing I'm going to have to get used to the notion that it's going to become a necessity.

Another job this week was emptying the compost bays into the polytunnel beds ready for this years veg. I didn't think there would be much of any quality to be honest because I've never really been able to produce much more than dry unrotted stuff or sludge. I got a little bit of decent stuff last year but figured it was a fluke however this year I was happily surprised to find that it was good stuff again.
It may look a bit lumpy but once I'd sifted through it it really was good stuff and I got plenty enough to fill all my PT beds.

DIY compost

Now all I need to so is source some well rotted manure for my flower beds.

I had a go at taking Rose cuttings in December. I honestly never thought they would take but I figured if just one out of each species made it then I'd have at least a few more free Roses for the pergola and the beds.
I checked on them the other day and was quite surprised to see that all but one of them was already showing signs of new life. I know nothing about Rose propagation as this is my first attempt but these little buds have got to be a good sign right? They certainly weren't there when I planted them

Rose cuttings

Friday, 17 January 2014

There's life in the winter garden

I've broken my laptop and I'm not happy! I managed to crack the liquid display and it's now basically useless, fortunately I came up with the idea that I may be able to connect the laptop to the monitor of my old computer with a VGA lead and hey presto, I can at least use the laptop - phew!

It's that time of year again where we're all busy, busy, busy planning the new gardening year isn't it! I have a basic plan of veggies I'll be growing but I've cut right back and won't be bothering with Cabbage (the ones currently rotting in the veg patch prove we don't eat it much) or Cauliflower (I did grow some successfully last year but the heads weren't worth the effort involved) and I'm also limiting the amount of some of the other veggies I grow yearly.
This years veggies will be:
  • Sweetcorn.
  • Cucumber.
  • Courgette - growing outside this year as they go too mouldy in the PT.
  • French Beans.
  • Swede.
  • Leeks.
  • Parsnips.
  • Onions - inside and out.
  • Tomatoes - only 2 plants though as they never ripen.
  • Salad bar - I've never been able to grow Lettuce so I want to master it this year.
  • Potatoes - I 'may' have a go with these again this year, blight has affected previous years.
I took a wander around the garden yesterday as I've spent most of my time at the PT and I was quite surprised at what is either still in flower or is showing signs of coming into flower, I guess this winter has been quite mild so far.

Kaffir Lily in sheltered position.


I'm not sure what this stuff is called but I was fascinated by it yesterday. An old tree trunk is covered with various types of this funghi looking stuff - very pretty in its own way.

Despite it being the middle of winter, there really is life in the garden.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Land clearance the easy way!

I'm not sure how much of the rest of the UK is joining me with some lovely mild weather but I'm loving it, yesterday was especially mild and I found myself pottering around out there with nothing more than a sweatshirt - it felt positively free to not have the bulk of 3 coats on top.

Mr TG finally conceded to getting a professional company in to clear the land. It had been difficult at first because the only local company we knew of refused to do it because of our neighbours but Mr TG went to the local source of important info (aka the pub) and found a company that would do it at a great price.
2 days is all it took to clear almost 4 acres of Gorse bush and Marsh grass, it looks a bit messy and bumpy at the moment but they will be back in a couple of weeks to mechanically harrow (or some such thing) the land and then flatten it. I guess we may be able to make use of the 2 new ride on mowers Mr TG bought on impulse after all.

Could there be a horse or two in my future!!

It's so nice to see the land open like this, my only concern being that they removed a heap of stone that acted as wind protection for the poly tunnel so I'm going to have plant alot of Willow trees along the path edge to help filter wind.
It just so happens I have willow aplenty and so yesterday I got myself plenty of cuttings and put them straight into a bucket of water to root. I have about 100 so far but I'm going to take more plus take some weeping willow cuttings.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Super rats!

The wind is really gusting today so I certainly won't be venturing outside any time soon. Mr TG closed up the polytunnel and the greenhouse yesterday so hopefully they'll stay safe but I always have visions of the tunnel taking to the skies when the wind gets this bad. We positioned it in the most sheltered spot we could that still gave direct sunlight but you never know do you..........

The other day I ventured back into the greenhouse to check out that rat problem, kind of wish I hadn't! I certainly wouldn't want to kill the rat despite Mr TG offering to put poison down (he didn't think what could happen if poisoned rat somehow ended up in one of the bird of prey aviaries - duh) and the thought of catching live also doesn't hold any appeal.
Think I'm going to have to come up with some ingenious method of convincing them they need to go elsewhere cos damn, they're getting a little community going by the looks of things.
I think my super rats are having a party!

Much worse than the last time I went in and I'm getting too scared to go back now lol
I have an image of a colony rats staring up at me ready to take my eyeballs out if I lift those boards up - so wish I could go back to convincing myself it was a mole problem.

Mr TG got me some gardening goodies for Christmas including an entire box full of spring bulbs. I can't plant them out just now because the garden isn't ready so I was going to find a spare piece of veg beds and plant them there temporarily however I've decided to pot them up like all the others so they're ready for planting when I'm ready.

My daughter also bought me this gorgeous chiminea. I think she must have felt sorry for me using my washing machine drum firepit and this new fancy piece of kit is all set up so that I can cook Potatoes and kebabs on it .......... not that I will!
It's going to look fab on my new patio though - once I've convinced Mr TG that he DOES want to lay one for me and that's it's the most important part of the second phase of the garden.

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Tilly's Nest