Subscribe with Bloglines At last I've got my plot!: January 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The hedge is finished!

Finished! I have finished planting the hedge...phew! My back aches, and my knees are sore, but it is done. Now I have to watch and wait and keep it well watered.

I also bought my spuds for the allotment. I got Kestrel, Charlotte and Desiree. I got 3 kg of each. This is overkill on the Kestrel and Charlotte, but I like to give them away to friends so it'll be ok.
Tomorrow I'll set them to chit.

Whilst in Kent last weekend I visited Canterbury Wholefoods and spent a lot on things I can't get here. One thing I am really enjoying was the set of Permaculture Magazines...all the 2007 issues. I love that magazine and really should subscribe...perhaps I will. There are lots of good ideas in there that will hopefully help me to be more productive as well as caring for the bit of the earth I have responsibility for. (Sobering thought!)

Tomorrow will be a bit cold so I'll do house jobs, then Friday I will carry on re-organising the tunnel beds and get the staging set up ready for my spring seed planting marathon which I will be able to start when we return from our Winter Sun break in Cyprus (3rd to 13th Feb). We hate to leave the Island here in is great here for 8 months, and I have my plot, garden and greenhouse to look we always go about now for a bit of winter sun. We'll hire a car there but hope not to do too much gadding about. I will be happy just to wander about peering over fences at people's veg gardens and allotments. I have some photos of veg gardens taken abroad over the years...I like them better than beach shots as holiday mementos.

I have spent a while this week reading all the garden blogs I subscribe to, and am gradually getting into my spring gardening mode. It is so inspiring reading everyone's experiences....I am so glad you all post on your blogs...thanks!


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The hedge work continues

I have spent most of this fine, sunny, windless day laying the weed-stop fabric, and planting the hedge. I am over halfway but have run out of bark chippings so am taking the opportunity to have a cuppa and rest my back. I'll get some more chippings tomorrow and finish the job.

Then I have the task of tidying, and re-vamping somewhat, the bed in front of the hedge. It is actually full of grape hyacinths, so I can't touch it much until they are finished, but there is a bit of dead foliage from last summer that needs removing. Likewise the bed against the house which needs a drastic tidy up and re-do.

I have great plans for this front garden. We need a bit extra parking for when we have visitors staying, so we are going to do away with the lawn, make a little formal-ish garden within the hedge, with lots of cottage garden annuals and bi-annuals, such as foxgloves, hollyhocks, etc. And a bird bath and bird table. I want this to be a very bird friendly (but safe) garden. Our back garden is patrolled by our cats and although I do feed the birds out there I think they'd be safer out the front.

The extra car-parking will be gravel and I will allow volunteer plants to grow in it. It won't be needed very often for parking so the plants will mostly be left alone.
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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Amaryllis cultivation information

A friend in the US has given me this wonderful link about how to make an Amaryllis thrive and re-bloom year after year.....
It is pretty comprehensive. I'll certainly give it a go with mine when it finishes this year.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Lark Rise to Candleford

Just want to tell everyone that the first of the new drama series "Lark Rise to Candleford" starts tonight. (Sunday 13th Jan BBC1 at 7.40....just before Sense and Sensibility!)
For anyone who doesn't know of this book (Flora Thompson author) about a girl growing up in rural Oxfordshire in the 1870's there is a bit of info here

I really really hope they don't ruin it. It is my favourite book; and if they do ruin it I'll find it hard to forgive them!!!!! LOL


Friday, January 11, 2008

How about my Amaryllis then?

Just had to share my beautiful Amaryllis "Apple Blossom" with someone! It actually has 6 flowers opening altogether, 4 are fully out and the other two are waiting to take their place.

I have at least one of these every year and usually choose this one.
The stem is over 2 ft tall and it is in quite a substantial pot to prevent the usual falling over nonsense, so we have to crane our necks to see it...!
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More hedge preparation

Through the week I have had several goes at digging the trench, and I have bought the bark to mulch it when planted. I have about a quarter of it left to do. I hope the weather improves because I am getting sick of this rain. I want it to rain copiously after I've planted the hedge!!!
The bushes came and I have heeled them into one of the vacant veg beds until I am completely ready to plant them.

We have booked a holiday in Cyprus for early February so it must be done and dusted by then. We wanted to go away then for two is just past the end of the tax year and DH needs a rest after the final clients have left it almost too late to get their returns in and he pulls their fat out of the fire....again! And it is just before I need to get going again in the garden, and on the allotment.
I don't think there is any point sowing anything outside before the beginning of March, and even the stuff in the tunnel doesn't actually suffer much for being left until late Feb....tomatoes and things. I usually do them too early and end up with spindly specimens. This year I'll start them later and hopefully end up with strong healthy plants ready to go out when the weather improves.
Wonder what sort of year it'll be this year?


"Allotments get hip"!!!!!

I just received an e-mail from Times Online Gardening which was headlined "Allotments get hip"!
Sounds like it's time I stopped doing mine (LOL) I'd hate to be thought of as "hip"!
(Actually nothing would stop me doing mine, but you get my drift!!!)


Sunday, January 06, 2008

Our new front hedge is coming at last.

I had an e-mail this morning to say that my hedge plants are in the post! Agggghhhhhhh! The place where they are to go isn't even dug yet......!

The plants are from Buckingham Nurseries, and I have chosen to plant an edible fruit hedge of native species.....! These are

2 Amelanchier Cherry bushes
5 Blackthorn
2 Cornelian Cherry
2 Hazel
2 Myrobalan or Cherry Plum
2 Quickthorn (Hawthorn)
5 Rosa Rugosa.

I have therefore started digging the trench this afternoon. The lawn area where I want the hedge hasn't ever been dug since the house was built in the late 70's so it isn't easy. It is very sandy and becomes rock hard in summer. There are lots of big stones so progress is very slow. However an hour and a half of hard work has resulted in an area 18" x 6ft, double dug to 1 ft, and the turf buried and the bottom of the trench enriched with home made compost

I have 30 feet in all to do so I may well have to heel some of the bushes in when they come. I'll get more done tomorrow and Tuesday so possibly half of it will be ready.

The reason for the fruit hedge is for the birds, rather than for us. I intend to make the re-designed front garden bird friendly rather than strictly ornamental and the hedge is the first part of the plan. It will also keep a lot of wind off the front of the house in the really whistles along our road as we are at the top of a hill and get it all.

It was nice to be doing some gardening again after my op (now 3 weeks ago!) and all the chilly weather. I don't care how important the garden is....I stay inside when it's really cold....!
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