Weekend Workout

This last weekend, between having my flu jab, taking part in an OU online tutorial, and – finally – managing a visit to the allotment, I found a few minutes to cut down my cucumber stalks and remove the cucamelon stems and foliage.

I picked the largest cucumbers and consigned the remainder to the compost bin. This leaves room to bring out the root trainers, though I haven’t decided – yet – whether to grow sweetpeas again over the winter months.

I might concetrate on salad leaves, along with flower seeds (bluebells) that need cold weather to kick start germination.

I had also planned to brush up the leaves that have filled the patio and pop them into bags, but Saturday afternoon turned wet and windy and with more leaves falling every minute, that job can wait for a calm and dry day. Besides, I have no plans to visit the allotment now until next spring – and by then, the leaves should have started rotting and will be fine to spread on the allotment bed, to continue to break down or be dug in (depending how energetic I feel).

Herbylicious

With the first sunny day for at least a week, Saturday morning saw me abandoning my studies for a few minutes in the garden. I say a few minutes but . . . you know how it goes.

First on the agenda was to dig up all the parsley and red-veined sorrel planted in the raised beds. I grew these from seed this time last year and they overwintered in the Tiny Greenhouse – an attempt to provide leaves for winter salads, until the slugs found the parsley! They didn’t seem to like the sorrel.

When the weather improved in spring, I planted the remains of the parsley, and the sorrel, first into large pots, where they fared no better. Finally I moved both to the raised beds where they perked up and provided leaves for months. Now I’ve put them back into pots balanced on gravel trays in the Potting Shed where they will have some sun. (The Tiny Greenhouse is still shaded by trees. Grrrr!)

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Weekend Workout: Magic Paint

Last year (2020), a while after the end of the first lockdown, we ventured into a discount store (Home Bargains) for some essentials – including 2 tins of white exterior gloss paint. I had plans for painting the back gate, the garage side door and my husband’s shed door.

But I never got around to it!

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Weekend Workout

With the new shelving in the Potting Shed filling up with vegetable seedlings and chitting potatoes, and a planned trip to the Recycling Centre next week, I’d been thinking about sorting out the Tiny Greenhouse. As Sunday morning was warm and sunny, we made a start.

The first job was to remove the bubble wrap I had carefully pinned to the inside last September in the hope I could grow salad crops over winter. Even with the additional insulation, the seedlings/salad leaves I started off were either eaten by slugs or went dormant until around mid-February – so while I have my thinking cap on for next winter – I’m already planning for summer and autumn.

I’m pleased I will no longer have to fight my way into the greenhouse through these layers of bubble-wrap.

After a good brush down, it’s almost back to normal. This year, I will grow some of my tomatoes in here, just to see if I can actually get them to ripen rather than pick them green and ripen them indoors.

And with the front border in mind, I have sown some flower seeds.

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Six on Saturday: 12 September 2020

A sunny start this morning, though the wind is picking up and clouds moving in from the south. I’ve already taken my morning walk along the lane and done some work in the garden; removing leaves and any flowers/tiny fruit from my tomato plants to allow ripening , as instructed by the nation’s favourite gardener on last evening’s Gardener’s World.

I love the colours of this Strawflower, which I intend to cut and preserve in a vase. And there are more to come, a darker one and a pale silvery-pink. They have a great texture too.

Livingstone Daisy – one of several from my 29p packet of seeds from Lidl

I thought I’d take a photo of a white-tailed bumble bee enjoying the nectar on this Autumn Joy. But I later found I’d got more than I bargained for.

You can see where this Lagurus ovatus grass got its common name of Bunny Tails.

My pitcher plant has a flower! It’s not fully open yet and it’s proved difficult so far to get a clear image. I think it need to go back into the greenhouse to help with the aphid problem on my pepper plants.

There won’t be many more weeks before I run out of flowering plants to photograph and share here through The Propagator’s Six on Saturday club, but I’ve a few to share still, and I fully expect to see the start of crocus bulb shoots in a few weeks, unless the heatwave forecast for Sunday and Monday confuses them.

Borders, Boundaries and Shady Dealings

NOT the local Mafia (or, as we’re in Wales, the Taffia), but a look at the problems caused by my neighbour’s overgrown trees.

First, the vew from my study window – for the wider angle looking across the conservatory roof. The brick shed is ours, the greenhouse and field is the neighbour’s. as are the trees.

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Weekend Workout

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In June 2019, I made a start on a project that is finally almost complete. This began with the removal of a raised bed in the shadiest part of the back garden, via the building of the Tiny Greenhouse and now the final corner. Click here to see what it looked like in 2018.

We were left with this ‘spare’ piece of ground, where the round compost bin had stood for 20 years. But then our beer spare fridge finally gave up the ghost in February (almost gassing us in the process), and we were forced to buy a new washing machine after the bearings went on the old one: so with all Recycling Centres closed until a few weeks ago, this (↓) was the view from our kitchen window – until now. Continue reading “Weekend Workout”