Monthly Round Up: July

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To-Do List

Another tick on this year’s To-Do list. After the front path and drive (cleaned and sealed), the wall and gatepost (painted), I’ve had the paintbrush in my hand yet again – this time for the garage door! I can’t remember the last time I painted it but it’s been quite some time.

An up-and-over door isn’t the easiest thing to paint. I managed the top of the door (standing inside the garage with the door open) and the bottom of the door (standing outside on a stepladder), but I could only manage the lower half of each side due to lack of space inside the garage. It could probably do with a second coat (sometime) but it’s better than it was and I quite like the neutral brown colour.

I’ve still got to pain the white door surround. The paint here is flaking off so will need brushing and sanding, but that will be done at a later date, as will the door behind the brick arch (image 1 & 2). In the final image, the garage door looks blue, but it’s just the reflection of the sky in the wet (brown) paint – I haven’t “missed a bit”.

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Monthly Round-up: May 2021

This month has been a complete wash-out, literally; and when it wasn’t raining, we had overnight frosts. Everything is weeks behind and the soil is still cold to the touch.

First, a look at the saracennia (pitcher plant). This has been overwintering in the Potting Shed as it needs a couple of months of cold temperatures before it starts its new growth cycle. It’s been re-potted twice (July and November 2020) since I bought it in December 2019, in nothing more than the moss my brother raked from his lawn. Then, at the end of March, my favourite TV gardener said it was time to cut off the old pitchers to allow new ones to grow. So I did.

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Six on Saturday: 8 May 2021

Our niece in Gallashiels woke to a couple of inches of snow on Wednesday; we had rain in North Wales. Lots and lots of rain so far today, so it’s a good job I prepared this yesterday otherwise I’d have nothing to share for this week’s Six on Saturday.

Happily all four waterbutts are full to overflowing, yet a national newspaper has reported May heatwave is on the cards soon; but only after more wintry weather in ‘the North’. But though the temperature is set to increase, blustery winds are expected.

Wait for it . . .

(1) I’m still waiting for the first clemetis montana flowers to open fully, this is as good as it’s going to get until the weather warms up. Adam Frost, who presented last night’s Gardener’s World said everything in his garden is about 3 weeks behind; he lives in Lincolnshire – I’d say my garden is further behind again.

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Monthly Roundup: April 2021

Raised Bed preparation

Raised Bed A

I tackled this bed mid-month, hoping that we’d seen the last of frosty nights! The first thing was to clear away all the daffodil and narcissi pots to give access. Second – the temporary removal of the arch. Third, remove everything else and prune the fuchsia cuttings along the wall.

I rescued as many brassica leaves as I could (for our evening meal), then dug everything out, apart from the purple sprouting broccoli. I weeded, hoed to brake up the crust on the soil surface; added loads of chicken manure pellets; added the compost from five growing bags (my failed experiment to grow salad crops over winter), and raked and hoed everything again.

I’ve used a row of bricks to separate the fuchsias from the veg bed, added a ‘fleece’ layer (to start warming the soil) topped of with upturned hanging baskets to discourage cat activity, and replaced the arch in a new position – at the front of the bed where it will – hopefully – allow easier access to peas and beans (and provide some much needed shade while we have our morning coffee – once the beans have grown). All in all, a good morning’s work.

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Little seeds of Joy

I always have to remind myself not to panic when I see others have sown their vegetable seeds and are even potting them on into larger pots or planning to plant them outside. This post is to remind myself to do things in my own time, based on previous years, as it will all work out in the end. Better late than never, and if something fails, just try again.

Leeks: Lyon (12 cells), Musselburgh (4 cells)

18 February 2021

13 March

And after three weeks – LEEKS! Yes, they’re tiny, but they’ve germinated and are growing.

24 March

31 March

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