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Showing posts from April, 2009

Potting on

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I have not been blogging for a few days, so much to do! The tomato plants in the mini greenhouse were almost screaming for attention to be repotted as they were up to the roof of it.
I repotted most of them and also the dill which is growing strongly.They were repotted into larger pots with John Innes soil based compost mixed with some fish,blood and bone. I had to remove one shelf as they were up to that which leaves me seriously short of space.
The ousted plants around the patio table,Sweetcorn,cauliflower,red cabbage, brussel Sprouts,spring onions and marigolds, can you imagine the tete a tete?! These do not need the protection of the mini greenhouse any longer and they will be out on the plot in a few days.
Our communal greenhouse had only one old table and we needed some new shelving, a very good blogging friend and gardener relocated some and delivered it to the plot on Monday morning.This is the before view of the greenhouse.
All dickyed up with the new shelving in place, thanks Li…

Allotments

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It is a cold wintry wet morning here so no gardening outside! In response to a comment by Latane wondering what allotments are I decided to post about it for the uninitiated.
Allotments have a long and chequered history which I won't go into too much ,suffice to say they began as far back as the 17th century in England.There had been common land available up to then where poor peasant farmers and labourers could graze some animals and grow food to feed their families but even back then land was becoming valuable and wealthy landowners began enclosing this common land.
Around the mid 1800s the government passed the first Allotments Act. It was felt it would give the poor some self respect and alleviate some of their misery. The allotments were introduced around cities as most of the poor lived in squalid conditions in tenements without any gardens or green areas.
During the war years the Dig for Victory campaign meant every available green area was given over to food production and t…

Hydro Allotments 1

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The forecast for yesterday was not great with rain moving in over the country but I was sitting here reading some blogs when I realised the sun was shining so I took myself out to the allotment.I promised an update on the Hydro farm so here it is but in 2 posts as I cannot upload more than 5 pics at a time.I went out around 10.00am and stayed until 2.00pm and the rain arrived about 2.30 and it has been more or less raining since! When I arrived out the only other person was Rhoda tending her very neat plot, she was in the process of making mini cloches from plastic drinks bottles for the seedlings.
Another pic of the enterprising allotment ingenuity! Mike's plot with recycled clothes horses set up for peas and beans!
The first lot of 5 new plots which were opened early in the year. They are all looking very neat and have been divided into beds and paths with lots growing.
The second lot of new plots just opened a couple of weeks ago.They were all snapped up immediately and the plot h…

Hydro Allotments 2

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I was digging out the sweetcorn bed again, taking up a barrow load of weeds etc and bringing back a barrow load of manure. I had a light bulb moment! We were wondering what to put in to the other part of the old cold frame if you remember Kathryn is trying the mushroom experiment ( she put in horse manure sowed the seeds and must leave it covered with newspaper and the plastic for ten days )in one part of it which leaves about 2 thirds of it free. I thought the very place to put our courgettes so began filling it up with manure which was a slow job.Zwena came on the scene and immediately got Scotty to bring down a load in the digger, photo shows Zwena directing operations and in fairness Scotty dropped it neatly in to the frame.
Why was Scotty using the digger? He is moving the straggling heap of rotting horse manure into a nice high bank, Zwena does this on a regular basis, firstly to tidy it up but it also exposes the well rotted centre of the pile.At this time of year it is done fo…

Herbs

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This is the Dill which was repotted last week and put outdoors in the mini greenhouse.It is growing upwards quickly.I have heard of the herb but not used it before I think it is supposed to go well with potato salad ,I will have to read up on its uses as it looks as if we will have quite a bit of it.The Basil which again was repotted into individual pots but quite a lot more of it!Basil is also a good companion plant for tomatoes and asparagus, it has a lot of culinary uses as well and I think is used to make pesto.I will have to google how to do that if these all survive.
Herbs still on the windowsill indoors. The sage is slow but coming on,marjoram doing well and also the thyme after a slow start.The parsley has now reduced to 2 minuscule seedlings ,for such a popular herb I did not think it would be a problem to grow from seed!
The anthirrinum (snapdragons)are doing well but only on one side of the tray!Calabrese are showing and another sowing of lettuce this one is butterhead.
Squash…

Edible Bouquet

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Another bunch of PSB which I cut yesterday, I was late coming home and almost had it in the pot when I remembered to take a photo which is why it is a bit blurred I just aimed the camera and clicked! It is nice to have something to bring home at this time of the year.It can be steamed with the leaves and stalks on it is so tender.
It is all systems go trying to get the new plot underway as we have so much to get out, the peas are flying up on their pea sticks but something was having a nibble on one or two of them so I put this netting around them temporarily until I take out stakes to cordon them off properly, I have some spares in the greenhouse to replace them
This is going to be the bed for the Sweetcorn when we finish digging it out. Stephen was dispatched up with the pick axe to break up the sods of scutch grass which is as tough as old boots and all the decaying planks of timber which are buried in the ground, another couple of days digging should do it and the corn is ready t…

Faux Stone Trough

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The word faux is a really nice word,somehow it does not seem to mean false, just a kind of copy! I had read about making these stone looking troughs or flower pots and again it was on my list of things to try.With my supply of donated flower pots I decided this was as good a time as any.The first pic is of the completed trough or tub filled with compost waiting on plants.
I began with a plain white plastic tub, it does not have to be white it can be any colour.Glue ,I used PVA which was painted on thickly and left to get tacky and either sand or I used a mix of small stones and sand, sold in the builders suppliers as 'filling'.
It is not a quick job to do as each side is pasted, shake on the sand thickly and press down to dry, I also did the opposite inside edge. I left it overnight each time but if it was sunny and warm it would probably dry faster.The first side drying, when it is dry shake off the excess leaving a thin covering.
The final application and it is completed only …

Old plants and new

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I have a new link on the side bar to a Gardening by Letter project started by Anna of flowergardengirl blog.Those of us who have joined send her a card a month for 12 months with little gardening gifts included, Anna then sends them out to the recipient for that month. I am Dec so I am looking forward to my cards arriving. The project began in march, you can read about it by clicking on the photo.
More of the past weeks back garden make over. There is one central flower bed which I have kept in the middle of the gravel. This is a patch I have tried to grow vegetables on by bringing in top soil and emptying compost on over the years.I gave that up when we started on the allotment. It had got overgrown and neglected last year so this year I redug it and added new compost. These are two of my old faithfulls which come up ever year through thick and thin and a blanket of weeds! A variegated Hosta and an old fashioned Peony Rose.

In the clearout I came across this which I thought was a grass…

Hodge Podge Weekend

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I spent some time last week clearing my back garden of overgrown grass and spread 1 and half tons of gravel around after covering the whole area with weed block membrane. During the weekend I planted up various pots and put in plants, photos still in camera so I am going with the Tomato transplanting ones instead.First I cleared out both mini greenhouses as they were developing a bit of a 'lean'.I levelled out the gravel underneath and righted them.Then I checked all the tomato plants which are all coming on great, fed everything and rearranged the shelves.I had to remove one of the lower shelves as the sunflowers are getting too tall ,they are on the bottom with the red cabbage plants. The second one on the right has 3 Pumpkins on the bottom,Kathryn had started these from seed, these are the ones that made it this far so they have been repotted into individual pots with compost,blood fish and bone and fed with seaweed extract.
In one of them I came across this tray of Golden S…

Getting the Spuds in

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The British Queens which have been sprouting in the shed at home are now ready to go out to the plot.We spent most of Saturday afternoon digging out a new bed on the new plot,and putting these in. I had been out myself on Friday and began the digging.Stephen had already turned the sods on this bed so I was really just re digging. It was slow going until Mike came down to have a look and told me I was doing a lot of work I did not have to. I had been digging over the soil and pulling out roots etc.He said I should just dig trenches, fill them with the composted manure ,put in the spuds and fill the soil in on top.Earthing up and harvesting the potatoes will ensure the soil is turned for the next crop.

I got on so well with the trenches right across the width of the plot that I began up the side of the plot with more. These are truly Lazy Beds as I dug the trenches and just turned the sods in on the potatoes. The bed across the width has the British Queens and the ones up the side of the…

Easter Greetings to all.

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Easter is a time of new beginnings and new life so I thought I would share the photos of baby Callum's Christening.The big occasion was on the 14th of march so he is bigger and cuter now at 12 weeks today.

The proud parents Janice and son Billy, Callum slept all the way through the ceremony just woke for the photos later

Family photo of Janice's family , Callum's big brother Alex was so proud when he realised that the Christening gown was the one he had worn for his,it made his day!

Baby Callum posing, D.Kathryn had been knitting and made the matinee coat,bonnet and boots for him/
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The 2 Nannies posing! Myself and Janice's mother Mary.
I hope everyone has a lovely Easter and enjoys some family time.