Sunday, 18 February 2018

You Have to be Mad to Build a Greenouse

They make it sound so easy, telling you that you can build a greenhouse (even as small as this one) with the "full instructions" supplied.  Don't believe them. Pay someone to do it for you!  This tiny greenhouse took 3 days to completely erect, plus multiple hours afterwards to deal with finishing and securing issues.  Still, it is up while there was an issue with one of the storms we had recently, it's looking ok.  I have fixed up two water butts to the sides whose fittings were actually the easiest part of greenhouse building!

So I have put some good soil and compost in here so that we can grow tomatoes, peppers and chilli plants directly in the ground later in the season.  For now it will grow seeds and young plants.  This wooden bench is foldable so can be removed later, and I have another green shelf fixed to the greenhouse frame higher up for storage and other use.  The plan is for this to allow us to grow tender plants indoors given the dreadful summers we seem to be doomed to endure now.

The weather since Christmas has been truly appalling with snow and rain galore, this was the view from my window a week ago:

The soil has been pummelled and quite literally squelches when you step on it.  So several weeks ago I put three cloches on a bed to keep some soil dryer and warmer than the rest.  Today it was time to plant it up with garlic, elephant garlic and shallots.

I have never grown elephant garlic before so have no idea how it will do, I have also switched to a hardneck garlic after some poor harvests and have not done shallots in a while either.  This is an experiment but this soil is the dryest and lightest on the plot and with the cloches left in situ they should do ok.

Here they are laid out for planting, elephant garlic in the foreground (each clove is huge), ordinary garlic on the left and shallots on the right.  The cloches are back on as more cold weather is forecast, so they will be kept out of the wind and snow/hail/rain.  We will see...

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Before Storm Ophelia

Asters (Michaelmas daisies) before the wind gets to them! 

These chrysanthemums got flattened by the last storm, so now in a vase for safety 

Took the last of the apples off before the wind does it for me! These are Spartan, with 2 Blenheim Orange.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Pond Building Part 2

After a little bit of tinkering and adjusting, we have now planted up the pond, here is a list of the plants, anti-clockwise from bottom right of the picture . 
  1. Trollius - globe flower
  2. Nymphaea candida - water lily
  3. Mental aquatica - water mint
  4. Veronica beccabunga - Brooklime
  5. Pontederia cordata-pickerel plant
  6. Unl
  7. Mares tail oxygenator (no label) 

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Pond building

 This year has been one of projects.  We decided to try a pond, starting with a couple of low tech bowl ponds.
 While these were successful in attracting insects and frogs, the nearby vegetation caused problems and we then decided to embark on a bigger pond.
 Here it is largely dug out, we put it in an area which had been full of nettles which we killed and dug out.
We have used pondliner, a cheap and adaptable way to create a pond. It is part filled, so the next step is to move in some plants, especially oxygenating plants so the newts, toads and frogs can breed next year.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

April 2017

 We're in the season of cherry blossom.
 The plum tree has been flowering well too.

 Dwarf narcissi have been spectacular.

 More plum blossom.
 On the veg plot, our reconstruction and clearing efforts have resulted in a new herb bed and two much larger beds bordered by new paths all around. The compost bins have been moved to a shaded spot behind the camera in this photo.
 As an example of what this clearance work involves, here is a before and after pic of an area containing self seeded raspberries and nettles.  The nettles will be finally cleared with weedkiller.
 Digging out raspberries on a steep slope is not recommended!
The Robin enjoyed our efforts with lots of food provided for him.  Next week will be planting week.