Friday, 23 November 2012

It's blowing a gale here!

Well it was yesterday, the sun is popping in & out of the clouds today. Hope you are all well where you are.

Popping into the garden early yesterday morning to take a look, at what I wasn't quite sure, the garden is nearly bare. Perhaps it was the ominous grey sky above.

Then I spied the oasis in my garden, my brassica patch, all green & weedy & well a tad dishevelled.

Bad scruffy gardener Joanne - bad scruffy gardener!!

There are plans afoot this weekend. The netting which has to be said has done its job exceedingly well. There were oodles of cabbage whites performing gymnastics at the height of the olympics & not one of the little buggers got through. However, the same could not be said for the slugs. Who naturally took gold this year for the most damage caused! It was rather satisfying to see fat ones getting stuck in the netting holes. They were soon dispatched I can assure you.

Anyway, back to this weekends plans. The netting will be removed & the weeds pulled up, my brassica patch contains, purple sprouting broccoli, cauliflower, cavalo nero & spring greens. I shall be picking some of the cavalo nero for Sunday lunch & a stirfry on Monday evening. The netting will be rearanged neatly & weighed down. That is of course if it is still in place by the time I get out & do it, enjoy your day!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Thinking of trees.

Now that I have sorted out the vegetable patch for next year my attention is turning to trees. I need more fruit trees.

If I ask the under gardener nicely to build me some sort of contraption, I would have the space for some cordons. Nothing too elaborate you understand, but needs must. Also this gardening lark is quite addictive.

Another cooker & two eating apples would suffice along with a couple of pear trees. With so many varieties out there, it is really quite hard to make a final choice. Also with me having quite a daydreaming nature, the name is important. With having a Bramley & Howgate Wonder in place, consideration needs to be given to the pollination. If the trees aren't compatible, there will be no apples.

For instance my Bramley apple tree & Howgate Wonder are in the same pollination band, for successful pollination the bands need to be either side or the same. However the other problem is that the Bramley is a self sterile triploid. This means it cannot polinate the Howgate Wonder or indeed any other apple tree. So if I don't get a wriggle on, I wont be harvesting any apples next year.

With my romantic tendancies & the pollination to think of about I'm sure you can imagine how hard it is for me.

Annie Elizabeth
Dr Harvey
Peasgood Nonsuch
Winter Banana
Golden Delicious
Court of Wick
Claygate Pearmain

Packhams Triumph
Conference- The amount Mike eats of this variety makes it a must.
Josephine de Malines

Oh what to choose. Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A crisp Autumn day

I do like to spend time in the garden when the air feels a touch frosty.There was a day last week which was perfect, I opened the french doors & stepped outside. I knew when I could see my breath in front of my eyes I would have an ideal day. I called the under gardener & off we went.

I also managed to plant most of the flower bulbs. Fingers crossed for next year, I should have a mass of tulips, daffodils & crocus. With a smattering of snowdrops. Blimey they were expensive - snowdrop bulbs.They had best come through I'm not buying anymore.

I.have a sneaky plan for next year. I have looked at the website before now but had never ordered. The packaged gardens never seemed right for me, too big or to get a combination right for me, too expensive.

However when the brochure came through the letterbox the other day, I pounced on it with delight. The new urban constant garden seems ideal for me.

I want to grow a more diverse range of vegetables & with having a small garden it seems to me a waste opening a packet of seeds, when I would only use 4 or 5 out of 80 seeds. Also I love the idea of getting deliveries throughout the year, so after Christmas I am going to order it. Really it would of been the ideal Christmas present for me but A. Mike would never of thought of it, even with me leaving the page open & marked with red & B. he has already bought my presents.It will also give me a chance to finish the front garden & devote a bit more time to sowing flower seeds.

Also with my daydream planning & being a lazy old trout, it may help me plan better. Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Clearing out.

I managed, after the bed glaring at me for the past few weeks to clear the fruit & flower bed. This lovely bed contains the vast majority of my soft fruit bushes, strawberries & rhubarb. The rhubarb will be moved as it proved monstrous last year. I kid you not, three crowns took over & when they died down, I found a gooseberry bush that had been hidden.

The strawberries have been pulled out, out of 16 plants we harvested a small handful of fruit. The summer was so wet & damp that the slugs had a field day. I have vowed never ever to grow strawberries in the ground again. I have some new plants ( free with a magazine offer) & these will be potted up & kept in the small greenhouse.

So I am left with a bed containing black, red & white currents & a gooseberry bush. Now these bushes are on the far side of the bed & there is ample space left over to be put to good use.

I had a delivery of asparagus crowns also free with a magazine offer. Only 5 crowns but they were a nice size & looked healthy. These crowns have been planted in a space of 5ft by 2ft space. Yes they should be given more room & devoted to a bed by themselves. However there is no such luxury here in the small space I have, they will have to take their chance like everything else. My next door neighbour has asparagus growing in his front garden, in an old rock garden, full of other flowers & bulbs. I have lived in my house for 14 years & his asparagus pre-dates me. He also has a big enough harvest for two each year.

I must admit it was lovely being in the garden on Sunday, a couple of hours spent pottering blew the cobwebs away.

Monday, 12 November 2012

A return!

From being hugely busy in work & at home for that matter, the urge to switch the laptop on for an evening's blogging has been non existent. I am also ashamed to admit to only a fleeting read of your blogs (when I was supposed to be working). No postings or comments from me for a while.

That has to change, it's very rude to start a blog & then not do anything for a while -  if you don't have a good enough excuse that is. I didn't have a good enough excuse as I think laziness doesn't quite cut it.

So I'm back. I am pleased to announce that my veg beds have been prepared for the winter, I am a very lazy & haphazard gardener so it really was a great achievment. I have been known to leave runner bean plants & canes up until the following season. If it wasn't for the fact of overflowing compost bins the fruit/flower bed would have been given a good seeing to also. Hopefuly this Saturday morning should see that sorted out.

Shallots, red onion sets & garlic have been planted along with a rather large amount of flower bulbs. The flower bulbs have been scattered far & wide & stuck into whatever space I could find. In my head I have secret plans for schemes & planting lines. This never actually happens as I am more for the chuck it in and see what happens ideal.

The space I have for vegetables is rather small though & I really should know by now that I have enough space for 20 shallot bulbs not the 50 I ordered & have squeezed in. Greedy me.

This patch of cosmos is still going strong & I haven't the heart to pull it up yet, I also found an alpine strawberry last week. Very unexpected & tasty too. An unusual treat for the beginning of November. We are very rarely hit by bad frosts or snow here, we had no snow last winter at all. However now I have typed that out I'm sure a proper winter will be on the cards.

Enjoy your day & many many thanks to those who have still viewed my blog. It truly is appreciated.