March 27th, 2012

My week (and a bit more) in pictures

I just realised that I’ve done a gazillion things in the garden that I’ve meant to blog about and didn’t, so I’m just going to put it all in here in one ginormous update.

A while ago, Thompson & Morgan had a special offer of ‘buy 20 perennials for £10’, so i figured I’d go for it, as the flower beds have been rather neglected in favour of the veggie patch. Other than edible things, the only plants I care about in the garden are an acer, a corkscrew hazel, a couple of ferns, a honeysuckle, and a climbing rose. Oh, and something I don’t know the name of, and a couple of geraniums and other things my mum gave me that I dunno what they are called. Given that I have a reasonable amount of bed space, I figured 20 new plants would fill the gaps nicely and make the garden pretty and hopefully cover more ground and stop the weeds. The plants arrived the other day, and this is what I got.

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I looked at the names and descriptions, and realised I only knew what a few of them actually were, so GIS to the rescue. This is what they will turn out like! The only one I’m not sure what to do with is the red hot poker…they are a bit 1970’s for me, and they get biiiiig. I’ll either give it away, or hide it at the back somewhere.

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Theeeen (and this pic is from ages ago, but never mind), I’ve been playing with my new saw. A LOT. I love it so much, it makes jobs that I’d not have been able to manage in the past sooooo easy.

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On that occasion I built a raised bed for J’s greenhouse.

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Then a couple of weeks later we built another bed for the side of my house to cover the sloping area.
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And he very kindly filled it with soil for me.
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Theeeeen last weekend, the internet was BAD. It was all ‘hey vampy, you know you want a conservatory but don’t have the gazillion pounds they cost? Well how about a secondhand lean-to greenhouse, you can pretend that is a conservatory, right?’. And I was all ‘DAMN YOU INTERNET, you know me too well!’. So I bought it, and after a rather scary (and possibly illegal) journey with bits of greenhouse sticking out the car window, we got it home, with the greenhouse, the car, and us, all in one piece. With Gren’s help, I got the frame up.

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Then I had to go buy timber to attach it to the wall, and my awesome woodyard also gave me some old flashing tape they had arrive damaged, cos I didn’t wanna pay £13 for 30m of the stuff when I only needed 4m. And with more gren help…there is wood attached to my house!

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And a greenhouse attached to the wood, and glass in the greenhouse!!
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This is what I see when I open the back door. A pretty area to sit in, and a place for the seedlings that were previously taking over the dining room.
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And littlecat loooves it in there, cos it gets really warm and sunny in the evenings, and I love it in there cos YAY GREENHOUSE.

A while ago I decided I wanted an archway over the steps in the garden, so the honeysuckle and rose have something to climb up and don’t attack you when you walk past, and so I don’t have to cut them QUITE as far back every year. I asked the internet, and it was all ‘hahahaha, you can get one for £150 if you’re lucky, oh, but by the way, it won’t actually fit over your steps’. So I looked at timber on the B&Q website, and they wanted around £50 for it. So I asked my favourite local woodyard. £15 for the timber and screws. Score. AND I GET TO USE MY NEW SAW AGAIN WOOHOO. So I borrowed gren’s car cos it’s bigger than mine, and went and picked up the timber when I got the stuff for fixing the greenhouse to the wall. And I built an arch. And it took less than 2 hours, even including the gazillion breaks I need to take when I’m doing anything more strenuous than sitting down.

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Of course, I didn’t exactly consider that it needed to be 5′ wide to fit the gap, and I’m 5’3 tall, meaning my arm span is about 5’3 too. So there is no way I can move an archway that is 8′ tall and 5′ wide. But again, it was Gren to the rescue, we moved it into place, marked where the holes needed to be, and had some fun hitting a bit of wood with a sledgehammer to make the holes, then put the archway in place. And it fit! And it looked awesome! And it only cost £15!!!!

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And now for other random stuff. We moved the manky sofa off the patio so the greenhouse would fit. It really needs to go to the tip, but even with gren’s help I have trouble lifting it more than a few metres, and there’s no way we could get it in the car. We considered cutting it in half with a chainsaw, but that would be messy and I can’t really lift the chainsaw, and gren drinks too much beer to be able to safely operate dangerous tools, so we decided to leave it in front of the veggie area, as there’s a patch there that is always in the shade so not suitable for growing things in, and I had been considering putting seating there at some point, because I do like to be able to sit out of the sun.

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As you can see, I’ve put down anti-weed plastic around the area and started to cover it with gravel. I have another 2 bags of gravel that will be put down once a strong man moves them for me, then after that I’ll have to save up to get another ton or so delivered so the entire area can be gravelled, with a few paving stones for easy access to the greenhouse and chicken area.

I love my manky sofa though, it’s nice for relaxing on in the shade.
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And just perfect for taking myspace style photos (ok, so I took the tablet into the garden for the first time, and was having lots of fun internetting and taking stupid pics of myself).
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I also put in some bricks to mark the edge of the flower bed, and widened it a little so there’s room for my perennials, and planted some primroses and catmint my dad bought me. Mummycat looooves the catmint, and has been rolling around on it a lot…I made a little cage from chicken wire to cover it so she can’t completely kill it. I hope.

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Aaaaand that is pretty much all I’ve done since I last updated. The rest of the time I’ve been sleeeeping. Apparently my need to sleep 12 hours a day turns into a need to sleep for at least 15 hours a day when I’m being active. And I’m sure my body will have its revenge in a few weeks, but I’m trying to both make the most of the sun and not overdo things….I still have a huge list of garden stuff that needs to be done, so hopefully the good weather and my relatively ok body will last.

OH! and!!! J’s plot! We spent a few days down there a couple of weeks ago. It started like this:

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I did strimming and planting, and he did digging until it ended up like this:
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We found a flying spaghetti monster:
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And planned where we are going to plant ALL THE THINGS. The areas with grey backgrounds are already planted, the areas with white are just planned.

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March 6th, 2012

March is when things start to get busy

Or, at least, they do when it’s not raining outside. We’ve had a few lovely days, then the last couple of days have been really horrible. Still, at least the waterbutt will get filled.

On Saturday we got to do some work in the garden, J dug some beds for me and I pruned the ivy and did various other non-physical tasks. And now the garden is looking sooo nice.

Here’s my new beds!
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And here’s the main veggie area with one new bed and one relocated bed.
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Here’s the greenhouse. Radish, spinach and mixed leaves planted in the ground, rocket and mixed leaves in the trough, and pots of sunflowers, moneymaker tomatoes, parsley, coriander, and onions. My windowsill has aubergines, black cherry tomatoes, sweet and chilli peppers, and more herbs, which will be relocated to the greenhouse soon to free up space for more planting indoors.
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When I work in the greenhouse, I often have spectators. They are most upset that they can’t get in to steal all my worms.
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And finally, mushrooms grow SO FAST. This is either 2 or 3 days after the last pic. We chopped them up and made them into a sauce with some button mushrooms, onions, cream, parsley, and cheese, and had them with pasta, and they were lovely.
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