Wednesday, 13 April 2016

A bit of food growing at last.............on a very small scale.

First of all welcome to  Becky and Meggie, new followers in the pictures on the right and thank you for comments left after my last post - especially the ones from John Gray ( I think!)

With the gardening stuff unloaded on Sunday I was keen to get started doing something outside but we lost half of the fine sunny Monday taking the trailer back to our friends barn, where it can stay indefinitely or until Col is well enough for us to decide what adventures we will have next.
Cutting the grass was the first job but of course the mower hadn't been used for months so wouldn't start. Luckily just 5 minutes away we have a car parts place so Col was able to buy a can of Easy Start and get the mower going. It still wouldn't start with the key ignition which will be a problem as there is no way I can pull-start it.
Then I fitted the compost bin together and started trimming some of a huge Buddleia which had lots of dead bits over-hanging a mystery shrub in a big tub. My first thought was Camellia which would have been good. After looking again I think it's just a Rhododendron so a good thing it's in a barrel as they can be very invasive.
The only useful shrub in the garden is a large Rosemary, and the rest of the borders have various large shrubs, lots of perennials, bulbs, primula and too many grape-hyacinths, which have taken over - as they do. Col's brother is coming over later in the year to take out a huge Leylandii, a large vicious Pyracantha and a dead Cotoneaster. He'll bring a trailer to take everything away as I don't think a bonfire here would be much appreciated!
In a narrow border between the bungalow and the fence is a long row of half dead geraniums. I like the perennial sort that grow into clumps with small flowers but that's not what these are so I think they'll come out and be replaced by............ something. If the sun gets high enough to come over the top of the bungalow I could have some grow bags here with  veg in although it might be a bit of a wind tunnel.
We had a lot of rain overnight Monday/Tuesday. The sun came out early Tuesday afternoon and I tried a bit of weeding but everywhere was much too wet, it seems we have heavy clay soil just like we left behind at the smallholding so it's not going to be easy to make veg beds from the grass lawn, that will have to wait until Col is fit and well again.
Time is ticking by for food production  so this morning I went to B& Q to see what plants they had and came home with some cut and come again lettuce and mixed salad plants, 3 tomato plants, 2 courgette plants and a couple of grow bags. Total cost £12 (including my 10% off because I've joined the over 60s club). I noticed Asda had some special square, deep grow-bags that said they were ideal for one tomato plant but they were £3 each so instead I'm going to cut the top out of one grow-bag and the top and bottom out of the other and put that on top to make deep enough compost for 3 tomatoes at a cost of £4. It is really weird buying grow-bags and plants after all the years of being self-sufficient and growing everything from seed. Maybe next year I'll get organised to do things from seed again. Have we got room for a greenhouse? ( Or more to the point - do we want to stay here long enough to make a greenhouse worthwhile?)
Three tomato plants and 2 courgettes are being kept warm under this fleece

This is  a good place to sit out of the wind and in the sun, just room to squeeze in with all the boxes, chairs and the big dining table.

It's really good to get a few things growing.

Back in a day or 3


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