Saturday, 30 June 2012

Cobbing and scarecrows

It was a lovely day and we spent the morning at the garden. Hollie, the scarecrow is very happy in her new position. After pottering for a while, we got going with the cobbing. We are building a Hobbit shed from cob, which is a mixture of clay, sourced from the village, sand and straw from the farm.
The first few mixes were very hard work as the clay is drying out, and it required a lot of water.
But one whole layer was completed. Anne was very brave and worked barefoot (the clay is full of rough stones)

Steve and Charlie working on the walls.

This is how it looked at the end of a long morning.

I spent some time planting out the first tray of wallflowers to grow on for the spring. Only another 19 to go.
I tied in lots of cornflowers, picked sweetpeas and harvested over 3lbs of strawberries.
The sky was full of big fluffy clouds and made a good backdrop for the wild flowers.

The very first dahlia is out. The first of many we hope.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Sweetpeas and strawberries

We have have made two visits to the garden in the last couple of days. Yesterday we showed some friends round and we also went to see the yurts. Their family is keen to stay this summer. The Woodland yurt was surrounded by foxgloves and it was very peaceful and quite beautiful.
 Today we went to pick strawberries and sweetpeas. The perfume from the sweetpeas is particularly good this year. I have made the first batch of jam. Looking forward to trying it out with scones tomorrow.
The tomatoes in our polytunnel are really getting going, with small fruits forming. William`s one surviving pumpkin is on the right on the bench.

Here is a view taken from the butterfly garden. You can just about see Steve dead-heading the geum.
It was a hot day. We harvested broad beans, lettuce and of course strawberries. They were delicious, full of flavour, especially after all the recent sunshine.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Strawberries, mice and butterfly garden

Here is just one stash of damaged strawberries on our patch. It is mice... I can smell them.
All have to be removed or they will rot and cause the good ones to be lost to mildew.
I don`t mind them having a few but this is a bit much!

Here are the ones they didn`t get. They are destined to become little pots of jam for wedding favours. My nephew will be getting married in July.

Part of the butterfly garden showing candytuft and catmint. Not many butterflies around just yet though.

Here is a general view of the garden looking towards the farm buildings. It shows quite a few areas covered to protect crops from rabbits. You can just about see Hollie the scarecrow, who moved to the dahlia bed today. She`d had enough of the moles round her feet amongst the perenniels.

Today I planted four wigwams of runner beans. I also found homes for four odd tomato plants, outdoors.
I cut the grass edges and tied in the tomato plants. 
Anne was busy painting the shepherd`s hut. It was a really lovely day.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Nettles and wild flowers

It was quite windy today so we needed to do a lot of tying in.....sweetpeas and sunflowers. The cabbages had been attacked by pigeons so Steve had to cover them over. Hollie the scarecrow has sunk even further. Think her post is being undermined! We picked a huge cauliflower and our first broad beans. (We had cauliflower cheese for our dinner.) We also picked a basket full of strawberries. I noticed small caches of green berries, bitten from the plants ....I think it is mice.
The wild flower areas are very pretty and attracting a lot of insects. 
I made a start on the nettles and only got stung twice. I`ve put them on the compost heap. There are no roots attached. Still quite a lot to do. Quite a few campers around this weekend so good conversation and lots of interest in the garden. I planted 2 peppers in a Growbag in the greenhouse.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

June 19th First strawberries.

We made a quick visit to the plot today. It was beautiful....warm, sunny and no wind. Hooray. The view across to Icklesham and the windmill, is truly amazing. What a location. The wild flower areas are looking promising, cornflowers and corn marigold so far. The dahlias, over-wintered in the ground with cover, are budding up nicely. There are now two waterlily flowers out. The huge water butt is in place....thank you Anne? William`s pumpkin seeds are up, in the greenhouse. I don`t mind watering them, so long as he isn`t going into competition for the biggest on the plot. The second cucumber is dead. I planted a dark buddliea cutting, some ornamental blackberry and a double row of French beans, (seed saved from last year) the latter protected from the rabbits. Steve planted chicory and carrot seed. We picked the first strawberries, some radishes, sweetpeas and leucothemum daisies (long-lasting if dead-headed and also as a cut flower.) The nettles are growing through the wire fencing and encrouching on the paths. That will be the next job. We will still retain the wide band of nettles which surround the garden for the wildlife which feed from them, but I am fed up being stung as I walk round. One mystery. Hollie, the scrarecrow is getting shorter. Will keep you posted.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Ollie the owl and waterlilies

Ollie the owl is now in his new home. Anne saw the potential in the double treetrunk and we have completed the look using pyrography and a carved beak. I think he looks quite at home by the pond.
We are very pleased to see our first "red" flower on the half-price waterlily from B and Q. There are 2 more buds showing. The wild flower areas are just coming into bloom and I spotted my first butterfly in the butterfly garden....I think it was a Comma. Charlie was busy mowing the lawns and there were quite a few campers around, buying plants, eggs and crafts. I managed to get most dock and burdock seedlings out of the new asparagus bed without disturbing the roots, which are still settling in. Steve was busy building the base for a huge water tank, from recycled flat lumps of hardcore. The tank will collect run-off water from the barn which will mean less mains water being used. One more cucumber has collapsed but not from wilt.
The first cob layer is drying nicely despite the rain and it`s now ready for the next section.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

A short visit and strawberries

Today we made a short visit, to plant aubergines in the greenhouse, water the tomatoes, plant yet more cornflowers and tiny bellis seedlings in the seed bed. The leucanthemum daisies by the greenhouse are looking wonderful. Some kind of creature (rabbit or mole) is burrowing under the greenhouse soil so the cucumbers are looking a bit sorry for themselves. The strawberries are laden .....roll on strawberries and cream and maybe even some jam!

The butterfly garden


The butterfly garden is beginning to fill with flowers.
This is its first year. We hope to see more butterflies later in the season.