Monday, 29 October 2012

Compost and more clearing

On Saturday morning Steve dug out our first compost heap and it had gone down very nicely. As you can see there is enough on top of the other compartents to completely fill it, all over again.

He spread it all over the place. This is the old sweetpea bed getting a good layer.

I have had to stack more at the side of the heaps. Just waiting for space.

I picked a huge bunch of dahlias. It looks like they might have been the last, as there was a frost on Friday night. My own garden dahlias are turning black. I had 5 layers on, including a hat was so cold and windy.

Looks like my hastily planted blackcurrant cuttings may have rooted. I might protect them a bit from the winter cold.

I managed to clear the side path by the barn. It took nearly the whole morning but it was a good job done.

We have cleared the wild flower area, hoping the seeds will germinate next year. We removed docks, nettles, brambles and thistles. As the fire was still smouldering we managed to get rid of all those pernicious weeds. I would never compost them.
The lawns need cutting again but it is too wet.

Bonfire night and Guy Fawkes cupcakes

 On Friday night Tim and Anne had a great bonfire party. 

 It was a very cold evening but we all stayed warm by the massive bonfire made up of hedge trimmings. We were further warmed by liberal helpings of pumpkin soup, hotdogs and a variety of cupcakes. We also had glowstick lollipops and sparklers.
These are my Guy Fawkes cupcakes.

 This fantastic spooky display was made by one of the guests.

This is my sister Paula, by William`s pumpkin lantern, which lit the way to the bonfire site.
We had a great time and next day the fire was still smouldering. 
The whole garden was covered in fine ash.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Fantastic fungi

We have only been to the garden to fetch vegetables due to continuing bad weather, but what a sight awaited me.....though I did have to look carefully in some places; the amazing array of fungi, mainly on the decomposing chipped bark. Even though the day was dull and wet, there were still fascinating things to see.
I let Steve pick the sopping wet veg. whilst I took lots of photos.

I have tried to identify them but it is not easy to be sure. The second picture shows cup fungus. We have had Orange Peel cup fungus in our own garden. It is very bright.

 The wild flower area is going to be cleared next but we will leave the plants lying on the ground to make the most of the seed heads for next year`s flowers.

 The dahlias are still going strong though the colours are fading.

Hollie and Tom are drying off in the greenhouse.

We have taken short canes and posts inside to keep dry. As you can see there is a good crop of parsley plants for the winter, if the rabbits don`t get them and the tagetes is still going.
 The mint has plenty of new growth after a drastic haircut last month.

 The slugs have had a good old go at the brassicas.

 The fourth compost bin is made. It will soon be full.

 This is my next job....the path. The newly dug area on the raised bed will be perfect for carrots next year.
Here is today`s harvest.
Can`t wait for some better weather to continue our clearing up at the garden. There is still so much to do.
Next Friday there`s a bonfire party at the farm. Think the big pumpkin might make an appearance as either a lantern or soup! Will try to post some photos.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Well done William

 The huge pumpkin was an amazing 156 pounds.
Well done William. You are the king of pumpkin growers. What are you going to try next year?

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Onions and William`s pumpkin

We visited the garden on Friday. It was a glorious autumn morning. 
We are continuing to prepare for winter with lots of clearing and some planting.

Anne was busy cobbing. The walls have reached the little round windows. 
The yurts are being packed away for the winter. There are lots of exciting new ideas
 for the interiors next year.

I cleared the sunflower bed, dug it over and planted it up with Bellis daisies, 
forgetmenots and foxgloves. That took most of my time there and was hard work.

 Tom, the scarecrow has moved into the greenhouse. We like to get them all indoors for the winter.
Last year they stayed in the wool barn.

Steve planted onions and cabbages. The ground was perfect.

We picked French beans from the newest plants, a lot of brocolli and leeks. The newest brocolli and Romanesque had to be de-caterpillared.

William`s pumpkin is ready to harvest. It`s changing colour. Really excited to know its weight. Some dog-walkers came through wanting to see if it was as big as William had said. They agreed it was!!
PS. I am NOT hugging the pumpkin. I just wanted to show its size.

The dahlias are still lovely and there were quite a few butterflies around.
The pond has cleared and we can see right to the bottom. Steve has an interesting theory about why but I can`t blog it til I have absorbed what he means!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Wallflowers and toadstools

After several days of heavy rain, it was great to get to the garden in bright autumn sunshine today. The pond was full to overflowing. Anne was busy dismantling the Owl yurt.....sad in some ways but she will be glad to get it in before worse weather.
There was a handful of French beans from the newest rows. They never crop so heavily as summer ones but are very welcome nontheless.

Here are the rows.

I brought two trugs of wallflowers home today. They are now planted in our front garden. The Bellis daisies have rust similar to that found on the leeks so I don`t know if they will survive for long.
There are spectacular mini-forests of fungi sprouting along the chipped bark paths. The bark must be starting to rot down. Some of the paths will need a new layer this autumn. I must contact Andy.

I brought the last of the green tomatoes home and pulled up the plants in the greenhouse. Steve dismantled the growbags with peppers and aubergines. I am starting to bring in short canes and stakes to keep them dry.
Today there were a couple of courgettes and a few runner beans, lots of brocolli, 
a bunch of dahlias and some helichrysum.

A few sweetpeas are still hanging on.

The pumpkins are drying off in our garden room guarded by Pumpkin Man.

This is an Alan Dart pattern.

This is next year`s garden!!!

Last week we went to Wyevales Garden Centre and found all the packets of seeds reduced to 50p. Since some of the packets were originally £2 and over this represented a huge saving for us. We spent a very happy hour going through all the tubs to find what we wanted and tried hard not to get way-laid 
by frivolous choices.
At home during the bad weather I washed all the used garden labels remembering the whole growing season through the names I was rubbing off.
I also put all my home-saved seed into home-made seed packets.
Very satisfying.