Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Fabulous February Days

The weather for the last two days has been so lovely.... really spring-like and warm ......such a feeling of joy to be outside enjoying it.
Yesterday we visited the garden with our nephew, Frazer who enjoyed seeing all the animals.
Today we went to work and work we did.

Tim was out and about on the quad bike and gave us a cheery wave as he checked on the sheep.
I carried on with the compost heaps. I filled the second one and dug out the third, partly....quite nice stuff too. After a few barrowloads of that, I changed my activity, as suggested in one of my previous posts. I decided to spread more chipped bark at the bottom of the garden and round the back of the polytunnel.

Steve, in the meantime, had pulled up some sprouts which have done so well, chopped the stalks for the compost and dug over the ground. It is turning over very nicely.

He also transferred the artichokes to a better area. 
Whether they survive or not we`ll have to wait and see.

We had our first tea break sitting outside with an improvised table. It was peaceful and warm.

The brocolli  is just starting.....need to keep the pigeons off though

All ready for planting.

The flowerbeds look much better after a tidy up.

An area for development.
Think we need some more screening for the privacy of the visitors to the little house.

The next bed to tackle!!!

We came home at 12 for lunch in the garden room.....
.....and the icing on the cake..... was a huge buzzard seen on a telegraph pole in the lane.
What a sight!

Monday, 16 February 2015

A taste of things to come

After a tantalizing glimpse at last year`s pictures, which are still on my computer, I couldn`t resist resizing some more. Nothing like a damp, grey day to fantasise about how the garden will look this year. Of course in my mind`s eye, everything will be better than last year!!!


Sunday, 15 February 2015

Fit for Gardening

I love gardening so much and I want to continue with it for as long as I am alive. Actually I can`t imagine not being able to do it. 
With this in mind, there are a number of things we do to keep ourselves fit and flexible.
Number 1
We eat a lot of our own home-grown food. And we are mindful of what we eat.
Number 2
We do qigong exercises followed by tai chi, two or three times a week, attending a class on Wednesday evenings with George, who has been teaching us for the past 6 years. 
This marries well with our study of Jin Shin Jyustu.
Number 3
We have a series of yoga exercises which we do two or three times a week.
Number 4
I attend a general exercise class in the local village hall with Robin.
Number 5
Gardening itself and being outside in the fresh air keeps us fit.

It therefore creates a never-ending cycle.

As a gardener, this is what I need to be able to do.
  •  to kneel, sit on my haunches, bend over etc for decent periods of time
  • to push a full wheelbarrow of soil, compost or manure
  •  to dig over large areas of ground
  • to step over the sides of the compost bin or wire netting
  • to dig deep holes for planting
  • to continuously use tools such as secateurs, shears etc
  • many other tasks which I can`t recall
One other tip is, to vary what you do in any one session
Our gardening year is well under way with large areas dug over and manured or composted, the herb garden cleared, despite the wet.....
....all the herb garden labels will need replacing this year.....

.......and more manure on the asparagus.
Here`s to a great asparagus harvest this year.

The grass is very lumpy and uneven after the winter. We could do with an old-fashioned roller.
As I look at the flower beds, I wonder how on earth I will get them to their summer glory.

I will just have to trust......

Steve has completed a beautiful wine rack made from larch wood. The grain is wonderful.

 I`ve been making little pairs of slippers for Frazer from recycled hoodies and jeans.

We are off to Morocco next Saturday so I`m sure there will be a few posts about that.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Dullness, Digging and Dedication

Well we did go to the garden again today, and I would have to say it was dedication, as it was as dull as dishwater. 
Perhaps it is because we are ready to START.
The sunshine draws you out, but it`s the lure of the garden, when it`s dull.
I had a good job waiting and got stuck straight into the compost heaps. I completed one, spreading it in the raised beds, round the fruit trees and on the areas which Steve dug over.

 This is the first heap after refilling from the top of the second.....sounds complicated but common sense.
I even managed to get down behind the heaps to clear out the nettle roots. Funny how, at this time of the year, you want everything to look perfect. Soon time and seasons catch up with you and some things get shoved to one side, perfection being one of them.
Apart from anything else, I am growing to love those little unkempt corners of the garden where all kinds of things go on.

Some good stuff in the next one along though it took longer to get down to it. The compost heap walls have splayed out, so the slats fall out. This means the contents spill out and aren`t so compacted.

Still, no matter, I am satisfied.

Three barrowloads round the fruit.

 Steve was busy digging. The ground is turning over nicely.

He also spent some time raking out the molehills.

Good job I can keep focused on one job as there is plenty to do.
 Ha ha

The herb garden needs a good going over.

We had a natter with Hollie who was off to check whether the sheep were upright. If they fall on their backs, they can`t always get up, being pregnant. The due date for the lambs is 20th March.
All I can say is, that the ram must have had a very busy time seeing as there are 300 sheep.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Black Gold

After a cold, miserable day yesterday, yes the sun shone all day today. Hooray!
We went to the garden and spent an hour and a half there. It was perfect for digging.......crumbly and breaking up nicely. I decided to make a start on the compost heaps but not before saying hello to the chickens with a few worms.

Anne told us later that the cockerel is making rather a lot of noise, but his plumage is quite stunning.

We were also very happy to see the sedum has so far survived the winter and has turned colour.

After removing the top layer of the compost, I got down to the nitty gritty and it was pretty good. Did not get to the bottom though. It was jolly hard work but kept me warm.

Steve made a start on one of the big beds and we were able to spread our own compost there.

There was enough for the raised bed at one end. It still needs spreading.

The little orchard is to become a mini-zoo this year.

It will be fenced off and the bunnies and guinea pigs 
be inside the enclosure.

For a change of activity, I tidied up the alstromeria bed.

The grass seems very uneven, with molehills popping up all over.

All in all, a good start to the working year. It was really the first active day of the year as far as the garden is concerned. 
Lots to do and lots of exciting plans to fulfill.
More later.