Monday, 29 February 2016

Leaping into Spring

Lots of photos in this post!!!
On this special day, a special afternoon at the garden.
After cold, miserable days there through February, a glorious afternoon, to see the month out.
And lots of people around for a change.

Our plan was to continue with the compost heap work.
We now have two and they are in position, ready to fill.

My first job was to start raking around in the old compost, sorting stuff that was too dry from stuff that`s not rotted yet.
It is hard work.

(I hope you like all the photos of our compost heaps!!!)
Anne was busy getting the Owl yurt area ready for visitors, so we talked about the new projects.
When I was fed up with that job, I carried on digging up the old strawberries....nearly done.

The brieze blocks will need to be cemented in.
And the old herb garden sign needs replacing.
Raised bed looking good and turning over very nicely.
In fact the areas already dug over are drying out very well.

My last job was to weed the rest of the long path.
Some liitle gems spotted amongst the new growth.

Poor Tom, the scarecrow needs a new set of clothes and possibly a facelift.

 We picked calabrese and fresh parsley for our ham hash dinner.


Meanwhile the expectant mothers wait patiently in the barn.

 On arrival at home I found a positive treasure chest on my doorstep.....
.....a huge bag of all kinds of craft materials from Patsy who died recently. Her daughters sent it to me.......Liberty fabrics, home-spun wool in many colours, rovings, knitted squares labelled with type of wool and type of natural dyes and more parts for the spinning wheel.
I had a wonderful time sorting through it all.

And finally a happy little boy visiting the garden nephew Frazer with his dad and Paula.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Seven!!! Buzzards

We had a very productive afternoon at the garden with rather diverse weather to accompany us.
It started off very warm with lovely sunshine and stunning cloud formation above.
Halfway through, the sky turned black and we had a hailstorm.
The air was very clear.

Steve set to and turned the big water tank into a new compost bin.

I dug out more compost.

The flowerbeds were a bit wet but I persisted with one and got it done.

I also weeded half of the big path.

The other side needs doing next.
It will be a long job!!!

The big raised bed is nearly ready. It is much drier and easier to work.
I dug up some of the old strawberries, long past their best at 5 years old.

Some parts of the garden are very wet and the ground still squelches as we walk.

 The whole garden starting to get ship-shape.

This year I would like to make these narrow beds a bit wider.
They have been a mass of wild flowers in the past.

The donkeys were contentedly grazing in the field as we left for home. 
You can only just see them in this picture

We saw the buzzard perched on its usual viewing pole in the lane. 
At home earlier I had heard their unmistakable cry and was astounded to look up and count seven, very high up, using the thermals to wheel around each other.
What a sight!

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Easter Ducks and New Projects

It was a miserable day with a bit of rain in the air, but we decided to go and pot up the new strawberry runners. My nephew Toby gave me the runners at the end of the summer. 
I plonked them in the ground.
This year we will be discarding the old 
strawberry bed and growing strawberries in the polytunnel in pots raised up from the ground.
The runners have made good strong plants. I`ve put two to a pot.

Each pot had a trowelful of manure, a handful of chicken manure and some odd molehill soil from around the garden. Fingers crossed for a good crop this year.

Kohlrabi in the polytunnel is fattening up nicely.

We began to seriously consider the new area for the compost heaps.
We are hoping to be able to reconstruct the huge water containers.

I began clearing the path of nettle roots.

We even began digging out a compost heap.
It was surprisingly dry and we went over halfway down before we came to anything worth putting on the garden. But when we got to it, it wasn`t bad at all.

Steve pulled up some of the sprouts.

On the way out of the farm yard we stopped to view the little toy car. I have some plans for this.

We were glad to get home to light the fire.

I cleaned the gladioli stored in my greenhouse at home.....the colours are reminiscent of the helichrysum flowers.

Lots more crochet going on at home..
I am trying chicks for Easter next

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Valentine Memories

Five years ago this month we began the Freshwinds Garden.
Anne and I were only talking about our memories last week.....
.....and planning new projects.
It was a rough field back then... it is now.

I remember the nettles, the brambles, the docks and the burdock.....all very hard work.
I split my brand-new Le Chameau wellies and they had to be replaced.

The entrance was just a track with an old chicken run on the right.
Here it is now.....

I also remember that there was nowhere to shelter from the wind when we had teabreaks.
We just hunkered down behind the old pig sty, sitting on an old pallet.
Now we can sit in the polytunnel on our special chairs or bask in the sun in several shelterd areas.

Just look at the "grass," yet by the end of that summer, it had all grassed over.

Then and now.

My first job was this huge raised bed.
It has been a fantastic growing space.

Then ......

On the right is the future site of the pond and the cob shed.
It wasn`t even part of the garden at that time. It was just a patch of brambles.

There was no compost area at that time and most of what we dug out had to be burned so a huge heap formed on the site of the present mini-orchard.

The present compost heaps are due to be moved this spring.
New plans are this space.