Thursday, 27 April 2017

Insect Hotel

There are many jobs I want to get stuck into at the garden, but today we decided to concentrate on the 
Four years ago, Paula and I constructed the first one.
It looked pretty good with its sedum roof (in 2013.)

However, the sheep got into the garden, and trampled the sedum down and it was never the same.
We had decided earlier, to make use of this area for a different 
purpose.....and it was turfed over in early spring.

Now we loved our insect hotel and I was determined to have another one in a different location.
I chose the spot some time ago, between two of the new trees.
This time round, I wanted a much neater look.
I`ve seen so many ideas on Pinterest.

Anne has put up the tiny yurt in the corner of the garden.
The new insect hotel is alongside.

We had 5 half pallets from the previous time.
I wanted a stable base so I placed 3 of the paving slabs in a row.
The pallets went on top in size order.
Two drain pipe pieces placed side by side gave a triangular shape for the roof.
A strip of carpet and old log roll completed the basic "house."
Steve nailed the lot together.

We then proceeded to fill each "floor" with insect friendly materials....
straw wrapped in hessian sacks
cardboard carpet tubes stuffed with straw
broken roof tiling
thin branches
wood slats

I have more ideas for the other spaces.

Next I arranged logs around the hotel and found a great slab for a sign .... in pyrography .... yet to come.
Overall we were quite pleased with the result.
It`s just a shame we can`t have a living roof.
Maybe in the future.

Steve did a lot of shovelling.

Tim brought us a load of manure close to the garden.

My final job was decorating the gateposts with horseshoes.

Placed to catch all the luck going.
Great morning.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Hazel and Horseshoes

The ground is very dry....there has been no rain of any substance through April so far.
The night before last there was a frost and I found out today that my three trays of ageratum were ruined and lost. They were in my make-shift tunnel. Needless to say they have more cover  now. The weather is going to get even colder next week.

On our visit today the apple blossom was looking particularly beautiful.

I have removed the last of the day lilies. They were nice plants but they never flower.
Along the front of the bed is a double row of gladioli and behind that I have now planted all the odd bits of dahlia tuber. Goodness knows what is going to come up.

I cut a lot of grass edges, always hard now that we have wire netting. But I am trying to make the job easier by bending the wire inwards.

We have treated ourselves to a new work tool.
It is a battery operated strimmer, well-balanced I`m pleased to say.

I planted the first cornflowers but they are well covered.

We carried on with the new hazel criss cross fence.
I`ve hung horseshoes on each cross.

The ghostly shape is a newly planted honeysuckle, well protected in this breezy spot.

The shrub bed amazes me.
I have shoved plants in here willy nilly and everything is looking great.

Cerinthe, cardoons and helianthus.

The lambs were more settled today..... visitors arriving.....
....weeds thriving....

......comfrey looking lovely.

And the nearby woods stunningly beautiful as always.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

"Wade in the Water."

Well I have borrowed Belinda`s idea and named this entry after a song.... spiritual actually.
It seems appropriate.
Lovely weather for all the yurters and campers.
And it`s been great for gardening too, but we are in need of some rain, preferably at night.
Our greenhouses at home have been monitored carefully as there is no shading as yet, and things are drying out quickly. I have potted on tomatoes and sweet peppers.

On Monday we borrowed some waders and were able to clear the rest of the parrot weed from the pond, along with much more. We placed a plank right across so there was something to hold onto. The bottom was slippery and has several different depths.

I talked to Anne today about the huge waterlily root. We wondered whether to haul it out, cut off the growing shoots and replant. At the moment it is floating and needs to be anchored to the bottom. It would need a very heavy weight.
However after sitting and watching today, I noticed that two basking frogs were using it. Possibly a little safer than the pond edges.

Also they are well camouflaged.
Just sitting still and quietly, allows you to see numerous newts. The pond is literally crawling with them. It`s now easier to see with clearer areas. There are five here.

The kingcups are amazing and seeding themselves all round the edges.
What a splash of colour.

I checked on the robin`s nest which now has 5 eggs.

I began to bring out the fairies and wizards.

The ravishing receptionist is wearing her Easter bonnet..
The chickens were scratching around the orchard. There is something quite reassuring about hens pecking round the garden.

Anne`s dad, Don, (such a handy-man) was busy putting up the new fence round the stable.

The bunnies seem very happy in their new home.

Forgetmenots as blue as blue and gladdies sprouting.


The little nursery is up and running.
And lastly a mystery, though I have my suspicions.

 As I watered the dahlias, I noticed the soil disappearing, exposing the tubers!!!
Now I wonder what that could mean!!!!?

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Milkmaids and Hazel Poles

The weather has been fantastic. Lucky all the yurters who chose to come this week. As I garden in a t.shirt and canvas pumps instead of wellies, I have to pinch myself to remind myself that it is the beginning of April.
I have at last completed the renewing of the chipped bark round the final tree in the orchard. Interestingly, under the carpet circle I found a stash of plum stones. Now I wonder what creature that was, perhaps storing food for winter.
Alongside me, the chickens are getting used to their new home. Anne told me today that she had to show them how to get in and out. I think that is quite funny.
The pond still needs some work but I will need waders to do it.
You need to sit quietly and watch carefully to see the myriad pondlife, but it is there.
These pale mauve milkmaids have found their way to the pond edges.
Was it seed? How did it get there?
I am thrilled as I love them so much.
We cut hazel poles to length ready for the bean row and in preparation for a new home-made fence.
 There were lots of happy visitors around.
Kathryn arrived to give therapy sessions to some 
lucky people.
She said she was literally skipping through the woods today, in sheer delight at the profusion of spring flowers there....anemones, like a sea of snow, bluebells with their distinctive heady perfume, pale yellow primroses and shy little violets.
Well worth a walk or two if you are staying.
Just look at these asparagus spears, piercing the bare earth....thanks to my weeding.
We tried our first ones last night. Yummy.
It`s hard to see them when they are just peeping through so I was stepping very gingerly.
 Steve planted our garlic....grown in pots for a while.
He said the roots were so matted he couldn`t thin them out, so they were planted en masse.
The onions are well away but oh my goodness the weed seedlings coming through!!!
On the way home we collected more of the wonderful manure in bags. There`s plenty of it and every spadeful has about 30 worms in it....brandlings too. What better to go on the garden, especially dahlias.
The unusually inquisitive sheep came to investigate.
In the field across the road, a mother with triplets,
eyeing us warily.
The snowy blackthorn in full blossom, promising a good sloe harvest.

A lovely day..... and I heard on the news it will continue.

At the last count my seed trays amounted to 56 trays so very much still in control.