Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Surprising Seedlings and Sunflowers

After a weekend away, we came back to find everything thriving at the garden, due to some very welcome rain.
The first flower I spotted was this fantastic poppy. Lots more buds to come too.
My main job was to get the sunflowers in.
They are good strong plants so fingers crossed.
In the polytunnel, I planted 12 aubergines.
Some protection needed....they did get nibbled last year which set them back weeks. They look a bit pathetic but actually they are quite nice plants with a good root system.
The bed behind needs some work before I plant the sweet peppers.
The lettuce have moved on a bit since my last post.
Behind them you can see the spare tomatoes which have taken away nicely.
We have lost all our cucumbers this year. They were good strong plants, but all have succumbed to mildew.
Now I am reliant on my brother for extra plants. 
Even our courgettes are having a problem.
Steve noticed that since we have begun watering in the polytunnel, dozens of morning glory seedlings are emerging.
Here is a better picture of the pruned damson tree.
The dahlias are starting to shoot up.
Monty Don was talking about pinching out on the BBC.
Personally I don`t think it is necessary.
The idea was to produce more flowers. 
 This will be our next job....clearing ready for courgettes and pumpkins.
Looking good at the moment....

......foxgloves, iris and aquilegia......



The caterpillar hedge will need cutting soon.
The cardoons have gone bonkers.

There is much exciting work going on towards our fairy days.
However, it is all secret.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Four Layers and Wellies

Still wearing four layers and wellies!!!
It`s May for goodness sake.
But...we have been planting.

Tomatoes, lettuce....
Outside, calendula and more cornflowers are in.
This is Cornflower Corner.
It was time to prune the damson tree which has got somewhat out of control.
Going up through the centre was a huge branch coming from below the grafting. This was the first one to go. Then we took out one very high branch.
It looks much better.
Here it is behind the chicken run.
The very pretty quince blossom is in bloom. 

The insect hotel had more straw added in the last spaces.

Steve has carved two more toadstools.
I was fascinated to watch a wren investigating the hotel.
I am wondering if it is going to use this area to build a nest.
 The chickens were enjoying dust baths in my newly 
tidied bed edges.
 The guinea pigs and rabbits were making good use of their new grass run.

The mother and baby hens were pestering me as I worked alongside them, so I dropped in a few weeds for them to peck around.
Frogs were basking in the sun which appeared just
before we came home.
Globe artichokes were fattening up nicely.
        The cerinthe seems to thrive on the rich soil in the garden.

 We have great plans for this trailer.....watch this space.

The fairy days are fast approaching.....
July 9th.
August 20th.
....in between there will be an open day
August 6th.
Still some work to do, but getting there.
Hope some of you will  join us.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Of Fairy Things and Sweetpeas

We`ve had almost a whole day at the garden today.
It was a mixed bag of activities (and weather.)
Quite cold at times too.
My main job for the morning was to plant up 
the double row of sweetpeas.
Here they are slug pelleted and protected with net curtains.
Also a good helping of well-rotted manure.
I had cornflowers and calendula to plant too.
It was good to make the most of the damp soil after the rain.
We need more......
......and got it later in the morning.
Here is the new insect hotel sign.
I put the finishing touches to the hotel with pine cones and more hazel lengths.
I am pleased with the overall look.
At this angle I can still see a few spaces!! 
We came home for welcome home-made soup to warm us up.
In the afternoon Paula joined us and she and I set up 
the Fairy Hollow, ready for the trail to be opened.
Here we are on the workmax, trundling across the field.
             We were glad to warm up in the polytunnel, once again, with tea and cake.
Steve had watered the beds there, in readiness to plant the tomatoes in the next few days.
He had already planted lettuce.
He had also constructed bean pole tripods.
Paula and I added a few things to the tiny yurt, where Anne has been very busy. This is an exciting space for visitors this year, with a fairy wardrobe, fairy books and comfy areas to sit.

The fairy palace is beginning to look good.
After the rain the new grass is really taking off.

Still looking like patchwork but it will soon blend in.
The cattle trough dahlias are sprouting despite the frost.
Quite a few weeds coming too.
I am sorry to say that one baby robin is deceased.
Paula spotted it on the cob shed floor.
But the other three seem to be 
fine, thank goodness.