Friday, 29 December 2017

Freshwinds Garden Review Part 2

Here is part 2 of my 2017 review.

We are now half way through what has turned out to be 
a very good year.

By July the artichokes were causing a sensation with visitors. Some people knew what they were, others didn`t.

We cleared this area to make a larger sitting space, with a bit more shelter, just outside the polytunnel.

 We had a brilliant weekend in the woodland yurts with lots of family. The weather was great.

The polytunnel reached the mid-forties on the hottest days and I couldn`t complete the watering without several breaks outside for fresh air.
Steve built an inner wire mesh door so it could stay open longer.

Jam making began in earnest.
I was astonished to find out that pinks grew really well in the raised bed. They don`t do well at home, 5 minutes away.
The fairy garden became a mass of blue, 
with lobelia and campanula.
 We had a successful fairy day and the weather was good. The proceeds went to a local charity called Dragonflies, which supports bereaved children and their families.
 The trough looked better with its cut-price geraniums and busy lizzies. I managed to save the lovely geranium plants and they are cosy and safe in my heated greenhouse at home.
We opened the garden for Farm Africa.
Wonderful weather again.

The garden filled up with butterflies when the buddleja and Michaelmus daisies flowered.
 More jam making was happening with 
pounds of damsons and plums.
We trimmed the willow arch and I saved all the useful poles.


We began the rendering on the cob shed. Oh my goodness it looked smart, but there is a lot left to do. We want it to dry slowly so that it doesn`t crack.

By September the compost heap had tumbled over to the side and just grew and grew and grew. The garden produced the most incredible amount of waste, most of which can be composted down. But we need a better system.
The straggly willow hedge was woven in.
Colourful harvesting continued. 
Caterpillars were at work on the late nasturtiums.
By November the straw flowers were still flowering on sunny days.
 The dahlias came in for the winter.
We placed more log seats round the pond.
 And finally in December, we had the lovely Carols in the Barn celebration. The proceeds from this went to Farm Africa.

And so yet another year comes to a close.
There is a quiet satisfaction in the coming and going of the seasons.

I notice that between the two parts of this review, there is a marked difference, with the changes that have been made at the garden. I can only put this down to the second half needing quite a lot of time just to control the growth and harvest, let alone change anything.

So with that in mind I look forward to another Freshwinds year and all the pleasures that it brings.....and sometimes, disappointments.

And if all the important changes are made in the first half, I`d better get my skates on.


Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Freshwinds Garden Review Part 1

We have had a wonderful year at Freshwinds Garden. It isn`t until I review the photographs that I realise just how much has been achieved in one year. And all the time I hope we are making the garden an even more special place to be.
Many visitors give us great feed-back and we can`t help but bask in their comments, which in turn helps to validate 
what we try to do there.
 The peace, the tranquility, the beauty, the myriad insects, the pet animals...... we love it all.

Here are some pictures to remind us, in these darker days,
 of this year .

In January we developed a new area between the two bottom gates.
There was plenty of chipped bark left over.

By February the new mini-stable for the rabbits and guinea pigs was completed and we had begun to dismantle the rabbit run under the orchard.

By March the patchy orchard grass was clear and ready for reseeding or turfing.
 I learnt to drive the workmax and
 had great fun trundling round the farm.
 The orphaned lambs came to visit and I had the pleasure of
 feeding them.

The areas by the gate and in front of the mini-stable were turfed.

 My sister helped us create the newest scarecrow.
 Steve built a new door for the woodland yurt.
 And a robin built its nest in the witch`s hat inside the cob shed.

 We built a hazel fence round the new grass and strung it 
with lucky horseshoes.
 We made a good start on the new insect hotel.
By May we were ready to prune out the centre growth from the damson tree which seems to have gone wild. 
It has over-shadowed the poor little pear tree.
 The insect hotel was completed.  

The baby robins hatched out.
Anne sawed the top from this old trailer and this was the basis of the fairy garden. Nothing like recycling.
It was a delight to be able to walk round the orchard trees freely,  to inspect the blossom and fruit.
The old water trough was filled with dahlia tubers, which proved too vigorous and were moved later to be replaced with geraniums and busy lizzies.

By June the garden was filling out with flowers and lush growth.
 The polytunnel began to flourish.
 One of the more adventurous tortoises made a bid for freedom.
 The three alpacas settled into the field below the garden.
 The sheep got into the garden and ate the tops from the sunflowers.
In actual fact it did them no harm and may have increased their flowering capacity.
 Dr Who was swamped by clouds of feverfew.

The fairy garden was developed further. It was a delight to create all the miniatures and find suitable tiny plants.

And so the year came round to the halfway mark.
More pictures in part 2 ....... to follow.