Monday, 9 March 2009

Over a Barrel...

The weather has been glorious, really 'springy' lately so we have been very busy outside.
Marc has made 4 raised beds now and they are all painted and in position. The path round the beds is also finished. Two of the beds were covered with fleece to warm things up a bit. Today I sowed 2 rows of parsnips, a row of carrots, a row of beetroot and a row of turnips, all under the fleece. I also planted out some lettuce under it too. One of our cats likes to sneak under the fleece to 'sauna' himself so I have sprinkled garlic 'cat off' granules in the hope he won't like the smell and will sunbathe elsewhere. I have also finished the onion bed and it is no full of garlic, shallots and red and white onions. No idea where the leeks will be going... I had to put a few onions in with the flower beds but by the time anyone notices I will be ready to harvest them!

Marc has made a water butt, from some old food barrels he picked up locally and cheaply. As they don't have taps etc attached we had fun and games getting one on. He had to climb in it to attach the tap and came out of the barrel smelling of olives! Could have been worse, if he'd bought an ex-marmite barrel!) He has moved the small one which was on the house onto the greenhouse and put guttering round it.

I have potted on some more tomatoes and been putting the big ones outside of it's warm enough.
I sowed some celeriac and asparagus and alpine strawberries in the house. I have also been sowing more flower seeds. I have also managed to get my summerflower bulbs in the ground and in pots.

The peach tree has been in the greenhouse all winter and is now full of pink buds and flowers. I have been hand-pollinating them with a paintbrush. You could call me a 'busy bee'!

One of the compost bins has been emptied and spread about the flower beds. Another one was turned - that's hard work. Not my favourite garden job!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Cheeky Deer...

We have been busy as usual. The weather is being kind (that will jinx that now then) and progress is being made.
I now have 4 raised beds made and painted up. 2 are now in final positions.
The transplanted garlic is fine (phew) and I have got some spring planted in with it too. I have also got lots of shallots in. This means the 'onion' bed is half full, and I've not got any onions in it yet!
Other things I have been doing include, digging the area to be paved (almost there and I can see the finish line...) potted on some savoy cabbage that I managed to drop a brick on (doh!) and think I've only lost 2 out of 12. Sowed a pot of chives in the greenhouse. Sowed some flower seeds including aquilegia, cosmos.
Potted on chillis, aubergines, and tomatoes again.
I have got some potatoes in buckets in the greenhouse and discovered that one that got frosted (was meant to be for Xmas spuds) has re-sprouted and needed earthing up. So we may be in for some early earlies!
Some parsnips have been sowed into loo-rolls (the crop was delicious but minimal last year so I am experimenting). I transplanted some radish into troughs and popped the min the greenhouse.
I planted a grapevine that a kindly member of the garden forum I frequent sent me.
I have also received free strawberry runners from GW magazine and potted them up.
I have planted some Jerusalem Fartichokes, oops I mean artichokes too, they are in the bit of garden we won't get round to doing anything with this year.
I put some of the early tomatoes outside while I potted them on yesterday, it was beautiful, but I swear within half an hour they were shivering!
The new mini-greenhouse is up so some of the things that were clogging up the windowsills have been moved into there, eg, sweetpeas and french marigolds.

The funniest thing happened at breakfast the other morning. Some 'frisky' deer came chasing into the garden and Louis wanted to know what they were actually doing. We told him they were making babies.... after breakfast he declared he was going outside to see the baby deer! Hopefully they have now been fenced out as they have been so destructive lately. Then the first night they couldn't get in the back garden, they decided to trash the front instead. Whole pots of tulips have been uprooted and bulbs bitten off at ground level. They look lovely but boy can they eat!

Good news - on of the PSB's has about 12 buds on it and will be ripe for eating anyday - yay!