Saturday, 16 February 2019

Garden Club season

The village I live in has a thriving Garden Club, which bases its meetings on talks, demonstrations and the occasional garden visit.

The first meeting of the year was last night and comprised of a few notices and a talk and plant sale by Wootens, one of my favourite nurseries in Suffolk. the talk focused on Pelargoniums, and there was much mention of the scented varieties that I am rather partial, I of course bought a couple after the talk, I couldn't resist!

Im looking forward to the next talks in coming months as well

That little photographed corner

We all have them, they are often behind a hedge, a shed or screen of some sort, and we don't take photos of them, as they are not usually very pretty, but somehow a necessity of having a garden. Storing materials, left over bits and bobs, sometimes tools, often a compost bin and probably a wheelie bin, its the shameful bit behind the shed.

This week I took a day off work and set about addressing this unsightly mess. Piles of slabs were taken out and laid on the ground a s a hard standing surface. Other items were tidied and organised, its good to know what you have and to be able to access it, rather than suspect that its somewhere under 'the pile'. With things tidied, there is a small pile of bits to take to be recycled, then there will be plenty of room to start collecting even more junk!

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Greenhouse Tidy

With moving house and filling sheds and such as I moved my garden bits and bobs, the greenhouse became a bit of a dumping ground for plants and pots and bits and pieces, like gravel and grit, labels, pots and all the clutter that we like to hide away from the camera when taking photos for Instagram to show how beautiful our gardens are!

Today I made a step towards getting the greenhouse operational again, just ahead of mass seed sowing, all the rubbish is now binned, dead plants composted and everything else ordered and condensed onto shelves rather than laying over the floor, I can now stand inside the greenhouse for the first time in a few months, which seems rather novel!

Sempervivum repot

For more years thanI remember I have collected Sempervivum, my collection has gone from a few unknown varieties to neatly labeled varieties that at one point numbered around 90. Over the years i have increased my care of the plants to grow the collection and ensure that it survives the wet of winter, however last year it all went a bit wrong.

With no longer living in my house, where my collection was based, the plants were not taken in for winter as I have done for a few years, a number rotted off. With not being about for the long hot summer, a number dried out and died. That and with labels being prone to sun fade and then getting knocked and moved during a move the collection became somewhat diminished.

With having already made a back up of part of the collection at another two locations, I have managed to get around 1/3 of my collection back up and running, Today the plants were repotted and found their new home in the greenhouse, where they will reside now for a while.

The aim this year is to go back to my parents, where I have stashed a few more varieties, and take a few cuttings, and also to go back to places where I have bought varieties and re buy them to build the collection backup. Importantly the learning is that when making back ups that it is done on a regular basis, if I had done this more regularly, I believe that i would still have my entire collection. Hey hum, I like collecting, so I can enjoy getting back to where i was and then building up the collection further!

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Holly Tree

There was a small holly tree in the garden by the flint wall when we first took on the garden around 10 years back. We liked it and the tree has grown considerably, it now covers the end of the wood store and has only had a couple of small prunes to keep it from growing onto a track.

With the tree now having gotten rather high, it was time for a hard prune, to get a bit of shape back. The top was lopped out, and the sides cut back to where we want it to fill out to. Low branches that were growing along the ground were removed and tangled growth was also pruned out. The tree looks rather sparse now, but its hoped that in a couple of years it will grow back a bit thicker and do a better job of hiding the end of the wood store.

Lawn Edges

Around 8 years ago I added a wooden border to the lawn edge, in a bid to add a formal structure to the lawn area, in contrast to the frothy relaxed feel that the planting around the lawn is comprised. With the wet of 8 winters on the clay soil being in constant contact with the wood edging, even pressure treated timber succumbs to rot. With a few bits of the edging now disintegrated, and parts of the lawn edge slumping into the border around it, I have decided to replace the wood. Like for like, around 40 meters of the stuff.

With removing the old and staking out the location of the new, The new timber is being put into place into place, but before bedding it in and securing it, it is being treated to add further protection against rot. The result, a lawn that looks a bit more like it has designed structure, which come spring, when the grass grows back to the lawn perimeter, will be easy to mow to the edge and also assist in keeping the bed gutters/edges well maintained.

Flu Snow List

I have started this year with a list, my jobs to do in the garden in January, which given that I was getting around 15-30 minutes after work each day, I was getting through slowly, but with persistence and a head torch I was getting through quite nicely. My aim was to get the garden to a point of where I wanted it to be by the end of the month, so that come the time when weeds and plants alike start growing, the jobs that arise would be manageable, a bit at a time through to the summer. Optimistically and with good planning, and sticking to the plan things were starting to turn the corner, it became within my sights to be able to get the jobs all done by the end of January, far ahead of anything I have managed before, so  a strong testament to the art of planning.

Then there was snow. With everything frozen the plan came to an abrupt halt. Then there was flu, a good week of being out of action and now a very slow recovery to full steam ahead. There has been a small amount of activity, but I am certainly (now in February) way past my self imposed deadline. Thankfully with getting ahead i am still well within sight of achieving my original goal of having jobs completed and the garden ship shape by the time things start to grow. By the end of February everything should all be completed, Which will stand me in good stead to start the annual seed sowing marathon, without being distracted by the other jobs that most years are also competing for my time and attention.