Posts Tagged ‘borders’

Bursting out all over

Cripes, where did the time go?  Over a month since my last garden update and everything has gone bananas!  And these are almost the size of bananas……….

…….and growing at a rate of knots!!  These are the broad beans that I direct sowed last October.  They survived the winter and are about 4ft tall.  The larger pods are almost ready to pick, I tried one a week ago but the beans inside were still quite small.

This morning I have finally got around to planting my tomatoes into their growing bag.  It is a two sided patio bag and I have filled it with part homemade compost and part New Horizon organic peat-free.

In each half I have put 3 plants, one each of Gardener’s Delight, Moneymaker and a cherry plum called San Marzano 2.  All grown from seed, I’m happy with them at the moment, we’ll see how they produce!  The Tumbling Tom Yellow, I have also grown from seed and have put two plants in each of two large pots.  One of them already has a couple of flowers on it…

A couple of weeks ago  gave my step-dad one of each of the above 4 varieties and he is growing his in conventional grow bags so we shall see how his compare to mine as the weeks go by.

A few days ago i caught sparrows eating the leaves of my peas so we had to rig up a Heath Robinson style net using some canes, “BuildaBalls” and netting. There was much frustration from me as it kept falling over but in the end a bit of parcel tape and some clothes pegs were employed and at the moment it is still standing – just!

Thise are Meteor peas but I also sowed some Feltham First in a pot just outside the patio doors.  They aren’t growing as fast but there is already a flower.

The square foot patio bag is going great guns, and I’ve been cutting salad leaves from the front left square for over a week now.  The rainbow chard has really taken off too and everything else is catching up.  I have two types of kale, leeks, carrots, kai-lan, chard, asparagus peas and salad in there

I think there were some tomato seeds in the homemade compost I added as there are two rogue tomato plants coming up in the back right square amongst the kale!

The potatoes are doing well and were earthed up on Saturday, and the onions and garlic are swelling nicely.  One of the onions produced a tall flower spike but on advice from UK Veg Gardeners I cut it off as apparently onions that flower don’t store as well.

I am really pleased with the amount of blueberries on my two plants, but will need to net them soon to keep the birds (and dog!) off them

And finally the two non-veg beds.  In this one I just scattered some wildflower, cosmos, echinacea, and poppy seeds back in March.  I don’t know if anything is a flower or a weed at this point!!

And this one I call the Purple Patch because by pure coincidence I realise I have planted (mostly apart from the snowdrops and a white-ish lavender) all purple flowering plants – lavender, allium (which I seem to have cut out of the photo!) and a Japanese anenome.

Last but not least I bought a strawberry pot from Morrisons a couple of months back and a pack of 6 very tiny herb plants.  Since I planted them in the pot they are starting to get going

So that’s my garden round up for the beginning of June.  Hopefully the next post will be of my broad bean harvest!!


Quick catchup

Wow, what amazing weather we are having.  I’ve taken advantage by having a good tidy up of the veg patch and got rid of as many weeds as I can.  Unfortunately there is bindweed popping up around the edge and the tulips have firmly established amongst the onions!

In my beginner’s eagerness I thought the tomato and bean seedlings on my kitchen table would like a bit of sunshine and put them outside during the day on Saturday & Sunday.  But they have gone all pale and some of the leaves have wilted.  I’m thinking that although it was supposedly something like 20 degrees out there, that there was a cool breeze that they didn’t like.  I’m hoping they will recover otherwise it’s back to square one!  Lesson learned: don’t be too keen!!!

I have a small flowerbed next to the shed……

….into which I put my free* lavenders, a Japanese Anemone, and some bulbs in the autumn.  I had a grand total of 2 snowdrops come up but in the last couple of days I have 2 yellow fritillaries and this lovely one…..

A few weeks ago I received my 3 free* asparagus crowns, and am growing them in a patio bag which came with them.  I keep having to top it up because this stubborn fellow keeps making a bid for freedom…..

Although it is very tempting to cut it and eat it, I’m not allowed to have any for at least a couple of years!  I’m am really going to have to learn some patience in this ‘grow your own’ game.

(* = free if you pay P&P in various magazine offers)

Someone didn’t double dig……….

My veg patch was created last September after the garden was wrecked during house renovations.  Where the patch is, it used to be just a garden border with a scraggy old Forsythia and basically encroaching grass.  In my eagerness to get growing edibles, I planted away after adding a bit of compost and chicken pellets.

I planted onions, garlic, broad beans, peas, cabbages and a couple of raspberry canes.  I did NOT plant these………

By “these” I mean the clump of things on the right.  It would appear that the very dormant tulip bulbs that haven’t shown their faces for years have decided that they will make an appearance right in the middle of my onion patch.  There are a couple coming up among the peas too!  There are quite a few little bunches popping up as you can see here……

I pulled one out from among the peas (the peas are coming out this week anyway as they are not doing well and I’m going to re-sow) and it is quite a healthy looking bulb…….

So what do I do?  If I dig them out will it disturb my developing onions?  If I leave them in will they take all the goodness away from the onions?  I think this is a question for the UK Veg gardeners forum!!

How quickly do daffodils grow?  Yesterday in the park with the dog I spotted a couple in flower, today there were dozens of them, seemingly popping up overnight.  They are the little mini ones and were very bright and cheery.

Edging suggestions?

This is my new veg patch, with it’s lovely dog protection trellis all the way round!

When the edging blocks were laid, they were set in cement which is wider than the width of the stones themselves.  So when we came to push the bamboo poles into the ground we had to move them in a bit in order to avoid the cement.  This means I have a strip of about 4-6 inches all the way round outside of the trellis………

I can’t grow anything obviously edible here because the mutt will eat it so I’m open for suggestions!  I was thinking herbs, borage or companion flowers but I don’t want anything too large, or anything that is going to use the water and nutrients intended for the veggies.  With the cement below, the soil layer is quite shallow there too.


It’s all happening this weekend

Tomorrow is a big day.  The guys come in to do the garden.  So today I have been trying to finalise what I want them to do.

A couple of days ago I signed up to Garden Planner for their 30 day free trial.  They don’t ask you for any card details or anything so a subscription won’t automatically kick-in at the end of the 30 days, which is good if you forget and then wonder why there is money going out of your account!

I played around a bit with putting various types of veg into a virtual veg patch and lining everything up in lovely straight rows.  But there is also a feature called “square foot gardening” where it will show you how many of each type of plant you can fit into a square foot of soil.  (There is also a book available on this type of gardening which I may or may not have ordered – ahem!!)  Then I realised it didn’t only have to be the veg patch you could design.  So I went out this morning and took all the measurements of my garden, size of the shed, position of shrubs that are already there, and did a whole garden plan.  There are still some pretty vague areas such as how much lawn to have and how big the non-veg beds will be but I printed it off so I can scribble on it as things come to me before tomorrow.  So it’s pretty useful.

As you add veg to the plan it will give you spacing information and sowing and harvesting dates and you can set frost dates. You can also get it to remember what you planted where so that when you come to plant your veg the following year it will tell you where NOT to plant things because you had things in there this year.  Great if you forget to make a note of it and then don’t know where to rotate your crops to!!

So the heavy digging and renovating is happening this weekend and just in time because I got my garlic this morning from Organic Catalogue.  They only had one variety called  Vallelado so I ordered the smallest amount – 150g.  It wasn’t until a few days ago that I realised I didn’t know how much 150g of garlic was so when it arrived I was very pleased to find that I got 3 whole bulbs plus 1 clove.  Should be plenty enough for us if they all grow.  Plus I also have some Solent Wight coming with the onion sets from SimplySeeds.  I’ll be interested to see if I can taste the difference between different garlic varieties.

I also bought a bird feeder and bird box last weekend, so I’ll ask them to put the box up in the holly while they are trimming it.  We seem to get a lot of blue tits in the holly so hopefully one will take a shine to it for next spring.

One week to go…..

Take a look at these pictures of my garden.  Drink them in because in one week’s time it isn’t going to look like this anymore.

All the gravel is being taken up and the perished weed membrane underneath is all being replaced.  The Forsythia on the right is coming out and that is where my vegetable patch is going to be.  The whole lawn is being taken up and re-turfed, and everything else is going to be given a blooming good tidy up.  The old shrub stumps are being dug out, the holly re-shaped and the borders prepared for new plants.

The water butt and compost bin will stay in place but the ground in front of them will be levelled out and my small growhouse will go against the shed to the right of the water butt.

I am so excited about it all.  I’ve been reading all the magazines and books I can get my hands on, but now I just want to get on with it.  The onion sets and garlic should be on their way in a couple of weeks so they will be the first veg to go into the veg patch.  I shall need to put up some lattice fencing around the patch to keep the dog off, but hopefully that shouldn’t restrict anything too much as the light should get through the gaps.

Roll on Friday at 8am, that’s when the men are coming to do all the work.  This week I need to really decide on the final design ideas.

Mini greenhouse

So this is what Colin bought me for my birthday (although there is something on the way in the post which hasn’t arrived yet!).

It’ll be great for protecting seeds and small plants from the weather.  I haven’t put it together yet because the place where it is going to go isn’t ready.  It is going behind the shed but we are going to have to shift the compost bin a bit to fit it in as Colin recently sited the water butt round there too so there isn’t quite enough room to squeeze the growhouse in.  It shouldn’t be a problem as there isn’t that much in the compost bin yet, despite the efforts of a couple of neighbours who keep leaving me their grass cuttings!!  The growhouse is 5’3″ tall, perfect for me at 5’1″!!

I was very impressed with the garden centre we went to, it had some lovely planted borders and even an example veggie patch.  I took some photos of how I would like the non-veggie part of the garden to look…….

(Click the individual pictures for larger versions – for some reason I can’t edit out the two doubles from the gallery)

Unfortunately at the moment it looks like this…….

We’ll get there!!