Friday, 30 March 2012

It's time to dust the cobwebs off the garden furniture

The weather has been like summer this week, and I have been working hard in the garden and have actually taken some time to relax out there as well.

Having painted the garden shed and the summerhouse last year I now need to think about the garden furniture. The two benches are fine, but our little bistro table and chairs for two isn't really suitable for larger family / friend gatherings so I have been looking around for something larger and it has to be hard wearing. I have searched online and found some really  There are some lovely designs and something to suit all tastes.

I love wooden garden furniture. I know it has to be maintained but it's not a job that needs doing every year and I think for me anyway it's worth it.

I want something that is easy to look after and within my budget. My little bistro set folds and tucks away during the winter months, but I realise that something larger will have to stay outside all year round, so I will make sure to cover it well as I would want it to last for a long time. Now I just have to make a decision on what type of garden furniture will suit our garden and fit the space available. Decisions ! Decisions !! Luckily there are lots to choose from.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Photo's of all our hard work

I remembered to take the camera today!  We (Austin helped) worked for another three plus hours.  It's all coming together and looking better. I sprayed diluted 'jeyes fluid' in the greenhouse especially on the slats of the wooden bench as I want to start some seeds of in there in a week or so.

Our water doesn't get turned on by the local council until this week-end, so I will give the greenhouse a gentle hose down when the water is on.  Then there are are pot's and trays to disinfect and scrub ready for the tomatoes & chillies.
I left the wallflowers in the ground from last year and I am so glad I did as they look beautiful and smell lovely. They are outside the greenhouse and I picked some today along with my lovely pink 'Hellebore' what a lovely little bouquet they made to take home. I can't wait to have the masses of flowers on the plot again as last year I had so many to cut for the house it was amazing.

Just picked and ready to take home. My first home grown flowers this year.

Wallflowers left in from last year looking strong and healthy and smelling so good.

At home in a vase looking and smelling Sweet.

I dug and raked until the soil looked good and most of the stones were removed.  Until the next visit that is !!! they just appear again days later, it's a no win situation. I guess the stones help with drainage so best not complain too much..  We then mulched the beds with the farmyard manure we had delivered a few weeks ago  and the plot looks better already.  I have been hardening off the broad beans each day and covering them with loads of fleece in the mini greenhouse at night.  As soon as the frosts have finished which should be around mid April.??  I will then get them in the ground, if not sooner ! I could get them in under a couple of polythene tunnels.

Photo's of the freshly dug and manured beds. I have a mix of raised beds and open traditional beds. I like both as they each have their good points.

The garlic is looking healthy (below) I had a good crop last year, so hopefully this one will be too.

Chillies and Tomatoes growing well (fingers crossed) hopefully they will be big enough to pot on at the end of next week. My windowsill is getting a bit crowded, so I will be glad to get them into the greenhouse on the allotment, when it's warmer and they are big enough to cope.

Happy sowing and growing everyone
M x

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Getting ready for a new season

I have been busy sowing for the new season. The broad beans were sown just over a week ago and are raring to go.  They are growing bigger each day in the root trainers. I love using these as they give a nice long run for the roots to develop and are so easy to open without disturbing the plants.

I have also sown four different variety of chilli seeds and they are just about peeping through the soil, hopefully they will be up before the weekend.  I have them growing on a south facing very warm windowsill which they seem to like.
I also sowed some tomato seeds yesterday and some long banana peppers which are expensive in the supermarkets at the moment.

I worked on the allotment for four hours last week, no photo's as I forgot to take the camera ! but lot's got done and it is looking good.  Today was a brilliant day weather wise, so I spent it gardening. There was a lot to chop back especially the Ivy growing on the fence, it's kind of taken over and needed to be pruned hard.
 I left it over winter for the birds as it had lot's of berries.

There were lot's of ladybirds around, so I was careful not to disturb them.  I did feel very guilty about disturbing a hedgehog though ! I had started a compost heap in the corner of a large bed last year  and I decided to turn it over today and accidentally dug up a hedgehog.   It was alive as I saw it moving as I almost threw it in the bin !!  I hope I did the right thing by putting it back under the soil ? I know nothing about hedgehogs, so I really hope it is OK.

That's about all the news, but I'm glad I have got into the swing of things now and hopefully as the soil warms up I can get more direct sowing done on the plot.  I have been keeping up with all your  blogs, and I felt  it was time I got a start on the allotment and sowing seeds.  Reading other blogs give me inspiration and make me feel lazy for lagging behind.