Thursday, 6 January 2011

Raised Beds

I heartily recommend raised beds.  I started with them three years ago because my soil was poor and full of stones and they have been just brilliant.  My husband made them for me simply by hammering a stake in the ground and screwing on four foot long decking strips.  The photo probably explains it.  I painted the outside with food friendly outdoor paint and Bob's your uncle.  I  am trying to figure out a way to add a strip a year until they build up to a stand up working height which would be terrific.  I knew that I would have liked that when we did them but thought I'd never be able to afford the soil needed to fill them.  As it turned out with my own compost and some bought bags to top them up each year and I'm sure I could get there eventually.  So if you think that's a possibility- make the corner stakes the height you'd like the beds to be eventually.  If you change your mind you could always saw them off.  Meanwhile they might make good posts for draping plastic sheeting or fleece over?  Here's a posher version to get you thinking about them from Gardeners World.  Raised beds.

Change of email address

I have a link at the top of this page for anyone who wants to contact me directly rather than via the blog.  Please note I have changed my (gardening) email address to:  I don't even want to attempt to explain why - suffice it to say this is an easy solution to a computer techie problem.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Thinking of home

A friend emailed me today and happened to mention that all the spring bulbs are just about appearing above ground with a particular reference to snowdrops.  They remain my most spectacular failure (so far).  Every so often I forget that I have never succeeded in growing them and duly plant the next huge batch.  I have bought them dry and 'in the green' and planted them at all different times and generally in a 'woodish' sort of area of the garden with about as much success as I have strewing poppy seeds and watching them grow.  Zilch!  It has been suggested that as I change homes like other people change socks maybe they appear the year after I've left and the new owners are inundated with snowdrops in the Spring followed by glorious swathes of poppies.  Mmmmm??.

If you have great success with either of these little blighters would you like to share how you do it?

A thought occurred to me reading Gardeners World on line today that maybe not everyone knows about it.  I do snatch the good six month offer they do each year (usually with a free gift) and subscribe to just that  but it isn't worth my buying a year's magazines as I'm not in the UK for half of it.  Even on offer and with a gift six months it isn't especially cheap and like most magazines the pictures are great (but in themselves not useful) and when you are my age you maybe get one fresh idea or bit of information per magazine, so I am happy to read it on line for half a year to ease out the cost.  Any way if you click on Gardeners World you can check it out for yourself.

I have linked to the 'jobs to do this week' page to see if you agree with me that the recommendations (from the South) run about a month ahead of what we need to do up here? Frustratingly I won't be doing anything until April.

I noticed Thompson and Morgan are promoting their seed potatoes right now on line and I saw an offer this morning to save 20% (future VAT) right now.  Again click on the name if you want a look.

Happy (gardening) New year!