Saturday, 5 January 2013

Bit of an update

When we were back for Christmas I thought the garden looked very autumnal rather than wintery - obviously it hasn't really struck yet in terms of cold snap.  Many things, like the roses, were still in leaf.  It goes without saying everywhere was a swamp.  After such a wet summer how can it still be doing what it is doing?  I was about to say I have never seen such extended rain but I have.  Last time was probably back forty years ago!  I do remember when I moved up North (about then) I said to my mom that it rained every day from October to April - only a slight exaggeration.  As an inhabitant of the Midlands plateau and four years in Suffolk,  I had never experienced such relentless rain surrounded by grey short days.
First there was one, then two .......hellebores

The rain kept me out of the garden pretty much during our two weeks at home but I thought I might just leave everything alone anyway and let it die back and have a good Spring clear out.  I really need to do a big refresh everywhere next year.  Most of the garden is five years old now and needs a revamp.  I have also pretty much neglected the weeding for a couple of years so that has gone beyond the pale.  I can see a big redo coming.  This, of course, depends on whether it dries out enough by then to let me do it.
Click on the picture to spot the aliums

I took the opportunity to check on the Spalding Plant and Bulb Company's bulbs which they sent me.  If you look closely at this pot, you can see the aliums have their heads up and there was one anemone on the way when I arrived and a second one by the time I left.  I am pretty sure all the other bulbs are doing fine too as there are signs of the soil being moved under the gravel where they are coming into growth.  I am hoping my friends are around when they do there stuff if it is too early for me to see and that they will send me a photo or two.  If they do I will pass them on. 

The Russian Sage I had from Spalding's looks as dead as a Dodo but I would expect it to - so April will be the deciding time for that.
Can you spot six different varieties of plants?

As far as I can tell amongst the weeds the Thompson and Morgan babies are surviving.  They haven't put on any growth, but then shoving them out in October  wasn't conducive to that.  So, again we will see what happens in the Spring.

Roll on next Summer.

Home for Christmas

We got back to Bury on the 18th and by the 21st I was meeting Donna at the Community Allotment to pick up my key and choose my plots.  Here they are...

I have the three concrete squares
I tried to figure out which boxes would get the most sun most of the day - what direction they faced, were they encumbered by trees etc.  Hopefully I chose well. They are a little over six feet by six feet.

We then begged some cardboard off a friend which I laid on top of a couple of them - hopefully this will keep down some of the weeds.  This was our first job on Christmas morning and my feeble attempt at lasagne gardening.  Hopefully by the autumn of next year I will have that sussed and be blathering about it here.

Bed one will have ever-bearer strawberries and rhubarb, so pretty much permanently planted.
Bed two will have potatoes so, again, once planted, not too much to do there.
Bed three will be the 'whatever' veg - runner beans, salads, peas,- whatever takes my fancy.

I asked Donna where the allotment was up to and she said

  • In the New Year I am applying for funding for some more water butts, wormery, compostery, habitat mound, a portaloo and a couple of other items too
  • There are 3 beds left
  • We are looking in the long term to get a group of volunteers to oversee and run the site

I am so happy there has been a good uptake.  So right now there is just three to go, BUT remember there is room to add more, so don't be shy.  If you just fancy one small one that can be easily managed or if you are greedy, like me, I am sure that can be done too.  Just ask!

Donna Cartwright
Community Development Worker 
Six Town Housing 
6 Knowsley Place 
Angouleme Way 
BL9 0EL 
Tel: 0161 686 8000

My album Garden - The Lotty - 2012