Sunday, 23 March 2014

The Lotty

I did manage to finish clearing the front garden beds so we look a bit tidier out there and have tackled some of the scrotty pots on the patio, but part of today's 'garden chores' was to visit the lotty and see what progress has been made there over the winter.

view down the site

It is looking tidy enough but nothing has advanced since we saw it in December.  The vegetation/weeds/small shrubs have been cleared but there is no sign of the wild area which we were told would be worked on during the winter.

The 'jobs' we understood would be sorted were - digging out the wild area across the bottom of the plot, replacing soil if needed, putting up a rough log edging across the front of it and the beginning of some planting.  Even higher priority than that was to get some more raised beds in place ready for now (!) as we have a waiting list for them.  I am sad to see that didn't get done.  

We are home now and will try and find out what's happening or rather what will happen and when.  It would be a real shame to see this grind to a halt after all Donna's hard work to get it up and running.

It is pretty wet underfoot and there are some badly waterlogged areas. We already knew about those and drew up the plans accordingly - so, again, if the infrastructure is put in place it will be easier to access and work on the site most of the year.  Right now you need your wellies!

Lovely to see the playgroup are using their area and it is a neat as a pin.

Basically this is a case of watch this space......

view up the site
That's my rhubarb and strawberries, just poised to go....

Saturday, 22 March 2014

One step forward two steps back

Thought I might share with you what three months of neglect on your garden looks like even in the 'quiet' season.

 First year in a long time there were no pots sorted before we went, not even the one in the chimney by the summerhouse.  This is not a great view through the kitchen window right now.  I need to go shopping!

B&Q Wednesday methinks (oldies discount day!)

There are daffs, tulips, fritillaries, violas and all sorts in this mess - can't seethe woods for the trees.

Being me, I am most ashamed of my front borders - just look at this mess.  I was grimly determined this morning to get out there today, come what may, and clear it up.  

Bright day but very cold - so, muffled up, off I trotted, armed with secateurs and big brown bin.

Ten minutes later the heavens opened.  I now have one quarter of the half circle tidied which just serves to make the other three quarters look even worse!!

Incidentally it also managed a snow flurry for a few minutes. 

Ah well, there's always tomorrow.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Excellent service

I got back last Thursday, arriving in thick fog, followed by cool and wet weather ever since - So nice to be home.  Seriously it is lovely to be back in good old Bury.  In a way I am 'enjoying' the bad weather as it lets me off cracking on with the garden and the allotment - two jungles that are offering a huge challenge to knock back into shape.  I might not be in my decrepitude yet but I think I am past fettling yards and yards of garden especially when I am not here half a year to keep on top of it.  I have a cunning plan.....

Every year for the next four years I am going to dig up an entire border and replace perennials with shrubs and deep mulch to help keep the weeds down.  Ultimately then, our jobbing gardener can keep that under control.  That will still leave me the front garden and about twenty pots to play with.

Meanwhile in the spirit of onwards and upwards I ordered my seed potatoes.  This is a 'luxury' purchase and one I would avoid in everything except potatoes - ironically the lowliest of veg.  The problem being I really only want to grow International Kidney and they aren't that easy to get, so every year I treat myself to an order from Marshalls Seeds and I have to commend them to you.  Incredibly I ordered them on 17th and they arrived on the 18th.  Well done Marshalls.  Take a run through their on-line catalogue but sit on your credit card.

I hope they don't mind my borrowing a photo of my future spuds - if you want to read about them as well click here:  International Kidney

They are the only spud I have grown that don't get blight and can be eaten from tiny taters - Jersey Royals - to the huge tubers they form as they go on - so basically it is my three season potato.  I am sure there will be spud experts who will quibble with this but I have boiled, baked, sautéed from June onwards and they are great.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Almost home

I am nearly back in Bury - Monday today and we leave on Wednesday so just counting the hours.  I get very homesick for England.  I know leaving Florida weather (and life here) seems a poor swap to most people, but I can't wait to get back to a place with dramatically different seasons!!  Some kind friends took these photos for me in my garden today.....  how could anyone not miss these.....  

We are coming home a little earlier than usual.  This will (probably) be the first time I have seen my snowdrops in about ten years.

So watch this space........