Saturday, 19 April 2014

First harvest

There's not too much coming out of my garden at the moment but this little contribution tasted great. Purple sprouting broccoli and leeks, I really must get some more sown for next year!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Big Allotment Challenge

image from
Gardening programmes on TV can all too often be a bit dull. Much as I used to enjoy Monty Don (I used to love Real Gardens on Channel4) I now find that Gardeners World is very repetitive and must be watched with the remote control ready to fast forward. I was pleased to discover The Beechgrove Garden last year, a more magazine based style that keeps moving. It shows a traditional style of working that isn't really for me but I do enjoy the show and I'm glad that it is no longer just shown on BBC2 Scotland.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Planting a copse

Old Shrubbery
Our big project of the weekend was to get the copse planted at the end of our garden. I have a fantasy in which we harvest wood for the house from coppiced trees. It will be a good few years before many of these babies are up to being harvested but we have taken the first few steps.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Plant of the week: Daisies

It's been a very busy weekend in the garden here, I'll be posting about it soon. But for now here is a photo of the plant that I am so pleased to see in our lawns here. We don't have many daisies but it is lovely to see our lawn slowly travel away from it's original monoculture into a far more interesting mix. This is a small established clump but the few that I transplanted a couple of weeks ago are also looking well.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Time management

I've never been great at managing my time but recently I have been getting worse and worse. I've also noticed that now that my boys are older they also seem to be requiring more of my time too despite gaining more independence. Perhaps it is because I used to be able to do two things at once when they were smaller but today they will require my full attention. Regardless of the reason the amount of time at my disposal feels as if it is shrinking daily.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Wonder of Weeds

I've just watched an interesting little programme from BBC4, 'The Wonder of Weeds' presented by Chris Collins (available on BBC iplayer until next Monday). It was a mixed bag, some good, some boring but it was the last 10 minutes that truly held my attention. From an abandoned house Chris Collins showed how weeds were turning it back to nature, initially with the short lived plants that lived, died and rotted down to produce humus allowing new plants to move in and colonise the location. Ultimately the land is prepared and ready to grow trees again thanks to the succession of weeds that each had a role to play in it's transformation.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Permaculture studies: Permaculture Fundamentals, notes on lectures 1 & 2

A while ago I stumbled across a free permaculture design course here: . I've always wanted to attend one of these but have never felt comfortable with spending so much money on myself with so many other demands on the purse. I'm going to give this course a try, I'm not going to promise to complete it but it will be interesting to see how far I get. To help keep me accountable I have decided to share some of my notes and thoughts about these free lessons here. Please note that I actually watched these over a month ago but have delayed posting this as I wished to finish some further reading on the subject.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Spring meadow

Narcissi slit planted between the groups.
There is so much to do in the garden at the moment but so little time. Here I've been working in what I'll call the Spring meadow. It mainly lawn with mature trees but this time of year there are large areas of narcissi. Lovely, but it feels a bit like municipal planting at the moment with large groups plonked here there. As removing them would probably be an exercise in futility and they are much loved by the early bees I am doing my best to extend the groups. Digging into the middle of a blind bunch I can harvest lots of plants that can be slit-planted throughout the rest of the lawn. I can get away with this as the bulbs are small.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Knuckle down to weeding

Fist veg bed, before
It's been a long time since I have done any work in my veg patch. The rain has made working here pretty much impossible. Having said that I am glad that I didn't prep the beds any sooner as the heavy rains would have leached much of the goodness from any added compost.

Thursday, 3 April 2014


Ever wondered what 39 trees look like? Here's a photo I meant to share in a previous post. Most of these are only 1yr whips and they are currently heeled into my veg patch waiting for more clearing to happen in my coppice to be.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Making a vest

Old pyjama trousers
My sewing skills are still very amateur which is why I hate to purchase fabric but have no hesitation in re-purposing old clothes. These are an old pair of pyjama trousers that were so comfy that I continued to wear them long past their sell by date. Whilst some of the fabric was only fit for the compost much of it was still in reasonable condition.