Yes, that is my coldframe...
The imminent arrival of child number two has meant that the garden has been nearly as neglected as this blog of late. My time has been taken up with things like nursery painting, and hauling baby clothes out of the loft, not to mention trying to make sure that our two year old tank/elephant doesn't break the heavily pregnant missus too badly.... I still haven't managed to plant anything out, and I suspect that by this point I'm probably too late. I could theoretically still get some bulbs in, but realistically, that ain't gonna happen. The stuff in pots will just have to stay put until things warm up again. The only stuff I'll be really cross to lose will be the astrantia that I've grown from seed as they've taken the entire year to get to any sort of size, and I really want that in the garden. It'll probably be fine, but we shall see.
I'm starting to get increasingly worried about whether I'm going to get my autumn planting done. My garden, the back in particular, is very poor draining, and the amount of rain in the last few weeks has been enough to ensure everything stays sodden. Even with the odd rain free day, the ground just doesn't dry up enough to do much. The lawn stays like a paddling pool, and the beds are so wet that any digging at all will do more harm than good.
I'm hoping that I get a break soon as I've got quite a few bulbs to put out, as well as a load of perennials that I've grown from seed. The lawns are in serious need of their final haircut for the year.
The weather forcast isn't favourable, but I don't tend to pay much attention to it as it seems to have very little bearing on reality, so fingers crossed!
Once again I stand guilt of blog neglect. It's amazing how quickly life passes by if you let it, and there's been a fair amount going on of late to keep me busy!
The garden has a definite feel of winding down at the moment, but at the same time I'm still getting the last bursts of fruitfulness. Tomatoes are ripening, courgettes are still appearing, and some of my cosmos and sunflowers are only just flowering.
Shock horror. A garden log posted in the month that's being written about! You may not see this again for some time...
Everything is looking and smelling fab this month, but there is a definite sense of things reaching a peak and winding down. The ornamental stuff has, for the most part, done better than I could have hoped. The veg on the other hand has been somewhat disappointing. A few strawberries earlier on in the year, and I'm getting a few courgettes and a bit of salad, but still no tomatoes. They're on the plant, but taking forever to ripen. I suspect this is probably down to the soil being a bit crap and nutrient starved. I've been reading about how last years constant deluge will have washed everything out of the soil so I'll have to take some steps to address this once things have died back a bit. My compost heap appears to be doing well, so I should have a good load of mulch to stick down, and the missus and I have been discussing building a raised veg bed in the border under the kitchen window which will allow me to import some good top soil and horse shit. None of this can hurt even if it doesn't improve things (which I doubt will be the case) so we shall see.
Without further ado, here are some pictures!
We had a trip out to Tynemouth Market yesterday. Amongst other things, I've come home with a sempervivum and a couple of sedums bought from a very helpful lady whose stall I shall definitely be going back to. I've potted them on into some nice little terracotta pots that I had sitting around and they look great! Alongside the other couple of succulents that I already had they're looking like a nice little collection. One that I may have to expand...
We're just back from a week in a lovely cottage small holding in the Cardigan Bay area of Wales with my dad, and my sister and her better half. The cottage, very kindly lent to us for a week by some friends of my dad, is pretty much in the middle of nowhere with very few other houses around and, even better still, no mobile signal. The Internet was also pretty patchy (as in it only seemed to work at about 6 in the morning), but that was a good thing for the most part. A week of enforced digital detox was pretty damn good! Days spent reading actual paper books and doing a bit of wood gathering, and nights spent either barbecuing and sitting around a bonfire, or gathering together to eat on the picnic benches outside the kitchen. I could really get used to living like that...
What better to do with another fine weekend but partake in a spot of garden visiting? Even better is a garden that is free to enter, but had a NGS plant stall, and a very reasonably priced tea shop with a fabulous selection of cake. Just the job. The Intrepid baby, my sister, and I felt it was too good to resist.
I love old gardening kit. I'd rather have an old, solidly made piece of kit that's been around for years and should last quite a few more than some plasticky piece of modern crap. I have two pairs of pretty rubbish modern shears in the garage, but these look and feel so much nicer, and they make a proper 'snick' noise when you use them.
I aquired them for the princely sum of £2.50 at the Tynemouth Sunday market. A bargainous find. They need a bit of a clean up and sharpen, but a bit of elbow grease and they'll be good as new.
I read somewhere recently (possibly Gardeners World Magazine) about a thrifty method of preparing hanging baskets. Ever the cheapskate I decided to give it a go.
The general gist is quite simple - don't buy moss or whatever to line it with. Kill two birds with a single proverbial stone and use the mossy thatchy stuff that you can rake out of the lawn. Simple! Hanging basket liner and an incentive to get around to scarifying the lawn in one fell swoop.
Now to see how well it lasts. We've had a couple of seriously soggy, windy days since it went up and it has survived thus far. Only time and the ever delectable British climate will tell.
|The peony seems to be growing as I watch!|
|A hive of busy busy|
|Stuff Sprouting. Slowly.|