Tuesday, 20 April 2010

I'm back in the garden

The cold cold winter has passed, and as we enter Spring I am back in the garden planning this years crops. My Magnolia and Camellia are in full bloom, my rhubarb I planted from seed last year is doing really well, can't wait to enjoy it in a crumble or simply poached with ice cream.

So what's the plan for this year? Well this year I am giving sweetcorn, pumpkins, carrots and sunflowers another go, and am introducing courgettes, beans (thanks to the BBC Dig In campaign) salad crops, sweetpeas, herbs, and onions. I am also waiting for Thomson and Morgan to deliver my potatoes so I can crack on with them too.

My children have also created a wildlife area at the bottom of the garden, they have built a bug hotel, a newt rockery, and a pond made out of an old kitchen sink (photos to follow), and are going to sow wildflowers around the area to encourage bees etc.

BUT the most exciting bit of news regarding my garden this year is.... I now have a walk in greenhouse and a cold frame.

Monday, 5 October 2009

As time goes by.......

It has been some time since I updated my blog as I have been busy harvesting my crops and fighting pests etc.

A lot has happened this year since I decided to grow my own and record the progress on this blog, the bottom of the garden finally got cleared ready to grow pumpkins, sunflowers, sweetcorn (not very successful) and rhubarb and it is now the proud owner of a lovely brick wall and new fence panels. The fence along the length of the garden has all been replaced and makes the garden look tidier and bigger, and we have built a raised bed which has been the home of peas, beetroot, cabbages, celery, and turnips, very tasty, and most importantly my children have been able to enjoy the garden throughout the year and have sampled fresh organic vegetables.

So now it is Autumn and the sunflowers that once towered the garden and held their heads up high to the sun, have now become feeding stations for the birds in the garden, except for the ones I have harvested the seeds from ready for next year. My pumpkins continue to grow preparing themselves for their role as Halloween lanterns, pumpkin soup and next years seeds, and I am harvesting the last of my tomatoes and celery. As the nights draw in and I begin clearing the vegetable patches in preparation for next year, oh yes I plan to do it all again next year, I return to my gardening books, magazines and seed catalogues for inspiration.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Reaping the benefits

Well August is finally here, it is officially summer, kids on holiday, flowers in bloom and of course black clouds and rain. Oh well the peas and potatoes seem to have enjoyed the wet the weather at least, which has meant I have been able to harvest satisfying amounts of peas and potatoes for tea which has been really rewarding. I am starting to see the benefits of growing your own, as my son sits with me shelling peas and trying them straight from the pod.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Mother Nature strikes again...

As we sat outside enjoying the morning sun I spotted a nest with a bird roosting in it. Looking through binoculars with Jack we saw that it was a Wood Pigeon nesting amongst the apple tree branches, as we watched she was joined by another pigeon. However the roosting Pigeon took no notice of her visitor as he flitted from one branch to another. After a while he began to fly at the roosting bird desperate to be noticed, this must have got some what tiresome for the female (having watched many many BBC wildlife programmes, I now began to assume that it was indeed a male pigeon trying his hardest to entice a female), or she simply wanted him away from her nest because she flew off to a tree near by.

Sadly this did not lure the male away from her nest, instead he knocked it off the branches and two eggs fell to the ground. On the female's return she looked hopelessly for her nest and eggs, eventually she sat quietly on the branches where her nest once was with a twig in her beak.

School Holidays

As the school year ended we headed off to Suffolk, a beautiful part of England, spending two weeks on an idyllic campsite with lush green grass among an apple and pear orchard surrounded by a moat. Everyday a little Moorhen family hurried back and forth across the field and everyday we were bombarded by FLIES!

And as I battled to keep the flies away from our meals I began to question their purpose, do they pollinate flowers?... help sow seeds?... or eat garden pests?... So as soon as we arrived home, well after I had had a cup of tea I googled their purpose and found this link http://scienceray.com/biology/what-is-the-purpose-of/

I still don't appreciate them

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Veg Patch Update...

Pea pods have begun to appear and have started to swell, since all the rain we have had, the sunflowers have had a massive growth spurt and I would say they are now taller than Jack. The pumpkins have begun to creep their way across the vegetable patch and the rhubarb are growing really well, I am so proud that I have managed to grow 5 healthy plants from seed. Little green tomatoes have begun to grow, the aubergines and butternut squashes are getting bigger, as are the parsnips and carrots, and the peppers have begun to flower. Talking of peppers, the chilli plants have an abundance of green chillies which are getting very long, and look fabulous. Friday we donated our surplus plants to Jack's school fair, two tomato plants, one butternut squash and 3 aubergine plants, I wonder if they sold?