Saturday, 28 March 2009

Bed Three, Late March

Blooop! Another bed! This one was much, much easier to dig, as the front part of lawn is patchy lawn grass, not couch grass. The edging is made from the remains of the pallet I used for the second bed.
Yet more greens planted out, including spinach - and there are still more waiting indoors. Meanwhile, I need to start on another bed in the couch grass, as my peas and beans are coming on in their pots, and will need to go out before too long.

Bed Two, Mid-March

In the first weeks of March, the first plot was completed, and planted up with mixed greens (red mustard, pak choi, mizuna, turnip greens, broccoli raab), and half of it covered with plastic. (Cloche wire donated by a friend, plastic cadged from the bin at Topps Tiles.) The plastic makes a big difference - the mustard greens are growing beautifully.

By the 3rd week, I'd dug the second bed (much more quickly than the first), constructed the frame from found timber (sides taken from a skip, ends from a pallet); planted up with more greens (all these being from the plug plants I've been over-wintering in the lean-to); and covered the second bed with netting. There are pigeons nearby, and I'm just waiting for their little brains to compute that I have a garden full of tasty brassicas... So far, even the snails don't seem to have noticed.

The milk bottles on the canes aren't very pretty; I'm looking for a more aesthetic solution. The grape hyacinths are in flower, and the bees love them - Hairy Footed Flower Bees, and Bumble Bees; I'll try to get a picture.

Meanwhile, in the lean-to

My purple sprouting broccoli was the first to germinate; and my mixed oriental salad greens (which started out as mail order plug plants/seedlings) are growing lushly. (Photos early March).

First bed: March 16th

I didn't actually dig it in a day - I think it took me best part of a week. On the concrete middle area, you can see just some of the couch grass roots, and stones, that came out of the soil. One of the bins is full of couch grass roots, the other is half-full of soil, just to get it out of the way. Lovely, black, clay-loam soil, and full of worms! Yum!

February 16th 2009

During the depths of winter, I did get the Russian Vine well cut back; this picture shows what it does to a wooden trellis. I really should kill it, shouldn't I? Another thing I was able to do was to get some fruit bushes in; here they are in their starting position (yes, I know they're too close together). They're being replanted as I find time to dig and clear holes for them. From the left: loganberry, redcurrant, blackcurrant x 2.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Frosty morning; December 12th, 2008

The Russian Vine now mostly pruned, and its branches lying in a heap on the lawn. Some were burned in a quite spectacular little bonfire. By the wall, my poor ill-treated cuttings - I'm amazed how many survived the winter - almost all of them - given that they spent most of it like that, uncovered.

The fate of the Russian Vine is uncertain; the new neighbours don't mind if it goes, so I might jump over the fence and chop it down on their side, and then glyphosate it when it grows back - probably several times before it gets the hint. On the other hand, it still has the run of the middle section of fence, and maybe some hedge is better than no hedge?

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

View from Above

Looking from the bathroom window. Beyond the end wall you'll see we have a rather unattractive industrial area, and a nasty-looking security fence between us and it; must grow some climbers up that.

The Virgin Garden: November 6th, 2008

Here is the back garden as it was in November, when we arrived. The front half of the lawn is your ordinary actual lawn-grass; back half is the more problematic couch grass. The garden is on the western side of the house, so, looking out at it, we face west; looking back at the house from the garden, we're facing east. The great big overgrown Russian Vine along the fence is therefore in the prime south-facing position, which has helped it grow to super monster proportions. Also along that same side, is a concrete path, almost the length of the garden - which will have to come up at some point, as that's the absolute best place for sunny beds! The path should be on the other side, in the shadow of the wall and conifer hedge. There is also a concrete area in the middle of the garden, which I'll leave, and likewise a small paved area in front of the lean-to.

The large blue thing is an abandoned paddling pool, and the large white thing, an abandoned fridge - one of five appliances that were littered about the place, to our annoyance; one in the back garden, one in the front garden, and three in the lean-to. We had all these things taken away to the dump.