A Selection Of Recent Photos With Little Or No Theme

It’s been raining and I’ve been unfocused, although I have been doing things! So here is a selection of pictures of nice things that have got done or are getting done.

Julian dug over and/or filled in with topsoil this lovely border along the path to the house, and it is at that point that JulianĀ  generally abdicates gardening responsibility.

Luckily, it is at this point that I begin to kind of like gardening, when there’s a prepared, empty bed for me to fill with whatever I fancy trying.

Morrissons have had a great selection of very reasonably priced plants again this year, so I can’t help but pick up a few every time I go. Above is an allium which I am very excited about, and it seems to be relatively excited about itself.

The slope we started last year has filled out a lot, though it still has big bare spots and some plants are not super-happy there. We probably didn’t improve the soil enough, so I might dig up some stuff and try harder on the second slope.

The bulk bag of horse manure has been joined by a bulk bag of bark chippings. Gardening life is pretty good, when it’s not raining.

I finally moved all the tools into the new tool pantry, which is where the downstairs toilet used to be, and am building a proper, nice composting loo in the place where the messy toolstore used to be. But now I’m waiting on some leftover plasterboard from Andy, so that’s sort of stalled.

Upstairs I am trying to make sense of the storage space by sorting out all the boxes (which I finally did recently! NO more un-sorted crap at all!) and building some partition walls.

In the kitchen, I finally found a use for these cute hook things that I think I found in a shed when we first got here. They needed a lot of cleaning up and a paint job, but now they are in the kitchen with implements hung on them.

And I found my aebleskiver irons in one of the aforementioned boxes of junk, so we celebrated with some aebleskivers, 3rd generation American style… real Danes would laugh. In fact read Danes have laughed… hi, Linda.

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The Stables In Use (For Their Intended Purpose)

In the last two days I have been on FOUR horse shit outings with my neighbour. Time was when Fiona and I would go, fill one car with about 10 bags and that would do us for the season. Turns out if you make a lot of progress on a large area of garden, you go through a lot more. So Alex and I probably each have a bulk bag’s worth to show for our efforts. I mean, I know we do because we literally put it in a bulk bag, what we didn’t put straight on some bed or other.

And it looks so lovely in the stables! Almost as if I’d designed each stall to hold a bulk bag.

Meanwhile the leaf mould teapot is also getting some use. It looks a bit less graceful being full of leaves, and I definitely should have used a bigger gauge wire for the frame, because it distorts alarmingly if you try to roll it, even a quarter full as it is, but hey, it’s cute and THAT’S WHAT COUNTS.

Also cute are our tulips:

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Teapot Leaf Mould Bin

I made a teapot out of chicken wire in order to more efficiently (and attractively) turn the collossal piles of leaf fall we get into garden-enriching leaf mould. Isn’t it cute? It might be less cute when it’s all deformed from trying to roll heavy, wet leaves around, but we’ll always have its baby pictures to refer to.

The spout and handle do come off, so at least they are unlikely to be squashed…

More about the making of it (though not much more) at my other blog, www.imakeeverything.co.uk

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Stables. For The Manure, You See.

One of the first sheds to go up on the land has finally come down to make way for a more useful, less falling-down shed (or stables).

It was made from bits of Anthony’s old house that he tore down, plus the front and back of an old garden shed that had been on his land. It did its job for about 8 years and then the corner got a bit rotten and it began to lean a bit and anyway, it was blocking the view.

So Julian and I spent much of our easter weekend with lump hammer and crow bar, taking it down.

In its placeĀ  (figuratively, not spacially) we have put a long, low shed of bays to house things like bark chippings and manure and whatever else we need to keep around for gardening purposes.

It’s made from the reclaimed motorway sound-deadening panels Anthony gave me last year and the roof tiles from his old house. The bays are the right size for a bulk bag to sit in each one, filled with whatever gardening gubbins needs storing.

It looks a bit like a tiny stables for baby shetland ponies, which would be cute, but high maintenance.

I did manage to re-reclaim most of the siding from the old shed to put along the back of the new shed, and actually, most of the framing wood from the old shed is in pretty good nick, so that’ll go in a stack somewhere for whatever I build next. I’m thinking of a crow’s nest lookout in the corner of the plot…

The view is still riddled with all manner of junk, but it’s one large shed less junky than it was. Every little helps.

In other news, I grew a fig!! About the size of a fingernail, but still.

The camellia we’ve been nursing along is starting to just about pull its weight.

And the flowering currant cuttings from a few years back have come on very nicely.

And in food news, I absolutely nailed the hot cross buns this year. Nom.

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Gardening Suddenly

I mean, it’s not exactly spring weather in the sense of being warm and sunny. Sometimes it’s warm and sometimes it’s sunny but not yet both at the same time.

HOWEVER there’s not finer way to usher in the spring than to start gardening AS IF it was lovely out. So I have taken the opportunity, created by the moving of the houseplants into the hanging planters, to fill up that space with seed trays. Cosmos, morning glories, sweet peas, sunflowers, more sweet peas, naturtiums…

And while we were getting all excited about this, I happened to check the lockdown rules and it turned out the garden center was open the whole time. Kind of went to our heads. But plants are so lovely, I cannot regret it.

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