7/4/24

More seeds sown on a windy day.

  • 8 x runner beans
  • 1 x courgette
  • pot of malope
  • tray of morning glory
  • 4 x trailing nasturtium
  • 4 x Summer Carousel nasturtium
  • 4 x calendula

The nasturtiums and calendula are for Suzy’s balcony and I’ll take anything left over.

The grow house is now up, tied to the drainpipe and weighed down with the slab and some bricks. Everything from today has gone in, along with the trays of sweet peas, which have started to come up, and the tray of calendula and zinnia, which is also just starting to come up.

6/4/24

A nice day, but the left hand side is still a little under water. I cleaned up a bunch of algae from the pond with the net. The sweet flag is a bit taken over by algae, which I keep trying to remove, in case it’s stunting the plant’s growth. Both loosestrife have finally started shooting, which is a relief.

Mr B told me a mad story about our neighbour being paranoid enough to think they were being filmed. Both by Mr B and by a wildlife camera hidden inside my robin’s nest box.

I broke down all the dead stalks of the helianthus and took out lemon balm and helianthus roots that had gone too far out. I’ve kept the stalks for now, in case they make a good material for stuffing holes behind logs.

I also got completely stuck in the mud as it was very wet where I was working. Good for pulling out roots, not good for moving your foot.

I planted a big lupin and a couple of salvia from the nursery in the trellis bed. It’s not looking bad for filling up, as long as the everlasting peas come up. A small lupin has gone into a gap in among all the self-sown corn cockles. There was evidence of vole tunnels when I dug the hole for the big lupin. I found a few holes in the beds and there was one in the top of the bug hotel too.

The onions have started to come up and all the garlic has sprouted and there are gaps waiting for the oca.

The triangle weeding is all done now. It was smothered in grass and in getting that out I’ve taken out a lot of mint too. It’s all over the place and I think I’ll need to get a good number of plants to fill up again. The back of the everlasting pea seems to have died, but there are new sprouts. The front of the orange geum has died off, so that plant won’t be as massive.

1/4/24

Another good forecast, except it decided to rain on me and Mr B for quite a while we carried on gardening regardless. My aim today was weeding and I re-weeded the ledge and finally planted the rhodanthemum, which has been sitting in the grey pot with leftover pebbles all winter.

A couple of dunnocks came to visit, sitting on the fence and gate for quite a while as well as hanging out by the elder. The bird seed has gone down a little more and has been a little spilled, but I’ve not seen any visitors to it yet.

The pear tree has started blooming. The apple tree is just starting to come to life. Something has had a bit of a dig in the bark below and poked at the bark shelter, but there’s still no sign of anyone using the hedgehog house.

After the rain, the pond suddenly looked very integrated with the plot. Just the front ledge to perfect and some more inhabitants to attract.

I weeded all along the trellis bed and fought the grass and weeds out of about half the triangle, producing a heavy bucket of rubbish. Hopefully the soil can keep drying so the weeding gets easier. The big logs are doing a good job of keeping weeds back, so I must keep looking for more to fill the gaps.

I need to start replanting the nursery plants soon before they wake up too much. The first one has gone out – a little foxglove, tucked into the wood at the edge of the pond area. The old ivy roots make such a beautiful domed shelter. I hope it gets used at some point.

29/3/24

After a grotty day yesterday, Good Friday was sunny at times, but pretty windy and the plot was back under an inch of water.

I played with the pond a bit more, adding some small logs, freshly collected from the rec, and adding poppies from the rubbish soil pile into the banks. I’ve also taken the piece of creeping Jenny that had come off the plant into the soil on the front edge, to see if it will take there. The puffy liner is still being a nuisance, so anything to try and hide it.

I also managed to make a satisfying start on the weeding on the right hand side, getting rid of lots of grass and cress. Still lots more to do.

At home I’ve sown:

  • 30 x French marigolds
  • 12 x Candy Stripe cosmos
  • 6 x Summer Carousel nasturtium
  • 6 x Trailing Mixed nasturtium

26/3/24

The new bird seed feeder has arrived and it’s really big, but it fits the bracket perfectly as it’s the same brand and size. I’m hopeful that it’s big enough to keep the rooks’ beaks out. I’ve filled it and hung it up, so we’ll see how it goes. I expect the size will make Mr B laugh when he sees it.

The pond was clear again, so I guess it’s found its balance at last. It’s just heavy rain washing clay into the water that might be a problem in the future. Hopefully I can get enough growing on the banks for the roots to do their job.

I’ve left a bucket outside the shed to start collecting rainwater for the pond. It’ll need all the water it can get over time, so I want to establish more rainwater collection early on.

24/3/24

The bird feeder had been knocked down again, so a better solution is necessary. Looking through the fence, Mr B has his feeder much lower on a little tree and has surrounded it with some wire fencing. The feeder was smothered with sparrows and a couple of greenfinches, with a collared dove on the ground. Far more bird life than I get in my plot.

For the first time ever, the pond was clear to the bottom. Mum reached in and removed two fallen bricks. They’re staying out for now. The depth is about 15” and I’d like it to be more like 18″. It’s not clear where the paddle stones are yet; they may be under other fallen stones, but need to wait for water to clear again before we can check that.

We strimmed the whole plot and I ran it over the top of the particularly long grass in the paths. It looks so much better now and I’ve put some seed down on bare areas. It needs some judicious treading/stamping to repair the lumps and bumps it’s developed over the winter.

On my way out at lunchtime, I saw the light rippling off the surface of the pond and reflecting on the stones, and spotted a small black diving beetle in the pond, which was very exciting.

In the afternoon I prepped the onion bed with some leaf mould (disturbing a huge number of ants, but there were no birds around to eat them) and a layer of compost. I’ve put in two full rows of onions, plus one at the end by the shed.

The park logs have been distributed, but not settled in as weeding needs to be done first. I added a good piece of wood to cover the liner behind the loosestrife and behind the sweet flag. I’ve now abandoned the idea of covering the liner by the fencepost though as I’ve discovered that creeping jenny has already rooted further down of its own accord. Maybe it’ll be the answer for the front edge too as it’s reasonably evergreen.

23/3/24

The first seeds have been sown.

20 x sweet peas
12 x Art Shades calendula
8 x Oklahoma zinnia
6 x Red Alert tomatoes
6 x Roma tomatoes
Basil

Suzy and I picked up some more wood from the park. A couple of logs and some bark. We also collected an armful of willow stalks, which I might be clever enough to weave around my apple branches to make a barrier / frame for morning glory to climb.

22/3/24

The bird feeder was on the ground when I arrived. Mr B confirmed what I guessed: the rooks knocked it down. Surprisingly little had spilt, so I screwed it back onto the lid and folded in the perches to see if that will stop them getting at it. The lid is not very firmly attached. It may need some help.

The ground is gradually drying, but it’s still very squidgy. The grass is horribly long, but maybe I’ll get to strim it down a bit if there are no more  downpours. The boundaries are starting to dry out though and I managed to do almost a bucket of pick weeding from the ledge and removing buttercups from the grass.

The pond was the clearest it’s been; I could see the pebbles on the shelf and at the bottom of the pond. Something is making the pond shallower than i think it should be. I managed to get out a fallen brick, which I’ve placed on the shelf to try and stop the liner billowing. I think there’s another paddle stone down at the bottom, which should either stand up again, or be moved to a shelf.

I cleared lots of blanket weed with the net, scooping up lots of floating pieces. The elodea is floating around, but there’s no sign of the hornwort yet. The veronica on the bank is thriving and the mazus has its first flower open.

I’ve covered the hedgehog house with a layer of moss to make it more cosy and waterproof. I just  need a little more to finish off.

The last little job I did was to finally stick the small gladioli bulbs from the shed into the ground near the pear tree. The bulbs had been turfed out when I dug out the pond and were now starting to shoot. So we’ll see if they do anything.

19/3/24

I had a cunning plan that worked beautifully. I bought a half-price, end of season hellebore Merlin at the garden centre. It was ever so floppy and dead looking, but all it needed was a bit of water and it sprung back to life. It’s now being enjoyed at home for a while, before it moves to the allotment.

A sparrow has been taking Lexi’s fluff from the nesting feeder at home – and going straight up to the roof with it. All kinds of crap is getting dropped all over my car at the minute.

19/3/24

I had a cunning plan that worked beautifully. I bought a half-price, end of season hellebore at the garden centre. It was ever so floppy and dead looking, but all it needed was a bit of water and it sprung back to life. It’s now being enjoyed at home for a while, before it moves to the allotment.