Friday, 30 January 2009


Not much going on in the garden this week as its still damp and yucky underfoot.
I'm still harvesting leeks though!
Nearly time to stock up on compost and the like.
I hear that seed potatoes are in the nurseries, so that could be the next shopping trip....

Monday, 26 January 2009

a look back

Here's a cheerier outlook of blooms to come!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

the lake district

This is what you get when you have a clay garden! More grit and muck needed dont you think?

Monday, 19 January 2009

the green gym

Sunday I did manage to put in a few hours in the garden, I'm so glad I did because look at the weather now!
Every year the vegetable patch is redeveloped and enlarged (don't tell the husband). Before winter I began digging up the grass strip between the patch and the fence. The main reason being that I'd given up mowing it but also I'm trying to eliminate pests and diseases which I think the wet grass harbours.

That's one less job to do in spring. I shall be laying weed suppressing material with bark chippings on top, but hat will have to wait until the ground is less moist and the sun is higher in the sky!

My next job was to attack the raspberry canes with my secateurs. They are Autumn fruiting raspberries which mean they fruit on the current years growth, as apposed to summer raspberries which fruit on old stems. I noticed that some of the canes were already starting to bud on last years stems so I've pruned them all right back to the ground, which seems harsh but If you have ever grown raspberries you will know how rampant they are. Another reason was so I could dig up the gooseberry bush which has been completely swamped by them, in the picture above the gooseberry is the silvery stick like structure on the right.

Strawberries are another crop that would quite happily take over your garden. This picture shows just what I mean, they propagate themselves by sending out runners from the parent plant. The strawberries on the right have crept into the raspberry bed and vice versa!

Here is the gooseberry transplanted to its new position, which I realised is under a cherry tree, this may be a bad idea due to moisture dripping from the tree, which could cause fungal problems. We shall wait and see. The gooseberry fruits on old stems, so the only pruning necessary is to take out any dead wood or congested areas. The idea is to create a bowl shaped bush I think its to stop an attack of the sawfly who do not like open aspects.
I'm not sure if I mentioned that I am mainly organic, so I rely on wildlife such as toads and birds to keep the balance of pests stable. So no nasty chemicals go into my soil.

The last of the carrots which should have been dug up months ago as most of these have been eaten and not by me!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

seeds of change

Whilst I wait for the garden to be less frosty/wet/etc, apart from being completely frustrated and slobbering against the window, I am sorting out what my seeds and organising this years veg patch.
Its not a huge patch, aprox. 6ft x 30ft. I extend it every year however, as I get to grips with how different vegetables grow and how much room they need. With vegetable growing you need to rotate the crops to different areas each year. This is to prevent disease or pests building up in the soil.

I built a new bed last October so I have more ground for the crop rotation. Its a bit like juggling, trying to work out what I can squeeze in where and when crops have been harvested what I can plant next.
Vegetables I am growing for the first time are : swede, parsnips, winter squashes and gerkins.

Back to the drooling at the window!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

frost bite

Nothing like a good frost to kill all the nasties!

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Happy new year~Happy new bird!

Look close enough and you might see what I'm talking about.

As you can imagine I was wishing I had a better camera already, as this was the best we could get without scaring it. (courtesy of Mr Fete)
So after the hysteria died down, I thumbed through my bird book and learnt that it was a Woodcock apparently quite a rare sighting, especially in ones back garden and the fact that we saw it twice. Quote from rspb: You would be very lucky to see one

Now I bet you are thinking I stuck a cardboard cutout in the garden to impress you here, but it really was in my garden, a great start for a new garden blog!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

a year in my garden

My name is Clare some of you might know me from my blog summerfete where I record my creations and observations. (have a peek to see the 2008 garden)
Welcome to a new blog dedicated purely to my garden, gardening and any wildlife that might pass by.
So here it is as I look out the computer room window, not too bare for this time of year, if not a little scruffy.
This will be my 4th summer in this garden, so I'm still getting to grips with structure and design.
I have no horticultural training, unless you count growing up with parents that gardened, if that's the case then I'm well qualified!

This is how the garden looked when we moved in 2006.
I have a confession that all is not perfect as you can see we are overlooked, which I so far had failed to admit by careful photography. But we all have compromises in life, and I could see that trees of the horrible type, could help hide the ugly! In fact the houses are half hidden now!
Its great to see how the garden changes through the seasons and grows through the years.

Digging a vegetable patch was the very first thing I did in 2006. Take a good look at the gardener, it might just be the only picture of moi on this blog.

I have actually been out in the garden today, so here is the ever expanding veg patch, still with edible leeks. (now with a new fence)
These are the beginnings of garlic which I planted in November. Hopefully I will get lots of nice garlic by summertime. As seen here

Whats the garden about?
Generally aside from the veg, the garden is predominantly designed to attract wildlife. From spring until autumn the garden buzzes with bees and the air is filled with twitterings from visitors of the flying nature. Last autumn the garden welcomed its first robin which has become quite friendly already.

I've also had a few adventures with blackbirds again to be found here.

So there we are, I shall endeavour to keep up to date!
If you cant find me here then I will be found at summerfete.

roll on spring!!