Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Greenhouse

I got really lucky & managed to snag myself a free greenhouse. It looked ok in the pictures, the broken panes can always be replaced.




The only thing I couldn't see until I got there was that the previous owners had used putty to hold the panes into the frame.

I think I broke a few more panes getting it down, the plastic has to be thrown away as it's brittle & yellowed. But at least I have a frame.

Or atleast I will have when I finally manage to get the putty off.



Every single piece of frame is covered. So far I have cleaned 3 pieces. All the remaining glass also needs to be cleaned. I may have enough for one side.

There was also 3 lots of staging which is in very good condition & the lady said I could have the pavers the greenhouse was sitting on, so that's all useful.

I cut myself quite badly when one of the panes fell on my head. I'm ok though, should never have done it on my own but I had no one to help.

At home I have sowed some seeds, mainly chilli & tomatoes, I have got some potatoes chitting & collecting toilet tubes like crazy ready for sowing sweetcorn. Oh I also sowed peas for mum in some guttering. Now all I need is warm weather, hurry up spring.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Guess what?

I've got a new plot. 

Like the last one it needs a lot of work. It's also much bigger. I had to walk it as I don't have a long enough measure, 110ft by 30ft. Sure the last one was only 50ft. Any way I will probably only be able to dig over & use about half of it this year & will perhaps use raised beds on the next bit as it's covered in trees & there's no way I'll be able to get the roots out.

Moved a lot of carpet, down to the end. There are loads of bricks & stones too that look like they were dumped.

Second half of plot, this was covered in carpet & bricks

Top half of plot which is covered in brambles & grass

Full length picture, there are loads of trees along the halfway line, unfortunately they are not fruit trees

All rubbish that can be burned

There is carpet under all this, most has already started to disintegrate so will be very difficult to remove

Removed to end so I can get on with clearing the better half

Even more carpet & trees.

Not much clearer but you can see the trees from here.
It's going to be a lot of work but I'm going to go slower this time.
There is enough space for a shed & maybe even a greenhouse or polytunnel.


Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Can't wait for Spring

I really dislike Winter. 
Thankfully the nights are beginning to get shorter but it's still cold.

My boss at work is pregnant. I have made her a baby blanket. Hope she likes it. (She's Chinese & it's the Year of the Dog).



This is the pattern if anyone wants it.
Year of the Dog baby blanket 2018


Thursday, 16 November 2017

Really lazy

Oh dear, I had intended to keep up with the blog this year, but I have been really lazy.

I grew runner beans as usual, they turned out great & we have loads in the freezer to keep us going through the winter.

The sweetcorn was a bust yet again, don't know why I bother.

I didn't sow any tomatoes, still have lots of puree stored from last year that I haven't got through yet. 

Carrots were great, parsnips still in the ground but hopefully they will be awesome come Yuletide.

We had lots of nice strawberries but the raspberries were few due to the dogs wreaking the plants.

So I got on & made some more crochet items.
Jenny's Faith designed by Anastasia Roberts
I managed to get a load of old wax candles off freecycle. I've broken most of it down & melted it (still have 2 large slabs left). This has become new candles.
I will talk you through the process with pictures as I do not have video.

I broke all the pieces up & put them into spare jars & then started to melt it, some in the microwave, then adding it to the jars in the saucepan.

I used some old crayons to add colour, mainly because the wax was dirty (lots of dead flies too). I added some old wax melts to some of them, this added colour & scent (much better).
Topped them up all the way & let them start to harden, had to keep stirring for a while as the colour started to sink.


I took a metal paperclip, holding the tip I bent the 2 bottom bends either side so it could stand up & just opened them out a little for stability. I then cut a piece of string & tied it onto the tip that was standing up, lots of knots & twisting, I dipped this into some melted wax several times, allowing it to cool between & then gently pushed it into the top of the  wax whilst it was still soft. The wax does shrink as it cools & you can top up the indent you get if you want. The 2 candles on the left have just been done, the one on the right has burned for 8 hrs already with just the one wick. 

You can add the wicks after the wax has all hardened so I haven't put any in the other jars as yet. When first lit they do burn high for about 20 minutes but then settle down. You can add borax to the wick to make it burn brighter & longer but I didn't have any.

Much easier than adding wicks to the whole candle & you can easily remelt the wax if it's burned to the side, just lift the wick out & replace when it starts to harden again.
I also have been making more soap.
I wanted to be able to grow my own additives/colourings to use in my soaps but not all of it has worked out. I'm still in the testing stage but so far the only success has been the Dock roots. It has given a lovely pink, I used far too much in the test bar but it still looks awesome.
Dock coloured soap

In fact it's the same colour as the blanket I'm crocheting for my mum for Yuletide.


Tuesday, 15 August 2017

More crochet

Been making some more crochet items to sell for Help 4 Heroes.

Summer Fling design by Garnstudio

Lisbon Tiles design by Garnstudios
Been harvesting a lot of Lavender buds ready for putting into sachets. 

Also harvested some Calendula for use in my balms. I need to get some Arnica seeds as I don't have any of those yet. I also need to find some Dutch Buckets for a mini hydroponic style growing for the plants whose roots I use, much easier to harvest from those. Unfortunately I don't seem to be able to find any in the UK so far.

Made some very nice soap, no added scents but lots of coffee grounds so that it's nice & scrubby, just great for getting all that gardening dirt from your hands.

Coffee soap, I cut it a little too big to start with, now cut that down to quarters & it's much easier to handle.

I picked loads of Blackberries to make jam with, heard about the slow cooker method & gave it a try. Not very successful as the jam didn't set properly.

I then crocheted some fish water balloons, they seem to be in vogue at the moment. Gave them to one of my gardening client's grandson, now I won't have to pick up all those little bits of balloon off the lawn.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Caught out

Oh dear, I think a lot of us got caught out with that cold snap. Luckily I had only put out a few plants.


The Lavender I ordered from T&M turned up, ahead of schedule. I expected them to be small but not quite this small. The postman had not been kind either, but a short while later they were all potted on & given a good drink.
bad postman


potted on & watered


I popped into the greenhouse to check on my plants there, they were all fine. 

Courgettes growing well, cucumber & melons a bit behind 

The strawberries have been hit by the frost, the leaves have a lot of brown patches. As yet I can't see any damage to the flowers so hopefully they are ok.

lots of flowers
 To top it all off as I came back in I spied a bird I have not seen for a long time. A Goldfinch. I don't mind too much that he/she was eating my grass seed, hopefully it will progress to eating the greenfly.


Thursday, 13 April 2017

Things are starting to grow

Some photos of the flowers & growth in the garden.
President Roosevelt.

Cherry Blossom

self seeded Rhododendron 

Pierris 

Camelia

Euphorbia

Heuchera 

Braeburn apple

Seed pods, will let these dry & sow them next year

not sure if this is a type of bee or a fly of some sort, see them often in the garden but they never stay still long enough to see them properly
Update, the flying thing is a fly called a Bombylius major and it lays eggs in bee nests so not a good insect from that point of view.