March has nearly gone

… and it’s a year till I have my once-in-a-lifetime trip to Spitzbergen for the total eclipse.  I had a target to lose enough weight to wear my ski gear, but I’ll have to do something drastic now to achieve that.

Spring has sprung in the garden, with the prunus in full bloom.  We haven’t had much cool weather this winter – up till two weeks ago we’d only had four frosts.  Since then we’ve had four a week.  But the plants that are out at the moment are fine with it, and the sun is really bright and warm during the day – you just need to be sheltered from the wind.  The over-wintered veggies are fine, the seeds have been planted for the early veg and the tomatoes, and the kohl rabi and peas are already up and developing their first true leaves.

I entered for the village Open Garden event in June, but it seems that too few of us did.  I think I ought to conitnue with my plan anyway, just to make sure I carry out all the tidying I scheduled in January.  There’s a lot to do, but half an hour a day would make all the difference.

Busy, busy, as usual!

January already

If I’m not very good at blogging on here, be reassured that I seem to have lost track of keeping my journal as well.  I blame it on my alter egos, all of whom blog regularly – some more so than others.

Last year was a tricky one, since I had a series of mishaps followed by heavy colds, and things sort of got lost in the mists of my self-pity.  One is allowed to go through sloughs of despond every now and then, but hopefully I’m coming out of it.  My new year’s resolution is simply to look after myself a little better.

Part of that is to get involved in things and to enjoy what I have.  I’m combining those by entering the village’s Garden Open Day in June.  I have a lot to do to get my garden ready for June. No. 1 is to make a plan of what to do and when, so it isn’t all a last-minute panic.  I think I’ll enjoy doing that.

Watch this space!

Laid low all summer

It wasn’t much of a summer.  Well, here it went from cold and dry to hot and dry to a bit of both.  Then when the rest of the country was saying “no more rain, please” we were saying, “no, more rain, please!”  It’s finally arrived, just as I’m fit enough to go outside and do some work again. Continue reading

Back to business

I seem to have got the garden back under control at last.  You might not think it if you came round unexpectedly, but to me things are happening roughly as they should be again.  I cleared the space for the winter lettuce this morning and harvested two carrots and a parsnip!  That was all that had grown from countless carrot seeds and one row of parsnips sown.  The slugs seemed to get all the seedlings; I don’t know how they missed these.  There are a few more parsnips and Hamburg parsley growing nicely right at the edge though, I think the slugs must have been confused by the cucumber growing up the arch right beside them. Continue reading

Not a good year for…

… anything except water, really.  It hasn’t been as wet here as in most parts of the country, and I did need to water the vegetable patch (what’s left of it) for a couple of weeks in August.  That meant I ran out of water in the double water butt, but the second one smelled bad, and when I looked I found I had (turn away now if you haven’t a strong stomach) some slugs decomposing in the bottom of it.  I tipped the water out and cleaned the butts and set them up again.  Two days later the thunderstorms started and I had full waterbutts again. Continue reading

My wildflower patch

Although I’ve been having trouble with other parts of the garden this year, my ‘new’ wildflower patch has developed quite nicely.  I say ‘new’ since it’s been grass that got gradually taken over my ‘weeds’ or rather, native wildflowers, so having mentioned it to my neighbours in order to give them a chance to object, since we have open plan front gardens, I devoted the area to wildflowers, mowing a winding path through it and watching what came up. Continue reading

April Up-date

As I said in previous posts this year, my new business interests are engrossing me, and I’m putting my energies into promoting them, developing new product lines, blogging about them (making use of the A to Z Blog Challenge for April) and tweeting them!  I just looked at my Year of the Dragon post here which looks astonishingly accurate, but reminded me to pay attention to study.  So it’s a good thing I read a book on marketing in my field at the weekend.  Of course, that just gave me more ideas, but most importantly it made me think about it strategically. Continue reading

Action stations!

Well, February whizzed by.  I was fully engaged with developing my new business interests and I hardly seemed to have any spare time at all.  I got into the garden a couple of times, one to trim the raspberry canes and to sort out the bed in the corner, cutting back the old growth on the geraniums and Japanese anemones, the other to do compost heaps. Continue reading

Vegetable planning

The arrival of the new seeds prompted me to spend something like three hours trying to sort out what to grow where this year.  It’s a complicated issue, trying to get all the things I want to grow into five beds, a patio full of pots, a couple of beds next to walls, and all with complications caused by shading during the day.  Vegetables mostly like to have sun to grow well, and three out of five of my vegetable beds have shading through half the day.  And with an element of crop rotation and companion planting, it gets to be quite a headache.  In the end I just decided to fit them in where they could go. Continue reading

Real Seeds

My new season’s seeds arrived today – from the Real Seed Catalogue.  This is a small business that grows veg to produce seed and so keep good stock for gardeners going strong.  They have a limited number of varieties but a huge range of unusual ones.  All are tested under regular growing conditions for enthusiasts who want to eat them, not as a commercial crop.  They also encourage you to save your own seed – and give instructions!

Continue reading