It’s true, you know?

A little and often gets the job done!

Do you see the sneaky bramble?
Gravel hidden from sight…

It’s cold but I braved some leaf gathering, some tidying in the greenhouse (moving some trays around) and kneeling on the knee pads and weeding some of the couch grass in the gravel under the apple tree. You can see those random paint pots also got shifted. It’s given me a bit more incentive to crack the whip on pooch patrol, as standing in poo is not the aim.

Leaves and apples hiding the gravel…

Leaves hide the poop, but don’t stop my wellies from getting covered. I’ve got some seeds to track down as well, as I can’t find the beetroot. I have lots of trays in the greenhouse, and it was pleasant in there today for a change. Maybe we are not going to see the snow after all, as other parts of the country have.

However I managed over an hour outside and lots of it was in the garden outside. It’s the garden housekeeping role at the moment. Weeds, leaves, couch grass and rotten apples needed chucking in the brown bin. And I could muse on the online nightmares of this morning. I bought a tray to hold the dog bowls to try and stop the food from spreading all over the floor and an email today said it would be 4 to 6 weeks delivery… I’m still waiting for things I bought for Christmas in November so I feel resigned to the new reality of delivery post-Brexit and mid Covid…

Tidy-ish 😊
Paint tins away 😀

It’s a time for planning!

I have received a few gardening books and spent a bit of Christmas money on magazines and books. I also received lots of catalogues… So I have things to inspire my garden this year. (A few of my Christmas purchases are still caught up in the lorry blockades but that is delaying the excitement of Christmas) The ground is a bit soggy at moment to do a lot but seeds can be planted and things established for the growing season. It’s cold out there but we have the greenhouse en site and brown bin to fill with garden waste. I just need to read some of this to give me inspiration!

I have both daughters at home as we will be home schooled until, well, more of us have been vaccinated. Sensibly, teachers unions have objected to the opening of schools in Tier 4 areas, and all of Herts is now Tier 4. I haven’t heard whether the college I invigilate at will now close too. I can only hope… too many people think they will be ok, but there are too many examples now of victims, including MS sufferers.

So I have good reason to change my mind about working, even if I am a key worker. Much rather have a potter in the cold greenhouse!

Christmas Eve!

I never thought I’d be in the garden on 23/24th December, but I just picked some onions. We planted months ago and then left. I need a garden housekeeper really. It’s cold, wet and muddy out there but I needed to check on the panel in the greenhouse which has been shifted so there isn’t a gap. And lots of poppies are still growing in the trays which need to be planted out in the spring. Knowing me, I’ll probably misjudge this and put them out too soon… if the UK has snow tomorrow will it also snow in March? Seasons are a changing?

Onions for soup!

I think I am making soup after all. French onion soup, perhaps? I don’t think we are traditional much at the moment? Making our own traditions or making it up as we go along!

Stockpiling loo roll for seeds…

Poppies will hopefully survive the cold as they are under glass. Loads and I hope they are all the colours in my head and don’t turn red if our soil is the wrong ph…

Mostly happy poppies
Some of the seeds were online purchases but I don’t remember which… hope they aren’t to be feared!

I’ve been planting again!

I’ve used toilet roll inners to make little pots for the greenhouse. We are encouraged to recycle after all. I’ve got a selection of seeds to grow red leaved shrubs and I planted half of the three packets today. I think it was ricin communalist, communis impala and a carmencita Bright red. So I planted 15 of the seeds and saved the rest for the spring. I am starting to add my own flavour/colour to what’s there. I get inspiration but it’s been taking a while.

I bought two camassia cusickii bulbs for the front. Hopefully this will give me some delicate blue flowers by the front drive bed. We have to sort the pane in the greenhouse too.

Poppies – we have a LOT of poppies!
I will have to check what the seeds were that I planted! The envelopes had Latin names…
Loads more poppies…
Some are bigger than others! I might have to bring them inside if it gets too cold?

Our planned shed/dismantling the decrepit one is on hold presently but the garage is getting a new heater. Life in 2020 isn’t what we expected but hopefully with a vaccine or two in circulation we can start to plan a bit more. I’m certainly planning on filling the greenhouse this year. I will be a little more vigilant of the contents when I purchase very specific plants.

Slight gap in the greenhouse!

Random seeds…

Too random!
Hibiscus I think!

The dog barks a lot at the post. We got a special basket to protect deliveries and today was no different…

I have lost track of seeds I am waiting for and these may have been ordered several months ago. Nowhere on the package does it state what they are. I’ve ordered seeds from garden suppliers and for my sins, the biggest online retailer in the UK. Probably this is the source of my mystery seeds?

I’ve ordered some that in my history remain, so it could have been Mid-Covid quarantine, which makes them passionflowers? I have since read the propagation time: it could take ten years for any flowers to appear. Life’s too short! The plant I put in (I gave up on the seeds!!!) is healthy and looks like producing blooms…

Still flowering!
Passionflower is doing well!

PPS: it seems a lot of seeds have been sent out like this and the USDA (USA org) have sent warnings to 50 states suggesting they don’t plant these. I had seen the news report but I thought it would be ok. Now I really don’t know what to do with them… If I knew how to make a poll I would!

Hot again!

Those two trees got a serious trim. They are spiky too which adds them to my least favourite options for keeping in the garden of the future. It seems the chop they got last year encouraged them to produce fruits but I’m not 100% sure what they are…

Lots of spiky things growing here!

Why do plants in some places grow well and others they fail to thrive? Buddleia grows amazingly in the bed by the house but there is a narrow spindle I have identified next to those spiky trees as buddleia which must have been planted 3 years ago. We struggle to stop the monster by the house…

Straggly buddleia… (before brambles were culled)
…monster three buddleia after a trim?

But the culling better stop as it’s brown (garden waste) bin tomorrow and I have filled as much as I can with the weeds I don’t add to compost. I feel sure my energy levels are rising again and I have to say it could be down to the cbd capsules I am taking. Still only one tablet but much higher concentration. Reading the small print it says to disclose it to an employer in case they do random drug tests, but it’s thoroughly tested to not contain any credible levels of the stuff that can get you in trouble. Not working through the summer so not panicking about it either…

I have lots of seeds to scatter and lots of places to put them. To have a garden with lots of flowers next year would be fabulous. Need to decide where they go! Random as ever and reallocating herbs along the way is interesting too, as I think I will not lay out a herb garden again but integrate them with other perennials.

Significant apple drop from the tree that failed to fruit last year. And a drum beat from landing on the Perspex…

The garden is growing organically!