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 😀

Did I say it was COLD? Too darned C O L D…

Seriously it hasn’t gone above 1 degree outside and you know it doesn’t entice me to go anywhere near a pair of wellies and a winter frosted garden. Nope! I always make great plans, and my kids have helped to make me focus, on the television? A film is on as I type and I can’t really move off the sofa…

Lockdown hacks…
Yesterday’s activity

I don’t publish many pics of me as I’ve said before but it’s a resolution I am determined not to break. Lots of people do zooms like it was second nature so here goes. We are not editing out the messy bits of planting all those daffodils and things yesterday. I can still smell the rosemary in the centre! But the tray wasn’t punctured and I have a feeling we may have to remedy this if the rain comes on…

Messy view of greenhouse

I don’t see myself going out to the greenhouse as it’s only fractionally warmer than the garden. Time for another resolution? Check the greenhouse regularly, even when it’s cold!

Do you see what I see?
Definitely bulb shoots! 😆

And wandering round the garden every so often reminds you of the hard work of last year? I worried the squirrels would find them but spring has sprung and handfuls of bulbs are pushing through the soil. I can’t wait!

Ok it’s sinking in now… Let Gardening Club begin!

I have no work which means I’ve got very little money. If anyone has a magic money tree perhaps I can get a cutting? January is a rubbish month in terms of being cold and shivery but combined with Lockdown 3, home schooling Day 3 and not being able to know whether a Covid germ is lurking, a penniless January 2021 is shaping up to be a corker! Kids are working on whatever has been set/sent digitally on Satchel One, TheSchool App, and from yesterday, Google Play and Classroom and books which were delivered by the school. We are lucky in that reconditioned pcs mean the kids have their own but I know locally some families are only using phones for the online stuff. If you have a spare pc there could be someone who would be grateful for it?

This young tree needs moving…
We planted yesterday’s purchases.
Messy greenhouse with newly planted artichokes, sunflowers, fennel and honesty.

We will do a bit of planting with my rash purchases yesterday. I don’t spend much but collectively it was significant. I have to stretch till the next money comes in. Heyho I’ll get my middle-class/posh artichokes planted and then we can have food which you have to work at finding the edible bits…

Gardening will have to be cost free from now. Getting mucky is going to be our learning experience for sure. I’ll use the growing poppies and books to check they are really poppies and to monitor the expected growth so we know when to pot out.

A cold pic of me yesterday…
Think this banana (?) should have been fleeced … whatever is growing at the bottom is doing ok!!!

Garden centre to the rescue!

There is a definite shortage of logs. The shop we normally get a bulk order from are not returning our calls, and the garden centre where we got 2 bags before New Year are waiting a delivery. I went to another garden centre this afternoon (I need no excuse) and they only had two bags of the reconstituted timber logs… and I was told that people are raving about them! I may be a convert, and the designer side of me quite likes the orderly nature of my log pile now.

I bought some flowering plants and a shallow tray. I couldn’t help myself. A job for tomorrow? Absolutely. I bought some more seeds too, so I have to start wrapping up warm and setting some Gardening Club homework seeing as S is missing that this term.

Method in my madnesses for sure. As day 2 has seen a weary 9 year old sleep most of the afternoon after doing her class tasks, I feel justified in getting her to help? This home school business is ok so far!

Even round logs 😀

Supplies…
Seeds! I loved having artichokes in our allotment and they look like Scottish thistles…

Hmm…

My life has been changed in the last few days by random virtual connections. Brexit and Covid anger seems to be pushing away our real connections for pleas in the distance from these virtual connections. I like playing virtual scrabble but I keep connecting with people who want to make connections via gmail. I already do messenger, zoom and WhatsApp but can I not do this one too? Well I only wanted to play Scrabble…

I also ended up talking to a young girl in Costa Rica rather randomly. I hope she finds a way round her issues and I felt sad because she just needed a big hug!

So it was too nice now that we are Tier 4 restricted not to get outside and clear a whole bin full of leaf detritus from the back. Hubby is weatherproofing the lastlegs shed as he discovered lots of decay and animal mess during the week. They even got into a box. Glad I got our curtains out and up before the wee beasts found those! We also need a bike shelter…

I do love hearing from people about things they like in the blog. Again, I wish you all a happy Christmas wherever you are! 🧚‍♂️🎄⭐️🎄☃️❄️🍾🥂🎄🧚🏻

Full of leaves… should make leaf mould but I won’t use it! Just more clutter we don’t need.

Oh dear I can’t go to work like this!

I’ve ripped my sleeve!

I just went out to spread some blue slate in the front garden and I am filthy and ragged! I was told Hubby thinks it’s too sharp for the back as the slate was too sharp for the dogs paws so the buy3 get one free offer has gone down the sides of the front path. The rainbow gravel was already slipping about so the blue slate will perhaps do the job of holding the white in place.

Four bags have not gone far! And it looks ok but I might need to buy some more. I was thinking I might use the extra to fill my circle but I’ve run out. At some point we will order a bulk bag of some kind of gravel (and sand) for the back but it’s slipping down that list again. Even the shed is in jeopardy!

I shouldn’t have spent so much on birthday boy but I always spend before I get paid… I better get changed for work! It’s zero hours and some months it has been zero so I will take it if it’s offered!

Ooh the weeds! Normally under the car…
I wasn’t going to cover this bed as the tree trunk needs removal!

Damp but sunny!

Ok I said I’d go out and it was fab out in the sun. A bit soggy underfoot but that’s what wellies are for! I’ve filled the brown bin and pulled down some overgrown Ivy. We’ve been here five years, even if the last (and third, see my earlier blogs) one is a difficult blur, and the Ivy is taking over the pillars on our wall. We were told on our survey that the pillars needed recapping (and I even got prices from the slab guy in February) but again it slipped down the priority list.

Ivy cuttings

Rather worryingly the Ivy (auto capitalising!) has pushed its way through the brickwork. And annoyingly I am a bit too short to reach it without steps… I’ve pulled off a lot if I’ve filled a wheelie bin? But some of that was stuff that’s been sitting around and should have gone in the collection I missed! I know very shoddy on my part, just hoping that wasn’t the last of the year. Then I will be very cross. We pay extra for the brown bin collection but it may not be the full year?

I also have less work now so I am hoping to get either a few more sunny or warm days or get myself up a ladder and finish the kitchen ceiling painting. The only thing stopping that is in my head, and the sudden dizzy spells that make me very much slower on the ladder. Less pleasant than it was in my twenties I can tell you. I could also take the garden rubbish to the tip if I get inclined to go round the garden picking up rubbish, fill the car, separate the types of waste and work out the times the tip is open (if it is under lockdown) and drive over there. That is not so easy either…

Little spiky bundle I left on the grass when I cut back the rose hips…
I can’t reach the top of the ivy 😂😒
Pandemic thoughts

Scared crows!

Halloween next weekend and there won’t be any trick or treating! We made a scarecrow or two instead. Had to be based on a book character. So we have two scarecrows representing the main couple in an American Classic. In case any of the mums read this I better not give it away. C the older daughter has a crush on the character in the 2019 film with the Irish actress with the Gaelic spelling name… too many clues… 🙂

In progress

Anyway old clothes have been utilised as well as a swimming noodle for arms. They are hard to make sit up so falling over a lot. Hey ho!

Next year (if they do it again) we will plan to have a scarecrow held up against the porch!

That’s kind of messy!
Talented scarecrow builder!
Haunted house decorations…

A little tidier!

A bit more to add to the front and weeding the edges and trimming the spiky bush. Maybe that is going to disappear one day but blimey it hurts like crazy when I try to pick up bits I’ve chopped. I don’t always bring the right stuff but I used the paving knife to pull up some of the weeds in the crack.

I bought a couple of red-veined heuchera. The tree stump was trimmed back but I’m not sure I’ve eradicated golden rod…

Front path is looking better. I can’t wait for rain to wash the stones. They are still rather luminous but that is four bags worth and I don’t have any more.

The front garden was glowing in the dusk…

I’ve used most of the cobbles I bought several months ago now to border the four slabs I’ve added to the front garden. It taken most of the afternoon and a couple of trips to purchase extra plants! Heucheras and Lily of the valley and little bulbs with blue flowers I forgot to note the name of are planted on top of my tulips beside my festucas. I love being creative and my youngest helped with the pebbles to get the path finished before it got dark.

In progress…
The gravel would have been too fine and would attract cats so the pebbles are a cat deterrent.

I may also return to a garden centre where I saw some extremely delicate heucheras which were blueish with a red veined leaf which will contrast nicely with my apricot and plain chocolate purchases today. I also contrasted this with white cyclamen.

Grit was purchased…
Planted! but not finished…

The existing flower bed with the tree stump was covered in snails. I am hoping by mulching it with horticultural grit and compost it will become less attractive to the slimy creatures but I suspect I may need to clear them a lot. I might start collecting egg shells to dry out and scatter. The garden could do with fewer snails if we can. They eat a lot of my favourites – they may be the culprits of munching my missing Japanese anemones… And there is still some things growing round the stump which need eradicating. Another day tomorrow…

I’ve chopped back the golden rod and valerian in this bed but I feel it may be an ongoing battle…