Wednesday, 28 December 2011


This year was a great year for gardening presents. Santa brought me plenty of bird food, bird feeders and seeds. The birds will love my garden this year. A nice new watering can arrived too. I'm a bit of a snob but I'm fed up of plastic cans so asked for a galvanised one instead. Should last a while.

As well as these great gifts I received a beer making kit and some Demi Johns. There is beer brewing as I write. When it's ready I will have about five days to drink it before it goes off. That'll be a great weekend!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

I know what Santa's bringing!

Arriving home from work tonight I spied a wrapped present in the shape of a watering can.  This could be either very stupid or very clever wrapping. Stupid, if it is a watering can or very clever if it's really a pair of slippers or a DVD player.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

My rainy day off.

I've been waiting for my two days off for ages now. Just when I think I'm going to be outside the weatherman is warning me of rain and storm force winds. Why can't I have a bit of luck for once?  So, no gardening means Christmas shopping instead. Off over to the Mall at Cribbs Causeway to indulge in some retail therapy (phtt, I hate shopping. I'll get it done in about half an hour and be back home with my feet up in front of the telly).

At least this year I won't leave my present buying until Christmas eve!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

All I want for Christmas is?

I'm sat at my pc trying to work out what I want for Christmas. I need to make a list. So far I've thought about a home brew kit (something to keep me busy during the winter).  The big day will be here before I know it so I need your help. I'd like to have a few gardening gifts for around £10 - £20 to put on the list. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Time in the garden

I've the next two days off. What will I do? It would be a good opportunity to do some proper tidying. The shed could do with reorganising and so could the garage. I'm going for a breakfast first thing with an old friend so that will set me up for a great day in the garden.

Hopefully I'll get time to get to the garden centre and see if they have any reduced plants for sale.  Last year I bought some empty pots of soil for around 10p each. The guy in the store said I could have them because they had died in the cold weather. Little did he know, they were perennials and had just gone to sleep. I managed to get about fifteen or so lupins and hollyhocks. Let's hope he still works there.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

I just don't know what to do with myself.

The days have shortened and it's colder than a witches boob. I work until six and don't get home until half past. That's no time at all to get into the garden this time of year. I have thought about investing in a miner's helmet to help me see in the dark, but I worried what the neighbours will think.  What can I do to help me pass the time? What do other gardeners do this time of year?

Friday, 25 November 2011


My last few measly peppers! Why do I bother tending and nurturing for 6 months for such a pitiful harvest?
Next year I'm going to grow giant pumpkins again. A couple of years back I couldn't move for enormous orange gourds. At least they look after themselves too. I just got to try and get used to pumpkin pie, urghh!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Leaf mould

After clearing up the leaves from the garden I jammed them into some old bags I had lying around. I'm hoping that next year I'll have lots of lovely mulch to lay around my veggies. After a good few hours of leaf collecting, I felt a bit disappointed that I'd ran out of leaves. Is it wrong to sneak into next doors garden and pinch his leaves?

Only 5 bags? Pathetic!

Pickle wants to know why his Dad is photographing bags of leaves.

Friday, 18 November 2011

The hedgehogs are back!

It's been a long time since I last saw these spikey little chaps wandering around the garden, munching on slugs and nicking cat food.
 I decided it was about time to remove my home-made "hog box" and plant something in it's place. On lifting the lid I was greeted with the sight of two plumpish looking pin cushions. Carefully placing the lid back on, I popped back inside for a brew safe in the knowledge that my torch-lit slug-hunting evenings could be put on hold once again.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Who's pooping in my bed

This question's been bothering me for some time. One of my little kittens has decided that his litter tray is clearly not big enough and instead has taken to using one of my raised beds. We've not spoken about the matter since but I can tell by the look on his face, he knows he's in the wrong.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Leaf clearing day

I love trees. They add structure to my garden and shade me from the baking sun in the summer. Even in the Autumn the colours they provide are beautiful.

Then winter comes and they make a mess of my paths and borders. All morning it's taken me just to clear away a few leaves. I've changed my mind now. I hate trees. Horrible spindly things.

Sunday, 9 October 2011


Today I made some really simple Chutney.  Wondering what to do with the hundreds of apples, apart from making more crumble, I looked for a recipe book.  Although I didn't follow the instructions to the letter I ended up with quite a tasty concoction.

I chopped up some Apples, Onions, Pumpkins, Carrots and whatever other fruit or veg that was within eyeshot.
Added some spices (don't ask, I can't remember) and topped up the pan with some Red wine vinegar.  Left it to boil for what seemed an eternity (3 hours) and packed it into jars. I steal these from neighbours recycling bins on collection day (I do this Ninja-like at 6am to avoid capture).

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Bootsale Sunday

It's that time again. Up at 6 (ish), load the car with as many plants as possible and off to sit in a field for 5hrs.
Out came the decorating table and on went the Tomatoes, Cues and Pumpkins. The sign at the front of the stall clearly said what I had for sale so why were so many people asking if I had Melons? After a great start and £30 in the bag, the trade dried up (unlike the weather).
It's strange how I spend all week at work waiting for the weekend and when it comes I sit in the back of a car in the hope that someone wants to spend 50p on a Butternet Squash.
A thoroughly miserable day was had by all and a grand total of £38.50 achieved. Can't wait for next week.  Oh, and is it too late to sow Melons?

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Hole digging, bird food eating, fig stealing mystery solved?

Caught red handed (or at least grey handed) eating the food put out for the birds. Could he also be responsible for the other crimes in the garden?

Hmm, tasty bread


Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Trip to London

On my day off this week I left the garden on it's own and went to London. It was a nice sunny day and we visited several famous sites including Westminster Palace (from the inside). We queued for a good 45 minutes to get into the public viewing gallery in the House of Commons but it was well worth the wait. William Hague was telling us his plans for Libya. And later Andrew Lansley was roundly booed by the Labour benches for his National Health speech.

We really enjoyed our day out in the capital though with all the walking, my legs now wish they hadn't gone with me.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

My lovely raised bed

Here it is. My raised bed. On Wednesday I had a day off so I set to work on weeding, turning and raking. The seeds I have sown are Carrot, beetroot, parsnip and spinach. I also added some bottomless pots at one end ready for some tomatoes later in the year. The bed already has some asparagus so it should be brimming with veggies come summer.
 Some handy name pegs made from offcuts of wood I found in the garage. Waste not, want not.
Once these crops finish I will need replacements.  Any suggestions for what to grow in the bed later in the year?

Friday, 18 March 2011


Is it just me or does anyone else believe in seasonal affective disorder? I used to think it was a load of old rubbish. That was, until now. I now truly understand how depressing the winter months can be.
 The weekend's here at last and with the week I've had I need some gardening therapy. This winter has been going on far too long and I can't wait to get out and sit in the sun or potter around in the shed. I plan on potting up some more of my Ailsa Craig toms in the morning and if it stays dry I might even make up some spring baskets. I'm sure the summer's just around the corner. Let's get gardening!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Sunday seed sowing

Today was a beautiful day. The sun shone from early morning until 6pm. Today's job in the garden was seed sowing. All of a sudden the year seems to be marching on (no pun intended) and I feel as if I now have lots to do before it's too late.
 I found this old packet of salad leaves from last year and started them off first thing. Before I realised, I was opening seeds left, right and centre. Lettuce, Tomatoes, Courgettes, Sunflowers, Cornflowers, Sweet peas and African Marigolds. All done before lunch.

Some of last years seed from the BBC.

"Cut and come again" salad leaves.

Plenty of tea was drunk too.
After lunch I cleared out the shed and hung all my tools neatly on the wall. All in all a thoroughly productive day. Back to work for a week and looking forward to next weekend.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Rain rain go away!

Rain rain go away,
Come again another day.
Little Nathan wants to play;
Rain, rain, go to Spain,
Never show your face again!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

A bath in the garden?

I've always fancied the idea of a bath in the garden. So last year I did. I planted it up with onion sets last autumn and hopefully in a month or two I'll be pulling some tasty bulbs.  Once the onions are done I intend to plant some potatoes. I like the idea of making use out of unwanted objects. The garden also has a collection of car tyres too, planted up with winter greens.  Is this the strangest raised bed or do you have your own wacky ideas?

Sunday, 6 March 2011

A present for the parents.

It's been a bit of a quiet day in the garden for me today. The sun has been out for most of the afternoon but I've had little to do. I'm short of money at the moment so that doesn't help. Usually I'd be at the garden centre buying a new plant and squeezing it into a gap somewhere. Anyway, so far I've washed the car and dug up some Rhubarb to take to my parents house.  They love Rhubarb like me so now they can have their own patch. The sun seems to be setting now so I'm going back outside to do some pottering before it gets dark.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

First colour of spring

The front of my house.

These are the first bulbs to offer some colour to the garden so far this year. Things are moving fast now and I've a feeling the garden will soon come alive.  This little patch at the front of the house gives me enormous pleasure when I pull up in my car after work. Can't wait for the deep reds and purples of the tulips to break through.

Monday, 28 February 2011

A pane in the glass

I heard a loud crash in the night a few days ago. This morning I found out what it was. Two sheet of glass had fallen out of my greenhouse. I need to repair it this weekend but I am not sure whether to use real glass or polycarbonate. Which is best I wonder?

Sunday, 27 February 2011

What a nice butt!

The sun was shining for a while this morning. I thought I'd better make the most of it and do something useful in the garden. It seems to be raining most of the time at the moment, so as it was dry, I installed two water butts.

They've been lying around for a while and I know I am going to need their precious bounty this summer. Let's just hope they stay full all year. I feel satisfied with a job well done and hopefully it will save money on my water bills as well as helping the environment a little.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Hurry up Spring

I wish the warm weather would hurry up and arrive. I can't wait to be back out in the garden. I miss sitting in the sun admiring the flowers. I'm going stir crazy at the moment. So come on spring "pull your finger out".

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Rhubarb rhubarb

Things are beginning to happen in the garden at last. Last week I covered up my rhubarb with my home-made cloche. To my amazement, when I looked again today there were signs of life.
The beautiful pink buds are poking through the soil and will soon be the focus of my veg patch again.
 Bring on the Crumble!

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