Monday, August 27, 2012

Fabulous gardening weather!

We've been very spoilt over the weekend, including today with the weather in Christchurch. Temperatures have been in the 20's celcius with clear blue skies. So, what do you do if you're a gardener.......embrace the day!!

My latest project (one of, um about 40) is one of our small lawns which leads off a brick path and is edged in bricks. Since the tree felling it's had green rubbish dumped on it which has killed some of it (not the dandelions unfortunately). It's shaped in a circle and was lawn edged by perennials. I've been tossing up between raised beds, or taking advantage of the bricks already there and making a potager garden. I think I'm leaning towards the potager idea. I have some bricks and this will be a cheaper option as this is not our "forever house". Our older house is not one we want to retire in as it is higher maintenance being wood and nearly 100 years old. You need to be a grown up and remember you're getting older and need to make sensible decisions. The section and location are perfect, just not the house.......

Future Potager garden.
I spent the afternoon clearing the accumulation of branches- chopping for firewood and munching the smaller stuff in my handy dandy home garden muncher (best thing I ever bought). Dear Mr SFP dragged the huge stumps to the other lawn with the mountains of dirt and munchings......but that's another story. I'm trying to ignore that lawn at the moment as it's part of the "big picture".

Another glorious day, even better than yesterday saw me back out in the garden after Church. Today I started weeding the lawn, which was limited by where I could put the weeds, as once again my bin was full. I must have dug at least 50 dandelions out and there are still so many more to go, as well as twitch and clover. Mr SFP chopped down a tree on the back fence line which will let more light in. Still a couple more to be removed. The only thing is once you've chopped it down it takes a lot of work to make it disappear! Oh for a magic wand or a twitch of the nose, like in the old tv programme Bewitched.

New potager from a different angle.
New potager looking back the other way.
Still many more hours of back breaking work methinks. I've definitely earned my bath tonight LOL.

This morning I spent a lovely couple of hours with Mrs HMM. Had a wander around her garden which is coming along and a coffee with her. It's so good to have a fellow gardener as a sister and a friend. We then popped out to a local landscaping yard and I got 3 bags of crusher dust. This will hopefully fix the wonky floor in my greenhouse. Just have to work out how to get it a wee bit more!

When I got back I decided I needed to get my strawberry plants planted. I had some from last year which I'd lifted and some I won in an auction online. I'd had to nurse them back to health as the lovely lady who sent them posted 20 strawberry plants in a bit of wet newspaper in a plastic bag. They were held up when we were snowed in a couple of months ago and arrived crushed and dejected. 

Strawberry plants being nursed back to health.
I decided to grow them in the same spot as last year which will be sunnier now with the removal of a tree. I've grown them in tyres, which I've found works well. Each tyre had to be weeded and I added horse poo and more compost from the bin. I "planted" a fizzy bottle in the middle of each to act as a supplementary watering source. After the damage to our water supply following the earthquakes in Christchurch we were on watering restrictions last Summer. Added 5 plants to each tyre, which if they all survive will give me 35 plants. Mulched with pea straw and watered in.

Strawberries After.

I had my first harvest from the garden- 3 stalks of rhubarb, which I had trimmed away from another plant and potatoes hiding at the bottom of the compost bin. Master and Mr SFP said the potatoes were delicious!

First harvest of the season.

Well it's off to bed, hopefully it will be another nice day tomorrow and we gardeners are early risers  Mrs SFP XXX

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