Friday, 6 May 2016

Full on veg planting

Been absent from blogging for a while as we are taking advantage of the turn in the weather and planting out the first round of veg.  So much work I have worn out my gardening gloves.
I get through a pair about every three months; as you can see I like to get my hands right in the soil.

All the veg plants look small against the very dry top soil and in my pictures all you may note is bamboo canes. We were given a bundle of 200 or so of medium sizes and another 100 or so short ones and then brought 50 giant thick ones last year - plus all the odds and ends found here and brought from previous house. We are using them to build all sorts of net structures to protect and support crops. All a bit "Heath-Robinson" as my husband calls it - but yesterday he calculated a fruit cage over the blueberries would have cost £125 and our efforts cost nothing but effort (and a little embarrassment - but there are so passers-by here so who cares?)

We are aiming to keep the deer and hares off the blueberries as we suspect they had a few nice branches off last year.

You know your summer crop is on its way when you put up your bean poles! We used 17 thick poles for this run and planted about 15 bean plants. We will do another row and similar number in a couple of weeks.

Those pesky cauliflowers are still coming on fast - I think I am going to vote buttered cauli as my favourite recipe, husband likes the turmeric spicy recipe but we both can polish off a large dish of cauli cheese for lunch as long as it has a few bits of bacon in it and some left over blue cheese sprinkled on the top to give it a bit of a buzz. As a consequence evening meals have become very light to compensate.  Meanwhile in the poly tunnel the spinach has gone mad and is nearly knee high.
The strawberries are racing on in the tunnel and fruit is forming. Thank goodness the watering system is set up and the beds can be left to self water for half an hour while we do something else.
In the house it is all go swapping over to the summer things. The drawer with blouses and shorts needs to be moved up one, and the thick jumpers go down (saves bending). Downstairs next to the winter coats I have a lovely bright Indian bag given to me by my son's in-laws in which I have been stuffing winter scarves, gloves and hats. The bag has little mirrors sewn in to the embroidery - they did tell me the Indian craft name for this style of decoration but I have completely forgotten.
Today I emptied it and washed all the woolly thermal things ready to put away and filled it with sun hats, silk scarves and cotton shawls ready for days out and cool summer evening sat out in the garden. I found the sun lotions and insect repellent and brought them down too!  The area between kitchen, bathroom and back door is getting more organised now I have some new shelves above my washing machine. 

This alcove used to house an enormous oil boiler. We had an external boiler fitted last summer and the alcove is just right for the washing machine. Its great as you can throw the clothes in as your exit the bathroom. The bottom shelf is just an old Formica shelf from a disregarded kitchen unit and the top is just two odd bits of wood. Both will need replacing with some decent wood and have backs put on them to stop things tumbling down the back of the machine. I found some baskets for all the odds and ends but I have plans to find some bright coloured storage boxes. 

I've cooled off now so must go and enjoy some more afternoon sun and get the washing in. Today I am working my way through all the gardening fleece jackets which have been used all winter.

Did you see the excellent BBC4 programme about Ordnance survey maps? I am a map geek, and originally from the Southampton area (home of the OS) so I was fascinated by the stories of the people who worked there. When I was leaving school in the early 1970s it was suggested as a possible employer for me, as I was top of the class in geography, but I had other ideas. Silly me.


  1. I have endless pairs of gardening gloves always start off wearing them then end up with using bare hands,
    I like your little laundry alcove a good way of utilising space

    1. I would love to ditch the gloves but these days dermatitis flares up rather quickly. I can't use the "water proof" ones as they make me itch. Do you have a good brand? I am sure there are better ones than the garden centre standard ones; if only I could locate them.

  2. Oh, I do envy you having that garden! Being able to grow your own meals (with some flowers on the side) must be grand. You've also reminded me how much I like cauliflower, and how long it's been since I have prepared it. Think I will go the turmeric route first.
    Happy weekend!


Afternoon off

Left all the gardening undone yesterday and headed out  for the afternoon in our small boat.  Went up the River Wissey for about 4 miles. ...