31 March 2015

Midweek Post Script

I had one of those nights when you wake and think "that was a good sleep" and it's only just gone 1.00am! And it didn't get much better from there but.....I did get a lot of thinking done.

I mentioned in my last blog that I had removed the netting from over the pond. Well, this wasn't strictly true as I had left it in a thin strip across the widest part because I didn't want it to fall into the water as I tried to remove it.

At around 3.00am this morning my internal light bulb came on....all I had to do was shifty up the netting to the narrowest part of the pond.  So I went out this afternoon and shifted the netting up to the narrowest part of the pond and...yep...the netting is no more! As you can probably tell, logic isn't always my strong point!

Have a good week....


30 March 2015

Things Starting to Happen....

Hi Fellow Gardeners,

It's been a quiet-ish week in the garden for me as in limbo where planting and seedlings are concerned.  Growing rapidly are the peas and sweet peas so they will be planted out at the weekend. The zinnia's, leeks, tomatoes are sprouting well and the peppers, aquilegia and snap dragons have broken through at long last.  Today I have sown some more globe thistle and zinnia and also some Japanese squash.

I have been away for a couple of days and on Saturday, before I went, I checked and watered the greenhouse.  I have a Japanese Maple in there as we have a south west facing garden with not much to stop the blowing through the garden and the Maple doesn't like the wind, shedding it's leaves astonishingly quickly last year. Anyway, on Saturday I noticed that there were leaf buds on it so I'm glad it is growing again. And when I checked this morning - well - it is covered in sprouting leaves all over an inch long - result!

A big disappointment has been the micro greens which have struggled to grow so I'll have to start again which is a shame as I thought they would be easy.

But most of my week has centred around the pond and my obsession with the fish and the every-changing frog spawn.  On Saturday the spawn was spreading out and loosing it's solid form and this morning when I checked most of it has disappeared so no doubt there will be tadpoles swimming around and dodging the fish soon. The cauldron pond is flourishing...I had to take some water out of it on Saturday as heavy rain was forecast and I didn't want it overflowing. Incidentally...heavy rain was forecast here today but where is it???

The daffodils look stunning, contrasting with the purple aubretia. Also, the pussy willow is developing on the bigger of the two trees. 

The compost doesn't seem to be composting as well as I would like so I'll have to rethink that. I am considering a wormery though so if anyone has any suggestion....

There is much to do over Easter and thankfully I will have some assistance from him indoors!

Have a good week, enjoy your hot cross buns and Easter eggs and catch up next week.

Happy gardening,


22 March 2015

A busy week....

Hi Everyone,

I was intending to blog a couple of days ago but time has whizzed by with much to do in the garden.  The frog spawn has gone from developing tiny tails to evacuating the spawn...and there is loads of it although the fish are still attacking it with relish in between sunbathing just below the surface in this lovely weather. Yesterday I pulled back some of the netting over the pond and cleared away most of the surface leaves.  I can't take the net off yet as there is still some frog spawn hanging off it.  The pond appears to be very healthy which is good and much clearer than it was.  The fish were swimming about full of the joys of Spring.

 I have also discovered a flaw with my miniature pond.....rain!  After a couple of days of heavy rain I had to bail out some of the water otherwise the frog spawn would have spilled over the top!

The pea and sweet pea seedlings have grown massively and are now sitting proud in toilet roll tubes waiting to be planted out.  The wallflower seeds I collected last year and have sown this year have all taken, hundreds of them so that will be a job for me next week.  The tomato seedlings have grown and been re-potted and the leek seedlings have grown well and also potted up awaiting outside planting. I know I read somewhere that root vegetables don't like being moved but they didn't mind last year.  I have sown a row of red onions, one of white and two rows of shallots and potted up a blackcurrant bush.

I have also sown some globe thistle, zinnias, sweet sultan and aquilegia seeds which appear to be sprouting well. I know it is probably easier to buy plugs or seed tapes, but there is something so satisfying and therapeutic to sow a dried seed in soil, water it and watch it grow....I find it very exciting.

The garden is full of daffodils and brightly coloured primulas. There are buds on the quince and hazelnut trees and the purple aubretia is already tumbling down the walls.

Yesterday I went to B & Q as I needed some ericaceous compost for the blueberry bushes. At the opening to the garden centre there was a stand with drastically reduced house plants, I think they must have known that a) I would be going and b) I can't resist a bargain; so one item turned into nearly a trolley full....well I had to give them a good home!  A couple of them were chrysanthemums so yes Monty Don, I did watch and take note.

Last Monday I went to Wisley, my first time. It was wet a wet and cold day but it didn't dampen my enthusiasm and I loved it, especially the plant centre on the way out!!  I enjoyed the alpine gardens and I will be replicating one of the rockeries in miniature here in the summer.

This morning I was sat in the conservatory having breakfast (the blue tits were busy in and out of their house) and I saw a bee on one of the vertical blinds so I rescued it and put it outside - I'm wondering if it over wintered in there.

Finally....I  will be posting photos in due course -  my poor brain can't cope with too much technology all at once.

Have a good week and happy gardening,


12 March 2015

Welcome to Daisy Digga

Just to set the scene.....

Late 2013 I moved and inherited an established garden.  I was ecstatic to have a garden again after years of living in a flat and the year proved full of surprises as previously hidden flowers slowly emerged from the soil.

My initial foray into growing vegetables was a success and I got carried away with seed sowing and became a victim of my own success, spending hours transplanting seedlings from trays to pots then  to the garden. Towards the end of the summer one friend remarked that what with the cost of the seeds and plants, compost, feed, tools etc etc etc plus the three sessions it took with the osteopath to sort my back out it would have been cheaper to buy what I needed from the supermarket. Probably true but nowhere near as therapeutic and fun! But the veg was tasty even though only a few of the carrots were carrot-shaped but my neighbour said they were the best she had tasted. I also grew  non-parsnip-shaped parsnips, onions, leeks, cucumbers, beetroot, runner beans, peas and salad bits. Courgettes, broccoli and peppers failed miserably. There was also a good harvest of blackberries and plums, the birds got the cherries and only one pear grew.

The garden has a pond, not too big. The previous owners said there were no fish in it so you can imagine my surprise one day in March when I was walking up the garden and saw fish swimming around. I rang my other half and said "We have fish!" "What...for dinner?" he replied, bemused that I would ring to tell him that. "No," I said. "We have fish in the pond that doesn't have any fish in it!" This then brought a whole new set of problems culminating in a none too cheap trip to the pond shop. A few fish were lost during the hot summer which was sad but hopefully lesson learnt.

So...2015. Much to my delight the pond has four large clumps of frog spawn which appeared over the course of a few nights - they were obviously having a better nightlife than me - although why they've laid it on the netting I don't know! The fish surface now and again for a short while on a warm day and have grown over the winter.  I have also set up a mini pond in a large cauldron-type pot in another part of the garden as an experiment and put gravel and a couple of large pebbles in it. I was in two minds whether or not to put some frog spawn in it. The decision was taken out of my hands when I spotted the fish were eating it. I had to save the spawn! I transferred some into the cauldron but I'm now thinking have I moved too much, is there enough water for them all and is it worse to eaten by a fish or die of overcrowding.... 

I switched on the pond pump the other day. It has a small fountain and the rest of the water flows through wherever it goes and comes out down a small rockery to create a waterfall. Very effective for filtering the water and makes a pleasant, soothing backing track for the garden. Unfortunately....some of the frog spawn become detached from one of the clumps and was whizzing round the pond with the force of the waterfall hitting the water, so I had to turn it off.

I have started sowing seeds and tidying up the garden after the winter, the veg beds have been dug and sieved by a nice young man of a friend of mine so I doubt there'll be any funny carrot shapes this year but I'll give it my best shot.

Doesn't look like I'll get much done in the garden tomorrow as rain forecast so I'll have to find something else to keep me out of mischief!!

Til next time......