Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Up the Garden Path

Ok so this might be alight exaggeration... But the herb bed now has the beginnings of a path in it...
I know it probably doesn't look like much but it is using some of the stones which have been taken away from the "rockery" which is now being removed.
I was never that keen on it but had just recently decided to plant it up this year to hide away the unsightly concrete. But now this gives me room to plan a new much lighter structure *giggles* 

Anyway back to the Herb Bed, I have started to move herbs out of the window boxes they have been living in for the last year and set them into the bed. 
From this herb box I have extracted one plant each of the chives and parsley and have split them and replanted. The parsley was simple to split as it almost did this itself when it was lifted out. But the chives required slightly more brute force as they had a nicely 'woven' root ball.
This just required finding a suitable place to split the bunch at soil level and working that split down through the roots. Don't worry about ripping some of the roots but try to tease apart the majority of them, if this is particularly difficult you could try soaking the root ball as this is supposed to help although I have never had to do it yet.
With the new path and plants the herb bed is starting to take on more of a gardeny feel to it. I cant wait for the day when it is all complete and there are a wide range of herbs for me to choose from just outside my door... Heaven...

Monday, March 28, 2011

First Garden Upcycle Challenge...

This week I seemed to have managed to shift the weekend to the beginning of the week! I have taken today off uni and am probably going to be off tomorrow which will mean that I am going to have to be in uni next weekend to make up for it... Oh well, C'est La Vie...

I have taken today off to enable me to do some stuff in the garden and raid all the charity shops :D (Actually came away with some good finds this time) and clean my room (Sulk).

I think the sun had a lot to do with having such a productive day today and the fact that the garden smells gorgeous due to all the spring blossom...

I have finally cracked out the power tools and turned the drawer that I salvaged from the back of my dads work into a container...
 Plus This:

 Equalled this lovely easy draining container:
 Which when filled with soil was half filled with seeds. Mixed salad, Parsley and Basil. I will wait to see how well they germinate before celebrating, but fingers crossed.
I only half filled the drawer with soil so that I can have another sowing later on to give me continuous salad leaves through the summer (Well at least three crops worth, as my other container is nearly ready to eat :D )

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Recent Photos

Recently I have been trying to work hard on my dissertation but keep getting distracted by things. Todays distractions consists of using the decent photoshop software on the uni machines and editing a few of my recently taken photos.
So I thought I would share a few of them with you.
More crocuses from Chateau Morfee with one of their native (and increasingly rare) polinators.

Taking a well earned break with a cup of tea and the garden chair :D
I do Love this photo from some reason

A very nice looking seed head. I love the texture this photo gives

My bedroom Orchid. One of my many purchases from Ikea this summer and it is on its second round of flowers... Makes me feel very lucky :D

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Planted (at last)

Yesterday was a wonderful day :D
I planted my first plant into the soil. This has been a long time coming since I first moved into the house noit quite two years ago. You might be asking what too me so long if there is sooo much to do in the garden.
Well I stripped back a lot of the excess growth and then waited for a year to see what came up (There is no point in putting extra plants into the garden when you could have some gems there already). During this time everything was grown in pots. Additionally I have been waiting because I was not really sure how I wanted the garden to look.
Well now is the time! The first plant has been put into the garden :D.
Three small clumps of Thyme Doon Valley have been planted at the front of the herb bed...
and here is the beauty. Ok so its not much to look at at the moment...
  Here you can see all three clumps, though I do have to say that the other two are looking much more sorry for themselves... Hopefully this trick I picked of from Rad Megan from 'In Words and Pictures' blog will help to keep the nasties away from my lovely herbs and is a good way to use up excess egg shells from the kitchen.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Belated Blogger Bloom Day...

Well apparently yesterday was Blogger Bloom Day!

So a little late perhaps here are a few snaps from my garden recently (and one that is from my bf's mothers garden but I have only just got round to processing it):
Crocus's from Bf's Mothers garden

Beautiful Bells.

Potentially Pulmonaria 'Trevi Fountain'

Iris Seeds Showing of their Colours

Shiny Ivy

Lucky Ladybird

Spring is on its Way

This is a small selection of the photos I have taken recently and more should be going up soon, when I have finished editing them (must not let it take up too much of the dissertation time). 
But at the moment more can be seen on my Flickr (either on the side panel of the page there is a gadget or click here)
Love to all...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Home Made Plant Labels

planning to grown a lot of plants from seed this year I needed a way to identify which plants were which and really didn't feel like shelling out money for those little plastic labels that all garden centers seem to have these days.
So I decided to try making my own and if I may say so myself, they seem to be working very nicely.

Here is my first How To:

I have made my labels out of an old milk bottle but you could use any of a similar type of plastic.
I cut into the bottle to remove the top and bottom, leaving a ring of plastic which was cut down one corner and opened up.

From this ring I cut out the individual tags but cutting it into strips vertically. Then cutting one end to a point. 
The lines drawn on the plastic are to show you how it was cut but i normally don't bother when cutting it myself.
After these were cut out I wrote the names of the seedlings I have onto the 'inside' of the plastic, because I didn't manage to remove all of the label on this bottle. Also the inside it generally smoother as a lot of companies make the outside textured.
Finished labels waiting to go into my pots :D

I hope you enjoy using this method, as it is much cheaper and environmentally friendly.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Latest Arrivals

It seems that its not only my Gran who knows me well but so does my Mum.
When she and my father came by the other day she brought with her a new plant :D my very own Lilly of the Valley
its really nice to have this now as my other scented flower is starting to die back now.
Onto the seedlings and not so much luck here this time... I planted a number of squash seeds (again taken from a store bought squash I liked) but only one seems to have germinated. But here he is starting to poke his head through. Not much to see yet but fingers crossed.
Now this lovely bloom I do not know what it is yet. It was a plant that I believe made its way into my garden from my mothers. it has been hiding away and has only just shown that it is a flowering plant. But isn't it lovely...

More of these primroses (?) they seem to have been flowering constantly for the last few months. Much to my pleasure. But they are being attacked by slugs or snails :'(

My one long flowering daffodil in the front garden. It is currently much to close to the drive so will have to be moved but I am waiting for it to be over as I don't want to disrupt its lovely 'spingness'. Hopefully I will have more flowering soon but as of yet the only one to have opened is the one that was already in the garden, the ones I planted are a bit reluctant to shine.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Getting Parcels

Everyone knows its always nice getting post, even more so when its a parcel.  Well I managed to have both waiting for me when i got home from 10 hours of uni today! Yes Yes I do realise it is a Saturday. I have a deadline of 8:45 on Monday morning so will be back at uni again tomorrow morning too :(

But enough about that, more on the exciting packages:

I finally received the Patio Potato starter kit from T&M that I was wondering where it had got to. 
And the other slightly more exciting piece of post was the letter from my Nan that I was waiting for. I had spoken to her the other day about an early birthday present for me that she was suggesting (herb plants :D, she knows me well) I also requested some more soil from her garden to add to the back bed. 
She asked me if I would like some flower seeds that she had been given for free from T&M when she had ordered some other plants. Of course I was not going to say no! but now im wondering where they can go in the relativly small amount of space that my garden has left...
But I did spot that one of them has edible flowers apparently so I might be able to get away with having that one in my Herb Garden :D

Also today I gained some of my own free seed from T&M but these were more my style and were free veg/herb seeds :)

So in total today through my door came:
Potato Vales Emerald
Calendula: Apricot Twist (Edible flowers)
Marigold: Moon
Cosmos: Double Click Snow Puff
Cosmos: Seashells
Rudbeckia: Becky Mixed
Marigold: Scarlet Sophie
Marigold: Naughty Marietta
Lobelia: Crystal Palace
Stocks: Hot Cakes Mixed
Pepper Chili: Anaheim (anyone know how spicy this is?)
Carrot: Mini Finger
Herb: Coriander
Herb: Basil
Cabbage: Primo

And a £10 gift voucher...

So many choices...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

'Greenhouse' update

Well at the weekend I went out into the garden and thought I would do a bit of clearing up and potting out of the garlic which has started to show that the pots I put it into were too small already and decided to see how warm the greenhouse was. News is it was doing its job :D I even decided it was bordering on a little too warm and opened it up to let a bit of the heat out. 
During last week I returned a little early from lectures and decided to plant some of the garlic which had arrived from the very lovely Thompson & Morgan and along with this I also planted some sore bought garlic which had had a good attempt at sprouting whilst waiting to be eaten. This way I can see if the T&M bought garlic is worth the extra money for or if I can just get away with what I would normally eat. Although next year I feel I will still buy some professionally grown stuff as I would like to try some of the more interesting varieties.

This weekend the asda bought garlic showed signs that it needed to be potted into deeper pots so I used up the youghurt pots and bottoms of milk bottles that I have hoarded over the last few months to pot on these garlic cloves. Most of the store bought garlic had not yet started to sprout but I think the asda set had a bit of a head start. 

On a less positive note there have been a few nights of hard frost lately and this has even hit the plants in my new 'greenhouse' it looks like it was a good bet of mine to leave a few of the butternut plants in the house just incase. These ones have started to grow their next set of leaves. Which is more than can be said for the salad that I planted at the beginning. It is still looking a lot like seedlings and not very much like stuff that I would put on my plate, but at least it is still alive. 

Additionally it looks possible that I may have managed to salvage a basil plant from the store bought pot that I recently purchased which would be lovely since I have never had good luck at growing this in the past.