Tuesday, 16 April 2013

A nice surpise and a garden build

Our doorbell rang yesterday afternoon and it was B., paying us a quick visit with some thank you presents for helping her clean out her pond. We considered the job just a friendly thing to do and also feel better about taking the dilapidated shed for kindling. She obviously thought otherwise and gave me 2 Cowslips (I love them) and a small Dianthus. DB got 4 cans of Guinness!

The garden is now moving at quite a pace. Lots of hardy perennials are around 3" - 4" high, rose bushes and other wooded bushes and fruit are showing their leaves. We have finally finished emptying the compost bin, the other half full one was tossed into the empty one and 2 sacks of horse manure and seaweed chucked in for good measure. We shall continue to fill this one unti 3/4 full then close it off and begin on the empty one.

Elsewhere in the back garden, we have sorted out the drowned strawberry problem. I have for years used one of those 4/5 tier soft plastic cover greenhouses but last year the zip tore away. Not wanted to throw the whole thing we have utilized some of the shelves as a strawberry, tiered table.
The top trough has the original 'new' plants from last year which we are calling year 2. The two bottom tiers have the babies from those in them. Next year, the top one will move onto the black blocks and become year 3 and the bottom two will each move back one space and become year 2 (if you get my meaning). They were potted into a mixture of garden soil, bought in compost and home made compost. A small amount of pelleted blood, fish and bone were sprinkled onto the surface before it had light gravel put on. I'm hoping the gravel will not only reflect the sunlight up to the plants but also help with moisture retention.

You can see, other than the copper poles holding the back up, that we have used two shelves but 4 shelves worth of supports from the original greenhouse to build this. I'm keeping my fingers crossed it will work well as last year, these strawberries spent most of their summer under water. I'm really surprised they didn't rot!

Having invested in a thornless bramble plant (not at all cheap) which drowned and rotted last year, we have risked buying another and hope it will survive. If not, that is it, can't afford to keep buying them.
The gooseberries leaves are just unfurling and the blueberry plants are showing lots of flower buds. Some of the autumn raspberries are also beginning to leaf up, hope they are better this year as well. I doubt we got more than 10 berries off them last year!


  1. You have been busy! Yes, we had a lousy yield last year on the berry front, so disappointing. Our rhubarb just needs another week or two and then ready to cut. Crumbles ahoy!

    1. My rhubarb is on its last legs I think despite dividing and feeding. It is in the front gravel garden and just has to take its chances. Once upon a time it used to grow so big you could use a stalk and leaf as a sun shade!

  2. I agree about the flowers, cowslips are very pretty and Dianthus has a wonderful scent. My Autumn Bliss are very slow of the mark, I feel that most of the drowned, they made a lot of fruit last year but it rotted rather than ripened, the Jostaberries are almost in full leaf and fingers crossed I will get fruit this year. last year all I really got was a bumper crop of apples.

    1. Same here. 10 fruits were the good ones, the rest were rotten.


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