Saturday, 23 May 2015
This weekend we will be painting our fence, what about uou? Painting the fence is a one of the most arduous tasks in the garden, but it also one of those jobs which needs to be done at some point. We have chosen a lovely shad of blue called 'coastal mist'. Being given a blank canvas is really exciting and we are starting to get all of the ideas together, the theme for the garden design is 'pink and blue', coincidentally the choice of colour scheme for our wedding in just 4 weeks time!
The garden is transforming all of the time. We decided that this year we will keep a fair chunk of lawn before we finally decide what the final outcome will be for our garden. I've made a simple curved border which goes from the right hand corner nearest the house all the way across to the far left corner which is furthest away from the house. The border will be home to Amy's 'David Austin' collection. We both have a fascination with the wonderful appearance and fragrance of these particular roses. We have 10 different varities planted in the garden already.
We have also planted 2 dwarf patio cherry trees, 1 Apple tree and also some gooseberry bushes.
Here is a quick look at the work in progress...
We are still eggless, but the chickens are making the most of the sunshine. I've cut the grass today and they are currently rummaging through a big pile of the cuttings.
Have a lovely bank holiday weekend,
Tuesday, 19 May 2015
We have no idea exactly how old Clarice, Clarabelle and Clara are but point of lay suggests anything from 15 weeks - 6 months old. From my previous experience with poultry I would guess that they are all around 18 weeks old.
Despite currently being eggless there are promising signs from both Clarice (White Star) and Clarabelle (Speckledy) that eggs are not too far off. Clarice's comb has doubled in size this week and it seems to be getting a darker shade of red every single day. Clarabelle's comb although small is bright red and in the last couple of days she has started 'crouching' when you approach her. Normally hens begin to do this at maturity and it is a signal to the cockerel that they are ready to mate. We don't have a cockerel, but anything tall enough to hover above them is easily mistaken for a potential mate!
So the race is on, who will lay first? Will it be a brown egg from Clarabelle? Or a white egg from Clarice? I guess I've jinxed it now and it will be a blue egg from Clara, but she's showing no sign of wanting to lay at all! Clara is an Aracauna cross and Aracaunas are known for taking a lot longer to get in to the wing of things than other breeds.
As I write this Clarabelle is sat in the next box...
Have a great day!
I absolutely love growing leeks, they are a true staple for allotment gardeners and even though we are currently plotless I just could not imagine a growing season (or winter harvest) without them.
The first thing to do when transplanting leeks is to use a dibber (the handle of a trowel will do) to make a hole about 5'' deep. The leeks don't need to be planted too far apart, a distance of about 6'' between them will more than suffice.
Once separated they should look like this...
You then need to simply place the leek plants in the holes you have made. After filling all of the holes with your leek plants you then need to 'puddle them' in. You should NEVER back fill the holes with soil or compost because the grit from the soil will get stuck in between the leaves of your leeks and they will not be pleasant to eat at harvest time.
Just put your thumb over the end of a watering can and allow water to dribble in to each hole. The objective of this is to allow the small amount of soil around the side of the hole to fall on to the roots and effectively cover them. The hole will be filled out over time by growth of the leek and by rain water causing compost/soil to fall in to the hole.
The whole reason we use this method rather than simply planting the leeks at soil level is to ensure that the white part of the leek is larger than the green leaves. If young leek plants were planted at soil level there would be lots of leaf growth but overall this has quite a bitter taste compared to the sweeter white part.
I can't wait to harvest these beauties and I hope they grow as well as leeks I have grown in previous years. I'm going back in to the garden now to sow some radish seeds in between the leek plants. The radishes will be harvested way before the leeks require all of that extra space.
Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!
Thank you to everyone who has left kind comments after our posts and to everybody who has given us a warm welcome back to blogging.
For those of you who have been reading you have probably ascertained that Paddington House has already begun its transformation in to a 21st century version of 'The Good Life'. We were without broadband from when we moved in on 27th March and it has only just been installed in the past week.
Therefore the raised bed has been standing and full of plants and seeds for over 5 weeks already despite one of our latest posts only just showing it having been erected.
So today I will attempt to bring you up to where we are today.
The first thing we planted when we had finished building the raised bed were some lettuce plants we bought from our local garden centre. They were tiny little plugs when they went in, but now they are almost ready for harvesting. These are 'Little Gem'..
I normally detest buying veg plants from garden centres, but this year I said I would buy a couple of plug packs if necessary. It cost me £1.50 for 12 plants, but I know in some of the 'high end' garden centres they charge around £4 for the same quantity. Rest assured, I have already planted some more lettuce seeds and the plants can be transplanted in to the raised beds after this current batch has been consumed.
Alongside the lettuce is some 'French Breakfast' radish. I absolutely detest shop bought radish, but I could eat the fresh homegrown stuff straight out of the ground. The stuff in the shops always tastes very woody and does not have a nice texture to it. These roots appear to be swelling up quite nicely, it shouldn't be long before they are ready to eat...
The raised bed is up against the shed and in order to maximise growing space I have attached some trellis to the shed and I have sowed some 'Blauhilde' purple podded climbing beans along the edge of the raised bed closest to the shed. I have grown these before on the allotment and they are absolutely delicious, they are fantastic roasted with other Mediterranean vegetables. The plants are just starting to take hold and should be climbing away in no time.. I was hoping to paint the shed before they emerged but they appear to have beaten me on this occasion.
Thanks for reading,
Sunday, 17 May 2015
I thought I'd share a picture of this charming herd of cows who were intent on watching us as we walked around the beautiful village of Haselor...
I hope you are enjoying your weekend too.
I hope you are enjoying your weekend too.