Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Another day of sunshine = spring cleaning the garden

Yet another glorious spring day and so much too pleasant to be inside.

With the garden now fully rotavated I set to getting my pots in order.

My plan for them this year is to grow patio lettuce, radish and cherry toms around the terrace ready to pick and eat while we are sat outside.

I am not very keen on flowers and tend to only have the sort of things that come back again and re-seed themselves like sweet williams and sweetpeas.

I spend so much of my time gardening in the veggie plot (which you can see from the photos is a not inconsiderable amount of ground), weeding, and hoeing and generally cleaning stuff up that I just don't have the time to devote to worrying about some flowers as well.

I was pleased to find that some honeysuckle that a friend gave me from their garden last year survived the winter and has thrown out some new leaves. It is planted in one of my tip finds from a couple of years ago - a lorry cab dashboard, that has three large holes for the clocks and glovebox and radio.

I also got the first of the little seedling pots composted up and ready for planting in the cold frames.

My compost this year feels and smells like a success. Last year in autumn I put aside a bit of garden and when I cleaned out the rabbits I dumped the straw and its poo contents on the patch of earth and left it to mature over winter, this year I have turned it a couple of times and it is very rich, black and smells divine, so I am using it as my seedling compost and also in the pots for the patio.

In the collage you can just make out that we had a large branch down from our apple tree. This happened last year during a storm in autumn, the tree was actually hit by lightning while I was getting in the car to go to work. It was a bit of a wow moment, I have never been that close to a lightning strike before. The branch was covered in apples, luckily none went to waste as Ernie cleaned them all up.

As part of my spring cleaning the garden I got the branch moved and the smaller twigs off it ready for burning, and have decided to keep the larger thicker branches to make some buttons and bits and pieces with.

I cut back a load of brambles again, mostly around the garage where the honey suckle is and across from the terrace where we have a few downed broom trees, and then this afternoon I lit a fire in the firebin and burnt all the debris that had been strewn across the garden after the storms we got in the tail spin of cyclone Xynthia.

It sounds like hard work, but by 4pm we were sitting around the fire with a drink of beer toasting our toes and catching the last rays of the day's sun on our backs. No suntan yet but I'm working on it!
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