Friday 20 January 2012

oh yea, so there's that other half plot that needs de-shaming!


You think you're doing really well and in way you are, cause you are working your bum off and getting things into shape on 24a.  - "Just don't look over there, don't do it to yourself Carrie...14b belongs to you too!". Oh poo....

So when we started back into the pre-spring clear up I started with my big flower bed in 14b and did a rather good job. I've been over there once or twice since to over see the relocation of my gorgeous Oriental Poppy and a Rose but apart from that I have avoided eye contact, especially after I was needed to help move the cold frames and was tripping all over the place on the rubbish. Oh dear... It's so bad in fact that I'm not even going to show you the whole place, just the before and afters of the wee bit we did manage to fix...a bit.

Andrew was determined he was going to get some good cow manure for the Pumpkin patch and that he did. It took bloomin' forever as which each barrow load he simply had to stop and chat with our mate Bill for about an hour each time (okay slight exaggeration, I'll admit that). The patch did us proud this year but the only photo of our haul is on Andrew's mobile phone sorry. Anyway we thought that we were doing a good thing when we moved them all from Mamma G's house round to ours and stored them in the attic - NO, it turned out that up there was too warm or something and they got all fungus-y at the stem and we had to throw about half out. Please, I can't talk about it any more, the tears are prickling......

I decided enough was enough with the top corner. It was so bad that I even lost count of the number of trug-fulls of weeds I removed and to be honest in the end I was just tearing weeds out and dumping them on the ground to be collected up later.

We now have some currant bushes! and loads of gorgeously healthy Jerusalem Artichokes.

Now I beg you, do not look closely at these photos and don't mention the rest of the plot. We'll get to that all in good time *swoons at the thought* and yes I KNOW we need to get more bark mulch and the number has fallen off the sign.....stop looking at me like that, don't judge me! hahahahaha

Here's Maggie, let's focus of her zen like glory :)

Wednesday 18 January 2012

De-Shaming complete :)

Hello dear lovely reader :) Hope you are feeling fabulous and starting to notice the nights getting shorter - oh SPRING is on her way!!!

So this weekend I was at the lottie both Saturday and Sunday - I know - shock! I shouldn't have been there on the Sunday as I wasn't well enough but I pushed as I usually do and it present yours truly is just emerging from yet another quite bad nervous meltdown. I couldn't even talk these past days never mind type. Silly girl. I really can't seem to see the signs until it's too late.

Anyhow - Let me show off what we did on Saturday - I was feeling pretty good for a change :)

Andrew worked so hard on gossipping with a new member of the lottie, hahaha. But he did get a lot of work done too *blush* I'll have to get him to tell me again a little about his new friend, he sounded very nice but my brain is a mess and I can't remember much other than he cheerfully joined the search for my misplaced camera at the end of afternoon....I'll tell you that story in a while.

So here is the 'Corner of Shame' now - looking better I think you will agree. We now have the 2 cold frames over from 14b and have the area blocked off. We are going to use this area as a nursery and as the potting up area is just round the corner it all makes better sense of the space. I doubt it will stay carpeted, hahaha and no we aren't getting a couple of chairs and a coffee table! Once the grass underneath is dead we'll probably put down bark mulch or some such thing :)

I concentrated on de-weeding (yes it's a word!) the rest of the asparagus/strawberry bed and uncovered our path under the fruit arch. It's growing really well - I'll have to get Andrew to tie those branches in.

Then I tackled the 'coffin', haha, I still call it that, it looks like a coffin - sorry Andrew. Look Rhubarb :) I forgot to put that forcer on top after weeding the area but I'll do it next week. This whole area hadn't being looked at for a while - eek!

And so I took some before photos and went to take some after photos an hour later and NO camera!!! I searched on my own for half an hour, getting more and more frustrated and upset, then Andrew and his new friend helped for another half hour, no sign of it :( We were everywhere and looking through rubbish and on our hands and knees going through the long grass (the blasted camera was in a GREEN case *rolls eyes*). I was starting to get rather dark and Andrew's friend had to leave and I just felt so sad I started to cry (just a wee bit), Andrew gave me a big hug and said nice things. Thing is he was really hurting my boob hugging me......the camera was in my gillet, way up on top of my boob!!!! The pocket stretches all over inside, you could fit Maggie in there!

So I had been walking around with a rectangular right boob for an hour - it was really noticeable! What sweet gents they were - never once did they look at that area at me say 'is that not it in your top?' Unless Andrew's new friend thinks I have very odd boobs - hahahahaha.

Friday 13 January 2012

Plot 24a gets a little less shameful :)

Last Saturday we attacked the plot for a few hours and miraculously just finished in time for the Heaven's to open, again; that happened last week - the gods are happy with us.

Andrew began de-shaming 'The Corner of Shame' and I started and very nearly completed clearing out the Asparagus and Strawberry bed. Now who would you like to hear about first?? Me! Oh, okay :)
It has come as a severe blow to us but the whole Asparagus bed was completely rotted away last Summer. The winter had been so wet and the cow manure that Andrew (in good faith poor love) had put over the top as a mulch, just made the ground soaking, plus everything was attacked by leatherjackers and thus the crowns were simply pulp.
We had invested a lot of time and money into this venture as it is one of our favourite foods and it's bloomin' dear in the shops. We studied the whole thing and got the right crowns for our conditions, made those conditions even better and thought, yum....tasty Asparagus for the next 20 years, fresh from our own plot. Well no. So to ease the pain for Andrew who, we all know, was the one who did all that research, not me..I set about clearing the bed in the late Autumn.

Well since then some pretty substantial weeds had settled in and I had missed one mushy crown too. So everything out! A tough job but I love turfing dead stuff and weeds :) I found 1 sad and lonesome baby worm. Just one.

The strawberries were ancient and not really producing terribly well for us and so need replacing. They were in a silly place too so this year we are getting new ones and putting them in where the Asparagus was and just having them and the raspberries in that big square bed. There shall be a huge fruit cage erected too, which will be one of many - I am not letting all my delicious berries go to the birds again this year *shakes fist at sky*
P.S - look at this - flowers (and berries) on the Raspberries; they are confuddled plants!

Over at the far diagonal corner I got Andrew to start into the most shameful area of our whole plots. My gorgeous Oriental Poppy had to be moved (it's my favourite thing on the plot) and it was found a new home in my big flower bed over on 14b. A poor we half rotted Rose was also moved (I don't really hold out much hope for this little guy) and a very pretty primrose :) The Red Dogwood just won't fit anywhere on the plot or even at home so at the minute it's just been cut back and hopefully I can do a little guerrilla gardening with it. The beautiful red stems to make for good pea sticks etc so I think it will be an asset in the hedgerow ;)The other grasses were just cut back and some self seeded babies potted up as spares for the back garden.

This is what Maggie did. And this is also the other left over carpet that we have had in our house for a year and it will be used to KILL, kill, kill the grass pathways :)

Going back tomorrow :)
I wonder will this guy be there again (sadly I doubt it as we have many birds of prey and, well, he sort of stands out). Thanks to the Hubby for the photo.......

Friday 6 January 2012

Leeks, Parsnips and The Corner of Shame

We tried 2 varieties of Leek this year again ~ our usual trustworthy 'Musselburgh' and the promisingly named Lyon 2 'Prizetaker'. Well 'Musselburgh' has yet again been fabulous and we have been eating away at them with joy. However, boo and hiss to the 'Prizetaker' as they are all straggly and in flower for goodness sake. Very disappointing.

Though please do note, in this photo is my beautiful Red Chard shining away happily in the background and the lavender down there is doing good too; so over all, I am content. :)

We had utterly fantabulous Parsnips on the Christmas dinner table yet again this year. Oh how I love my Hubby's cooking - his honey glazed lottie grown and just freshly dug Parsnips. Yummmmm. I don't remember such a mixture of sizes before but that doesn't put me off and I have gobbled them up like the proverbial Turkey.

This overview photo of the 24a plot is to ease you into the mess that is to come *already I blush*....We are using Mamma G's leftover cut of carpet to try and kill off the grass. Most pleasingly, it is exactly the right width and I swear that grass is going bye bye. I bloody hate it, trying to cut it all with shears is a great tricep/bicep workout but I also end up with a blasted sore back and mouth full of bad words that I am afraid oft spill over. Give it time and the grass will die and we shall cover the whole lot in bark or some such thing. Plus the beds are going to made wider, oh yes, there are changes afoot on the plot - all I hope for the better :)

* The corner of shame

Yes this was once quite pretty, honestly. It was my little area for growing girly flowers and such but now that I have a gorgeous big flower bed on 14b I have decided it is no longer viable. In fact I have decided it is a damnable waste of space. My healthy red Dogwood is, well too healthy and has been trying to take over since it was planted. My ideas for weaving baskets has laughingly been, ummm, set to one side for the good of my sanity.

We have a round a zillion of those bronze grasses and more are self seeding all the time, most likely as I write this. The only things that need saved and loved and cared for are my most gorgeous Oriental Poppy and a Red Rose that are in there. This is one of the only spots on our plots that is prone to flooding and the rose was suffering anyway so it's best all round.

Look at the way Andrew is treating the area away - he never did help me to get it sorted to I think my wonderful idea of handing it over to him as a nursery/potting up area was his evil plan all long. Light bulb moment! I shall duly punch him, hold on.....a little domestic violence is surely acceptable in this case. *Only Joking* he is a way over there at the other end of the sofa and I am too tired to start a fight, it would only end in my demise - he knows my tickily spots!

So that is you basically up to date. We have daffs coming up everywhere - YAY! and Andrew has been shifting cow muck into our purpose built manure center and doing the essential pruning of all the Gooseberries and Blackberries etc.

I'm going back tomorrow :)

Tuesday 3 January 2012

cleansing for the new year

It's an ancient Irish tradition to clean your home, top to bottom, for the New Year - a way to make room for new memories and to rid the place of old unwanted ones, fears and spirits. Like all little superstitions it may sound a little childish but I like to try and do keep a connection with my family from the past.

The house didn't get cleaned, in fact it's a mess with things still sitting about from Christmas and half finished home improvement projects which (with the best intentions in the world) a week off for Andrew was simply not long enough to complete. Plus, lets face it, who wants to spend their only moments between eating, rushing around visiting people and the all important naps, sorting out what can stay, what can go to the dump and what ought to be kept for that car boot sale you have been planning to do for the past year!

But. The lottie - now that we DID make time for and a good cleansing was done there on New Years' Day. Despite the drizzle and the cold (my bum was frozen!) we worked hard and it felt good. I want it to be known now - I get a kick out of ripping out dead plants, chopping down (excuse me, 'pruning') back others and generally tidying up. I love it almost as much as harvesting, that's a lie - I love it more, I love constructive destruction! Plus, to top it all off, we were there completely alone :)


2 hours and 5 trug loads of weeds and dead plants (plus loads of blasted Wall Flowers  - sadly I have decided I hate them) later.....

I know, I know. I doesn't exactly look amazing but I did a thorough job and long dandelion and thistle tap roots were completely removed :) Sadly, and this is really heartbreaking, I didn't see one single worm. Those bloomin' New Zealand Flatworms seem to have got the lot and moved one to some other poor plot! Aarrgh!. There was a healthy dose of spiders and beetles, slugs (aaarrrrghhhh!) and 1 only ladybird. But I am still in mourning for my little wiggly wormy friends.....

The weather being as awful as it is, you must forgive me as I drag this one trip out over a couple of posts. Goodness knows when we will get back, but just to assure you and reassure myself, the place is in rather good condition surprisingly :)

Lots of love and may 2012 be a happy, healthy year for you xxxx