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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal November 2012

Last Post 1816 days 19 hours ago

First favourite for 2012

27 November 2012 00:10:15
Fuchsia Pot

Fuchsia Pot

This photo is of a pot i planted up on my deck. So why is it a favourite? Well, I'm the first to admit that I am not very good at planting up pots or at minding them when they are planted. My pots usually look a bit sad, plants not growing very big, and flowering a bit sparse.

But this pot! Well it got off to a good start with a lovely Fuchsia from my sister Elizabeth and then I had a few bedding plants left over and stuck them in around the edge! I suspect that Elizabeth may have fed them for me when she visited ...

but the net result was that this pot looked marvellous for months! so this photo records what for me was a real success!

Well all I can say is ....

26 November 2012 23:51:31
Grumpy Santa -  SMILE PLEASE

Grumpy Santa - SMILE PLEASE

that perishing wind coming down from the North Pole had BETTER bring us some really nice pressies on You-Know-Who's sledge!

Part of the down side of this time of year is how we all withdraw into our cosy nests and leave the garden to its own devices - which of course also means that we have less things to do journals about .... so we get lonely for our online friends!

So those of you who feel you have nothing to do a journal about, how about going through all the lovely photos you took during the year and posting your favourite, with a comment about why it is your favourite!

I'm off now to go through the 906 photos I have in my 2012 folder to see if I can pick a favourite .......

What to do on a Frosty Day

24 November 2012 21:55:22

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This morning  I woke to the first really hard frost of the year. Having dragged myself out of my cosy bed, dressed and pulled back the curtains in the lounge I took pity on Puss and gave her some breakfast. While she was gobbling down her brekkie I set about filling the Bird Feeders - taking my life in my hands as the deck was like an ice-rink! Had to go out a  second time with a hot kettle to thaw out the bird bath - totally frozen!

Of course, once I was out in the lovely crisp air I realised that there was another side to this hard frost - a photo-opportunity!

Back in, put on a jacket and went walkabout in my own Winter Wonderland!

I have a horrible feeling that this is only the first of many such mornings, but the first frost always has a special magic!

 Can't resist putting up a special "First Frost" Album.

Problem solved!

23 November 2012 23:39:37

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When the cattle invasion happened a couple of months ago I was in such a hurry to get rid of all evidence of the damage that we did a bit of a rush job on the gravel areas. At the time Kevin suggested that there might be a bit of a problem with the gravel not staying where it was supposed to!

Of course, I was in such a hurry to get it done that i just said "leave it! I'll see how it goes!"

Of course, whenever we do this kind of shortcut it always come back to haunt us!

The crows had a go at digging up the gravel and is just srated to spill over the timber path edges and was looking very messy.

 

In addition to that, the trailer has been out of commission because it icontains lots of rocks which came from a nearby field (cleared for ploughing or something) that Kevin got for me. He only had time to unload the largest rocks the last day he was here so the rest is up to me.

Now there was a perfect solution - nice large stones (or baby rocks if you prefer) would make the perect boundary between the gravel and the path.

And it worked out very well. 

Unfortunately there are still loads of rocks in the trailer ......

satisfying day

21 November 2012 19:25:08

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Today was lovely and bright so out I went armed with the leaf vac to clear up at least some of the leaves for the new leaf-mould bin. I filled the wheelbarrow four times just with what was on the paths in the front garden. I'm inclined to leave the leaves in the woodland areas as this is what happens in a 'real' woodland! I'm also wrecked after all that leaf gathering! The leaf vac is good for lifting the leaves but it is a killer for the back so I won't be doing that again for a few days!

Taking a break from the leaf gathering I planted out the woodland collection of bulbs that I got from Bakker last week. they have gone in under the Oak tree in the newly reorganised front garden. I know there isn't much to see, but I got great satisfaction from planting them! Can't wait for spring!

the bulbs from Bakker were:

Chionodoxa Forbesii

Galanthus Woronowii

Scilla Siberica

Fritillaria Meleagris

Hope they all come up!

 

Compost thoughts!

20 November 2012 19:59:34

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Reading the journals about composting I thought I'd share my experience (good and bad) and maybe those with more success than me may add their wisdom!

Year 1 - I made the compost heap near the house thinking this would be most convenient. I just dumped eveything into the heap as it was cut down through the year. Turned it once or twice over the year. 

Result? - Hmm! Lots of effort involved in putting the compost through a coarse grid to get out the bigger bits. The bigger bits were returned to the heap for more composting. The finer stuff was put in a large bucket near the greenhouse where I used it, sieving it first, in potting, planting new plants etc. This stuff seemed to really improve the growth of plants. It would be mixed with peat, old potting compost and sometimes a bit of sand. The coarser stuff broke down enough to be dug in to a new bed that year and really helped the texture of the soil 9which is heavy clay).

Year 2 - I realised later that the compost heap had the best view of the garden, so the whole thing was moved for the next year. This time i made the 3 bays recommended. Got a shredder. Started shredding with great enthusiasm at the beginning of the season. Filled up one of the bays with totally shredded material. At the end of the season I covered this heap with old mats and left it over the winter.

Result? - Beautiful crumbly compost, just like on TV - well, almost! I had to kind of crumble it in my hands to break up some small branch bits - they crumbled up into fine texture with very little effort. Lovely compost - just not nearly enough of it!

Now we are at Year 3.

Oh dear! started off with great intentions to shred everything but in the frantic tidy-up before the Open Day in June I just started throwing EVERYTHING into Bay 1 - weeds, grass sods, prunings, all together! What a heap!

Then I had a crisis of concience and took out the shredder again (inspired by the large quantities of stalky stuff from the general tidy-up so I started filling Bay 2 with toally shredded stuff again. It is now about half the size it was last year but there is still a lot of stuff to tidy up and shred before I cover it up for the winter.

I turned the "horrible Heap" today - the stalky bits I just roughly bent so they will decompose faster. I shook each forkful out before I turned it into Bay 3. When i got down to the end I was delighted to find that there is a lot of semi-decomposed compost in the bottom foot or so of the bay. I plan to move my Rhubarb to a new raied bed soon and this compost will be perfect to fill up that bed.

Result? Have to wait till Spring but I have high hopes of the shredded stuff and even the rough stuff should have quite a lot of useable compost by then!

 

Start made on the tidy-up

16 November 2012 18:31:48

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Finally back in the garden - it feels like months since I've been out in the garden and it certainly looks that way! I'm under orders to take it slowly so I confined myself to the area near the greenhouse.

First off, I planted up the plants I got from Bakker last week - three little Lithodora Diffusa. They are acid-loving according to the RHS book so I've put them in pots. they joined a couple of Pieris also in pots. This corner is becoming my "acid area". I'm hoping that if these plants do well I may be able to chance them in the ground next year.

The next job was to tidy up the bed beside the Pergola. The clematis needed cutting down and the Crocosmia Lucifer needed lcearing away. This exposed the ground which was largely covered with that fungus that looks a bit like Pennywort. I read somewhere recently that the only way to get rid of it when it invades a bed is to lift it off and bin it. I had been just breaking it up and digging it in, not realising that this would only spread it :-( so this time I've lifted the whole lot and forked over the soil. Any advice on how best to keep it at bay? I was thinking of mulching the bed, or putting some gravel on the surface .....

The final job for the day was to cut back the Japanese Anemone that gave such a good display for the past few months. The pile of cuttings tells its own story - shedding session coming up next!

On the mend at last

14 November 2012 19:20:59

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I reckon I am probably the worlds worst patient! Having been confined to barracks for over a week now I have a very bad case of cabin fever!

Still haven't got the all-clear to venture out to the garden, so I have to content myself with gazing out at all the stuff that needs tidying, cutting back, divided etc. I also have some goodies from Bakker to plant so you can picture just how impatient I am to get back in action.

To try to console myself I've just put up the photos I took last week when I got back from my lovely break. It was a lovely bright day, as you can see, and I was amazed at all the colourful plants still giving their best so late in the year.

The greenhouse insulation is working well this year. I added a row of polystyrene around the base of the greenhouse this year which shouild be a help, as the greenhouse itself is a bit flimsy. The Christmas Spuds are looking good so far - in rearranging the greenhouse they ended up under the window in the roof which has an unexpected benefit - although the bubblewrap covers the window, it is far from waterproof, so the potatoes are getting well watered!

I'm not sure what to do with all the fuschias flowering their socks of in the greenhouse. I feel that if I don't encourage them to hibernate they won't flower well outdoors next year. I'm reducing the amount of watering, but how will I know if they are too dried out?

 

Sniff Sniff .....

09 November 2012 19:16:01

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Got back from a lovely trip to Barcelona where I took an unbelieveble number of photos of little Cliona, my absolutely magical one-year-old granddaughter .... BUT .... since I got back I've been laid low with a really nasty cold and haven't had the heart to venture out into the garden at all.

However I have really enjoyed catching up on all your journals and lovely Autumn photos.

Well, when I say I haven't ventured out - of course I had to do a tour of inspection the day I got back - 7th November - and found a few treasures .....

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