Gardens, Gardening, Plants, etc 2019

Well, we're getting into that time of year when gardens need a bit more TLC than they've had over the last few months. So I figured it was time for a new thread for the year.

Before Christmas an AMAZING friend paid for me to finally get a fence built round my back yard. This means it is now secure and I can make the kitchen garden I've always wanted! It's all very exciting for me! So I've bought compost, planters, canes, food, and seeds! Then I spotted some little plants, and bought 2 of them too. 

So I've just been outside and planted up the 2 plants that arrived - a normal high yield blueberry, and a pink blueberry that apparently has a different taste to it. I've also got some black raspberry seeds soaking, as they need soaked for 24 hours then put in the fridge for 2 months, before being grown, then planted outside a couple of months later. I've then got 10 types of herb, and 30 types of veg to plant out through the year too. 

Not tried growing veg before, so it's all new and a massive learning experience for me. But I'm looking forward to it, and it gives me a reason to go outside, as well as a nice space to go outside to!

Anyone else got anything new going on in their gardens this year?

Lass

Xx

  • Hi Lass

    I know how much difference a fence makes as l moved last March and had to get a fence erected as the seller didn't! I did negotiate a reduction in the purchase price.

    I managed to create a veg plot with raised beds. So glad l did as do not have that amount of energy now. I planted courgettes and peas and raspberries, rhubarb and carrots and beetroot. The raspberries, peas and courgettes did well but not the carrots and beetroot.

    Not sure about this year's crop. It isn't the planting and weeding it is the watering.Get very breathless now so rather than watering cans may have to save up for a long hose! I found some courgette starter kits for window cills in b&q that worked very well so will have to look out for them again.

    Your enthusiasm is infectious so big ta for getting me thinking about my veg plot and what to plant this year x

  • Good conversation.  Yes I need to keep remembering other things in life.  Planning the veg and fruit patch, even if it means more digging for husband.  Sunrise over mountains

  • See, I do have a hose somewhere, but I put it away last winter then blow me if I couldn't find it for the summer just gone. I do have a watering can, but there's a met in my spine right around the shoulder blades, T8, so carrying anything sets it off. So a lot of things struggled in the heat wave we had as I just wasn't able to keep them wet enough!

    Also, my landlord changed my tap to one that doesn't easily connect to the hose. I've managed to bodge something together, but it does leak and flood my kitchen a little when I use it. Lol. Really wish they'd ask what I want when things break, not just get whatever is cheapest or that they have to hand. But anyways, DEF need to hunt out the hose before this summer as there's no chance I can watering can front and back as I'm physically a lot weaker than I was last year.

    That's the fence under construction. So you can see there's not a lot of space, and there definitely wasn't any security. Lol. Just the wall and a big ol' gap!

    I'd def say to look on Amazon, there are some fairly cheap and long hoses on there. 

    And I look forward to hearing what you try to grow this year! I think the planning is exciting, as you get to imagine everything you'll see springing up then eating later in the year!

    Lass

    Xx

  • Hi Lass

    Your fence looks grand. I don't want to jinx another sunny summer but watering is the problem especially the veg. I forgot l tried runnrr beans that unfortunately were very stringy and they need so much water so not planning to try them again. I was surprised at how successful my peas were as l have never got the hang of sweet peas which l adore the fragrance. I also love sweet raw peas! 

    Your post prompted a walk around my garden and the weeds are growing well! I have just had a garden catalogue in the post and am wondering about miniature fruit trees that you can plant in pots. Have you ever tried these? Was thinking of apple and cherry. I could then place the pots within existing hose area! Thanks re Amazon tip as B & Q are actually quite limited on how many hoses they do. Like you l have an awkward tap to fit hose on.

    I also had a go at tomatoes and tried the yellow variety. They were OK but think they would have been better if l had used a tomato fertiliser. I had wondered about the hanging variety but being short watering would be difficult. 

    Shrubs l am trying to limit to white and purple as l have seen some stunning gardens by colour in the gardening magazines. I tend to buy modern garden magazine as it is cheaper than the BBC gardeners world. Do you get any gardening magazines? A subscription would be a lovely present which l always forget when asked what l would like for Xmas or my birthday. 

    Are you planning more veg and herbs rather than flowers? I tend to get shrubs rather than annuals as whilst annuals are a lovely splash of colours they take more work.

    Thanks for this thread as nice to chat about something other than declining health x

  • That pic is me standing by the sink in my kitchen, taking the pic out of the window. The door is just to my right. I've got the same size of space out the front too, and my hose reaches through the kitchen, through the bottom of the stairs, and through the sitting room to the front door. I can get a few steps out of the door, and holding it at the right angle, I can get water to everything in the front garden.

    This is the one I got....

    Magic Garden Hose pipe 100 ft https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00QTNUV9W/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_-4HoCbMFG9GRJ

    I do love a fresh pea off the plant. My Mum used to grow them, but never knew she grew as many as she did - because we stole them off the plant when we were out playing. Lol

    Good to hear your weed crop is doing well! Lol. Dandelion leaves are edible, as are nettles..... 

    Fruit trees close to the door sounds like a good plan. I've not tried those sorts of trees myself, but I know people who have with mixed results. I've got a clove currant I've been growing for 3 years now in a pot, and this summer it fruited - clove currants are a REALLY interesting taste! So one thing to consider is the age of the tree when you buy it. Young ones won't fruit for a few years, older ones will but of course price goes up the older they are. I quite fancy a finger lime tree myself!

    Do you bake? Because apples and cherries are great fruits for crumbles and pies and strudel etc. And Autumn is a good time of year for those sorts of desserts!

    I've got some tomato food, so my fingers are crossed that the plants are successful! Speaking of... I've forgotten to plant up my raspberry seeds I was soaking. I'll need to do that after this post.

    No gardening magazines here. As you can see from the pic, my gardens aren't big enough to warrant a magazine. I just nose through Amazon, and garden centre websites to see what plants I fancy. So it's a complete eclectic mix. Lol

    Out front, I've got..... here's a test of memory..... 4 buddleia, 2 lilac, a dogwood, 2 tubs of Lily trees, 2 tubs of tulips, a strawberry tree, a fuschia, a palm, a rhododendron, a pink pampas grass, and a few other things that I can picture, but not name. Lol. So bulbs that hopefully come back each year, and long lasting trees - both for colour every year. Then there's a bed and some troughs that get seeded each year with wildflower seeds to do their thing. Oh! There are carnations too that I grew from a bunch of flowers I got!

    So out the back will be all veg, fruit, and herbs in a kitchen garden. Gives me a project to do, and saves me money in the long run if I can produce food for myself! Or that's the plan anyway. Lol

    Lass

    Xx

  • Gaynor, Lass, m-j

    Im lost, I've tried, I've read the thread several times but I am lost! You three keep mentioning photos but I can only see one. No hose pipes or models in gardens, just a yard with a dustbin!

    Now Im as easy going as the next idiot but if reference is made tp a pic then a pic I need to see.

    Disturbed of Evesham

  • Now Gaynor Its been a couple or so decades since I was courting but it cant have changed THAT much. If you want a husband pop out to the local Palais de dance or the pub.

    Digging will get you nowhere!

    Regards Percy Throwup

  • Finally Lass

    If your plot (and I really think you have lost it here), if your plot is so small, why would you want to go to the Amazon. Especially with all those gators and Piranha?

    Im applying to the Roy Castle web site for asylum.

    Bear Grills

  • Lol, hey Phil.

    I'm not sure a model in a garden was mentioned, unless it was in relation to the magazine's mj gets? If so, it will be a model garden like a model home in the magazine.

    Hoses, there's a link posted to the one I got. So clicking on the dark green text should take you to see it.

    As for the Amazon, I'd want to go BECAUSE my plot is so small. Lots of space, wildlife, and exotic food. ;)

    Lass

    Xx

  • You said the pic was you taking a pic of your garden?

    Only models have pics of themselves taking pics so where is it?

    Ive paid my taxis and left a tip. 

    Friend of David Bailey

  • Oh wow Lass your gardens front and back sound wonderful. 

    I do bake but not as well as you and if honest l have such a poor appetite with poor energy l tend to eat my home grown fruit as is or with a crumble topping. 

    Gosh your watering sounds fraught with problems especially if the hose gets a leak all through your home.

    I spend most of my time outside in my garden weather permitting and must get a table and chair. Found sitting on an iron bench gets uncomfortable after a while. Do you have room for a table and chair so you can sit out and admire all your hard work? X

  • This is my front garden....

    I've done nothing to it this year except for remove lots of cat poo! (Not from my cats I hasten to add. Those fluffy menaces are indoor cats with litter trays. Lol)

    This is the back garden as of a few mins ago....

    I've done all of that today, which is why I'm now flat out on the sofa. Lol. 

    The terracotta thing spins, but there's space to walk around it. I'm also going to put a couple of raspberry canes in the corner by the bins and another by the house. But there's an old stump that needs dug out by the house - that's a job for another day! Lol.

    The coloured pots are for herbs, 10 pots and 10 types of herb.

    The far left corner are three square planters, but I've only got compost in 2 of them so far. Then there are two bucket bags with the baby blueberry bushes in them - can't wait to see the pink lemonade ones!! 

    Including the 2 bucket bags for raspberries, there are 12 to fill and place. Then you can just see in the bottom right corner a tall rectangular planter. It's going under the window I'm taking the picture through. 

    After that, the next job will be deciding what is being planted where. Lots of things need to be started off in a propagator, so once they mature I need to know where they are being planted out into. So I'll probably draw a little diagram for myself and keep it near the door. It will also tell me how many plants I need to start off, as I'll know what fits where and what space I have.

    Busy busy, but exciting! 

    As for the hose, it's a good hose. It's just the connection to the tap that's the problem. The floor is laminate, so I just get a bath towel before I start and cover the floor by the sink. Lol. 

    Out the front I sit on the doorstep now and again. I put leads and jackets on the cats so they can go outside and potter around while I enjoy the sun and wind. It's lovely out there today. REALLY windy with very light rain. It's my favourite weather, and the sort where I used to go out and climb a hill to enjoy it properly. Out the back however, the steps are too low to sit on. 

    My Mum and Dad bought me some recliners for Christmas, but my hips are too wide for them, and I'm 4 stone too heavy for their maximum weight. So they had to go back. When summer comes around, I'll need to see what weight and size I am and then find something I like and that's comfortable for me as I'd like to sit out the back there as it's more private than the front.

    Lass

    Xx

  • Oh Lass you do lift my spirit. Your descriptions of your cats being put on a lead to go with you into your garden reminded me of when my daughter was little. Her friend Laura put her rabbit on a lead and brought it round to meet our dog! I should say Laura was only 7 years old. Not that l am suggesting you are too old! My next door neighbour has a cattery and is involved in rehousing cats and l learnt the cats that have the cat version of hiv (l did not know hiv was in the animal population) are not put down they are rehomed to indoors only so they cannot spread the infection. Neighbour has 5 cats of her own so l do have them visiting and digging in my veg beds!! Got 2 large windmills trying to spook the cats but the cats are not put off by them. Any ideas much as l like cats l don't want them digging up my seeds etc. 

    Glad if your hose springs a leak indoors you have that covered. 

    Love all your coloured pots on the fence. You are going to have such fun seeing everything burst into bloom. My oncologist recommends gardening to her patients as the best therapy.

    I do understand how you can overdo it gardening and then need a day of rest. It is always tempting to just get the weeding done and you find you have been at it far longer than you should! Gardening is as good as a gym workout and much nicer with flowers and food at the end of it. Try not to overdo it too much Lass x

  • Yes, they used to put cats with FIV down, but now they try and rehome them to indoor/catio houses with no other cats unless they've already got FIV too. Mine are indoor cats because I'm in a not great area with 2 really busy roads nearby, and folks who steal cats for dog baiting. So they only get out on leads to keep them to hand so they don't run off and get hurt. 

    They're my cancer cats, as I call them. I got them a couple of years after diagnosis because my life had changed from a social, healthy, working 30 year old to a shut in, disabled 30 year old, who's friends pretty much all vanished and my mental health was suffering. Staring at 4 walls all day every day, with no one to talk to was getting to me. So once things looked like death wasn't imminent, I got 2 cats - and immediately my mental health improved. I had company, and entertainment, and something that needed me and relied on me and loved me. Couple of years later, I got a third cat to balance out the personalities, and now we're complete.

    As for cats in the garden, start eating more citrus fruit then put the peel in the garden. Lol. It will rot down and compost in your beds, but the cats should be deterred by the citrus smell. So win win as it were.

    But my back garden is now all set up and ready for seeds and/or seedlings. Well.... I need to buy 3 more pots and some compost to fill them as I impulse bought 3 new plants. Lol. A fig tree, a pomegranate tree, and a hibiscus. Because..... Why not. Lol. The fig and pomegranate are self fertilizing, so I only need one of each. Always a plus when you have a small space! But everything else is all set up.

    Just trying to get warm again now. Blanket, cat, and hot water bottle - but still chilled on the inside, especially my back as it was exposed to the wind and then the drizzle that started while I was out. Brrrrrrrrrr.

    Next job..... gutting my kitchen. No idea how it's got in such a state, but it's ridiculous. Lol. Need to rearrange things so I have space for seedlings and mushrooms - I got a mushroom growing kit for my Christmas! Pink oyster mushrooms. I'm excited to get them going. Just need space for them. Lol. I also got a cheese making kit, and a gin making kit. So need space for them too. Not sure my kitchen is big enough tbh..... But watch this space!

    Back garden.....

    Lass

    Xx

  • So yesterday I shifted my pots around out the front to make them more aesthetically pleasing, and so I could fit a giant plant pot out there that's for a hibiscus to go into. I also moved my clove currant and my..... you know, I can't remember what it is. A Japanese Quince maybe?..... out the back as they, supposedly, produce edibles. That knackered me, so was sadly all I managed yesterday. So today I carried the 100L bag of soil to the front and filled the big pot with 70L, then carried the rest back to my kitchen where I sat and potted some seeds up. February has me planting Chives, Garden Cress, 4 types of tomato, Tomatillo, and Cauliflower. Exciting stuff!!

    How's it going for everyone else?

    Lass

    Xx

  • Hi Lass, blimey I wish I had your energy! Yesterday I transferred two pots of fete a tête-à-tête and two pots of hyacinths (3 white and 3 pink). By the time I had filled a big tub with compost and planted them my back was killing me. I ended up with the heat pad on it until it calmed down a bit. I put the tub where I can see it when I am sat in the lounge. Pleased I have done it though as once they flower they will cheer me up to see them.

    I had a satisfying time on Sunday smashing ice (it was an inch and a half thick) with a hammer so the garden birds could have a drink! Today I just topped up the bird feeders and chucked some dried mealworms on the ground for the blackbirds. I love to watch them in the winter and so very many come into the garden now that they relies the food is there.

    love and hugs to all

    Maggie xx

  • Fraid you can't grow cauliflower in a pot, and many other veg too.  There is a lot of info on the internet about various veg growing. For instance, sweetcorn, which is absolutely sublime when picked and eaten fresh, needs to be grown in blocks in a bed, such as 5x5 or 6x6 because they are wind pollenated, and you can shake them daily because the top tassell is male, so you need to shake the pollen down to the female flowers. 

    Why do I know this, because I am vice chairman of the Northern Ireland Vegetable Association, and have been for 10 years, I have won many hundreds of prizes for my veg over the years . If you want to grow carrots in pots, go for Paris Market, it's a small round carrot the size of a plum, so perfectly suited to pot or even better, container growing. Parsnips? No. Not in pots, they need a deep soil, and fresh seeds, old seeds have a poor germination rate, not worth it. A variety called Gladiator is good. 

    Any other questions please send them, I'll do my best. 

    Tvman

  • Also, for most veg, sunshine is a must, otherwise they will go to seed.

    Tvman

  • Hey Maggie,

    How go the hyacinths and tete a tete? The latter might be popping up just now? I've spotted some of my random yellow things are budding at the minute! I call them random yellow things as they are odds and sods from my friend who works in a primary school. So they are leftover bulbs from when the kids have been planting things. Lol

    I've also got a couple of crocus that have come up. A yellow one and a purple one! So that's a bit of colour for the garden.

    If I had the space then I'd love something to feed the birds on. But it would need to be out the front, and tall enough to see through the window from my chair. To get something big enough, it would get in the way of the washing line. So I guess I'm just going to have to enjoy the few birds I get in the fir tree.

    My seedlings are coming along nicely. All 3 cauliflower seeds have sprouted, and there's a decent number of tomato plants coming up too. However no sign of any Tomatillo, which is a massive disappointment. I've put a deadline in my calendar as to when they should have sprouted. So we'll see. If there's nothing by the deadline, they won't get binned but they will be moved out of the proooppagator, because there are quite a few things that need started next month. So I need the space! Oh, and my tulips are going great guns. Loads of leaves coming up, and I think it'll look amazing and eclectic once they hopefully flower!

    Lass

    Xx

  • Hi 

    I managed to get out this weekend to clear the debris from last autumn. I made a good start but there’s a way to go. Boy did it take it out of me. Today I ordered some plant plugs to fill a few gaps. I’ve never really got the hang of keeping seedlings alive so I don’t bother anymore. I know, I know. It’s easy and I’m being defeatist. I just can’t take the pain anymore (flings hand to brow in melodramatic fashion). 

    While I was out I was able to take stock of spring’s progress. Crocuses, daffs, snowdrops, primrose all in flower. Forsythia threatening to burst out any second. Lords and ladies and pulmonaria in leaf. Buds everywhere. Joy! 

    Xxx