Sunday 29 August 2010

Ghosts in the garden

Blossom time is here at last! The leader of the pack is my dwarf almond, Garden Prince. He has these lovely pink flowers and, since we are not nearly out of the frosty woods yet, I have to be super vigilant with the frost cloth.

I stuck some stakes in his pot, and then it's just a matter of wrapping a couple of lengths of cloth around and securing it to the stakes with wooden clothes pegs. Leave a bit of overhang at the top, and clip together to make a roof.

Here is the ghostly spectacle. I'm also watching out for my peach Rose Chiffon. She hasn't burst her blossoms quite yet, but she's not far behind.

Now, don't forget to remove these covers when it's windy, or they will catch the wind and sail your pots right over to the ground, where they will deposit quite a few of their unopened buds. Yeah, ask me how I know this.

Saturday morning dawned sunny and even... warm? I didn't stop to ponder it, but quickly grabbed my paintbrush and got stuck into that job that for some reason I'd been looking forward to all week... painting my potting corner.

Above you can see my collection of unearthed glassware, sitting on a shelf I "built". Building the shelf consisted of cutting an old fence paling to size, and nailing it on top of the support beam that was already there. This fence was recently put up by our back neighbour, and we have the "wrong" side of it. Since it's in this little corner I figured it would be of most use if it had shelves to hold my pots and et ceteras. So I nailed boards over all the support beams, I figure a coat of paint will mostly unify it and once it's holding pots and things you won't really notice that it's a bit wonky. Right?

Anyway, here it is after it's first coat. (May I just say, painting trellis is a joy and a delight.) Another coat to go, then I can start arranging the compost bins! Can't wait!

Monday 23 August 2010

Dull days

I'm so sick of these dull winter days. Seemingly every day is cold and grey outside, with a chill wind blowing and specks of rain clinging to your hair and dampening your clothes and spirits. I force myself to go outside and mope around for a while but really I'm just killing time, waiting for spring when I can launch into action. I'm tired of all my indoor hobbies - tired of crochet, tired of movies, tired of baking, tired of the internet, tired of the couch and my blankie, tired of brainstorming ideas for a warm day, tired of magazines. Tired of everything except books - I spent most of today reading (The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder) - which did in fact make me feel better. At least I'm not snowed in by a scary gigantic blizzard.

When will spring come?

It must be getting closer because the birds are very active. We heard a scuffling and a squabbling and saw these two blackbirds having a go right outside the window. It was very exciting there for a couple of minutes.

In between moping, I have got a wee bit of work done in the garden. Not painting the trellis, but I'm still busting to do that - just need it to be dry, dry, dry. I got my apple and feijoa trees planted (I got a Monty's Surprise to go along with the Baujade apple) and discovered a hidden cache of glass medicine bottles when I dug one of the holes. No kidding, I must have pulled out 30-40 pill bottles of varying sizes and the same amount broken. Fun. Seriously, who decides it is a good idea to landfill a backyard with glass? Fortunately it's not everywhere, but I did uncover a couple of similar patches of rubbish (including glass, bricks, coal and rotted shoes) when I was digging up ground for the potager. Not cool.

I've also sown a few seeds, just peas and pak choi for now. It wasn't even a debate as to whether I should sow some tomatoes or not - it's just too cold and cloudy. I did transplant out some broccoli and spring onions from the glasshouse, they were sown about April/May. The garlic is looking pretty good too, so at least one little corner of the potager is productive. The rest of it will be too, once I get some nice weather to finish laying the paths...

Sunday 8 August 2010

Rainy Sunday

This weekend I had hoped to be doing some painting. I've been busy in a corner of my garden, fencing off a little spot to make my potting area. I put up some trellis and laid down some weedmat, and just wanted to paint the walls and fence first before I shift in the potting table and compost bins and everything I want to tuck away in that corner. Heavy rain has spoiled all my plans however... as cosy as it is to sit here on the couch by the fire and listen to it gently pattering against the window, I would still rather be outside working thank you very much.

Anyway, on a note of cheer... I've got a clematis flower! I took these cuttings from my mum's clematis plants in late autumn and put them in water, hoping some roots would form, but not really expecting it due to the lateness of the season. The leaves stayed green and some tendrilly shoots appeared, and soon I noticed what looked like flower buds. No, not really? Not on cuttings in a glass of water in the middle of winter? But yes, it is exactly that. One long root has developed on each cutting with buds, so I guess I'll pinch the rest of the buds off so that the roots will develop.

I took cuttings of two different varieties - one has pale pink early flowers and one has magenta pink late flowers. It seems that the pale pink ones are the ones flowering and rooting, maybe that has something to do with them being an early variety. I hope the magenta ones take as well, as that was the colour I really wanted!

We had lunch with my brother and his family today. It was his birthday so I made a pav. Not having any fresh fruit to hand (traditionally you decorate a pavlova with strawberries and kiwifruit) I used violas and mint leaves. Technically edible but we didn't - although the espresso chocolate was divine!

Well it's back to the fire for me and dreaming of sunny days to come.


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