Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Monday, 21 February 2011

Burning the Brambles

It’s good to keep in tune with what’s going on – or not – in the garden so, despite the bitter cold this afternoon, I ventured out and started pottering.

Then, having topped up the bird food and put out fresh water, I made for...

The Kitchen Garden   
(it's grand name).


 Mr Ragbag was attacking the brambles, here, yesterday - that is, 
"...just defeating their bid for world domination..."

    
So I thought a bonfire was in order.

    I went to the shed (my shed) to fetch fire-lighting materials.

    
My shed is a bit too small.  Fortunately, they were just inside the door.

    I laid the fire,


    cut the brambles to size, suitably clad,


    and lit the fire – with about 8 matches, I guess (I didn’t count).

 
It was a successful fire, I’m pleased to report

   
but it needed some dry stuff to boost the flames; 
so I fetched some of last year’s brittle, nettle stems from  the untamed bit – easily snapped off


    - and discovered some fungus growing on a hazel stump.  



    
Fungus is great – so long as it’s not Honey Fungus.  Panic!  Is it Honey Fungus?   
I wouldn’t be surprised, but I really hope not!

I also found a suspicious-looking hole – only medium-sized.   
(Well, I already knew it was there, really!  But I didn't know about the fungus.)   
Might need to make the usual, annual appointment with Pest Control…


Then, inspired by the good, hot bonfire, 


I remembered the strawberry bed, and the leaves still to pick and burn 
(from the summer tidy that didn’t happen).
 

I didn’t have time to remove all the manky ones but I made a start and it was satisfying work.   

I also didn't have time to put this lot 


 on the habitat pile


but I found two ladybirds - finding ladybirds always pleases me, unless they are Harlequins 
- and this skeleton.





Here is  
The Kitchen Garden in Better Times
(the almost finished bit)





 





Saturday, 19 February 2011

Find a wood near you




I like this search facility on the Woodland Trust  website.  It enables you to find all the woods, with public access, nearest to your home or within a specified distance.  I am having a few pleasant surprises - perhaps I don't know my own patch as well as I thought I did...

Friday, 18 February 2011

Potatoes to chit, onions, shallots and garlic to plant...



Yes!  My first order of 2011, from the Organic Gardening Catalogue, has arrived:

  
Onion Sets: Jet Set
Shallots: Longor
Garlic: Flavour
Potatoes: Orla
Broad Bean: Witkiem
Carrot: Nantes 2
Leek: Bandit
Leek: Pandora
Seaweed Extract
Hand Lens



So there's a lot of work ahead, 

especially since the vegetable patch (aka The Kitchen Garden) is... well...







 ...in a big mess!  

Oh shame!  What happened last year...?  There was a reason - or three!




Well, there's no point in dwelling on the past - I just need to get stuck in.  Urgently!  

The bit you can see has already been turned into beds - yes, really!  The bit you can't see has yet to be tamed.  No worries, though, Mr (non-gardener) Ragbag is going to devote some time to that (this is a first): clear, level, make a new bed and plant the onion sets, shallots and garlic.  Probably not the best scheme as far as the alliums are concerned - time is short - but the master plan and rotation includes the, so far, unmade beds... 


Let's just say, it will be interesting to see what actually happens.  I may even blog about it!









Thursday, 17 February 2011

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