Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Old Town Garden: Golden January

Morus Nigra (mulberry tree)
Potager & tiles
Libertia peregrinans 'gold leaf'

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The allotment: hard graft

I got my allotment in Jan 2009. Only a small part of it was dug over and planted last year. I made two raised beds by digging soil from the path and throwing it onto the bed. One had beans (not very successful), courgettes, salad, squash and perpetual spinach. The other had potatoes, salad and radishes. I attempted carrots but the badgers got them. We poured my husband's pee on the carrots but it didn't put them off. We were told it would. I mulched the beds with grass clippings, covered as much of the plot as I could with found carpet and cut down grass when it became too long. This made it manageable with the limited time I had.

The site is very steep and my plot is sloping. I'm trying to dig it without having to terrace it. The ground is perfect to dig just now. I have been digging an area I had covered with carpet for about 6 months. I use a fork, dig a chunk up, turn it over and whack it until it crumbles a bit. Then search through and remove bind weed and couch grass roots. (The bind weed is the curly white root in the photo). I dug over an area next to where some strawberries are planted. I planted the runners, which I got from a client, in September. A couple had died so I replaced those with spares I had put in the other bed. I then put a mulch of straw around the strawberries. I got the bale of straw last January and used it as a seat so it's started to rot down. Now I need to order some manure.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Gruffalo woods

We walk our dog and son in an area that used to be farmland. In the summer a wilderness shelter appeared beneath a large bay tree. My son decided it must be the Gruffalo's house. He started to find leaves for the Gruffalo to eat and sticks for his fire. Some of the branches from the shelter are still there. But we have never been lucky enough to find the Gruffalo at home. I love the harlequin patterned birch tree. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Winter colour: brights

Evergreens and coloured stems and bark are shown off to their best with a dusting of snow. My son is having fun being a little green man in the last photo.

Winter colour: dramatic contrast

Snow is good for the garden because it acts as a winter mulch. The worst thing for the plants is when the soil is constantly freezing and thawing. It can dislodge plant roots and weaken the plant. Before the snow came I mulched around some roses using leaves I had collected in autumn. It will act like a cosy blanket. In spring I will scoop them up to compost them.

Winter colour: soft and gentle

Bare tree branches look like the skeleton veins of leaves.

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