Monday, 24 May 2010

Photo challenge

Jo @ The Good Life challenged me to post the 8th photo of my 8th album. I had a look @ flickr and this is it. A shot inside Malmesbury Abbey. I love the Norman-style zig-zag detailing. I'm a big fan of ecclesiastical architecture & stained glass, in particular. I'm a real bore to visit places with, always taking lots of photos! Comes with being a 'visual person'. You can view more of my photos here:

Construction keeps boys happy!

Unfortunately, somewhat of a disappointment on the seedling front. Lots of droopy and singed seedlings found today. :( What is still looking alive has been salvaged. All this effort can so easily be undone when it comes to growing from seed. So many things against you. I will post photos of what did survive and where I put it soon but the light faded before I took snaps.

I did, however, set my little bro and Nick a task at lottie today whilst I got on with weeding, watering, planting etc. The raspberries are now netted thanks to their teamwork and construction skills. I defy any bird to get into my rasberries now! Little bro was well pleased with his efforts and, I think, enjoyed building something :)

Look, he even built in a door :)

Thanks boys!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Mower mulch?

Well, now I've got my own mower, I'm going to keep the grass mown more often. My 4 compost bins are pretty full already, so I was wondering if I can use the grass clippings as a mulch around plants. Yes? No?

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Sunday: Sowing seed, propagator protection & netting

Well, I am a bit disappointed with my seedlings to date so I decided to re-pot things & plant seeds on Sunday. I wont do these as individual pics as I planted A LOT of new seeds! (The hollyhock was a little plant). Here they are:

L-R: chilli - habanero chocolate (a christmas gift from my big bro),
dwarf beans - purple queen & stanley, hollyhock - salmon pink,
auberine - early long purple 2, alium (unknown variety from my mum),
forget-me-not - royal blue, patisson - sunburst
& sweetcorn - early extra sweet, mixed annuals,
pak choi - choko, red basil - dark opal, chilli - cayenne
Looking forward to all these coming up.
(click the photo to see them bigger)

These are some other seeds I planted - more of what I tried before, along with some new seeds.

Closest to us: peas - kelvedon wonder, sunflower - black magic.
The rest I've already mentioned in the seed list.

The plants in the photo are from my aunt. She's good to me :)

I also potted on some sweetcorn (early extra sweet) as they were doing ok. 6 survivors though - pathetic!

So much has been nibbled / not come up / perished in the mini-greenhouse that I decided to try the survivors in some propagators. I knew those leftover bits of palette would come in useful! Fingers crossed this plan works! Oh for a REAL greenhouse...

The purple podded peas (such a great name - I love saying it!) Nick's mum gave me grew so fast I've already put them into the soil. I have tried to protect them with some plastic bottles to keep them warm and, using some netting and clothes pegs, I made this protection from pecking pigeons :) I did the same netting around the mangetout but didn't take a snap. Looks the same anyway! Around the PPpeas, I planted the mixed annuals and around the mangetout, the forget-me-nots.

On Monday I picked up the new mower & spent a while trying to make it. Useless instructions & not enough hands hindering me! I tried it out last night and it works a treat. Huzzah

Now we are all up-to-date on the allotment antics & I am off to watch Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen... :)

Monday, 17 May 2010

Saturday: My box is full of tits!

Ok, before I get going, really I should explain the post title! Yes, that's right kids, there is a family of Great tits nesting in one of the boxes fixed to my shed. How exciting! I was getting some water into a can from the waterbutts and I heard some tweeting above my head. Giddy, I decided to sit a little way off and wait to see which flavour parent bird would come to the box. Turns out Great tits are in residence. Lovely little birds. I'm made up to have a fledgling family living on my plot. I took this picture of the adult feeding the squeaking babies, but only had my snappy camera so the zoom's not great.

I've been a bit quiet the last couple of weeks as I've had visitors, so not a lot of lottie time had. The bank holiday weekend my parents and older brother came to visit. We had a lovely time exploring locally - walking from my flat around the local countryside, as well as driving out and about visiting places. We even had a bluebell walk. The weekend after that my aunt & uncle came to visit. On the very wet & bitterly windy Saturday we went to the Malvern Spring Show. I got carried away and bought some plants and took oodles of photos of things that caught my eye :)

So, anyway, back to this weekend just gone. Saturday, as this is what this post is about. I went to buy some compost to pot more seeds & strained my back restraining a runaway trolley full of growbags. Not good! The seeds I've already sown are looking a bit sorry for themselves in the main. I think alot of it is due to Mr Slug & Mrs Snail, but probably the cold too. This is sum total of my propagation so far - pathetic really!

Anyway, I got lured to Homebase's 15% off day and bought a few bits. Um, and kinda bought a lawnmower! It is the same model as I've used before but now I have my own and don't have to struggle to get it in the car boot and lug it across 2 counties each time I want to use it! Alas, it is currently still on a palette somewhere in the warehouse, but I got it on the 15% discount. I am sure it will earn its keep :) I also bought a little patio appletree. It only grows 2m x 2m so will be tidy on't lottie. I've put it in the centre of my new mini-beds, road end. I like the name too - 'Patio Sophia'.

My aunt had brought me lots of seedlings she'd progagated, much more successfully than me so far! I planted out the cosmos at the road end, as they were about right to go in the ground. They should look pretty as I pull up when they're in flower. They will easily fill the space I popped them into. I also divided up the big road end bed, with string, into 9 sections, to make things less daunting.

Finally I tackled the nightmare that is my strawberry bed. Weeding. A lot of weeding! Here's the before...

...and after. I have only done 1/3 so far :(

All the photos are a bit orange, probably as it was quite late in the day when I took them.

I will post about Sunday's antics asap :)