Okay, I didn’t Blog the day after my last entry, or the day after that, but what with there being so much to do, and everything…

Yes, there you go.  An excuse!

Last post I mentioned the greenhouse windows that myself and Ian had been fixing, and I can report that they are half fixed. We got the grinding bits as planned early on Saturday morning, but found that really, we needed the windows fully out before we could properly grind them.  I did however half grind the one we were working on last Friday, and when we got there today, yes, it had finally opened, but in doing so, had somewhat re-bent the aluminium struts again.

Well, tomorrow afternoon, we plan to take that particular window fully out from its frame and properly grind it so it will fit in nice and loosely to allow for expansion when it gets really hot, hopefully in a fews weeks time.

Window fram half ground.In this shot here, you can see where I’ve ground down a little of the frame itself.

As I said, having the window completely out will facilitate this, and it will also allow us to bend the hooks used as hinges on the top of the frame.  We figure that with a little judicious ‘persuasion’, we can tighten the hooks slightly which will mean the window, as it sits in its frame is slightly higher, therefore not scraping on the bottom.

Hopefully!

For the rest of the afternoon, well, like the title suggests, it kind of went by in a blur.

Sunday, however didn’t go by in a blur!  We carried out more ‘Gorilla Gardening’.  Yes, I know that spelling is wrong, but its somehow so right for the five of us that tipped up Sunday morning to clear out the rest of the Council trees planted by the nearby ‘Tesco’ up the road.

I thought I’d got there first for bang on ten, but was beaten by ‘New Nick’ who was busy with ‘his’ planter, re-arranging the baby strawberry plants I’d put in the other day and adding some more hardy geraniums that it a few weeks time will hopefully be a riot of colour.  He’d even brought two full watering cans to water them in with!New Nick's planter.

Here you can see his planter after he’d put them in and watered, and very good it looks too!

Ian soon tipped up, closely followed by Diane who’d been down  to The Plots for humpers to put the debris we’d collect in and also some ‘proper’ topsoil from our plots.Before.

We’d originally thought we’d just concentrate on the one tree by getting all the grass out, refilling it with topsoil then planting, but when it became obvious that we’d need much more topsoil and Diane had to go back for more, then with Matt turning up, we decided to ‘go for it’ and work on all five.  This shot above is one of them before we started.  Bit of a mess, eh?

Weeding the tubs.We soon got to work, and here you can see us pulling out the thick carpet of grass.  We think somebody has been over these tubs with grass seed and just scattered it about -anything other than the ‘bare earth and cigarette butts’ look.  Still, it came out easily enough, and in doing so we realised that the soil was very sandy -and therefore wouldn’t retain much water, and this was proved by just how dry it all was.

Fresh soil.Here you can see the three of us (…New Nick had done his bit and in true ‘Guerrilla Style’ had gone, melting away in the crowds!..) putting fresh soil from our Plots in the top of one of the planters.  We think each planter should have about five humpers of fresh soil added, and if you click a couple of times on this photo, you’ll see that our soil is much darker than the existing, full of rotted and rotting organic stuff, and worms! In clearing out all five planters, we only found two.  New soil finally in.

The stuff we put in however had loads, so no doubt that evening, they were all getting to know each other.  I’ll bet the existing two thought it was their birthdays and Christmas all rolled into one!

Today, I had other stuff to do, but still this evening when I’d finished, I emailed Ian, and we met down The Plots to see what was to be done tomorrow and to see what had been done after we left on Saturday.Cuttings in the greenhouse.

As soon as we entered the greenhouse, we were presented with these little beauties.

These are cuttings expertly done by Tim.  Whereas Ian and myself would have just ‘bunged’ single cuttings into each pot, Tim did this properly, cutting each stem in the proper way and arranging them properly in each pot.  Very thorough, and hopefully in not too long, these’ll be ready to put outside, probably in that new bed Ian and myself re-walled a few days ago.

As I mentioned earlier, the window we had ‘half’ done was looking a little sorry for itself.Whooops!

Here you can see that even though we bent the thin aluminium back to straight, it’s still re-bent itself.

As I said earlier, tomorrow, we’ll have this out again, straighten it (…again!..), then work on the window to make sure it opens and closes freely.  If this still bends, then we’ll bring in the ‘Big Guns’ in the shape of my father the week after next and ask him (…very nicely!..) to cut us some steel brackets to replace the existing ‘pratty’ aluminium ones.  A few minutes with an electric jigsaw and an electric drill, and they won’t bend!Potato and leek beds.

Here you can see almost outside the greenhouse what will be our beds of leeks and potatoes.  The leeks will be in the ‘cross’ with four different varieties of potato in each quadrant -first earlies, two main crops and a bed of small ‘salad’ type potatoes.  We figure we’ll get this bed planted before the weekend.New seating, long planter.

Elsewhere on the Therapy Plot, here’s a shot of the new seating area myself and Ian finished off on Saturday.  On Friday (…I think!..), we’d moved a pile of earth that was sat on this concrete area, then Diane had ‘properly’ cleaned and tidied it all up and put the table and chairs there.  This used to be the main seating area a couple of years ago, until Ian had built the much better seating up by the metal shed (…and funnily enough, much nearer the kettle…), so had been disused, but what with our recent work on the bed behind, it was agreed that this should be resurrected.

The long planter you can see to the right here is from behind the mess of strawberries up by the new seating.  It had never had anything in it (…apart from Mitzi who loved to doze in it, of course!..), so Ian and myself emptied it of detritus, checked it was ‘sound’ and moved it down to where you can see.

We filled the bottom with a thin layer of small stones and pieces of rock to give it some drainage, then mixed up some ‘turbo’ potting compound from the various bins and beds we have scattered around.

We’re hoping that one of our ‘Plotters’ will adopt this and other pots we plan to put nearby to give us and our bees a riot of colour for the summer.

Talking of which…  The clocks went forward this last Sunday, and my body is still running on GMT, so I’d better get to bed.

Much more to do tomorrow!

 

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