Browsing Posts tagged planting

Phew! 13/04/13

That’s about the only thing I can say about today.

Loads of volunteers -even given the lousy weather, loads of visitors, and surprisingly, given all the visitors, loads was achieved!

I arrived well before ten to get stuff ready, but mainly to get the first pot of tea on.  I’d run out of tea bags at home, so unsurprisingly, I was pretty desperate!

I’d just got our friend Kelly the Kettle merrily brewing, when we had our first couple of visitors -Julie and her brother, Mick.  We stood chatting up by the top gate until Jon arrived and could let them in -my gate key doesn’t work!

Of course, our Honorary Vice ChairCat, Mitzi was soon on hand to welcome the pair of them, and luckily, they both love cats, so little Mitzi was in her element, bless.

New volunteer, Shaun, arrived pretty soon afterwards, and he quickly changed into his boots and sawed up the masses of holly Ian (no relation) and I had feverishly cut down last Sunday.  The larger branches are now just the right size to feed into the pizza oven, while all the smaller stuff has been safely carted down the the fire pit on the Children’s Plot.  We’ll burn this as soon as we can.  Yes, holly looks great, but that’s at Christmas, and those sharp prickles play havoc with wheelbarrow tires!

Julie and Mick stayed for nearly an hour, as more and more volunteers arrived and got on with their tasks for the day, and were pretty impressed as I showed them around.  They’d been past many times in cars or on buses, but never actually seen The Plots ‘up close’, and were particularly impressed with our bees.  This was just as well, because the weather this morning was pretty warm, so there were loads of them out, bringing in nectar and pollen.

As they were leaving, Jon said that he was leaving early this afternoon, and did we want to inspect the hives and possibly feed them?  Obviously, that was a ‘Yes!’

Our two remaining hives looked in pretty good shape.  The centre one had taken all its feed, and on inspecting the small ‘nuc’, we decided to feed that some syrup as well, as per Charles’ instructions.  Charles will be making a couple of visits this week, hopefully with a couple of new queens, and I’ll remember to charge the camera so I can take plenty of shots.  (Like a chimp, I’d forgotten it today.  Sorry!)

Pretty soon, Sara arrived, then it was time for lunch.  I’d been up to the local supermarket on my way over, and had loads of bread and cheese for everyone to share, of course over a couple of cups of tea, and we were discussing what needed planting in the greenhouse. Sara very kindly volunteered for this job, and we now have an entire packet of broccoli, and entire packet of white cabbage, and four trays of Savoy cabbage, all happily planted and watered in.

In a few weeks, if the weather continues to improve, we should have literally hundreds of seedlings in there, so we’ll have to have the beds ready for them all to go in!

Meanwhile, Gary and new volunteer, Shaun, were busy with the long bed by the metal shed I mentioned a few posts ago.  This is very slow work due to all the bindweed and other perennial weed in there, but they made steady progress.

I tackled a bed on the Children’s Plot, as Carol is thinking we should get some of the many pot-bound herbs in there.  We’ll see, but either way, it certainly needed weeding, and I have the nettle stings to prove it.  I also had to fight a load of dock plants with their massive tap roots, but since working on Area 34 last year, this was familiar work to me.

I was only a few minutes into my weeding when our favourite welder, who lives nearby, came down.  He brought his sister and brother-in-law, so I had to show them round, and as his sister and her husband are keen bee-keepers, they were very interested in our bees and the trauma we had a few days ago losing that hive.  They themselves have thirteen hives, but have lost seven of them over winter, so as I previously said, we’ve been pretty lucky this year only losing the one!

Matt popped in today, but he had stuff to do on his own plot, so didn’t spend much time with us.  Gerry, likewise had stuff to do -he didn’t even stop for a cup of tea!

All too soon, it was gone five o’clock, but luckily I’d finished the bed on the Children’s Plot, so we wearily packed up and made for home.  Not before I’d finished the last of the washing up and tidied up the top shed, though.

Depending on the weather tomorrow, I may just pop over to see how things are, but officially, I’m now ‘off-duty’ while next Wednesday.

Well, I say ‘officially’, but in actual fact, I’ll hopefully be seeing Diane on Monday, and any spare time in between, I’ll be working on iButtons and electric bikes.

So, Dear Reader, I’ll leave you for now, tired, but happy!

(P.S.  The other day I was browsing eBay (as you do), and came across ‘Hive Tools’.  A hive tool is a strip of stainless steel you use to crack open a beehive when you need to inspect.  Hives tend to get clogged with propolis, which is tremendously sticky.  Of course, I ordered one -I still can’t find the ‘official’ LEAF hive tool, so I intend to get mine stamped with at least my initials in it -just so we know whose is whose.  Of course, after getting a hive tool, I’ll need a bee-keeper’s smock.  Then a smoker.  Then a ‘nuc’.  Then my own bees.  It’s only a matter of time…)

Planting and a meeting. 14/03/13

The new gas regulator for the bottled gas heater arrived the other day, and today it was put to good use.

Since Diane has been away poorly, we’ve been having the monthly management meetings at Julie’s house, but this time, Ian suggested we have the meeting down on The Plots.

What a great idea!

So, rather than mess an entire evening up with traveling, we held the meeting after our regular Thursday LEAF session in our ‘new’ wooden shed.

Yes, I know the shed isn’t strictly speaking new, but it’s the first time we’ve been able to properly use it for exactly what it was intended for: A place for having meetings.

Unfortunately, Cyril, our secretary is laid up with a poorly foot, but myself, Ian (no relation), Julie and Sara all sat around the table in the shed and talked ‘LEAF Business’.

And it was brilliant!

Meanwhile, Pam was hard at work planting beans and peas in our greenhouse in little pots for later transplanting out, and we noticed that the sweet peas some of the Plot Kids had planted a couple of weeks ago were just starting to show their first shoots.

Gary and Jon were also hard at work moving a load of soil from by the main entrance into the bottom of one of the new beds, so even while we were all ‘yakking’ away in the shed, hard work was being done.

Anyway, I’m going to be brief tonight (…’Yay for THAT!’ someone shouts…), but there’ll be loads happening on Saturday which I’ll be sure to Blog on my return to Wardian Towers.

Chat with you then!

Oh, we happy, happy few. 09/03/13

Last night, the weather for the next few days was set to be awful, and for today, at least, it really was awful.

BUT, this didn’t bother us!

I mentioned last post that I’d get some photos of the inside of the top wooden shed, and today there was loads happening in it, so I’ve got the photos.Eating in the shed!

But in all the excitement, I’m getting a little ahead of myself here.

This morning, Jon very kindly gave me and the ‘Box’ for TradeBase a lift over to The Plots, and we arrived well before 10.00.  While Jon went down to his own plot, I opened up the sheds and got the trusty Kelly Kettle out for the first brew of many.

I set up the Box and wired up a few lights in the top shed, then Ian arrived, soon to be followed by Gary.

Gary had been threatening to replant the saddest of all sad pear trees from a horribly tiny little pot into a bed just cleared on the Orchard Plot, and you can see it in its new home here.New home for the pear tree

The light brown ‘dust’ you can see in this photo is the blood and bone meal fertilizer that he spread on the ground after planting.  Of course, he put a good few trowel fulls in the hole he’d dug for the tree.  As this is ‘slow release’ fertilizer, it should give the tree plenty of food for at least a season, possibly longer.

Meanwhile, Ian found a wicked-looking billhook with which to attack the huge honeysuckle that has been threatening to take over one of the top Plots for years.  Gary soon joined him, and the pair of them spent well over an hour carefully hacking away to remove a couple of vast brambles and some well-dead rose bushes.

The result?  Check this out:-Honeysuckle no more!

Don’t worry, though.  Ian and Gary have four or five ‘runners’ that it had sent out, and these are now safely, temporarily healed in in a spare bed nearby.  Yes, I know it looks like this area has been devastated, but give it a couple of months and some sunshine, and this will be back to a much more manageable size, and as I said, we’ve got those runners to plant along some chestnut paling further down near the greenhouse.

As promised, Matt had brought one of his fabled stews today, so we thought we’d all properly eat up in the top shed where we’re meant to eat.  This is rather than shivering out on the benches getting slowly drenched by the ever-present drizzle.

Sara had bought some fresh bread, so as you can see by the first photo, after a hard day’s grafting, we enjoyed a proper meal, all sat round a table, inside whilst listening to Classic FM on the radio.

I’d also moved the gas bottle and regulator over from the metal shed, so for the first time in forever, we had a gentle heat in there to keep us warm.  Just how civilised is that?

Afterwards, over the inevitable cup of Plot Tea, Sara commented that all we really needed were duvets and pillows, and we could have a sleep-over.  Well, we had everything else, even a cat!

All too soon, it was time to call it quits for the day, but not before we’d found every tool we’d used outside, put everything away, and I’ve brought the dishes home to give them all a good washing.

Still, having said that, even after all the tea and drinks we’ve had today, both of the vacuum flasks were still full of piping hot water.

More on Wednesday evening…

No rain! 07/03/13

The BBC weathermen got it wrong today.  No rain, and certainly not as cold as had been forecast.

Still, with the kind of activities happening today, no-one got a chance to get cold!Gary's digging

To the right here is the bed I mentioned last post that Gary has been working on.  You may think that it’s only a bed, and therefore not all that special, but before Gary took to it, it was an utter mess!

Of course, there was masses of bindweed in it, and this was all horribly intertwined with the inevitable strawberries, but there were also some rather sick-looking chives that looked liked they’d seen better days.

Yes, this bed really was in a state, but as you can now see, it’s all been so skilfully cleared.

Over the coming days, Gary will be weeding the paths around this, so we can actually get to it easily, then in a few months, Gary had the idea of planting runner beans here.

Putting this to ‘The Collective’ (…”Resistance is futile*…), we all agree that this would be a great place for the beans.  It’ll be near our bees, and also we think the flowers will be beautiful when they come out.Parsnips

To the left here is the bed that Jon whacked the parsnips in the other day.

Yes, it just looks like a ‘blank’ bed, but in a few weeks time, it’ll all spring to life as the temperature rises and the seeds get the idea to grow.

That small pile of woodchip in front is the pile that Jordan moved over from the pile of wood chippings the other week.  This will all get spread around as more paths and walkways are finished off.Berry bushes

To the right is the bed that Jon planted the other day with the various berries.

Again, this bed was choked full of strawberries, bindweed and goodness knows what else, and I think it was Gary who worked his magic on it, before Jon finally neatened it up before planting.

These bushes will thicken out considerably in the coming months, so much so that it may almost be like a mini hedge.  Difficult to believe, so we’ll take Jon’s word for it!

After making tea this morning, I put yet another coat of ‘One Coat’ on the two new beds, while Ian (no relation) planted some strawberry plants in the end of the bed nearest the shed.New strawberries!

Jon gave us these plants some time ago, and they’d been sat near the kitchen in a tray, getting sadder and sadder as the days went past.

Now Jon assures me that these things don’t try to spread anything like as badly as the old strawberries, but even so, Ian has put this extra piece of wood in the bed just to make sure.

Any infringement will be met by the ultimate force:  Shears!

In the top shed, Graham was having fun with a Calor gas stove we found as we cleared it all out, and we can now say that should it get really cold and miserable, we can always shelter in there, safe from the rain.

Matt was also busy in the top shed today, moving the huge noticeboard to the end wall, then putting the first of many shelves up in there.

NO!  These will not just be ‘dumping grounds’ for everything we can’t be bothered to put away!

I’ll get some photos of this on Saturday.

…And speaking of which, Matt has taken away the large cooking pot, promising to bring something hot (…and of course, delicious!..) on Saturday for our lunch.

That just leaves me to get the bread, then!

Speak to you Saturday!


*Sorry, but I haven’t got a ‘Star Trek’ quote in for months.

Excuse the awful pun, but I just had to get it out of the way.

Jon has been mentioning our geodome over the last few days/weeks and how it looked saggy, and frankly, unloved.

Someone had been swinging on it -despite being expressly forbidden, and it had broken in the centre in the middle.

It needed TLC, and putting back together,  …and properly this time.

I say ‘properly’ because when we’d first built it last year, we’d kind of ‘bodged’ it together, and hadn’t put the correct pins in the ends for a lot of the poles.The pins in correctly.

To the right here is how we should have done it the first time.  Notice how each pole actually has two pins; one for outside the yellow ring, with the other being inside.  This is to correctly ‘tension’ the dome so it forms its own shape; and holds it.

When we’d originally thrown it together, we hadn’t done this properly, and if I’m honest, this is probably why it collapsed on a Plot Kid a few weeks ago.

Well no more!

Today, Gerry, Jon, Matt, Gary, and I worked together as a team, and smartened it up properly.

And the result?

Done!     <—-  See for yourself!

We all agreed that this was a tremendous ‘team effort’, and it certainly took all of us swinging on various lengths of pole to hold it in position while someone else hammered in the split pins.

Notice how the top of the dome now has a ‘peak’.  This is how it should be, and it certainly didn’t have one before.

And what do we do with it now it’s done?  We plant beans and sweat peas up it in a couple of months time!

Oh, and before all this fun, while I was making tea, Jon planted five rows of parsnips in the bed he started a couple of weeks ago, then finished off last Saturday.

If I remember, I’ll get shots of this, plus Jon’s other fine examples of fruit bush planting, as well as Gary’s awesome work on the bed by the kitchen area.

So, a brief entry tonight, but if the weather is any better tomorrow (…which is looking pretty unlikely…), there’ll be a longer one then.



Splash it on all over. 02/03/13

Maybe not quite Henry Cooper in the ‘Brut 33′ advert, but you get the idea.Beforehand

(…And that’s me really showing my age!..)

While Gary cleared the long bed below the new ones, I made a good start on painting both of the new beds.  As I said a couple of posts ago, even though this stuff is meant to be ‘One Coat’, quite frankly: It’s not.

With the glorious sunshine all day, I soon got my coat off, and got stuck in.

As I’ve said before, painting with this stuff really is great fun.  Whopping great brushes, and no worries about spills or drips; you just whack it on.

An hour or so later, and most of a tin of paint, they both looked like this:-Nearly done!

Okay, I need to paint and plant a number of stobs on the outside of these beds to make them robust, but as you can see, they’re certainly getting there.

Not many volunteers showed up today, but given the weather, we weren’t all that surprised.  After all, most people have their own gardens, and they were no doubt tending to these.

Or….  They could have spent the day traipsing around town, ‘shopping’.

Given the choice Dear Reader, between ‘retail therapy’ and root canal dentistry without anaesthetic, I’d have to sit down and have a little think.

This morning, Jon planted up the long bed above these new ones with Logan berries and Worcester berries, and a fine, neat job he made of it.  Next time I’m down, I’ll get some photos to show.

Matt made another compost bin using old pallets for our growing piles of compost, and Pam re-planted some raspberries that had been sat in the middle of the main thoroughfare for about four years.

She also took two wheelbarrow wheels home for her husband to repair their punctures, and I told her that I’d order some more wheels for these barrows that are actually solid, therefore won’t puncture, yet feel like pneumatic ones with the correct ‘bounce’.

So, a fairly quiet day, but we were pretty grateful for that as it meant we weren’t getting interrupted all the time, and it allowed us to get on and do the work.

More on Wednesday!

A slight change of plan. 27/02/13

I said last post that we’d be getting on with the second new bed today, but due to a mix-up (…mea culpa…), we didn’t have the stobs for the corners or side panels in time, but I’m assured they will arrive tomorrow.

So instead, while Ian planted a whole bed of two different types of onions, I got on with giving the bed we’d finished last time its first coat of ‘One Coat*‘ paint.Before painting

As you can see from the photo to the right here, even though all the boards are basically sound, they certainly looked a little on the scabby side.

I found the tins of paint and paintbrushes, and was very soon happily painting away.  I always find that using this paint is very ‘therapeutic’.  It’s water-based, completely non-toxic, and dead good fun to slap on.

The results, while not quite good enough for, say, the Sistine Chapel, are quite good enough for the folks (…and cat…) here at LEAF.Not quite the Sistine Chapel.

Of course, one of my first jobs was making the tea, and once again, the Kelly Kettle came into its own, and I can thankfully say that despite having three cups each, we didn’t have to resort to using the expensive gas hob.Tea's up!

Now we’re starting to get familiar with its little ‘foibles’, we find that setting and successfully lighting it is getting easier and easier.

While I was happily painting, Ian (no relation) was busy on a new bed Gary and I had sorted out on the Therapy Plot, planting two different types of onions.  They’d been sat in bags, quietly going rotten for months, but Ian picked out the best ones and planted them.  Okay, some might not come up, but no worries;  -we can always plant something in their place.  We all agree that the main thing is to get stuff planted!

Jon soon arrived, and he dug over and pre-prepared a bed that will hopefully have parsnips in in the not too distant future.Pre-Prepared for Parsnips

This digging may look ‘rough’, but that’s exactly the way it’s meant to look.  We are no doubt due more than a couple more early morning frosts before Spring finally arrives, so digging this way will help the soil break down naturally.

I couldn’t help noticing that this, along with quite a few other beds, needs re-painting at some point in the near future.  Maybe a Saturday job for someone?

So once again, a quiet day down our Plots, but we still got loads done -probably because there were so few interruptions from visitors!

Tomorrow, the weather looks set to be even nicer than today.  The BBC weather service reckon the Sheffield 5 will have virtually unbroken sunshine all day.

We say:  Bring it on!

*Advertised as ‘One Coat’, we find this paint only gets to the right thickness and finish after five, possibly six coats, but there you go.  It’s fun to put on, though!

The Headless Chickens. 16/02/13

No, we haven’t killed Gary’s cockerel!

No, I’m referring to the two hours of utter madness we endured this morning as the skip was delivered.

After our efforts in clearing out the top shed, the metal shed and all the piles of black bags by the far hedge, we’d promised ourselves a nice, large skip to whack it all into.

However, LEAF being LEAF, there were, of course, problems.

Firstly, the skip lorry, which arrived bang on time at 10.30, couldn’t reverse down our driveway -it was too large.  This meant that the driver had to leave the skip inside the car parking area about 800 yards away from where our bags were -with a fairly steep dip in the middle.

Also, we pretty quickly realised that we had an awful lot of black bags to go, and there was no way they’d all fit in.

Anyway, two hours of literally running with full-to-bursting (and very heavy!) bin bags on wheelbarrows, and we’d just about got rid of them all.

The skip was, er…  kind of full-to-bursting, and I’m sure that when the guy comes to pick it up, there’ll be some choice words about not overfilling it quite so badly.

But, that’s for another day, so I’m not worrying about it right now.

So why were we in such a rush to get it filled?

Well Dear Reader, as soon as our fellow plot-holders found out about it, they were very keen to fill it themselves with all their own crap!  Ha!  They should try to get anything into it now!

As a rule, because skips are so expensive -what with the new environmental laws and all- everyone thinks they can ‘just put a bag or two in and it won’t hurt, will it?’

Well not with this skip!  We’ve paid good money for it, and we’ll not be happy if anyone tries it on with extra ‘baggage’.

After all this fun, involving Matt, Gary, Gerry, Jordan and myself, we just needed a cup of tea.

Of course, then more people started to show up -just as all the hard work was over for the day!

Anyway, Matt and myself made a very quick ‘mess’ of pasta and three different types of beans, and in the afternoon, Gary carried on emptying a bed that’s no longer needed while I went home for the onions, shallots and broad bean seeds I’d forgotten in the rush this morning.P1010057

Sara wasted no time in helping out with the food and inevitable cups of tea.

To the right here is that bed Gary was working, and you can see the wheelbarrow full of weeds ready for composting.

When I returned, Carol had brought her two granddaughters, so between us all, we managed to plant two different varieties of onions and I planted four rows of broad beans.

As we finished about 4.30, Gary was carrying on clearing the bed, and when I’m over tomorrow to see to the bees, I’ll get some more shots of it.  I’ll also get some of our planting, and maybe even one of the bulging skip?!

So, a very busy day down at LEAF, and to be honest, Dear Reader, I could crawl under the duvet right now, I’m that tired!

Unfortunately, I’ve got a ton of other stuff to do before I can call it a day, but no worries. -I’ll certainly sleep tonight!

Spring is in the air. 07/02/13

Well, possibly not so much in the air (…it’s still freezing cold if you stop for more than a minute…), but there’s certainly a spring in our volunteers’ steps.

Right now, it’s all about clearing and tidying and prepping up.

With hopefully the worst of the snow out of the way, this week has all been about getting the Plots ready for another year of growing, and this year, we really plan to grow!Pruning the roses

As a part of this massive Spring clearance, we’ve been concentrating on the top Plots I mentioned the other day, and if you check out the photos, you’ll certainly see what I mean.

Yesterday, Matt and Jon did a superb job cutting back the roses that were lurking in the centre bed of the top Plot.  Now these roses, although beautiful for a couple of weeks of the year have been a constant pain for volunteers.  They’ve been allowed to spread and spread, such that even trying to get past the bed on a path was impossible without coming out terribly scratched.

Well no more!No roses!

This view to the left is looking across the rose bed towards the shed in the background, and twenty four hours ago, this wouldn’t have been possible!

Yes, roses are beautiful, their fragrance is divine, and the bees love them when they’re in flower, but we figure by cutting them back, we’ll gain at least another bed -for flowers, possibly two.

Also on the top Plot, today Jon, Pam, Graham and Ricky were planting bulbs.  These bulbs are crocii and daffodils, kindly gifted by Sheffield City Council last year.  They’d been sat in our top shed, and I think to be honest, they’d been forgotten about.  Well today, virtually all of them were planted!  In just a few weeks, we’ll have daffodils everywhere, and crocii likewise.Daffodils

To the right here are Pam and Jon about a third of the way through planting a whole bed of daffodils.  We figure that this bed has been largely unused for years and the bulbs would have rotted had they not been planted.  When they’ve finished in a few weeks time, we can always lift them for storage, or planting somewhere else.  But in the meantime, passersby on the road above will be treated with a whole bed full of yellow.

Then again, knowing our local youths, it looks like there’ll be a lot of local mothers getting hand-picked daffodils for Mother’s Day!  …I guess it’s the thought that counts?

Not content with merely planting bulbs, Jon and Pam then went one step further and planted a long line of fruit bushes on the long top bed.P1010030  If you look carefully on the photo on the left, you can just see a line of gooseberry, black and red currants and we think a loganberry or two.

All around the bushes and in long lines down the bed, Pam planted crocii and daffodils, so just like the others, in a few weeks time, this will be a riot of colour and greenery.  The bees will love them too!

Meanwhile, on the ‘Therapy Plot’, Matt and I were combining two beds into one, weeding it, then prepping it up for onions on Saturday.Matt Digging

And no, this shot hasn’t been ‘Photoshopped’.  This really is Matt digging, and a superb job he made of it!

All we’ve done is take out a path between two narrow beds.  I had scraped the woodchip off it to compost, then we both set about making it into one bed.  The far one where Matt is had a load of leaf mold put on last year, so he spread it over the entire bed.  The worms seemed to like it, because I found loads where I was weeding.

Ian (no relation) had found a job for Gary today.

“Here mate,” he said. “Just whip this tree out, would you?”  (Thinking this would take Gary all morning.)Tree? What tree?

Gary, being Gary, got it out and sorted in about 10 minutes.  No messing.

This was in the same area as the partially rotted privet cuttings we used in the path on the banking last week.  There were piles of it, and also builders’ bags full of hawthorn cuttings too.

Well, now they’re gone, and with this tree out of the way, Gary plans to make some raised beds in this area.  We all agree with him: the space has been ‘dead’ for longer than anyone can remember, and now we have all the scaffolding planks to make the sides with, we all think it’s an ideal time to start on it.

In other news, we heard this week that we’ve been awarded a small grant with which to repair our pizza oven.

Now, we could just use the money to patch it up and hope for the best when next winter comes, or we could build a ‘structure’ over the top of it to protect it from the worst of the elements, and patch it up in the meantime.

Given that most of our volunteers are men (…well, Big Boys…), which do you think we’ve chosen, Dear Reader?!

Men/Boys like building things -it all starts with Lego- so we’re designing and building something to fully cover the oven, and to provide some shelter from the rain or…  …Sunshine?  (Haven’t written that word in months!)

Of course, it will involve whopping great lumps of reclaimed timber, and a roof of corrugated steel -to cope with the heat from the oven below.  I’ll be sure to keep you updated on this exciting venture!

All too soon it was time to knock off, but as we left, I looked back on our Plots as a walked along the path by the road.  Everything was looking, well, different, but this was good.

This Saturday we plan to carry on, and there’ll have to be a fire lit to burn all the rose cuttings and other brush we’ve unearthed.  This could mean baked potatoes and possibly a soup.

Mmmmmm.  My mouth is already watering!

Shorts and sun hats, anyone?

Ah, not today, Ref!

Today was much colder than of late, and as the day wore on, the wind picked up.  By the time Ian and I left for the afternoon, it was gusting quite badly.  Any thoughts of just sitting drinking tea were straight out of the window.

Unfortunately, I had a major disk crash this morning so was a little late, but Ian, being the ‘early bird’ had already planted loads of stuff in pots and trays in the larger greenhouse.Dwarf French beans.  Soon!

He also directly planted three rows of dwarf French beans (…see photo…), then a little later planted some dwarf French purple beans at the other side of the patio.

After the obligatory (…quick!..) cup of tea, Ian started working round the bay tree between the two greenhouses, taking out the surface weeds, then literally fighting with the humungous dock roots.  Of course, he won, but sometimes it was a pretty close thing!

Purple Swarf French Beans.  Soon!To the left here is the area he put three rows of the purple dwarf French beans in, then covered it with a screen we had ‘spare’ from the smaller greenhouse.

We figure the Old Man used these in high summer to keep the greenhouses aired but used them to stop the greedy pigeons from going in the greenhouses for ‘lunch’.

Of course, when these beans are large enough to be of no interest to the birds, we’ll take it off and store it.

And I carried on with the hedge-lopping…

I swear, when I close my eyes, all I can see are the great gnarled and twisted branches of privet.

Still, because it was that much cooler today, we got quite a lot done:  We weren’t standing around chatting, but had to keep warm with physical activity!Going, going, going...

And to the right here is my effort for the day.

Yes, I know it looks no different to the last shot in the last post, but believe me when I say I cut another six feet of it today.


Lunchtime, Ian cooked a couple of pork steaks on our rocket stove, and these wrapped in breadcakes, washed down with ‘Area 34 Tea’ really were just what was needed.

The weather forecast for tomorrow has been changing quite a bit over the last few days.  A while ago, it was saying that tomorrow it would rain cats and dogs.

Checking this morning, they’re saying it’ll rain all day, but only cats and dogs in the afternoon.

This could well mean that I get a ‘day off’ to nurse my aching back and dab the scratches and cuts all up my arms.

Oh, and see if I can breathe some life into this computer…


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