Friday, 23 April 2010

Fabulous Friday!

Alliteration and exclamation marks are definitely called for. Despite a very slow start and a brain which did not wish to participate in the day early on, today really has been amazing.

At breakfast I watched TWO Red Squirrel sit together in the bird feeder and potter around very close to each other quite happily. Whilst I was thinking how fabulous that was, Management called from his study "do you realise all THREE of them are here?" Sadly not close enough to capture in one photograph but to have three of these amazing creatures in the garden at the same time is an absolute gift.

Some of the lawn had its first cut, the area round the potager now looks very smart by Bag End standards. I could definitely become a Grass Cutting Anorak, there is something delightfully zen about walking gently behind the mower whilst in an insulated world of my own protected from a noisy petrol engine by very efficient ear defenders.

The eagle-eyed will notice the return of green cages on the grass - our orchids are just starting to put up leaves, must photograph them at the weekend.

Candle power seems to be working in the greenhouse at night and during the day "sun power" is working too.

After a long wait and much saying pretty please, lovely chaps from Carrs (farm supply) located a couple of IBC tanks for me in exchange for a pitifully small number of beer vouchers. They will make splendid water containers and Management has agreed to my getting a couple more so that, eventually, we capture nearly all the rain which falls on the house roof.

I concede that at present they look like agricultural monstrosities and very out of place in a wildlife garden; hang on until I have them in situ, surrounded by trellis and covered with clematis or honeysuckle ....

First seeds were sown in the greenhouse and remarkable (and unusual) restraint employed to not sow too much of anything. Using 9cm pots instead of traditional trays means there is less temptation to "fill the tray" although I don't promise this will continue.

Ollie's Sunflower, Brampton Butternut Squash, Brampton Pumpkin, Tomato: Garden Pearl, Harbinger, Roma and Costoluto Fiorentino.

Also planted some new potatoes - First Earlies (Rocket) and Second Earlies (Arran Pilot) both in the greenhouse and in a raised bed, and some Main Crop ("Brampton" - saved from organic delivery) in compost bags outside.

Never grown potatoes like this, but if it doesn't work not much has been lost. I can compost the haulms, chuck the multi-purpose compost on a raised bed and use the bags for rubbish!

Wayne worked on our brick planters and much progress has been made.

Add to this many sightings of "our" kestrel, pheasant, male bullfinch, goldfinches, chaffinches, long tailed tits, blackbirds, robins, blue and great tits, jackdaw, magpie, collared dove, wood pigeon and rooks - and it was a rather fabulous Friday!


  1. Ok, share! How does a little Hobbit gets so much done in one day! Looks great you never did do anything by halves!

  2. I just thought it was about time I said hi as I read your blog all last year. It's great watching the progress you have made. Your veg patch looks brilliant and I am very jealous of your furry n feathered visitors. I'm surprised you get anything done with them to watch.

    How does the candle heater work? That looks like a clever idea. I just have a little plastic n aluminium greenhouse but it would be nice to keep it a little warmer when there is a frost - no room for water containers to store heat :)

    ps. probably daft question - but won't filling your raised beds take the soil level above the damp course on your house?

  3. Sarum m'dear - you've known me longer than nearly my whole life - think about it, bl**dy minded, single minded, determined. Oh yes, and the house is currently a midden, my desk is about to collapse with the weight of unattended paperwork, my Inbox will shortly implode over the unanswered messages and the ironing basket will soon take over the spare room. However, this is Cumbria, soon it will rain (it always does), so I am focussing on doing as much as I can whilst I can. :}

  4. Hello Tamsin, thanks for leaving a comment. I'm going to do a post on the candle heater idea, it's written, just need to get the photos taken.

    Raised beds/damp proof course - not a daft question at all, I am going to use left-over pond liner to cover the wall and ensure the soil does not touch the house brickwork. Done this before in a previous house so I know it works.

  5. Oh Frabjous Day, as someone famous once said. I can't remember who, (bet Mrs Flummery does though), but it seems to sum up your Friday. It must be wonderful to see some results now for all the hard work you've been putting in.

  6. Thanks Quilt Sue, I think you might find it was me {GGG} but you are absolutely right, all of a sudden two years' hard work is paying off!

    Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!" He chortled in his joy

  7. Great work there Missus!
    I hope you don't mind my saying that I think both Rocket and Gartenpearl are flavourless. Not many people grow them twice.
    You've made fantastic progress there. Do you often go back to look at your first photos? I would, just to feel smug!

  8. QuiltSue - Lewis Carroll in the Jabberwocky!

    I wouldn't get anything done if I had such enchanting visitors!

  9. I love it when a plan comes together!

  10. Thanks for all the comments.

    Flummery - don't mind you saying that at all! This year it is a case of growing what was to hand. The tomato seeds came free with a magazine and the pots were what was easily available locally. I am sure this will get refined in future years when I am able to peruse catalogues in the winter and order properly!

    Yes - I often look at old photos and even amaze myself at how much we've done (especially motivating when I am tired). It's ages since you've been here - you would hardly recognise some of it now.


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