Saturday, 18 February 2012


Geranium - leave at room temperature, if no germination after 4-6 weeks place in fridge for 3-6 weeks.

Rudbeckia - leave at room temperature until germination which takes 1-2 weeks.

Astrantia - keep at room temperature for a week then place in fridge. Remove when germinate or after 6 weeks.

Primula - keep at room temperature for 2-3 weeks then place in fridge. Remove after 3- 6 weeks.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

The vegetable garden begins

Right, I know we've done a bit in the garden already this year, but I think it's time to take the "State of the Garden" picture for the start of 2012, so here it is:

Biggest differences from the one last year are the lack of snow (!), lack of flooding/pond, the addition of the big path and extended patio in front of the shed, and the fact that the shed is now blue! Oh, and the Brussels sprouts... there's still a few left.  The major achievements for the last 12 months have really revolved around drainage ditches, and vegetables - Mal spent a lot of the year digging out the main ditch and filling with a drainage pipe and gravel, and I've grown lots of vegetables for the first time.  The big successes being the potatoes, garlic and onions.  Other notables were the beans, peas, sprouts, carrots and tomatoes.  The tomatoes didn't do that well - I think they needed more warmth and daylight. So hopefully if we've got the polytunnel in place they should do better this year.  Talking of polytunnels......

This weekend we've made a significant start on the new Vegetable Garden.  The windproof netting has gone up and half of the hedging has been planted. Only half, as the lower end of the hedge line is completely water logged and we didn't want to drown the poor little things.

The hedging is a collection of six different evergreen varieties picked to give interest throughout the year, and provided by Buckingham Nurseries.  The collection includes Berberis darwiniiCotoneaster franchetiiPyracantha Orange GlowPhotinia fraseri Red RobinEscallonia Donard Seedling, and Viburnum tinus.

As well as the hedge planting this weekend, we've also started on clearing the area for the polytunnel.  After much discussion and pacing, we've decided on a 3m by 8m tunnel, and need to clear .5m all the way around.  The area has been marked out, and the turf removed from half of the tunnel footprint so far.  The ground is so waterlogged that we didn't start on the second half, and didn't start on the leveling of the ground that will be required.  Instead we've started to put in a new drainage ditch that will run from the entrance to the Vegetable Garden into the copse.  Hopefully with that left open for now, it will help drain the ground where the tunnel is going.

For a weekend's work, the change to the garden looks impressive.  It's really starting to break up what was just a huge expanse of grass.... I can't wait to get the tunnel in!