Helen's Garden Renovation Project

Friday 16 November 2007

Crisp and clear

Filed under: Progress — Helen @ 3:54 pm

This week we have been having brilliantly sunny but sharply cold weather. I have been going out and pulling weeds up, but it is so cold that my fingers get numb even inside my thick gardening gloves. I can measure my progress not only by the clear patches amongst the weeds, but by the girth of the robin that comes and sits next to me while I unearth some juicy worms for it.

The main thing now that is holding up the garden renovation project is my difficulty in finding somewhere that will build two toolstores to fit in the side passage. I have tried two shed shops, but they don’t get back to me. I wish that instead of having spammers who want to sell car parts, mortgages and computer games writing unwanted comments in my blog, I could get some shed shop spammers posting some comments.

I have now learned that actually the winter jasmine is flowering incorrectly after all. It is meant to flower in January. Also, violets should be incorrectly flowering now. Disappointingly, my violets are correctly not flowering. But I saw someone’s rose doing a flower the other day.

I have also learned from my auntie that there are two types of shredders: food-processor types that are noisy but efficient, and corkscrew types that are quiet but slow and a bit fussy about what they will take. The shredder which I have on long-term loan from my very patient boyfriend Dave who bought it secondhand from a bloke in the pub is a Bosch corkscrew type, and it is very quiet. It gets insulted if you give it little bits of stuff, and ignores you until you poke a branch down its chute. But it does shred nicely and if Dave wants it back, I will probably buy myself the same type.


Friday 9 November 2007

The wrong flowers

Filed under: Progress — Helen @ 11:41 am

We have been having gales in Scotland and along the east coast, but here in Hampshire the weather is beautiful. I went out and pulled up some more weeds and swept up some more leaves. I admired my winter flowering jasmine in the new border by the side fence, which has just started flowering. I am really pleased, as not much else is supposed to flower at this time of year.

Winter flowering jasmine

I use the phrase “supposed to flower” advisedly, because my primula and primrose collection has decided to have a go even though it is November.

Flowering primulas in November

Then I went through my bulb collection, which includes crocuses, bluebells, grape hyacinths and snowdrops, and pulled the weeds off the top, and topped them up with compost and some sharp sand. Grape hyacinths often start to sprout at this time of year, so I wasn’t surprised to find them doing some shoots, but I also found that the other bulbs were waking up.

Finally I painted the kerria and some of my seedling blackberries with pink stuff, since glyphosate seems to have had no effect on the blackberries whatsoever.


Friday 2 November 2007

Autumn colours

Filed under: Progress — Helen @ 3:32 pm

Look at this! Two posts in one week! I wanted to get some photographs of autumn colour before it was too late. Opinions differ whether this autumn is a particularly good one for vibrant colours. My garden is not all that well set up for autumn colour, but the cherry tree out in the front (you remember, the one whose roots were fighting for nutrients among the washings out of the builders’ cement mixer) has not done badly.

The cherry tree outside my house in autumn

However, it has nothing on the cherry tree down the road. Oh wow. (If you are wondering what took a bite out of the top of the conifer to the left of it, so am I. But a man went up a ladder and chopped the top off this afternoon, so it looks better now).

Autumn colour of cherry tree down my road

This one has double flowers, and it’s a lovely shape as well. This is what it looked like last spring.

Cherry tree along the road in spring

If I were to find myself in the position of choosing a cherry tree for my garden in the future, this is the one I would have.

Apart from looking at trees, I have swept up a large number of leaves and put them in my large square compost bin to make into leaf mould. The bulk will come in handy because I will be short of soil when I finish renovating the garden. I also pulled up some more weeds, but there are still many more to deal with. At least I am not getting many new ones appearing at this time of year.