Tag Archives: gardening

Gardening photos, a greenhouse update, and Happy Easter

The weather has been so good recently, that plants in our garden (and greenhouse) have been growing like mad. We visited the garden centre yesterday to buy some more small shrubs and plants to replace some plants that are past their best, or to fill in gaps in the borders. I even bought some small lettuce and rocket plants, rather than growing from seed (although I’ll probably sow some in a few weeks anyway). So now our veg box looks like this:

That’s a dwarf pumpkin plant in the middle. This cannot end well. Grow quickly, tiny lettuces, grow!

And here’s the situation in the World’s Tiniest Greenhouse:

Top row, l-r (from memory): Hollyhocks, pumpkin, lupins, coriander, tomatoes, chilli, sweetpeas (not doing much :(), tomatoes. Bottom row: tomatoes, one single defiant basil seedling :D, courgettes (also dragging their roots this year).

Beneath those shelves are some more tomato plants, a large pot of cat grass (for bad weather days) and…something else, which I’ve forgotten.

The other side of the greenhouse is much the same:

More tomatoes and chillies, some poppy seeds, and a couple of potatoes which are refusing to ‘chit’. Those two tiny plants on the floor are dinky fuschias, which the Husbinator likes – they’re now potted on and have pride of place in the garden.

Because the good weather makes everything grow so fast, we get to play ‘What the heck is *that* plant?’ again. I noticed a couple of familiar-looking leaves last week, but didn’t get too excited, until yesterday when I saw this:

Lily of the valley! Finally! Apologies for the poor photo, they’re really low down, and I couldn’t get to them. But yay! I planted them years ago, and they never appeared. They were clearly just waiting to surprise me. Woop! You just know I’m going to be back on here in a few days, complaining of a sore back and soil up my nostrils. 😀

Speaking of surprises, while we were pottering in the garden, we heard a strange noise, and when we looked up over our heads….

I guess the good weather means hot air balloon season has arrived early here. 🙂

OK, one last photo, then I’m done. I don’t know if I ever told you about the wicker reindeer which I saw in a garden centre a few years ago and was not allowed to buy (it has vanished completely now – never to be seen again)? Well, I saw a rather nice plant holder thing with a tiny blackboard  attached to it, so you could display messages to people like ‘Look, a plant!’  or ‘Get OFF my lawn’. Anyway, the Husbinator wasn’t keen on them, but it was already Wicker Reindeer II, and I was determined. So when I saw one at the garden centre yesterday, I pounced. And so, I wish all my lovely blog readers…

Help save our bees!

I am currently obsessed with bees. Especially bumble bees, with their fluffy bottoms.

 Bumblebee in my garden last year

I have always been quite fond of them, but then I watched Great British Food Revival with Ainsley Harriott, and he was championing honey, and of course, bees. And the programme showed someone who kept bees on the roof of their flat. An actual hive!

Of course, being the rational realist that I am, I didn’t immediately scour the internet to find out about bee-keeping. *ahem*

Anyway, bees are fascinating creatures, but many species are dying out (find out more about this on The Bumblebee Conservation Trust website). And even if we can’t all keep bees in our gardens (curse you, tiny suburban garden!), we can do something to help. Even if you only have a window box, or balcony, you can grow a pot or two of plants which will attract bees. Check out these pretties…

Borage – beautiful blue, slightly alien-looking flower which is edible and are lovely floating in summer drinks like Pimms.

Borage flower – photo by PurpleGecko on Flickr
Pale pink geranium flowers – pretty, dainty, and beloved by bees:
Bloody Geranium – photo by Marylise Doctrinal on Flickr

Rosemary – yummy in food, and yummy to bees. Actually, quite a few herbs are popular with bees (e.g. sage, mint and thyme), so if you like to cook, grow some herbs in your garden and help bees as well.

Rosemary flowers – photo by m750 on Flickr

Oriental poppy. I’m a big fan of poppies, especially the bright red ones growing in fields and by the side of the road. But these peach ones are gorgeous too.

Oriental poppy – photo by beautifulcataya on Flickr
You can also find a list of ways you can help bees on the Help Save Bees site.

Slightly soily Sunday

I have been quite busy over the last couple of days, and now I’m having a sit down with a cup of tea, I thought I’d better update my blog on what I’ve been making.

First of all, I got a Sizzix Big Shot last week, but was unable to find any decent dies in a local craft shop, so I ordered some online from the UK. They arrived on Friday, so yesterday I tried them out. I got a mixture of dies for cutting felt shapes, and also a tag set for making gift tags (obviously). I thought I might use the larger tag shape to make business cards to go with orders (there’s positive thinking for you). I also got some texture plates for embossing, and picked some totally unseasonal ones which will get plenty of use in a few months time. Don’t worry, I’ve not gone mad and started doing Christmas crafts in August. Here’s a selection of the patterns anyway:

There are twelve patterns in all, including a nice star pattern which could be used all year round.

Mr B very kindly bought me some plastic organiser boxes (at my request) so I’ve just tidied a load of my bead stuff away into them. So now my usually much messier creative space looks like this:

You can see the boxes of beads and findings to the right, stacked on top of a cabinet full of…beads and findings. Err, yeah. Anyway, I still need storage ideas for loads of other craft stuff, so if you have any brilliant ideas, leave me a comment, please.

Finally, we decided to forage for veggies in the garden yesterday, and we found these:

The carrots are quite weeny, but they smelled divine when I pulled them out of the soil. I have thinned them out in the veg planter, so hopefully we’ll have slightly larger carrots to come in a few weeks. They’re not bad for the free seeds we got due to a Thompsons and Morgans error though.

The spuds are also quite dinky, but they were grown from spuds bought in the supermarket, planted inside an old compost bag. My mum said to put 3 spuds in each bag, but I think next time I’d only do two, to give them more room. There’s another bag still going, so we’re leaving them another few weeks.

Leafy Friday

You know, I used to have several blogs for different subjects – gardening, crafts, personal stuff. Of course, eventually, I forgot to update them all, and seeing as I am just about managing to keep this one current, I may as well put my gardening stuff in here. Well, it is something I’ve created. Kinda. Look, stop complaining, do you want to see the nice plants or not? Well, alright then. 😀

My tiny greenhouse (that would make a great sitcom, wouldn’t it? No? Fine, suit yourselves) is still going strong, although I still need another ‘shelf solution’, as it’s standing room only. Mind you, some of the inhabitants will be booted out shortly. For example, the mixed salad leaves which are begging to be eaten this weekend:

Nom. Also looking quite tasty are the black basil seedlings (which really need to be thinned out and repotted this weekend):

Every time I see this plant, I get the tune ‘Black Betty’ in my head – that can’t be good, can it? Moving swiftly on…the Courgette That Took Over The World:

So big it doesn’t even fit in the frame – run, save yourselves! Seriously, these plants grow like mad – you can see changes to them from one day to the next. Shame the climbing courgette seeds I ordered didn’t arrive yet. *sulks*

My sweetpeas are doing well too – they’re in front of the greenhouse for now, but will end up on the patio next to the table so that I can smell their scent while I’m sitting reading – bliss!

And finally, meet Mr Blackbird, who insists on flapping about, trying to get at the fat block in the feeder, instead of sitting on top of it and pecking downwards – doh! Apologies for the poor pic, I didn’t have a longer lens with me, and I couldn’t get much closer.

Seriously dude, work smarter, not harder. You don’t see Mrs Blackbird doing that, do you? No, that’s right, she’s too busy pulling up the moss from my lawn and then leaving it lying there because it’s not quite the right shade of green for the nest. Tchuh. Oh, I’ve just realised, you can see the “Medbed” (yes, we gave it a nickname – we are *that* sad) to the left of the picture – olive tree, thyme, sage and rosemary, all waiting to soak up some sun. I hope they’re patient plants.