This week’s highlights:
- The apple tree has settled in well after being transplanted into our front garden, despite some heavy winds and cold nights. I have even seen some bees on it!
- The compost bin arrived
- The Purple Queen dwarf bean seedlings are growing really well
- I received my Huw Richards book, Veg in One Bed. It’s exactly what I was looking for, well illustrated, perfect for beginners, and packed with useful information.
The compost bin is a Green Johanna, which was available at a discount from my local council. It was a bit of an effort to build, as there were little tabs of plastic which needed to be trimmed away with a stanley knife before it would slot together properly. But I got there in the end. Then I had to shift my temporary compost head into Johanna. Having handled compost a bit more with my seedlings, I had become aware that I shoud be fussier about snipping twigs into small pieces. It took a long time to snip everything into little bits. I can see why people making a lot of compost want to invest in a shredder. Eventually I got the whole job done. I’m thrilled with the result. Johanna is three quarters full, and I’m looking forward to have a good supply of home-made compost next spring.
The dwarf beans have been making fantastic progress, but so far only three courgettes have shown their faces. I have read that there should be four true leaves on the bean seedlings before they are transplanted, so now I’m panicking about whether the beans will be ready before the compost and gravel boards arrive to build the raised bed.
The shed base has ground to a halt. My husband managed to heave the concrete block out, and I managed to excavate the area down to the required 15cm below ground level. Our friendly local builder will be popping over on Saturday to take a look and tell me what to do next to create a firm foundation. We’re also planning to hire a skip for all the clay soil I’ve removed. I can’t wait to get rid of it.
The rhubarb crown recovered nicely, and survived a couple of cold nights under a box insulated with shredded paper. Gardener’s horticultural fleece is on the shopping list for the winter. The first big leaf is about 8cm long now. I wonder whether there will be an edible stalk this year?
I’m very pleased with the hydrangeas. Thanks to their new semi-shady position and some diligent watering, they now have masses of flower buds. I am so excited to see them bloom, as they are my favourite flower.
The grass seed around the edges of the garden is also growing nicely. There’s nothing quite like seeing the first shimmer of green on the bare earth. I really hope that the grass helps to eliminate the nasty chameleon weeds.
We’re very pleased with our new bird table. So far it has mainly attracted pigeons and blackbirds. We have moved it nearer to the fence and next door’s bushes, so that the little finches and sparrows can hide above it and pop out when they feel safe.
I am a little frustrated that the raised bed boards and compost haven’t arrived, but on the plus side, it has given me more time to prepare the shed base area, and my lovely neighbours have been able to collect some huge sheets of cardboard for me to lay at the bottom of the bed. We’ll pop over to the garden centre on Wednesday to see whether there is an updated ETA, and to buy some canes and garden string for the dwarf beans.
I also have some more seeds to plant! I managed to get Tumbling Tom tomato seeds. It’s a bit late to plant them but my sister recommended them, so I’m going to give them a try. I also found radishes, and two varieties of beetroot (I love beetroot!)
I’m going to pop to Aldi today or tomorrow to see whether they have any windowsill seed trays left.