Bramble Jelly

Such a deep colour.

Yo, Dear Reader, this is a twin of the Apple Jelly Recipe, they’re very similar, this uses the natural pectin in both fruits to allow you to just use granulated sugar, but the apples will likely be the main source, if you’re playing around with other fruits you can just use jam sugar, either completely or as an addition, you’ll learn to play with ratios, I did, Dear Reader, the raspberry took mostly jam sugar and granulated topped it up. These are for selling so I’ll make sure they’re the best they can be, but the best part of small batches of jam made with various fruits harvested at different places and times means each is wholly unique. If you take your time and follow the steps you can’t go too wrong and any failure can be a teaching moment.
The Raspberry Variation.

The only thing here that might be new is the microwave sterilising, an Uncle told me about it, an avid and practiced Jam maker, and it has stood me well in my years of makin jams. It ensure the jams are piping hot and freshly cleaned, but gets them done faster than heating an oven. Remember to check for cracks at each stage, I clean these several times, when I take them out I check, wash and check, rinse and wet and then heat and recheck before adding jam or jelly. Everything should be hot. Be mindful of how hot boiling jam is too, you’ll get burned once or twice and never want to have that happen in the extreme. Best advice is to have everything ready, hot water to easily rinse out the pots is handy too. You work fast with jam and when it’s all sealed up and cooling you may hear the seals popping when the vacuum is formed. That’s what keeps it fresh. I see people take a jar from me and open it, if you do that then refrigerate it, the seal is broken and the jam will not stay fresh. I also see people tilting fresh jars and no, don’t, just don’t. The pectin forms overnight, but can take a few days and some jams and jellies can be a looser set, some firm up fully after weeks. Respect the art that goes into it and enjoy it is my advice, Dear Reader.
A good day’s effort.

So, this is my last batch, I have grown so, so much this year, Dear Reader, where one fruit failed another made up for it tenfold. The birds have been dropping seeds for me and I now have a rasp[berry plant and a blackberry plant, both wild, I have ideas about those, but that’s for another time. It’ll be unlikely that I’ll see more apples, how this person had so many is a mystery because everyone is struggling to find any, so I can be free for a while. I’ll carry on composting everything leftover and add it to the bushes again as I have year after year. It pays off, Dear Reader and likely makes a lot of people, myself included, happy. Oh, in talking about happy people, I gave jam to the kids, they’re great kids, and it was two melted together, not ideal for selling, but a delicious way to use up the leftovers if you haven’t enough to fill a jar. You can stack and refrigerate, if they aren’t sealed then storing unrefrigerated wouldn’t be safe, or melt them down as one jam. As I say it’s not perfect, but useful and the kids won’t mind as it won’t last the day likely! I’ll be back again soon, Dear Reader, until then stay safe and take care.

Ingredients

1100g Blackberries, Fresh or Frozen
500g Cooking/Windfall Apples
Granulated Sugar As Needed
500ml Water
Optional: Teaspoon of Butter

Method

Place a plate or saucer in the freezer before starting.
Use strongly flavoured fruits.

1. Cut up the Apples without Coring or Peeling and add to a large pot with the Blackberries, add water and then cover and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the Apples and Blackberries are mush.

2. Remove from the heat and mash using a potato masher until everything has been reduced to pulp. Pour the mixture into a straining bag and let drip overnight.

3. Weigh the juice and add it and equal weight in Sugar to a large, deep pot, cook on a gentle simmer, do not boil, until the Sugar has dissolved.

4. Add the Butter and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for five minutes and test for set (see Below)

(Alternatively alternate stirring clockwise and counter clockwise while boiling to help break up the scum.)

Drop a little of the mixture on a chilled plate and run a finger down the middle, if the Jelly stays divided then it’s ready, if it rolls back then boil again for a minute and retest until desired set has been achieved.

5. Wet Clean Jars and heat in the microwave for one to two minutes until dry. While they sterilise soak the lids in boiling water for a minute or two. Pour the warm Jelly into the prepared Jars while they’re hot then screw on lids and let rest at room temperature overnight.

6. Store in a cool dark place and refrigerate once opened.

Apple Jelly


It was so thick it started to set as I was pouring, no harm, but you have to work so fast.

Yo, Dear Reader, I honestly could’ve sworn I had this recipe typed up, but apparently not. Ah, well, I have now and I’ll have another very similar one following. This is the most basic, traditional recipe for apple jelly, it comes from my own experience and and old book about preserves. It’s one of the more time consuming recipes, but also one of the best to use windfall or sour apples, every batch is as unique as the combinations of fruits. Being able to throw all the apple in, this is important as it is the main source of pectin, I’ll skip the science, I’m not filling a word quota, Dear Reader, just passing on what I know. I’ll copy and paste between recipes, there isn’t much difference and you can mess around with other fruits, just keep the pectin levels of the fruit in mind.
Had some leftover, added it to another later to give to the kids.

The only thing here that might be new is the microwave sterilising, an Uncle told me about it, an avid and practiced Jam maker, and it has stood me well in my years of makin jams. It ensure the jams are piping hot and freshly cleaned, but gets them done faster than heating an oven. Remember to check for cracks at each stage, I clean these several times, when I take them out I check, wash and check, rinse and wet and then heat and recheck before adding jam or jelly. Everything should be hot. Be mindful of how hot boiling jam is too, you’ll get burned once or twice and never want to have that happen in the extreme. Best advice is to have everything ready, hot water to easily rinse out the pots is handy too. You work fast with jam and when it’s all sealed up and cooling you may hear the seals popping when the vacuum is formed. That’s what keeps it fresh. I see people take a jar from me and open it, if you do that then refrigerate it, the seal is broken and the jam will not stay fresh. I also see people tilting fresh jars and no, don’t, just don’t. The pectin forms overnight, but can take a few days and some jams and jellies can be a looser set, some firm up fully after weeks. Respect the art that goes into it and enjoy it is my advice, Dear Reader.

In between drippings I harvested more squash. Three slightly different types.

The great thing about this is it can be made more savoury, the addition of fresh herbs, either boiled with the jam and strained, dipped in boiling water and placed into the jar or chopped and sprinkled before sealing. You can use any apple you like, cooking apples, the harder green apples, I don’ know how universal the name is, crabapples, I’ve used small orange coloured crab apples that made the sweetest jelly. Like I say, have fun with it, Dear Reader, any jam or jelly that fails to set is still edible and if you’re unsure start by using jam sugar to get the method down, knowing both ways is useful. I’ll be back later, Dear Reader, until then stay safe and take care.

Ingredients

Cooking Apples, As Needed or Enough to Fill A large Pot
Granulated Sugar As Needed
Optional: Teaspoon of Butter

Method

Place a plate or saucer in the freezer before starting.
Use strongly flavoured fruits.

1. Cut up the Apples without Coring or Peeling and add to a large pot, add just enough water to cover the base by a few inches then cover and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the Apples are mush.

2. Remove from the heat and mash using a potato masher until everything has been reduced to pulp. Pour the mixture into a straining bag and let drip overnight.

3. Weigh the juice and add it and equal weight in Sugar to a large, deep pot, cook on a gentle simmer, do not boil, until the Sugar has dissolved.

4. Add the Butter and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for five minutes and test for set (see Below)

(Alternatively alternate stirring clockwise and counter clockwise while boiling to help break up the scum.)

Drop a little of the mixture on a chilled plate and run a finger down the middle, if the Jelly stays divided then it’s ready, if it rolls back then boil again for a minute and retest until desired set has been achieved.

5. Wet Clean Jars and heat in the microwave for one to two minutes until dry. While they sterilise soak the lids in boiling water for a minute or two. Pour the warm Jelly into the prepared Jars while they’re hot then screw on lids and let rest at room temperature overnight.

6. Store in a cool dark place and refrigerate once opened.

Up, Up and Garden!

Someone left in a huge box of apples, everyone else is lamenting a lack and here this person had way too many. Making jellies this time around.


This is one of the Canna Indica from seed, I can’ remember what the flowers develop like, this is fun again.


It’s a surpringly large space.


I leveled it more.

Yo, Dear Reader, I may be driving my Dear Readers to distraction with so many posts about this reworking of the Secret Garden, less and less secret I suppose, but I figure those that stay can appreciate the joy within the work. This time of year has been awful for nearly a decade and it has hit me the last few days how much relief this brings. Living with lifelong depression brings a lot of complexity to any joyful moment and even more when trying to share about it, I’m not deep-diving into anything here, Dear Reader, but I’m glad to have a small space and support to just skim of the joy of the day and examine it as itself at my ease, rather than trying to pretend that my feeling aren’t a complex mess of crippling depression and whatever else I’m feeling at all times. My life is in a better place, Dear Reader and I find nothing better to look at than a stretch of garden, so much larger than expected, that will bring joy year round and that was once a junk heap.

These were being thrown away, now they’re ideal for that part.


Moving the fence flowers to the back.


Hard to get poles, from the old tent, into the “ground” here, but with the slope no pots will sit right bar these.


Lots of sun makes for happy plants and dribbly fountains.

I hope everyone an find something in these maundering posts, be it tips, ideas, enjoying photos of nature or dare I say that you have fallen for Jack’s unique charms, no? I’ll just assume you have and are shy and I will be covering my ears and lalalalalala. So, Dear Reader, for now, no point saying anything is complete, I’m done with the major overhaul of the back of the garden, as a friend pointed out there are now three levels to the garden. I suppose for the daredevils out there you could scale the wall and ascend to the fourth level, fall off and into a neighbouring garden and that’s a bonus level. I used up old nails, for securing metal to wood, someone bought one hundred for a handful, to attach the matting to the buried wood and it helped keep it all nice and safe. It’ll be a long time before it’s stoned, I gathered the last of the expensive stones today, one buckets work to help cover the area that’ll house the new berry bushes. I can wait, I’m not great at waiting, so it’ll be a good lesson. Also: I’m not buying what I can get for free.

I found more of the Angel Wing plant. Also two Chrysanthemums. Still have nearly half to fill.


A mishmash of stones.


Still has some rough edges to work out, but looks much nicer now.


The fish flags have been rescued. They tangle if hung too high, I just like them.

I talk about the whole gathering/rescuing thing a lot because it’s too often taken up wrong, upcycling where you use so much extras to make it “Attractive” loses the point of reusing where more waste is created in remaking something. I know there’s a taboo or a social stigma around simple reusing of junked items, but honestly it’s silly to see so much soil, stones and plants thrown into a landfill for what? To mostly never rot, but to take up space and be wasted. I see in cleaning up the cemetery they cut down all the blackberry brambles and wildflowers on the edge of a ditch. What a waste, glad I grabbed the yarrow while I could. There’s so, so much waste and so much ideas about how we should use it, but getting dirty and just accepting that sometimes things are lumpy and ungainly and maybe ugly and that’s perfectly fine. I don’t want to preach, Dear Reader, it’s just sad that there isn’t a better thought process around all of this, imagine if it cold be all divided and categorised and collected as needed. Stones kept out of soil as best they could, bags left for collection, plants and pots lined up rather than smashed. This was once a thing in places, anything unwanted could be left for others to collect and it’s a shame it has fallen off. Don’t mind me, Dear Reader, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and hope it helps something, the insects are everywhere currently so it must be working. Even the wasps are content to leave people be. I’ll be back again later, Dear Reader, until then stay safe and take care.

Mind The Baby!

Mini roses are getting shuffled around.

I love whole roasted young carrots.

I cut off a lot of the chestnut and the light is pouring in now.

Still so many flowers.

Plenty of roses still blooming.

Felt like Summer today.

Yo, Dear Reader, the weather stayed sunny today so I went out to clear more of the back in preparation for the matting, I share all the steps because in time it’ll be impossible to see all the little pieces and progresses that made up the whole. It isn’t anything startling, but it’s so much better than what is was. I was raking the soil today to even it out and snagged the rake on a tile, a perfect condition tile, somehow it survived everything thrown at it and being stood on, it’s a lovely baby blue and, Dear Reader, I have never seen this type of tile before. Seriously, no one here has, we never had this type of tile. I also pulled out an old useless hose, but that’s less of a mystery. I moved pots around and replanted a few bits, there’s so much salvaged plants back there, when I’m done they’ll be displayed better. I’ve been using a compression sleeve on my bad arm, still not right, it locks and flops at different times, I can hold something heavy up, but not bend my arm while holding it. Not a good feeling to have waited so long and to have suffered so much to be damaged after a surgery, Dear Reader, but I’ll keep working the arm to keep it as strong as it can be. I have my compression stocking on most days too, it’s helping so much and I feel silly having waited so long. The way I looked at it was that if my arm gave out when holding onto a huge tree branch I’d have smashed the neighbour’s car so wearing it is better than not. Jack is a tough nut, Dear Reader, just taking everything I can to help fight the pain and other issues, being smart so I can be the best gardener I can. Now, Dear Reader, I’ll leave you in peace, I’m off to see if I can make a tile into a sign with duct tape. Until later, stay safe and take care.


This seems to be the last of the lilies for the year.

My late Uncle’s sedum.

The bees are always busy.

Removed so much ivy too.

Finally planted the poles or columns, pipes if I’m honest.

I don’t even like it, but the toilet brush holder is too funny there not to leave it.

A rose planted in memory of my father.

Waffle Plant is coming back strong.

I thought this would take a year to fill out, but nah, like, what two months?

Boogie Woogie Board

The only one that came out like this.


Considering how bland it was probably for the best.


White Anemone are getting strong. Started as nubs years ago.


It’s caught in the pea netting and I have to work around it.


Amended from the hotbin composter. I added insect mesh and a wire panel to stop it clogging and it’s perfect now.


A brighter shot of the En Suite Garden.


It really has all the trappings.

Yo, Dear Reader, we were blessed with a Summery day, unexpected as it rained torrentially at night and was cloud at the day’s start. I love these unexpected days to get out and start something in the garden, or in this case resume something. I had an idea about clearing out the rougher side of the Secret Garden, yes, it’s all rough, what is now known as the En Suite Garden, it has all the trapping of a bathroom buried under it after all, looks well so I thought I’d go a little further now the ground, “ground”, has settled a little. I took out an assortment of rescued plants, they grow so well, a friend wondered if being neglected a little then being pampered spurs them on and now I wonder too. And looked around, pulling out a mesh trellis that was supposed to be covered in sweet peas, that are alive and still small, no idea why, odd year, and realised the ground, junk covered in dirt, has settled enough to walk on easily. As I left I pulled out more old wood to start evening things, setting them where the matting will cover and the pots will sit and one warped board almost threw me, then I stood on it and rocked back and forth because it just seemed too silly not to be fun, my boogie woogie board. I’ll need to wait, which I hate, Dear Reader, yes I’m aware I’m being childish, nyeh!, for more pegs, but it’ll open up the back even more and I’ll be able to keep the weeds under control and fix the rose as needed. Thought I had too much matting, turns out I had just enough.

My friends at the top of the stairs.


Had to bag the roses again as the bottoms were removed then I changed things and well, I am my own worst enemy.


This was dangerous only a few months ago, lot of weight on it has helped it flatten out.


The dahlias are still getting taller.

It’s not all long winded description of oddly named garden sections you know, Dear Reader, no, it’s also long winded description of odd squash. I cut open the green squash and revealed a near white interior, which looks like a spaghetti squash somewhat, has to be an odd hybrid. It was really tasteless, but has this incredible creamy texture, as it had been blitzed with bream and then set somehow. I made curry with some, fried some and made a mash and onion mixture that may be made in squash, or curry or whatever as the months roll on. That’s part of the pleasure, Dear Reader, using what you’ve grown in all manner of ways and also trying to figure out how best to utilise anything’s unique attributes. The second squash, the greyish green one was another animal, er vegetabl…ummm, fruit entirely, I held the knife, well sharpened, and pressed, and leaned in and finally smashed a palm into it with no small amount of force. Tough isn’t the word, Dear Reader. Inside it was yellow, with a firmer flesh and when fried had a lovely slightly, sweet taste. I meant to make some pancakes or muffins with it, but I haven’t yet. I have more coming and more to use, but no rush, never rushing again, Dear Reader. I’ll keep you updated, there’s a piebald set that look to be half and half of two different squash, but blended enough to be stranger than two-tone. Funny how it feels more like Summer with all the harvest coming in, whereas the weather some days makes it feel like Winter. Ah, well, I’ll roll with it, Dear Reader, as best I can. I’ll be back again later, might have taken the field by then, until then stay safe and take care.

The aloe revived and the Waffle Plant is growing.


The self-started sunflower.


Gonna be messy while I shuffle things around.


Just set the matting there to measure, need to pin and tuck and wait…

Back Making Gardening

I did this in two halves, the first half was in the rain.


This is pre-path. Wasn’t sure how solid it was.


I have a lot of little things that’ll be touched up, a better step up is one.

Yo, Dear Reader, the clean up of the back is progressing well, I went out today to use up most of my supplies apparently, I have plenty of matting, but I used up all my pegs and masonry nails, a godsend as it turned out, so I have more todo yet, but I’ll have to wait and you know me, Dear Reader, I’ll fill in the time with figuring out ways to make more of the space without paying any more money. It’s a large area, awkward too, but I have a lot of experience in putting down weed control fabric. The biggest task was getting it to completely smother the weeds I couldn’t remove, that’s where the nails come in, they helped attached the matting to an old fire pit, the large square section, I had to cut and over lap neatly and thought it looks thrown down, it’s all carefully places and doubled checked. I even nailed the matting to the boards helping supress the weeds, that’d be chucked otherwise. I’m not buying stones, but I’ll try to scrounge up some over time. It doesn’t need them, but they’d help level pots and make it look better.

That’s the Winter project. Heaven help me, Dear Reader.


The mirror was getting blocked so I popped it in here.


The rose has really taken to the arch.


This looks pretty good, this is the where the worse of the weeds are.


The end of part one.

Next up is trying the impossible, it all felt like that, Dear Reader, once upon a when. I want to run netting across the back, which requires climbing over the wall, more possible now, well later when the nettles die back, and managing the drop, I’ll use a ladder, I’m not fool, Dear Reader, my knees would explode. It’ll be tough and might not be hugely successful, but with this whole are I think that a quest for perfection would’ve killed the dream of this being better long before it ever started. It’s hard to describe, but the rose is about three thirds, might even be more, the length of this section, which is lumpy junk smothered, but there’s a good foot or two behind it that’s been filled with nettle seeds from the field behind. There’s a wall running between my garden and the field and I think if I attach matting to that it might work to supress a lot of the, they’re so firmly established nothing short of weed killer, or a bomb, would put a dent in them, I’ve yanked handfuls, but it’s pointless. So I’d basically have matting running over, but hovering and not anchored on one side. Can’t hurt to think on and try if I have some left over.

And the start of a path is born.


I put the trays there for a moment and they balanced on the wood beneath so well I left them.


I had to double check that I wouldn’t go tumbling, almost did when I tripped on a board.


See? It’s running over it so fast.

Long post tonight, Dear Reader, real Autumn work, but enjoyable on the whole. Next up I mat the path I’ve somehow scratched out, with a shovel and a sledgehammer, and a lot of careful stepping if I’m honest, Dear Reader, but it’ll mean you can step into whatever this area is, no name as of yet, it’ll come in due time, and into the Secret Garde, the old entrance will be more open after the dahlias blocking it die back, but I may seal it with honeysuckle, undecided yet really. To think on it I’ve never seen it in Winter in this new configuration. I only started this year to clear it out and it has been a lot of work. Worth it, but a lot of work. I’ll have to give it a break at some point, but when I do it I have to do it properly, always paid to be fastidious, Dear Reader, if I put the matting down sloppily it’ll let the weed grow through the cracks and I may trip over it. It’ll change a lot in the coming months, which is why I like sharing it as it changes, Dear Reader, it’s nice to look back at what was and appreciate how far it has come. I’ll back again later, Dear Reader, might have a new recipe or two, ones I can’t use, but will be worth sharing I hope. I’ll let you know, until then, Dear Reader, stay safe and take care.

I’m So Glad You’re Here

First harvest is resting in the shed.


Inside the orchids are happily sprouting new shoots.


Orchids are great, really odd growers, but great.


Uchiki Kuri is a good cropper.


They almost look unripe, but it’s just the odd colouration.

Yo, Dear Reader, the time has come again, no no, not to talk incessantly about the back garden’s progress, that’ll come later, have no fear. No, the time to start the squash harvest, should just be two stages this year, well, I have started, you weren’t there and I had to lug these really heavy squash, they’re big and dense, all by myself. Every year I just think to myself that I’m glad they grew, squash were what pushed me to do so much with the garden. I wanted flowers for the bees and I wanted them to set fruit desperately and my first year was the worst weather possible for them and still they grew. A small miracle to someone on a restricted diet as I’m sure you can imagine, Dear Reader, they might not be my firm favourite, but I’m going to enjoy them. I’ll preserve them as puree for baking as usual, but I think I’ll blanch some if they turn out to be the less sweet yellow flesh variety. They’re likely a delicata cross, but with what is hard to say, something green and speckled. Which could be a multitude of squash and pumpkins. What makes it truly interesting is that until I open one up, not for a few days yet, I won’t know what they are and until I eat one I’ll have no clue how good or bad they’ll taste and the best part? If they’re incredible, like my first ever hybrid a few years ago that looked like a pumpkin butternut and tasted like a harlequin, producing so, so much heavy fruit, well, you can never replicate that. Any seeds are already different from the parent plant. I just wanted to share this small joy, Dear Reader, not all that exciting, but when the first crop was killed by frost and I had to get ready for surgery I somehow managed to get these growing, hardened off and transplanted. That they’re such an odd mishmash of attributes is perfect really. I can take my time and enjoy them too which is a boon. I’ll be back soon, Dear Reader, until then stay safe and take care.

All these are just Snakeplants to me.


This one has a yellow “crown”.


For the first time in two years or so the gasteria has shed and old leaf. Yes, it grows that slow.


This one looks bad, but it’s just way more yellow.


This looks like all of them combined.

Pull! Pull! Pull? PULL?!

I’ll be jumping around to level it as I check it out.


That might be a path, or a deathtrap, time will tell.

Yo, Dear Reader, I’d say I’m likely going to shut up about this area soon, but that’d be a lie and I’d never lie to you. It’s a bit of shared fun is how I see it, I actually went out with just a single idea to cut the mattress a bit and that failed at the onset, it’s too old and mangled, so I started to pull it and pull it and just twisted and yanked until it was free and I realised I had to get rid of it now, but it also dawned on me that I had the final thorn in my side gone and this side was mine. I ended up doing more work than I realised, I was having fun and got carried way. The wood went over the weeds and I raked all the soil and debris around, cleaning as I went, to get it level as I could, much better than expected to be honest, Dear Reader. I laid the tarps and nailed them to the wood, next it’ll be matted properly.

Okay, Honeysuckle, you’ll have to wind around pots.


Somehow there was nothing I couldn’t dig past to bury these.

I pulled out the old support railing, not leaving it in, it just cracked me up, and I saw a pipe, a large pipe and started to pull and I kept pulling, it seemed endless and after nearly ten feet or more of pipe I had it out and had no idea what to do with it. It was surpringly clean. I think had an idea, I sawed off part of it and removed an elbow connector, yes, I will use that too in time, Dear Reader, and buried them in either side of the,, well entrance is generous, the step up area, filling them with junk and old wood as I went. I had spray paint I didn’t get to use so that went on after a quick wash down. They look silly, but fun, better than wasting them. I’m going to plant in them in time. I have two pots inserted into them to block the soil running out. Funnily I intended to remove the cistern daylilies, far too much soil for such small plants, or so I thought, the roots were huge and had filled the cistern, back in they went. So, these night be deep, but the right plant will thrive in them. They’re sturdy, but I need to make sure no one starts grabbing at them. I may yet need to put a railing in for real like the other side. So, the impossible has been achieved, I may yet even be able to make a little trail down to the Secret Garden via, well, it has no designation, it’s under a chestnut tree so that might play a part in it. More work in there yet, I need to replant some of the plants into the bag planters for stability, seems to be a wind trap. It’s an odd area, but it’s nice to talk about it being improved, it isn’t anything major, but it’s still world’s better than it was. I’ll be back later, Dear Reader, until then stay safe and take care.

This is a heartening sight.

These pots are always falling, so they may need to be replaced by bags too.

Just Kick It Down

These might be the only other dahlias that vary between blooms, less white this time.


I am so sorry about your ears! Four rabbit’s feet and no luck, I’ll fic him later.


Slowly it’ll become more easily scaled. Filthy right now.


This was hideous once, give me time.

Yo, Dear Reader, I seem to be destined to return to the back this whole year, I started in January I think, I’ve shared a lot and I won’t bother repeating, but it was piled high with junk, the main section became what is now know as the Secret Garden, but the other side was trickier, the fence was still standing and there’s likely most of a bathroom in there. So, I took the easier way out and just put pots over it, cleaning it a bit here and there, smothering invasive weeds as best I could. Just the other day I managed to climb up into it and shuffle around and I thought that’d be enough, but, Dear Reader, I realised I’m having fun, there’s no rush now and I want it make it decent. So today I cut away some of the fence to help me step up, party way the saw got stuck and I was at a crossroads, I could just keep sawing and make it easier to get down or I could kick it out and tear off the boards with my bare hands, you can imagine how quickly I chose that fork, Dear Reader. The fence is mostly collapsed and when I started going up and down, dancing a jig to see if it were sturdy, might be standing on the bath, and as I tucked in tarps and adjusted pots an incline formed, so took away some jutting plastic, a deadly wire and some ivy roots, they’re so strong and then I pulled out a sink stand. Perfectly fine, but invisible until them. I could dig deeper, but right now there’s a balance in there and the next steps are clear to me.

The tricky part will be matting over everything there. Fun though.


It’s not all junk you know!


When uniformly matted it’ll look better.


I just started pulling and out it came.

Now, I will say, Dear Reader that had I a lot of money I could’ve rent a digger, pay off the person who owns the field behind my house to dig everything out, that’s be the idealised version that people who’d never do it anyway would go along with. That’d have killed the rose that grows there, has for twenty or thirty years, it’d have mad a flat section sure, but right now I have a secret nook, filled with ivy and all kinds of plants and a rose that’s spreading rapidly now over an arch. I have insects everywhere in there and it isn’t pretty exactly, still wild too the nettles will always come sadly, but it’s so much more then it was a and I haven’t had to kill anything to get it here. I’m also wasting as little as I can, the boards will help secure the matting, which will make it all look more uniform, the weeds will smother enough to be manageable I hope, I thought about weed killer, but again I’d rather not kill anything good. The honeysuckle is wending its way over the old mattress, stuck I fear, but I did see the rose has grown through as if it exploded inside. It’s no one idea of perfect, but from a junk heap to a garden you can sneak into and vanish and in time one you can climb up into it won’t be so bad, will it, Dear Reader? n time I’ll fill it with huge grasses and just have fun. I’ll be back later, hopefully I won’t have restarted this again, until then stay safe and take care.

In and out I go, leveling it as best I can.


The rose is filling up the arch much faster than expected.


I’ll preserve the raspberry, might be able to just yank it up pot and all.


That’s the end wall, once I get that nailed down those weeds won’t be as strong.

Record Turnabout

Achillea Sedum, it came damaged, but it’s alive and I almost pulled it as a weed.


They were hidden, but they’ll be ideal for Winter, for now they can stay out.


Sure it might be ugly….no that’s it.

Yo, Dear Reader, I mentioned my plan to put berry bushes in trugs into the back on the righthand side, literally atop rubbish, lord love anyone new to the blog this must be gibberish, and today I made progress towards that goal, I went in moved pot, I put down tarp to control the invasive weeds, I stepped down with great difficulty, put trugs up and climbed up, with slightly less difficulty, and managed to get them all in place, yes, Dear Reader, I made it finally it was done. Then I stepped out, took a deep breath and dismantled the salad tent and took them all out and put them there instead…yes, you know me, Dear Reader, many ideas are bouncing around in my head and in looking at things this was just the better solution, the salad tent will be repurposed, no waste, just a rework to usefulness, it was never great, but because of it I started clearing out that area. I am my own worse enemy, Dear Reader, but I am happier with this and whenever I get this old bathtub it’ll be the perfect spot in there. It’s extremely uneven, I was pulling at the old mattress and my leg just sunk into nothing and I just figured I’ll tarp and leave it for now. The honeysuckle is heading over that so I’ll guide it and give me Winter die back of the weeds under the tarp and I’ll make it better bit by bit. It was hideous and now it has potential. I just made sure to saw away the old fence I need to climb over to get in, in time I’ll make a step up somehow.

It’ll take time, I have to keep adapting as it changes.


No idea if they’ll even grow never mind ripen.


Half of these were recued flowers, all evergreens or all year colour at least.


The tent was too large and too short and this is better.

I’ve actually pre-ordered my berries, a mishmash of bareroot fruit bushes, Raspberry All Gold, Boysenberry, Loganberry, Strawberry-Raspberry (Balloon Berry) and Sunberry, which they were vague about but looks like a raspberry. I just want to have fun and having the garden set in stone would be antithetical to that ideal. I know the back will sink again, I had to saw away some old plastic jutting out and remove the poles that had planters on them, even the pots in there needed to be rammed into place because they kept tumbling. Hence the reason I keep fixing it, Dear Reader, any wind and everything tumbles. I’ve matted it several times, but I don’t mind doing that again to keep that weed at bay. I just want it full of green and it only started this year, but you know me, Dear Reader, that popular refrain made to absolve me of any silliness, I want it done yesterday when I’m the one doing it. It’s working out though, the rose is already spreading over the arch, making the whole space feel so much greener and I have planters set in place with bulbs for Spring colour, with the strange weather the young hollyhock is already re-growing at the base. I found the mystery plant is actually the Tiger Flower too, I’ve only seen them do this much blooming once, they seem to do like the Nerines and bloom every other year. I’ll need to clean them up soon, I have some spaces for bulbs planned and with no metaphorical timer hanging above my head I feel like I’m enjoying it more when I can get out. Probably a strange post on the whole, Dear Reader, but my garden is what it is, funnily enough I realised that if the old bath goes in there, apparently it’ll be light steel, I might’ve thought it’d be heavier and I’d have to drag it in somehow, I’d do it, but It’d hurt, it’ll possible be over the bath stuck in there under everything. Not every garden has two baths, Dear Reader, not that I want to brag, but you know. Heh. I’ll be back later, Dear Reader, until then stay safe and take care.

If you see a primrose, know I have never bought a single one.