Building Better Everything

Cutting the poles was a pain, but I’m happy with how sturdy it is.

Bought this when I was buying more cheap weigh plates, sadly they’re now done, for cutting and now ecided I’ll use it for the front flowers.

An old poppy I pulled from the rose garden, plenty there still.

Daffodils are sluggish, but appearing finally.

I guess you’re never really finished improving, it just becomes smaller and smaller changes.

Birds in a bush, thought it was already fully open, but no.

Yo, Dear Reader, the weather is still at an uncertain stage so I’m just getting everything ready so if it changes for the better I can get started planting seeds without delay. We did have one glorious day that even reduced the swelling in my joints so I could get out and move more. I will say that though I started the weightlifting as away to help my arm it has helped with the arthritis and has kept me in garden condition. When you get one or two fine days in a few weeks you want to get out and do everything you can and stiff and painful joints are one hindrance, but being out of condition is a whole other. I’m not going to be ripped or even all that different, but it is helping and much like everything I do it’s not about aesthetics, but about the effect on my body. I had a reminder of how bad things were when a joint cream I bought turned out to have a nightshade extract, with such along name I missed it at first. A sign I am doing a lot of things right, Dear Reader, but also a warning of how little leeway I have.

No idea what the little green mound is.

Took a lot of rotating to see how it may fit.

Tulips are blooming already.

A bit rain beaten, but doing fine.

All that soil taken out and you’d swear it was still level.

I’ll split it into three for each type.

I can’t tell you just how much soil I took up in preparation for the potatoes, I’ll gradually fill it back in to hill them up, but no matter what I took up it never seemed to diminish that much, but is so soft I sunk straight down when I stepped in. I’m going to take some out again, after years of amending with compost it has risen far too much, and I’ll combine that with perlite and whatever else I have to hand. I mostly look at he nature of the soil, in this case it’s no longer heavy, but still retains a good bit of water and compacts, so I’ll lighten and amend and grow in it this year. I have plenty of the bag planters leftover, they’re really useful for storage in small garden sheds. The soil in the bed is now better than what I can buy, but I don’t want to take too much at a time, not because it’ll run out, but because I have no room for that many pots, Dear Reader!

Holds a lot, but no too many so the weight is fine.

Dogwood is finally outside for good. Not bad for an inch cutting that was being tossed.

Stuffed into a bottomless coal scuttle over a stump and they’re the largest and most prolific I have.

Skimmia from the skip.

Mini cherry blossom.

I’m spending a lot of time thinking of the things that need to be fixed up and I’m starting to run out because it’s been so many years and I’ve been like this since the start, I will say that the long, deep staging, I’ve never looked up why they call it that over a shelf if I’m honest, makes me sound wise, was a good buy, but couldn’t keep up what I needed it for, now thanks to a little fixing and improvising it’s perfectly sturdy. The leftover pieces, well some, I have a lot of small poles because they were too short so I instead cut he longer ones to size, made a near useless stand, which I somehow aligned beneath the other staging, the one with a cover that’s supposed to fit the wide, deep staging, none of those covers ever fit well, they’re all too tight, and now that too is sturdier. I tend to over fill it because it holds the most heat so it made sense to fic that over the other. The final new thing is the storage boxes as seed starting trays. I’ll still use the old chicken trays, but I needed more and these were ideal. Once the weather warms and brightens there should be plenty of beautiful blooms to see, I’ll hope you’ll stick with me at least until then, Dear Reader. I’ll be back again soo, until then stay safe and take care.

Kiwi was indeed hardy.

Clematis, everything feels too soon this year.

Don’t know how that got in there.

The Rambler has reached this far.

Didn’t mark the cabbages first this time, I’m learning, slow but steady.


Xtreme Peas

The oldest rhubarb which is twenty or thirty years old I guess…maybe more.

Must’ve gotten more of the grape hyacinth because they’re everywhere.

Nice and sturdy and ready for the netting.

Gooseberry is getting older and that’ll mean fruit in time.

Must’ve been a deal sometime.

Yo, Dear Reader, the weather is still in a flux, but I felt heat in the greenhouse a few times so that’s promising, if it’s warm enough to heat it and for it to stay hot I can start getting more pots ready for seeds, right now would be a waste, but with the way the weather is I could be good to go in a week or back to snow. I’m still gathering up supplies, every year I add something to help things go smoother or faster, funnily I just found out the staging that doesn’t need work, still waiting on my newer set to modify the wide one, is actually here longer than the greenhouse. Eight years and it gave me my starting in growing from seed. Back in the days when I knew so very little, Dear Reader, and now, after so much work, worrying and learning I can firmly say I haven’t learned a single thing. Heh…sorry, can’t resist that joke. It’s a durable piece of kit to last so long & still going strong.

The slow and delicate, well compared to the ancient one and the monster, champagne rhubarb.

The ball just forms naturally, no matter how you divide it.

Had to check, but yeah I tossed a tray of bulbs in there an they weren’t bluebells after all.

Mostly cabbage, but I’ll see.

The sun approved and stuck around for a while.

I decided to get the pea frame up, just one again this year, I’ll be starting the peas inside as the last few years, last year was especially awful, have not been kind to direct sown peas. I think I enjoy putting it together far more than the process merits. I just like to see how sturdy you can make something with twine and bamboo canes. The eight feet poles have been used too alongside the seven feet, if the peas start this year they’ll be very tall so this is even more suitable than usual. I just grab and pull to se how strong it is and I could leave it over Winter, probably forever, Dear Reader, it’s strong, but I like to dig the whole bed a few times before the start of the next growing season. I bought plastic tent pegs for marking so they won’t get lost in the soil and I can reuse them. I then decided on the potato space and the cabbage, the one with the arches, I’ll also pop a few more onions in too. I need the potato area dug out before I mark the cabbages, did that in the wrong order last year, so I can add the soil back over. It’ll come together, Dear Reader, bit by bit and inch by inch. Just hope we get warmer weather soon. I’ll be back again soo, Dear Reader, until then stay safe and take care.

Some of the rescued roses that have struggled at times.

A shame they don’t grow taller so you could smell them easier.

Going to be a good year for daffodils.

First bluebell.

Dogwood is being hardened off and is sprouting again at the base.

Shark Mode and K’nex Brain

Took a few photos of the garden to reference in the future.

Hyacinth before bluebells.

Awkward o get it together, but so so strong.

Getting the sun feels so much better.

Garlic has gotten frost and snow so it should be a good crop.

What I found over the years has shaped how it all came together.

Yo, Dear Reader, despite the pictures, taken a few days apart, we’ve actually had snow, well slush that didn’t melt right away, thankfully no ice, I have had a flare up of arthritis and don’t want to add another fall to my litany of pains. Of of the most inexplicable things about it is that I am better in motion than staying stationary, though many make the mistake that I’m dine when going, but it’s exhausting, I jokingly call it Shark Mode because I feel like I’ll die if I stop, thankfully I had a project and the weather cooperated. I’ve been think and researching on the best way to raise the greenhouse staging, of rather the floor. I’m going to go for a free option, but in thinking about raising the shelves I started to think on how the taller they are the less structurally sound they become and many aren’t that stable. I ended up thinking of everything I could use to increase the strength and stability , but with what I had to hand, at first at least, and as that was at twenty past twelve in the nigh I figured I’d start the next day, Dear Reader, just seemed sensible.

The tall rose, not sure if it’s really a climber, glad the cutting took as the original is long gone.

You’d be surprised when you need a photo of the garden in any given year.

Tried to remember where I got the board to make the bed and I remember I found them and one of the spreading plants.

Primroses are such lovely spots of colour.

Trying to get the holly cuttings out of the greenhouse, but then snow hit.

From a cutting to this huge rhizome. ZZ Plants are tough.

The staging is rods and long connectors and I had spares for the thin long one, the one I want to fix is the longer wider one, but needed a tester first. I figured if I could get a centre piece set up like the sides then it should be stronger, but how was the question, Dear Reader. I grew up playing with K’nex and if it taught me anything it’s that you’ll never have enough pieces and that a few millimeters can lead to failure if it goes too far. So I drilled a hole through a side piece, to allow a pole to slide through, then I jammed the drill in and around because the bit was a hair to small. Then an oil and slide and I started. Each long piece requires two short poles and another long piece on top, part way I realised I’d run out of short poles, swear I started with enough. So, I have up, Dear Reader, hah, I took a long spare and zip-tied a short on to it and cut it with a hacksaw. The rest was gentle tapping aged plastic with a rubber mallet, one piece shattered, but the rest was mercifully fine, the aligning this, remember this is all seat of the pants stuff. Up and up I went until it was done, a few snips made the shelving mesh sit stable and there it was: Proof I could do it again with the larger one! Also a better shelf.

Looking back at when this was a junk heap and it’s startling.

Hard to imagine two days of wet snow and then it came back to sunshine.

The roses have been snowed on which may help with troublesome insects.

Simple, but took some thinking out.

Funny how the dahlias just seem to disappear in the Spring.

Foxglove is reliable.

One issues was whether the big pots would slide in between the new pole and the edges, they did, funnily I saw them advertised recently at nearly double the cost, these were four Euro with a base, and a third of the size! I nearly fell over, Dear Reader, the shock of it was so funny. Thankfully I had enough and also thankfully they fit. I removed a level from a taller staging that is also a composite and stronger thanks to the extra poles, the base was broken, but it was too tall anyway and I bought one that’ll be spare parts of the largest and wobbliest shelf. They’re long lasting and good value for money, but they are not strong, Dear Reader, I have basil to grow and seeds to start, but should have these strengthened first, all fitting well. I will get o raising the floor in time, but for now I wait to fix up the biggest and see how it’ll fare. I may make it a double centred one, depending on how the pots fit, lots of careful thinking rather than rushing in, Dear Reader. I also made some better hoops for the tomatoes with the leftover poles, old hose and a few bamboo poles. Things are getting there, Dear Reader, and I’m glad the weather is cooperating on days I need it. I’ll be back again soon, Dear Reader, until later, stay safe and take care.

Tilted Bebop and accidently startled myself walking by.

Grape hyacinth.

To think this wasn’t goin to be dug out and yet here we are.

I was going to buy connectors and nah.

Slowly getting tidy.

Everything loves the sun.

A little shuffling and it looks better, cramped, but it always is.

The front is slowly getting greener.

Rapt Wren

Never stayed still so long before.

Second orchid of the year to rebloom is the white one.

These are always so striking.

The sheen is more illusion, in bright light it was duller. The bucket is an old hanging basket that needed a better use.

Anomalous Peony popping up, never saw the flower, but I should this year.

Onions are down and I found two potatoes I missed that were sprouting, I’ll grow them in pots for a few.

Yo, Dear Reader, I think this is the first day in a few weeks where the sun shone for a while, wish I was being facetious, but this is Ireland and this is common. Right now the tabloids are going full steam ahead on a killer snowstorm that isn’t coming and hasn’t in the last six years or so since we had snow, but bless their hearts they’re sure that hey can drum up enough interest to keep themselves afloat by sheer outrage and fear, same as usual with them really. Yes, it’ll be cold in March even if it was warm, same as usual, I’d like actual weather reports to plan by, Dear Reader, but all they say is a warm wind somewhere will blow a cold on here and that doesn’t get the onions planted. I hear about food shortage hitting us here so often, but no one wants to grow our own food no matter how little work is can be or much land people have, as someone who really care about all of this it’s tiring, Dear Reader, because people do not care and they should, they should’ve cared when it was other countries struggling, but whatever the out rage of the week is that’s what I’ll hear over and over. Jack is cranky, Dear Reader, sorry for being a moaning blogger, but I’ll try to also be positive here as well. As for the garden right now? Well

75+ year peony popping up.

Either a wonky hyacinth or a pink bluebell, not much difference really.

Wild blackberries really prioritize rooting new plants, grew in a scant bit of soil.

They’re killing the mother plant from what I hear to tidy up a green area, hence me being so cranky, Dear Reader.

This one is putting on a show now.

Anemone are having a good year, unlike last year.

Another week or two and it should be lovely.

I stopped the ever elusive wren and it alighted on a fence looking at me, I’m very attractive al all animals, Dear Reader, dogs try to walk with me instead of their owner, like a magnetic force, but getting a photo of this small bird has proved a near impossible task. I just stood there and tried to figure out what to do to hold it’s attention and no word of a lie I said cheese and it just stayed put, just cheeeeese and I had its attention fully. Birds must know me by now and I’d swear I saw a bee out too, but I may be mistaken. I do se a lot of bulbs popping up, a set I bought using a giftcard, a very limited one, but there was a garden center option, last year or the year before rather, are finally starting to flower. I do wonder how many just get thrown away instead of being planted in common areas owned by these “green” businesses. Give them to me, I’ll use ’em. Generous to a fault, that’s me, Dear Reader. My latest acquisitions are finished with the baby bath getting sprayed and filled, they had bareroot roses, only three Euro, which is twice what I used to pay many years ago why I remember this is because I’m cheap, but they’re just “hybrid tea” no names. A rose is a rose and they call them climbers, but I have wild roses and cultivated ones don’t compare in length so it’ll be fine in the tub. I’m gearing up to get to filling pots, I have the bag planters again, useful for storing, if awkward to fill, which will take up a good chunk of time. Won’t be long now before we really feel Spring weather, at least I hope so, Dear Reader. Until later, stay safe and take care.

I did get in there to pin it to the frame, for such a wild rose it has really large yellow/orange flowers.

For a chunk of woody stem I hacked off it has grown well.

Apple trees are budding again.

Kiwi seems to be budding.

Raspberry is really budding and growing.

Yesterday’s Enemies, Today’s Greenhouse

Lovely to see the Secret Garden gaining some colour.

Raspberry I put in the firepit before it was even near what it is now and whoops?

A plant that ws being tossed I was given, think it may be Spurge.

Second bloom for this amaryllis.

Saw the iris hen the foxglove that’s getting large.

Both roses are much larger than they have any right to be. The front red spots are the purple rose.

Tulips in the back that was such an eyesore is still marvelous.

First of the orange centred daffodils, they’re actually mini, but I like the photo.

Trough raises those planters so they aren’t so hidden. No work needed there thankfully.

Yo, Dear Reader, it’s been a really dead spell in the garden, the weather is stuck in overcast and vacillating between humid and damp, naturally I’m out and about as much as I can be and I’m makin use of whatever I can lay my hands on to improve, or at the least change the garden. Thankfully my back is mostly back, heh, to normal, thank you for the concern, Dear Reader, it appreciated, I went back along that road and the sheet of plastic was still there, so I figured on the way home I’d grab it, then after leaving the shop I was given a lift home. Again I went and there it was still, this time I brought it back. I mentioned the back panels of the greenhouse that were getting discoloured, they were cut from a cold-frame that literally fell in on itself. I assume they’re small, every time I’d swear they’re a few inches and nope, nearly two food at the bottom. I was going to pop them out and try to fix the plastic in, could be cut with a scissors despite being thick, but I noticed the panels were corrugated and when I scraped it away, Dear Reader, the inner part was fine, so off I go scraping and clearing, cutting the new panels and setting them in with silicone, over silicone and putty, it’s ungainly, but durable, and there it stood, looking like I did nothing at all. Still it’s brighter now.

I bought a lot of random bulbs on sale and am always surprised when plants appear I don’t remember buying.

Used to be that was the entrance to the Secret Garden, when it was a small path in and out.

Traffic cones are starting to bud all over the country, nature is wonderful.

Birds-in-a-bush, new to me.

I guess done well means you can’t tell.

So pretty and huge.

Went out to see how they fared over the Winter and really well apparently.

Work it in the long run, not the falling part mind.

Next up, yes this is a series, Dear Reader, from trash to…at least useful trash, I was asked while barely awake if I wanted a trough and a sink and yes I said yes. The trough turned out to be a shallow raised one, which oddly fit to the millimeter into the space I wanted it and raised the obscured pots just right. The sink is a little more work, the plug hole was the same diameter as a tree stake I had, it was a stained green, tossed in a shed for years won’t do much for the complexion, Dear Reader, but I had a white varnish, from some other project, that covered it and made it a clean white, all to be stuffed into a garden and to get dirty, but I like to do things right, or close to it. The I had to get a stand, you may remember I pulled it from the back before it was anything other than a junk heap, sitting on “soil”, no idea what it is under the top layer and I don’t look too close, then I hammered the stake in, cut it so the sink sat on the stand and fitted tight to the stake and tada I have a sink with an aubretia, free last year because it was dead, sitting in a dead spot. It’ll look better as the ivy and honeysuckle grow over, but it covers that part of the fence I couldn’t remove. The fence was to hold back the junk and instead people tossed things a few feet in front of that and the whole back became a mess. Never again, Dear Reader, any junk here is now functional. I also have a baby bath that’s being sprayed bronze or gold, I’m bad with colours, and will be stuffed under The Rambler near the larger bath to brighten up that dull spot. They’re threatening me with cold weather, Dear Reader, so I’m just taking it slower right now than I’d like. It is what it is, Dear Reader, I’ll do what I can and it’ll all add up just the same. I’ll be back again soon, stay safe and take care.

Carefully scraped and prepared and you can’t tell…

The Rambler is turning green again.

Teeny Cherry Blossoms.

Cutting this back was a mistake I’ll never repeat.

Sink is set and pig is relaxed.

New Bleeding Heart, hoping for a white one as it was a mixed pack.

Dogwood stays in until the weather turns warmer.

I will forever have a soft spot for the plants that were left to die, this iceberg rose was almost dead in the shops, many years ago.

Shifting Soil and Souls

Back Rose Clone is suddenly coming to life in a big way.

Why I never did it this way, less stretching, is a mystery. Maybe I tried it when it was only one block high. Not one unbroken block in this.

WAs going to say look at the Bluebell Ring, but you can’t see the ring now…it’s all junk soil, invasive bluebells and a barrel top. Wasn’t so pretty before.

Curry plant snuck into the barrel and is now lodged in firmly.

Some of the rose cuttings were lost, but others are fine. It’s all a gamble after all.

Irises popping up en masse.

Little spots of colour are appearing all over.

Yo, Dear Reader, things are slowly moving forward, there are nearly invisible milestones to the garden, every year when the Wormery comes back out that means serious seed planting will soon commence. I have taken to treating all the various composters as just variations on each other and that has been vastly more successful than going by the sales pitch that each manual contains, usually that you need “Bulking Agent” but not just any “Bulking Agent”, no, their specific one. I share this, Dear Reader, because capitalism sells you old ways repackaged in new shiny packaging that works less efficiently, and people like the lie, I do not. The wormery doesn’t need “nests”, worms don’t need beds or any separate areas, nor do I need all that much garden lime when I have eggshells, I don’t need coir or bark because I have shredded brown paper, the hot bin needs turning, but not weird accelerants, that are mostly manures, that will create heat and the temperature will rise…at the top of the bin which is where the built in thermometer is.

Wish it were brighter for them to open fully.

Green and purple.

Bottomless bucket, I hammer a pole over it with a mallet so I could drive it down without breaking it, then I remove soil and plant a tomato, then hill up to get more roots and in time remove the bucket.

Bleeding Heart.

ZZ Plant less of a baby now.

Tile samples found a new use.

This is the furthest I’ve gotten with purple sprouting broccoli.

I dislike all this waffle, piffle, bu…family friendly blog, right, Dear Reader, because it stops people from doing good for the Earth, it scares them into thinking it’s a complex process, it is, but it’s a very forgiving one that can be learned by anyone. I have steamy bins and lots of worms because I stopped second guessing what was working. I have learned to respect the life in the bins too, every worm is gathered when they fall, a small life but each a valuable one. I used gloved hands to take out all the compost, that the manual seems to think magically separates, the worm’s home and food supply, but yes they’d just abandon it as suits the gardener, sure, so I couldn’t hurt one, that I mixed with shredded paper and kitchen waste and refilled the trays. I’ve made compost tea and this year put the compost in a mesh that sat in another bin overnight so the worms could escape and not be drown when I added the tea to a bag and submerged it. I even washed the mesh I added to the wormery in the tea to get all the good from it. It’s sad that there is often a right and straightforward way to do good for the Earth, Dear Reader, but so many dislike the invisible aspect of it. You can tell I’m grouchy, Dear Reader, but I know you’ll forgive or at least forget. Things are coming back to life in a big way and I’ll be busier soon. It’s been eight years blogging already and I’m glad at least somewhere the work is seen and every soul involved is credited. I’ll be back again later, Dear Reader, until then stay safe and take care.

When the stick is there, things are stinky.

Those grape hyacinth have been here a while.

New stones are cleaner, this is the way the cold-frame window was. Maybe I had pots in front once, I forget.

Worms get a warmer spot and a tight cover because all these “inventions” aren’t waterproof in the slightest and should be.

I was confused until I realised this is a yellow strawberry plant and a crocus.

No idea what that is.

For an ex-firepit it’s looking pretty now.

Cut Corners and Bottoms Too

First daffodil to bloom.

Every year I worry about my Neighbour’s Wife’s Rose and every year it’s fine.

Oh, good the marbles matches now otherwise it’d look strange.

Bits popping up everywhere.

Taken in chunks and just shoved in there the bulbs are doing well.

Should bloom soon or it’ll hit the ceiling.

Yo, Dear Reader, things have been slow these last few days due to the weather, also that I ended up slipping on discarded plastic with a heavy backpack and hurting my back, I’m now an expert on backs and after two days am mostly back to normal, people just don’t seem to care these days and will litter anywhere, I just chucked it aside so no one else would be at risk, clear plastic on a wet path near the road is deadly. I did the smart thing of doing very little and that helped, I do want to get out into the garden to get more done, but I am being smarter these days, Dear Reader, a rush to get everything ready just leads to lulls where there’s nothing to do. I’ve gotten my peas in and my eight feet bamboo canes…yes, I know, but the sevens are out of stock, I have some but my canes are getting old, some are toothpicks.

Rhubarb is starting to sprout.

I don’t think they meant vertical growing like this, but the height gets the depth I needed with the bottom on the top planter.

We had cold, sun, rain and more sun today alone.

Lots of old growth that needs to die back more, but plenty of new growth too.

Found a twin to the front piece. Will put a pot or two there later.

A friend was kind enough to go salvaging with me again, bless to have a friend like this, Dear Reader, and after finding some small daffodils that were sprouting in discarded soil, which I also took, soil is getting costly, we went for more random cuts of marble. I say with no irony, Dear Reader, that the best parts of designing, as grand as that makes it sound, is just working with the most random pieces of “junk” because it really forces you to look at every available spot or failing that to create one. The signs of Spring are everywhere, there is supposed to be bad weather coming, seems to be the general idea these days that it’s either going to be hot or cold and that’s novel apparently. Next up I finish amending trugs and get planting onion sets. A lot of colour to come yet, Dear Reader, aside from green that is. I’ll be back again soon, until then stay safe and take care.

Lots of greenery where the bluebells are, which is everywhere.

Took these on a whim and I wish there were more, they make the perfect edging for the vegetable bed.

Spring is here.

Lamb’s Ear is coming back nicely.

Grasses have taken a hit due to frost, but I’ll see if they return, for now the bulbs take front and centre stage.

Very old rhubarb.

Don’t Do A Barrel Roll!

Looked like parsley, but nope, delphinium. Could be parsley, I wouldn’t put it past me managing that.

Anemone I’d forgotten I put there.

Irises out before daffodils.

First orchid bloom of the year.

Could be an interesting year for that bed.

My oldest amaryllis is nearly blooming again.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli.

Yo, Dear Reader, the weather remains that seemingly impossible warm, wet and overcast, but since the soil is warm that plants are popping up all over, even plants that I haven’t seen grow before, I planted a lot of anemone that came as a bulk buy and they never appeared until now, just over two years late. I also realised the elephant garlic has just started, it’s sharing a pot with asparagus that has yet to show, but I did remember that related to leeks so the late start makes sense as it matches the Winter Planted Onions. There’s a lot of variety here, Dear Reader, some plants are very strange, I have a lilac that hasn’t ever bushed out, but is now four times the height it was, I only realised that when I saw how far the ground has sunk beneath the pot. I say ground, but I mean the trash, wood, and who knows what, that comprises the Secret Gardens “floor”.

Tulips with the barest of soil come back every year and every second bloom wonderfully.

It was a mismarked plant and only a fiver. Maybe this year it’ll bloom.

ZZ plant cutting has sprouted so much.

Baby amaryllises are still growing.

That really shouldn’t been in bloom right now. A freebie from last year because it was almost dead.

Wild blackberries are still tidier than the cultivated ones.

That section was the lumpiest, not too tidy, but when it blooms it is pretty.

Small olive tree is budding.

I had to grab a strawberry barrel half that decided a rakish tilt would be fashionable, not the easiest to grab and raise and worse when I realised I’d need to move the concrete block beneath and that’d require a third hand. I managed to right it and get another block beneath, interesting, to me at least, Dear Reader, half that pot is turf mold, both it and the barrel half were salvaged from a shed, the strawberries within might produce fruit this year so it’ll be interesting to see if the roots have reached the bottom yet and if it’ll affect the growth in a positive way. It’s supposed to be a good medium to grow in and the bed beneath The Rambler is also layered with it. I’m almost finished amending pots, I bought a few bits from a half price sale and it included a long coal shovel that works perfectly for the tall compost bin, I have another shorter one for the others, anything can find a perfect purpose beyond what it was supposed to do, Dear Reader, you just have to rattle those grey cells. Things are starting up again, slowly but steady and I’ll be able to get back out more and more until I’m more out than in. I’ll be back again soon, Dear Reader, until then stay safe and take care.

Now it’s stopped being cut it’s so healthy. Way too big for there, but I couldn’t move it and it’s older than a lot of the garden.

The rockery may see a rock or two yet, I have an eye on some.

Daffodils are getting ready and some Autumn plants are too apparently.

The Curry Plant has grown into the barrel from the pot, sneaky. Stinky too.

One of my oldest indoor plants, Gasteria, getting tall with age.

Ever shoot is potentially another huge branch off.

Rambling Robin

Seed potatoes are chitting, much less this year after last year’s excess.

Buddleia in full swing.

Red Ruby Giant, least accurate name for these, but they’re stunning.

I’ll need a dedicated pesticide for aphids and blackspot, but I have blended a more natural one for everywhere else.

Used to be a stick, now a very tall bush.

Crane’s bill geranium, forms rounded masses every time.

Yo, Dear Reader, today was one of those blue skies out of gray days so I couldn’t waste it and got out to finally tackle the final set of the forty five litre trugs, the seventy fives a distant goal in my mind, only to realise I had them amended and ready to plant already bar three, when I say I need to slow down a bit, Dear Reader, I mean it. I’m taking it easier and things still get done, haste rarely makes a difference, all I end up with is beautiful days with nothing that needs doing. I’m currently trying to empty the tall, narrow, despised composter, so after the tree pots were emptied, refilled with added compost, I started on the seventy fives, my Winter working out has paid dividends, Dear Reader, for the first time in nearly two years my left arm feels like an arm again, weak yet, but so much better. Makes lifting things much easier, not that easy mind, they’re huge after all.

The snowdrops are beautiful this year.

Spring garlic in neat rows.

Bluebells beside the troublesome bin.

Angel Wings are tough.

It’s way too early for daylilies.

Turns out that’s a flower talk not a split bulb. Neat.

Calla Lily I think.

I’m slowly getting an idea of where I want to grow, or grow, with this year, Dear Reader. I’ve been looking at the large trugs and slowly they have gone up and up in price, the eight euro I managed to find them at after selling off some collectables a distant dream. They’re now nearly four times that price. Yikes. Even the few fifteen I bought years ago don’t seem so bad. It’s all about accumulating things slowly, but that are worthwhile for years to come, that and scrounging everything I can find and finding uses for everything I scrounge. It’s mostly just me taking note of things these days, Dear Reader, just how life goes I suppose, though my robin friend decided to sing to me as I filled pots, just staring at me from The Rambler, I don’t know what it means, but it seems content in the garden and I’m glad to see it.

String for amended and ready for planting, easy to cut away, but stays on to mark.

Lump of a grass I found.

A yellow flower I found in a lump of grass last year.

I have a lot of hedges and trees I found.

JP’s garden is starting and the self-seeded foxgloves are looking good.

They are such lovely spots of colour.

Right now I want to get the last of the pots emptied and refilled and start thinking about how I’ll plant the Spring onion sets, I see the Winter ones just popping up, they’re not the best, but nice to have something to plant in the Winter months bar garlic. Which is now a large proportion of the green in the garden, such an easy crop and such a rewarding one. I have a vague idea of what’s popping up from the soil, but I’ll marvel at each and every plant regardless. It feels as if this been my entire life, Dear Reader, must be over a decade of it now though, it has seen me through he hardest times and keep me going when things get tough. I hope that sharing a little of it here and there, at times maybe too much, heh, might be of interest to someone out there who needs a break too. It’s just a back and front garden, not a grand sweeping estate, so maybe that’ll give someone the push to try too. Right now I’m just waiting for the bees to appear. Won’t feel it, Dear Reader, the garden will be buzzing with life again. I’ll be back again later, until then stay safe and take care.

Erantus. I do know some names!

Store bought snowdrops, I’ll leave them in this year and see how they fare. I never knew they had a scent.

Alpine strawberries survived the frost.

You can see the green coming in like the tide.

A clone of the former.

Never Gets Old

Guess it’s Christmas again.

I may split them this year again.

Lots of greens abound.

Singing while I watched it.

Honeysuckle is winding through the laurel hedging.

Back rose is budding all over.

I have a few that seem to have planted themselves. Arum Italcium.

The last of the dinos needed to be moved.

Store bought garlic that had sprouted.

Saw a tit enter the house then noticed all the buds.

The two side bulbs are back too.

Yo, Dear Reader, things are still slow to start, but Spring is making itself know throughout the garden, there hasn’t been great weather, but it’s still early so I’m not too antsy yet. I’ll get things going more, not that it ever really stops, Dear Reader, soon and I hope by March I’ll be able to start making more ornaments, where they’ll go is a mystery, but I have a lot of preparation in mind to make the making go smoother. Thinking of using the large green trays and a bag of sand for setting them steady to set. I have two large masks, one might be larger than any yet, so my brain is working on that for now.

It came back! I’m glad, it was so pretty. Ajuga, I think.

I was asked if I was okay lifting it and hah, I’d have carried it home if I had to.

The prettiest purple rose is so, so strong and sturdy.

Sword ferns are tough, the frost did nothing to it.

Teasel seeds didn’t fall out, but did sprout.

My grandmother’s Rose should flower again now it hasn’t been cut.

Only recently salvaged and they’re blooming again.

Oldest amaryllis is growing again.

Baby’s Breath.

This is the base of The Rambler, people want it cut, but this is the start and the rest is a labyrinthine mass.

The Rambler can grow as it pleases, it’s the last piece of the original around.

So many odds and ends and I know most.

I’ve been lucky that the local supermarket had the cheap seed mixes in, that’ll sort the plantable edges and the hanging baskets all going well. I’ve been checking around here and there, but don’t have any grand plans as of yet, I just want to get an idea of what needs to be done and actually get it done, but cold, wet weather and bad joint don’t mix, Dear Reader. I hope the indoor exercise pays off and I can hit the ground running. I joke about it, but my body has been through a lot and I’m not getting younger, I’ve been the workhorse for my entire life so I don’t get much sympathy if I’m struggling, I’m also the last of a generation that lent a hand at everything, a sad reminder when I had to haul a shed’s worth of wood and stack it, already strained my back so it was a nightmare, I had no choice as it was a favour for an elderly neighbour. I was gifted a paving slab that now helps with the drop from the raised part of the garden, saves my knees and anyone getting up there. I’m taking my time these days, Dear Reader, and not taking on too much for others. For now I plant and hope for warmer, bright days, early yet, but I’m still ready to go when the season turns. I’ll be back again later, Dear Reader, until then stay safe and take care.

Stuck under a hedge, but growing fine.

My little pal.

New strawberries are starting to grow fast.

Tulip season is nearly here.

Bits popping up all over.

Hard to find a gap for the new strawberries in among the older.

Back rose is rambling and ivy grew into that old bird house.

Wallflowers somehow survived the frost too.

Won bulbs included hyacinth.

When I say back rose I mean this. All of that is the top of the rose, there’s more hidden beneath.