Posts Tagged ‘garden’

Allotment Diary: Our first day

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

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Daffodils in flower with Fudge on his bed in the background on our allotment

This is the first, proper entry into our new, virtual Allotment Diary.

Celandine in flower on our allotment

Surveying the plot, we were feeling slightly overwhelmed – there was so much work to do, where do we start?! We didn’t want to just rip out all the plants that were already there. Daffodils and celandine are in abundance – they look so bright & cheery.

old plastic water butts and garden chairs on our allotment

We began by having a general tidy up, moving all the strewn plastic chairs, bins and empty, abandoned plant pots over to a far corner.

old plastic plant pots on our allotment

We didn’t want to throw any of this away just yet, we want to reuse as much of it as possible.

vintage bricks and slates on our allotment

There were lots of red bricks and terracotta roof tiles lying around that we stacked up and put into piles. We already have some plans for these!

vintage bricks on our allotment

Many of the bricks are impressed with ‘Newhey’ or ‘Coptrod’, both former brickworks in Rochdale.

old metal pergola on our allotment

There was even a discarded metal arch that we’re planning on running some flowers (or cucumbers!) up.

leaf mould heap on our allotment

I began to tackle the thick carpet of leaves, forming the beginnings of a leaf mould heap in a shady, north-facing corner.

swept path on our allotment

There was some evidence of paths once some of the leaves were gone. Still very overgrown though.

old metal baths on our allotment

And how about transforming this pair of old baths into salad or herb beds?

brick foundations of a derelict greenhouse on our allotment

There are remains of a lower half of a dilapidated greenhouse in a sunny part of the plot. We’re considering what to do with it. We have lots of options available, lots of decisions to make. But there’s no need to rush in and try to do it all at once – one thing at a time – we’re just enjoying the journey!

Gimme Five! Windowsill greenhouses

Friday, March 28th, 2014

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selection of 5 windowsill greenhouses

I bought some magnolia vine seeds off the internet way back in January. After soaking them overnight, potting them up and leaving them somewhere cool until now, I’m going to put them on a warm, sunny windowsill in the kitchen so they can germinate. I’m fed up of the ugly, plastic windowsill greenhouses that are so ubiquitous. I want something a bit more… pleasing on the eye.

There are a few of them out there that aren’t boring green or black, cheap-looking, moulded plastic; but you have to search long & hard. We’ve helped make that process a little bit easier with these that we’ve found.

  1. Plantini mini model planthouse kit by Another Studio: £24.95, Notonthehighstreet
  2. SOCKER Greenhouse, white: £12, IKEA
  3. Vintage glass house / terrarium: £26.03, Etsy
  4. Vintage handmade lead & glass terrarium: £68, eBay
  5. Little Gardeners – My First Mini Greenhouse: £11.99, Amazon

Gimme Five: Spring bulbs

Friday, March 14th, 2014

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selection of 5 spring bulbs

Hasn’t this past week been lovely? After a long, grey, damp squib of a winter we’ve been enjoying the ever-lengthening, brighter, warmer days.

We’ve just spent quite a lot of time in the garden, sweeping away the rotting leaves and moss. We plan on making a trip to Gordon Rigg’s just down the road and investing in a few different types of spring bulbs.

Our garden is fairly small, mainly set with cobblestones that we’ve filled with plants in a mix of terracotta pots and galvanised metal containers. We have a few raised beds that we’d like to plant up with bulbs, with the promise of orange and white late-summer/autumn flowers appearing year after year.

Our soil is acidic and the beds are short on sunlight so we’ve had to research our floral options very carefully. Here’s what’s made our short-list…

  1. Eucomis autumnalis: £6.99 for 2 bulbs, Suttons Seeds and Plants
  2. Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’: £3.99 for 10 corms, Crocus
  3. Large-flowered Gladiolus ‘Peter Pears’: £5.75 for pack of 25, Spalding Bulbs
  4. Spider lily ‘Zwanenburg’: £12.99 for 10 bulbs, Thompson & Morgan
  5. Japanese Anemone ‘Blanda’ white: £9.99 for a 1 litre pot, Jersey Plants Direct

Galvanised Garden

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

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stacks of of vintage galvanised zinc florist's pots

We’ve just added a dozen of these galvanised metal containers to our garden – the tall shape is a give-away as to their original use.

vintage galvanised zinc florist's pot with drainage holes drilled

They’re actually vintage flower sellers’ tubs that once housed the long stems & blooms. A few holes drilled into the bottom and they were ready for their new role as garden planters.

vintage galvanised zinc florist's pot used to grow herbs

Over the years, we’ve replaced most of our terracotta pots with galvanised containers. We just love the colour of the metal and the small details such as seams & rivets. There’s a great variety in size & shape which makes a collection visually interesting. Dolly tubs, tin baths, water tanks and buckets all make great planters. Another huge advantage is that they don’t break or frost shatter like terracotta and pottery.

collection of vintage galvanised zinc florist's pots used to grow herbs

We decided to grow all our culinary herbs in this batch of pots – and they’ve taken very well to their new homes!

On the Fence

Friday, July 5th, 2013

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Exterior view of our new wooden garden fence

Justin’s been putting off this little job for about 8 years!!

Our old rotting, tumble down garden fence

Our garden fence had almost completely disintegrated. Even the best bits were being held together with old branches & string!

Our new wooden garden fence unfinished

And then, about 2 weeks ago, he got up and started building – just like Noah with the prospect of heavy rains looming.

Our new wooden garden fence from outside

He’s just finished and here are the results.

Our old rotting, tumble down garden gate Our brand new garden gate

A new gate and trellis for climbers also appeared.

corner of our back garden showing a wooden stool and garden tools

A cup of tea was well-deserved after all the efforts – time to sit back and admire his new creation (he never wants to see another plank of wood in his life though!!).