Friday, 27 June 2014

New project started

Hello all,
Well it's been a fantastic bout of weather here in the UK with glorious hot days. That spell seems to have passed for now and it is grey and significantly colder, but I'm really enjoying the Summer (especially as I am not working away from home for the first Summer in 18 years).

So I have begun a new project which for me is the most head-scratchingly difficult I have attempted thus far so anyone who has any knowledge and tips will be welcome to give advice.

The slope that leads down from my garden proper to my greenhouse is annoying and unmanagable in bad weather and so I have started the groundwork to create steps down and a path along the side of the greenhouse, this should make trips down there in winter or when it is wet much better.

I have started by doing the initial groundwork of cutting out the turf where the path will be

and then I started to cut out where the steps down will be

Finally leaving me with the complete area cut out.

Now that the site is cleared I need to move onto stage 2 as there is no going back now.
My plan at the moment is to put in wooden sides and posts along the path and then to fashion the steps using wooden sides and posts also, three steps down to the path should do it. When that is all in place I will put down hardcore, sand and then concrete and hope that the whole thing works and is stable. It's at times like this that I wish I had a friend with knowledge :-)

I will continue to mark my progress but the next stage will certainly be careful measuring and wood purchase.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Take a tour of my garden.

This Midsummer's day I thought I would do a short video tour of my garden as it is looking so lovely.
Stephen Spielberg I aint, so I'm sorry about the shaky camera work but you get the idea.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Tatton Park

I went to Tatton Park at the weekend and what a lovely trip it was, the gardens are magnificent as the azalea and rhododendron were in their full glory and what a lot of them they have. The house itself is very interesting and being a National Trust property I got in free as I have membership until the end of July. But it was the gardens that I loved so much. There was a walled veg and fruit garden that could have fed an army.

 The view across the lake
 and another.
 The view of the azaleas was spectacular.

 The photos just don't do the blaze of colour justice.
 The flag iris were only just beginning but by now they are probably a wonderful sight.
 View to the Japanese gardens.
 I liked this old bridge.
 The entrance to the maze.
And this is what I found in the middle of the maze.

It was a lovely trip, topped off with a jacket potato for lunch in the not too overpriced cafe. Most of the food in the cafe is grown in the walled garden when possible.

Today is beautiful so I am off to cut the lawns.

Monday, 2 June 2014


Hello all,
I keep on apologising for lack of posting but I'm going to stop that. I am posting what I can when I can but things have been a bit hectic of late, which is probably a good thing.
I am finally breaking even financially which shows that slowly but surely my new career path is beginning to work. No spare cash but now my savings are not really being touched which is good news except for the untoward. I have 9 students now when they all come which is good, taken 5 months but it is slowly starting to happen and word is getting about that I exist at least. The best bit is that I am really really enjoying it, especially when I think that in my old life I would now be battling up to London weekly  and misssing all the joys of my garden at home. No regrets and completely my own boss.
I have had a productive weekend and have opened new bank accounts, changed my gas and elctricity provider to Ovo and am exploring changing my internet service provider to Sky, all in a bid to make monthly cash stretch a bit further.
So I continue to shop carefully, and am becoming a dab hand at stretching a single chicken out to 4 or 5 meals making it super good value even for a greedy man like me.

Enough about all that.

Meanwhile every day brings fresh joy in the garden. My pride at the moment is for my lupins and my alliums.

There are 17 healthy looking flower heads accross just 3 plants, which, for me, makes a lupin record. These majestic flowers are among my very favourites.

And 30 alliums in the big bed make a very happy view. I had hoped the astilbe would be out by now and that the alliums would be surrounded by clouds of pink frothy flowers, but the best laid plans and all that.

Also my gladioli and dahlias are all growing away happily, as are the delphiniums.

Dahlia patch wants weeding I think. 3 varieties, Bishop of Landalff and more.

A usual my veg plot is poor at the moment (one day I will get good at veg), although the tomatoes in the greenhouse are doing very well this year, far better than the precious two years.

The veg bed is looking a higgledy piggledy mess and that is because after a poor beginning I have planted crops in no particular order as my original ones all died (my green fingers turned very grey on that day). I've decided to call it a cottage garden bed and to pretend that it was supposed to be random by design. I have 2 courgettes, some runner beans, French beans, peas, broad beans and a cucumber. I think I will plant some complementary flowers to make it look better. Given time it might look ok, here's hoping there will be some crop at least.

Finally a photo of lovely iris hidden away in the whale bed.

 Blue is never captured very well on my camera, but they look lovely in the flesh.