Showing posts from October, 2017

Compost Bin

A compost bin is essential for any gardener and we were gifted a large plastic one from a good friend - thanks Mary!   However, inaccessibility meant that we continued to add to it doing nothing with the product inside.   Having looked for a solution we found inspiration in the plans here .  This builds a unit measuring 275cm L x 90cm W x 90cm H - so huge!  Not being familiar with building sizes the instructions are a bit confusing using wood that is '2x4' (size only exists when it is first cut prior to shrinkage) and '16d' nails (that refer to the roman name for a Penny coin apparently).   This was a bit of a learning curve, we translated the sizes to metric and reduced the overall size of the unit to the space available meaning it measures 240cm L x 80cm W x 80cm H.   I feel like a proud parent with the finished article.  We've painted it with a wood preservative the same colour as the fences so that the unit just blends in to its surroundings. 

Seeds, seeds, seeds

Traditionally, seed sowing happens in Spring in this country and plants go in the ground after the last frost (usually the end of May) and before that in a Cold Frame.  However, breaking all these rules we are giving Autumn sowing a go as its relatively quiet in the garden now.   Also I have had a disaster this week. The Pachysandra Terminalis has wilted.  All the information I could find wasn't particularly clear and buying specialist products to deal with the problem sounded expensive.  As we edge increasingly towards organic gardening the thought of using chemical solutions sounds horrendous, I occasionally feel guilty when I sprinkle blue slug pellets on the ground. So I just cut my losses and binned most of it.   As it's not nice to write about horticultural failures lets focus on the positives. It has been an extraordinarily sunny October day, tee-shirt weather in fact.   I have taken this opportunity to do some jobs around the garden but also to chuc

Changing surroundings

As autumn approaches our focus adjusts on ways in which we can extend interest outside.  We have achieved this through careful research of plant and tree choices that we know will be attractive to us and to wildlife as they put on their autumn display of fruit and foliage. Two Amelanchier trees, one at the back of the garden - the Lamarkii (above left) and one that we can see from the kitchen window - the Robin Hill (above right) are changing colour.  The leaves are beautiful and bright popping against the grey of the fence or blue of the potting shed.  The former has been underplanted with the orange and red large daisy-heads of Gaillardia and Rudbeckia that do exceptionally well in our clay soil. Our companion planting of a Vitis climbing up a Willow and Cornus alba planted beneath the Birch trees are coming into their own as the seasons change.  Other planting combinations that have worked incredibly well for us this year are the sedum/spirea and the sedum/