plants

The plan

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My next step with the garden is to plan. And I have a few… I have to admit I was dreaming up ideas for our garden long before we moved in.

So here is a list of what I would like to achieve:

-Making the garden safe for our toddler is my top priority.

-We need to do some fence maintenance.

-Pruning and working out what we actually have in the garden. I think I am going to have to start a log book so I can remember. It’s a bit of a mystery until spring and then probably a until a full year has passed, but I’m trying to work it out. It’s a fairly established garden, which is nice as we can enjoy it already, but it does also mean it’s not a blank canvas and we need to work around some established plants or be brutal.

-Sorting and reorganising my allotment gear. Which has been put into our shed… in a bit of a crazy pile. (Moving an allotment is not an easy job!!) But the shed smells very authentic; just like my grandpas did.

-Working out a general plan for the space. Involving a greenhouse (this is realistically something for next year) and creating growing space for veg and flowers….

-Sorting out the soil. Whilst the garden has been cared for, it lacks the beautiful soil I achieved at the allotment. You don’t have to dig far to hit clay and rocks. Raised beds and lots of digging are on the agenda.

-A diy ‘mud kitchen’ for our toddler.

-Location for my hammock!! Although I have no idea where the bolts or actual hammock are since we moved!!

-A small child friendly wildlife pond. Bug hotel, nesting boxes and feeders.

-Pots and pots and pots for my dream container patio situation.

-I need to remove some brambles although I think they will be my new garden foe. I like the fruit, but the spikes less!

I’m also expanding my seed sourcing. Discovering chiltern seeds via an insta explore. Which has made me realise that we need proper garden plan as my ideas are running a bit wild. So I need to focus and I need to get going.

Saturday morning seed hunting

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with the ‘garden’, but I think it’s a ‘jump in a crack on’ situation. Need to remind myself nothing is permanent and the learning has to start somewhere. I’m looking forward to the clocks changing as some evening gardening can start!

Cat balcony open for business!

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It’s taken a while but we got there…

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The cat friendly balcony

Cat balcony open for business!

-Safety net
-Cat plants
-All dusted and all safe
-Just need a cat….But where is she?… Snoozing on the sofa

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Snoozing cat

I then realised we are basically living in a cat prison! From what we know she has always been a house cat, so it will be interesting to see what she makes of it.

Digging, seeds and sunsets!

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Break time on Saturday… And I came equiped with crisps and tea! I had a nice sit in my comfy chair in the greenhouse listening to the birds sing!

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Break time!

I have been digging the future potato bed….again. Removing the endless rubble. The bit I dug looked beautiful 🙂 hopefully it will be worth the hard work,  with no funny shaped potatoes. This is my first year using this bed for potatoes. I have to say I’m very inspired by my plot neighbour. Since our first year he has been full of encouragement. He must have come down during last week, as I haven’t seen him this year. He is a stealth gardener! I don’t know how he does it. But it goes from a bit weedy to beautiful fine soil within days… I try to console myself that he has had the plot for a long time. So oneday mine might be like that too!

I took a mini break for the hard digging. And I peered into my caged outdoor seeds. I have been planning to dig this over again as the seeds didn’t take.

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Caged seeds!

However. I peered closer (I got down to ground level, looking I’m sure like a nut case) And I spotted little shoots of green!! So I had tidy up… And hey presto we have baby spring onions!!

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Spring onion seeds. Outside!

I can be very impatient with outside seeds. And this just reminds me to sit tight and wait sometimes! If I had time last week, I would have dug over. Lucky escape for these guys!

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Chilli seeds

And this is my last few chilli seeds coming up (in mini prop at the flat) another story of patience!

I took my friend down to see the plot on Friday and we got treated to this beautiful sunset!

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Sunset
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View from the plot sunset

We got some grow bags and a few extra seeds! Now back to reality!

The big seed sowing day…

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It was a cold Sunday morning! Not the best allotment weather. I only had an hour or so… Bit manic with it being mother’s day!

So I got my seed hit list selected. Flossie helped!

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Seeds

And then i legged it to sow in the greenhouse:
Tomatoes
Sunflower
Beetroot
Borage
Broadbeans…as I might have dug some of mine up in my impatience for them to grow outside. Probably need a much bigger pot to….! Let’s call it an experiment!

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Seeds in modules

The cucumber and courgette seeds went in, and taken back to the safety of the mini greenhouse in my kitchen.

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Cucumber and Courgette seeds in

And I covered my rhubarb… Monty said so!! As did a magazing cutting from a friend at work 🙂 so I thought I better do it! I recycled the half water butt left on our plot.

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Now you see it.... Rhubarb
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Now you don't!

I got some proper photos of my onions and garlic…

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Garlic!
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Onions!

And the beloved sweet peas!!

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Sweet pea ❤

I ran out of seed compost… So that was my lot. I’m going to hang back with my outdoor seeds as the weather is really turning at the moment. Brrr!

Dream balcony/cat garden!

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So I feel a bit rotten that our cat doesn’t have a garden. She is a adopted indoor cat but she likes a good sniff and sit in the sun like most fur faces.

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Our cat in the winter sun!

I have a big net to install and I plan to make a wooden frame so she is 100% safe.

I have done a bit of research and my planting plan is to begin by sourcing below…
1. Cat Grass

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2. Lemongrass

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This also keeps mosquitoes away… For some reason we get a lot at the allotment in the evening…. Might have to try this!
3. Catnip
4. Catmint

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5. Mint
6. Valerian

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7. Cat thyme
8. Spider plants apparently
9. Honeysuckle

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I am sitting waiting for my delayed train into work… So musing about gardening is helping to soften my grump and kill some time. Although touch screen gloves would be an idea in the cold!! BRRR!

And I found this image. Is so beautiful!!! I like to think this is how flossie will feel on our balcony! (A bit…he he! 🐱) cat dreams!

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Cat dreams!

Onion eating magpies?

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Having seen the bees hunting for flowers; I decided to get some small flowering plants in. I am a bit worried they may be devoured by the lovely slug and snail population on our plot. I will check tonight…

I got my new mini hoe for the onion bed! At 3.99 I wonder how I lived without it! Needless to say I now have a lovely almost weed free bed; which I hope means happy onions!

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I got the new bed sown with;
-Lettuces mixed
-rocket
-spinach
I got about 2 rows of each in. This is my first proper attempt at growing seeds outdoors, I think I may need to net it. I hope it works!

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I feel a bit net crazy at the moment! On Sunday I saw a cheeky magpie attacking my neighbours onions. I’m sure magpies are not onion lovers but who knows!? Anyway I tried my best to scare him off!

I got my second bean bed preped for planting our next weekend… I’m going to try and garden off my beans again… I’m not sure what happened last time. But the 1st set of leaves got frazzled… And nibbled!

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the plants have carried on regardless and have another 2 sets, so I think we can try again.

My tomatoes are getting bigger and stronger every day. I have been nipping out the second set of branches… But on some of the weaker/damaged ones I have let them take over, and removed the weaker 1st set.

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On Saturday night I planed up my bio pots and planted my Courgettes, and some more beans. I hope I can get them started off then transplant to greenhouse before planting out.

I realise now I am behind schedule. Next year I must be earlier!

Attack of the white fly

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As I said in my previous blog, I had a little potting session.

All seemed a good idea untill I realised I NEED MORE SPACE! Anyway the 3 sad toms have now been rehomes into a trough pot and given a  healthy glug of veg feed!

My last Sunflower was re potted and rehomed to a more sheltered area…fingerscrossed! in my repotting I found a cheeky seed cling on; im hoping he’s a late sunflower too!

I’m going have to remember to not over water; as i think im getting a bit slap happy.

I also noticed my chives had an attack of white fly; so I thought I would try a soap spray first…all seems ok so far.

Its starting to look like a mini jungle!