Tuesday 23 September 2014

Nearly Done Digging.

Welcome to some new followers, Susie from fold in the flour and radqueen1, lovely to have you with us. Susie hails from Cardiff and on her latest post was a recipe for a cake with cranberries. I love the tart, sharp taste and was thinking of trying to grow some. Then I read a post about the Barberry, fruit of the Berberis Thunbergi. It convinced me to search one out and I hope to be planting one soon.

I know that this will grow here as there are a few in the village, and they do not require a specific soil and as an extra bonus the fruit is at easy picking height.

Work is moving ahead at the top end of the garden, the natural barrier, that we needed to build, is almost complete. It does not look very pretty but there will be more soil added and then I will plant it with Ivy, Vinca Major and some honeysuckle. Between them they will consolidate the soil, provide total ground cover and climb up the trees providing a living screen. The soil is coming from this area behind the greenhouse, there is also plenty of rubbish and broken bricks coming out. Yesterday at around 3.00 pm

I took this one earlier this afternoon, the brick pillar is the start of the incline to be planted. There will be a wire fence all the way across here.

If I can find some I will fill this with cabbage plants, if not a bag of onion sets will go in.

Three of these were dug out and some well rotted manure forked into the bottom.

Today they look like this.

Well heeled in with a mixture of soil and manure halfway up the hole and sieved soil to the base of the turf, I will top up with a mulch of bark chippings. As these are small trees, and there is very little wind out here, I have not staked them. At the top far right the plum and damson trees will be on St. Julien stock and will be staked.

The trees are set across the garden rather than in a straight line, it is not meant to look like an orchard.

Further back I will have a rectangular bed cut out and will set this out in square feet, this will give me 27 little plots to fill with whatever takes my fancy from my selection of seeds. On the far right the wide bed will hold the last 2 trees and possibly a gooseberry, some autumn raspberries and a planted table of strawberries. No bending or kneeling to pick them.
At the moment it looks like this,

Piles of rehomed soil and a nice load of manure, I have tipped some into the greenhouse as well to feed next years greedy tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.

This walkway on the right hand side of the greenhouse gives access to the little shed, the Keter storage units and the bed behind the greenhouse,once finished it will have a layer of bark.

This is at the front right hand side of the greenhouse and marks where the land falls away. It will be built up and a step or 3 put in before getting a layer of bark. I will have room for a couple of chairs and a small table here, a place to sit and read when it gets hot. There is also a potting/pricking out area planned to fit in the corner.

Reasons to be grateful.

1.  A big wasted area fast becoming an important part of the garden.

2.  The ground clearing cost nothing but elbow grease and sweat.

3.  I am being taken out tomorrow to visit a nursery full of fruit trees.

4.  I was given a big bag of runner beans, delicious.

5.  The rain came as dusk fell so I will not have to worry about watering tomorrow.

The day was very sunny mostly, but every time the sun went behind a cloud it became noticeably cooler. I hope that it is warm tomorrow it will make walking round the nursery much better.

I have planted my little shrubs into pots and left them on the greenhouse steps for now, a  bit of a Ben barrier. I have to get out and buy the water butts now.

That is it for tonight, I have also cut a stack of 5" charm squares from the stash today and got 2 loads of washing done and dried. Not ironed though, I got distracted while looking for the best price of bark on line. I ended up watching about 10 U Tube gardening videos. Naughty but nice.

        TTFN                                                                  Pam


  1. You are doing marvels Pam you should be really proud of yourself x

    1. I can not take the credit, Michael is doing most of the hard work.

  2. I wonder if gardening will prevail over the indoor crafts? ;-)

    1. Only in the mornings, it is likely that the housework will take a knock.

  3. Gosh Pam you are putting a heck of a lot of work and love into that garden - and you might leave it at any time if you spot a house to own! I salute you! Lxx

    1. I am not looking for a house right now, there is always a chance that the owner will sell, he is a very nice chap. While I live here I want it to be to my liking, I spent an awful lot of money on the garden in Tydd and had to leave it all behind. I think that most people leave a property better than they found it and those that do not often take longer to sell and get a lower return. I have been very savvy about my purchases and am well under £400. One of my neighbours has taken on his garden and we are buying some things, like bark, in bulk and sharing them, and the labour, it all helps to keep the cost down. The biggest cost to all of us is in sweat.

  4. Wow what a difference you've made in such a short time, well done you. I found it interesting reading what you have dug into the trees soil. In our garden that surrounds our static van in Lincolnshire we have 3 crabapple trees that are quite a few yrs old. They produce a lot of apples which we bring home to make crab apple jelly keeping ourselves, family and friends in CA jelly all year round. The problem we have is due to the heavy rain we had last year and this the 3ft circle of soil around each tree holds the water really bad looking as if the trees are in their own lake. Mr B has dug in some new compost along with organic manure, we didn't go last week so we don't know if this has helped. What if anything different would you suggest using to help the water drain away ? The lawn and our other garden plants do really well, I believe the small site was farm land in previous years. I'm really looking forward to seeing what else you have planned for your garden.


    1. I dug a very deep hole and then broke the bottom soil up to the depth of a fork, manure was then forked into this and then using a mixture of soil and manure I back filled until when the tree was put in it was at the same height inthe soil as it had been in the pot. The garden slopes down so surface water runs off to a drain and the soil here is light and free draining. In heavy soil I would dig pea shingle into the base first. I used to work for a fruit farmer and have planted hundreds of fruit trees and bushes, they are quite tough.

    2. Thanks for that I'll tell him, I know a few of the other owners are having the same problem.
      Peg x

  5. Hi, I am really enjoying your blogs. I too take my hat off to you for improving your landlords garden. Does he mind you planting trees? and would you be able to take them with you if you were to have to move. Coincidently I have been looking at property in and around your area as we are looking at different areas to eventually move to. There is a nice little bungalow not too far away for a good price although the garden is of a terrace design, have you thought of downsizing?
    Kind Regards Annie


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