Tag Archives: gardening

garden diary

4 Apr

first week of April

Well I’ve been busy!!

As I mentioned in my last post I picked up the sand and timber on Saturday morning, dragged it all home in my poor little car and began my paving project!

I began by mapping out a border with the timber, levelling out the soil and adding the sand.
Once it was a sand pit I started to organise my paving slabs only to find that there wasn’t enough!
Thankfully the couple I got the flags from had loads left so after an email and a good nights sleep I went back to Lewisham to collect the rest!

Confident I now had what I needed I got up this morning and headed to B&Q to buy the only items I’ve actually had to pay for!

3 bags of gravel and a bag of sand later I was ready again!
After I laid the paving, I filled the main gaps with more sand then covered it all in gravel!

I built a bench (flat pack!) arranged some plants and my chiminea and the paving was done!!
I can’t believe how amazing it looks and to think it only cost me £20!!!

I am going to write up a little tutorial on this soon with more pictures, but for now, here’s my before and after shots!!!



garden diary

28 Mar

Last week of March

Thank god for glorious Sunday’s!!
I managed to get 5 out of my 6 jobs done, plus I organised the collection of some paving I sourced from freecycle! I am collecting on Monday night so next opportunity I get I’ll take some photos!

It did take me a good few hours but it was worth the pain! ( a large gash to my finger resulting in a tetnus shot and my arms shredded to pieces!)

I have decided to leave the two trees and work around them, mainly because it is way out of my capability to sort them out however I did cut them right back and removed all of the dusty dead leaves that was covering them!
The wooden screen covers the trees now but no longer covers the mess that was originally there!
The dead stuff (12 bags!) is now at the garden tip and the little lumps of concrete are surrounding my future pond!!

I managed to level the ground I plan to put the paving on but have not yet sourced the timber needed to create a proper bed for them. I have mapped the area out with some old wood just to give a bit of an idea of how it’s gonna look.
It is as square as I can get it, to make my life easier, which means I’ll have a little triangle of grass up the side. I’m sure this could become a design feature!!
I am also going to have to move the raised beds back a few feet but that’s not a big job and I’m also going to get rid of the border down the right hand side and just make that grass too.

Unfortunately time ran out on me before I could re dig the gravel bed but I’m hoping the dry weather will hold out till tomorrow so I can get that job off my list too!!

So the new list is:
•source timber
•pick up paving
•dig up grass
•buy sand, top soil and grass seeds
•move raised bed





garden diary

25 Mar

Fourth week of March

I sat in the garden this morning in the blazing sunshine planning my next step!
Whilst smoking and drinking coffee I mapped out in my head how I want to proceed with the mess that is the back of the garden.

At the moment there is two large half dead shoots (practically trees in their own right) from the large tree, a hell of a lot of live and dead ivy, an old Xmas tree, some wooden planks and chunks of concrete.
What I would like there is some lovely paving to put the BBQ and general summer goodies on.

I am going with paving mainly to give the cats less soil to do their business on and because there is a hugh chunk of paving left over from when I did the garden all those years ago that I will never ever be strong enough to move, and I certainly don’t want to give myself another hernia by trying!!

As I want to keep the costs down, my ongoing job is to source some second hand paving for free from somewhere, any advice??

The rest of the future plans include:
•Cutting back the tree
•taking the old Xmas tree, concrete and planks to the tip
•re levelling the back section
•cutting out the two unwanted trees
•tackling the ivy
•re digging the hole for the wood that holds in the pebbles

I began the final job this afternoon at 12.10pm knowing fine well I have to leave for work at 12.25, that is the reason there are no photos for today’s post, maybe tomorrow!!!

garden diary

22 Mar

Fourth week of March

As today was so beautiful I decided to continue with my garden pledge. I soaked all of the seeds I had planned to sow today overnight in organic seaweed feed ready for the big day!!

However before I could get the seeds in I wanted to put up the cold frame I bought a few weeks ago as the kitchen window ledge has no room for seedlings!

This proved a lot harder than I anticipated!

That damn cold frame was the hardest thing I have ever constructed and believe me I’ve put up my fair share of horrid flat pack furniture!
It took me an hour and a half and a great heap of my own sanity but I did it!

It certainly does not look as good as the one on the box but half way through the construction I realised that was because it was not the same as the one on the box, that one was a lot better quality!
Anyway I’m sure it will fulfil it’s purpose!

So with the cold frame up I got on with the seeds.

I now have 4 pots of coriander, 3 pots of San marzano tomatoes, 3 pots of budau taupe tomatoes, 3 pots of aisla Craig tomatoes, and a hugh tray of carrots!!
Those who know me and my tomato allergy may be questioning the amount I have sown! I just like growing tomatoes!! Anyway I can cook them and make lovely sauces for pizza and pasta!!!

Roll on germination!!!

garden diary

16 Mar

Third week of March

Today I got out my stash of seeds, it’s basically what me and Emmms had left over from our grow your own soup packs that we cant use as they are due to go out of date this year and a few I bought myself along the way.

There were also a few that went out of date in august last year but I’ve done a bit of research and apparently some out of date seeds still germinate so I’m gonna give them a try. If they are kept in a cool dry place they have a better chance!
There is a claim that some seeds were found in a egyptian tomb which were planted and grew and mine are certainly not that old!!! (Not sure how true this is as wiki thinks it’s false!!)

Basically my intent was to work out what I was going to plant this year.

I needed something to hold my gardening notes so am also checking out a new phone app on gardening.

Here is the list:

In date are; cabbage, squash, variety of herbs, salad leaves, pumpkin, carrot and lavender.

In the fingers crossed are; sweet pepper, celery, courgette, aubergine, cabbage, carrots, tomato, celery, pea and parsnip.

I am going to make sure I mark which ones are which!!!

The plan is to start them all off indoors again this year but I may transfer some outdoors as I picked up a small glass cold frame last week, although I still don’t trust the weather yet!

Next step is to prepare them to be sown!!

garden pledge

9 Mar

I pledge that I will spend at least 3 hours a week in the garden, be it weeding, planting, cutting, tidying or just enjoying!!

Not only that, I will write a post every time with a picture included!!

Second week of March-

I bought some garden goodies at the weekend from Lidl as they have a special on at the moment so put up my cold frame over the future vegetable patch to stop the cats getting in!!!
I also gave it a damn good tidy up and water!!
Bring on the spring sunshine!!!

garden dreams

22 Jan

Whenever we get a day when the sun shines all I can think about is getting the garden ready for the spring!
When I get up in the morning and it is bright and fresh it always reminds me that rotten January is on the way out!

Last year I missed all of that with the hernia and stuff so this year my mind is making up for it!!

I am already planning what vegetable seeds I am gonna plant and when, what I want this years raised bed to look like, how to now get the cats out of the strawberry patch and rescue them enough to get a crop, and what goodies to start collecting to help it all run smoothly!!
And I picked up this cute little purple watering can from TKMax this morning!!

I know it is early for this but I’ve been searching eBay for this years garden treats and have found all of these!!!

An adorable bench made out of reclaimed wood from an old red farm building!!

Barn Red Bird House Bench

These pretty seed/plant markers, engraved vintage spoons!! Genius!!

Silverware Garden Stakes Herbs Set of 9 vintage silver plated flatware seedling stakes by beachhouseliving etsy

A simple little seed storage tin, a replica of The Seed House at Fordhook Farms built by Atlee Burpee and Co in 1895

Vintage Tin Seed House Collection / Figural Tin / Samplers Tin Box / Burpee Advertising House Shaped Metal Tin / Tin Tooling Made in England / Building shape container box / Historical building late Victorian frame architecture / Recycle, Upcycle, Reuse

A handy painted bucket

Garden Bucket  Hand Painted Sunflower Seeds

A embossed vintage brass watering can

Vintage Brass Watering Can with Embossed Flowers Holland 1986 FREE SHIPPING

And one for the dreams a gorgeous shabby chic green house (oh how I would love to own this!!!)

JUST REDUCED Unbelievable Shabby Chic Greenhouse

Keep garden dreaming, but not for long!!!

my weekend so far

4 Jul

Matthew’s camping this weekend, and while I love him and miss him, I love having a whole weekend to myself. There’s a certain luxury about it being just me and the cats.

I’ve played in the garden and discovered it was time for a small harvest.

The insides of beans are far more satisfying than they should be.

I put up some postcards. How I love real mail!

I’ve worked on a sock pattern.

I’ve done a heap of sewing.

And it’s only Sunday. MORNING.

ETA: Happy 4th of July ye in America! I realised yesterday that I missed wishing the Canadians a happy Canada Day on 1 July. Happy belated Canada Day!!

garden fairy

28 Jun

I have to admit that being able to sit in the garden, knitting in the sunshine all day, is fabulous!! Knowing that I can’t and shouldn’t do anything else is just a dream come true and I thought it would be a nightmare!!! What a fool I was!!!

Anyway, although this new found sense of relaxation is just great, the state my garden is in isn’t, and the more I looked at it the more I desired to get stuck in to all of the jobs that need doing. So I set out on an internet-based quest for a gardener who could come and give it a good weed and tidy it up. My quest was futile as every gardener that I emailed didn’t reply to me.

I got chatting to my next-door neighbour (the one with the gorgeous well-kept garden) and told her about my problem. She immediately, without hesitation said, ‘I’ll do it!’ I couldn’t believe my ears as that was so not what I was getting at! Anyway she came round on saturday afternoon and weeded and snipped my entire garden. It now looks just divine!!

Not only did she do all of the weeding, she also re-planted my strawberries in the old veggie patch from last year and also pointed out to me that through all of the weeds I had failed to notice that I had  mint, poppies and violets growing!!! No way!!!





She also left in a giant daisy and some other things but we will have to wait and see just what they are as neither of us were totally sure!!!


Not only have I now got a tidy garden, I also have three new plants to watch grow!!! She really is a perfect garden fairy.

Nature can be cruel though as, even though she came round and did all of that gardening, the Jasmine she planted in her garden is still only flowering in mine!


My tomato plants are loving the sunshine along with Chilomena and the strawberries. My pepper, however, is still growing a bit slow but should catch up soon with a bit of luck!!




If anyone has any tips on how to look after lavender I would greatly appreciate them as mine just won’t seem to grow!!!!

poor lavender

I still now can’t believe how nice it was of her to come and tidy the garden, so I better get on with thinking of something to knit her to say thanks!!!

farmers market

9 May

On the way back from the gym on Saturday morning, me and my love stopped off at  Bermondsey Square farmers’ market.

It is a relatively small market with about 12 stalls selling a mixture of fruit, veggies, meat and plants but all the stall-holders are so friendly and helpful, it is a great place to shop!

I was searching for an English Garden Mint plant for my window sill so headed straight to the large plant stall situated in the middle of the square. All of the veggie plants on the stall were so well grown and looked after I could have bought the lot, but on closer inspection I could not spot any English Mint! They had Morocan Mint but no English Mint.

I spoke to the guy running the stall and found out that the owner was working at the Real Food Festival in Earls Court and had taken most of the stock, including the English Garden Mint there with him!! I cant imagine what the normal size of this stall is then!

It turns out that they are at this particular maket on the second Saturday of every month and the stall owner is keen on meeting people who grow their own veggie plants, perfect! I will be back to chat with him in June! Maybe a bit too long to leave it for the mint so going to plant my own from seed.

I did make a few purchases from them though: a beautiful, well-established rocket plant,

a cut-and-grow again salad plant

and a healthy looking coriander plant for all those great curries my love likes to cook!

They are all now living on the window sill beside Chillimena who has started to flower!!

We also picked up some sauerkraut, onion and sausage stir fry and cabbage dumplings from the Polish stall, some wild boar and red wine sausages, and a large seeded cob of bread.

Enjoyed the sausages and bread in a casserole last night and I’ll let you know about the sauerkraut and dumplings as we intend to have them for a delicious Sunday lunch!!


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