Sunday, November 05, 2006

Gardening

Being British, I am now going to talk about the weather. Last Sunday I tootled off to London wearing a short-sleeved top and Tubey. By Tuesday the temperature had dropped about 20 degrees and it's now FREEZING! What happened?!?! I know October was very very mild (can't ever remember going for a walk on my birthday without a coat on before!) but the sudden change is taking a bit of getting used to.

Mum bought me some bird feeders a while ago, and now seemed like a good time to start using them, so I had to go to the garden centre to find some kind of bird table to hang them from. I decided a traditional one just wasn't going to work (there are far too many cats around here for it to be feasible), but this one, that's "hangy" rather than "tabley" should do the trick, I think.

I've been meaning to do stuff to the garden for ages, but just haven't been at home to do it (and when I have, I've had tonsillitis!). So, I went a little mad at the garden centre (where they were very nice, and didn't mind answering idiotic/clueless questions) and bought the Buddleia I've been planning for the back corner to disguise the Very Ugly Concrete wall. I also bought a large bag of "Farmyard Manure" (why do I think it's funny to buy a large bag of what is, basically, poo?) and then had a most entertaining time trying to get the ****** thing out of the boot of my car and into the back garden. Presumably this is why men are useful to have around. Unfortunately Monkey wasn't feeling helpful so I had to shift it myself.

My garden is covered with black plastic, and then gravel, which supposedly means the weeds don't grow through. It doesn't work. And I hate the fact the garden is covered with plastic. I've been planning a bed at the bottom, so started clearing gravel, and discovered that there's ******* concrete underneath the gravel for the final metre of garden. GRRRRRRRRR. Looks like the flower bed will have to be further from the wall than I intended. Unless anyone has a miraculous means of getting rid of concrete?

By then it was getting dark and cold outside, so I pootled off inside to plant some bulbs:

these are Narcissi and Hyacinths. And yes, that is Lincoln Longwool fleece in the background.

I did do some knitting last week:


I was in London last Sunday/Monday for a conference and took these two down for Gypsy the cat, whose owner had invited me for dinner. Gypsy was very pleased, but I forgot my camera so couldn't get a piccy of her playing.

11 comments:

Anne said...

The weather is bizarre isn't it - I can't quite work out whether I should enjoy not being cold, or get very very frightened by it...

As for the concrete - sorry, I can't help - go back and ask for more suggestions at the garden centre? I don't know how deep raised beds need to be, nor how much drainage they need... Or just declare that you always wanted an access path round the back anyway...

Planting bulbs looks much more fun to me (I'm a strictly fair-weather gardener - too cold/wet/hot and I'm not interested).

Nic said...

Nice bird table. Thats what I'm getting for Christmas from my Grandparents; my Grandad has made it. I'm getting excited!!
As for the concrete 'issue'; I would have a raised bed at the back of the garden. It would hide the wall even better and you could have trailing plants at the edge to hide the height if you though that might be a problem.
That LincolnLongwool looks lovely!
Nic
xx

KnitYoga said...

The raised bed is a good idea. Not only would hide it more of the wall quicker, but you're also not then limited to planting stuff that is suitable for the type of soil you have. So, by planting them in compost for acid loving plants, you could for instance, plant rhododendrons or azalea which love acid soil even if your soil is alkaline. If you don't want a raised bed, you could get someone to drill a hole/holes big enough to plant whatever you want to plant but, as I understand it, they would need to use a diamond bit for that. I know about this because we have concrete all down one side of our property and I'm planning to have holes drilled all the way along so I can have climbers right along the fence at that side. I did get quoted for it from one company and it wasn't as bad I thought it might be. You just need to be sure that there's no piping or anything underneath.

Love the cat toys!

Rain said...

I love the bird table, it's fantastic.

The weather really has turned for the worse this past week or so. It's blinkin' freezing.

Seahorse said...

Lovely bird table!

When my Mum moved into her current house, the entire back garden was concreted over :o Her solution was to buy a sledgehammer. It took her a while to do but she hacked it all up and took it to the tip. Hazel makes a good point about checking whether there are pipes underneath though.

Raised beds are the in thing anyway!

Piglottie said...

The weather is completely bizarre at the moment. We had a bonfire night party at my mum's last night with clematis and roses in full bloom all over the garden. Never had that happen before!

Have to agree with the other posts about raised beds, would be a great option.

nanatoo said...

You've been busy! Love the bird feeder/table.

Lyonheart said...

Soo cold here too - we spent the weekend trying to tidy up the garden as well. Too exhausted to knit now!

Mary Anne said...

It isn't only the British who talk about weather. It's the main ingredient in most conversations here in Canada. Same thing - warm as toast for so long, then boom - icy cold. Now we are having a Pineapple Express from Hawaii, which sounds so sweet but really means a boatload of rain.

Good luck with your garden project. The buddleia will be beautiful if you can just get it planted.

Those little mice as sooo cute.

acrylik said...

The bird table is excellent - what a great idea.

I would go for the raised bed idea too, sounds like the most practical option.

Love the cat toys!

knit only but also said...

The weather is really wierd at the moment - I vote for raised beds with nice wide borders and plenty of herbs (so you can sit and watch/smell and enjoy the herbs which are normally very low maintenance and can be really vright and colourful - calendula, lavender, pinks, bergamot etc)