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Back in the garden.

I have been a bit under the weather for some time, and it has made me ignore the garden a bit, it seems that I am feeling quite a bit better recently and have been putting things in order a bit more. Having cleaned out the greenhouse and re-instated the staging I put all my tender pots under it and planted sweet peas on top. I normally do them back in October, but it won't hurt being a little later. There are not many things to plant this time of year, but I am thinking of onions as well, it would make a change from growing from sets.
I have got rid of most of my old strawberry plants, they were a bit past it, and spread compost and planted new ones I grew from runners, one of the things I did manage to do last year. We will have to see how they do, the received wisdom is that if you take all the flowers off the first year the increase in crop the second year more than makes up. That is all very well if you are together and replace a third of your plants each year, but I have been improvident and they are nearly all new plants. For this reason I have planted far more than I really need, half I will allow to bear fruit this year and then remove, half are for next year and I will take the flowers off this year. We will be a little short this year, but should have loads next.
The other thing I have been doing, and which I rarely do, is digging. One half of the veg patch has stood so long that it has just about reverted to meadow, by taking out a square sod and inverting it I bury the weeds and turn them into green manure. There will be a few tough cases that will survive it and start sprouting in Spring, but they will stand out and I can deal with them individually. This is a great way to deal with a new piece of land you wish to become garden, much better than digging up the weeds and trying to sort them and cart them off to the compost heap. With a bit of practice you can turn the sod then drive the spade through it horizontally, then the weeds are buried upside down with their roots cut off. Weather will break the sod down to something quite friable by Spring.
I have also arranged the heat for the greenhouse, a few years ago I heard someone on the radio reminiscing about the days before decent glazing and saying they used to put a candle under a terracotta flower pot to keep the frost from the inside of the window. I tried it and the flowerpot becomes nicely warm to the touch, a good frost remedy. The downside was that the candle burning created a lot of moisture that condensed on the glass, so I have built myself a chimney with a piece of copper pipe and some plastic pipe joined, and it seems to work beautifully.

It really feels good to be getting out there and doing some stuff, rather than sitting around feeling bleugh, I have even managed a short bike ride and a bit of a skip.


"Weeds" in reverted meadow... the Native plant resistense underground is watching you.

Candles... I like candles. The smoke gets to me . She likes to burn them in the house. Candles in the green house. Ok.

Its winter here. Went to a big garden tour the other evening, Descanso Gardens. To attract the public they installed lights on the tree. Nice. Ambient noise and purple. Sort of Yes, Pink Floyd... the quiete parts before the louder ones. She asked if we could put light filters on our lenses. Probably, yes. Have to check online.
Kevin, over the holiday we visited an event called 'The glow' at the Royal Horticultural gardens at Wisley, they are just outside London and some several acres. It was during the evening and they had a lit walk around part of the garden and a couple of their huge greenhouses. Very impressive, especially where they had lit across water and where they had under lit some of the mature trees with spot lights, some coloured.
A whole bunch of pictures here, https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowU...nWidth=50&cnt=30&offset=-1&filter=7&autoplay=
the lit up tunnel is the frame they grow wisteria on in season.
Good to know you are feeling better, Olly. I would love to have a greenhouse, that is on my list of 'honeydo's', poor hubby says I have so much for him to do, he can't get to what he needs to do. Me thinks he protesteth too much.:)

The terra cotta flowerpot idea, I've seen it placed over a light bulb for heat in a chicken coop, never seen it done in a green house, but it makes good sense.
Thank you for your comments everybody. Gumby, I fear we are of a generation; when our owl was a tiny chick she had a cardboard box with peat and a 40watt bulb in it. I'm afraid modern bulbs wouldn't give enough heat off to keep a sparrow from shivering, beware, I bought and built the greenhouse as a birthday present for her, and I admit I have been using it ever since, not exclusively, but I am in there :)

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Olly Buckle
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