Garden update Monday 21st January

Despite threats of freezing weather, it was pleasant enough to get out in the garden today. Lovely and sunny, 6 degrees centigrade and there was no breeze. Almost perfect!

So, I got to work planting tulip bulbs in some fresh multipurpose compost with a few handfuls of horticultural grit to aid drainage. Tulips don’t like wet feet!

Tulip var. Lambada

Firstly I put a layer of the compost/grit mix about 3 inches (7.5cm) deep in the bottom of the pot. I used a fairly big pot, about 12 inches (30cm) deep. Next, I placed the bulbs, pointy side up, on this layer. Can you can see they are raring to go, with little shoots poking out of them already.

Lambada bulbs in pot

Then, cover them gently until you fill the pot up to about one inch (2.5cm) from the top. Tap the pot gently to remove any air pockets, and tamp down the surface lightly. Water well and place in a sunny spot. Don’t forget to label them! I use lolly sticks for plant labels, as they can be composted.

Plant labels

I repeated this with another gorgeous variety, Purple Flag.

Tulip var. Purple Flag

Lastly I fed the birds. The nights have been quite cold, down to -4 degrees centigrade. Its really important that we supplement their food, and keep doing it. Birds do come to rely on food we put out. If we stop then the birds may have wasted a lot of energy to find nothing to eat. Put just enough out for a few days so the food is always fresh. In my garden it never lasts more than a day!

What bulbs are you going to plant for spring?

Cool beans

Today I wanted to spend an hour in the garden. It was sunny and mild, and we get precious few days like that in winter.

So, my target was to tidy up one of my raised beds and plant some seeds. I chose to plant some dwarf broad beans, var. The Sutton.

Apparently, it is a little early or a little late to plant them, January being the only month they say not to on the packet. However with the weather mild, and cold weather forecast, I had a window and I wanted to use it.

Dwarf broad beans var. "The Sutton" from Mr Fothergills

I set to work and cleared the bed, and topped it up with a bag of fresh compost. Next I sowed these little beauties 2 inches deep. To stop them rotting in the soil, plant them on their thin side. If the soil is dry, water before planting. My soil was already moist so it did not need watering.

Then I covered them over with soil. Most importantly, I covered the bed with some horticultural fleece. This has two benefits. Firstly it helps to keep the soil warm. Secondly it helps to keep the wildlife off. Well that’s the plan!

rhdr

I bought four of these raised beds last year. They are brilliant, easy to assemble, won’t rot, and can be assembled in a variety of ways.

Sadly, they don’t seem to be available any more. However, if you want to try and find them they are by an Australian brand called Birdies. You can see the raised bed on the other side with the onions and garlic.

It felt great to spend some time in the garden again, only an hour, but I accomplished something. It’s really important to remind yourself sometimes that achieving something every day, no matter how small, is so beneficial for your well being.

And you get to eat the result, what could be better!

Garden update Monday 14 January

A knock on the door rudely awoke me early this morning. It was a delivery, I was confused. I had no idea what it could be, had I been sleep shopping?

Luckily, sleep shopping it was not. It turned out to be a bulk delivery of bird food. I had bought 25 kilos of sunflower hearts, 150 net free fat balls and 3 kilos of meal worm flavour suet pellets, yum!

Later in the morning, the delivery was taken down to my little shed, where all my bird food supplies are kept. Then, I realised just how pleasant it was outside today, a balmy 9 Centigrade (48 Fahrenheit in old money).

When suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I see a little glint of orange in the pale winter sun. What on earth could be so bright at this time of the year? Well, it was this:

A beautiful, perfect calendula, in January! What a delight nature is sometimes.

And so to the jobs

Back to the real reason for the post, a garden update. Not a lot to report, however the onions and garlic are still growing well. Slow growth would be the norm, but they are well on their way. The mild winter, so far, has helped. I am growing white onions and soft neck garlic, autumn plantings for both.

rhdr

I’ve had to put a piece of old fencing over the raised bed to stop the local cats and other wildlife using the bed for a toilet/digging patch. I used just a few clothes pegs and sticks to keep it in place.

It was so nice, just for a few minutes, to feel the sun on my face. I also tidied up some pots, removing all the dead foliage. It is amazing how doing just a few minutes on a small project can made you feel better.

How do you find little lifts in your day?