Well that time has come again, and what a year it has been too.
2017 kicked off with a change of job rolls, going from a plant area manager in a local garden centre to working with high end furniture in the village I live in.
Annie and I later started doing a few gardens for a few old pensioners that visit her at the supermarket she works at, but one of the best things to happen was being given the chance to grow our own organic veg in a corner of a farmers field .
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the new followers and everyone that has visited our humble site, even on Christmas day , just amazing.
We hope to pick up more followers in 2018 to watch how our little beds fill up and come full circle to the eventual harvest.
I always feel that the week between the end of December and the start of the New Year is pretty much a no-mans land. Oh its ok if you are gadding about the sales looking for outfits for the rare real bargains , but for the likes of me just waiting for that time when i can pop into the tunnel, rip open the seed packets and start planting our new seasons crop, its just another 7 days i can hardly wait to pass.
Managed to stop by the plot today, on first inspection all is as well as can be expected given all the hard frosts and snow being tossed around the country at present, although fortunately we only had the frosts and rain, now its a strong blustery day.
Having ventured into the tunnel i noticed quite a few dead leaves on the strawberries which in turn where going mouldy. I picked up the scissors and set about removing all the spent ones into a bucket, they will go outside before they cause any damage. I did however also notice one strawberry looking rather sad for itself, on closer inspection i found it was suffering from vineweevil, as the strawberries are in the air and vine weevils do not fly it had to be on the plant when it was planted. Having now checked all the strawberries i am satisfied it was only a single occurance of it.
I noticed on a veggy forum i am involved with that some folks had just set onion seeds , so, as i had a packet available and its as close to January as it will be before my next visit, i thought, why not, go for it, so i planted up two trays for now, roll on January..
Well once again that time of year is upon us, and with the last few days counting down we visited the plot for probably the last time before the big event.
We just had a last few remaining jobs to do before we said our farewell to the plot before the big fat man visits, Annie did say i needed to diet. However, i really wanted to get the broad beans planted as i had read somewhere you can plant them out now if you cover them in either a clear cloche or fleece.
As we had bought a couple of the Haxnicks fleece tunnels to try, we planted out the beans in an orderly fashion and promptly covered them over , although today was a particularly nice day, not much sun but not cold either. One thing that had come to my attention was the amount of beautiful roots produced while growing in this beautiful Organic Compost.
Next we decided to plant up a few of the peas we have indoors too, so we called at our local garden centre and purchased some 6 foot canes to help hold them up.
We also intend to grow our sweet peas like this too, then we can dot them around the plot to attract beneficial insects. Our very last job today was to plant up a couple of Lavender into a pot brought from home, annie loves lavender and wants to dry some flowers out this year, as well as make the plot a more attractive place to be.
While annie was packing up her things, i took the liberty of planting up a couple of trays of cut and come again greens, as these are indoors i hope to harvest these in January.
Just a quick update to say that i will be collecting information from events that will be happening with Canna involved through 2018, all the news from products to help you grow more successful organic produce, stay tuned in..
Managed to grab a bit of time today to go to pop down the plot and pot up our 15 bare root raspberries that had arrived , 5 Glen Lyon (mid June ), 5 Glen Ample (mid july) and 5 Autumn bliss(August onwards)
We are wanting to spread the crop over a few weeks instead of a glut and then nothing, we have several other varieties too, including yellow ones which should fire up annie to get baking some of her beautiful pies and fruit ice creams.
While there we decided to do a bit of maintenance on the tunnel, annie got herself stuck into cleaning out the guttering and i concentrated on potting up loads of daffodil and tulip bulbs in readiness for next spring into buckets in which they can be sold in aid of “wish upon a star” a charity my son is raisng money for, he is also going to base camp everest next year on a sponsered trip, all the money raised will benefit the charity.
I was pleasantly suprised that the carrots i planted as a test at the begining of November have made an appearance, we wont be harvesting them for christmas but early in the new year, looking forward to that.
As the snow has come and gone for now, it didn’t seem to do us much harm, although we have no heating as such, the tunnel remains slightly above freezing giving us a chance of potting up earlier than straight outdoors. Going to plant out the beans next week as they have forcast it to be a bit wetter, but warmer, then put the fleece over the top of it.
Feeling rather chuffed with myself at present, i put two pictures into an open art exhibition gallery last week and i have sold one so far.
This gave me renewed hope that all i do need not be in vain, although i only manage to paint one day a week at the moment, come the christmas period i have several days in which to get more practise in, so needless to say that now all the shopping is finished and my wife has some lovely items waiting to be unwrapped come the big day, I will endeavour to continue with it.
I managed to fit this painting in between shopping , working , going to the plot and visiting people, so again i am really happy with my progress as I try to grow my experience.
This is an image i really liked, loved the reflections in the bowl although in the original the relections are different. I liked the balance of the greens against the yellows , all seem to mingle together to form a beautiful colour combination along with a great composition makes for a pleasing picture. I used Griffin Alkyd Oil as this dries faster than normal oil paint, making it quicker to layer after starting.
Well now that winter has dared to show its ugly head, or for that matter, beautiful head. Its only fair to say that a snow covered landscape is as beautiful as a sun drenched one, just not as warm with the shorts on.
Annie and i visited the Plot this week on passing to check over the veg and make sure all had got enough to drink, which is quite important in this weather as most of the dead plants we tend to get after a frost didn’t actually die of cold, but of lack of water as the water freezes up and they de-hydrate.
We noticed that the fruit cage we had placed over the cabbage and kale had been blown over, storm Christine blew hard here, but as the cage is mainly thin metal and netting i didnt think it would offer up much resistance to the wind in order to be blown over, but there you go, anyway easily fixed. We decided to tie it to the wooden sides of the raised bed, fastened it down in 4 places so it shouldn’t move again.
John-paul turned up this week to give me a Hand made present from one of his clients , its a pair of wonderfully hand turned Onions made from wood, and a beautifully made crate, just right for the veg later on.