New shelving, Strawberries and auto-pots

No 1 son decided to make an appearance today at the plot, time out from his very busy job travelling up and down the country all day, it was lovely to spend the time with him and we got loads done, my poor wife has a bad back so the help was appreciated.jipbuild

Started of this wet day in the tunnel, we had recently bought a couple of sets of staging for the seed trays which seem to be mounting up, getting them off the floor would be beneficial to the plants and my back. Jip started straight away building the structure, it didnt take too to knock them together and an even shorter period to start to fill them up.jipframe

At long last we have managed to attach a hose to the outside tap, its not perfect yet, but it will do for now as it helps with the amount of trips to and from the tap with filled watering cans.

Gave everything a good water and feed today with Canna BioVega and BioRhizotonic organic fluid, everything is growing well at present and the strawberries have started to get flowers on them.strawbs

we are going to try and fit water drippers to the over head structures and we need to sort out the whitefly that has started to arrive on the strawberries, i have read that white vinegar is a good form of organic bug spray.

The Beans outside are growing really well, we took the fleece off today to give them an airing while the sun was out, then covered them again before we left.beans

To finish this post off today, we have been given a self watering system that doesnt use an electricity, if you need any more info just contact me, it is a series of interconnecting pots that sort of work rather like your every day toilet system, as we build it up and start to use it i will show better detail of how to use it, until then …waterpot



Still Life and wolf eyes pastels..

I have had a go at something totally different this month, i started out with more of my animal faces (see below) but on delving through my heap of pencil tutorials i have done in the past i came across this particular pattern i did in coloured pencils, its a pattern from the very talented  artist Marian Jackson MDA, if you get the chance just pop over to her site , she has wonderful patterns there of all sorts of interesting stuff.

I really like to paint  a bit of still life, and these patterns are wonderful if you cant or dont draw well as all you have to do is copy the pattern onto your chosen paper and simply follow her written instructions or if you feel like doing your own colours, go for it.pestalpastel

This is the last of the animal eyes for a while as i am trying to broaden my level of interest into my pastel art, i do love the challenge though of trying to make the animals looks almost believable, i have had a few comments saying the fur looks like you can stroke it, that for me is a massive boon. I will be returning to these type of paintings in the near future.wolfeyes

New Bed, more snow, and potatoes..

If its not a nerve agent the east  is dumping on us, its bad weather. Here we go again with a mini beast from the east this time, although it has plonked the same amount of snow as its bigger brother , but it doesn’t  feel quite as cold methinks.

pots planted
Annie and the salad potatoes

Had another few hours at the plot the other day, we managed to get salad potatoes potted up, tomatoes, peppers and a few chilli seeds potted.  We had bought several different types of flower bulbs from our local garden centre, Dahlia’s, Lillies as annie loves her plants and wants to keep them for the garden at home  and the plot,   we potted them up to start them off but we will move them to their final position after they have started to sprout .

The red cabbage and kale we planted before christmas purely as an experiment  seem to be growing well, i will leave them to continue for now but as they grow quite large i will be pulling them out as soon as we have something to take their place.

I had a few beans left over in their root trainers , i planted them up using the Canna Bio Plus, on opening the trainers  the beautiful roots were revealed, looking very healthy and full of growing ability.

great roots

To make sure we have enough room to replant all the seeds we have planted we have built another bed, its not filled with compost yet as we dont want it to stand there wasting away , we will fill it up later when we need it. Managed to plant a few rows of seedlings directly into one the beds, hopefully they will be ok as they are now covered in 6inch of snow.

Bed 5 being built

Cougar eyes and Lemur Pastels..

As i am really enjoying my pastel pencils i have decided to try and carry on doing a piece of work every week in order to keep up my practise.

Currently using Carbothello and Pitt pastel pencils along with Conte sticks on Pastelmat paper, the amount of detail you can achieve is amazing, i struggle with loose work and end up throwing most of it away as i cannot seem to produce anything i am happy with, or worth keeping.

This time i have used a picture from the ‘Paint my Photo’ site to put together the Cougar eyes pastel, it was a photo of a full head but i only used the eye section as i have a bit of an eye theme going at present, after all they are the window on life anywaycougareyes

I spent quite a bit of time with this Lemur although it isn’t as big as the first time I drew it and went completely wrong. I had finished the eyes and the nose area and had started on the fur, doing random strokes of hair doesn’t usually come as a problem to me, but at A4 size I started to struggle with it, it just looked like a bad hair day at the salon, so unfortunately I gave up on it and started onto something else, well this one is just about A5 in size and more manageable so it came together better. I must admit, i will be trying other subjects later on, but for now i am more than happy with the wild animals.

lemur in pastel


Spring weather and sowing seeds..

Who would believe that only last week we were 6 inch in snow with a Siberian wind blowing and things looking bleak, well not today, the sun is shining  and warm and its feeling like spring is in the air, how long it stays like this only time will tell but it will do for now..

With it being a lovely day we decided to visit the plot and get more seeds set in the tunnel while we have time on our side, but what to set was the next query. Having arrived at the plot we checked on the outside beds which were fine and no damage after the snow, so we turned our attention to inside the tunnel.

Annie watering the strawberries

On inspection of the tunnel,  making sure that all was in good order, it seems we came through this cold snap unscathed, although the plants were in need of a drink as the compost  had dried out. The seeds set a few weeks ago are starting to pop up and we have starting to feed them with our BIO Canna   organic liquid food to give them a boost from roots to leaves.

Organic Food for the young plants..

We started off with flower seeds that we need to make the garden and the plot look attractive and help bring in beneficial insects to assist with the bugs later in the year, so through the month by month  neatly arranged packets of seeds courtesy of Annie’s need for order (bless her) we had quite a choice.

Sorted out and sown Poppy seeds, Nemophillia, Cornflower, and last was the Gypsophillya, lovely combination of plants, we will also be planting up lots of perrenial plants too, as well as more bedding types.

Potting up the flower seeds

Next we shifted to more food items that are ok to sow now, Tomatoes, Peppers, lettuce, celery, leeks and peas. Using the Bio Terra Plus compost, which is quite a fluffy mix and very open, we get a good germination rate as the compost doesn’t clog when wet, but yes it can dry out quite quickly which i am taking as a positive, as the plants will live longer in dry compost as opposed to wet cloggy stuff.

Nice open compost..

As a final note, the Sweetpeas, Beetroot and Rhubarb are doing very well, i so love it when the seeds become plants and we breath new life back into the soil, bring on the good weather..