Thursday 30 January 2020

Internal Garden Monologue

If you had told me 5 years ago, I would be sitting in a house, at a table over looking a front garden in Scotland, I would have laughed my socks off.  It was an impossible thought.  It had never even entered my mind that it could possibly be true.  Life is strange like that. 

I have lived here for 15 months now.  I havent really stayed in any house that long.  Its strange to think that I might remember the postal code or the house telephone number if some asks me it as a security question.  I must look like a complete idiot in the bank sometimes.  We have moved so many times I remember none of them and gave up trying to remember them as some houses we bought and sold again 7 months later, what was the point.  

Apart from the weather and it being dark, it is nice.  I have tried to join in with the community the best I can and it has repaid me in ways I had never thought about.  Every one talks to you and sometimes it makes me laugh, they know more about my life than I do.  I dont mind too much.  I just wish the neighbours would give up their love of weed killer.  You see, I want to really go for it with the garden and see if I can open it to the public on those national open days.  We will see.  At present I cant see it happening for a long time as I dont have a huge amount of money to do it and that means you have to grow from small plants.  With the size of the gardens, small plants will be swallowed up.  We will have to wait for them to get bigger.  Many of the locals have seen me struggling to keep things alive in the garden.  The weather is harsh, the wind chills you to the bone whilst whipping you and burning your eyes.  Some of the ladies at the WI bring me little offerings from their gardens that they know grow here.  It is nothing like Cornwall, where you can just scatter the seed and walk away.  Here you have to protect everything.  I have taken to digging a little trench next to the saplings and pushing a wooden board down in next to it to deflect the wind whilst roots are put on by the plant to anchor it in the ground.  For every 5 plants I put out, 2 will survive.  I have been told lots of times to just give up on anything that will be tall flower spikes, or with big leaves.  That leaves it a bit hard to make up texture in the garden.  

What does that leave?  Well, not much that I am used to.  Everyone else rips conifers and rhododendrons out.  Where as here it looks like they will do well.  I have some thuja and some different coloured  camaecyparis, all shades of green obviously but to add shape and they are all dwarf variety that will get to about 1.5 metres.  Hopefully this will stop the wind getting to them too much.  I have some Albert Golds as well as they will grow well here.  I have some azaleas to go in, which are little more than whips really, but they will grow well here.  I am hoping these will all provide back ground structure and then I can fill in with heathers and annuals.  It will be masses of trial and error.  I can imagine quick cold snaps will turn a lot to complete mush.  We will see what happens.  I may draw a plan to show you.  It depends on time.  

Tuesday 28 January 2020

It came and Doomsday Preppers

This picture is from the middle of the day.  It is dark here.  Weirdly at night it seems brighter as the snow reflects the street lights.  Night becomes day.  

I have planted some chilli seeds today.  They will live in the utility room with the hope that at some point we have warmer weather.  I need to dig out some of my potatoes that I thought would be good for Christmas, but they were so small I left them in the bags.  Covered in snow at present so that will have to await.

We have ordered a few bits to keep in the cellar in case the main roads get blocked or like the other week, flooding.  

Have been watching Doomsday Preppers on Netflix.  Have you seen it?  Wow, some people are intense arent they.  It is an interesting watch as the Preppers are marked out of 20 on 5 categories and it is to see how long they would last in their "worst case scenario".  One man even went to buy a helicopter and had already spent $250k on prep.  His score was still really low.  One of the highest scorers was a man who had hydroponics at his bug out location. (its an American TV programme). 

I have just finished reading the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness.  It has been made into a TV series called A Discovery of Witches.  With the very lovely looking Matthew Goode, *Phwoar*.  I have started reading another book that is about the next gen (evolution) of people who use more of their brain and it makes the immortal.  It is young adult fiction and I am liking it as it is a really quick read.  I dont know what to read after.  We will have to see.

Sunday 19 January 2020

"I would like some sun please"

All day it has looked like this out the window.  The weather has been awful for 2 weeks now.  The grass has only just defrosted and it is starting to freeze again already.  I am going to look into a daylight lamp, the darkness is getting to me.  I am getting frustrated that I cant do any gardening.

Plan for the week, shift some of the logs that you can see in the middle of the picture.  There are 9 piles like that in the front garden. As you can also gauge from the picture the garden is tiered, meaning I have to push the wheel barrow up 2 really steep (near vertical) slopes.  I estimate that this will take 2 days to shift the piles in this picture, the tree trunks were approx 1m wide.  Some of them were lime trees that had died in position and looked like lightning trees.  All the bark had fallen off and when the tree surgeons took them down they broke 4 chainsaw blades on one tree.  They said it was tougher than concrete!  We are processing them very slowly as it take so much to hack them up.  

This is part of the front garden, we arent allowed to put any structures in the front, we live in a conservation area.  Which is kind of funny that out view over looks houses with green houses and we have been told no as they will be seen from the road.  lol  

Once the garden is clear of the logs, then we can see how bad the soil really is.  It is like sand and dust, it seems to hold no water.  Yet the lawn is mostly moss.  I think the trees are taking all of the nutrients and water from the soil.  They also cast a huge amount of shade.  All the trees taken down in the garden, were either already dead or had a disease.  We had to take the horse chestnut down from the driveway, and although it will be missed from the landscape, it was completely black and rotten right through the middle.

I have about 300 plants in the back garden waiting to go into the front garden.  We have lots of low conifers of different types, azaleas and camelias.  They seem to grow well in this garden and the gardens on both sides.  Especially in the house next door, that is built into the original kitchen garden for this house.  I am itching to get out there, but it is too cold and the wind has been awful.  

I would like some sun please.  It doesnt need to be warm, just some blue sky and some sun.

What are you planning for your gardens?

Thursday 9 January 2020

Stay Back Evil Beast

I spy you there in the distance.  
Stay back evil beast, we dont want you down here. 

Brass monkeys today.  At least I saw a little bit of blue sky.