Thursday 17 April 2014


I have been very busy in the garden. Here are the main vegetables I intend to grow this year.

Above and below, a more detailed photo.

The onions, parsnips and carrots I have several packets of, as a friend had been given lots and so I benefitted too.

Just a few flowers to be going on with.  The sweet peas are late, I know, but currently in soak and will be planted in little pots today.

On Tuesday we had a big bonfire of the brash from the Ash tree which we felled last year.  It looked very untidy up that end of the yard, and we had plans for it . . .

As I said  . . . untidy!  When I say I spend 8 hours gardening a day, it is more THIS sort of (clearance) gardening than a little light weeding sort of gardening!

My OH putting sand over the ashes of the bonfire, which has killed off most of the weeds below it.  We have a plan you see!  The path by the Rhubarb was about 75% COVERED in grass and other opportunistic weeds.  I weeded it this week and put down several barrowloads of fresh chippings over the old layer.  The pathway membrane goes on for about 3 feet beyond the end of the chippings.

As I ripped the grass/weeds/soil combo away, the membrane saw daylight again for the first time in about 6 or 7 years . . .

Cleared, for my . . .

polytunnel.  My OH figured it was best up here as then I had the use of my entire veg plot for planting beans, peas, brassicas, carrots etc, and I could have my cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, chillis etc in pots in here.  Oh and strawberries, as I had about 50 feral plants around the place, so they are all potted up and hopefully will thrive in here (and the birds won't get them this year.) I know - it looks a bit drunk - I think I didn't straighten the cover up after we'd carried it (already made up) from lower down the yard where we had tethered it overnight.

Meanwhile, Theo was having his version of "meals on wheels" !! in the hallway . . .

Meanwhile, I am re-reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle which is such an inspirational book and is the code by which I try to abide, although financially it is not always possible to afford meat which is locally sourced and from a named farm.

This is an excellent book a friend sent me for my birthday one year.  I can recommend it heartily to any breadmakers out there.

This is the recipe I am trying - for Italian Pugliese bread.  Hmmm.  Slight problems with the "biga" starter, but I shall report back.  I made the mistake of putting it in the sun to rise yesterday, and the sun was so hot it put a skin on the "biga".  It was meant to rise for 8 to 10 hours (guess who started it at lunchtime . . .) and in the end I was SO tired I left it overnight.  I will see if I can make an edible loaf with it today, despite the overnight abandonment!

Anyway, I don't feel in a gardening mood this morning as I have not a jot of energy, so it is going to be bread and then a couple of Apple Gingerbread cakes, one for the freezer and one for now.


  1. I enjoyed the Barbara Kingsolver book that I read it twice quite quickly and I rarely do that
    Hope the bread goes OK

  2. Lovely to see all your seeds- I love seeing what other folk are growing. My OH would be v jealous of your poly tunnel- he had one years ago that was HUGE but we don't have room here and he always misses salad during winter! x

  3. A great selection of seeds there and the polytunnel is a great idea. I've only just put my sweet pea seeds into soak too but I tell myself every year they will catch up :)

  4. Oh you have been working hard!! I love the Barbara Kingsolver book.

  5. If only 'gardening in moderation' was a more workable plan--but, if one is going to put on grubby clothes, get sweaty and earth-stained, why not keep at it until the work is done [!] or darkness falls--or until one simply falls over in the garden [?]

  6. I must look out for that Barbara Kingsolver book.

    Your polytunnel looks great and so do all your beautiful seed packets. So much promise in a little paper packet!

  7. I love all the seed packets.
    I have only a very small protected side yard (from all the critters) to plant in. I have to use big pots also much is cemented over.
    I envy your plot of land.

    cheers, parsnip

    cheers, parsnip

  8. SSSmallholder - the bread turned out well, I'm glad to say, though I managed to scorch it as it was meant to be on 450 deg. for 10 mins and I came on the computer, then - EEEEK! - remembered it after 15 mins!

    CTales - have you got room for a cold frame instead. That should work, beside a sunny wall.

    R/Robin - snap - I'm the same as you, and they DO catch up.

    Mac n Janet - I lost half a stone before I started and it's stayed off, but I shan't be able to garden like this in the winter . . . I mean to read more of Barbara Kingsolver's books.

    MM - you and I are alike when it comes to gardening - work till you drop!

    DW - I still have your copy of Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible here. The A, M book is excellent (and surely to be had for a penny these days, over on Amazon . . .) Ifthe seeds weren't so darn expensive, I'd buy more of them. Wyevale ONLY stocks the dearest now (no cheap choice any more, as everyone was buying those instead. I rarely go in there as they are so dear. Lidl sells out its veg seeds very quickly!)

    parsnip - at least you don't have a weed problem with your concrete yard, and most things grow well in pots.

  9. Very envious of your poly tunnel. We're a bit behind with the vegetables I'm afraid. I'm busy working in our NEW neighbour's garden.....yes, it's sold and to someone who is using it as a holiday cottage and can afford to pay me to cut her grass. I'll bore you with how she got round the agricultural tie another time! x

  10. Oh BB I did laugh at the time you started your bread making - sounds just the sort of thing I would do!

  11. Your seed packets look so colourful, how exciting to be planning all that growing.. I really hope to get around to that one day.