Sunday, 15 November 2015

Gardening is good therapy

I might complain about having conversations with cows, because we live off the beaten track, and 3 miles from the nearest (community) shop or bus stop, but I have to say there are times when I am so profoundly grateful to live in the back of beyond.  This weekend, needless to say, is one of them. Whilst I am very much aware of what is going on in the world, my blog is not normally a place where I air my views or discuss politics or religion or current affairs.  Suffice it to say that the people of Paris (and Beirut, and anywhere else that oppression and murder are carried out by minority cults) are very much in my mind right now.  Particularly the parents of the young folk killed at that pop concert.  Any one of them could have been mine.

It was very stormy here last night - a gale howled about the place like it was auditioning for Wuthering Heights.  I lay awake listening to it for over 2 hours before deciding I might just as well get up, so at 20 to 5 I was downstairs, busy with my crochet, and watching an episodes of Escape to the Country, which is my normal routine.

I went back to bed eventually, and slept until 10.20 a.m. which is unheard of for me!  I came down and had breakfast and wandered outside to top up the bird feeders, which were of course empty or nearly so, as the birds have been arriving in their swarms to make the most of this largesse.

I looked up, aware that something was wrong in the hinterland of my peripheral vision.  Yup, the green Wyevale polytunnel had done a runner again, but fortunately wasn't half a mile away in the valley bottom as it was last time, but instead was lieing on its back on the muddy farm track, tethered by one wooden peg.  It was soon back in place, and my husband and I set to with binder twine and hefty breeze blocks, tethering it down with the twine over the top of the frame, and secured . . . securely.  Hopefully that will keep it there the rest of the winter, because if I have to take it down and dismantle the frame, I know I will never remember which bit went where when we come to reassemble it (which is why it is left out.)

Anyway, I was soon raking and cleaning and weeding the pathway up to it, and sweeping the concrete path clear of leaves, and then I got the secateurs and was tidying back the last of the autumn raspberries (still fruiting, but not really enough to leave in situ).  We got out the black plastic sheet to put across the veg plot, once I had removed the last row of runner beans and thank heavens, all the worst of the weeds are now hidden from view!

I need to weed the leeks (top of picture) and around the raspberry canes, but if tomorrow afternoon is dry, I will get out there then.

Anyway, after lunch I finally ripped out the huge amounts of yellow Nasturtiums, which were STILL growing and blooming.  I had plans for that bed, which houses the garlic, and that needed to get planted.  I was fortunate in finding some Elephant Garlic (photo above - it is ENORMOUS!) in The Range in town, so bought three packs.  I also had some of my home-grown garlic to go in (all the biggest cloves) and some French red garlic.  I planted 43 cloves in all, so I hope it grows as well as last year's did.

Around this point, I looked down (having just wiped my muddy hands on my jeans) to find out I had my best going-to-town cords on.  Ah.  NOT my gardening cords.  Ah well, they wash well . . .

So here is the raised bed which is the Garlic plot, carefully covered  over to dissuade cats (Ghengis in particular) from using it as a cat convenience.  Progress anyway, and a job ticked on my list of "things to do."


  1. that tunnel wants to get away, perhaps just take the cover off it and leave the frame up, we got garlic in the other week thank goodness, its blowing a hooly up here again,

  2. I have replaced the fleece over my garlic twice a day, every day for a week. The only reason that I do not anchor it down better is that it will then tear, it is purely to keep the cats off and to stop the birds ransacking it. I looked at those
    polytunnels but decided that it is just too windy in my garden.

  3. Dawn - I would, except I have stuff overwintering in there, and the rain would make the frame rusty.

    Pam - I have to leave the "cover" on until the garlic has grown through and well-established, as that little hooligan Ghengis is persistant! I hope, when we move, there will be a good greenhouse already on site. if not, I'm HAVING ONE!

  4. My feelings exactly BB.

    That wind is here today and is so disruptive.

  5. I can so relate to this post having spent part of a second day trying to tidy the garden [what passed for a garden this year!] and plant out the rest of the very prolific foxglove and lavender seedlings.
    J. allowed Nellie-cat and Bobby Mac an outing at noon--you'd think they'd been saving up on the off chance of going outside as my freshly turned earth was immediately utilized for their worst efforts.
    I wonder why Elephant Garlic is not more readily available either from seed/plant nurseries or in the grocery stores.

  6. Pat - there's another one coming I believe, Barney?

    Sharon - the garden is always one step ahead of me and I can feel I am starting to get overwhelmed by it rather. There are so many feral areas too, which look a mess but I am not prepared to use poisonous chemicals on. At least I have now hidden the worse offender for weeds! Glad the boys had a little outing, but trust them to utilise the freshly-turned earth!

  7. Cat or hen problem... my gang of three hens take delight in upending anything I have planted, so at some stage I will invest in a greenhouse as well, though it will probably be a cheap one but cuttings and seeds need to be mollycoddled.

  8. Cat or hen problem... my gang of three hens take delight in upending anything I have planted, so at some stage I will invest in a greenhouse as well, though it will probably be a cheap one but cuttings and seeds need to be mollycoddled.