Weekend of successes!

This weekend has been a brilliant triumph – we got loads of little jobs done, as well as one huge job!

Fence panels have been dropped to stop dust and muck blowing into the yard, garden furniture painted, concrete swept, bug hotel painted, log store started and finally – huge concrete demolition! Woo!

So, the concrete demolition… Our yard had these weird little concrete borders… No idea why. Our next-door neighbour has them in her garden too. They are super ugly, super pointless and super in the way of my grand renovation plans. They had to go!

I enlisted help from my handsome chappy and a splitting axe with a sledge hammer on the back of the blade. The demolition commenced.

*I should add – sandals are not appropriate sledge-hammering footwear. Tut, Tut*

After much smashing, and a couple of tea-breaks all of the concrete borders are out, leaving a ditch between the flat concrete part of the garden and the raised gravel section. Also leaving us with a fair few heavy bags of rubble to take to the tip next weekend.

Now the awful concrete borders are gone we can dig out all of the gravel and soil to level it out and match the concrete floor. There will then be a flat area to look at paving with something a bit prettier!! Phew!

Amy x

Brighten things up

I have been recently inspired by a book, called ‘How to Grow’ by Hollie Newton, to embrace my inner-kitsch. I should add, her book has also given me some great tips for growing vegetables, fruit and plants too!

As you will see in Hollie’s book – if you buy it, which quite frankly every aspiring gardener should, she has jazzed up her London garden with bright pieces of furniture and accessories. Lots of which she painted herself – which, by the way, is much cheaper and way more creative than just buying it!

After having a good old read last weekend I randomly purchased a bright pink, flamingo shaped watering can this week on my way home from work. I only say randomly, because until now my garden design had included a lot of green (obviously) but also neutral tones, whites, greys, browns and the odd deep purple flower thrown in.


So that’s why my purchase of a flamingo watering can was a bit of a surprise, as it doesn’t really go with my initial designs. But hey ho… looks like there might be some tweaks to my design now. Which is sort of the beauty of creating a moodboard and really taking the time to think about how you want your garden to look. It can change at any time to incorporate new ideas. There are no rules really… You can do whatever you want with your space. Even when the garden’s ‘finished’ it will never really be finished, you can add to it and change it whenever you like!

The flamingo watering can was just the start… I have just also purchased a wooden bird box from the garden… what’s so kitsch about that I hear you ask… well I’ve painted it.

Personally, I think its the coolest bird box in the village… maybe even in the West Country. A bold claim I know!

I do know that the colour of the bird box makes no difference to our winged visitors, but it will add a needed splash of colour to our white washed yard walls. It is also one of many touches I hope to add to help bring wildlife into the yarden. In a world when species are going extinct and becoming endangered left, right and centre, I would like to do my bit by making my yarden wildlife friendly, a sanctuary even.

So go on everyone – paint something bright and pop it in your garden, be it a chair, a bird box or even some pots!

Go for it – grab your paintbrushes!

Amy x

 

 

If you want to buy the same bird box as me, mine came from the old trusty Wilko for £5.00

Paints came from Wilko too – and they are just tester pots by Cuprinol. I have ‘Beach Blue’ and ‘Pansy Purple’ on my bird box. Both were plenty to give it 3 coats and only £1.50 each

‘How to Grow: A guide for gardeners who can’t garden yet’ can be bought from any good book retailler, but I bought mine from Amazon for £6.99 plus P&P. Bargain!

 

My Plant of the Month 3/12 – Snake’s head Fritillary

Merry April 1st everyone! Spring is finally here!

My plant of this month is my favourite plant of all time, it just so happens to flower in April. It is the Snake’s head Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris) which part of the Liliaceae family.

This delicate flower has a stunning checkerboard pattern on its petals and droops downwards towards the soil. They grow best in full sun or partial shade and in a variety of soil types.

I first saw this plant around a year ago whilst working on Gardeners’ World and I have loved it ever since.

I have tried to grow it in my garden this year, but it was smothered by other plants and weeds, so hasn’t been overly successful. I only have one or two who have survived my mad weed-removing rampage.

But I popped along to B&Q today though for a new hose pipe and they had loads of Snake’s heads in flower… I had to take a couple of photos!


For more info on the beautiful Fritillaria meleagris, pop along to the RHS website for all the info you will need, and tips on how to grow them in your own garden.

Mucho love – Amy x

Huge progress!

Today we made some real progress on the allotment, and what a beautiful day for it too!

First things first, I prepared the ground for a selection of new seeds, as unsurprisingly, some little weeds had begun to emerge. I then planted a row of broccoli (Autumn Calabrese), two rows of carrots (Flyaway F1) and another of spinach (Amazon F1 Hybrid). Plus I have planted a row of red onion sets – which is more of an experiment, as I have some sets growing in pots in my garden too. Hoping too see which is the most successful method.

I must say, I am quite pleased with how allotmenty this looks! Yes, very smug!

Lovely Andrew popped up to help me for a while too and managed to fix a very old and broken water butt and pipe system which now directs water from the shed roof into the butt rather than all over the floor!

He also created a raised platform to put the water butt on, so that I can get a watering can under the tap.

This will be super helpful now the weather is looking up, we have no water supply on site so I need to collect all the rainwater I can to help keep my little seeds happy and healthy. A good job done, thank you Andrew!

Finally I got myself tangled up in some black sheeting before managing to wrestle it onto the ground and peg it down. I have covered nearly 6m of my plot, which is mostly weed free now but needs covering to kill the remaining weeds and grassy bits, so I have a decent area to turn over and plant even more veggies in the coming months! As well as pegging it down, I have put spare planks of wood on top of the sheeting to stop it flying away if we get any strong winds.

You can buy sheet like this from most garden centres, but our site has its own store which opens monthly, where we can buy these useful things for a discount. Today I also purchased some garden fleece which I will use for my seedlings as they slowly harden off in the garden and then some netting which will be used when my veg starts to emerge from the ground, to prevent pesky birds and mice from nibbling away at any new growth.

I am chuffed with our progress today, it feels like we have some kind of control over the allotment that was once a bit wild. To top it all off, the weather was beautiful too, and signs of Spring are everywhere – even my Plum tree is in flower… Beautiful 🙂

Keep posted for updates coming soon on both the allotment and the yarden too!

Amy xx

Weekend clear-up

The big garden renovations are on hold whilst we save up for some even bigger renovations on the house… But we will still be progressing slowly. In the meantime, I’m just trying to keep our yard looking ok.

The weeds have had a mad growth spurt, in the gravel and planters. Mostly its that sticky weed stuff which I remember kids throwing at each other at school. 

Although the yard is in a bit of a state generally, I couldn’t let the weeds run riot, so I embraced the beautiful sunshine and got rid of them all.

The lovely weather and slight improvement to the garden also gave me a chance to measure up the space we have and start putting some design thoughts together. Mood board will be coming your way very soon!

Miniature Greenhouse

It seems I am still just about young enough to wangle a gift for Easter, and my lovely mum & dad bought me a mini greenhouse this year! I know it isn’t quite Easter yet, but I have seedlings in need.

This 4 tiered mini greenhouse is from Argos and cost only £24.99 – so far, so good. I have fastened it to the fence at the top and bottom so that it doesn’t fall over in the wind, and put a couple of rocks on the bottom shelf for good measure.

I will be putting my little seedlings in there in a couple of weeks time when the risk of frost has passed, but I may still tuck them up with some fleece at night.

This little greenhouse is a great addition to my gardening supplies, plus I’ve now got somewhere dry to keep my trowel and gloves!

 

My Plant of the Month 2/12 – Daffodils

My plant to celebrate this month is probably of no surprise to you all. It is the Daffodil (Narcissus). They are literally popping up everywhere, filling our green spaces with bursts of sun-like yellow.

I have been seeing them in all shapes and sizes on my route to work. The ones in the photos above are in front of Bristol Cathedral and look stunning. They really have been brightening my grey, wet mornings!

We even have some popping up in our planter by the front door… Even though I was sure it was empty when we moved in.

They typically flower from January through until May, so the best is yet to come. If you want some in your garden or window box next year, then plant them up in September and October.

For more info on growing these little rays of sunshine, then have a look on the RHS website for all the info you need.

I would love to see your photos of your ‘plant of the month’ – whatever it may be. So please comment below or send them to me on my Facebook page or by email.

Amy x

The Propagator

One of my Christmas presents last year was this little beauty!

Today, my ‘Garland Fab 4 Electric Propagator’ has had its first use. I have planted up two packets of Dahlia seeds. We have Dwarf Double Mixed and Pompon Mixed.  Which were super cheap from Wilko, as you can see! 

Once they have started to sprout in the Propagator, I will prick them out and keep them in a larger tray or pot until they are strong enough to brave the outside, probably around May. When I will keep them in their trays/pots in the garden for a couple of weeks before moving them to the allotment.

After working on Gardeners’ World last year, I was inspired to use some of the space at the allotment as a cut flower border. This way throughout the summer months, I can bring fresh flowers into the house which I have grown myself – rather than forking out for a bouquet in store.

Plus, what a thoughtful gift for friends and family, a bouquet of flowers from our own allotment!?

Keep an eye on my blog for updates on my newest gadget – and the little seeds I have planted in there!

You could get the same propagator as me from Garland Products – they also do larger versions if you have more seeds to plant than I do!

Amy x