Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Monday 20 May 2024


 We had our first harvest of broad beans with our Sunday roast, they were lovely, best tasting ones we have had, we should now get a steady harvest, I am hoping I can freeze some to save for our Christmas lunch. I planted these back in September, and was at every stage concerned if they were growing well, they managed our mild winter. I will sow more this autumn, in the other bed, it's good to see productive ground in the cooler months. 
We are also eating home grown lettuce and salad leaves, this raised bed is working well as a salad bed. I have copper tape around the back to keep pest away, it sits close to the garage wall. Behind is the blackberry vine, which grows higher up along the garage wall. 
Potatoes are looking heathy, just need them to flower, there are two bags here, one planted a few weeks later then the other, I have high hopes for a good harvest. I had two seed potatoes over, so they are in a raised bed. These bags work well here behind my high raised flower bed, I have no need to get to this spot. 
The other raised veg bed is looking good, the parsnip and beetroot seedlings are growing, these are either side of the middle section, the broccoli is huge, runner beans have started to climb the poles. I am on snail duty most days, I try and keep this bed free, something has nibbled at some of the runner beans, but it has not stopped them growing.
Also in the bed is my cucumber plant, I have a few small cucumbers starting to grow, these are F1 mini cucumbers, so soon we should start to eat home grown. The tomato in the huge pot is a beef tomato, I've not grown bigger tomatoes before, there are a couple of flowers forming. 
The tomato plants in the greenhouse are a bit behind, they are growing, so I'm happy. In the two tubs are cauliflower plants, once the broad beans are finished these will go in that bed. 
Both buckets of carrots are looking good, these are just inside the greenhouse, soon I will find a spot outside, I will also need to thin them out.
I purchased this pepper plant, it has been put into a bigger pot, it will need another slightly bigger pot soon, the first flowers are forming, this is a sweet pepper, I'm not a fan of chilli's.
My leek are doing well, they are strong, I have 19 here, they will go out in the broad bean bed once there is space. These are another veg I have not grown before, I have some onions in the centre of the broad beans, they are looking good.
I have grown fruits for years, again I am using this strawberry tower, this year it's in a different spot, sunny, but not full sun, there are loads of flowers. 
I have two slightly different blueberry bushes in this huge tub, they set fruit at different times, making my harvest last longer, and stops a huge glut. The early bush is full of fruit, looks as if it's going to be a bumper crop. 

Every morning before breakfast I walk around my tiny garden, I have so much squashed into the space, I grow where I can and in bags and pots where I have no soil, we are hopeful for a nice steady harvest, not too much of any thing, just a few nice meals. The veg section is giving me everything I have ever wanted, I will try and grow anything, and if we can eat it, then that's a double pleasure. 

I get so many comments 'your garden is tidy, we have loads of raised beds at different heights, I do like neat lines, so edges of the gardens stay tidy, I don't plant in straight lines, in fact I think I break so many rules, I like plants to mingle, I often plant just one plant, in a small garden there is not room for sways of planting, I also plant closer together. Like many others you get to see the best bits, I'm outside most days, so there is always a small job I can get done. I can't sit and relax if I see something which needs to be sorted, and I do love to sit outside as much as we can. 

Saturday 18 May 2024

Better outlook

Our garden, this is our view from the outside table, we sit and chat, watch the small birds as they feed from the hanging containers in the tree. We have noticed they hop around the veg beds, hopefully feeding on any bugs, it's good to have so much wildlife in our space. The bigger birds always swoop next door, where she has an open tray bird feeder. 
The garden is a working area as well, laundry on the lines, gone by lunchtime on warm days, hubby packs the lines away after use, this back end of the garden is earning it's keep with harvest of veg to come. At the moment this is my favourite end, so much growing, the broad beans are swelling in their pods, soon be time for a harvest. 
This area along the fence we have not used for years, it's a sun trap, but sadly the flies and smells from next door keep us away. The water feature is new, it's a firepit with a solar fountain, I wanted a low feature, everything else is years old, we both love this space now. Once all the plants in the big tub start to grow the area will be full of colour. 
Being aware on how much I am spending in the garden, we popped to B&Q to get some cheaper plants, £32 spent, one plant almost half price, I cut part of a rooted section from a scabiosa, making a small free plant. Every plant was pot bound, the roots in each case tightly wound around the bottom of the pots, I released the roots and planted, I prefer plants being pot bound rather than weak roots. These have all gone into my side bed. 

I have cut back all the yellowing leaves from the spring bulbs, the bulk being in the long side bed, my composter is now full, but it does break down quickly, I could now see the gaps in the ground, most of my focus will be on the side bed this time, I have bedding plants to go in for a couple of weeks, then the bed should be done. Last year there were Salvis hotlips, but they grew far to big, engulfing everything, whilst they are beautiful, it's not what I wanted in this bed. 

I have twice this week slept over at daughters, she had booked a break in Budapest, which both daughter and SIL needed, the children were very good for me, we had loads of fun, I did not want them to cancel the trip and lose money. As the children get older they are easier to look after, not so much lifting, and they can play well together, I did drive back here for one day, on sunny days they prefer to be outside. 

I am on hose pipe duty most nights, ensuring the broad beans are well watered, along with other new veg plants, all the new flowering plants had a good soak. I was really please using my Hori hori knife, I'm always wary with knives, they do scare me, both my garden knives are tucked away in a drawer with my secateurs, the drawer is a bugger to open, it sticks all the time, which makes me feel they are safe inside. 

Friday 17 May 2024

New this season

We are both extremely happy with our water feature, both in the look and the cost, we did not want to run electric to a pump, preferring not to see wires. This was sold as a firepit, I thought it would look good with water in, the stones I already had, pre-used on pots as a decorative top layer. The pump has black net around it and is tied underneath, with a stone placed to anchor it to the middle spot.
I saw this idea from a gardener I follow on Instagram, his pot was bigger than this, I wanted to use a pot we already had, already the middle plant is giving off babies, hubby loves these succulents, this pot is on our metal table, which allows good drainage, and will stay outside all summer.  
I got theses plant frames online, they were not as sturdy as I expected, hubby has tied them together, there are three here, this should give extra support for this climbing rose. In front is my pomegranate plant grown from a pip, I cut it back last year as it was getting woody, now it looks fantastic.  
Why are cloches so expensive, I have been looking for metal ones, but won't pay the ridiculous prices, I have nets but it's can be a bit of a faf to get them into place. In B&M this week I saw these, food protectors, 2 for £4,  not as tall as I would like but they work, I have a smaller one protecting my french bean plant. 
I have a few huge pots which needs digging out, I struggle to loose the sides from the pot, my garden knife is neither long or strong enough for the task. I have been hankering after one of these Hori hori knives for a couple of years, hubby went online and sneakily got the one I wanted, I am one happy wife and gardener. 

Everywhere feels so good when the sun is shining, I'm outside most days, I have potted on all my seedlings, mainly flowers and a few herbs, other plants are in the ground, I have re-sown my peas, the pigeons nibbled them back to the ground, I have used a different pot, and placed in an area we can see. In the other pot I will plant a courgette, not my favourite veg, hopefully home grown will make me love them again. I moved both hosta's down to our seating area, I have a spot which is in shade most of the day, once the flowers are over I will move them to the back of the garden and put a begonia there. 

We popped to our local town, just a few decent shops left, TK Max, Next, B&M and Waterstones, we don't normally go on a wander around and get bits and pieces, but it was fun for a change, we had lunch out, very brave after our last 10 days. I dropped off a birthday gift to a friend, we had a lovely drive along the water front, Stokes bay and Lee on the Solent, beautiful blue skies, it was nice just to slowly drive through, we do live in a wonderful part of the country. 

Thank you for all your recent comments, May is a challenging month, 1st Monday of month, we said goodbye to Grace, 2nd Monday sat talking to doctor, hubby's kidney failure, very scary, 3rd Monday, sat in garden in sunshine, wondering what the hell we have been through. I've always bounced back, I hear my mum's voice in my head, 'get on with it', but for once I needed time to reflect and process everything. 

Wednesday 15 May 2024

Gentle times

My pond section is becoming really colourful, with aquatic and rockery plants, I wanted this area to look lovely and be able to look after it's self. I think of it as Grace's pond, she loved to drink from here, always preferring rain water.
My hosta's is almost there, 2 huge flower heads coming, excuse the mess behind, everything gets moved to this working end of the garden.
I can't remember the name of this tiny flower, it does need dead heading, very pretty in the small pot, there are loads of buds forming, so plenty of flowers to come. 
So many blooms returning, I love this rose, the buds are very dark and they lighten as they open, this bloom has a yellow streak. My mum's peony, stunning colour. Lupins are throwing up flower stalks, I have no idea what colour these will be. 
Some of the best flowers are on fruit, herbs and veg, here, Strawberry, Rosemary and a cucumber plant.

The past few days have been about rest, calm and gentle times, the opposite to how the rest of year has been. The house is clean, I did top to bottom when hubby was in hospital, the garden jobs neglected, I've been exhausted too many times in the last few months. Meals are simple, using what we had at home, I think my mind has to heal as well as my body. We have a simple rewarding retirement together, which was shattered so quickly, frightening swift the changes. 


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