Sunday, March 2, 2014

Still going, just...

We've been meaning to get back into this blog for ages. In truth, we never meant to give up on it in the first place, it just kinda happened due to time pressures - something had to give. However, it remained our computer home page, so we never forgot about it. The story about our garden fascinates us (and probably no-one else). So, without further ado, let's start telling tales again.
New Orchard (in 2012) with newly-planted hedge in front to screen septic tank
2013 was a good year - we got lots of new beds dug in the spring and the good summer meant a decent crop. Broad and Runner BeansPeas, Turnips, Leeks, Chard and salads did well. Soft fruit was generally good (although the Redcurrant did get cleared in one day by birds) and Rhubarb was brilliant. Onions, Brussels Sprouts, Tomatoes (as usual) and Courgettes didn't do so well. Biggest disaster (of several) was Strawberries - having specially dug a bed and filled it with 50 plants, only one survived a severe frost the day after it was completed! The other major concern is the Orchard. This is located around the septic tank area - we thought this was a brilliant idea. However, we have since been advised in (ahem) strong terms to remove it before the tree roots block all the pipes in the percolation area - oops! Sadly, the ground is too wet for a transplant yet, so maybe next winter...?

Greenhouse (March 2014) - early days but Broccoli "Purple Sprouting" and
Lettuce "Little Gem" already pricked out
Fast forward to 2014. Wet. Very wet. You think it's bad in England? Okay, it is, and probably worse in the South-west than here for a change, but this is Ireland where they have 23 words for rain (someone commented to me recently that they found it "concerningly damp"!) and an infinite variety of ways to describe it (not actually infinite, but many are unprintable). Nothing has been dug as it's been too wet to dig (although admittedly we usually find excuses not to dig in most years). The over-wintering onion sets have overwintered in the bag in which they were bought, as it's been too wet to clear the bed to plant them. It's also been uncharacteristically windy. Trees have been blown down, the greenhouse was destroyed and we haven't yet managed to locate the cold frame. we have managed to sow a few seeds - Broad Beans (The Sutton and Aquedulce Claudia) in toilet rolls, Pea 'Meteor' in guttering, and a small array of others, including Leeks and Onions in the greenhouse, and some early sowings of brassicas (Brussels Sprouts, Kohl Rabi and Broccoli) and salady stuff (Perpetual Spinach, Lettuces, Pak Choi and Celery) on the kitchen windowsill.

Old seed box - yukkety yuk yuk!
One thing we did do, which we hope will help keep us going for the rest of the year, is replace the old seed box with a new one, cunningly crafted from a wine box and a bit of wood in the middle for a handle. We also put in some wooden inserts to separate the different types of seed. Something of an improvement, and totally free - you can tell we've been to the Copenhagen Design Museum!

New seed box - Mmm wine, lovely!

Hopefully the fact that we now have an attractive seed box, that's allowed in the occupied rooms of the house where it can be seen, will keep us reminded that we need to get out in the garden a lot more. Of course, with the rain this probably won't happen. It could also remind us (as if this was required, but then few of us are getting any younger) to have a glass of wine. Win-win!

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