As Long As You Have A Garden

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Merry Easter

I couldn't resist this image for all my blogger friends experiencing snow.

On the weather front we are swinging between warm/sunny and cold/wet. Things are blooming and I'm finding out what Spring looks like in my garden.

If I'd known this was forsythia I would have brought some inside to force

Everything is in need of some love but today is an indoors day. I'm sipping ginger tea from my favourite mug and watching our hummingbirds.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Call Me Digger

The weather has been beautiful the last two days. We even ate breakfast outside on Sunday morning. Time to get back to making new beds for all the things I want to plant. I wish I could get a rototiller but there are so many rocks it just isn't an option. Manual labour it is then. Time for some exciting pictures.

ready for native plants with emphasis on bird friendly
 I love birdsong but not losing my berries. The above spot is as far away from my fruit bushes as I can manage and will have plenty of seed producing plants.

bee friendly slated for here
I'm going to try transplanting some heather from our property into the bee area. This way I will know pesticides haven't been used for several years. I'm still deciding what else to plant. Do I go with non native but proven bee attractive or stick with native and see what happens. I've read non native, particularly originating from the Mediterranean attract honey bees while native will bring native bees. Is there any truth to this? I'd prefer native bees but do the native plants have the drawing power?

Plenty of stones as you can see but nothing to the size my husband removed.

my foot for comparison
This baby was about four inches below the surface in the spot we needed for a blackcurrant bush. 

It was given to us by a neighbour as long as we dug it out of her garden. I wasn't expecting it to be so big. We broke her fork getting it out! We needed a wide hole as the roots like to be spread out sideways and that was when we ran into the baby boulder.

Some heavy duty raking is on the agenda for today. The uncared for trees need some top dressing.  I'm following advice from an old timer. Low nitrogen, higher potassium and some lime. Top dressing goes on top except when there is moss which needs to be pulled off. Of course we have moss as far as the eye can see.

The good news is the daffodils we planted in the orchard last Fall have come up. 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Raised Bed Redo

The AMP has spent the winter in the barn organising, almost completed to his satisfaction, it is finally time to start a project or two.

You can, apparently, never spend too long looking at planks of wood. Now I know what it feels like to wait for me in the garden centre. When it comes to utility grade no one checks-you just put it in your vehicle and tell them in the office how much you took. You can also have as many cedar chips as you want for free.

One down, nine more to go. 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Tree Following-April

“When perfectly ripe, [it is] deliciously sweet and enticing, with rich, intense, aromatic flavour,” notes Joan Morgan, describing the Cox in The New Book of Apples. “Spicy, honeyed, nutty, pear-like… subtle blend of great complexity…”

Alas the Cox's Orange Pippin does not travel well, neither the fruit or tree. Here in North America few find success in growing it. It seems odd to miss an apple so much. For me it encapsulates a Suffolk childhood. A tree in every garden.

I didn't find the Cox's Orange Pippin on my property until after we had bought it. There are two, planted at the wrong end of the meadow, struggling in shade and waterlogged ground. It is bittersweet, the joy of an old friend, the knowledge it may not thrive.

The wrong end of the meadow


Buds just coming

Damaged bark


Last week it was professionally pruned. This week fertiliser, lime and potassium rich. Planting pollinator friendly native plants. Fingers crossed.

Pictures taken April 6 2014 as part of Loose and Leafy's Tree Following project.