Posts tagged garden
Garden Prospects

Please can it be Spring now? I realise that we don't have the massive snows of North America, but man, I am tired of the cold, tired of bundling children up in actual clothes and tired of the dark. But mostly, I am just desperate to start the garden.

We have spent most of the winter working on structural improvements to the walled kitchen garden. We still have so so much work to do. The drainage continues to be a disaster of pond-like proportions.  The ducks love it, but we keep loosing children to knee deep mud. We are laying drainage pipe this weekend, but I have a suspicion its just going to move the problem to the road if at all. 

We have also worked on improving the very tired soil.  We tried two different tactics on the large beds - digging in vs lasagne gardening. In tests, lasagne killed it, creating loamy black dirt with zero effort. 

But with the end of this year's structural work in sight, I just want to get on and start growing. This year at the recommendation of my friend, we have gone with Real Seeds who stock mostly heritage and non-commercial seeds. I poured over the details and picked basically every type of veg that could be grown in Siberia, Ukraine and anything else that could be classed as Baltic (in both the geographical and Scots use of the word).  Kevin scoffed at my buying 8 different kinds of tomatoes, but I can feel it in my gut that this is the year I will get tomatoes off my own vines.

We also went with heritage variety potatoes, with our maincrop being Highland Burgundy Red. We are in the process of building a few potato bins as in my mind there are few things than a homegrown potato (other than a homegrown tomato).

For now though, I have to wait. Its still just a shade too early to start anything and with deadlines mounting, I will have to be content with just crocheting by the fire.

Oh the hardship. ;) 

 

When Inspiration Strikes

As any parent of small children will tell you, when inspiration strikes, you gotta move on it OR ELSE

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So when I saw this post from Angry Chicken, Ellis was out and Georgia was sleeping for the first time in weeks on her own in bed. I seized that inspiration and ran with it.

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Literally.  I ran out into the garden and grabbed some paint left over from painting Ellis' ikea table. I also had a big sheet of plywood that we inherited with the house that had been laying across the roof of the shed. A couple of coats of paint later and we have a 7 foot long outdoor chalkboard. Of course we LOVE it.

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Ellis loves to write with wet chalk, as my upstairs windows will tell you. But its messy, so this is the perfect solution. The spray bottle was a BIG hit and we did all eventually get a shower.

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Fun, easy and cheap...my 3 favourite things!

Summer...In Spite of the Weather

A few weeks ago as I walked into town, it was sweltering. I was sweating.  The sun was beating down on us. Ellis complained he was too hot.  The temperature at the time..66F

Needless to say, we're not having a promising summer thus far. Its cold.  Its wet.  Its Scotland.  One certainly doesn't move here for the weather.

In spite of the cold, we are just going about our business of pretending its summer.

We continue to spend most dry minutes out in the garden.  Yes, sometimes it has been huddled in blankets with hot cocoa, but one thing you learn when living in a country-sized rain shadow -- seize the sunny moment. 

No matter what the weather is telling us, we are looking for other signs of summer...the wild strawberries have taken the slightest shade of pink.  This then resulted in a 25 minute-long explaination to 2 three year olds that they STILL needed to wait for them to be bright red before they could be eaten.  ("They'll make your tummy sick if they aren't ripe,"  was the winning argument for 2 boys who both recently had the D&V bug).

But at least one of our seasonal rituals has returned.  This weekend, we held our annual snail race. Twenty snails entered the race, but the vast majority were disqualified for going the wrong direction and climbing on top of competitors. It is so wonderful to see the change in Ellis.  Where last year he was a bit fearful of the snails, this year, he was chief (gentle) poking officer. 

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In the end, it was a close one, but once the enormous snail from the compost pit decided to go, there was not stopping it.

Snail Race 2010