Sunday, 28 April 2013

All about the bees!!!!

So I'm sure you were all wondering how long I could keep quiet about the bees...well I guess that stops here!!

First of all the bad news...there is no way I am going to be able to get my bees this year. To have a colony settled enough with enough stores to survive the winter I need to be getting them now and to be honest that isn't going to happen...below is the reason why.

the bee plot
So above is the land I have taken on in which to keep my beehives. Doesn't it look pretty??

As you can see it is a bit of a mess. It hasn't had anything done with it in at least 10 years and the hugely uneven ground is a serious broken ankle waiting to happen!!

Only way to get weeds out is to dig with a garden fork!!
As you can see I have made a start.

So as you can see I have made a start on the land but it is slow going. Although I did borrow a rotavator to break it up a bit I am going for the olf fashioned digging out the rubbish with a fork...back breaking but satisfying!!

About half of the rubbish that has been dug out so far.
Just a Little of the rubbish!!
So above is about a quarter of the roots which I have so far dug out of the ground..that of course is without the bed-springs, bed posts, car-fenders and broken bottles/glass and cans I have dug up too which of course have ben taken to the local tip. I really wonder sometimes what people thought allotments were for!!

Anyway I'm going a little off topic. So yes, as you can see there is a lot to do so no chance of colonies this year, but in hindsight maybe thats not a bad thing as it means I have more time to get things how I really want them. I did buy some climbing roses last week along with a pyrocanthos and two buddleias which I have already planted along the hedgerow and also I got some pretty flowering shrubs and two black-currantants all of which I have planted this weekend. I have decided to tackle the bee plot in sections over the coming season so as not to get overwhelmed with the enormity of the project. As time goes by and more things happen with the land I will update you but I won't bore you with the constant digging stories!

As well as preparing the land you all know I have been attending my bee course. So far I have done 4 of the 10 sessions but I think I will tell you all about them in another post!!!

Hope you've all had a great weekend...nice long weekend for me next week with the bank holiday so fingers crossed for decent weather!!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Proof in Pictures.

Well my last few posts have been all text so finally today when I went to water the greenhouse I took the camera with me so you can see that I'm not making up all of my ramblings, just hover over the pictures for an explanation and click on them to enlarge!!


variety of bean seedlings planted 10 days ago.pumpkin seedlings planted 10 days ago.

really bad photo of the broad beans starting to shoot.taragon and parsley have returnde for another year.

The last few cabbages from last year.Rainbow chard giving it another go for a second year.

Fruit bushes look promisingSome potoatoes that were over-wintered (purely due to laziness last year!)

Autumn planted garlic looking healthyNot everywhere is tidy though, still a few weeds to come up!
So that's how things are looking at the minute. I am still trying to get the garden tidied up too. I was hoping to get some salad leaves in the tubs outside the greenhouse this week but the the radio yesterday said that the temperatures will dip again at the weekend and we could get more snow. I hope they are wrong but won't go full steam ahead just yet!!

Monday, 22 April 2013

And We're off!!!!

So the weather really had took a nice turn of events and given us some sun and warmth so the last week has been incredibly busy.

I really did mean to take some photos but I got so engrossed in getting things sorted out that the camera didn't even leave my bag...then I was too dirty to want to even contemplate touching it!!

Anyway all the seeds were sown in the greenhouse last weekend and by Wednesday evening most of them were starting to show signs of life. Even the sweetcorn is already shooting which usually takes at least a couple of weeks!!

It seems to have been a complete mad rush with extra hours at work, attending my bee course, getting land prepared, seed sowing...and then just the general up keep on the house and trying to keep up with the washing and ironing that so that come the evenings I am sitting and nodding off almost immediately. I don't normally watch much T.V. but the few programmes I do like have all started up again as well and I just can't seem to keep my eyes open to watch them. I'm so glad we have a recording box....maybe I will catch up next

The nice weather is continuing today and I was hoping to get down the allotment for another hour but again extra hours at work plus an unruly lawn at home are going to stop me...maybe a break won't be such a bad thing though after a good few hours of digging over the weekend!

So things are looking up and I can't wait to be eating from the allotment gain. I still have parsnips and leeks in the ground that need to come up and will get done by the weekend if not before. There is celeriac there too but from the first I dug up I don't hold out much hope...I will let you know if I find anything decent in the row though.

And finally there are the main crop potatoes that I didn't get dug up last year. I have dug up one half row and I did find some decent spuds under the ground...not many, but certainly as many as I was finding last year when I started digging them up so we will be having those for dinner this weekend and I will get the rest dug up this weekend too.

So that's all for now. I'm sure we've all been busy over the weekend and have lots of catching up to do. I will hopefully be posting some pictures tomorrow so you can see how things are going. Happy Monday everyone!!!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Introducing Tanya@ Lovely Greens this should really be a post about my allotment or even maybe my bees but I want to dedicate it to someone who has given me inspiration over the last few months!!

Tanya@lovelygreens is the person who finally gave me the courage to go ahead and give bee keeping a go as she is recently a new bee keeper herself. Some of you may know her but for those of you who don't I would love for you to go over and check out her blog as there is so much to discover on her journey to living a greener life in the in the Isle of Man.

Not only has Tanya embarked on growing her own and starting an allotment but she has also started keeping chickens and bees too and also makes natural bath and beauty products.

Up until last year these products were only available in the Isle of Man but within the last few months Tanya has started an on line shop which is simply called Lovely Greens Shop.

It has a wonderful assortment of things to purchase and you can even choose to have your item gift wrapped and sent to a different address. I can tell you from first hand experience that the gift wrapping is beautiful and the fact that you can send it directly to someone with a personal message can cut costs in postage for those of you who have friends and family living away.

So if you want to learn about bees, gardening, permaculture...or even making patio furniture out of old pallets then go and check out her blog and say 'hi'...or if you are looking for that perfect natural gift then click on the link to her shop. There is also a link to Tanya's shop on the page of her blog so it's very easy to find.

Then on top of all this Tanya named me as one of her top followers (what better way to be welcomed back after a long silence than having a message left for you to tell you to check out my latest post because you are in it!!) and sent me some strawberry lip balm which was the perfect thing to receive now the weather is better for getting into the garden but still so windy....I think it should maybe come with an 'in-edible' warning though as it smells so good!! In all these high warm wind we have had over the last few days my lips have not suffered one little bit!!

OK...I will stop babbling now so you can go over and check out her shop and blog. 


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Allotments, bees, gardening and Spring!!!!

Well I am still here. The last few weeks have been kind of hectic and with computer and cat problems plus the horrific weather posting has been non existent and to be quite frank would probably have had me moaning quite a bit.

But things are looking up now, the weather has decided that we can have spring, daylight savings have been put into place and I have started my bee course so over the course of the next couple of days I will 'bee' updating you all on what's been going on and catching up with everyone too.

Hope you are all enjoying the better weather.

More later.