Saturday, 17 June 2017

Alnwick Poison Gardens.

Well I did a little impromptu weeding last weekend but in true Tanya style I forgot my camera so I have just been going through the archives and found a few picks from Alnwick last year....

My Nephew and I visited the poison gardens. They were beautifully set out but you did have to book in for a tour as they are behind locked gates!!

At the gates you are gently warned about
the dangerous plants....

This is then reinforced by the
guide before you enter.


The gates really are beautiful to look at and into the
wrought iron there are different poisonous snakes
and spiders,just in case  you didn't quite grasp
the concept the first two times!!













Some of the more dangerous plants...or those that are listed are in cages to prevent the public getting anywhere near them...but not all of them can kill, there were obvious things such as cannabis and opium poppies, irritants such as nettles and thistles, but then also a few surprising ones. Aquilegias were in there, not poisonous as such but when ingested by someone with child do cause miscarriage, this was a new one on me...never harmful at any other time though.


The Prince of Wales opened 'Phase 2' of the garden in 2007.
The bench is a nice touch but you don't really get time
to sit down in the guided tour.



One of the last parts is a walkway through
the poison ivy tunnel!!

It was a nice tour and I enjoyed it and would recommend it...you don't pay extra for it but you do need to go and book your place when you first get to the gardens. Then you are free to explore until your allotted time!!

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

A misty morning





Monday, 5 June 2017

The Beehives

So I haven't mentioned much about the bees lately...to be honest there isn't much to say.

The bees have however been very busy foraging and making lovely honey...I will soon be taking some supers off to spin it out...for now though here are a few pics of the hives!!

Some honey supers being drawn and filled.

A full honey super weighs about 20lb!!

A frame out the brood box, all the filled cells
you can see will soon have bees hatching
out of them!

The hives closed up!

Approaching the bee hives.

Guard bees!!


Saturday, 3 June 2017

June??? Seriously???

Okay....I have decided to pretend that there wasn't a May in 2017 and that it really isn't that long since I posted...I have no excuses so just go with it!!

So anyway I did all that work on the allotment...then it got hot...then it got cool... then it got really rainy...and sometimes windy....these factors all helped things grow...mostly the weeds to be honest os I have been busy again weeding and planting and just generally trying yet again to get on top of things...wow, I really sound like a broken record don't I? Sorry about that, now I'll move on.

So here are a few pics as it stands at the moment....

So this is the first half. As you can see there is still
1/4 that needs sorting but I am pleased there are
some crops in and they seem to be happy!!

This is the second half, it actually looks worse
in this photo than it is and won't take long to whip
back into shape so that I can get the beetroot in
and sow some carrot seeds. There are crops
in there too!!
 You may or may not thave noticed that there is no second greenhouse in residence?? A while ago now we had some farily strong winds and the greenhouse went again, it was at that point stood up and I noticed more fractures to the frame. At that point I was still considering trying to sort it out but then a week later there were some more windy days and it went again causing yet more damage to the structure so I decided that it was more bother than it was really worth to try and sort it out so it didn't take much to dismantle it and get rid of it. On the plus side I have plenty of spare glass for the current greenhouse both on the allotment and in my Dad's garden!

The strawberry patch is looking a little worse for wear
but none the less despite it all they are doing well.

Not only are there plenty of strawberries growing...

But a few are already ripe...and delicious they were too!!
So that's all I'm giving you for now....don't want to bore you too quickly though I have lots more to tell and will be getting back to you in a day or too.
In the meantime enjoy the rest of your weekend and the sunny weather!
.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Progress was made a while ago.

Well it's getting late so I'm going to keep this short.

I took these photos back on Easter Monday which was actually my last day of vacation and I have to say I was pretty pleased with the progress made...these will sum it up for you...

The plot as it stands. a few crops are in and
at the far end the new strawberry bed is ready.
 There are some potatoes in here still from last year but these will be dug up and discarded hopefully this weekend. This is the third year in a row I haven't got the main crop spuds out the ground so I have decided not to plant any this year!!
This half section has been cleared and some
rethinking done.

This is the strawberry bed...honest!!
So the strawberry bed is as yet untouched though I will try and tidy it up a little ready for harvesting but at the end of the year this will move the other end and I have gone for Sue's idea over at 'Green Lane Allotments' and I am planting in weed membrane in order to keep the strawberry patch tidier.

Once moved I am keeping a good width path to walk along for harvesting and controlling the raspberry canes!

So these are the only dandelions left on the plot....they will be removed this weekend...though I have to say they gave me some great play time with the camera....let me share one of my pics with you...

Honey Bee!!

Of course they are the reason I grow dandelions on my allotment!!

I just want to say thanks for all your comments on my other posts....sorry I was so long publishing them and thanks for the greenhouse ideas...I will update that saga in a couple of days and also be sharing the other progress I have made too.

Have a great evening.
.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Greenhouse decisions.

So you may or may not have noticed that in one of my previous posts the greenhouse was in an upright position.
windswept no more.
This was once the fatality of storm Doris....now however it is upright even if a little bent in places...it is however definitely salvageable...the question is...Should I salvage it??

I will need to replace glass that got broken but I do think it's a worthwhile project and then I can have the second greenhouse that I want.

I would love your thoughts on what you would do with it....should it just go to the scrap man....or should I spend a bit of money and give it a second lease of life??
.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Patios and payouts.

Okay...so I don't really have a patio...it's just a load of slabs laid in the garden...they have been down a lot of years and so I decided to give them a bit if a clean up.

Here is a before.....

Before...
and after....

After...

As they are drying!!
It was a two step process, firstly I was on my hands and knees scrubbing them with soda and daz, then I hosed them down to remove all the debris. Polly of course thought this was great fun and go incredibly wet!!

A wet but happy Polly!
And the payout? Well there was s few seeds I needed to replenish for planting and I also needed some compost so I popped to Homebase as it's the easiest place to get to as we don't have to go into main town to get there. I got several packets of seeds and 3 bags of compost. I'm not picky on my compost...anything will do so bought what was cheap...here's the seeds I purchased...

Seeds purchased.
 So that was 17 packs of seeds and three bags of compost...I was a little shocked when they asked me for just shy of £43 at the checkout. It really is cheaper to but from the allotment shop so next year I think I will get my seeds sorted sooner and save myself a bit of money by ordering with them.
.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Halfway....and a little beyond

So yesterday saw me halfway through my easter holidays and I am getting on well down the allotment.

I was actually going to post about this yesterday bt by the time I turned around to take some photos it was far too dark so I had to wait to get down there and take a few pics today....then previous plans took over so I'm still a little late tonight with my post...but anyway here is the progress...

The allotment is coming along nicely!!
So this is the first half...I haven't started on the second half yet but it is not as bad so I'm hoping it will be a little easier going. I'm not exactly sure what is sprouting there but it looks healthy so I left it to see what I can dig up!!

I will let you know that it was the 'cheats' way of doing things though....I simply
hoed and then tilled, I just didn't have the time to dig it all over and this has got the weeds down and I will dig over as and when I plant crops and in the meantime I will just keep the weeds down!!
That's all for now!!
.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The Wonderful British Weather....

So my two week holiday started yesterday...the day dawned gloomy but warm and first thing on my holiday agenda was a lovely long walk with Polly!
Polly always get good walks and plenty of exercise but it's nice when I'm not tied to a schedule and can meander along and take in the countryside a little more.

The walk was great and when we got back I sorted dinner out and we ate...just something simple before settling with a cuppa. My idea was to enjoy a few chapters of my book with a cuppa whilst my dinner settled and then off to the allotment...then I remembered I live in England....

Rainy Afternoon.
Yep, you've guessed it...it absolutely poured down with rain!!

It didn't start that bad though...first of all it was really light 'misely' stuff so I decided to go to the allotment anyway...I even got a few pics so I can show you just how bad it is.




I don't think they need any explanation. It simply is a mess...though I know it won't take long to sort out. With the rain I thought I'd have a look and jot down what seeds I need for this year...surprisingly I don't need that many so that was quite a nice surprise...I did think as the weather was bad that I would get some seeds sown but that was when I found out that I was totally out of compost..so the visit really was a bust and I went home!!

I did actually manage to get a little done today...first port of call was sorting out the glass from the greenhouse that will no longer be. The good glass was stored in the shed...(at least I have plenty of spare panes now) the broken glass taken home and disposed of safely, the shed sorted out, the slab path sorted and a few weeds pulled!!

I will get down again tomorrow and get a little more done over the next few days and at the weekend show you my amazing progress (at least hope I will!!)

Well thats about all I have for you in this post...pray for good weather for me over the next few days!!
.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Spring is in the air....

It really is...we had a glorious day here yesterday...and one last weekend too. The weather is pretty sporadic at the minute but I'll take what I can get!!

So although we've had a few good days I haven't yet done any work on the allotment...I did manage to get a bee inspection done which was enlightening to say the least..and I've got some stuff done in the garden so I am feeling quite happy about that.

First..lets go to the garden.

So you all know about my package of bulbs and this spurred me into action in the garden...after all I had to find somewhere for them to go so I decided to go a little bit of re-vamping.

I decided to put them in the back flower bed along with lots of other plants which would come back or self seed yearly...this is what I have so far...

The start
So firstly I had to get the bed tidied up. It was a horrific mess with lots of weeds...a few plants but not many so once that was done I could really get to thinking. My garden, front and back, was kind of mismatched so I decided the best thing would be to move the plants from the front garden to fill this bed out nicely straight away and I could then think about my bulb placement.

The bed so far.
So this is what I now have. I really want a bit of a wild feel about it but I'm not very good at being haphazard in my planting but I will let nature take over from now on and self seed and see how it turns out. I'm quite pleased with it, all the plants came from the front garden and spread out quite nicely so all this cost me was a little time....hopefully in the summer I will have some nice colour...I think I do want to add a few more bits but I will look into that a bit later.

The front garden
The front garden though looking a little posh after it's first hair cut is now looking a little bare but this is where I am going to plant the annuals I sow every year..I'm hoping to be a little better at it than last year but also I won't be growing so many...and maybe a wider variety...just a packet of each to give a nice show.

Down the right hand side I am going to get a little lavender hedge going...I would like some heathers in too but I'm not sure how well they'd do here as the soil has quite a lot of clay and so holds the water...Anyone know of anything else I could plant that the bees would love be likes a wetter soil??

The Herb Patch
Whist I was at it I also gave the herb patch a bit of a tidy up. The bare part you can see between the green tubs will soon be full of mint again...I think at the end of the year I need to sort out the lavender here as it is very woody now with very little new growth...also the rosemary is going a little wild so I'm not sure if I should try and tame that up a little too. Should you cut back Rosemary??

So that's it in the 'sorting out of the flowerbeds'. Honestly I thought the post would be longer...it sure took me a long time to get the garden to this stage but it was time happily spent outside.

Oh, and sorry about the quality of the pictures...for some reason that right now I cannot fathom...I took them all from inside through the windows?!?!

Friday, 24 March 2017

A surprise package!

So ...quite a few weeks ago now the doorbell rang. I went down the hallway and I could tell it was the post lady on the other side of the door due to colours but I was a little confused as I knew that I had ordered nothing. I then thought that my neighbour was possibly out so the post Lady had come here...we often take parcels in for each other.

So imagine my surprise when I answer the door and the package was for me!!

Live Plants
Now this was a package that I had ordered and paid for A LONG TIME AGO!! it wasn't late arriving, just sent when the time was right and I had totally forgotten about it!!

Speaks for itself!!
So that was that...my bulbs had arrived...I couldn't even remember what varieties were going to be in the packet so quickly opened them to have a look.





So there you have it...a lovely selection for me to play with. I have a few bulbs in the garden but not many and I wanted a little more colour and life at the beginning of the year so this was why I ordered them.

Of course once I received them I immediately thought about where I was going to put them which got me thinking about the garden and what should be done in a whole new way.

I'll share with you next week what went on in the garden since then!!