Sunday, 29 April 2012

Drought proofing or art installation?

I'm sure most of us tend to have good intentions to install water butts but if you're anything like us, there is always something better to do in the garden and something a bit more exciting to spend your money on. But there's no point in pretending to be green and recycling as much as you can if you don't save some rainwater as well.

The current drought and hosepipe bans further south gave us the impetus and we duly ordered six water butts from Yorkshire Water, not expecting to receive them very quickly as sales soar in a ban. The guttering was installed on the summerhouse roof and we awaited their arrival. Not surprisingly it took almost four weeks. They arrived on Thursday and the sun shone on Friday, for the first time in a long time. Installed on Saturday we now have a water butt farm which will hold 1200 litres. It's rained incessantly today and two of the butts were a quarter full at lunchtime.

We had one water butt by the house but nothing further down the garden and wanted to ensure that the fruit trees planted last year, the grapevines and the newly planted border didn't run short of water. I'm pleased with how they look and if we find them intrusive, we'll just plant another hedge.

Of course, you don't have to buy water butts - ask around and you may be able to pick up some plastic drums. These work just as well, you will have to purchase connectors and diverters but at a fraction of the cost.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Peas and Bees

Slow start this weekend, needed to visit B&Q to get some wood for the pea supports. Sunk them quite deep with the aid of our trusty and ancient sledgehammer and added a cross beam to give more stability. Stapled some chicken wire across the supports and they were ready. Freezing cold by this point so sowing had to wait.

Sowed peas Sunday morning - used up all my saved stock so there are plenty of extras for the mice to pinch. I dry some pods each year to keep the cost down. One more set of supports to put some wire on but I'll sow that one in a few weeks time or we won't keep up with picking and processing.

Beehives in position but the base needs enlarging as they feel too close together which means they probably are. Managed to get some of the edible hedge weeded. Second year of planting and looking good. We bought larger plants than normal as this is an extension of a hedge planted 4 years ago and we didn't want them to take too long to catch up. The edible hedge surrounds the orchard, also planted up last year. The echium sown at the base of some of the fruit trees is coming up, so the bees should be fairly happy when they arrive.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Lawn Makeover - Rolawn Turf

Old house had awful turf and needed replacing.   Landscaper applied weedkiller and several weeks later laid the new lawn. I'd like to say the before picture was after the weedkiller was put on - it wasn't!  We deepened the border in front of the house and added a border between us and next door, planting a dwarf box hedge.  To buy turf visit Rolawn