Archive for the 'In the garden' Category

Ice-storm #3 – pics

Posted by on June 29th 2012 in In the garden, Weather

Pics as promised... here's a before-and-after pair, click either of them to see more pics of the storm-damage at our property.

I'm fairly sure that the car will be a write-off  😥




Ice-storm #2 – video

Posted by on June 28th 2012 in In the garden, My vids, Video (YouTube, Vimeo etc.), Weather

Video as promised. This used to be our garden, now it's like the Somme...



The local paper's website says that the hailstones were as big as golf-balls. Well, that may have been true for Hinckley, but in Burbage we were getting some as big as cricket-balls!

I suppose you'll want to see what they've done to my car. I'll post the pics later.

Ice-storm #1 – big hailstones

Posted by on June 28th 2012 in In the garden, Weather

Just recovering from a wicked ice-storm here.

Greenhouses trashed, car-roofs dimpled and dented, gardens flattened.

Here's a pic of some vicious hailstones with my 62mm lens-cap for scale.

More pics and some video later.


Double Spuds

Posted by on June 17th 2012 in In the garden

Last year we grew two varieties of spuds - three bags of Charlotte and three of Anya.

This year we've gone mad - six bags of Anya, three of Charlotte and three of Pentland Javelin. Three plantings with four-week spacings, starting on March 23rd.

I really wanted to dedicate an area of the garden to these things... last year I used the slabbed area in front of the obsy but later I built the warm-room on it. I had planned to have the green-house up by now with a slabbed area in front of it for the spud-bags but with me being unfit for such construction projects it's had to wait. That's why the yard now looks like a spud-farm:



The dodgy weather so far this year means that first bag of Charlotte is still about a week or two off being ready, but once we start cropping we should be OK for spuds all summer long.

Fire in the hole!

Posted by on November 10th 2011 in Celebrations, In the garden

Saturday night's bonfire party here was the best yet. Over 40 guests, one magnificent "Bob" (one of Guy's relations, according to his makers), hundreds of fireworks, lashings of food and drink, and enough wood to keep the fire blazing well into the small hours and smouldering for a couple of days after. This time I had a few breaks from ignition-duties and managed to wield the camera a bit:


Bob and his Minders.






Bob's throne and dais.


The guests start to arrive.


The incineration begins.






Shaky yet colourful guests.


Sparkly things.


Sparks and flames.


Purple and blue.


Red and green.


Red and gold.


Red, white and blue.


White and gold.


You give them food, drink, shelter, seats, warmth and entertainment, and this is how they repay you.


Who wants to be a Fireman when he grows up?




The North-South Divide

Posted by on July 23rd 2011 in In the garden, LMAO!

My neighbour Brian's a great bloke. He's from The Smoke and despite living in The Midlands for the last 30 or so years he's not lost his accent, his relaxed approach to life or his liking for the watered-down beer that they serve down there.

He likes to grow stuff in his greenhouse and he has a friend who does likewise with other crops. Each year one will start, say, the beans and the tomatoes, the other will start strawberries and peas or something like that - you get the gist of it. When the plants are ready to grow on, Brian and his mate do swaps so that they both have a fuller range to plant out later in the season. Often, Brian gives us some of his surplus plants, and for the last few years we've had some potted house-plants and some fine runner-bean plants from him.

For some time now we've been considering getting a greenhouse of our own and I've been accumulating materials to make a suitable base for said structure. When we told Brian of our plans he was ready with advice about how to build and what to plant, and he offered us some lentils that his friend had, telling me that they'd be perfect for a greenhouse. Well, I've no idea about growing those, so I declined and said that we wanted to start off with some simple crops. Tomatoes, courgettes, perhaps a melon or two. Lentils sounded like too much of a challenge for the first year.

Anyway, every time I've mentioned the greenhouse (or lack thereof) he's been banging on at me to go and get those lentils. He said that they'd cost me nowt, as his mate just wanted to get rid of them. Eventually I relented and decided that we could give them a shot. I asked him if they were red or green lentils, he said they were grey so I assumed that they were some sort of Puy lentil variety. He said that they'd be good up by the fence where the soil was banked up against the gravel-boards . When I asked him how big they are, he said "about five foot".

Yesterday we were out in his van collecting some slabs that I'd bought over eBay. On the way back he suggested that we should swing by his mate's house and have a look at those lentils, I agreed and so the detour was made.

He led me to the side of the house where there was a mound of surplus building materials. "There you are", he said, "take what you need, we can put them in the van right now if you want them."

I stood there confused, bemused and amused. There were six of them. They were grey and five foot just as he'd said.

Problem is, they aren't lentils...

they're lintels...

grey, five-foot-long, 8" x 10" cross-section steel-reinforced concrete lintels.

I had to explain the difference. The ordeal was not unlike this. If he offers me any peas next year, I'll be wary.

Nutty Spuds

Posted by on July 2nd 2011 in In the garden
Tags: , ,

We've got two varieties of spuds in bags this year. For quick crops we're growing Charlotte because they're versatile, and we're growing Anya because they're unusual, tasty, relatively expensive to buy and difficult to find (Anya is grown exclusively for Sainsbury's, according to Wikipedia). For each variety we planted bags a month apart so now we've got three bags of each on the go. It's making good use of the "dead area" in front of the observatory shed:



We cropped the first bag of Charlotte three weeks ago, they were tasty but there weren't many of them, I reckon we cropped them too early. We'll leave the next two bags a couple of weeks longer.

We've been waiting for the first bag of Anya to mature for quite some time, this variety is reluctant to flower so when the stems wilted we decided that we'd waited for long enough. This morning, we cropped them:



After a good rummage around in the home-made compost, we found these little beauties:



I'm quite chuffed with them, it was a sizeable crop with hardly any effort. We'll taste-test them this evening :mrgreen:

I'll put some aside for chitting so as to be able to get another two bags on the go ASAP, hopefully we'll be able to keep the supply going for the rest of the year.

Caught red-handed

Posted by on June 23rd 2011 in In the garden, Rambling on...

Recently there's been a spate of burglaries around here. Notices have been put up in shop-windows and other prominent places, advising the public to be alert and vigilant. We're out to catch the thieving bastards one way or another.

With this in mind, you can imagine how I felt about an hour ago when I was sitting in the kitchen having a well-earned cuppa and I heard somebody moving about on our back yard and trying the door-handle. I looked up and through the patterned glass I could see a shadowy figure the other side. I grabbed the nearest defensive item (a decent bit of rough-cut 2-by-2 left over from a recent DIY job) and made my way slowly and silently to the door...

The intruder was still there. By then my pulse was racing and the adrenaline was kicking in.  I jumped up to the door and flung it wide open, knocking the intruder to the ground (the door opens outwards). Jumping though the doorway I shouted something profane at the prostrate figure before me, and took up a stance a sensible distance away from him while holding the 2-by-2 in a state of readiness in case he got a bit shirty.

He was a bit dazed and didn't look much of a threat so I backed off a bit and let him get to his feet. When he reached into his open shoulder-bag I tensed a little but I relaxed and was somewhat amused when he presented me with this:


(Click it)


He said he wasn't injured so I sent him packing after showing him the front door (complete with letterbox slot) and the front gateway, and after telling him to refrain from trespassing on our driveway to gain illegal access to our back garden via a gate with a "PRIVATE" sign on it.

Mellow Yellow

Posted by on March 29th 2011 in In the garden, In the News

I've been hearing media reports about there being a shortage of Daffodils this year.

There's no shortage here.

We're awash with them - they're in the borders, under the hedges, in the lawn, under the tree...


Black and White

Posted by on December 23rd 2010 in In the garden, Weather
Tags: ,

Outdoors toilet-training can't be much fun when the snow's up to the top of your legs:


I get the feeling that Elvy didn't really enjoy her introduction to the garden yesterday.

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