Friday, November 04, 2011

What a cheek!

I was just finishing posting on my blog when my husband shouted 'Oi' - something had landed with a thunk on top of the roof where he was sitting and giving him the beady eye!
Can you see who is tapping on the window?
It's none other than........

Zola Buddy Bantam - her namesake was a runner who always ran barefoot.
She obviously thought that it was time her and the others got fed.
The clocks have gone back - so the bantams queue up outside the door at 3.45pm now - which in their body clock is their usual feeding time of 4.45pm
Gozzie - who is a black Rosecomb bantam has the habit of sitting on the windowsill and tapping on the window to tell us that they want feeding.  She also does it when we are eating too!

This is a new trick for Zola!   I'll have to clip her wings again.
I called her down when I went out...

And she flew right across the lawn, almost to where their run is - in an attempt to get to the food first!
Cheeky thing.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Well it's still dry so ...................................

This area needed sorting out - it's the right time of year to sow grass seed.
So, with Mr Lottie's help we moved the table and chairs
and lifted up the very heavy slabs and moved them down the other end of the garden

The weeds had to come out 
There were quite a few

We are sowing grass seed right up to the raised beds - which I am filling with all the spent compost from the pots which were in the lean-to

We moved the bench and table too which was in the way

The last of my 'winter' lettuces - I had the small one today for my lunch - with a roasted Salmon Shantie, half a white cabbage finely sliced and mixed with seeds and dried fruit and a spoonful of mayonnaise and vinegar and some pepper  (delish) and the last of my home grown tomatoes havested yesterday when the lean to got cleared out.
 Hmm - what shall I do next - maybe a visit to the allotment for a bit of weeding and a winter tidy up

Friday, October 28, 2011

It's freezing cold, it's sunny - so what can I do?

There is only one thing for it - I just had to go out into the garden

And do a much needed tidy up of the lean-to 

All spring and summer it turns into potting shed, then a 'greenhouse', and sometimes used for broody chickens  - hence the 'sin bin' cage!

Out went all the tomato plants, Japanese cucumber plants, and peppers

It's October - so that means it's pumpkin time

So I cleaned, swept, tidied, and stored the pumpkins in the sunshine.
Well that took all morning and some - it's nice to get it done

Friday, October 21, 2011

Messing about in the garden

I have been doing quite a lot of work in the garden - pruning, cutting back, transplanting - the list is endless

I have been shaping some laurel and a box tree into lollipops, and doing lots of weeding
My lollipop Bay tree - it was huge before but looks much neater now - I pruned those sticky out bits off at the back.  I think I might take up hairdressing as a new hobby!

We lost  yet more conifers to the disease so two more came out - we couldn't afford to get the rest cut down.  The sunshine was very bright today, but we have stained the fence which is now dark brown but doesn't look it in the photos - and ditto the raised beds - I stained those dark brown to match.  I have put some rotting turf clods in them - they make great soil, and will cover that with well rotted compost, and next spring/summer these will be planted up with veggies - probably climbing beans, its a perfect place for them - well sheltered and sunny.

Here are some more I stained - I have run out of wood stain now!  Just as well as I get a bit carried away!

This afternoon the lawn had dried out after the heavy overnight dew, so  grabbed the opportunity to mow the lawns.  I was shattered as I had been working out there for a number of hours, but really wanted to get at least one for cut in before the weather changes  - and pick up the leaves in the process!
On the right is Kath's garden, with the brilliant yellow chrysanthemums still flowering their hearts out.  The flower bed wraps itself around my garden room and I can see her garden from the conservatory too.   I am going to widen it another foot or so now that the building work has finished and the lawn has recovered.

I have been very brutal with the cutting back of the Woodland garden on the right - but it'll be worth it next year.  More of my 'lollipop' trees against the fence - they'll look good in a year or two.  They were big bushy shrubs before.  Inbetween them I have transplanted some gooseberry bushes from up the allotment, and some perennial plants from the front flower beds.

It's nice to see the lawn without the layer of leaves - but it'll only be a matter of days before it'scovered again.  Where I put the chickens on the lawn for a week or so whilst we were away a couple of times, the grass has grown really lush and you can actually see where they have fertilised it!

 I have done a lot of weeding and transplanting and created a nice neat path make access to the 'business' corner of the garden easier.
It we can afford it, the birch tree is getting the chop - it's taller than a house and we are a bit worried it might fall into our neighbour's garden if we get any bad storms in the winter.

This woodland garden does look rather bare - I confess I was over zealous with the saw and shears - but I am transplanting lots of perennials so it should be full of summer flowers next year - until the shrubs grow rampant again.

The last of the winter lettuces

They look almost too good to eat - like lovely florettes - but eat them I shall

Earlier in the week I cleaned out the chickens - and the next morning it looked like this.
Can you see all the feathers - they are all moulting

The lawn was covered in them too - hence my mowing it today

For lunch I cooked brown rice with fresh salmon fillets in a tomato pesto sauce.

The chooks always get the bits of rice left in the saucepan and literally fly in from wherever they are in the garden when Mr Lottie bangs it like a gong - then there is a real kerfuffle to see who can eat the most in the fastest time.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Last week we officially gave up the bottom end of our allotment - about 50ft.   

We weeded the beds (the one in the foreground included)

We have dug up half a dozen gooseberry bushes - but left the biggest and best one, and have left a bed of fruit bushes for the new holders.

I got a  phone message to tell me that there was no rush and they didn't have a waiting list - and that it would be advertised in the church magazine.  
Well we did rush, and it's finished - job done.

Now there is just a tidy up our top end to do, manure to spread, and then 'put it to bed' for the winter

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Allotment Diary 2011 Me: 82 hrs He: 73 hrs

These photos are a bit late being posted - I took them on the 7th October when we went up the allotment and I havested most - if not all of the last of the produce.

After cutting up all the above I ended up with a few large bowls

Ready for a cook up

I added six tins of chopped tomatoes (my own grown ones were too delicious eating them fresh to use up on this mammoth cooking session.   I used one stocking full of onions - about 8 and four jars of roasted red peppers - and garlic and anything that came to hand

Oh and all the potatoes that had been speared when dug up - all mixed varieties

And I created 14lbs - yes 14 pounds of scrumptious Ratatouille.  All now frozen in meal sized bags ready for winter.  I use them for veggies with meals, I turn then into soups, add them to stews, eat them with fish, chicken, red meat, pasta, rice - and each mix is always different.  Yummy.
Here are a few photos of how 'Kath's Garden' is looking.  I created it around two sides of my garden room a few months ago, so it's in it's infancy but has been very pretty up to now.

The weather has turned cold and we have had a light frost, bu the chrysanthemun bushes are just glowing.
I have three of these

The other perrennials are clumping up nicely, and I'll be widening the beds and planting bulbs and crocus for the spring

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Allotment Diary 2011 Me: 78 hrs He: 69 hrs

My intention today was to just mow the lawn in our gardens - to pick up some of the Autumn leaves, but Mr L wanted to go up the allotment and help me finish off the 'move'.

Three and a half hours we were up there - and not another soul was up there for even part of the time!

Still we got done everything we wanted to in order to give up the 'lump' of the allotment that I want to.
We mowed all the paths of the sections we wanted to give up.

And it's looking neat and tidy - we even moved all the stuff ready to compost!

Wish it looked like this when I took it over years ago.   But instead it was covered with perrennial weeds as tall as me.  40 carpets in different stages of rotting, lots of discared metal, rubbish, chunks or wood, old kitchen units - you name it - we found it in amongst all the weeds!
This post is just for my records so that if no-one takes it over quickly - as least I  can prove that it was left in pristine condition.
I rescued some Patti Pan squash and some courgettes.

Roasted red peppers not grown by me!

 I added onions, garlic, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, marrow, pumpkin, cabbage, and more....
Roasted three trays of it all in the oven, stirred it half way through, added a few spices, and roasted it some more.  We had some with our lunch - and I've bagged the rest for freezing - we have around 30lbs of different combinations of my ratatuille - it's such a treat in the winter, and we hardly have to buy any vegetables until Spring.