Six-on-Saturday 15-12-2018

Rather a severe drop in temperature last Sunday when we arrived back in England after a few days in Dubai – at least 20°C! We had a good time with our daughter and her family but were nearly eaten alive by the mosquitoes!! Apparently, they are seasonal and should disappear in a few days. (I wish we hadn’t picked their active season to visit.) I did take some extra photos of our garden with me so that I could still participate in the Six-on-Saturday without confusing everyone.

We came back to stories of gales and torrential rain while we were away. Certainly, some of my supporting stakes were leaning at different angles from when we left and my full bucket of nettle stew had been blown over leaving a very small proportion of what was there before.

Never mind, I should be able to make a few lots of nourishing plant food from what’s left.

On to this week’s Six-on-Saturday – looking forward to reading all of yours.

1)

The main theme, to start with, is “Paths”

I made a rather ramshackle path from bricks and slabs found under a huge pile of cuttings left behind the garage when we moved in 18 years ago, but the Mare’s Tail just kept pushing through and it needed to be weeded every few weeks which took AGES. So about 3 years ago, I redid it with the leftover block paving stones and some of the original, old bricks on top of a barrier of double thickness, permeable black membrane. It has been a big success since no Mare’s Tail has managed to get through. It does still appear in the flowerbeds and around the path but it is much more manageable.

2)

Rather than plodding through the wet earth, I have put down a few bricks and paving slabs to walk on around the vegetable and fruit garden.

3)

These stepping stones are 30 cm square. The ones at the bottom of the garden are fine, but some of those nearer the top are showing only about a 10cm square!. I laid them to follow the edge of the flowerbeds at that time which were packed with well established shrubs before I dug at least 80% of them up. Next job, exposing each slab by cutting away the turf around them and filling in with sand to make them sit flush with the lawn.

4)

An even more of a Hotch Potch path towards the Daleks. Not a thing of beauty but serviceable. You will notice the wooden pole from an old patio umbrella and the muddy golf club. I was thinking of buying a compost aerator but they have mixed reviews and do not seem to last very long. It is easy to rotate/aerate the wooden heap (made by Mr Propagator, in case anyone didn’t know that) because I can remove the front panel and get to the base with a fork. I need to approach the compost in the Daleks from above, for obvious reasons, so need to use a narrow implement. The golf club will not go very far down since it is too wide, so I decided to push the pole (with its pointed end) into the heap to make the golf club’s approach easier. This seems to work quite well, certainly the air can get to the compost better now and I can rotate the golf club within the heap. (I don’t know where that hollyhock came from!)

(I haven’t shown you this for a while, have I?)

5) Look away now, Lora!

The Brussels survived a major attack from caterpillars earlier in the year, but when I went to see whether there was a picking for the evening meal after we came home, I saw something else had been at them and stripped the leaves!! I think pigeons, anyone any other ideas? Meanwhile, the Brussels did not seem to be affected and were very delicious…….yes they were, Lora.

6)

The garlic continues to grow very well. I hope the bulbs are forming under the soil and not all the goodness is going into the leaves. (All 30 cloves I planted have come up.)

(Just a quick extra photo:-

What do you think #1 son-in-law is getting for Christmas? I will wrap them in fancy paper before I give them to him, of course!)

Anyway, the grandchildren may be talking about “10 more sleeps until Santa comes”, but we are thinking “1 more Six-on-Saturday until Santa comes”, aren’t we? Granny’sGardenHimIndoors is getting his Bah Humbug hat ready (his Bah Humbug mug broke a few years ago).
Have a good weekend. I’m not sure how good the forecast is but let’s hope we can get some gardening done.

11 thoughts on “Six-on-Saturday 15-12-2018

  1. I’m sure #1son-in-law will be happy !
    Regarding the path on your lawn (#3), I have the same problem as you to cut the grass all around and add sand beneath (the ants love to be there, isn’t it ?? ) You just have to pay attention to the lawn mower … the blade doesn’t like that kind of grass …

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I recently harvested my garlic – about the same number of cloves as you’ve planted. There was a big difference in size, but all in all they look pretty good, and tasted good too, in the hummus I just made! I can see an impressive number of sprouts on your plant despite the unknown attacker.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I can face the cold wind and rain, I will venture down to the bottom of the garden to pick some more sprouts for tea with the stovies. Not that healthy a meal but definitely comfort food! I expect it is much warmer where you are.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice paths, especially the first one. I have stepping stones in some of the beds although I need to add one near the bird feeder as it’s becoming a muddy mess. Used to hate sprouts. Love them now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have plenty of the patio mini slabs and I am considering putting more of them around the flowerbeds as stepping stones, as you mentioned. I have put half a dozen bricks near our feeders which do help, although there have been very few birds this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am impressed with your compost stirring tools. Lateral thinking!
    I harvested our garlic a week ago and it’s hanging in the shed to dry a little. First cloves will be used for Christmas salad dressings.
    I love the path between the garden beds – its mossy and aged and just sits well in its surroundings!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fred has a point about sand under paving, as in your lawn. Ants love sand. But they don’t love stone dust. A bit more expensive. If you have a Wickes store near you, for example, you could get a bag of theirs (see https://www.wickes.co.uk/Dansand-No-Weed-Block-Paving-Sand-Stone-Dust—20kg/p/131899). It’s intended to brush in between block paving but does just as good a job under pavers (or is it paviours?)..

    Horsetail (which is your weedy thing; marestail is aquatic) is an absolute sod to get rid of. When you dig it out, you almost certainly leave a bit of root behind to regrow (and you have to dig down a metre or more anyway).I have come up with what, for me, are effective methods. I blogged them a while back at https://rivendellgarden.blog/?p=3077. Excuse the plug. May work for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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