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Latest posts by Palaisglide

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 14/08/2012 at 11:24

Teesside, today we have weather? Looking out it defies analysis, all kinds of cloud, the sun breaking through then vanishing N-S-E-W all looks the same.
Will it rain? will the sun finally make it? for once I cannot see the way things are going where as normally you can see what is coming at you around here.
"oh well" pot luck day just like tea will be tonight.


Get Rid of your Lawns

Posted: 13/08/2012 at 10:53

Gary, as I said we are a diverse lot as gardeners, one mans garden another mans jungle or woman come to that.
I have a large front lawn, open from the house to the pavement with some trees on it, because I am on a corner with the road falling away the south end is nearly twice as long as the north end, that is east facing. I replaced a messy plot to the south side of the house with a lawn a year or so back 1) because as you get older the work gets harder if there is a lot of it 2) the front and side lawns are cut once a fortnight, never to bowling green length and the whole job takes one hour from start to clean up, good exercise, fill your lungs with good salty air, and nothing wasted it all goes to green waste and comes back as free bags of compost, we have a good council.
The back is garden a complete contrast to the front and that is the way I like it as over the years with many and very different gardens I found what pleases me and there is only me to please these days.
I have views Gary from the front across the valley to the Cleveland Hills, to the east I can see across the woods out to the coastal weather front to the back across open gardens too see the planes almost onto the runway at the local airport, from my house I am onto country lanes open fields and vista's into the Vale of York.
I love Carol to bits and like nosing round her garden on TV but could not live with it, too cluttered and she has screened the views with trees. MD's garden looks nice although the only open bit appears to be the cricket pitch which was fairly closed in, it is OK but I would be opening up areas in no time if I took it over.
Some of us love space others to be closed in, they wrap the garden around themselves like a blanket I throw the blanket off, give me open space.
The wild life here flourishes without too much help because it is open country, I empty a lot of seed from the feeders into the bin as I refresh them they get used but more so in winter than summer. As I said in the first post we are all different with differing needs and I love my lawns which are fed feed and weed in spring when it is going to rain or actually raining and winter feed and weed in Autumn along with a good raking and some aerating, that is good for the lawn fitness and mine. The front has never had a hose on it but I confess to watering the side lawn once when we had a heat wave but then I was also watering everything else in the garden, no shortage of water around here we even export it.
Lawns are restful lets face it every bit of gardening is hard work no matter what you do with it, it is also often heartbreaking hence some of the questions on these forums, we find our level and stick with it, gas guzzling lawns? a new one on me, it will be gas guzzling tomato's next, you can buy them cheaper than growing them, but you cannot buy the taste.


What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 13/08/2012 at 10:20

Teesside did have weather over the weekend but we also had the Olympics, writing up the weather was not a priority.
Today is sunny and warm although hazy, I cannot see the hills across the valley but they do not look sullen.
After listening to all those old rockers who should retire gracefully I need some fresh air, hello garden good by Olympics.


Get Rid of your Lawns

Posted: 12/08/2012 at 09:16

Bob Flowerdew a Gardener I have watched on TV and read his articles published in weekend papers has suddenly come out against lawns,"worse than driving a gas guzzling vehicle" he proclaims. Now I respect his views although having seen his garden on TV years back where he had old carpets laid out on parts of it supposedly for a year to suppress weeds and his containers coming in what most of us would weigh in at the scrap yard I was not too impressed with the look of it.
We gardeners are a varied bunch and at times you can imagine the owner by just looking at the garden something I often did when dog walking and peering over fences, it is surprising how often first thoughts are correct, we like order in various degrees.
As a lad when a surge of new build happened in our village the houses all had a front lawn with low wall to contain it and the back garden was a working garden with a clutch of hens, vegetables, fruit bushes, and anything else that would feed the family over the seasons and produce food to bottle or make jam. The front lawn was the posh bit, thou shalt not walk upon it, hand mowed trimmed with scissors in places it showed your place in society, well we were the posh end of the village!
Over the years as new estates went up the lawn became the playing fields that had been there before the houses were built. Lawn back and front, the front still kept neat the back no longer producing food the clutch of hens long gone was the football swing slide dads garden shed retreat and Mun's drying area, the lawn was for recreational safety of the children.
Then came the make over years ugly decking gravel paved areas hot tubs and anything else the trendies could sell people plus of course the "Trampoline", a quiet Sunday afternoon sit in the garden became a mesmerizing glimpse of heads shooting up beyond the fence as they became airborne and it was not always the kids.
Even as a kid where the garden small holding was a working area, Dad had a small strip of lawn where on warm summer nights we would put some folding chairs and sit watching the sun go down, lawns you see are for contemplating, resting your eye's whilst planning next years changes, they give a sense of peace, let you wind down, so Bob although you are getting your wish, with three or four cars most front lawns are now gone and bricked or concreted over, one gas guzzler is being replaced with more, keep your lawns get rid of the gas guzzlers. I rest my case.


What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 10/08/2012 at 11:06

Dull and dank although warm here on Teesside with some luck it will improve.
Wasted my morning writing family history for Daughter in California her writings have it all mixed up, lucky for her she has someone who remembers.


Carrot bed

Posted: 10/08/2012 at 11:01

This year is a write off for many vegetables and not something you did.
Carrots like a nice loose sandy soil with no lumps or stones. Dig the bed over let winter work its magic then when sowing you carrot seed make sure the bed is soft  down to a decent level, no need for added feed.


Compost BIN or TUMBLER

Posted: 10/08/2012 at 10:56

Andrew put your compost bin in a warm sheltered place and a bucket outside your back door with a lid for household green waste, never food or meats of any kind.
Tip the bucket onto the compost as needed and probably a good idea to tip the bin if small onto a plastic sheet and stir it up as you throw it all back in the compost bin.
Forget tumblers, for a small bin tipping the compost out stirring it and putting it back gives time for it to work but will probably take six months for decent compost.
In my case with large wooden boxes in a warm sheltered place I use one as I fill the other and have compost in summer (well most summers) in six to eight weeks.


Hebe Plant

Posted: 10/08/2012 at 10:47

No pruning is needed although if they get leggy you can prune hard back in April.
Nothing to stop you giving it a very light trim to round it up now if you wish but be gentle with it.


Crop Rotations in raised beds

Posted: 09/08/2012 at 13:09

Rosie, crop rotation goes thus Legumes and all pod crops should be followed by Brassicas, ie:- cabbage cauli Sprouts and other green plants, They are followed by Root crops Carrots Parsnip Beetroot etc. They are followed by the Onions Leeks shallots etc.
So it is Legumes, Brassicas, Root crops and then Onion crops.
Well that is the rule which we all bend to fit everything in and rotation for my Father a very keen gardener also meant a fifth bed left fallow for a year or to grow green manure, the ducks hens and geese would be let loose on that patch from time to time to scratch it over.
The answer to your question would be a separate bed for the Alliums or Onion crops depending on whether you grow Scallions Leeks Pickling onions and Garlic.
Hope this helps.


What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 09/08/2012 at 12:48

Dusted off my passport and crossed the Tees this morning, that was when I went well out of my way to dodge road works in Stockton only to find the A66 had road works on both side, well a lot of cones no sign of work??
It was stiflingly hot even though the sky looked like a curdled cake mix, should have used more flour. Daughter had to buy me a coffee in S&M, drinking hot coffee on a hot day seemed like S&M to me. Back home via the country lanes with the windows down, lovely views and cooling breeze what more could you wish for.


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