Getting stuck in

Last weekend was was truly glorious and perfect weather for getting out into the garden. But where to start?

As I had mistakenly started off my tomato seeds indoors a month too early (beginning of February instead of March) I felt that I should finish cleaning and sorting out the greenhouse ready to house the tiny seedlings.

Cluttered greenhouse

I had removed all my overwintering geraniums and put them in the spare stable the week before and had washed down half of the glass. All that remained was to wash down the rest of the glass and metal  work brush and wash down the two stagings, dig out of the worst of the weeds and to lay the weed control fabric. Last year I was in too much of a hurry to lay this, to my cost, as the weeds grew happily in the balmy climate. Maybe one day I will be able to afford to lay paving.

I have to say I am really pleased with the greenhouse  purchased three or four years ago. It was to have been a present to myself on retirement, but I thought why wait until then, when I could put it to good use before? When researching what to buy, a colleague gave me some very good advice. She said think of the size you want and then buy the next size up. When you start using it you will inevitably want more space, and once purchased it’s too late. She was absolutely right, I was looking at  6’x8′ ones but bought an 8’x10′ and was very glad I did. It’s just perfect!

P1000785

Once cleaned and sorted I moved all my little tiny Ailsa Craig and Gardeners’ Delight tomatoes and my marigold seedlings into the greenhouse. They were potted up three weeks ago and have been sitting in my cold porch since then. They’re little toughies as they didn’t perish in the freezing conditions, they just didn’t grow. The remaining seedlings, still in the propagator trays, in the kitchen, have grown really leggy and aleady have their third leaves.  I  potted these up tonight (Thursday) and they will spend a few days in the porch before they go out into the greenhouse. Tomato seedlings won’t grow below 10 degrees, but under the cloches in the greenhouse during the day the temperature is up to 18 degrees.

On Sunday, because the ground had dried out so much, I cut the grass on a high setting, leaving the cut grass on the ground. Glad I got that done because I didn’t get a late final cut last autumn and it was bordering on 9 inches in places!

Hens enjoying scratching around in the cut grass

Hens enjoying scratching around in the cut grass

With still time before I had to go and bring Max back from his field, I decided to attack the overgrown veg patch.

My overgrown veg patch

My overgrown veg patch

Managed to tidy it up and put some manure on, but didn’t have time to start digging. Hopefully that will happen next weekend, if it’s not raining!

Feb 2013 (3)

Photo of the Week – 2nd March

 

ploughing sepia

They had tried to plough this field behind  my cottage several months ago, but it was far too wet. The recent dry spell has brought out the local tractors in force!

The sepia tone gives it an ‘oldy worldy’ feel, it’s just a shame that it doesn’t show a couple of magnificant shires pulling the plough!

Photo of the week kindly hosted by htpp//teamlloyd.com/ Why not pop over there and see lots more photos?

Team Lloyd

EEeeeek!!

With two young cats around the house there are also lots of toys about the place. These include 4 or 5 ping-pong balls that they love kicking around. Minnie, especially, loves it when I throw one up the stairs to the corner where it hits the wall and, barely before it has the time to bounce off the wall, she is there. Kicking it between her legs, turning somersaults and chasing it down the stairs, trying to catch it as it bounces high in the air when it hits the wooden floor.

As you can imagine, these ping-pong balls are always disappearing under the furniture; two bookcases, a dresser and small plan chest of drawers. All these pieces have fishtail designs around the bottom, so it is difficult for the cats to get their paws in to scoop them out.

I know when one has gone under the furniture as Minnie, as it is nearly always she, sits by the bookcase or whatever, or sticks her arm leg in, to try to scoop it out.

It happened thus, this morning. “Lost your bally?” (sorry, cat-talk), I said. Using the handle end of a dressage whip, kept indoors for just this purpose, I got down flat on my tummy to peer under the bookcase. Aha, there it was, in the gloom, right at the back. So I bashed it, with the handle of the dressage whip, as is my want, expecting it to come shooting out the other end. But it didn’t.

I looked again and there was nothing there. “Oh dear,” I said to Minnie who was breathing down my neck, “there’s nothing there after all!”

Not wanting to disappoint her, I checked on the other side of the fishtail. Aha, there was one there! So, again, head flat on the floor in front of the bookcase, but more gently this time, I tried to scoop it out. In the gloom, at eye level, not six inches from my nose, I saw some tiny scrabbling legs. EEeeeeeek!! its’ a mouse!!!!! I said, as I jumped up, glad that it hadn’t shot out into my face!

I walked away, feeling awful that I had bashed it with the dressage whip and leaving Minnie to her efforts to extricate it.

Minnie - Butter wouldn't melt......

Minnie – Butter wouldn’t melt……