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Gardening


Stunning flower outside our door!


Some lovely lettuces growing in our allotment.


Great view of the newly built playground from our window.


Pumpkin


Our ladder garden of herbs.


Our succulents are doing well in the greenhouse.

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It’s a few months late, but here it is, the diary entry for the 28th of October in the Heart Garden. Enjoy!

October 28th

Another lovely sunny gardening day although a bit soggy underfoot – temperatures are still unseasonably warm but at least we’ve had some rain this week as the soil was turning into dust.

The wisteria in the front of the studio was looking decidedly crisp due to lack of water – it’s in a pot so we gave it a good drink and mulch – it also needs careful pruning at this time of year to promote flowering buds.
(Tip for the birds – as well as remembering to put out food for them they also need water to drink and bathe in and for nest building in the spring so a bird bath is a good investment)

Its garlic planting time again – we like French Thermidour – a pink variety, try to plant garlic from good stock – a garden centre or on-line as these will be virus free and suitable for our climate. Garlic needs a long growing season and a cold spell to make the cloves divide into heads – which is why last winter made such a good crop! Plant in rows 4”(10cm) apart and 1 “(3cm) deep  and cover with soil – we can expect to be harvesting these in May or June.

We also planted some red onions – Red Baron,sets not seeds (these are small onions which swell.)Plant these in a shallow drill with their tips just showing above the soil. If you like shallots these also divide– a bit like garlic –but above the ground -so you get about 5 shallots from 1 bulb and you need a bit more growing space. We netted both of these crops at soil level –to protect against cats,mice and birds !

That’s almost the last of our gardening tasks for the year – we still have a bit of pruning to do in the garden – the apple tree,grapevine and roses need a good trim to promote flowers and fruit. Still we will have plenty of winter veg to harvest – leeks,purple sprouting broccoli,curly kale and swiss chard – to keep us interested. In the meantime we can sow broad beans and sweet peas in toilet rolls in the greenhouse ready to get a headstart when we plant them out next spring.

Image by lynn.gardner via Flickr

Strawberries for Eton Mess

The garden is in its glory and full of fresh produce. This year we have a really early crop of strawberries and raspberries and had a fantastic Eton Mess at our last Heart Garden lunch.

Some of the Heart Gardeners want to know how make the meringue so we will be running a demo in the near future.

We put up loads of netting to protect all the soft fruit from the birds. The weeds are growing fast too so we have been doing loads of weeding and loads of watering in the morning and early evening.

The foxes continue to cause havoc in the vegetable beds just outside the studio and we find the most wierd selection of large bones in the yard? Where do they find them?

We are hoping that the foxes will move on soon, perhaps they can find a new home one of the soon to be closed parts of Burgess Park…

More info of the Burgess Park closures on www.friendsofburgesspark.org.uk

Some Pruning tools that can be used to maintai...

Some pruning tools that can be used to maintain a garden

Friday 21st January

It was a sunny day so we spent the day in the allotment and put the art project  to one side (see previous post). We concentrated on pruning the grapevine, rose and apple tree to promote flowers and fruits. It’s causable to do this when dormant, before the buds begin to break as the grapevine will weep if pruned after mid February.

We also cut back the honeysuckle which shoes this bed along the north face wall – all pruning should be handled before nesting time so as not to disturb the birds.

There was heavy rain today, evident by the pounding on our corrugated ‘skylight’ so we did not do as much gardening as we had hoped. We instead surveyed the beds to see what damage the recent snow and cold weather had caused. Everything seemed fine, the brassicas were ok.

Some jobs for us to do next week include pruning the dormant fruit trees and bushes.

In the studio, we took down the handmade Christmas decorations and made wall plaques from clay. The Heart Gardeners collected interesting plants and pressed them into clay  – we will fire them in the kiln after leaving them to dry out slowly. Similar to the sample ceramics we made previously.