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I’ve been quite slack on the blog posts of late. Number of reasons but I think it’s time to get things posted again. A number of things to talk about, but with the seasons changing, the garden seems a good place to start.

I commented to a friend recently that I have a garden and land that just happens to have a house on it as well. I far prefer the outdoors if I can manage it and while it’s hard work, don’t mind the hours spent keeping it nice. Sadly it’s not been the best of summers in the UK so outside time has been limited, but I’ve still managed to get things happening.

There have been a number of projects, in the garden. The main one being the fruit and veg growing. I’ve done the usual ‘experiments’ to see if I can find good growth for stuff that I’ll use. Moments of job and moments of disappointment and frustration.

My experiments this year have been to try out beetroot for the first time. Still be be harvested so unsure as to how they are going to go, but with the damp summer I’m hopeful for the root veg. My other experiment was also involving root veg and that was with the carrots. I know that they are nothing new and a staple crop for me each year, but this time I wanted to experiment with dual bed. Carrots growing ‘down’ and spinach growing ‘up’. The addition that spinach is an early crop and carrots a later one, though sown at the same time, hopefully has helped as well. There seemed to be no ill effects on the spinach, and once more, time will tell on the carrots.

I’ve had moderate successful with the asparagus this year, best harvest I have managed since starting that bed, though it would be nice to have more. There was also a reasonable harvest of pea, though again not exceptional. The main issues was they seemed to all ‘go over’ in the space of a week.   Fine plants one Saturday, dead or dying the next and it hadn’t even been dry and sunny for the week. I salvaged what I could and as it was early enough in the season, planted some more. Sadly they have been slow to take and are only now just flowering.

The frustration this year has come from indirect sources. I have been plagued by foxes and squirrels this year and they have managed to get themselves inside the garden netting. I have had both beds of potatoes trampled (though the plants remained alive so I’m still hopeful) and the bed of onions dug up, replanted with some late cabbage, only for that to be dug up as well. Clearly they have found their ‘playpen’ though I will be encouraging them to play elsewhere.

So it’s been a mixed year and I’ll see how I’ve really done with the root veg in the next couple of weeks. I’m rather hoping that I’ll be able to make a lot of beetroot soup which has become a firm favourite after trying some at a polish restaurant in town.

One of the other projects I had was to move my washing line!  I’d purchased a new one due to my current one being due to fail at any times.  Thankfully this failure was ‘supervised’ so I didn’t end up with a number of washloads needing to be re-washed.  The only problem was that the new one was slightly larger and kept catching on other garden items.  The solution was simple though.  All I needed to do was move the concrete based that the line went into.

Of course what I wasn’t expecting was a lunmp of concrete that was over 2 feet deep.  Clearly the previous person didn’t want their washing line to fall over.  It took quite a few hours to dig the base out, dig around it enough to be able to shift it’s position and then shift it enough to no longer catch.  The trick in shifting it was to make sure that I didn’t get trapped by a heavy toppling lump.  Not easy as it had to be done inch by inch and could overbalance easily.  Once in the right place, getting it flat so the line rotated on the horizontal rather than the vertical was the next struggle and took almost as long as moving it into position.

Its done now, but I think next time I’ll check the line size before buying.  It would have certainly saved a lot of time!

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