It turns out the fluffy wee bunnies cavorting down in the orchard are making forays into the kitchen gardens. I’d thought the tall raised beds would act as a deterrent but it appears I have “wererabbits” who’ve climbed up and nipped all the tops off my carrots. It’s not feasible to wire off the garden and make it rabbit proof and the family won’t let me get out the air rifle. ( a dilemma as I love rabbit stew as well!). The only solution seems to be bringing forward the acquisition of a dog or at least a couple of cats. We want to wait until end of October for the cats as we have a week away in Germany visiting family during the school holidays but the dog was scheduled for next Spring and now might appear earlier than planned.
pellets required would probably be very unorganic and give us all lead poisoning. The only answer I have apart from squishing them between my fingers is a good dose of pyrethrum, the organic pesticide nuke. I’d planted a lot of nasturtiums in the kitchen garden this year as they are a ‘sacrificial’ plant that the Cabbage whites prefer to brassicas. The problem is that the CW’s have laid eggs on the nasturtiums which have hatched and the hairy bastards have crawled down below the nets and onto my purple sprouting broccoli where they are currently feasting.
Strangely enough recent strong winds blew the nets off another Sprouting broccoli bed and I left it off hoping the butterflies had gone for the season. There’s no damage on those particular plants and I’m putting it down to a lack of nasturtiums in that corner as well as it being next to the bird feeders.I’ll leave the nets off the infested bed today and see if there’s a sparrow feeding frenzy. That would save my aching shoulder from pumping pyrethrum spray over the critters which in all honesty I’d prefer not to do as it’s harmful to bees of which I have hundreds on the big lavenders and who also flit among the nasturtiums which are still in flower!
The orchard is overloaded this year and it’s visited more as we put the table and chairs from ‘The Balcony’ down there. It’s a wonderful place of peace and solitude and the chairs are next to the cairn we put to mark the cat’s burial spots and where the ashes of ‘Borgumil’ the Irish wolfhound that I brought back from Durlach on the tour bus are to be buried. Our dream was always that ‘Borgie’ would one day run in this garden but it wasn’t meant to be and we lost him before we could make our move to here. We plan to put something special to mark the spot where they all now lie together and where we can sit and take in the tranquility and where I know I will find an inspiring place to write. It feels like another dimension has been added to the garden as the orchard draws us down to another space we only really looked at but never spent real time in.
The ‘Blue house is the next works project to be nominated as after 13 years weathering and despite the paint overs and tarting up it’s got to the point where I have to replace all the woodwork on the front door area as it’s rotten and falling apart. Originally just indoor softwood frames from B and Q it had been hoped the outdoor paint would weatherproof it for longer but it’s past the point of saving now. I’m hoping to cut one of the huge panes of glass from the studio renovation in half and create 2 big windows with a hardwood door between but we’re not sure if we can or if it’s cost effective to cut the laminated glass. Either way it has to be repaired as I want to grow plants under LED lights in the ‘Blue house’ throughout the winter and need it sealed. I’ll be digging up the sprawling globe artichokes that are in front of the house and now overshadowing it, moving them to another bed and paving that small area to use for a cold frame set up.
One thing that has been considered is setting up video blogs on a dedicated section of the website where we can schedule weekly programmes and talk about what we are doing and giving general updates on the garden. I’m no Monty Don or anywhere near having the knowledge and expertise of the Beechgrove garden gurus but that’s the point. Rab and I thought over this at coffee break one day as we were pondering over the brassica net problems. Rab has no experience of gardening but he’s been learning fast and has come to love it. I have a basic knowledge of most things green but spend a lot of time googling and reading up and have learned a lot in the past year or so. I’ve been passing this new knowledge onto Rab and we have both been getting an education. I love the professional shows but also like finding tips on You Tube from amateur gardeners some of whom are not particularly great with cameras on both sides of the lens.
extension a couple of years ago. Simone’s terracotta pots that were brought over fitted perfectly into place and with the wisteria, scented honeysuckle, jasmine and roses all starting to take off the ‘New Balcony’ has been born. I added to this last week when I threaded 3 lengths of solar powered LED fairylights around the pergola and it is now a little slice of heaven sprinkled with starlight. Even if it’s cold we find ourselves huddled up outside and taking in the night air just as we did in Durlach.