Friday 26 June 2020

Lockdown Day 95 - Garden and yard update

Living in a terraced house, we don't have a big garden and have a concrete back yard with walls either side. This was one of the many reasons for getting an allotment!

The garden has a beautiful hawthorn tree with pink blossom at the far end and we brought some ivy with us from the old house which covers the fence. There's a holly bush which the blackbirds love eating berries from in winter! We also planted a buddleia and a fuschia as well as some bulbs soon after we moved in. After we got the allotment we got a small plastic greenhouse for the yard which one day got caught in a gust of wind and collapsed. We use the remaining shelves (without the covering) for storage of plant pots and for hardening off seedlings. We then got a wooden lean-to greenhouse for the front garden against the house wall. However, over time we have gradually grown more in both the front and back, including a miniature fig tree - which at time of writing isn't producing any figs although did produce two last year!

At the far end of the yard we grow sweet peas in tubs by one of the big gates and some wild poppies have decided to take up residence next to the tubs too in soil that has accumulated in the gap in the concrete between the end of the yard and the road. The potato wasn't a deliberate planting either, we think it is one we have accidentally put into a compost bag at some point so we have decided to leave it as it is growing healthily and see what we get!

 On the left hand side of the yard we have more pots - there's strawberries in planters on top of the wall, along with a tub with lettuce in, covered in a mesh frame so that the local sparrows don't turn up and have a party again like they once did - they do try their best to peck through the holes when the lettuce gets big! We have a minarette cherry tree which did start producing cherries but I think the late frost didn't do it any good so we'll have to wait until next year.

The peas were an accidental planting too - we had bought some pod peas from a greengrocer before ours were ready and found that inside one pod they had started sprouting, so we planted them! They are looking really healthy right now and have flowers! Behind them are some nasturtiums transplanted from the allotment (as they get everywhere up there!) and there's a lavender plant too along with some more sweet peas. The peppers were evicted outside after they got aphids in the house and seem to have recovered as there are insects outside that will eat the aphids. It gets very warm in the yard until about two in the afternoon before the sun is round the other side of the house and then there is a bit more sun in the late afternoon/evening time onto the top of the wall at least. The wall retains the heat and the wall temperature gets up to at least 40 degrees Centigrade in summer. We've got a few pansies in pots and some antirrhinums too. 

This is in the garden looking towards the lean to greenhouse with the fuchsia in the top left of the shot. In the greenhouse are peppers, gherkins, yellow courgettes and a tomato plant, with all the seedlings now in the allotment for the summer. Some wild poppies have also arrived in the planter that used to have a grape vine in it (which died suddenly one late summer, we don't know why) and we've popped a gherkin plant in there as well to climb up the trellis. 

We're going to be growing a pumpkin up the old swing frame - we hope! There's a few more antirrhinums in the same pot too, the pumpkin is being trained away from those. 

Our recycle bins were replaced by the council for bigger ones recently and so we have used one of the old ones to grow gherkins in! 

For the future I want to expand the range of pots and wall mounted planters as well as try and get some wild flowers to germinate in the grass - I hesitate to call it a lawn now! I have planted some seeds for two years now but nothing is coming up, and the yellow rattle last year hasn't germinated. I have got some seeds from a roadside ox-eye daisy and will scatter these the next time it rains to see what happens. I am also going to get some foxgloves next year to create some height in the border, along with the existing peony.

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