Leafyleith's Blog

July 19, 2010

Mr Frog

Filed under: Gardening Year 2 — by leafyleith @ 5:59 pm
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Bit of excitement here at Leafyleith recently with the arrival of this little chap. He (or she) was sheltering in the growhouse which had tipped up during the high winds.

Froggy didn’t stay long though (probably due to harassment). We put out a saucer of water where he had a quick dip and then soon disappeared… Not sure where he normally resides, someone nearby must have a pond, so hope he made it home safely.

June 11, 2010

New Best Friend

Filed under: Gardening Year 2 — by leafyleith @ 2:15 pm
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Wow. I think Cat War may have come to an end. And all thanks to this little fellow…

I was a bit sceptical because I’d read mixed reports on the internet about the success of these things, but as soon as the Mega Sonic Cat Repeller was in place the cats seemed to disappear. It’s absolutely amazing.

The pack said it can take up to a fortnight to have an effect. I thought it was just a coincidence but there were no signs of any cats from the moment it went out. Then a couple started appearing again and I thought it was too good to be true, but it turned out the batteries had run out. So I think this may actually work.

And long may it continue because tonight I returned home and there were a whole family of fluffy little chicks having a flying lesson from their parents. We hardly ever get birds at Leafyleith. The cats will have a field-day if they spot them, so have replaced the batteries and My New Best Friend is back in its place.

And into the bargain yellow slugs seem to congregate in the silver cylinder. Bonus!

January 9, 2010

2010: a gardening odyssey

Filed under: Gardening Year 2 — by leafyleith @ 6:35 pm
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I’ve been in hibernation for some time now, but I thought a review of my first year of gardening might jog my memory for moving things on in 2010.

Things I learned:

  1. You don’t need to adhere to the seed packet instructions too much when it comes to measurements, but DO leave at least a hoe’s width between rows just so you can keep the weeds down and not break your back in the process. I didn’t do this and wish I had
  2. Don’t be too enthusiastic with your sowing… you don’t need to sow the full seed packet in one go
  3. Successional planting is the key, so that everything isn’t ready at the same time
  4. Don’t believe the weather forecasters if they tell you it’s going to rain. I went off on holiday for a week after being promised rainfall, and came back to a withered up mess. If you are going away for a prolonged period, ask some kindly person to check on your plants
  5. And finally, don’t think people are weird just because they’re not interested in gardening and plants. Well you can think it, but probably best just to keep it to yourself

So that was Gardening Year One. Roll on Gardening Year Two. It’s going to be a busy year.

So far, I’ve got some seed catalogues to flick through, plans for a raised bed (and hopefully some ‘volunteers’ to cart the soil for it through the house), some new pots to fill and some dead delphiniums to try and revive.

Oh and while the weather is so chilly, I’ve been trying to help out Blackbird and Robin with some suet coconut shells, meal-worms and a delicious selection of seeds. Don’t forget our feathered friends during these temperature challenged times.

June 6, 2009

Hoe, hoe, no!

Filed under: Gardening Year 1 — by leafyleith @ 11:55 pm
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A fundamental novice gardener error has been made at Leafyleith. Because space is a bit tight in the veg patch, I have to admit I didn’t exactly follow the instructions on the seed packets. How much space does a carrot actually need, I asked myself? I’ve now learned why space is kind of important.

Unless you want to be on your hands and knees weeding with a trowel, then always leave at least a hoe’s width between rows. It’s not rocket science and it’s what will be happening in Leafyleith come 2010.

Weather-wise May was a sensation. Me and the plants were loving it. That’s the reason why I haven’t been inside in front of the computer. It’s been so marvellous, we even had the parasol up for two days in a row and Leafyleith had its first harvest.

radishes

I ate a couple of these whoppers earlier and they were delicious, delicious, delicious. It’s exciting stuff – for me, anyway.

This afternoon I invested in some pea and bean mesh from a shop in Portobello. I thought it would be simple. I only had to string up about a two metre distance. Told you, space is tight at Leafyleith. Boy, was I wrong.

What a fankle I got myself in. It took me about two hours. Shed and Lawn Man says it looks fine, but I am not convinced. And I am not sure the RHS will be happy with my efforts either. It’s horrible green, plasticky stuff, I wish I’d gone natural and just used old branches. 

pea-support

Top tip: those little Gu chocolate pots are not only delicious but they stop you poking your eye out on a bamboo stick, as well.

I planted some runner beans a couple of weeks ago and had them in individual pots in the grow-house. The books say not to be hasty with runner beans and, for once, I followed the rules. A weekend inspection showed there were tiny cracks in the soil and, low-and-behold, another inspection four days later made my heart skip a beat. They’d grown about 15 cms and had fully established sets of leaves. Result! So I’ve planted them out with some sweetpeas for company and they seem to be growing a treat.

runner-beans

The rhododendron has come alive over the last couple of weeks and is looking completely amazing. Photos don’t do it justice and a neighbour says its the best he’s ever seen it (but I think he was just trying to make me feel good). The bees are loving it. It’s Bumble Bee Central out there.

rhody

April 18, 2009

Plants galore!

Filed under: Gardening Year 1 — by leafyleith @ 7:02 pm
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Been quite busy today as a heap of plants arrived through the post. So I’ve planted:

  • Deutzia
  • Echinops blue globe
  • Jasmine
  • Eucalyptus gunnii
  • Black bamboo

The kind people at J Parkers also supplied some anemones, trailing begonias and an acer free of charge so will get them in tomorrow.

I’ve got the wee lean-to greenhouse up and out now (much swearing from JB during its construction last week) and the sweetpeas are coming along nicely in there. Sunflowers are coming through and the Blue Peter bee seeds have sprouted!

Garlic has also made an appearance. No sign of the carrots yet. Not sure what’s happened there because they’ve been in for a few weeks. Too early for these cold Edinburgh nights, methinks. I had some coverings over the soil for the last couple of weeks and I’ve invested in some big plastic buckets for veg so need to get organised with them. It’s all go.

Talking of which, Mr and Mrs Bird seem to have moved out of the hedge because they were being terrorised by a group of magpies. Feel a bit sad about that. I liked their tweeting.

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