Monday, 30 January 2012

Planting orchard underway

Planting the fruit trees underway. Made little cages out of chicken wire to stop the hare munching any more. I suspect it is too little too late for one of the trees, time will tell. photos from the weekend

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Fruit trees munched by hare

Last weekend we had no time to do anything, but panicking about the trees sitting in tubs of water, I decided to heel them into one of the veg beds already dug over. This morning we woke to frost, great!. This means a rain free day to get the rest of the hedge in. Hubby not impressed as he had plans to watch some blokes on the telly kicking a ball about, I think not!

I wandered up to the check on the trees and some creature has been having a right old munch on my apple trees. I suspect it is a hare, as we have seen one on occasion in the garden. I know deer do this sort of damage but I have not seen one around.  One of the trees is quite badly damaged, the rest should survive. I am going to get some tree guards for them, however in the meantime I have wrapped some garden fleece around the trunks, as a temporary measure. One of the hornbeam had been sliced in half, but the rest were left, maybe the creature did not like the taste.

Anyway we managed to plant the rest of the hornbeam hedge, forty metres in all.  The soil was quite wet still, with one patch particularly bad. We have wet area of ground stretching half the length of the garden and heading east to west. The amount of rain this winter has really left it sodden. The wind mesh has arrived, so if the weather hold we will get some of this fixed onto the existing wire fencing tomorrow, and make a start on getting the fruit trees planted.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Orchard arrives all wrapped up

The fruit trees and the hedging for the veg patch arrived this week. I unpacked it all,and popped  them all into trugs of water to keep the roots moist. We started planting up the hedging on wednesday, then the cumbrian weather arrived again to halt our efforts. A couple of days of high winds again, has finally forced me to order some wind mesh. Looking at the pathetic little sticks I am hoping to grow into a hedge, I realised I need to give the poor things some protection. 
Also, the children have been on a sustained campaign for a puppy for at least the last 5 years. Hubby and I have relented and we are getting a new member of the family later in the spring. The wind mesh will also protect the hedge and the veg for that matter from this four legged destroyer of gardens. I must be mad!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Manure - lovely stuff

Glorious day yesterday, pretty much the first whole dry day since November. Managed to get out into the garden in the afternoon. I drove around to the stables and stomped through the mud, to dig up some manure. This stuff is excellent, the pile must have been there for years, as its is so well rotted. I hope that my clay soil will soak it up. However I could do with a mini digger as it hard work lugging it through the stables in trugs. A couple of nice strong chaps would do. I could store them in the shed until needed (Do they sell them at the garden centre?)

I am using the manure to enrich the trenches for the hedging, which is being delivered in the next week or so. 

My one lonely border planted up last September, was under attack already from weeds, (Its been so mild), a quick hoe sorted that out. The chickies enjoyed a free supply of worms. They are not so daft, if they see a spade they come running.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The Story so far

Last summer we moved into our new home. Very excited about the large undeveloped garden, with stunning views over the Solway Firth to Dumfries.
The garden is 60m long and 20m wide and faces west. To the North is large native hedge. To the south and west wire & post fencing. It is windy exposed,shady near the house until afternoon. The rest of the garden get sun all day (when it shines here).
The garden is currently all laid to grass (very rough field grass).
The soil is heavy clay, and very wet in patches. It also contains lots of rubble!
It is also home to three chickens, who have free range over the whole garden( not sure how they are going to feel about being contained when the time comes!)
The plan

Over the next few years we want to create a 4/5 seperate areas, including a veg patch, orchard, childrens garden, and two distinct flower gardens. I am sure this plan will change and develop over time, which is why I wants to keep a blog to track our progress.

So far....

We have taken delivery of a large shed, built some huge compost bins, installed two water butts.
We have marked out the veg patch area. and have cut borders for hornbeam hedging to surround this area, and I ordered the hedging just yesterday.
I also ordered, 2 plum, 3 apple and 3 pear trees, to create the beginnings of an orchard.(More about them when they arrive in a couple of weeks)

We also cut out 13 veg beds, and have been digging these over when weather permits (which has not been often since November!) We have planted redcurrant, blackcurrant and gooseberry bushes, which have lived in pots for the last few years and have moved house with us. I am sure they will all appreciate the root space and the well rotted horse manure, we have dug in.

Photos to date can be found on my flickr photostream