Sunday, 29 March 2009
My fiancé brought me some DVDs, a new pair of trainers (she’s fed up as I’ve had my last pair 7 years and glued them together 4 times!) and many other things. My brother and sister both brought me some nice gifts and it was nice of Dave to have thought so far ahead as he’s been in South America a month now.
My Mum and Dad concentrated on more gardening type gifts. I got a red gooseberry bush (as my other has died), a strawberry plant, plant labels, lots of books on smallholding and old crafts and a nice sized garden bench to go in the vegetable garden so I can sit and watch the chickens in the summer.
Another job I did this weekend, besides working slowly on cladding the shed, was to make a very cheap cloche out of a water cooler bottle cut in two (not sure what pow wow would think of this), I’m using this to protect my young lettuce plants from the cold, should do the job just as well and it didn't cost £10!
Sunday, 15 March 2009
Managed to finish the new chicken coop, which the hens seem to love, although I had to catch them to put them to bed – I’m sure they’ll learn where they’ve got to go soon enough! Tried to get them up the ladder by leaving corn on each step, seemed to work as they were in and out all day but couldn't do it in the dark! Really pleased with the coop and pen, their old one is now sitting empty for a while and I’ve promised not to get anything else until I’ve started my new job and got used to it!
Claire sent off for some seeds from Blue Peter to encourage bees so I’ve planted a little wild flower boarder next to the chicken pen with these (as well as adding some poppy seeds) and made a “bee hotel” out of bamboo to give them somewhere to live.
We went for a lovely walk tonight just as it was getting dark, walked up to the river past all the commercial vegetable gardens, its really interesting seeing how they do it on a bigger scale.
This course was nearly all hands on as we’d done the theory on the course before. The trees were older as well, meaning we were doing tree renovation rather than designing how a tree will grow. When doing this it nearly always means cutting big limbs off, and sometimes over a course of two or three years you take the tree right back down to a stump to start its structure again.
How to train trees in their different forms was also covered in more detail (this is what I'll be trying to do in my garden) and we got to see behind the sences at a kitchen garden thats currently being renovated with rows of different shaped trees being grown.
We also learned to tell different tree problems like canker and woolly aphid (although the damage can look similar) and when these problems occur. Apparently becides the varitey just mentioned you can eat aphids and they taste sweet - I'll be trying this in the summer! Below is a picture of wooly aphid damage - looks just like canker.