Monday, 18 May 2009

Bye bye blogger!

I've finally done it. I've moved the blog over to WordPress. Taking a while to settle into my new home, but it's feeling very roomy already.

For any regular followers (if you even exist) you can now find all my blog posts here.


What a greeting!

Checked on all my babies this morning to find that my Primula and Aster are poking through. Hurrah! After the dodgy furry business that appeared on my compost, I thought my freshly planted seeds might have been doomed. Turns out, they're right little fighters.... Either that or furring on compost is nothing to be worried about?

In the actual garden space itself, the greenhouse is taking shape and a good battering from the rain. It's still not finished, but I'm waiting for a few sunny hours so the plastic dries out and I can seal all the edges with tape to make it water tight. Ah and the door needs fixing properly, which could be quite tricky on my own.

I'll give it my best shot though!

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Rain rain go away!

Why is it when I plan to do something it always rains?
Looks like my greenhouse will have to wait....

Saturday, 16 May 2009


I managed to build the front and back of the greenhouse indoors, but it was a bugger to get out!

Once it was out through the kitchen door, the rest of the frame fell together, with no real need for the lame instructions.

And this is the project so far. I've just finished putting the door together and I'll be out in the morning covering it with the plastic provided, digging it into the ground a little and putting the finishing touches to it. Can't wait!

No real time to do a progress post, but check out my flickr account for all recent pics.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Well, it's all there!

Yep, opened the box and counted everything and it is indeed all there. The instructions are a bit lame though and I can feel a major headache will be brewing whilst trying to put the thing up. I'm thinking I might build the frame in stages indoors and then take it outside in pieces. That's the plan anyway.

Called into a garden centre with Mum this afternoon and what a find! I never even knew it existed! Run by the Wirral Autistic Society, it provides a real working environment for people with Autism and I have to say I was simply blown away by what they actually do there.
They had about 9/10 greenhouses FULL of plants ranging from herb, veggies to a massive selection of flowers. All in outstanding condition, far better than any garden centre I've ever been to. In one of the greenhouses there was a lesson in re-potting plants, almost made me wanna join in and learn a thing or two from the experts! The people and staff who run the place were extremely helpful and knew what they were talking about. The plants were dirt cheap and I mean dirt cheap! I bought two gorgeous Lavender (English Lavender) for no more than £3, when in a garden centre (about 10 minutes up the road) they were selling exactly the same plant at £5 each! Mum picked up two plants for around her pond, that in the garden centre would have set her back about £15-a-pop, these two cost her £2.50 each. I'll definitely be heading back there when we are ready for planting flowers around the gardens. Plus I won't feel as bad spending too much money there, as it all goes to a good cause.

So here is the latest addition to my collection:

And here is one of them in a much bigger pot:

It's here! - I think....

This is my new greenhouse. The parcel says 'parcel one of one', so I'm guessing there is no more to it. Hmmm... the box seems extremely small for a 6x4 greenhouse as the box for the plastic one was massive!


Anyway, I'm off to investigate the contents. More pics to follow!

Busy Bee!

I managed to get a lot done yesterday, but by 'eck am I paying for it today. Decorating, building furniture, housework and gardening all squeezed into a few days is not recommended and I very much doubt I'll be doing it again. I don't even think my legs would allow it!

My greenhouse still isn't here. I'm hoping it'll come today, that way if it's nice (I know it won't be) over the weekend, or even some dry spells, we can get out the back and start turning the ground over. I received some advice from a gardening forum a few weeks ago, but I didn't take it on board and I really should have. It would have made turning the soil so much easier. Ah well, we all learn by our mistakes eh?!

Called into Mums yesterday afternoon for a quick coffee and some update pics on what I'm storing in her greenhouse. I shall leave you all with these:

Thursday, 14 May 2009

How To: Make A Self-Watering Pot

Right, I've received quite a few emails asking how I've made the self-watering pot that is the home to two of my Radish seedlings. I thought it would be easier to blog it. Here goes!

Take an empty pop bottle - I have used a 2 litre water bottle:

Cut your bottle into two pieces. Making sure that bottom of the bottle is shorter in length - I measured mine the bottom piece is about 4.5" and the top piece is roughly 7".
Yours doesn't have to be the same:

Next, make holes around the neck of the bottle. These will be the holes the water travels through. I put about 8 holes in mine:

Also make a larger hole in the base of the bottle. Make this about 3" up from the bottom as this will be your hole to fill the water-well.

Next, slip the top half of the bottle inside the base of the bottle. With the neck pointing down. You might need to use a bit of force to get it to fit inside. Make sure you wedge it in tight and you should have something that looks like this:

Now test it out!

The bottom of the bottle should fill up. Then you will notice the water feeding through the inner holes. Once you've got that to a T, empty the bottle and start filling it with compost!
Make sure when you're filling it to pack the compost tight into the neck hole of the bottle. This stops the water getting into the compost easily and turning it into sludgy muck.

Your plant will go days without the need for watering, no need to feel the soil - Just check the water-well. If it's running low, top it up! Hey presto.... A self-watering pot!

Whats the story, Morning Glory?

Wow, they certainly speak for themselves this morning, don't they?

Elsewhere in the garden space (or should I say - the windowsill space) the Lobelia has shot up!

The Radish is certainly loving the view from my living room!

And believe it or not, I have new leaves from the Auricula plant that I received from the Garden Swap Shop site the other day. The outer leaves look like they're dying away a little. But they look no different to when I received it. Fingers crossed it likes it's new home!

I've spent the early part of this morning (I know it's still early) pinching the new runners from my strawberries. Apparently that's what you're meant to be doing around this time of year. Found a few slugs in the pot... Must remember to add some kind of slug repellent, any recommendations? Strawberries must love their sunny location though, as the fruit is starting to form (only really small) and turning red. Doesn't look like we'll get healthy size strawberries this year.

List of things to do today:

Plant some Agapanthus White African Lily seeds
Re-pot Peppers & Chilli Peppers
Re-pot lavender
and possibly re-pot the Morning Glory (but might wait a few days longer)

P.S: The postie has just delivered a lovely parcel from Dobies. Ooh it's like Christmas!
I've got: Aster, Candytuft, Agastache & Sage *big grin* - Now.... where to stash them?

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


I woke up this morning to find that one of my Lemon Balm cuttings has become Alfie's latest play-thing.

So armed with a fresh cutting, my next point of action was this:

Try and get at them now, you little swine!!

Monday, 11 May 2009

I thought it looked familiar!

My Lemon Balm seeds came this morning and upon closer inspection of the plant on the packet, I noticed it looked very familiar. So off I went, searching the many 'overgrown' plants around our gardens and stumbled across this one plant, situated by our front door. This one plant has been driving me bananas since we moved in (February) as it is slowly but surely taking over the footpath. I (being the total ignorant non-gardener) thought it was a stingy weed or something - hence me warning the kids not to touch it. Anyway turns out, whilst holding the packet of seeds against the plant, that it is indeed a Lemon Balm.... Bloody Nora!

One rub of the leaf and I was in lemon-heaven!

Decided to take two cuttings and see if I can grow on from them. One has been dipped in rooting powder and the other hasn't. We'll see how they progress. Not too sure what to do with the plant now though. It's in such an awkward spot and it's really overgrown (plus looks like aphids have/or are starting to attack) so I'm not sure whether to pull the whole thing up, split it and keep in pots or just pull it up and offer it to a neighbour. Hmmm, what to do?!

I also received my Young Border Auricula plant and Fennel seeds. Can't wait to see if the Auricula actually flowers, but I could be waiting a few years yet. Oh and I nipped into a charity shop whilst on my travels and picked up 2 gardening books for a few quid and they're already pointing me in the right direction for designing my front garden.

Ooooh, nearly forgot to mention. I had a telephone call this morning from Norfolk Greenhouses, looks like my greenhouse will be here a lot sooner than I first thought. They said it should be with me within 7 days. Woo hoo!!! - Now I better get that back patch in the garden ready....

What a morning!

Doesn't it look beautiful? I just love waking up to blue skies and warm air. Lets hope it stays like this for the day.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Photo update

I wouldn't normally blog so much in one day, but I feel as though my blog looks a little on the boring side. As both my previous posts don't have any photos. So heres a quick 'update' post.

Alyssum - Carpet Of Snow

2 days old

Cornflower Blue Ball

2 days old

Impressive, huh?

Morning Glory

First signs of life...


19 days old

Still growing strong. The tallest measuring 7.5 inches!!

Thats all for now :)

Things are still moving

Here is a small list of things that are moving into my Mums greenhouse - and the things you might not hear me witter on about for a while:

Spring Onion
Runner Bean

I think thats about all for now. Although I'm thinking the cauliflower and broccolli might have to move too.... Thats if they'll fit!

Bye bye babies!

Because of the problem I'm having with windowsill space and the fact that we have two little monsters and 3 moggies, and that's 4 hands and 12 paws, I decided to go take some of my seedlings to my Mums and store them in her mini-greenhouse (the one I originally bought and then gave to her when hubby bought me the 6x4 plastic one). So you might not see me update on their progress for a little while, but she does only live a few doors away, so I should hopefully be able to snap some progress pics.

I've got lots of re-potting to do today: Coriander, Chilli Pepper, Dill, Chives, Thyme, Cauliflower and Cabbage..... I won't mention it to hubby though. I think he's a little worried I'm bringing the "green"house indoors. It's only really until my new greenhouse gets delivered.

Another Sunflower got re-homed yesterday. I think that leaves about 20-odd remaining. Jessica has talked me into keeping 9 now and I'm thinking they're gonna love it at the back of our garden, against the back fence. When we get back from our holiday I'm going to get some more of the turquoise fence paint and freshen it up a bit.

It's raining outside, the heating is on and I'm enjoying a nice cuppa tea in the kitchen whilst the kids play upstairs. Life couldn't get much better.

Oh and happy 1st unnofficial anniversary hubby! - A few days late, but still :)

Saturday, 9 May 2009

New Greenhouse!

I've just ordered and paid for my new greenhouse.
Not sure how long for delivery though, hopefully it'll be delivered and put together before we go on our holiday. Hubby made me order it, and he put across a good argument with it:

Without a greenhouse:

My plants are scattered around the house
Watering them all is a lengthy process
Moving them off the kids windowsills and relocating them proves difficult

With a greenhouse:

Plants will be kept in one place
Mum will be able to water them easily whilst we're on holiday and it won't take as long
Not having to relocate them

I'm so impatient though, I want it here now.... Right this second!


Friday, 8 May 2009

Bad Monty!

This morning I let the cats out as normal and after going to relieve themselves (I'm guessing that's what they needed to do!) - I caught Monty having a good sniff at the strawberry plants. A second later, I caught him biting at the flowers and I actually caught him mid-bite, before spraying him with some water.

Having plants around my cats is such a bad idea.... It was Alfie pulling up the Sunflowers a few days ago. The buggers!

All seedlings are doing very well and without wanting to bore you with pictures galore of all of them, I've uploaded progress pics to my Flickr account and I shall continue to do so. So if I've not posted a pic of a particular thing I'm growing on my blog. Be sure to find it here.

Also potted up some Morning Glory last night, for my front garden. Can't wait to see if they do actually come through. Got my Cornflower Blue Balls through the post this morning, so might pot them tonight.

Things I'm waiting for: Common Fennel seeds, Border Auriculas (young plant) and some Lemon Balm seeds.

Hurrah! Parsnips!

Not too sure if you can see this or not. But at last my parsnips have started coming through, only one mind, but still thats better than the none I had yesterday. It's only come through since I placed the whole tray inside a large food bag.... I take it they like being cosy!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Pea, Spinach & Tomatoes

I collected about 40 flower pots today, some guy offered them on Freecycle and I managed to snap them up. And because I now have a plentiful supply of pots I've re-potted the Peas, Spinach and Tomatoes and they are now sitting quite happily on my kitchen windowsill.


8 days old


8 days old

14 days old

Mum has taken 2 pots of tomatoes, leaving me with about 10 pots overall and my sister has taken 2 sunflowers.... I just need to find homes for the other 8+ now....

Jessica's Flower Mix

7 days old

These seem to be doing really well, considering I keep forgetting to water them. Still not too sure what the flowers are and I think Jessica is going to be quite miffed if they're not all pink. Eek!

Anyway, potted up some free seeds today. Pretty Primula's. Never grown flowers from seed before, so this will be quite interesting.

Should hopefully get round to ordering my greenhouse tomorrow. Oooh it's so exciting!

Cut update: Skin still flappy, not bleeding. Very swollen and sore. Not sure if butterfly stitches are in order.... Or a trip to A&E for a bit of glue! :(

Monday, 4 May 2009

Down it goes

So the winds have really picked up this evening and me and hubby both decided it would be best to bring in my pots, plants and seedlings that have been doing ever so well in there. Also thought it would be best to collapse the 'flimsy' 6x4 attempt of a plastic greenhouse (purchased from £stretchers, I might add) and return it. Hopefully they'll refund it with no problems. Here's hoping anyway!

That means every windowsill (almost) in the house has a pot of some kind sitting on it. Not good considering most things (cabbages, peas, etc) need re-potting. I really need to get a move on with preparing the garden. I'll be putting in the order for my greenhouse next week, then I might nip up to Waterworld with Mum and purchase some crates so I can get hubby to make me some raised beds.

Hopefully once all is done and dusted, I'll be able to sleep a little easier at night.

Sunday roast, with all the trimmings was great. My Nan would have been so proud of the roasties! Unfortunately, I sliced through my finger whilst cutting the broccoli. Now I have a flappy bit of skin and lots of blood. Great!

It might not make it through the night....

Just a quick "stopping by" post really.
High winds are predicted for us tonight/tomorrow and I really don't think my greenhouse will make it through the night. It looks quite blustery out there now.

Anyway, the whole point of the post is that I've just been browsing one of my many gardening forums that I'm a member of and noticed someone has recommended a company called Norfolk Greenhouses.

After a quick 10 minute browse, I think it's safe to say that I might have to purchase this one:

It's the 'budget' greenhouse and really does count as a budget being that it will only set me back £69.00!!! And with only £10 for postage & packaging.... It really does make my £35 plastic attempt look really poor.

I shall keep you posted!

Sunday, 3 May 2009

I have new babies!

I've spent pretty much the whole weekend either in the greenhouse, re-potting, watching, waiting and daydreaming or sitting infront of the laptop reading, updating and learning.

The seedlings are really starting to take shape now....


5 days old

12 days old

I'm gonna have to re-pot these soon!

12 days old

Newly aquired Strawberries!

Age: Approx 1 year

Really not sure what I should be doing with these at this time of the year. Should really get round to reading up on them. Mum said she didn't get much fruit off them last year. So she's given me a whole pot to see how we both compare this year.... This is an ultimate test for me! Haha


6 days old

These have only been like this since putting in the greenhouse yesterday. As when I fetched them outside from the comfort of my windowsill, it just looked like a paper pot full of compost with a lolly stick label.

Rocket Salad

7 days old

Re-potted and looking very healthy, quite proud of the herbs.

6 days old

The label says 10 seeds. This is overall. There are only two seedlings in this pop bottle. Self watering too, thought I'd throw my crafty side into gardening.... Saves me more pennies too!

It would appear that the carrots are LOVING it in the greenhouse! Just a shame the frame isn't gonna hold. We had some pretty gusty winds this morning and a few more joints have cracked :(

7 days old


CabbageWhilst browsing lastnight I stumbled across another Swap Seed site and thought I'd give it a go and I already have my first swap going! I'm trading my Basil (Dark Opal) for some Cornflower Blue Balls. Not too hopeful about growing flowers from seeds, but I was talking to hubby lastnight about our front garden and we have decided to work with a blue/purple/white theme and we think (or should I say, I think) that these will work with our theme.

Thats about it for today. Looking forward to a lovely Sunday Roast tomorrow, so might not grab a minute to update. This should keep you going for a few days :)