Wednesday, 30 March 2011

It's spring, it's sunny and we had the week off work!

I took last week off work because Chris's boss was off on holiday.  Chris hasn't had a proper break from work in 12 months (other than Christmas) so I thought I'd take some time off with him.  We had some glorious weather and the sun was shining pretty much everyday, so we picked a great week.  Chris is off this week as well, and I'm glad, because he really does deserve the break.  I keep pestering him to drop a day or two at work, so that he's more time to do his own projects like his artwork, but I haven't convinced him just yet.  I think he's forgotten what it's like to not have to work.

The gardening order arrived at the shop and I stocked the shelves on Friday afternoon.  I ordered organic veg and herb seeds and liquid comfrey feed from Tamar Organics.  I got some more wildflower seeds from Landlife, and some coconut/latex plant pots from the Hairy Pot Plant Company.  I also ordered the liquid seaweed and powdered seaweed from Bod Ayre seaweed products in Shetland.  I hope all the stock sells well.  Especially the seaweed and comfrey feeds.  I guess it depends if we get many gardeners in!

On Sunday night I went to a new Italian restaurant called 'De Niro's' with my Mum.  I've gone vegetarian again because I don't want a creature to give up its life for me to eat it.  I've not eaten red meat in 22 years, but I started eating chicken and fish because I was very thin, but I going back to being a full on veggie again.  So I tried gnocchi for the first time, and it was served in a tomato and basil sauce.  It was really tasty.  My Mum had lasagne which looked good.  We had chilli tomato garlic bread to start which was mega, mega hot!  We shared a chocolate cake for pudding and finished things off with a cappuccino. 

I cleared out the back garden on Monday, and removed all the weeds, brushed and rearranged the pots and swept around.

I also sowed some seeds into the soil, including cornflower, calendula and chrysanthemum.  I did Steve a pot of cat grass.  I also sowed lots of seeds into pots and trays which I placed in the cold frame - lettuce, cauliflower, sunflower, more pot marigold.  I'm trying to stop the propagating greenhouse from becoming too full like last year, and this year I'm more experienced at knowing which seeds need to be in the greenhouse and which can be sown outside, or in a cold frame.

I collected all the plantpots and trays together - we've got loads, and there's more at the allotment.

The purple drumstick primula is in full bloom, and the white one isn't far behind.

The viola in the hanging basket have come back to life.

I took a cool photo of Steve.

I got a nice purple flowered houseplant.

Len came to fix the electrics in the greenhouse.  He said it's much safer now, he's fitted a waterproof circuit breaking plug.  So I sowed 16 varieties of tomatoes, the basil, cucumber and violas and placed them in the propagators to germinate.  The violas are in a separate propagator at a lower temperature.

I also did some heliotrope (cherry pie plant) which I took home to go on the windowsill.  I sowed broad beans and a selection of peas into cardboard toilet tubes which went in the cold frame. 

I sowed some mustard cress to use on salads.

I cleaned the windows upstairs and I did the lower back windows inside and out.

Chris put some shelves up in the bedroom.

Chris cleaned all of the greenhouse glass at the allotment - that's 2 huge greenhouses, so quite a big job.  He cut his hand open doing it so we had to put a plaster on his finger.

Chris painted the shed.

He's also made a pond at the allotment next to my Dad's memorial garden.  It has a little overflow into another smaller pond.  We went to Brookside garden centre and picked up some plants to go in the pond, their selection wasn't great though, they said they were getting more stock in a couple of weeks.

He moved the bird table under the feeders.

We had a fire and burnt our rubbish, then put the wood ashes on the potato patch.

We also got some fruit trees from Brookside, we got a large blackcurrant and a red gooseberry.   And I bought a thornless blackberry bush from Aldi.  These have all gone into the fruit tree border, which Chris has extended.

I cleared the path down the back of the greenhouse.  Our pet parakeet Joey has been buried there for about 10 years, he's underneath a primrose plant which is flowering at the moment.

Chris moved two compost bins round the back of the top greenhouse.

He planted a strawberry plant into the upside down strawberry planter that Emma got him for Christmas.

We took the rest of the leeks out of the raised bed, topped it up with some compost and I sowed some beetroot, radish and spring onions.

I pollinated the peach tree using a small blusher brush. 

Chris planted about 190 onion sets in perfectly straight lines!

Sadly, very sadly indeed, there's still no sign of life on the damson tree.  I really, really hope it comes to life again soon.  I've fed it twice with the special Shetland liquid seaweed from the shop, so I'm hoping this might act as a tonic and bring it back to life.

The forget me nots have flowered in the front garden at home and the border is awash with tiny blue, pink and white flowers.

I felt a bit unmotivated this week, could it be my hormones?   I seem to blame everything on hormones!

Being off work made me want to go down to 3 days at work - should I take the plunge?  I still can't work out of I can afford it.  Maybe when I get paid this month I will put some money to one side and see how I manage.

The 'Screw work, let's play' book suggested making money by finding a problem and solving it through doing something you enjoy - people are more likely to buy something if it solves a problem they have, which makes sense to me.

I want to try and streamline the inputs into my life e.g. things I read, websites I visit, people I see - I want to filter out the rubbish to save me time.  I feel like I have information overload sometimes.  and a lot of the stuff is rubbish I could do without.  So it's about only allowing the quality stuff in and filtering the rubbish out.  Sometimes I wish I was back 50 years ago when there wasn't so much information.  I've almost forgot what it feels like to be bored, and I think a lot of other people have too.

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