Well the garden has grown again, not just because of the glorious sunshine but because I can’t help buying reduced plants, plants from local markets, swapping, cuttings, anything, as much plant life as possible.  We have a healthy selection of vegetables, herbs and ornamentals.  With the aim being to aid the bee and butterfly life.  We have at least one damson fly inhabiting the garden.  We got trays of plants for 20p each the other day and it’s helping to add to a colourful if not eclectic garden.  As I am buying what is reduced or available from car boot sales and markets it’s not a designed garden but I’ve tried to focus on wildlife, perennials and ever greens or winter flowering plants.   I really need to get out with a proper camera and not with my phone, excuse the image with part of my hand in!  I was watering the garden at the same time LOL.  We have harvested quite a few strawberries, our blackcurrants are nearly ready as are our gooseberries.  We have several cucumbers, purple sprouting broccoli, French beans, runner beans, broad beans, chilli peppers, bell peppers, spring onions, red and white onions, leeks, potatoes, beetroot, radishes, apples and tomatoes all ripening away.  Sadly we have lost our cherries 😦 you can’t win them all though 😉 still so happy to have our garden and to be able to enjoy it’s sights, sounds and smells.  There’s nothing like smelling the flowers to the sound of birds in the trees and buzzing bees and admiring all the beauty nature offers 🙂 

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Well as much as there will be plants missing as I need to determine their names this is what we are currently growing, the list will definitely be growing as I add to it with plants I am growing from seed and cuttings from friends.  

Anemone
Apples
Asiatic Lily
Basil
Bay
Beetroot
Bergamot
Blackcurrant
Blueberries
Borage
Broad Beans
Cabbage
California Poppy
Carrots
Cauli
Cherries
Chili
Coriander
Dahlietta
Dill
Gooseberries
Leeks
Lemon Balm
Lovage
Marjoram
Name
Nastertium
Oregano
Pansies
Pear
Peas
Peppermint
Peppers
Petunias
Plum
Potatoes
Purple Sprouting Broccoli
Raspberries
Red Onion
Rosemary
Roses
Runner Beans 
Sage
Salad Bernet
Salvia
Scabious
Senetti
Snapdragon
Sneezewort
Sorrel
Spearmint
Spinach
Spring Onion
Strawberries
Swede
Thyme
Tomatoes 
Violets
White Onion

A random name for a blog yes, but this year is very random so far but with it a sense of organised chaos.  Having tried and failed to grow vegetables last year we decided this year to buy one of the cheap greenhouses.  We tried to source alternatives on the free and second hand sites first but when we were unable to find any we buckled and purchased it, after all growing season was upon us.  As we rent we plant in pots, plastic may not be the most eco of substances but we have new ones, second hand ones, cracked ones etc my new motto is if it holds earth, grow in it!  I am not the kind of person who really gives a monkeys if my pots match or are falling apart so they’ll last us a while 🙂  Anyway, moving on, I have been putting regular updates of our exploits with the garden, so looking back it’s moved on a lot, it’s only a pity I didn’t take a true before shot.  My photographs are quick and really to show what we do but eventually, when I’m not busy planting (should be nearly done) I will take some photographs to show off the real beauty of the garden, when it’s seen in small pieces lol 😉 

So yes, a lot more plants added today, both edibles and those for the bees of which there are many!!  I have to say sitting on the steps potting up this morning I watched several bees buzzing around our flowers, I’ve guided 4 out of the poly tunnel today and 1 out of the greenhouse.  They are certainly appreciative of the little block of pots of flowers we have.  I added some evergreens and winter plants so that we still have colour and interest all year round and some that provide berries for the birds.  To add to the Basil, Rosemary, Oregano, Sage, Thyme, Lemon Balm, Peppermint and Sorrel we now have Marjoram, Lovage and Salad Burnet.  Even though neither of us like Lavender we got an unusual variety to keep the birds happy.  We have planted some shrubs to provide hideaways for wildlife.  

Our neighbour has been helping her daughter a lot and her garden was overtaken again this year by brambles.  She said if we clear them we can use the garden, so we now have a poly tunnel!  A truly epic poly tunnel it is too.  I have transferred the main plants from the green house and put them into the poly tunnel leaving the greenhouse free for seedlings and a few remaining veggies and fruits.

I also have to share another wonderful feeling today, sat on a bag of compost, planting vegetables and having bees glide passed in the sunshine 🙂 it’s been a great day, hard work, but seeing oodles of bees around has made all the hard work worth it.  We wanted to do this for the wildlife and for us and we are achieving both.  I might turn into a gardening nut, although slightly different to the norm, I plant it and grow it and pay little attention to specifics, it seems to work for me.  I also don’t really do neat, I like nature doing her thing so it’s quite haphazard and I doubt I’ll ever weed!

Here are some photographs,  In a couple of them you can see the garden we are clearing with our poly tunnel in it 🙂

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With a polytunnel on the way to accompany the greenhouse the garden is springing to life.  We have planted more flowers to encourage the pollinators in as the wild flowers are taking their sweet time!  

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On the far right are peas, I’m not sure how these will do here but it’s worth a try, next to them in the green pot are two different types of Thyme, above them are some petunias, with the already established plants behind them, a snowball shrub and a rose with a primrose.  Coming back towards the front of the photograph there are some pansies, some lillies that I started from bulbs and then some gladioli also raised from bulbs and in the far left is some red bergamot. 

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A different view of the same corner, now showing some more Thyme, Pansies and on the tubs and chair, some more Pansies and Petunias. 

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Another view showing the tub of wild flowers in the battered trellis box and some more gladioli.  the flowers at the bottom in the long pots are violets.  There is another flower that I can’t remember the name of!!

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Our herb area with a couple of stray veggies, from the back left we have lemon balm and another seedling of lemon balm in front of it, to the back again, mint and then in the foreground we have oregano.  On the right are some rosemary and oregano seedlings, then some lettuce and spinach, then some Rocket, Underneath is some sage and a lonely carrot.  

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Here are some peas, with the pear tree to the left. 

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Down below the patio by the wall we have wildflowers and some randomly placed onions. 

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Our lovely blueberry bush on the left which is starting to flower and our raspberry bush on the right. 

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Some more wildflowers and onions. 

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This area is full of flowers for the bees and butterflies and herbs that they like, like Wild Flowers, Sorrel, Nasturtiums and Sneezewort.

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Further down, more flowers, my sweet peas are a bit worse for wear, the twig in the front will hopefully be a gooseberry bush eventually and the tree at the back is the plum, still not leaves but it’s not dead.  

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The roses and apple tree are doing really well.  

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These strawberry plants are not as big as the ones in the greenhouse but they are doing well, two pots and they have spread.  

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The greenhouse, these will be transferred to the poly tunnel, we have peppers, chilli plants, carrot, peas, runner beans, spinach, onions, spring onions, red onions, potatoes, beetroot, broad beans, strawberries and cucumbers in here as well as herbs.  

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A slightly different angle.

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The cherry tree with a lot of prospective cherries on it.  

As you can see I will plant and stick a pot wherever I can.  I didn’t show the sunflowers growing in a paper bag or the trough of potatoes yet.  I’m not experienced or even following the rules but I’m learning!  

 

Over the Easter weekend I planted out our seedlings and picked up some plants that were nearly dead and going cheap. 

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These are a mixture of a rose bush with primroses I was given, to the left is a pot of wildflowers and to the right a snowball shrub. 

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Our selection of herbs are starting to grow. 

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More wild flowers and marigolds.  There is another pot like this. 

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Our pear tree, looking bear, it had a disease on the leaves so they had to go 😦 but hopefully enough are left that it will be ok, yes the grass is long and there are dandelions everywhere, just the way the insects like it :).

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On the left is our blueberry bush and on the right is a raspberry bush.  On either side of those are pots of wild flowers, marigolds and onions.  

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A mixture of flowers to attract the bees and butterflies along with medieval herbs and some strawberries. 

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Further down, our rose bushes, plum tree, apple tree and more wildflowers, looking forward to those coming up. 

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A closer shot of our beautiful apple trees, I’m training the roses upwards as they are meant to be ground covering, but they seem to be growing up and out, so making the most of it, ha ha, need to pick up a bottle from there!

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Then our strawberries and the bush that grew from nothing on a pile of rubble. 

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Our cherry tree and containers that collect rainwater. 

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Lemon balm and rocket. 

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Strawberries on the left that had been outside and rubarb on the right. 

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From the green pot on the left, runner beans, up to peas, onions, potatoes, spring onions, down to strawberries and in the middle will be beetroot. 

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At the far end peppers and tomatoes, then rocket, spinach, broccoli, aloe vera and cucumber which you can’t quite see. 

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Mint and Carrots.  

 

 

 

This was a joint design and effort between my husband and I, but I only did one seam and the rest of the work is his.  He enjoys it so 🙂 it is also the first thing we have made.  The design evolved as we went on.  

We got the material as offcuts from a local store.  We chose our size based on some long knitting needles I have.  We selected a length.  The sizes are variable, but you need 2 rectangles of cloth.  

Firstly select your cloth and accessories.

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Next cut your material to size, paying attention to right angles.  First cut the inner piece. Folding a piece over to make the flap to hold the needles.  Take your material and fold the hem over and pin in place, this will save multiple hemming.  Cut the second piece of material with a 10cm overlap on 3 sides and enough material to cover the flap (image beneath this one shows it) and secure with a couple of pins, making sure your pattern lines up as you would like on the other side. 

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Pin the outer material to the flap, again folding the hem inwards to save you sewing extra hems. It is 2cm from the edge of the flap of internal material to the start of the flap of the outer material. 

 

 

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Top stitch (a close stitch to the seam, at least I think so!) across the seam where the outer material meets the inner material on the flap.

 

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How it looks on the other side. 

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Pin the edges down on the top flap.  Using pins along the inside edge ensures an even width.  Stitch. Pin the corners into tucks ready for stitching.

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When you have stitched the edges, stitch the corners.

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Stitch the ribbon into the edge aligned with the band that is the top of the bottom flap.  

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The image below shows part of the inside (it’s quite large) with the top flap open and then the top flap over. The knitting needle pockets were made by stitching from the edge of the bottom flap to the top of the bottom flap, 6cm apart, stitching the flap to the back of the fabric.  They final image is the finished product.

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