What did you do in your garden today?


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There was a book years ago called "The Gentle art of Monkeywrenching" which was mainly about ways to stop and hinder illegal logging, such as removing surveying posts for logging roads and driving large nails into trees where they would be sawn, or taking out some of the oil of machines and replacing with water, leaving oil on top to dip. Hmmm.

However non-native species can still have wildlife value and serve ecological roles.
This is so true, it is difficult to tell exactly which trees are native in Britain, people have been importing them so long. The Romans probably brought poplars two thousand years ago for example, probably partly because they are so useful to bees. On a rough estimate about 35 of the 350 trees which grow naturally here are native, conifers it is only Yew, Juniper and Scots pine.
 
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Seventeen years ago at the age of 65, on my own, (my wife said I was daft to do it then, but I enjoy a cjhallenge) I errected a run of concrete posts and six, six ft tall panel fence, between the side of the shed and the end of the garden between our garden and next door's. Over time some panels has been "attacked and eaten" by next door's ivy. It was forever growing through thwe panels. So several panels had rotted and one was in very poor condition. My neighbour had purchased one panel this week but was unable to put it in.

Anyway, I've got him to agree for us to replace all six panels, share the cost and he get rid of the ivy. I wouldn't have wanted to know if he weren't going to get rid of the ivy.

I've a system for putting these panels in, which requires two people, but no ladders.
You do need at least a six foot space in front of the panel. Not possible from his side because of his trees.
Our wisteria is seven feet tall in place and I didn't want it damaged, but as it's supported by rows of lateral wires stretched between the concrete posts, I was able to lower the tops to below six feet.

To errect the panel, you need to screw a big "eye" into the middle of the top rail of the new panel and have a six foot stout pole with a hook in the end. You attach the pole to the eye in the panel. The pair of you then lift the panel horizontally and rest the bottom end on the top of the slots. The pole will then support the panel in the horizontal position. One person then steadies one side of the panel keeping the end corner above the slot on that side. The other person can then start to raise the panel with the pole until it's nearly vertical. At this time the bottom will start to slide down the slots. As it's attached to the pole it shouldn't fall into the other garden (unless you let go). The nearer vertical you get it the faster it will slide down the slots.
It's important to make sure the panel will fit in the slots, as over time some times the posts will move slightly. This is what has happened here as the roots of the trees, next door has raised a couple of the posts about two inches. But in our case a crowbar between the panel and the top of a slot and my lump hammer was enough to get it to slide in.

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The other five panels are coming tomorrow or Friday.

We can only put two more panels in that way as our summer house is in the way for two at one end and our shed, in the way of one at the other end. But we can manage those, as I can stand on the roofs of each and my neighbour can push the panels up to me using the pole method. The panels are not that heavy.

Once finished I can re-hang the wisteria.
 
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Had a few days last week to get out and play, now not so much as the last "hopefully" cold snap goes thru.

Did add some left-over leaves to my tulips who appear more ready than I am to get out and going.

Thumbs up to those who are already out and kicking up the dirt:giggle:
 

Meadowlark

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The weather has improved 100% with what looks like the last frost front gone from here.

Today planted my trellis of beans...each trellis panel is 16 ft long and there are 5 total panels with 2 Kentucky/Blue, 1 1500-year-old, 1 Seychelles, and 1 bingo. Tomorrow will plant 5 rows of corn.

bean trellis 2022.JPG
 
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Not a lot as it was a golf day, but I did change all the lateral wires that support the wisteria on the fence between the shed and the tea- house. I've used much heavier guage wire. The old ones were all a bit of a mess, as I'd added several over the years. Now there four at about a foot apart between all the posts and I'll be able to use fewer ties of the same wire to connect the branches. Once the new panels are in, I can raise it all by a foot or so.
My neighbour has a hell of a lot of ivy to clear before we can get at them.

I've ordered another trail camera and a 6v adapter, so I can keep one focused on the patio and the other on the back of the shed to cover the back of the garden.
 
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The hen cages in the foreground, I built them myself. I think of David Austin - Gertrude Jekyll to be
climbers, that is, in this place in the photos you can see how it will happen. Today I shaped the rose a little. A young rose is two years old.
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This is more a progress report.
The pot movers under the 10 Apta ceramic pots containing roses are now a uniform colour since I sprayed them, so they're a uniform colour.
I've also put the usual dab of silicone on the drain hole I drilled in them, so they'll retain excess water in the warmer months.
The roses are growing well and show no sign of blackspot and are aphid free, but it's early days yet.

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The wisterias have responded well as usual to the hard pruning between Christmas and New Year. Here's one example. The three pots of primroses on the patio steps have been flowering for four months.

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There'll be a few hundred blooms again this year.

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Lots of blooms on the trailing branches ion the pergola next to the garage.


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I've re-wired the side fence and temporarily attached the wisteria in a lowered position until we've replaced all the other panels. I'm waiting on my neighbour, but it's "like an ivy jungle" his side and covers about four other panels, plus it's more than ankle deep in his border next to the fence. I don't envy him the job, but I'm not helping, I advised against growing ivy up it after I errected the fence fifteen years ago. At the moment it's not a problem for me. Putting in the other new panels will only take about an hour, when he's ready. I can then "rehang" the wisteria.

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Jobs to do.

I need to get into the rockery and dig out the clumps of grass in the phlox. I might do that today.

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Everything is coming along nicely (except the lawn, it'll be months before that's right).

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The tea-house is looking a bit dowdy. I've opened the vents at the top top and at the bottom of the back wall, so my jukeboxes don't get "cooked" if it's very sunny. They like it to be room temperature at most. It'll get a bit of a re-paint when there's two or three days when it's dry. It gets either a partial or full repaint nearly every year, as it's only made of soft wood and roofing ply, but that's why it's still rot free after 35 years.

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Same with the pagoda.
I'll get the jetwash on it and give that a re-paint too.

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'arry the hedgehog's "summerhouse" should arrive on Monday.

It's the same as present one. (eBay photo)


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But I'm going to drill a few ventilation holes in the top of the back wall, (above where you can see knots in the wood in the photo) they'll be under the bigger roof lid I've got on the other one at the moment, so no rain can get in.
He was "cooking" during the day in the hot months last year. Fortunately the thick canopy of the azaleas over the house gives him some protection.
 
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I got done all I wanted to do today.


I got the grass out of the rockery. There's some really big stones in it, which aren't that visable, I don't mind them being covered in moss but I don't want it spreading, so I removed quite a bit.

I swopped the mimosa in its big tub for the sambucus in the centre bed. I do this every year after the mimosa blossom has faded.

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My neighbour and I (well, mostly me with a crowbar) ripped out another three fence panels and put in new ones, using my "pole method" for two. With the third I stood on the roof of the shed and just dragged it up and slotted it in. Fortunately my wife couldn't see me, she thinks that at 82, I shouldn't be climbing on ladders or standing on the shed roof.

Two more to be done next to the teahouse, I can do those the same way, they should be here next week.

The panels aren't quite level. This is because the roots of next door's trees has forced up two concrete base panels a bit, but I'm not that bothered. The panels aren't Waneylap, like those on the other side of the garden and along the back, which which would have been stronger, but I wan't consulted. Again I wasn't bothered, they'll "see me out" as my old dad would have said.

I re-hung the wisteria on its new wires.

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Meadowlark

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Planted triple sweet corn today in 5 rows of 40 ft each. Plenty of room left for another planting if I decide to do so in June or so to provide continuous supply of fresh corn through next frost. However, my favorite garden vegetable, Okra, will need a lot of that space but it won't be planted for at least another 2 weeks.

Also planted a short row of Merlon cucumber for fresh slicing and another of "pick a bushel" for pickling. Beautiful spring day for gardening.

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Well done, everything is very well done, green as in Japanese gardens. Are they David Austin roses, otherwise they must be mini roses.

Thanks for the kind words, most are David Austin roses, some we've had for must be twenty years.
The ones on the patio steps were miniature roses in 4" pots, received as Christmas presents, in pairs over two years, which I potted out after the blooms died off in the January.
 
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90° here AGAIN...
Almost done with my raised garden beds. Been a 2 week project but I think they came out good. Irrigation going in tomorrow as well as plants.
 

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Yesterday, I rubbed down and re-painted the pergola rail next to the garage.

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Today, I rubbed down and re-painted the tea-house. It'll be 35 years old this year and is wearing well considering it is made from roofing ply and softwood. Except the veranda. This is roofing ply but has marine ply "tiles" on top of it. I don't know how many coats of Dulux mahogany woodsheen it's had, over the decades, but it has certainly kept any rot at bay.




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Jobs for the rest of the week, two panels to be replaced in the side fence when they arrive, also 'arry's "summer house," when it's delivered.
That will need tarting up a bit as the original one did leak a tiny bit in one corner when we had that heavy rain last summer. But the bigger roof "lid" I made stopped any further leaks. But I want to put some ventilation holes in it and I'll put a few more screws in it as I did the present one.
 

Meadowlark

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Easy day today but while puttering around I observed one of the great rewarding marvels of growing vegetables, i.e. when the seedlings poke their heads through to the light.

We nurture the soil, prepare the beds, and lay in the seeds having faith that they will germinate, but also doubts. It is such a privilege to be part of this miracle and it never ceases to amaze me. So thankful for being a small part of it.

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Not a lot today, my new Apeman trail camera arrived today, so I set it up.

Before, I was swopping the original between covering the patio and the back of the garden. 'arry spends as much time in the back of the garden, (his poo turns up all over the place) so now I've got it covered.

The only other job was assembling a new chair I'd bought for my "office," (our box bedroom). I'd been using an old lounger, one which was replaced by a new "Stressless," several years ago, but it was really too low. It won't get used that often as I mostly use my laptop in the front room on wifi. I have two mains adaptors, as the screen isn't very bright without them, despite putting a new battery in it's an HP probook. I'll use the chair when I'm printing off stuff for my wife's decoupage hobby.

I only ordered the chair on eBay on Monday and it was delivered this morning. It was only £39.45 with free postage, easy to assemble, height adjustable, very comfortable, no wonder they've sold nearly fifteen hundred of them.

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'arry's summerhouse should have been delivered on Monday, so I've chased the supplier.

He was scratching a bit last night, he got a bit carried away and nearly rolled over.

It might be fleas or mites, to which they are susceptible. But you can't use pet flea treatments on them.

There could be all sorts in his bedding, which has been in his house for nearly as year. So I'll be happier when his new house has arrived and I can put in fresh hay. I'll leave a bit of his old bedding at the front of his bedroom, so it won't smell completely different. I've a feeling though, that he won't be that bothered about the change.
 
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Meadowlark

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We had a "toad strangler" roll through East Texas this morning and I thought it was interesting to observe the difference in soil coloration in my garden. The left side, much darker, was in alfalfa cover all fall/winter and the right side was in winter brassicas. Soil tests prove the value of covers but even the eye test shows a big difference.

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Prepping and planning, supposed to be in the upper 60's today but with gusts of wind between 40 & 50.

Changed the oil in my tiller and got that ready to go.
 

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