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Everything in the Garden is…

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We thought we would give you a little garden update in this post, so to do that I have typed up some notes from a recent garden diary entry. The diary entries can tend to be rather erratic but we are trying to be more consistent this year. It is useful to have some jottings on what worked and what did not; what we did when; and what varieties/brands of seeds we have planted. Well, that’s the theory anyway. I have to confess that this weekend I have discovered that what I thought were California poppies turn out to be Welsh poppies so I have changed that in my notes. (It is thanks to Fionnuala Fallon in the Irish Times Saturday magazine for the information!).

Bleeding Heart and Primulas

Cheerful Spring Colours

I have included here a couple of pictures that I took this spring, which I am hoping to print off and add to the diary. I keep leaving pages free for pictures, seed packets and magazine snippets but I never manage to stick them in. This creates a permanent To Be Stuck Pile (TBS Pile) which bears an amazing resemblance to the pile of recipes waiting to be put into my recipe folder. And to the pile of books waiting to be read…

Here is the garden diary entry for June 12th noting what our green fingers got up to recently:

This evening we put out the sweet William plants in between the hollyhocks and the chives/gladioli. I think we will have to divide the hollyhocks next year if possible; if so it would be a good idea to reposition them further to the back of the border.

Three courgette seedlings are coming up nicely and the parsley is settling down. On Monday, we fetched our dwarf raspberry cane from Mr Middleton’s garden shop. This of course required yet another trip to Homebase to buy a suitable pot. Actually the one we bought was on the large side at 21l, but probably better to be too large than too small. We also bought a pot for the Rowan tree – not sure if now is the best time to re-pot it as it is just setting fruit.

Verity also bought paint for her pallet project (in match pots) – watch this space! One lonely iris adorns the bulb/wildflower patch – goodness knows where all the rest of them went. However, we do have four honeybells (I think) and many Welsh poppies out (yellow and orange).

Pansies

These are still going strong!

Also on Monday, we went elderflower foraging along the Dodder. We amassed about forty heads of varying sizes. All now stored away in the freezer in two plastic tubs. It’s amazing how useful Google can be – what did we ever do before it answered our every question? [I had been searching to see whether it was possible to freeze elderflowers] Well, I suppose we would have consulted a gardening books/wild flower book or an expert relative or friend. Sometimes I wish granddad were still around to talk gardens.

Need to put some work into pulling the bulb patch back into shape. We have both had a go at it recently but it needs another push. Some things wildly over growing others (such as the camomile being overwhelmed) and the weeds need attention. Strawberry plants have self-seeded there which is nice.

There’s where the entry finishes and I have to admit that the next entry wasn’t written until the 26th so we are not being quite as dedicated as I would like. Still, I suppose the main thing is to be keeping up with the gardening. It’s easier to catch up with a few notes than it is to catch up on the weeds!

More on the garden anon…meanwhile, do tell us how your garden grows!

Painting my Pallets

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I’ve almost finished painting my two pallets and they should be ready to set up soon. I’ve chosen pots that fit in and planted them up with sweet peas, Italian Borlotti beans, dwarf beans and spinach. When the beans and sweet peas flower it should look very colourful.

Painted pallet

The small pallet in Wild Willow, Purple Pansy and Pure Duck Egg.

The pallets both needed scrubbing and sanding, the smaller one turned much lighter after that. I gave them a white undercoat first with some household paint, left over from doing a ceiling I think. I bought five match-pots, optimistically thinking that would be enough paint. I have two Home of Colour, Garden Colour paints, from Homebase and three Cuprinol, Garden Shades. The Home of Colour ones are in Wild Willow and Pure Duck Egg, the others are Purple Pansy, Barleywood and Sunny Lime. The Home of Colour paints have more in them and are better value but there is not a very large range of match-pots.

Painted pallet

The large pallet in Pure Duck Egg, Sunny Lime and Barleywood

I tried to do a couple of coats on most of the surfaces and to paint all the inside bits that won’t be visible but as some of the wood is splintered or gouged, there are a few white patches still. Everything went well until it came to painting the back of the larger pallet and I realised I didn’t have enough paint left. I painted a few stripes in the last of the Wild Willow and Sunny Lime. However, the rest is some leftover Dulux, My Space, Amazon Blue that I bought for painting a dolls’ house a few years ago. As you can see from the picture, the front of the larger pallet is still white. I have about half a pot of Dulux, Vinyl Matt, Summer Sun left over from the same dolls’ house project and I might finish that off on the front, although I’m not sure if there is enough. The Amazon Blue is indoor paint so I’ll have to varnish that part at least, although I might do the whole thing to make the pallets last a bit longer.

Painted pallet

Back of the larger pallet in Sunny Lime, Wild Willow and Amazon Blue

Are you doing any painting in the warm weather? Let us know what projects you have on the go!

Pallets with potential

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Another project has commenced, after two lucky finds. I was very taken with the idea of having a pallet when I saw them used as furniture, in gardens and in window displays. Unfortunately, it has proved a bit tricky to bet hold of any. He Who Put The Shelves Up sourced the first one, in the local river. It was half a mini-pallet which had obviously been in the river for some time. Then, a week or so ago, we had another breakthrough when Chris found a whole mini-pallet at work. This one was brand new and homeless! We carried it home and installed it in the garden.

Pallets

Pallets with potential

I had been so focused on getting my pallets that I hadn’t thought much about what to do when I got them. He Who Put The Shelves Up suggested fitting a tray of plants behind each bar (you’ll know what I mean when you look at the pictures) and setting them up in the garden. I think this will work nicely so that is now the Official Pallet Plan.

A pallet

My brand new mini-pallet

However, the wood needs treating first. The new pallet needs sanding, the older one is so worn away that I don’t think sanding would achieve anything. Then I will either paint or varnish both of them. I could paint them and then pick plants that match the colour scheme!

My pallet

Salvaged pallet

This could take quite a while, it’ll be a good up-cycling summer project. For now, I’m just glad to have got my hands on two pallets, for keeps!

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