Right, let's have a compost-and-garden update, shall we? I haven't blogged about rotting things for quite a while.
First though, thank you everyone for all your good wishes and admiring comments re Ma; also, apologies if you tried to post and nothing happened - Steg let me know that he'd commented and it didn't show up, and if anyone else has had the same problem, I haven't deleted anything, honest!
Remember the first compost heap?
I don't think that we produce enough compostable material for it to function very well. And the cats kept jumping inside it and becoming trapped, which was inconvenient.
So we have invested in a new compost bin. It was actually our Easter present from B's Mum and Dad. We have (well, B has) effected Compost Transfer and it is working jolly well. Compost Containment is definitely a good thing.
As well as that, over the Easter weekend we spent a lot of time sorting out the garden:
- I found someone who was prepared to take all the rubbish away for us for a tenner (and had the fantastic marketing ploy of advertising on Freecycle saying they'd transfer stuff for charities for free).
- We bought four railway sleepers, for the EXTORTIONATE price of £19 each, which we are going to cut up and use to keep the soil in the beds.
- We took delivery of a donation of topsoil from Nina and Tom, who are having Shed Building Shennanigins and needed to get rid of some of their garden.
- I asked for a Belfast Sink on Freecycle and had two offers; so we have collected one from a man who looked like a beaver (in the nicest possible way; does a lot pottering around his shed and garden and working with wood to extend his summer house/spare room, is clearly a hoarder and is obviously really busy all the time despite having retired quite a long time ago) and am now sussing out small solar powered water pumps. It's going over there on the left, where you can see Betty having a wee in the sand.
- I was also offered loads of herb cuttings from various generous Freecyclers and some people even offered me whole plants from seed where they have overplanted. I have been and taken cuttings and started trying to root them.
- In a frenzy of hormonal purchasing last weekend I bought ALL SORTS OF THINGS on eBay (including, for some reason I cannot now fathom, a Liberty Bodice, but lets move swiftly on). They should arrive today or tomorrow and include, but are not limited to, white and pink hyssop, lemon balm, french tarragon, creeping pennyroyal and a lavender called 'little lottie'.
- I have also bought some nematodes and some copper tape to go round the pots, from The Green Gardener to sort out the Slug Problem once and for all and have ordered some ladybirds and some lacewing larvae for later in the season. Currently the nematodes are in the fridge, which I hope isn't freaking New Polish Lodger out too much. It's not so much the words on the packaging, as his English is relatively basic (better than my Polish though); it's more the ENORMOUS picture of the slug on the front.
- My clematis armandii is going great guns - I have kicked the bottom out of his pot so that he can get his feet in the soil; and he has responded by going bananas in the growth department. It is the only evergreen clematis and flowers very early, as you can see. I am not sure what the yellow thing beside him is (in the picture at the bottom), but B's Mum gave it to us and it is beautiful. The pink tulips have come out this week and are a really beautiful colour.
- I have made odd little cushion-beds to put some of the more spreading herbs in. When we re-tiled the roof, we had a few tiles left over and B has cut them down the middle with an angle grinder that we borrowed. They fit exactly in to the hole left by a single flagstone and I am quite smug about them - see top photo.
Cat Hating Neighbour has been well behaved for the last couple of days; she called something friendly over the wall when we were playing out there with the children the other afternoon. I am hoping that B's little chat with her might have done the trick. We are still in the throes of formulating a sensible and do-able plan to escape to the country. Will post about it in a day or two, this is long enough for now. And have Lodger Updates, too. Odd how blog material is like buses, isn't it, and comes along in lumps?
The Marketing Guru is coming this afternoon, must go and clear up the cat sick that I've just noticed in the corner of the office.