Elephants in the Garden.

chaffinch
Chaffinch on seeding mallow

The evenings are really starting to draw in now and we’ve already experienced our first frosts. This is a little early for Skye. It doesn’t seem to have damaged the plants in the polytunnel yet though. I have brought in the Tamarind seedling that my neighbour gave me, and have also potted on and brought in two pepper plants and two sweet peppers. The vines on the pumpkin nuts have died back, so I have brought those three fruit in to keep safe. The shark’s fin melon vine still looks healthy and I have cut it back and dug it up, so that I can try and overwinter it indoors, since the plants are perennial in milder climates. Last week I removed all the rest of the tomato fruit and made a chutney. It burnt on the pan a bit, but tastes alright. I still need to remove the remains of the plants yet.

sharks fin melon
Single Sharks fin melon before potting up

I mulched the DRG side of the new front garden area I have been working on with cardboard, and dug up, divided and replanted one of the daylillies from the original DRG. This one has quite large orange flowers. Daylillies are another of the ‘edimental’ plants I have been growing. The flowers, known as ‘golden needles’ are esteemed in parts of China and dried to be eaten as a vegetable. I think the leaves and roots are also edible, although have not tried them at all yet. Slugs certainly like the leaves, so I have protected the newly planted divisions with a cut off plant pot collar. I’m a bit disappointed that the grass is growing back quite a bit in the new area by the DRG. I obviously did not clear as much as I had thought. Since I have seeded as well as replanted this area it is a bit difficult to know what to do for the best. I guess I will have to try and spot mulch the worst patches….

As the autumn progresses the leaves are falling audibly off the sycamores in the front garden. I hadn’t realised how well the swales I had made would trap the leaves. This will hopefully enable an auto-mulching of the plants in the dips. I’ll have to reconsider what I planted there, with a view to maximising this benefit. Certainly the asparagus will appreciate an annual mulch, so I’m extra glad now I planted them in the dips rather than on the humps, but maybe there are other herbacious perennials that would benefit similarly. It will be interesting to see whether the leaves are still there after a winter gale or three….It was pretty windy last week and the leaves still seem to be staying put.

Catching leaves
Catching leaves

Rather than leave it till all the leaves had fallen from the willow fedges, I decided to prune and tidy them earlier. This will reduce the vigour of the willow slightly and make the fedges less likely to get damaged in winter winds by providing less of a catchment for the wind. I painstakingly cut the willow into short lengths to put on top of a newspaper mulch along my new pathway around the former DRG. I first tied the willow into bundles to make it easier to handle, but it was still pretty tedious. I could have used the shredder, but my memory of shredding willow last time was that was pretty tedious as well, and rather noisy.

mulching
Mulching DRG path with willow and cardboard

Anyhow I had a good win this week! There is a band of ‘tree surgeons’ going round the area at the moment who are cutting back trees which are too close to powerlines. I noticed them shredding the prunings onto their little tipper van and asked them if they wanted to dispose of them locally and they did!  So I now have a pretty big pile of ready shredded spruce branches to use as mulch material on paths, and possibly in my blueberry patch when I get round to planting that up.

mulch pile
If you don’t ask you don’t get

Finally a new caterpillar sighting for us. We usually joke that Dyson is a crap guard dog, and he replies that he keeps away the elephants for us. Here is one he missed:

elephant hawk moth caterpillar
Elephant Hawk moth caterpillar

4 thoughts on “Elephants in the Garden.

  1. Lovely to catch up with life on your small holding. Our excitement is that Athena can say Grandad, but Grandad is less than chuffed as she now calls all those old men on the TV advertising funeral plans, over 50s life insurance and equity release “Grandad” too.

    Small niece and nephew visited us, or the chickens, yesterday for a socially distanced visit outside. They approved of my acquisition of the baldy ex farm girl, now second in command and stupidly tame. I guess they are bred to be to docile in the conditions that they are kept in commercially. One reason why I will not have more than four is because of space. Currently, they have most of the garden, as it will become a building site in the future when I get my disabled bedroom/walk in shower room built.

    Matt is looking forwards to being 60 this Christmas, he still feels as if he should be about 25 but the mirror does not agree.

    Love to Stuart and Dyson.

    Catherine, Matt & cats & chickens xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Getting older is better than the alternative. Everyone feels about 23 inside.
      Stuart’s not too keen on the idea of keeping chickens, althouh I think Dyson would love them…..briefly. I quite fancy ducks. Apparently they can be very good for keeping slug and snail populations down and, although messy, are less hard on your plants. I did a bit of research and making a pond (clay lined) will have to wait till we’ve paid for the house extension which has not even moved off the computer yet.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s