In the bin!

I’ve never been more excited to have a new bin.* I’m now the proud owner of a brown bin from the council to put my weeds in! Looks at this lovely trio. I couldn’t be more proud of them.

To get them from my council there’s a £30 (or so) a year charge, but I’ve got so many weeds to throw away that this’ll come very much in handy. Especially as we’ve no car to take this kind of rubbish away. (And Tim won’t let me use an incinerator in the garden!)

Maybe don’t do this. There needs to be more drainage.

My only other plan was to “mulch” down the weeds, which I’d heard was a thing. My methodology wasn’t going quite as well as expected though; leaving the weeds under a piece of tarp just made them damp and quite smelly.

*Until today when my bread bin arrived!

An update on what the primary focus area looks like

This is one of Tim’s pictures

This has been where I’ve spent most of my time. Starting small, and trying to see the impact on just one area.

Previously, this was fully of weeds of all kinds and most bare clay! I’ve thrown lots of soil on top of this, and started off some things growing; there’s a lavender there, a tomato plant under a Dr Pepper bottle (an experiment), some pansies waiting to be buried, and a few other things which I’ve immediately forgotten.

Hopefully, one of the purposes of this blog will be for me to keep track of what I’m growing, and where!

Late night sowing

This system of laying out the seed packets and then taking a photo of them isn’t the wisest. I’m assuming that the last three are marigolds and the three before that are nasturtium, but who knows. The two columns in the middle could be anything.

I made quite the effort to just get one seed in each pot to begin with. However, I got bored of that rather quickly and just started dashing them into thumble-sized holes.

These are going to live in my conservatory for the next few weeks. The conservatory gets rather warm during the day, but almost as cold as outside during the night. So, I’m not entirely sure they’ll survive a late March cold snap, but we’ll see.

Soil. Lots of soil.

There’s a surprising amount of soil in one of these, even considering its weight and size!

This will be used as top soil for the area I’ve started to weed out and plant new things.

As a note of warning, the Ikea bag absolutely isn’t the right tool for this job. The handled immediately broke on trying to lift it.

You should use some sort of bag if you’re taking this home with you in a taxi though – like we did. These large bags can be quite dirty and the driver won’t be pleased having it in their boot. Worse, B&Q don’t have any bags of suitable size for this kind of thing, so be sure to bring your own.

It occurs to me now that this quite clearly says ‘compost’. I’ve no idea if it’s appropriate to use as a top soil, in the way that I am.

Working in the dark

During the winter – and in fact for the start of spring – by the time my work day was finished at 17:30 it was already ten minutes past sun set. Fortunately, this pushed backed and back each day, but the only real jump was when day light savings kicked in; the first time I’ve actually appreciated it!

However, until then, all I could do was work in the dark.

These are the working conditions I’ve been working with throughout February and January. The only light source was a light from my conservatory.

On a trip to Wilkos I also picked up a torch and spotlight, which is working quite well. For such a cheap thing, it’s holding up and gives a good amount of light. At least enough to cancel out my shadow when I have my back to the main light. It’s not the easiest item to place or position.

Even with the torch, getting much further than the patch of main light was tricky. For that reason, that patch of garden that’s visible in the photo is the nicest pruned in the garden now.

Whilst weeding away, and turning the soil, I tended to listen to Radio 4 shows, like Just A Minute and The News Quiz. Unfortunately, having just moved into the area, this might have given my new neighbours the impression that I sit in my garden at night, grunting and laughing loudly to myself uncontrollably. One particularly memorable segment that highlighted this was the “nuts” lecture on The Unbelievable Truth which lead me to have to pause the podcast and sit on the floor for a few minutes to recover.

Cheap tools

I proudly bought my first gardening tool; a trowel from Bargain Buys, or Poundland, or some low cost shop. I think it cost me 59p!

It broke immediately. It just snapped in half was still half buried in the ground. Huh.

I’ve since been to B&Q and spent about £3 and that’s going much further than this one did.

(The picture is dark because it’s part of my working in the dark series!)