Today I have been totally alone at Riverside. A rare occurrence!
My youngest sproglet has been at a sleepover with her cousins.
Due to this childfree time being such an unusual event I had BIG plans to use this time as productively as possible.
The plans involved LOTS of outdoor work and gardening and general plot tidying.. and guess what, it has rained hard almost all day! Sod’s Law!
It is almost June and so cold that I have had to light a fire. The cottage was really chilly this morning when I came in from milking Tansy .
Amongst the jobs that I did complete, in the rain, were the planting out of some young vegetable plants that were in dire need of removing from their pots and trays. I have finished filling up the new wall planter! It will soon fill up as the plants mature and I look forward to having a bit more growing space.The planter replaces a rotten wood fence that fell down in the gusty wind we had the other day. So it is making use of space that was previously unused for growing. Every little helps..as they say 😉
I planted out more baby red cabbages, some kale,both Tuscan Black and a red curly variety that I have forgotten the name of, plus beetroots and bunching onions.
I earthed up the potatoes again, weeded the pea bed and planted out four courgette plants,that were getting far too big for the large pots they were in.
The hostas and ferns that fill a shady corner here at Riverside have enjoyed the rain today. No slug holes in the hostas yet. Permaculture certainly seems to keep the pest species at bay, as the hardworking hedgehogs and toads that live here keep the slug population under control.
I have also planted out a variegated thyme, a red bergamot or bee balm, a pineapple mint, which is also variegated and some walking onions!. My first planting of those here! ….and I harvested yet more rhubarb! I am seriously impressed with the crop of rhubarb this year.The mulch of horse manure I gave the young rhubarb plant last autumn has made a huge difference.
So all in all a fairly productive day even if I did get wet. But I still have so much to do..
I have started mulching an area of really overgrown land that runs beside my cottage plot.
I have been using all my spent straw/ hay and goat bedding over the last 6 months or so to deeply cover a completely wild area of thick nettles, grass and other perennial weeds.
Mulching has really helped reduce the nettles and is an ongoing process.
I have also laid some cardboard down to clear a small area ready for a deep bed, of home-made compost but to be totally honest I have a long way to go before it is anywhere near ready and I may just turn the animals out in it, for a month or so, just to eat it down a bit first, before I continue to do anything else out there.
I am feeling a bit despondent that I can’t get it sorted faster. But maybe it is meant to be a slow process, so that I get to work out where I will put plants and so I have time to save up for the purchase of trees and perennials to fill it!
The weeds are growing faster than I can deal with them on my own by hand. ..but still the mulching goes on…I won’t give up.
All in all it is about a tenth of an acre. It is set out in a long uneven strip..widening at the bottom as it reaches the slope up to the riverbank.
Up by the river I aim to plant some willow for goat forage and weaving and so the roots help keep the soil in place.
My longterm plan is to eventually be able to make a mini forest garden on it.. with a meandering path.. curvy deep beds with fruit trees, underplanted with soft fruit and other edibles.
I want it to be beautiful as well as productive.. but I have a feeling it is going to take me some time to get to that stage.
Luckily I am very patient!
Thanks for reading my random wafflings. It is always a pleasure to get feedback and comments.
I always try to reply to everyone xx