I can see clearly now……..

the snow has gone……..and the garden looks a right state! Oh well lots to do as soon as this drizzle stops and the ground drys out a bit….hopefully.

The broad beans I sowed about 6 weeks ago are just starting to poke through the ground, probably in shock at the moment, but I’m hoping they’ll take advantage of the relatively milder weather over the next few days and put a growth spurt on. They’ll give me early beans next year and less blackfly trouble, that’s the plan anyway.

And the onion sets have survived. They look a bit pathetic at the moment but that should change come spring and as long as I get bigger onions than last year (shouldn’t be difficult, they’re not far off now) I won’t complain.

The bargain strawberries I bought in late summer are clinging on in the greenhouse. I’ve got just the spot for them between the beech hedge and driveway which should be enough room to squeeze one long row of plants in.

So what are the main projects for next year?
Firstly I need to get on and build some compost bins. It’s been almost a year since I decided on a composting method I’d like to do full time as buying the stuff in is expensive and I think using this quick-cook method I should be able to get decent compost in 4 months. At the moment I’m getting nothing as I haven’t built the bins yet!

I’ll also have a dabble at growing some prize winning parsnips and carrots hopefully, just need to get some bins organised and filled up with grit sand and off we go. Hopefully it will be more successful than last time.

I should have a veg plot share in the next village and with a bit of luck an allotment at some point so expansion is on the cards whilst trying to squeeze the most out of the beds and borders at home.

Off the plot there will be the big New Year diet, I need to get in shape for next summer, and I’ll be entering my 39th year so I need a mid-life crisis of sorts. Another leg of the Pennine Way will be completed and I’m sure there’ll be many other things of interest to write about in the coming months.

So it’s going to be another busy year and I’ll be using this blog to record my successes and failures. As our laptop decided to attempt to spontaneously combust last night I may be offline for a while as it goes in for repair. I hope you all had a good Christmas and have a fantastic New Year and a great 2011 in whatever you choose to do! I’ll leave you with this photo of the girls destroying a Christmas tree.


22 responses to “I can see clearly now……..

  1. I was thinking of getting some broad beans in before I go away. If they fail, they fail. It’s only seeds, after all!

  2. I want the snow back! The garden looks like a mud field again, not a great look. 😦

    Oh well, at least we can all look forward to sowing some seeds soon, bring on the new year! 🙂

    • I don’t think we’ll be waiting long Una, all I need is a couple of weeks of drier weather to get some muck in the ground and everything tidied up, more chance of winning the lottery I think!

  3. Damo, I’m hoping that the prolonged period of cold weather will have killed off all the nasty bugs that would otherwise have survived the Winter. Things will have been nicely “vernalised” maybe? My garden is loking more like its usual December self now that we have had a bit of rain. Doesn’t everything look grey and dirty after snow has melted?
    Hope the problem with the laptop is not terminal – I know what it’s like to be without one when you’re used to having one around…

    • There won’t be much that’s survived that cold snap which is one advantage I suppose and you’re right everything looks dirty now the snow has gone. I’ve remembered why the laptop has melted a bit – I left it too near the conservatory heater the other day – it’s taken me 2 days to realise this – I blame the boozy Christmas cake and glass of port!

  4. The onions should be fine
    Mine are looking sorry for themselves but still very green
    I could have put some supports in to keep the foliage up but didn’t get around to it. I may even do it yet

    I don’t bother with Broad beans, I am the only one who eats them in my house and then I only like them young. I originally wrote down a comparison but then thought better of it in case the wife saw lol

    As for getting fit and dieting, I have been on that kick for the past 6 months. I went from over 16st to 14.5 stone but think most of that has been put back on in the past couple days

    I did do the gym thing but due to finishing work late, gave it up as I couldn’t make it, or like couldn’t be arsed by the time I got home

    I don’t do New Years resolutions as they don’t ever last long even if they do get started

    • Well done for slimming down, I’m around the 20 stone mark (scales won’t come out until after this weekend) which even at 6′ 5″ with a large frame is too much – my doctor says “you carry it well” but there’s only so long you can get away with that so I need to slim down by about 3 stone. Something I can get my teeth into over the winter months and then hit the salads come spring.

      I know what you mean about resolutions, I’d never join the gym, just need to get out more with the dog which is easier said than done with the recent weather.

      Both Rach and I like broad beans so I persevere with them. And I do need to get the onions supported, I haven’t in previous years and don’t think they do as well.

  5. What type of onions are you growing?

    • They are “Radar” from sets. I’ve also got some seed “Globo” which I’ll sow in January and give them a go too. I didn’t over winter the sets last year and they were abyssmal but that may be more due to the very dry spring and early summer. So I went back to November planting this year so we’ll see how they do.

  6. That’s not destroying the tree, they’re being quite gentle there – our 5 month old cats have chewed their way through various decorations and last night the lights stopped working. I’m suspecting the wires may have been chewed!

    The strawberries will be fine, if anything you’re over pampering them! I had some out in pots last winter that were covered in snow for some time, frozen, etc and still came back strong.

    Hopefully I’m going to be able to plant my blackcurrant bush this afternoon that I’m had in the house for over a week now.

    • Thanks Rob, good to know my strawberries will be OK. Hope your tree / cats survive. I need to get the raspberry canes in that I got the other week. A job for the weekend, one off a long list!

  7. We have never tried putting beans in early but fortunately so far we haven’t had a blackfly problem (famous last words). It’s funny how the shoots growing beneath the snow are yellow due to lack of light – I never imagine it being dark beneath snow!

  8. Hi Damo, I’m rather resenting the absence of frost and snow, as my garden looks a right state too! My broad beans are still in pots in the greenhouse, I didn’t dare plant them out – again in pots – given how cold it has been. Think I’ll carry on molly-coddling them until Spring… Good luck with the diet – I am already in the January Trousers of Shame, so will be embarking in my own attempt to shift the pounds. Enjoy your new compost bins and enhanced acreage! Look forward to watching your progress. Happy New Year!

    • Hi Janet Happy New Year to you too! I like the ‘January trousers of shame’ not heard that expression before but it is very appropriate for this time of year! Just eating up the Christmas leftovers, Jamie Oliver Turkey and Leek Pie at the moment, before embarking on an almost saint-like existence in January!!

  9. My broad beans came up just before the snow and seem to have survived well-aren’t plants amazing! peas put in at the same time as a green manure have produced just one tiny shoot so far, so hoping they might pull through. Busy reading my gardening and cookery books I got for Christmas(Monty Don , Hugh Johnson, sarah raven, Nigella, carol Klein) so won’t be heading down the garden just yet!

  10. Hi Jan, they are born survivors aren’t they, amazing! That’s a lot of reading to get through, enjoy!

  11. Another excellent post, and interesting comments, where I can see that you’re going to have a busy year!
    It’ll really is worthwhile getting your compost heap underway as soon as possible, and I’m a bit surprised that you’ve not done so already!

    • Thanks again Flighty, it will certainly be a busy one and I wish you all the best for 2011. I should have got the compost heap set up already, it’s one of those jobs that I wanted to do justice to, a really good permanent fixture in the garden. I built it up in my mind so much I never got round to starting it! Just have the one Dalek in the corner which is OK but doesn’t produce anywhere near enough material for me and is not quick enough. So it’s definitely on the early 2011 jobs list!!

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