The How's, Why's, and D'ya mind if i dont's...
Those of you out there that are avid readers of my blog, may have noticed that theres not been an update for some time (unless you've been distracted by big brother or an interesting new shade of paint you've had to watch dry), well, this is because quite simply ive been too busy. Along with having to do mundane tedious tasks like go to work, and somehow maintaining a fairly decent level on my university assignments, ive had many construction jobs in the garden to deal with. The first of which was a house for Jack, the picture below shows its framework
I wanted Jacks outdoor house to be rather more than a kennel, this was to be something to keep him out of poor weather, warm when its cold, cool when its hot. None of your poor quality quarter inch shiplap here, Jacks house was built to last from half inch tongue and groove, and 10ply marine graded plywood for the floor and roof. It has two rooms, the inner 'bedroom' being well away from the door so theres no draughs, and the roof comes off if needed. It even says 'Jack' carved over the door.
Jacks new house goes next to the animals houses, but the roof over them was in very bad shape and leaking badly. So, a new roof and enclosure has been built, using triple wall polycarbinate sheets, zinc flashed, and even fitted with guttering. This goes to yet another rain butt. The down side to all this construction was the need to move the greenhouse, and contents, some 100ft down the garden, and the resulting sacrifice of what may have been sprouts, and several french bean plants, which happened to be growing at the greenhouses new location. But now all the veg is down the bottom on the plot, I just need some guttering and a rain butt for the greenhouse.
The new enclosure also has a wire meshed run for Jack.
Freddy of course, was most curious of this new development in his empire
Most of the veg garden is growing reasonably well now, ive a big jar of beetroot pickling nicely, and were eating plenty of fresh spuds and carrots. A new pea frame had to be built for the second lot of pea plants, and a third row of autumn king carrots went in today.
The acorns i collected from the old tree behind my mums house, where we used to play as kids, have become a miniature oak forest in a tub
Also as part of this run of wood based projects, a fence is going across to divide the animals/sams/driveway area from the lawn and veg parts of the garden. This is taking some time, as apart from the posts, which are tanilised timber, the rest of the fence is being made from pallets. I also found out (after i had cut the posts) that a minimum of 45inches is needed to prevent a three way cross doggie like Jack from jumping over.
Jack, as im sure you can guess, is none too impressed by this curtailing of his freedom, firstly by a wire walled run, then by a spikey topped fence that will stop him getting access to Sams toys to happily chew on the lawn
Further work has also commenced with the henhouse - the pophole 'tunnel' has been completed, so the house will mate securely to the run, and the perch has been fitted. The run still needs the end panel wiring, and a door fitting. All that remains on the house is the low level ventinlation holes, and the window.
I plan on using the glass salvaged from an old display cabinate for the window. This has a nice frosted pattern on it. So, today i went to cut the glass to size. Armed with my brand new (less than 15mins old) glasscutter, i scored the pane neatly and gave it a sharp tap - it did nothing. Now, i know all about how glass is made, but lets face it im not a glazer. It didnt occur to me that the panes reluctance to snap indicated anything more than me being a bit wimpy in how hard i struck it. So i hit it again, and it went -BANG! and promptly exploded into a million pieces
Oooops! yes, im afraid it never entered my head that it could be safety glass. I now have the slow task of retriving all these shards from the lawn, a job i gave up for the evening after finding the only truly sharp piece, by collecting it in the end of my thumb. I still intend to use the other pane of this glass, but have now worked out a way of doing so without having to cut it.
The fruit and nut hedge is coming along, the raspberries have done well, and despite there not being many canes we have had some quite large fruit, as a result of all this rain. Of my four new bushes, the loganberry and redcurrent have not shown any fruit, but the blackcurrent has done pretty well
and the tayberry had around six fruits all told, a couple of which i managed to pick for Julie before the birds ate them.
The marigolds are prtecting the carrots, and looking and smelling great
and Sams sunflower, that he originally brought home from school a couple of inches high, is now some 6ft tall and about to bloom
although theres no fruit yet, Sams pumpkin plants are cracking on, and flowers are begining to form
the old apple tree is once again showing signs of a good yield. I cut this back quite severly last year, and theres evidence of wooly aphis again, but it shows no sign of retiring just yet
and to finish with, Julies favourite, the peas. The first pods were ready today, and with the new frame in place the second set of plants are now tied in. Hopefully next year i will be able to devote a longer section of ground to the peas