Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Sunshine and water

The summery weather gave Sunday in the garden a holiday feel as work continued on the new pergola, which has now been completed. 

David at work

New pergola :-)

The main concern was water for the thirsty plants!

Pink currant
The lack of rain meant that more water than usual had to be brought in.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Garden of hearts

The garden was full of hearts today, on Gary's new signs 

and on this great looking box that he made, which will make a fantastic home for tomatoes or beans.

Sieved leaf mould was used to fill a container for this fig tree, which was grown from a small cutting last year.

The wood chip will help to retain moisture and suppress weed growth.

Another raised bed was taken on by a local resident today and we also tried our hands at building a collection area and transportation system to channel rain water into a storage container.  

It didn't quite work out so we'll be trying some other ideas.  If you've got any suggestions, they'd be very welcome :-)

Monday, 17 June 2013

A new pergola

I hadn't been to the garden since last year and was delighted by the transformation that has taken place, including a wildlife area.

We worked on constructing another pergola, which you can see in the distance in the picture below. Once it's finished, it will provide a framework for some climbing plants – kiwi and grape vines and passion fruit.

Some families came into see how the plants in their raised beds are getting along and work was also carried out on this lovely centre piece made by Gary:

Along with food plants, such as these blueberries and gooseberries

there are also some beautiful wild flowers in the garden like this poppy.

All in all, it was lovely to spend time in nature and I hope to be back again soon.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Grafting an apple rootstock in 8 easy steps

Rootstock - get rid of leaves if any. Grafting should be done in winter but as I grafted at the beginning of April the plants were starting to wake up already. This is an M9 (dwarfing) apple rootstock.

Cut rootstock at an angle. The secateurs must be clean and sharp.

Make a 1cm cut in the middle. Again knife must be clean and very sharp (sorry for the poor quality of the photo)

Scion - this is just a cutting from an apple tree which variety you like, best from last years wood. The scions can be kept in the fridge in a plastic bag with a damp tissue wrapped at the bottom in bunches if they are taken days or weeks before you graft.

Same cut as with the rootstock.

Push the scion into the rootstock trying to match the inner barks (cambium layers). Here's where the magic starts!

Wrap it round for protection from desiccation and excess water favouring mouldy growth.
Don't forget to label it or you won't know what it is until it fruits in a few years!!
...excuse my filthy fingers

And that's it. The newly grafted apple tree has been born. After care - Put the plant in a protected place away from winds and strong sunlight. Rub off buds that may appear below the union. If the thing works successfully you will see some growth from the scion by July at the latest. Happy grafting!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Bulding a pergola for kiwi and grape vines.

Spirit Level anyone??

Brackets are brilliant Agen! It's gonna look the bollocks!