The Wildlife Pond…

The garden originally had a substantial pond at the edge of the lawn under a large oak tree. The pond had been badly neglected, so we decided  to fill it and have a smaller pond better situated elsewhere  in the garden.

We settled on a 500 litre preformed pond, which spend the next year stuck in the shed. When we bought the pond we were told we could have a few small goldfish in, my only concern is the Heron, as it has taken a couple of my father in law’s fish I don’t really want to cover the pond with a net. After much planning where the paths and lawn are going to go, we decided have to pond the left hand side of the greenhouse.

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By placing the pond near the vegetable patch and strawberry cage the hope is that it will attract frogs & toads who will feast on any nearby slugs and snails!

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We dug out for the pond over a weekend and backfilled any gaps, then filled the pond with rain water from the water butts. Fortunately it rained for a couple of days which filled them back up quite quickly.

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Now for the fun part, we  went to our local garden centres to choose some plants and have a look at the fish. I’ll add a list below of what plants we’ve bought so far. I’ve yet to choose a Water Lily, I want something really beautiful and special. I’ve bought a couple of Lotus seeds from eBay which have to be left in water to germinate – I don’t hold out much hope but it will be interesting to see if they work!

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Hopefully this weekend we can go and pick a couple of fish and a few more taller plants for the centre of the pond. We will be edging the pond with slate chippings and adding ground trailing plants around the pond.

Pond plants purchased so far: –

  • Dutch Rush
  • Miniature Reedmace
  • Creeping Jenny
  • Red Water Lobelia
  • Orange Peel Plant
  • Monkey Musk
  • Ragged Robin
  • American Purple  Water Iris
  • Water Forget Me Not

Tomatoes…

Tomatoes are one of the easier and the most rewarding plants there is to grow.
I first started to grow tomatoes back on 2013. I had two Money Makers bought from the local allotment. Since then I’ve been growing several varieties. Walking into the greenhouse on a warm afternoon smelling their beautiful scent is bliss.
This year I sowed the seeds in the middle of February and placed them in an heated propagato. Once they have germinated they are left in a warm room until it’s warm enough to go out into the greenhouse. I don’t leave the plants in greenhouse overnight until temperature stops regularly dropping below 10 degrees. If we are forecast to have a cool night I’ll leave the heater on and cover the plants with a fleece to keep the temperature over 10 degrees.
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When potting the tomatoes into their final pots I add a small amount of Epsom salts to the soil. Once the plant has started to flower I add 1 tablespoon per 5 litres of water for about 4ish plants in every other feed, plus a general tomato feed. This helps with magnesium deficiency. I had wonderfully healthy plants last year and I believe this was down to Epsom Salts.
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This year we’re growing even more tomatoes than ever before – 13 plants. We hope to save some of the seeds from one of this year plants called Big Red. A couple of years ago we had fantasicly large red juciy tomaotes from this plant. Unfortunetly we can no longer get hold of the seeds, so saving the seeds is our only option if want to enjoy these fantastic tomatoes next year.
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Happy tomato growing!

Tulips…

I’ve never before felt the joy Tulips can bring to the garden. This is the first year I’ve grown Tulips (or any sort of cut flowers for that matter). When we bought the house most of the garden was covered with shrubs, which we are slowly removing to plant many beautiful flowers.

The first Tulips started to appear 4 weeks ago, I eagerly waited for them to open – I wasn’t disappointed! A beautiful bunch of bright red flowers were open ready to greet me one sunny morning.

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I bought a galvanized trough to plant the Tulips in next year. These will be planted quite deep and left in all year round. Once the Tulips have died back I can then use the trough for cut flowers. This year I was only able to plant the bulbs in pots along side some Daffodils. I’ve not yet decided where I’m going to put the trough, but it needs a permanent home for sure.

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I reluctantly cut four Tulips to bring into the house, I felt really rotten cutting them. They looked really beautiful lapping up the sunshine. Hopefully next year I’ll have double the amount and wont feel so bad cutting them.

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