I’m going to wash that tarp right out of my hair

For the past week there’s been a tarpaulin covering the six feet high (and rising) mound of woody materials collected over the year at the bottom of our garden. It looked like there was an old car rusting away down there much to the disgust of the neighbours. Earlier in the week I treated myself to a dustbin incinerator (£32 at Wickes) and last night as part of the bonfire night celebrations burnt a whole heap of waste. That bin will be a boon as they say, what with all the un-compostable stuff that stacks up and if you use the funnel lid it can create some decent heat inside. I also treated myself to a mushroom growing kit  (£3.99 from Robert Dyas). It’s now festering under the stairs and there will be a ‘shroom update next week if everything goes to plan.

Yesterday I did a little bit in the garden (little and often is my motto), preparing for winter including some weeding, cutting back and pulling out any old annuals, tomato plants etc and either stuck them on the compost heap or the pile for the bonfire. I also put a cover over the wormery (a council supplied hessian gardening bag) as it’s starting to get cold now and I might have to move it to the garage or near the house later on. Bubblewrap over the compost heap/wormery is also  good to keep the heat in and I know Bob Flowerdew uses old carpet but the heap would have to be well out of view from the house as that method don’t look too attractive.

I’ll be netting the cabbages soon for protection against pigeons but at the moment the net’s being used to keep falling autumn leaves (and this weekend stray rockets and air bombs too) off the pond. The lady down the road who has the mad veg plot in her front garden (spinach, cabbages, lettuces, a grape vine and more) uses old supermarket shopping baskets and what looks like wire trays from an old fridge to keep the pests off her plants. Bob Flowerdew would be proud of her! He’d be proud of me too, as I used last year’s plastic sweet tub from halloween upside down as winter protection for the parsley plant near the kitchen door.

Finally, I heard a good tip this week on “gardening with tim and joe” about putting any pots that will be overwintering outside, up on bricks, stones or purpose built “feet” you can buy at garden centres to help with drainage over the cold spell. Lift up those pots! http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/gwtj

Ta to Amanda for wicker man pumpkin pic idea and Paul W for the inspiration to start this blog. It’s been well over a year now!