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WEEK OFF: Day 5 - Thrilling Thursday......


Hi al!

As my week off continues, I feel relaxed and ready to go back to………another week off work! LOL! I wish, but I’ve still got 4 days after today so not all bad:0)

Yesterday, day 4, saw Ali and myself nip up to a GC we’d not been to before in Caerphilly and it was a trip well worth making. Very big, loads there and yes, the voices came into my head again! We invested in a few bits and came home and relaxed for the afternoon, after lunch. I did pop out and pot a few things but all in all, it was a quiet day.

Today, day 5, saw us nip out for some seed trays as the ones Ali had picked up in a cheap shop were certainly worth their price – 5 for £1.29! Broke so easily that I said to just invest in another 10 decent ones which we would use and re-use every year…… that’s what we did as well as pick up some membrane for the task ahead tomorrow and some more compost.Hard though it was, I did actually avert my attention from the plants/flowers section and actually DIDN’T buy any! In fact, we only bought what we needed and nothing more…….hold on, something’s not right here…..WHAT, absoulutely nothing else at all?

’That’s right, nothing else at all!’

‘Wonders will never cease!’

Go away ‘voices’…….

Anyway, the membrane was on BOGOF and the compost was on 3 for £12 or 4 if you were a member so a couple of bargains thrown in for good measure!

Got home and took a few pics before we started on the proper jobs. My tub of Emperor Tulips is described on the packet as a Floral Carpet although in a tub, more like a Floral Rug_! Anyway, they make me smile…..

This chap was quite keen on them too!

Now, about 18 months ago, when we first moved in here, Ali wanted the whole GH thing etc so I ordered online along with 2 lots of staging. The service wasn’t great until about 2 weeks after they’d delivered, we had a knock at the door one night about 8.45pm. I opened it to find a delivery truck and a guy asking me to sign for my delivery from this firm that I’d bought the GH and staging off. I didn’t say owt as I was unsure what was happening, but it turns out they delivered another 2 lots of staging to me. I kept it boxed up for 6 months but heard nothing so, rightly or wrongly, I kept it! You don’t get anything for free in this world but, on this occasion, I did and I now use it in the shed for storage:0)

So, where is all this leading to? Well, I keep the large 20K bags of seeds and smaller bird foodstuff on the top of one of them as it’s handy to get to. Well, yesterday, I picked up the bag that was nearly empty to fill my container I use to fill the feeders and as I did, seeds started falling out the bottom. Something had chewed a little hole, a mouse, I guess! As I opened the bag, my hunch was correct, as there looking up at me, was the tiniest little mouse you ever did see and in my excitememnt to call Ali out, I forgot to say bring the camera! Anyway, we got him out of there and safely under the decking he ran and so today, I picked up a cheap storage box for the smaller food stuff…….

…..and the big bag of seeds can stay in the big plastic bin we don’t use!

Don’t think me little mouse friend will be too happy that his food source has disappeared but, c’est la vie!

This is one of my new plants…..

Oxalis adenophylla – Silver Shamrock

At one point, Ali was in the shed and asked when I was going to plant the Allium Purple Sensation bulbs because they were growing in the bag! Uuuum, Ali, I forgot about them! So, I had to take drastic action and find any pot/vessel I could get my hands on to plant them quickly! The 5 pots with nothing showing, all have Alliums in now….

The 3 hanging baskets that now adorn the front of the decking, overlooking the veg patch cost £1 each from Poundland!

Planted them up with Verbena Aztec White & Silver Magic and the third one has Supertunia Raspberry Blast in it although not much to see yet except some foliage!

Rose Delight: Arabis

Love this one. RHODANTHEMUM: African Eyes…..close-up…..

The starlings were out in force as well. They always seem to look so indignant, I think….

Check out the eye on him. He looks very annoyed……

My Rowan is looking better by the day:0)

As is Mrs B down in the undergrowth!

A couple of Spring pansies in my tulip planter…….

My new Heuchera: Crimson Curls…….

Looks great planted up:0)

So, I should move on to the reason for us being out there today…..the veg patch. Yes, we felt it was time that we started getting some veggies in for this year and so I dug over the raised plots and mixed in some organic farmyard manure to help things along. This year, I helped Ali out and together, we cut each plot into sections with string so we could plant at different times so not all the crop comes at once. We pottered together for a few hours and finally had it sectioned off and planted leeks, carrots, King Edward pots, wild rocket, sorrel, icebergs, onions, beetrrots, red salad leaf, spinach and radishes. At that point, the beds looked like this:

…..and I also turned over and refilled the runner bean bed I made last year so Ali could ‘cane up’. Last year, with the cross winds we get and the weight of the beans on the canes, they kept leaning to one side so this year, I’ve popped a 2 × 1″ frame in which is screwed to the side of the box. Hopefully this will solve the problem:0)

And this is how it all looked from the decking…..

A few other seemed interested in what we were up to as well. Mrs B stopped pinching my bark long enough to take a look…..

Whilst Mr B kept an eye on things from the shed…..

Mr Sparrow though was obviously intrigued by something else!

After all the planting, including the runner beans and 3 types of toms in trays in the GH, the final task for now was netting up the veg plots to stop the cats from pooping in them…..

Another item for a quid in Poundland…..

So, today was rather a big day for me because on the 7th of this month, I planted a tray of Seashells Red Cosmos seeds and today, 8 days later, I was ready to pot on about 8 of my first ever seedlings grown by moi! So, i got my tray and popped some small pots onto one of the freebie planter trays the GC’s give away…..

Watching Gardener’s World 2 weeks ago, Toby mentioned about potting on seedlings and how the root always draws to the side of the hole you’ve dibbed when you try to plant it on…….

The trick is, apparently, to use your dibber to guide the root into the hole as it is drawn to that instead of the side of the hole at the top! It really works as well!

Once planted up, they looked like this and I am well chuffed. Probably not much to most of you seasoned pro’s but to me, at the end of my first 12 months of gardening, this was a major achievement:0)

So, as another day drew to a close, Mr B sat on high and sang his heart out to Mrs B……wherever she was!

….and me? Well, my thoughts turned to the tasks in hand for tomorrow. Mowing the lawn AND……..shifting this ton bag of 20mm gravel form the bottom of the garden…….

…..up to here!

Of course, I’ll need to move all the slabs up first and lay it down on membrane……..Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

…..and how was your day?

Watering Pansies:F1 Purple


More blog posts by oddbillie

Previous post: WEEK OFF: Days 2 & 3 - Marvelous Monday & Tiring Tuesday!

Next post: WEEK OFF: Day 6 - Thank goodness it's Friday..........or maybe not!



Your garden is coming along well Dan. I like the way that you have used all the available space and shaped your beds with wooden edges. It all looks very neat especially your bean trough!

15 Apr, 2010


Your garden looks great, really organised and well thought out. I wouldnt worry about the mouse not getting his dinner, if your sparrows are anything like the ones that come to my feeders, they throw out more seed than they eat. seeing seeds grow is one of the best things about gardening, they are such little miracles :o).

16 Apr, 2010


Thanks Richard. Ali wanted raised beds for the veg and I said.....okay, I'll make them! Not into all that sort of stuff and especially when she didn't want just a plain, rectangular shape to them, oh no! She had seen a similar design to this in a gardening magazine and the rest, as they say, is history!

If you rewind to my first 2 blogs, you will see how it all started last year!

Mageth: Thank you kindly, your comments are much appreciated although I wouldn't admit to things being really 'thought out'! I think often, you have an idea but then as time goes by, it evolves. We generally give it a few weeks before running with an idea as e know what we're! We just want to try and create a 'cottage-feel' to the garden so we can sit back and enjoy all the wildlife visitors, eat the crops and marvel at the colours! You're right about the sparrows as well. They do make a mess but fortunately, the collared doves and starlings aren't far behind hoovering up their mess off the lawn:0)

As for the seeds, well.......truly great feeling!

16 Apr, 2010


You have worked really hard both of you and it all looks great, if I had to start over I`d have the raised planters,they are so easy to work around and look so neat and tidy, plus the fact that you are not tramping the earth down as you work. You were lucky you found that mouse, I lost my summer flowering bulbs in my bottom greenhouse during the winter months, never noticed the little devil until it was too late and had to buy them all over again, needless to say this time I placed them under the staging in my top greenhouse..
Good photo`s Dan, especially the birds, have fun moving those slabs......

16 Apr, 2010


Well my friend, if you have only been gadening for 12 months you put me to shame!. I have had my garden 18 yrs and have tried to sort it out myself with no help. I have laid it to lawn, tried my very best to level it. But to no avail!!! My garden is like the Himilayers. I keep trippong up so many small pot holes. I have created 4 raised bed. Of course there all in the wrong place lol. I wish I had vision. I just put things in my garden to do a job and then sit back and think this is all wrong it doesnt work. I wished I had seen your raied beds before I bought and errected mine. Yours makes more sense in the space you have. I love your garden, I love the order and I also love the way you write you are inspiring. Wished you lived near me you could give me some tips lol All your hard work has paid of your garden is both practical and a delight to see. Well done both of you.

16 Apr, 2010


I will miss your blogs when you go back to work! In the pic of your Heuchera is the sack a pot? The combination of the two looks realy good :-))

16 Apr, 2010


Great blog, well done on both blog and garden, it's looking fantastic. Like the layout. Tell me if you'd like any of the seeds I've just posted in the "seed exchange" section?

16 Apr, 2010


What seed exchange section??? Could someone enlighten me

16 Apr, 2010


Mageth I can't find it either :-((

16 Apr, 2010


Gosh, you have both been so busy, it all looks great OB, and very neat and tidy!
Good idea to section the planters so you can plant at different times ~ and know where you have been!!
No doubt you'll show us your newly gravelled area ~ if you have the weather I have here today, it's perfect for doing heavy work as sunny but 'fresh'.

16 Apr, 2010


Such a wonderful amusing blog Oddbillie, I loved it and your fantastic photos too. Those raised beds look so impressive, what a great garden you have!

16 Apr, 2010


Lovely blog and photos, your as bad as me with all the seed in big containers.

16 Apr, 2010


you did very well at the GC !! everything looking lovely theres so much to do you chose the right week to have off

16 Apr, 2010


glad your enjoying your time off Dan and the garden is looking really really great, i really love the veggie section, so well planned out and so neat, bet Ali is looking forward to lovely fresh veg this year, lovely pics to ;o)) work here today so will have to wait till lunchtime finish tomoz, have a good weekend both of you ;o))

16 Apr, 2010


Firstly, a HUUUUGE thanks to you all for your amazing comments - so appreciated:0)

Lincs:Where the planters are concerned, I will have to change them in a year or two as we only bought thinnish planks, but you live and learn. They are slightly bowing with the weight of soil and from water but hopefully they'll last another year or two. As for Mr Mouse, well, the bird's food is all sealed up now so they are happy and hopefully, he escaped safely under the decking and has already told his family about the strange looking beast that he saw when the seed bag was opened!! Poor thing, what a fright for anyone to see me looking over them:0) Glad you like the pics and the slabs have been in progress to publish later!

Great: Your kind comments are extremely humbling considering I have little idea of what I'm doing. I said back on my very first blog, last year, that this was going to be a journey and it would be nice to share the journey with anyone who wanted to hop on the bus with me. All Ali wanted was the veg patch and GH. I then commented on getting some colour onto the decking and my love for it all was born. What with the wildlife and photography, they all mixed together perfectly. She's good in that she gives me a pretty free reign although we do talk about what we would like in each area and then over the coming weeks, the initial ideas may change or evolve as we both have our own ideas running around in our heads! What we don't agree on or can't adapt, we don't do.....simple. Having spent less than a year on GoY, I also find EVERY single one of the gardens AND GoYers, totally inspiring and am amazed by the wealth of experience, knowledge and 'pure' friendliness of them all. Their gardens all hold 'something' to draw on and I love it all. Just wish work didn't keep getting in the way! Thanks again for your wonderful comments which, in themself, inspire me to continue on the journey:0)

Annella: I will miss doing them but, although less frequent, I will still be popping some on:0) The Heuchera is in a 'stone' sack....isn't it cool. Ali liked it a GC so I bought it when she was off looking at other stuff.

Weeding: Thanks for your comments and I've taken a look at the seed section but to be honest, we've no room anywhere at the moment for owt! But now you've directed me there......what a great idea! Will be checking in from time to time:0)


PG: Thanks and yes, we've worked well together today.The new gravelled area is part-done.....ran out of gravel! Blog on way:0) the weather was stunning, by the way, as it is today as I look out of the office window....

Floribunda/Clarice & Viv1: Thank you all for your comments:0)

San: Thank yuou kindly. We're both looking forward to the veg especially as this year, we've planted veg we actually will eat regularly! A little more though into this year! Hope work isn't too crumby as you need to get back out in the garden and take some pics:0)

17 Apr, 2010


Your seedlings certainly have good roots.

18 Apr, 2010


Lovely blog and such a nice garden brimming with ideas, I also liked the heuchera and its pot.

21 Apr, 2010


Have enjoyed being on this journey with you Od, and loved reading back on all the comments other Goyers have added. Everyday I log onto GoY, I get inspired by what you and other goyers are doing~this has taught me so much, in such a short time! I love your blogs, and will be keeping updated as you post more~I wish you happy gardening :~))

21 Apr, 2010


GG1: Going great guns with most but some are taking their time!

Mavis: Thanks. Glad you approve!

Floribunda: Kind comments, thank you:0) I, like you, am also inspired when I see everyone's blogs and pics and it's wonderful to share the journey with them. Thanks again:0)

21 Apr, 2010

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