Friday, 24 January 2014

Getting some sun on my body, ok, just the face :o))

YAY, a sunny day, I need to do a bit of tidying up in the garden. Found the old rigger boots, it's a bit swampy round here, and the mud sticks to my feet. One raised bed to dig, and pull out the weeds, then lay the last of the compost heap on the top, before covering it for the winter. Oh, it is winter, ha ha. 
 Mayze enjoying a sunbathe in her garden bed.

The water collection centre seems to be doing it's job after the heavy rain we have been getting. Plenty here to transfer to the flushing station next to the downstairs privvy. That's the large waste bin with a saucepan hanging on the door handle above it. No need to pay for water when it comes free from the sky :o))

Raised beds covered with cheap plastic trellis from the Pound Shop. Stops the cats from using them as a toilet. Unfortunately they haven't used the outdoor sand pit litter box that I made for them :o(

This is my den, a home made greenhouse. The plastic roof is very strong, but the sides need recovering. It doesn't help that the cats climb up it and sit on the top. I have plenty of shrink wrap left for that job, will leave it til the spring.  
It's amazing how this is still standing after all the wind we have had. It's a little sun trap here, pity the view is not very attractive. The back end of a tumbledown wreck of a garage is not something you would want to spend time looking at. I used to build den's in the garden when I was a child, and I'm still doing it now, ha ha.
 
Digging down into the bottom of the compost heap I found lots of these wriggly little fellas, great aren't they. They are now getting settled into their new home, and hopefully turning the raised bed into a fertile heap of muck, ready for the next crop.

There will be the usual basic veggies grown this year. The tried and tested, potatoes, runner beans, broad beans, and courgettes. Maybe one or two others, but I won't be mollycoddling them. They either grow or don't grow. When the weather gets warmer, I want to be off out somewhere.

Once again it's the weekend. I hope yours is a good one. Toodle pip.

35 comments:

  1. Hi Ilona,Its wonderful to see someone out in their garden. We are in the middle of a blizzard here set to last all weekend. Enough of winter! Take care. Robin in Canada

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  2. For the second time I am reading your blog cover to cover. I don't want to sound stalker ish but it's like my inspirational bible. You are my role model. I just need some walking boots now. Lol. Francesca Down Under.

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    1. Hi Francesca, lovely name by the way. That's some mammoth task you've set yourself. If you comment on an old post I get to read it as it comes up at the top of my list. You deserve a medal, that's dedication indeed. Thank you for your kind words.

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  3. Dreaming about my future veg garden helps get me through the Polar Vortex ( minus 3 F tonight again). Mine is huge and, yes, coddled a bit.

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  4. I'm jealous.It's cold and going to snow for the foreseeable future.
    Love those worms!
    Jane x

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  5. We are having frigid weather here in Northeast NJ (US). It's 17c today and it's been like this for a week now. We are supposed to get more snow this weekend on top of the snow that hasn't melted yet because of the cold temperatures. I envy you out there already looking at your garden! And that grass you're on is so green! Ours is dead (brown). We can't see it because it's covered in snow. I sound fed up? Yes, I am fed up with this winter.

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    1. We might get some snow yet, there's still time. It has been known to snow at Easter here. Please don't send any snow our way.

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  6. Too much snow and WAY too cold here in the US to work in the garden...your worms are lovely!
    Do you know it is illegal to collect rain water in Colorado (USA). I couldn't believe it. A friend told me (her son lives there), and then I read an article about it in a magazine. They claim the run-off belongs to the city of Denver..sad, isn't it?

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    1. Illegal to collect rain water? If such a thing happened in UK I truly hope from the bottom of my heart that the population would revolt to make it clear that nobody OWNS the rain!

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    2. I have bought some of my seeds and potatoes ready for the Spring. I can't wait. I am looking forward to seeing your garden as the months go on. Natalie.

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  7. Love your den! I have been thinking of doing one in the space between house and garage. When I was young I dug a very large hole in our bottom back garden, it couldn't be seen from the house. It was about 5' deep. Neighbours complained because they were afraid their kids would fall into it. I dug out holes in the walls so I could put my feet and hands in to climb up and down. I had a stool and little box for a table. Hmm maybe I should have been a Hobbit.

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    1. Ha ha, Campfire, that brought back memories. I also dug a big hole in the garden and made a den in it. Mine wasn't five feet though, probably a bit less, had to sit down in it. I took a drink and food into it, and imagined I was living there. I built a den in the corner of the back garden once, begged old sheets off mum. The fire brigade was called as it went up in smoke, I got into trouble for having a candle lit inside it.

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  8. Illegal to collect rainwater? If that happened in the UK I hope that the population would revot to make it clear that nobody OWNS rainwater!

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  9. I am envious of you able to be outside. Much too cold to be outside here,

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  10. I'd like to request a blog posting by you.
    Since reading about your lamps, I got mine out of the shed, as I said in the comments. Then I had to find bulbs for 2 of them. In Australia, they've changed the types of bulbs we use, to different scaling/labeling of the watts used, and fluro/halogen lights.
    Could you do an international post about what the best choice of light bulbs and lamp bulbs, around the world, we can choose, to save money. i.e. brands and watts recommended in the UK, US, Australia etc. What different watts do you use in your house for lamps and lights etc? Power seems dearer in the UK than here, but here it's not cheap, and the US is cheaper than here, I've read.
    So, that's my request. Please, and thanks.

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    1. Hello Anon. That's a whole lot of complicated questions for a simple girl like me, I wouldn't know where to start. I decided that my small candle lights would be cheaper to run than the main light on the ceiling, and the small single bulb would take less electricity than the big strip light. I know nothing about wattage in this country never mind further afield. Perhaps you could contact your electricity supplier. Sorry I can't help.

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    2. Thanks for trying. When I tried to choose the new types of bulbs for the lamps, my head got so confused with all the new types of bulbs. Previously, it was very easy. These new halogen and fluro bulbs are being phased in around the world, so I thought it would make an interesting discussion. Like you find, it all seems very confusing. I am not very good at technical things, so I thought you might be better.
      What seems important, is to understand the watts being used. For example, your kitchen fluro lights might use less than a single bulb in a lamp. It's interesting to discuss the actual running cost of lighting, rather than living in the half dark and just guessing the usage.

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    3. Here in the UK all electrical goods have an energy rating, A being the most efficient. The low energy bulbs had the equivilent wattage of a filament bulb 60w/11w that gives a guide to its brightness. LED lights are the most energy efficient.
      Flourescent strip lights are efficient but the light they give off is a very white light.
      Dave.

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    4. Thanks Dave. We don't have that rating here in Australia. We have a star system on large appliances but it's not very specific. I got a new lamp the other day but it had no rating on it. It just said what watts the bulb should be and what fitting size the bulb should be, but then I had to find the right bulb and decide on the type of light to buy- all very confusing with modern choices.
      Perhaps this blog could get an electrical guy (or lady) like you to discuss the best lighting appliances for Mean Queen's home. It's terrible to think of older people switching off lights and risking falls, and not knowing the watts used. What system of lighting would you recommend? Even if the UK and Australia have different systems, there would be a general idea of what is best. So many people don't understand this area of power usage, and thus the power companies make millions.
      from Lamp Lady!

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    5. One unit of electricity will light a 100watt filament bulb for 10 hours or a 40watt striplight for all day. So lighting is fairly cheap.
      Colour tv 3hrs, hoover 2hrs, radio 30hrs, boil 12 pints of water in a kettle and toast 70 slices of bread on one unit of electricity.
      A hot water tank will use 80 units per week and a washing machine uses 8 units per load.
      I hope that these figures are a bit of a guide. Lights are cheap to have on so its probably not worth risking a fall in the dark for the sake of a few pennys.
      Dave.

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    6. Thanks, Dave. As I said before, "It's terrible to think of older people switching off lights and risking falls, and not knowing the watts used." And you say "Lights are cheap to have on so its probably not worth risking a fall in the dark for the sake of a few pennys."
      That's why I suggested understanding the cost involved of using each technology. When I looked at some lamp bulbs, some were 8 watts in the new system, and others for the same lamp were 30 watts, so there's a big usage difference. The 8 watts were bright enough for a dull corner lamp light, if you don't need a bright light, not a reading light.
      So, perhaps Mean Queen can be a role model for all people in being safe and economical with light.
      Electricity here is $0.18 cents (about 9p) per kwh, plus a big supply fee added on. So, if a low level ambiance lamp bulb is 8 watts, what cost would that be? Is that 18c for each 1000 watts per hour? Funny how in all my schooling that never got explained to me, or Mean Queen.
      I have never bought the plug in night lights for hallways. Are they a good idea? One website said they use under 2 watts and cost a few cents a month to run. Perhaps plug in hall lights are good for older people at night, as they are for children. I don't have power sockets in my hallway, but if you do, that might be a good idea for safety, if one is worried about cost.
      I don't mean to go on, but it's an interesting topic, and important to avoid falls, especially for the elderly.
      From Lamp Lady aka Lady of the night!

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  11. I see my favorite shade of green! Lovely!

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  12. I'm another vortex-dweller, but the sun feel mighty good anyway! I'm starting to think about the garden (even though it's frozen solid at the moment) and will be working hard to grow more of my food this year. Last year was a learning experience; this year I hope to do better!

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  13. About your outdoor cat box...have you tried transferring some of their leavings from the house box to the sandbox outside? That way they may know what it is for...then again, so will all the other cats in the neighborhood.

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  14. good for you,.... in the garden!
    it's almost 10 degrees here tonight!
    plus wind chills 22 below 0.
    my green will have to wait awhile.

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  15. Been out in my garden three days ago, but only to secure a broken fence panel and to re-treave some flower pots that had been blown around by the wind. I put the curly kale plants straight again and fastened them back into position as they still have enough greenery for me to harvest. I must get out there again soon to do some more work. The old compost has to be distributed amongst the veg beds, so that`s a job for a real sunny day.

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  16. Your greenhouse has really done well over the winter. If it is a sun trap could you dry clothes in there during the winter? Those worms are fantastic and your compost looks like good stuff, do you turn it or just leave the worms to get on with it? I'm a lazy gardener.

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    1. Good idea about the clothes drying, only hope the cats don't swing on them, ha ha.

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  17. Those earthworms are true lightworkera for sure!

    X

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  18. We lived in the south and midlands of England for 10 years and I remember it coming as a shock that we had to pay large water bills. In Scotland, we pay a fixed amount in with our council tax so our water usage is unlimited. Having said that, after 10 years of using water sparingly, I no longer take it for granted and certainly don't waste it. But it is lovely not to feel that you are pouring water down the drain while waiting for it to run hot. (I learned to collect the water in empty milk cartons while waiting for it to run hot and use it to flush the loo).

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    1. Good for you Sue. I only heat the water when I have a bath, so no waiting for the hot to come through for me.

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  19. That photo cheered me up with thoughts of things to come. There is a winter thunderstorm directly overhead here right now. I keep looking for the first signs of spring but no sign of a snowdrop yet. Nice you are getting a bit of sunshine up north. Soon be time to get those boots out.

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    1. That winter thunderstorm reached us Pat, boy did it hammer it down. The world went dark.

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  20. Mayze is a cutie pie. I know I'm stating the obvious, just can't help myself.

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