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Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Barkie on 5/16/2011, 5:27 am

@shannon1 wrote:Barkie some folks down here use TNT for tree stumps. Great for frusteration too.

That, my dear Shannon, is a marvellous suggestion. I can imagine the neighbors reaction to a humungous BOOM lol!
but they'll know I'm barking mad for sure when they see sfg beds with hoops sprouting.

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June update

Post  Barkie on 6/13/2011, 6:04 am

The weather has been atrociously cold and wet since Mid May so garden reconstruction has been slowed down but we managed to finish building the Hollow Wall and got it partially planted up with alpines. There are two transplanted butterhead lettuce in the top also since growing space was lacking elsewhere.

My local weather station has been recording frost but I'm lower down in altitude and the garden and house walls store heat during the day and let it out during the night so happily nothing tender has perished so far. The Oregon sugar pod peas look fine and I can't wait to start picking them but they are some way off yet. The lettuce are doing very well in 12" pots on top of the wall.

Between us we constructed our first sfg bed which is an 8' x 3' x 9" high and has about 7 inches of MM in. The soaking it had from rain while filling it over two days probably settled it down as far as it will go so I planted the mini corn which I started off indoors between sheets of kitchen roll. This has given me 100% germination.

We have also made a 4x3 for strawberries but I need to level the area before we can put that in. The strawbs came bare rooted so I've potted them up temporarily. The first early potatoes in 12" pots have been harvested and taste delicious. We also have the beginnings of little carrots one is an orange bump showing abover the surface.

So need a wetsuit but will be continuing to plant up this week. Wink

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 6/13/2011, 11:48 am

Oh, Barkie, your weather sounds very like what we've had here in Oregon. Your comment about planting stuff wearing a wetsuit tickled me. Your garden (and ideas yet to be implemented) sound wonderful! BTW, we lost nearly all our Oregon suger peas last year.....to the grandkids. Fun watching them graze down the rows of peas every day they were here.

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Barkie on 6/19/2011, 10:44 am

@Nonna.PapaVino wrote:Oh, Barkie, your weather sounds very like what we've had here in Oregon. Your comment about planting stuff wearing a wetsuit tickled me. Your garden (and ideas yet to be implemented) sound wonderful! BTW, we lost nearly all our Oregon suger peas last year.....to the grandkids. Fun watching them graze down the rows of peas every day they were here.

I've got pea flowers! Well, we haven't got grandchildren so we'll have to graze ourselves I guess Wink

You have my heartfelt sympathy having the same weather. It's like April but without the sunshine between the showers here!

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  shannon1 on 6/20/2011, 12:43 am

Pea flowers cheers soon there will be peas.

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  sfg4uKim on 6/20/2011, 5:43 am

Barkie, we Americans seem to like things big. Lowe's & Home Depot are our two major "home improvement" stores.

Now, the strange thing is we have something on almost as grand a scale for our pets . . . PetsMart & PetCo. When he arrived in the States, my neighbor let me take her Filipino husband to PetsMart. He almost died!

Have you heard us mention Costco & BJs & Sam's Club? Well this is where we go to buy just about everything in an EXTRA LARGE size. You know, 30 rolls of toilet paper in a single package. And who doesn't need (two) 1 liter bottles of Catsup bound together with plastic?

We are an odd bunch, aren't we?


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Why didn't I sow more!

Post  Barkie on 6/20/2011, 6:20 am

Shannon, I look at what's growing and think, hmm Oregon sugar snap peas, why have I not sown more? Answer Doh, you
numbskull you've forgotten this is the set up year not the full
production year. Another Heirloom variety "Painted Lady" Runner Beans (probably the much older lost variety "York and Lancaster" renamed) all waving around in 5" pots looking for a pole which isn't there until I can set up the bean bed. Grew enough to give away in sixes and have been given 10 strawberries and a cutting of a green/yellow variegated Vinca minor which is an attractive groundcover. Have been promised Egyptian Walking onions and Globe artichoke slips.

Lettuce yup plenty of that, will need to move the 3 tubs into a shadier spot soon and net them or I'll be feeding the entire collared dove community, can give "Red oak leaf" a miss in favour of the crisp frizzy curly ones. Must see if I can overwinter some of this "Red Cos". If not I'll have to find some "Black seeded Simpson" and / or "Winter Density" for next winter.

Early potatoes, a tick in that box, this year's variety "Arran Pilot" is not the earliest cropper but it is especially tasty so that goes on our "must have this variety" list. I wonder if they can outdo "International Kidney" (same variety as "Jersey Royals" grown on Jersey). The maincrop reds "Desiree", three flowered but the rest look normal. The hot dry April drought has cocked up a few things. Lifted those three because if they are done growing it's a waste of space and better than leaving them to attract slugs and any wireworms. "Red Chantenay" Carrots are coming along quite nicely. Must get another batch going and some "Autumn King". Parsnips "Hollow Crown" which doesn't sound very nice but I've never grown 'snips before so I don't have a favourite variety that I know does what it says on the tin in a long, hard winter.

Scallions / green / spring onions, ran out before this crop is ready to pull so I wish I had overwintered more of them for a continuous supply. Varieties "White Lisbon" and "North Holland Blood Red". Leeks "Musselburgh" another heirloom variety, should have sown enough to see us through to Spring. Garlic a terrible year for growing it so no surprises, last years will run out by December, better luck next year uh?

Brussels sprouts, could not find my old favourite "Peer Gynt" so I bought "Evesham Special" already knocking on for 3ft high, hard as nails so no matter what winter is like we should have enough of those. Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli in various stages for a succession of pickings. Need to sow some white sprouting next. Calabrese 6 of should suffice. Kale, "Scarlet Curly" variety, is three enough / too much? Note to self what's with sowing all these cauliflowers, desist will you, you have enough to stock a shop! "White Globe" and "Milan Purple Top" Turnip and Swede "Invitation" all three came free with gardening magaines. Must get a few more sown in a week or two. Radishes using up an old packet of Long White Icicle but have a packet of Candela del Fuego for next year.

Corn, "MiniPop" variety for stir frying, end result is anyone's guess. I've had no luck ripening cobs in the past but these don't need to. At least they don't come down with pests and diseases. Underplanted with Little Gem butterhead type lettuce.

Dessert Gooseberry, "Hinomaki Red" felt pretty silly netting it but a good little crop is ripening. No losses to birds and not a sign of saw fly, touch wood, unlike some who didn't net and have lost the year's crop. I need to clear more ground of weeds to plant this baby up and have it manured ready for planting soft fruit bushes.

Not enough time to do everything but I hope to get a sunny day tomorrow and go for a drive to collect some Elderflower heads for "champagne" and white wine. My first batch of Elderberry has been maturing a year and is ready for tasting which will please the Other Half who is the wine drinker in this household. I got three bags of organically grown grass clippings given and gave away 5 litres of my fruit wines by way of thanks. I expect to hear it went down well, apparently the Exocet lives up to it's name and the Blackcurrant hits the spot on the first glass. That's not the ones he should worry about actually it's the Carpet Slipper Raspberry which approaches quietly and then gets you :drunken: on the third glass Twisted Evil

Well, that's me done, the sunny is shining cheers so I'm off to do some digging and mix MM.

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Lavender Debs on 6/20/2011, 8:42 am

Lovely post Barkie!....and your sig line, that is my life in the June Garden.

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Barkie on 6/20/2011, 8:44 am

ksroman wrote:Barkie, we Americans seem to like things big. Lowe's & Home Depot are our two major "home improvement" stores.

Now, the strange thing is we have something on almost as grand a scale for our pets . . . PetsMart & PetCo. When he arrived in the States, my neighbor let me take her Filipino husband to PetsMart. He almost died!

Have you heard us mention Costco & BJs & Sam's Club? Well this is where we go to buy just about everything in an EXTRA LARGE size. You know, 30 rolls of toilet paper in a single package. And who doesn't need (two) 1 liter bottles of Catsup bound together with plastic?

We are an odd bunch, aren't we?


No Kim, not an odd bunch just an entirely practical bunch for liking things big. You have the space for it so why not? There is a Costco here but it's about three hours away.

I don't know if you familiar with Wales or not but the villages, towns and cities are connected by narrow roads winding through hilly countryside. We have a village shop and there are towns 2 miles and 7 miles away with small stores. Oddly the small family owned shops can often supply some "home improvement" things like cheaper than the big box stores but these family run shops close on Saturday at noon which is ever so traditional.

With it being a farming economy inland we have farmers stores, again small family businesses, but they only open Monday to Friday. They don't mess about, everything pet and garden orientated comes in 10litre containers or 25kg bags and it works out much cheaper in bulk. There is a great Pets At Home store which I frequented when I had two Border Collie dogs and two cats. Not massive, we just don't have massive, but they carry a good range of bins of different sorts of loose biscuits, pigs ears and such. There's no unnecessary packaging bumping up the price or to dispose of. It strikes me that when people grow up with small packets and daily and weekly shopping it is normailsed so much that it's becomes a social ritual. The opportunity for impulse buys is presented so frequently then that it's no wonder people end up with huge shopping and credit card bills and a fridge full of food that they end up throwing out.

But I digress. We have to go 20 miles to any of the "superstores" which takes nearly an hour each way and of course it costs
extra in gas but we get round that by doing a nifty line in bulk Ninja shopping, ie we go in, sling it in the trolley and get out. The toilet rolls we like are as soft as the big brand names and so cheap that a three month supply of those alone equals the cost of the gas. Admittedly checkout assistants give us funny looks with our 9 packets of 6 pack toilet rolls in the cart but I've almost always lived "in the middle of nowhere" so bulk buying is second nature to me. I can't compete with you guys though, you have it off to a fine art (doffs hat).

Odd bunch not at all. Practical and sensible bunch.

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Barkie on 6/20/2011, 9:52 am

Thank you Debs, I'll join you in some setting down next June. Lavender and roses will delight our noses, while the music of the bees drifts by on a gentle breeze.

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Kelejan on 6/20/2011, 12:32 pm

@Barkie wrote:
With it being a farming economy inland we have farmers stores, again small family bu The opportunity for impulse buys is presented so frequently then that it's no wonder people end up with huge shopping and credit card bills and a fridge full of food that they end up throwing out.

One thing I have noticed since I started growing and eating my own produce is that I seldom waste anything. I think the reason is that most of it is because I put in all the work and it also tastes better and I only pick when I am going to eat it.

Gone (in summer time anyway) are the days when I cleared the fridge weekly to make soup with the leftover wilted veggies.

Such an interesting post Barkie, some of those names are familiar to me such as Arran Pilot. That was when my dad was ordering seed poatoes, and I remember another name, Ailsa Craig.

I had to smile when you mentioned wishing you had planted more as you were running out of some kinds of veggies and then stating that you realised this was only the setup year. I for one look forward to seeing the results of your full production year.

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  sfg4uKim on 6/20/2011, 1:56 pm

I've lived several years in Europe (Italy & Germany). The closest I've been to Wales is England & Ireland, so I have an idea of what you're talking about. Small vehicles, narrow, winding roads, bicyclists or sheep around every corner.

I have a photo of a narrow, winding road with quite a steep grade. At the top of the hill was a sign stating we could go 80 kph. SERIOUSLY!?!

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Barkie on 6/20/2011, 2:51 pm

Oh, you're a kind soul Kelejan.

Ailsa Craig, for my dad's generation, and Percy Thrower, the name was synonymous with tasty tomatoes and exhibition standard onions. I'm not sure if you would remember Geoff Hamilton since you moved when you were young? Anyway, he suggests to sprinkle a few onion seeds in modules early on and plant out to fill a little gap as it comes available but no need to thin them as they will push each other outwards as they grow.

Well there are several things I've never grown before so let's call this a practice year and see what actually grows here and we'll see if I can do clever next year.

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Barkie on 6/20/2011, 3:46 pm

ksroman wrote:I've lived several years in Europe (Italy & Germany). The closest I've been to Wales is England & Ireland, so I have an idea of what you're talking about. Small vehicles, narrow, winding roads, bicyclists or sheep around every corner.

I have a photo of a narrow, winding road with quite a steep grade. At the top of the hill was a sign stating we could go 80 kph. SERIOUSLY!?!

Must have been interesting living abroad long enough to get familiar with it. I've only visited bits of Germany and Ireland and Northern Italy, the Dolomites, as a tourist. They do steep hills and suicidal cyclists there. Once I was nearly knocked off the motorbike on a bend in Italy by a speeding bicyclist leaning over my side of the road.

Usually it is sheep here after lambing time but you do have to watch out for dairy cows being mooved (sorry, I couldn't resist) between pastures and "wild" horses and cattle on grazing land around beauty spots at other times.

Hmmm I bet you could easy go downhill much faster than that. Going up is entirely another matter though :-( Must admit I really like the lack of traffic and slower pace of life though.

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  shannon1 on 6/21/2011, 1:07 am

It sounds just lovely where you live. It was like that here once but alas no more. I grew up in a large city Anchorage AK but only a short distance in any direction and one found one's self surrounded by wild lands or the sea.
I'm glad your garden is doing so well. I remember when we were waiting for spring, you of course had to wait much longer. The weather here takes some getting used to for sure. I can't plant potatoes until Jan. and some of my tomatoes are nearing the end of their productive phase. The cucs are squash are gone. I will be planting rooted cuttings from my favorite toms in a couple of weeks and the sun kings are still going strong, still setting fruit at over 90 degrees F.
I love the pics of your garden and I know how hard you worked on it. I'm glad you are reaping the rewards 9pun intended).

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  Barkie on 6/21/2011, 4:07 am

@shannon1 wrote:
I can't plant potatoes until Jan. and some of my tomatoes are nearing the end of their productive phase. The cucs are squash are gone. I will be planting rooted cuttings from my favorite toms in a couple of weeks and the sun kings are still going strong, still setting fruit at over 90 degrees F..



That's good, fantastic, sincerely, but I can't help but ROTFLOL our climate is so different. Everyone seems to be having crazy weather but I think mine is normally something like PNW. But all the same it is very good to hear things are growing so well for you.

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  shannon1 on 6/21/2011, 4:19 am

One of the things I enjoy about this forum is being in touch with people from so many different places. I feel more connected to world this way.

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Re: Barkie's English Cottage SFGarden in Wales, Uk.

Post  walshevak on 6/21/2011, 1:03 pm

@shannon1 wrote:One of the things I enjoy about this forum is being in touch with people from so many different places. I feel more connected to world this way.

+1

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