Gardening Again!


Yesterday, after I don’t know how long, the sun suddenly decided to come out, so we hit the garden. The trouble about grass is that it grows and if you don’t cut it often enough, it gets too long for the mower. It’s been so long since we’ve had a garden that we’d forgotten that little detail of course. The catcher was filling up so quickly that Relationnel eventually took it off altogether.

My job was therefore to rake up the piles of moist cut grass and put them into large rubbish bags as well as trim the edges of the garden beds. The ivy is doing its best to take over as many beds as it can as well as any spare walls (and we have a few of those!) so we had to attack that as well as I’d like to plant something more interesting, particularly in front of the house. Also, you can’t let the ivy get onto the roof tiles as it stops the rain from running into the gutters properly.

We now have a a garden bed ready for planting. I’d bought some gladioli bulbs one day at the supermarket but they all looked pretty mouldy yesterday so I don’t know how many will actually produce anything. When I first told Relationnel about them, he wasn’t very encouraging, telling me that people usually plant gladiolis next to corn stalks! I don’t have any corn stalks … We have a lot of hollyhocks though and they don’t seem to need corn stalks to keep them up, despite their height.

We did find a beautiful flower up on the sloping wood behind the house though. It’s an orchid it seems. Mr Previous Owner had told us about them, but this was the first one we’d seen. Unfortunately, my photo is a little blurry and when I went back this morning to take another one, it was already beginning to fade.

We’ve also moved the bird bath so that it’s near the tree with all the feeders in it. We have this incredibly cheeky little mésange (tit or chickadee) that taps insistently on the window with its beak if the feeder is empty or doesn’t contain its favourite bread crumbs (those from my home-made bread of course). You can hear lots of cuckoos in the grounds of our local Vicomté castle across the road as well.

This morning, I am sad to say, I can feel every muscle in my arms and legs. Falling UP the stairs in my haste to put my gardening clothes on didn’t help either. I can see I’ll have to garden more regularly!

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6 Responses to Gardening Again!

  1. Kiwi says:

    In the land of the long white cloud (NZ), where grass grows in the blink of an eye, having a compost bin is a very handy thing. The grass clippings are great for mixing in with fruit and vege peelings to make lovely rich compost (even better if you can get some sheep manure). We also put mounded grass clippings in a circle around the root line of citrus trees to help retain moisture and provide added nutrients. If you can’t find a real compost bin you could just get a big garden bin with a lid and cut a hole in the bottom so you can remove the compost when it’s ready. Here lots of people are into worm farms too, which are great for fruit and vege peelings, or even organic nappies, but I’m not sure how well they would handle grass clippings.

  2. Fraussie says:

    We do actually have a compost bin that is now full of grass cuttings (and couldn’t take them all). Relationnel thinks you’re not supposed to put citrus fruit in the compost. Do you know about that? We’re wondering if we should be adding anything kind of starter to the bin too.

  3. Kiwi says:

    I remember something about citrus making the compost very acid. I guess it depends on what you’re intending to use it for and what the soil’s like.
    Some people here do Bokashi compost, which requires a kind of starter, but we don’t add anything special to ours.
    http://www.zingbokashi.co.nz/using-bokashi.htm
    Here’s a link to the AKL council website’s tips for starting a normal compost heap/bin with simple, comprehensive instructions, including what you can and can’t put in it (detailed list!):
    http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/council/services/garden/compost.asp
    They say you can use a starter if you want, but that it’s the size of the pieces of organic matter that counts more than anything.
    I’m not sure what happens in winter, since it doesn’t freeze in AKL. This link simply says it’s slower in winter:
    http://www.grownups.co.nz/read/lifestyle/gardening/making-compost

    • Fraussie says:

      Thanks, Kiwi, for all those links. I am going to study up on the subject for when we go back again in two weeks’ time!

  4. I contacted my husband who is passionate about composting. He recommended the 10 composting tips at http://www.squidoo.com/compostingbasics
    He also advised to mix grass clippings with dead leaves, and citrus is OK in small amounts.
    Bonne chance!

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