While I get to stay working on the estate, the other lads who work on our building sites were busy demolishing an old garage, ready for a rebuild. They bought back a truck load of the old roofing timbers....joists, roofing batten and old chipboard flooring. Rather than just chuck it in the skip, where it would take up valuable space (...and I mean valuable, the price of skips today!) and as it was freezing cold, we made it into a bit of a bonfire. Kept me warm for most of the morning....
This week, as the temperatures continue to drop, It's time to set up the 'hot house' within the main greenhouse to cater for those plants which need to be kept at minimum temps during the winter. I have some Hibiscus and Mirabilis that need to be kept at 10°C until next spring, so need to partition off part of the greenhouse to acheive this. Later, at the beginning of March next year, the temp will be raised to 20°C to germinate the seeds that will form the backbone of next years border displays
When the alterations were done to the 'big' house a couple of years ago, one of the features added was a large roof light to allow natural daylight into the stairwell and hall below. Unfortunately, the local crow population thought that this would make a great place to perform their morning ablutions.....and when a crow lets go, it makes a hell of a mess! Brings a whole new meaning to the term 'logging on'. The glass was soon covered in a layer of crow crap which didn't look very nice from belo
As we progress further into Autumn, I always love to see the changing colours on the trees. The bright greens of Spring and Summer give way to beautiful reds, oranges and yellows. This year is going to be an exceptional one for the Holly berries....the trees are absolutely covered with them. Many quote the old wive's saying....'Oooh, that means we'll have a hard winter!' Absolute poppycock!...how does the tree know this? What it actually means is that we had a mild Spring earlier in the year, wi
As today was a lovely sunny autumn day, it's time to start collecting up the leaves while they are still dry, ready for the leafmould heap. There were quite a few down already...two trailer loads, but that is just a drop in the ocean to what will come later! These go into my leafmould coralle, and in about a years time, they will have broken down into a lovely soil conditioner, ready to be dug in or used as a mulch. Leaf mould in itself has no nutritional value for plants, as the tree withdraws
Today I'm going to cut this Leylandii hedge as it's looking a bit shaggy and I want to get it done before the weather closes in. This will ensure that it looks neat and tidy all through the winter months.
I like cutting this hedge, as planting it 19 years ago was the very first job I did when I started here. I'll be using a Stihl long reach hedge trimmer, as I find you get a better perspective of what you are doing when you are stood back slightly, plus I don't need a ladder to reach the to
Those that follow the 'Mowing the Grass' thread will know that I have looked after an estate owned by a local property developer for the last 19 years. Whilst I am normally based there, I am sometimes called upon to look after the grounds of properties that we are building/built until they are sold. This one is in Surrey, and is a £2M property. I come here to cut the newly laid lawn on a fortnightly basis, and this was a great opportunity to put the Cobra through its paces....not for much longer
As it's so wet and dreary here today, I'm spending the morning in the greenhouse getting my collection of tender plants ready for the coming months. These plants are more commonly found in Spain and Portugal....or any of the Mediterranean countries. They are quite happy in the UK during late spring, summer and early autumn, but must come inside for the winter months into a minimum temp of 10°C. The plants here are the very large flowered Hibiscus, and the Shrub Verbena. The Hibiscus are all gro
After many years of using our faithful Honda 536 mower, the poor old girl has finally come a cropper. Part of the cast aluminium deck where the rear roller attaches has sheared off, making it impossible to use. Over its 19 year tour of duty, it's had a couple of new gearboxes, a few springs and cables and numerous new blades. So we've had to buy a new one. Like the watch world, it seems that there are plenty of 'looky-likeys' in the mower world. The new mower is a 'Cobra', but looks almost ident