As you know, we have affectionately nick-named our septic tank 'Vladimir' because it is a poo tin. So why not, we thought, get a rotovator - we could call it Attila! (Think about it...think about it...)
Except it turns out that rotovators and tillers are two different things. I sort of knew this already, but it wasn't until I started proper investigations that I realised just how different. Mostly, the difference seems to be size and, ergo, manageability for my weak lady wrists, and forum opinions which yell, 'Don't use a rotovator - you'll only chop up bits of weed root and spread them further over the plot and then you'll be weeding for the rest of eternity and then some!' Also, Andy had a scary experience with a rotovator during our allotment days - an experience which literally shook him up and swore him off rotovating for life. Which brings us to tillers.
We need something, you see, to help us break up the bits of lawn which have now been designated 'Fruit and Vegetable Garden' land. The land is clay, the grass roots are knitted together tighter than a Victorian lady's bikini and whilst digging is an option, it is not an option we fancy for such a large area when maybe an easier option can be found. So, would Attila work? Hmmm. Answers on a postcard please...(and before anyone suggests pigs - well, after careful consideration I have decided that I don't really care for pigs - sheep, cows, goats - yes. Piggies - no. Despite their renowned rotovating skills.)
This morning we tracked down a couple of blackcurrant bushes to go in the fruit cage along with the strawberry plants. Sadly, it has been hissing it down all afternoon so they'll have to stay in their pots for a day or two until the next promised swathe of sunshine arrives on Tuesday. Gladly, the rain will loosen up the soil ready for planting! And in a moment of horticultural optimism I have attempted to root three cuttings from the thornless blackberry bush that was, stupidly in my opinion, planted behind the greenhouse. Whilst leaf growth on the plant was lush, fruit was negligible; also, the brambles were smothering the greenhouse and I need the greenhouse clear and bright as I have sweet pea seeds ready to plant up for next year and they won't germinate in a greenhouse that is doing a passable impression of a cave. So I set about the blackberry with my secateurs and reduced it pretty much to the ground and lo! There was light!
It seemed a pity, though, to have such lush foliage go to the compost heap. So I consulted the RHS Encyclopaedia re: cultivating blackberry cuttings. I then ignored the sage advice of the RHS and stuck three cuttings of around a foot long each into a deep pot of multi-purpose compost and crossed my fingers. They went a bit flopsy on Day 1, but now they are looking positively rigid so my haphazard cultivation technique may well yet work and we'll have a nice blackberry bush or three to put in the fruit cage, too. Of course, the hedges are riddled with wild blackberries, so we shan't go short on jam and pies, but it'd be nice to have some fruit that won't scratch my arms to buggery when I pick it next year.
Project Chicken Run continues apace - Andy has been making plans, measuring and calculating and says he might, just might, have it all built in the next couple of days, again weather permitting. I am sitting on my hands and trying not to get TOO excited at the prospect of new lady hens on the horizon. By the way, Andy's hand is almost mended. He has been left with a small divotty scar on his wrist which he says is ideal to take snuff from. Yup - I thought that, too. 🙄 Apart from that, there is a nice big scab, and recovery is 97.4573% complete.
Finally, with wise words from gardening chums vis a vis the rampancy of crocosmia ringing in my ears, I am now researching other suitable plants to grow in semi-shade heavy soil. The crocosmia shares the space with ligularia (??? I think that's what it is - it has equal rampancy) and a few hollyhocks. I think the space needs a serious rethink for plants I actually like and maybe could cut for the house. Back to the RHS Encyclopaedia then...
Rantings, ravings, observations and musings, useful stuff, silly stuff, funny, sad and thoughtful guff!