Sunday, 23 January 2011

2011 Garden Started

One of the things I'm hopeful about Bill's retirement is that we'll have more food from our garden.  He likes to garden, given the time and energy; I don't.  We recently reviewed the state of 'the policies'.  He uses this word like 'the grounds' or 'the estate' and I've never seen it or found it elsewhere; but then he knows terms like 'polled oak' and 'treen', so I'm not saying it isn't a word.   Anyhow, in spite of my dislike I had managed to put in some plants and tend them a bit, so we were out to see what, if anything, was still there.  Amazingly, we discovered that the spinach, the new strawberry plants and the beetroots have actually survived being buried in  snow for weeks.  We're getting rid of the blackberry bush; it hasn't produced well and we can find plenty for free nearby.  I'm especially pleased about the strawberry shoots as I'd kicked myself for not having brought them in before the snow.

What I can painlessly contribute to the gardening process is seedlings.  I puttered around in the garage and found large and small trays, all with holes in the bottom.  I cut up a large green trash bag and made liners for the big ones, then filled smaller trays with compost.  I planted all the seeds we already had that can be sown in January:  leeks, lobelia, sweetpeas, and chives.  When I ran out of small trays I raided the re-cycling bin for small containers I could stab holes in, or use a tin opener to almost remove the bottom. 

The 'greenhouse' again this year is the box room, having a west-facing window and a radiator to its credit.  The shelves are courtesy of Helen and Martin who had put this perfectly nice plant stand out for the trash collectors.  Even after I stopped with the seedlings, I put together trays of soil ready for the February planting.  Hopefully some of the January seeds will have sprouted and be ready to move into the back porch, which has a south-facing window, but no heat.  They need to toughen up, right?

Another project is to sort out the garage, probably getting rid of Ella's old refrigerator and replacing it with a chest freezer.  I'm not altogether convinced that two people should need so much food storage, but I still dream of having a year round supply of blackberries (unbelievably healthy) and sufficient tomatoes to make spaghetti sauce again.  Allotment gardeners here manage it in greenhouses, but we've never been prepared to splash out on a greenhouse...yet.  The day may actually come!

Have you started your 2011 garden yet?


Rick Stone said...

I know the folks you live around supposedly speak "the King's English" (or is that now the Queen's? Queen means something completely different over here.) Not everything you post translates well to those of us who use the Americanized version of English, especially for those of us who actually speak Oklahoman. Anyway, I'm curious as to what a "box room" is.

Shelley said...

Rick - A box room is actually just a small bedroom that will only accommodate a single bed and a chest of drawers or wardrobe. I've seen them so small that the door opened against the bed. According to Wikipedia these were most common in houses built before 1930 in England, but I know for a fact that modern houses also have them. Ours happens to have a door that opens into the West bedroom as well as into the hall, and a small open square above the hall door for ventilation, I guess, sort of like the transom windows in older OKC houses. They call them 'box rooms' because they often ended up being used for storage rather than as bedrooms.