Bees Are Good, Bees Are Good

Spotted a little buzzing furry friend on a poppy in my garden today, which must have bloomed overnight. They are beautiful flowers, they look almost like a wedding dress, but they only seem to last about a day (which is all they really need to last I suppose!).

I’ve made a multi-tiered pot in one corner of my garden, hopefully I will be able to fill it with bee-friendly flowers of some description!

Pimhole Meadows

The areas of derelict land which are currently designated to receive raised beds are actually only a small part of the total derelict area here in Pimhole.

This afternoon I had a wander round the remaining areas, and what I discovered really blew me away – nature is well on with her redevelopment plans for the area.

There has been talk of seeding these areas with wild flowers, but nature seems to have decided on her own biodiversity mix. Whilst I was there I could hear crickets or grasshoppers or something chirruping away to each other. I nearly forgot for a second that I was in a demolished downtown Victorian terraced housing estate.

Stealth Food: Update 26th June 2010

Have just been to do some weeding at the five raised beds we already have, some of them were getting pretty overgrown. The potatoes are doing amazingly well though, and in their planters they have totally crowded out the weeds!

I actually ended up leaving some of the weeds in, the daisies are pretty and provide some flowers for passing bees. And some of the low weeds provide a bit of shelter for the soil, which would be baking in the sun otherwise.

I’m really impressed with the way these beds have coped with the very hot and dry weather – there is no water source nearby so the only water they have received has been from what little rain we have had.

The second site is nearly ready, which will receive 12 large planters. We are having a community planting day on 3rd July, I have a load of pumpkin seedlings all ready to go in!!

The Power of Music

I’ve had some musical inspiration of late and have been using my music computer a fair bit – it’s an old-ish Pentium 4 with 1GB of RAM and as far as I can tell from the energy monitor uses around 300W of power.

Before my current music production activities, our daily average electricity consumption was around 5kWh daily, it’s gone up a bit with my studio activities though. There’s also the powered monitors and the LCD monitor to consider.

The big spike was one day when we did several clothes washes and dish washes all in one day. Electricity binge!!

Mid Summer 2010 Garden Update

Well, it’s the summer solstice tomorrow and the garden is rockin’!

I’m writing this sitting in the sun harvesting some free electricity for my ‘phone with my “Solar Gorilla”!

The smell from the honeysuckle is amazing and we have ripening strawberries, figs, peas, mini cucumbers and everything else is well on its way!

Feeling Chipper

Bought a garden shredder/chipper today for £80 – after much debate with myself I decided to get one to deal with the huge quantities of ‘green waste’ my little garden generates.

We don’t have bins for green waste round our way as the council don’t think we have gardens to speak of, being a terraced housing estate. But every year, especially in the autumn, I end up burning huge quantities of vegetable matter because I simply don’t have any other way of getting rid of it.

I didn’t really want to get a shredder as it uses power of course, and it’s just another thing to take up space in the house. But being able to recycle all my green waste into a useful mulch is really going to benefit my garden, I think.

At the moment the weather is so dry that a mulch of shredded twigs and leaves will hopefully help to keep the moisture in the soil. And one thing the soil in my garden is really short of is nice thick organic matter – over time as the mulch decomposes and is incorporated into the soil by worms, it should really improve the soil quality – a perfect in-house solution really. So I decided that the chipper was a good idea – it won’t be used that often really, but when it is, it will be invaluable.

Heading for Drought

After two years of summer floods, it looks like we are well on the way to having a drought this year.

Here is Ogden Reservoir, near Hollingworth Lake in Lancashire.

Glebelands City Growers

Last week I paid a visit to Glebelands City Growers in Sale – a market garden supplying food locally:-

A really inspiring operation!!