What a difference some sun makes

Two weeks on and spring has kicked in. Here's an picture update comparing the situation to a fortnight ago.

Things are (finally) starting to blossom and my hard grafting over the last couple of weeks feels rewarding every time I look outside the window. It is showing some colour now, the viola are doing their very best and I managed to get rid of all the weeds by the old fashioned way. Getting down on the knees and pulling everything out by hand!

I transplanted some Sedum telephium I salvaged from the 'old' garden before the diggers tore the place apart. They survived the winter (they don't really need much of anything be it soil or water) and I planted them in the front garden. Bees and butterflies absolutely adore the big, attractive flowers (and so do I).
The pionies are doing well, I was afraid all the digging had damaged the roots, but they seem to be fine.
They are instant added greenery to the still brownish, bald looking garden.
Spring is two to three weeks late, but some things are really going well. The bee hotels are nearly full this time of year. The first few rays of sun induced the pollinators to come out and fill up several bamboo-straws in the hotel. 
Dr Livingstone moved one of the hotels next to a sitting area, I think it was hanging too much in a drafty section near the stables. 
Also some of the things I've sown such as the dill, cress and basilicum are growing steadily in the conservatory. I'm not transferring them to the outside just yet, we still had a spot of frost last week and the nights are still chilly, around 3ºC at night.
Because of the good results I've had I've bought some more seeds and have now started growing sunflowers (a low kind which only grow up to 50cms) and Tagetes patul to plant next to the strawberry plants which went in a while ago.
I hope they can go in within a week or three!


Garden panther

Stolen from somewhere on the internet.


It's finished!

My cobblestone path is finished! I even re-did three rows of the first line which were only resting in sand, not mixed with concrete.
It's looking good for a first-timer. I feel pretty proud of myself now. Tee-hee. Our neighbour still has a huge heap of cobblestones left over, maybe I'll lay a circle of them around a treetrunk or something.

And yesterday all the twigs that need to yield vast amounts of berries have found their new home outside.
It did result in some back ache, but that was gone this morning.
Now I'm just all sorts of tired and dead chuffed to have done so well in the cobblestone laying.


Dill & Cress

The dill is on schedule! A little surprise awaited me when I went to check on the pots.
It started germinating since the temperatures have stayed above freezing level.
Let's hope it goes according to plan so I can put them in terra firma as soon as they are big enough to fend for themselves outside.

Also the plants in the hall are doing ok. They've started to show some more leaves. I hope I can put them out as soon as I've cleaned up the side of the car port and they can grow on over there.
I do need some manure or soil with some extra nutrients to enrich the soil in place. It doesn't look very -eh- fertile at the moment.
But I'm dreading going to the garden centre again. Spring is going to start this weekend according to the weather forecast and I'm not too keen on slaloming between OAP's.

This inspired me to sow some watercress on a piece of old kitchen towel in a tray. Even kids can grow these so I'd be very dissapointed if this didn't catch on.

It also rained a little today, my cobblestone path has hardened and looks firm enough to last a couple of years!


Hall Berry

It is still too cold outside to plant stuff, so I am keeping some plants indoor that should have been out. They're parked next to the radiator and next to the front door so they can catch the early morning and afternoon sun.
About half of them have already started to show some leaves.
I hope the weather will get better so they can go into the ground a.s.a.p.
I want them to produce loads of berries. I've always wanted a garden where I can just walk around and pluck yummy things from greenery.


Cobblestones part 2

Around 2pm Dr Livingstone was home and I got up from my reading and comfy warm chair to lay some more cobblestones.
He fetched three wheelbarrows from next door and then I cracked on with my new found cobblestone-laying-skill.
After a lovely afternoon (around half past three I got rid of my jacket and hat!) I have now just under 4 meters to go.
Eat your heart out Tom Boonen! I'm the queen of the cobblestones!

I'm now back in my comfy chair, with dessert wine at arm's reach and considerable back ache. But I hope it will wane in due time as I feel I cannot stop now and have to finish Dr Livingstone's romantic path.

I just let Mouser out and Kitteh did NOT use the path. :-(


Garden workout

Easter Monday and finally some sunshine and a nice 8ºC.
Time to finish stuff in the garden I started on Sunday.
I had previously sanded down the garden furniture and have given them the once over with some protective fluid. They have now lost the bland grey tone and are looking a warm orangey-brown again, just like new.
I probably will be sanding them again with a very fine grain to make them feel a little more smooth and agreeable to the skin.

I got round to stripping tree branches Dr Livingstone cut off a couple of weeks ago and decimated small twigs so we can dry and stack them and then use them next year to get the stove going.

Next up I cut some kind of prickly shrub that was growing through the fence.
Goodbye and good riddance.

Our neighbour kindly helped out with his swivelling laser level to put some markers down so the guys with their bulldozers know what to dig and how to level the ground. Apparently there is a difference of 15 cms. No wonder we have a lot of water around the house. If we get all that extra ground shifted things will be a lot better.

The other neighbour (the one who believes in chem-trails and aliens) brought us a box of eggs and told us he had a mountain of cobblestones he wanted to get rid of and if we wanted to take them off his hands?
Yes please!

Dr Livingstone had already dug some trenches for the cement borders that need to go in, he was quite exhausted around 3pm. We had two St-Bernardus beers and we soaked up some sun while it lasted.

Dr Livingstone eventually got two wheelbarrows of stones from next door. He also kindly shovelled plenty of sand and screed and then I just went ahead and began to lay a little cobblestone path!
Never done it before, it's not perfect, but I'm proud of my work so far. I've come about 3 meters and still need to lay around 10 meters. The path is three cobblestones wide.

I am however feeling stiff all over (so is Dr Livingstone) and I do not think getting up in the morning will be an easy chore...