Sunday, 8 March 2009

New Title Picture - the wood at the back of the garden. The old one was lovely but as it was a picture of the Lake District in NW England, I thought it wasn't exactly true to where we live.

Have finally laid down bark chippings and finished the edge all round the SFG area. It looks really tidy and I'm pleased.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

New SFG Bed.

I have finally finished the latest SFG bed. (See right.) managed it very quickly, thanks to Frank and good preparation. Just need to buy some more bark chippings and we're done.

The next thing to think about is wire cages to keep the deer off the new plants, and trellises for tomatoes and other climbing things like squash or cucumber. The SFG website and books are geared towards the US market and I haven't yet worked out the equivalent for steel rods etc here in Germany. That sort of material is expensive, from what I've seen in our local DIY shops, but the trellises do need to last and be robust. Copper piping? Would it be strong enough? Keine Ahnung.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Four inches deep and counting...

All the snow has finally melted and for about a week, the temperatures have been consistently above freezing. A pair of robins visits our terrace several times a day. I love watching them. One of them was trying to reach a fat ball which I had hung up for the bluetits, but its feet just weren't designed to hold on to the metal spring-coiled container which holds the ball. It was so funny watching the robin craning its nack and vainly trying to reach the birdfood.

This afternoon I had a look at the soil in my SFG beds and turned it over a bit. The ground is still frozen at four inches below. So I covered the beds with black plastic (actually meant as sand pit covers, but they fit the SFG beds - at least the 4x4 ones quite well. They're too big for the 2x4s but it doesn't matter) to speed up the thaw. In one 4x4 I had sown a lettuce seed and some lambs' lettuce last November. The first seeds are coming up in it, so I covered it with transparent plastic over a couple of bendable cable tubes. The air can still get to the soil, but at least the seedlings are protected against the worst of the cold.

The ice is slowly melting in the pond. It'll be another week or so before the toads and frogs arrive. The snowdrops are out at last in full force and Frau B's aconites (Winterlinge) next door are smiling up at the grey sky in gleeful anticipation of warmer days ahead.
In spite of the grim political and economic situation, I am so grateful to God. We can still see His hand in Creation and know that He loves and cares for each one that He has made. All will be well.

And here is how the cheddar looks after a week. Left with a flash, right, without.