Finally - a bit of warmth came to Windmill this week, and we made the most of it. The weather has actually been quite dry and the winds have dried things out even more, so we were able to get into the area next to the fruit cage where the brambles have gone a bit mad.
Pete is a forester, so he's a hardy soul who laughs in the face of jaggy vegetation - just the man for the task. He did a great job of taking the growth back to appropriate side-branches, and also of digging up areas where the brambles had planted their heads into the ground and rooted. We used these to plant a row of blackberry along the fence line by the new raspberry bed, as well as weaving the cuttings into the fence itself, the better to deter raspberry-thieves later in the year!
|Pete tames the brambles next to the fruit cage.|
Carrie concentrated on getting more paths sorted, with the able assistance of Andrew. The main task is to remove the composted bark (which makes a great soil conditioner, but also a great place for weeds to root), and replace it with fresh wood chips which will hopefully reduce the amount of path weeding we need to do. We've still got a few more to do, but we getting there.
|Carrie with a tamed path!|
Pete also found time to give our rhubarb some tlc (tender loving care, not tables, ladders and chairs!), with a nice thick mulch of compost.
|Giving the rhubarb a treat|
We fitting in plenty of planting too. Mark finished the onion planting, and we also managed to put in some Weld, to complement our Dyeing Herbs area which already has Woad in it. Now we just need some Madder, and we'll be able to make red, yellow, blue (and from them, lincoln green).
|Weld and Woad|
In the polytunnel, the saga of Windmill vs. the Mice continues! You might remember that we had tried to get peas going in the tunnel, and found that the mice nipped out the growing plants and peas, just leaving the top leaves? We tried putting them into gutters (the mice climbed in and happily dug into the feast), and in desperation, we put them on a pot stand (the mice scaled the structure and chowed down on the peas in the first 2 levels!). We also grew them in egg-boxes on the metal table, and finally had a bit of success. So new volunteer Ulrika got to work and used them to replant the small pea bed that we had created.
We're hoping these peas are not so succulent and tender as the freshly sprouted ones, so fingers crossed! Now we just need to get some going outside....
|Ulrike replants the peas|