Courtyard Garden Ready For Summer 2021

You may recall from the last episode in this series Gardening Turnarounds and Catch UpsEpisode 04# – 22/04/2021 l made reference to an indoor house mouse issue? Well l caught two mice in my humane traps and released them outside and since then, l have not seen any mice indoors – l don’t know if l caught a pair or a single one twice. Although l did become somewhat distressed last Sunday morning when one of the neighbour’s cats a big furry lump by the name of Pushkin [who looks like a Timothy] promptly caught a mouse right outside my back door!!

I felt dreadful, that said mouse may have been the one l released ….. it was such a little cute mouse and l really felt awful that there was a very strong possibility that the little mouse was probably trying to get back into the house when my good will probably got it killed! Making matters worse was that Pushkin refused to let the little mouse go, ran to back of my garden, killed it and then brought me back the bloodied remains ….. l know, l know – that’s a cat thinking it’s done me a good deed and bringing me back a present …………. but!

That’s just bloody typical of bad luck in nature!

Last time l said that l was going to perform several turnarounds in the garden and spend time growing more flowers and herbs over lots and lots of vegetables. I wasn’t NOT going to grow vegetables, just that l was going to rearrange the garden in a mini shake up to become more of a relaxed wildlife garden of sorts and my task at hand of which there were several was to alter the layout of the garden to ensure balanced ratios of flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables.

I was thrilled that l achieved all of my tasks by 7pm last Sunday evening after having spent a good period of time in the garden on the weekend and the previous week … l say l am thrilled because Sunday evening l took dreadfully ill and only now, today – Friday am l starting to feel closer to my health of the last weekend over that of last Monday as an example.

I do have vegetables growing, albeit quite slowly although the French beans seedlings are doing very well – others really are slow coaches … although my surfinias are doing well – these are a hanging and cascading flowering petunia of sorts for the hanging baskets l have in the garden. These will be great for the pollinators.

….. Suze was over yesterday and she brought with her two fabulous Tomato plants which you can see both in the last picture of the above gallery, but the photo below shows they are real beauts – gifted to Suze [who can’t eat Tomatoes] and then gifted to me. These are great because my own Tiny Tim and Fire Tomatoes seedlings are dreadfully small – but l have ordered some 10cm tomato plants in addition.

I have also bought and will await delivery of plugs and slips and plants as already mentioned, for tomatoes, but also, sweet potatoes, French beans, cucumbers, spring onions, sweet peas, cucamelons, herbs, comfrey, blueberry, sweet peppers, antirrhinums [snapdragons], broccoli, courgette, xerochrysum [strawflowers] and osteospurmum [African daisies] and these will form the very nucleus of my garden. What l don’t use for here, l will take to Suze’s garden for additional colour as her garden is set to be quite a substantial project for the next few months.

One of the tasks l wanted to complete was the sorting out of the compost bins. I manage to secure both bins side by side where one will work as a functional worm farm whilst the other will serve as a functional compost unit that will switch from cold to hot as is required. In order to achieve that l had to sift through the compost and remove any debris before l was to then remove the worms with a view to encouraging a hot compost. As it was l managed to ‘de-twig it’last Sunday, but due to being ill this last week, ‘ the task of extracting the worms with a view to sieving and then turning, had to be placed on halt.

All the twigs removed from the compost will be allowed to dry and shall then be shredded down into a finer mulch ready for soil coverage this coming winter.

Last weekend, l went through all my raised beds of which at that point there were four and now there is only one double which will serve as the double bed for the sweet potatoes. It is currently covered as you’ll see in the gallery with another upturned raised bed to protect the soil from crows who for some reason love dive bombing the soils in these beds …. mad birds!!

So my task all day last Sunday was dig over the pots and refresh their soils/compost soils and where possible make preparations for the first of the seedlings that will be planted out in May.

Where l had some small growings l made the decision to dig everything up and start afresh this coming weekend.

The courtyard garden is really coming into its own as in ‘greening up’ with lots of fresh shoots now flowering and the roses now very bud lively. I have plans to perform a shrub cutting this weekend to bring some of the over enthusiastic back into a decent groom and hopefully, this glorious weather will continue and allow the gardening to carry on. It was supposed to break last Thursday [yesterday] and it didn’t and the new forecast now says, next Tuesday for small light showers. That’s great in my books, l have lost time recovering this week, but can make good with the few small jobs l have left to do for the approaching summer months.

The gallery below shows exactly how the garden is looking today … I use the green netting to stop the birds digging out the soils, as well as as a preventative measure of seeds dropping into the soils and additionally allowing the soils to breathe and warm.

In a final attempt to see if l could save Ava the Avacado through the summer, l have given her an aggressive pruning and re-sited her in a smaller pot to the patio and you can see her on the very last image bottom left. If l see no fresh growth at all in the coming weeks, l have now tried everything l can do to help her. 6th image in you can also see those random bulbs l planted into the Boston sink which are now finally flowering up to reveal they are either daffodils or they might be dwarf daffodils, l think better known as miniature narcissus.

Overall, l am now a lot happier with the layout and the possibilities of the garden for this coming late spring/summer and early autumn seasons. Over the next 12 weeks l hope to see a wonderfully vibrant and colourful courtyard garden.

Thanks for reading, this is the last episode that will appear in this particular blog. The next episode will be next month sometime in the sister blog – The 3 Sides 2 1 and it will also be the new Season 7 and under the title of A Social Gardening We Shall Go!.

So on that note, catch you next time.

15 thoughts on “Courtyard Garden Ready For Summer 2021

  1. A couple years ago I had quite a scare when I went to clean out the cooler after a trip to the Park and found a mouse inside and still alive. I took him to a wooded area well away from our street to release him. I expected he was unlikely to survive long term but I hoped I would never know the outcome and could assume he prospered.

    1. Hey Geoff, well l certainly wish l had released this mouse a little further afield. They do say to release them 3-4 miles out of the area, but that’s a long way to walk a mouse from where l am. But l feel terrible that the damn cat got him.

  2. Is that the un-belled nuisance that was going after the birds? I love cats, and was thrilled every time Sophie caught a mouse that was supposed to stay outside, but it is sad in these circumstances.

    Poor Ava. She may pull through yet, but I have a feeling she was just too sick

    Glad you’re feeling a little better. Let’s hope it’s LOTS better very soon!

    1. No, the black and white cat moved away, Pushkin is a lovely cat who is belled and flumpy lumpy and furry and has a GPS attachment as well. The birds find him too slow, but what is really sad is l think this mouse was so intent on trying to get back in that he/she didn”t see the cat.

      It’s strange but l was really upset by this. I could have left the mouse in the house, they were safer and let’s be honest, they could have had a litter long before l was seeing them .. or maybe it was just a lone male 🙁

  3. It’s looking good, Rory. Last mouse we caught – eating through a new bag of flour! which hadn’t been put in a sealed container – I walked it about a mile away outside the village, and let it go right next to an outbuilding. We caught three before that one. No sign of any mice since.
    They get into the loft and nibble the foam pipe insulation. Not as bad as squirrels which get into the loft and are known to bite through the electrical cables – expensive problem.

    1. I thought the mouse would be safe late at night released into my garden, sadly l was wrong.

      Oh yes, squirrels in the electrics is beyond just shocking nuts and bolts …………

      Have a great day Ian 🙂

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