Thursday, 26 June 2014

A skip and some hard work

Before the clear out!
After buying an old Victorian house, I have quickly started to realise just how much needs doing to it. One of the first jobs on the massive list was to clear the garden. The previous owners were artists and the guy made his own pottery. Well, I say pottery but it was figures and things mostly. As we looked around the garden after moving in we saw so much hidden underneath bushes but it was all ruined! Every single thing we found was broken in some way or another apart from a few plant pots. We had already started to pile this up in the middle of the garden so at least it was all in one place.

Then there were the plants. The garden is about 60ft in total although a chunk of it is patio. Two thirds of the garden was gravelled but with a lot of bushes and plants everywhere. My mum came to visit a couple of weeks ago and just started pulling things up, showing me that it was all dead anyway. That led to a weekend of pulling and digging up bushes. We were obviously left with bags and bags full of garden waste but we pay to have a garden bin and that is slowly going down now.

The gravel we had gotten rid of a lot of weeks ago as I offered it for free on a local Facebay site as long as the people who wanted it were prepared to shovel it and take it away themselves. A couple came and took three trailers full which did clear a lot. Now we have cleared more in the skip as well as deciding to re-gravel our shared driveway with the neighbours. That already had gravel in the middle but it was looking really thin and horrible so hopefully putting our gravel there will help it to at least look a little bit nicer. 

Patio area
Anyway, yesterday we got a skip delivered and we could really begin clearing things out properly. All of the gravel in bags has now gone as well as every single piece of broken pottery. Our sort of seating area is cleared now so we can finally use the table and chairs we have. There is still so much work to be done as the back half of the garden needs tackling at some point and everything needs leveling out before we can do anything else to it. However, this is quite far down our list of things to have done now but we have loads of time to get that done before next summer.

It's so rewarding to see such a big change in our garden and although it was hard work, it was well worth it!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Planting success

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about attempting to plant things for the first time. The garden is in a massive state at the moment (I'll explain in another post!) so growing things outside isn't an option. I planted some grass and a selection of herbs in trays on the windowsill and they are doing great so far!

The herbs have tiny little shoots coming up in three of the rows but unfortunately, one of the rows hasn't grown anything at all. I'm not sure why either as I make sure to turn the tray to even out the sun coverage and make sure I water the tray enough. Oh well, at least some things in there are growing. I'll have to move these into larger pots quite soon though so they have more room to grow!

The tray is grass is what really surprised me though. That began growing in only a couple of days and I have already tested it out on the rabbits who I am growing it for. The shoots weren't fully grown but were long enough for the rabbits to nibble on. As you can see from the picture above, Flopsy thoroughly enjoyed the grass! I have realised though that I didn't plant enough seeds so next time I will plant loads so the grass comes up really thick.

As first attempts go, I think this one was pretty successful!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Meet Flopsy and Mopsy

So Flopsy and Mopsy are my pet rabbits. We've had them for a little over a month now and we got them only days after moving into the new house. I haven't had a pet of my own for years and years now due to living in rented places that didn't allow pets. My husband hasn't had his own pet either so we were desperate to get a new addition to the family. 

We chose rabbits as we both work full time and didn't want to get a dog/ cat only to end up not having enough time for it. I bought the rabbits from a pet shop but I think that was a bad idea. To start with, I wanted two boys and these two were in the same pen. Someone did check the sex of the rabbits before I bought them and I was told they were male. We then took them to the vet a couple of days later to get their vaccinations done and the vet wasn't so sure about Flopsy. After a second opinion it was confirmed that Flopsy was in fact a girl. Ooops! Mopsy is getting neutered in a few weeks time as we don't want baby bunnies everywhere!

Flopsy exploring the living room
Next is the fact that Mopsy is a poorly bunny. He sneezed a bit as soon as we got him but we thought that was due to a new environment and new hay etc. The sneezing was still there a week or so later so back to the vet we went. Mopsy has snuffles which is pretty bad for a rabbit and now he has a runny nose all of the time and is on antibiotics still. He has been on them for about 20 days now and he's still not better. If it hasn't cleared up soon he will have to have an x ray done on his nose to see what is really wrong with him. He's costing us a fortune at the moment but I don't mind too much as he's part of the family and we love him. We just want him to get better.

Mopsy and his food!
The rabbits are right little characters! Flopsy is the bossy, dominant rabbit who likes to get her own way and Mopsy likes his food far too much. They instantly make me smile when I go out to see them and I love how they run straight up to the front of their run to see us when we go out to them.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Windowsill planters

Although we have a massive garden now, I have no idea what to do with it. You see, I have never had a garden before. Back at my mum's house where I grew up the garden was a concrete slab at the back of the house. We never had plants or grass or trees or anything like that! So, it is safe to say that I am not green fingered. 

While my husband and I are sorting out the back garden (clearing the gravel and digging up massive bushes) I wanted to have a go at growing something myself. We have pet rabbits who should be eating grass and green foods on a regular basis. While we do give them leafy vegetables, I would love to be able to grow them their own herbs to eat. Their hutch and run is also placed on concrete slabs so they don't have fresh grass to nibble on either. 

I have begun a bit of an experience of growing things in trays on the windowsill. Our garden is south facing so the windowsill the trays are placed on gets a hell of a lot of sun. I have planted a variety of herbs and some regular grass seeds in plastic trays which are covered with a see-through plastic lid. They're like little mini tray greenhouses. I only planted the seeds a couple of days ago so obviously nothing has grown yet but I am hopeful. 

I would be really happy if even a few of the seeds worked out. I know the rabbits would appreciate the yummy food!