Tag: garden

When The Wind Blows

When deciding to buy and renovate an older, run-down house the one guaranteed thing you have to expect is unexpected things cropping up just when you don’t want them to.

A fence in our back garden has just blown over in the high winds we’ve been experiencing.

The neighbours shed (top left) is the only thing holding it up!

It went over this morning and from what I can tell the posts have rotted and snapped in the ground. Looks like they’ll need replacing. Not too much of an issue in the grand scheme of the universe of course.

We’ve managed to spread out the cost of various things we’ve been doing in the house so we’re not hit in the financial balls all in one go, the fireplace and flooring being the most recent examples. But, of course, chance and nature don’t operate on a schedule.

Technically, it’s not our fence, so we don’t have to pay for it to be replaced/repaired… However there were some fat trees pushing on it for many years which have absolutely contributed to the current situation. I need to speak to the neighbours but I’m thinking we’ll at least contribute to the repairs on a moral basis let alone the fact that it may be partially our fault. Well, the fault of the people who lived here before us. Neighbours gotta be neighbourly and work together ‘n’ all that.

It’s a shame this has happened now. We’ve just paid out for a new floor (not cheap) and have a baby on the way, so we (read, I) are sensitive to unexpected outgoings at the moment. But hey, this is what the emergency fund is for!

The money is only one of two issues. In order to repair this fence, either the neighbours need to move their two sheds (one of which is holding the fence up right now) or we need to remove our horrible disgusting… shed… thing which you can see it on the very left of this pic. This is something we want to do, but we’re actually using it to store a load of trash at the moment (old carpet, ancient chest-freezer, broken lawnmower, etc.)

We need to pay to get the trash and the shed removed as there are some very large bulky things in there and we don’t have the transportation for it. Needing to pay for this stuff to happen is why it hasn’t happened yet. Other things to sort out. We’ll get to it eventually. Or soon, if the fence repairs demand it…

Oh, to make matters slightly more frustrating, I’ve just noticed that the opposite fence by the patio is starting to fall too. Great.

Grow your own… food!

Although we’re nowhere near complete with our house renovations, we couldn’t resist growing some of our own food in our garden over the summer.

I haven’t updated on the progress of this venture, so here’s how it went!


Wow. Huge success here. We had them on the floor both outside the greenhouse over the summer as well as inside the greenhouse as it got colder. Unfortunately this resulted in slugs and other pests eating their way through a significant portion of our stock. Even so, starting with just six plants we ended up with hundreds of tomatoes which we barely managed to keep up with. We ate them with almost every meal, and even had to give some away!

We will absolutely be growing these again. We want to try some different varieties as well as get some form of shelving to keep them off of the ground next time. I think with half the number of plants on raised shelving, better protected from the cold, we would end up with more tomatoes than we had this year.


Another huge success. Not only did we get over a dozen spikey cucumbers, they tasted great too. They soak up water like a sponge, so after we went on holiday for a week we came back to a dead, crispy plant 🙁

Next year we will grow another plant (or two) as we know we can get much more fruit from it. As long as we remember to water them…


We planted two Cucamelon plants in the same pot as the Cucumber (similar name, same pot. Makes sense, right?) but unfortunately they didn’t really grow many fruits. Interestingly, once the Cucumber plant died, the Cucamelon bumped up production of both fruits and shoots. I didn’t get a picture of any of these – they were so rare that we picked them and ate them almost immediately.

The few fruits we did get tasted good. It’s just a shame there weren’t many. We might try these again in a different pot, but possibly not next year as we have some alternative fruits we want to try our hand at growing.


We were gifted a strawberry plant by family but unfortunately the cat decided it would be fun to dig it up and play with it, ripping it apart almost immediately after planting it.

We can learn to forgive him. In time.

I’m very eager to grow and eat fresh strawberry, I don’t think I’ve ever had any that weren’t purchased in a store.


Ah, lettuce. This would have been a resounding success if it weren’t for the ultimate failure on my part to read the instructions properly.

I planted a whole packet of what must have been at least 40 seeds into a single tray. It turns out you are supposed to plant a few of them at a time, spreading them out so that when you eat up the first batch, the second is ready to go. By the time I realised my mistake, the tray was almost solid with the entangled roots of baby lettuce. There was no saving them, although we tried. They went into the compost.

Sorry, lettuce. I failed you. Next year we will grow more, but properly. I promise to read the instructions next time!

In conclusion

This was the first time we’ve grown something edible in our garden, and overall it was successful. We certainly learned a lot and will absolutely be growing more next year. As we clear out more and more of the garden, we should be able to bump up the volume of edibles that we grow. I don’t expect to be able to completely feed us all year around – we just don’t have the land nor the time for that to be feasible – but I do want to have something on the go as often as possible.

We have also tried growing some herbs and other plants, which I might write a bit about in another post.