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It is the first day of my holiday!

Every year I take two weeks off to just chill out at home and enjoy the luxury of having more than one day off in a row. My two weeks this year started today and I have, as I told my church I would, spent most of the day in my pajamas! I did manage to get some useful stuff done - I dyed my hair, took the bins out etc etc, but most of the day was given over to relaxing.

Things I like about having a holiday:
  • Lieing in to whatever time I want.
  • Not having to plan my day unless I want to.
  • Not having to cook! (our cook left so I have been cooking for forty people for two days a week for the last month)
  • Spending time with the cats.
  • Chilling out on my balcony at the end of the day.

Things I find difficult about being on holiday;

  • Too much time to think! - Paranoia and hypochondria set in - need to keep my brain occupied tomorrow.
I also spent time today checking my cabbages for catterpillars which seem to have become a feature of my gardening experience. Catterpillars give me a rash and they eat my cabbages so are bad on a number of levels. They have only been visiting my cabbages for a week or so (I think because they have eaten all the broccoli they are growing downstairs), but have the potential to go through my crop rather quickly so they need stamping on (or dropping over the balcony) straight away. As such i check my cabbages every day for catterpillars, and greenfly and any other sign they may not be as healthy as I would like. This means that at the moment my cabbages, and in fact all my plants are doing pretty well.

The cabbages are huge, despite the catterpillars best efforts, and the lettuces and runner beans are getting really big.


See, lettuces are practically taking over the hanging basket - I might try cutting them out in the next couple of days before they start to bolt. The runner beans are so tall, they've over taken the six foot canes, climbed up a cable on the wall and are now flailking around looking for more support in order to climb even higher. I secretly hope that they will find the drain pipe and make a bid for the roof, but we'll see.

Sweetcorn - all plants doing well and appear to have cobs growing, so thats cool. Apart from the cats trying to eat the leaves the sweetcorn has been very low maintenance and so easy to grow - i'll definately try growing more of this next year. In the little trough are beetroot which got transplanted from their original place. They didn't like being dug up and moved but have pulled through and are growing well. The pepper and cucumber are also growing - they have flowers but i'm waiting to see if they grow any fruit.


Baby tomatoes! I've got loads of tiny tomatoes, so i'm really excited about those, they also seem to be growing well.

So, in general, catterpillars or no, i'm pretty pleased with how my garden is working out, and I love that my attitude to the balcony has changed. Last year it was just a bit of pavement outside my flat, this year it's become a lovely outdoor space that i enjoy spending time in.

Should be a nice place to spend some of my holiday!


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 22nd, 2009 10:18 am (UTC)
Hey, seems weird to comment when I hardly know you, but you're still on my f-list. I think I know you through DevonJo... maybe we even came to visit you in Erdington when I was visiting her a couple years ago.

I just wanted to comment on your lovely garden! Its very small, much like my own, but you've got a massive amount of produce growing in there! I've just beeen away for the weekend camping and caterpillars have landed on my kale... almost all the leaves have some nibble marks and it took me ages to pick all the little buggers off. I also somehow managed to get a big monster caterpillar on my indoor basil... and short of a butterfly fluttering in, laying a single egg and then fluttering back out... I have no idea how it came to be living on my kitchen windowsill! Crazy... Other than picking them off, do you have any nifty tips to get rid of them?
Jul. 22nd, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
Hello, yes, you did come and visit me with Jo - seems like a long long time ago! Funny thing is that I had an absolutely huge garden in that house and I never did anything with, but now that i've got a much smaller space the urge to grow things has started. I'm really enjoying watching my plants grow - I hope you are having fun too.

With regards to catterpillars... I pretty much just pick them off, I check the leaves every day for signs of catterpillars or for the eggs and I either remover the catterpillars or remove the whole leaf. More often than not I remove the leaf as i'm paranoid about getting an allergic reaction to them like I used to. I've read that one way of stopping them is to use netting to cover them as this lets the rain and sunlight through, but means that the butterflies can't get to them! I think you can buy proper gardening net, but i've read about people using normal dressmaking netting too, and thats so cheap that it might be worth a try.

Good luck with all your growing!
Jul. 23rd, 2009 10:16 am (UTC)
The garden and produce is looking dead impressive. I'm jealous. We were going to grow things on the roof until we found out that it wasn't weight bearing so we've been banned from it.

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )



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