So, 2010 stopped suddenly for the suburban veg plot blog in July. Needless to say I have excuses, nay reasons, galore for it.
Reason 1 - mainly time-related. The wedding was fast approaching which involved many visits to Belfast, many phone calls and emails to caterers, suppliers and wedding guests alike to ensure that everything happened on the day, in the right place, at the right time. And it did. Even the sun came out (a novelty for Northern Ireland!) so our garden setting was just perfect. If any gardeners out there are thinking of tying the knot and are looking for a garden-related reading, then this one went down very well indeed.
Reason 2 - erm, time-related again?? Went on honeymoon for three weeks and then life was very busy after that...?
Okay, okay, enough of the excuses. I got entirely out of the habit of blogging and there always seemed something else that needed doing.
Now we're in 2011, and there are seeds to be sown and winter veg still to be harvested, so all this raking up the past really isn't helping. Talking of raking, why did no-one warn me that putting chickens to free-range into a garden with very stony borders would only result in said stones ending up all over the lawn area? We started off by raking them up and throwing them back on the borders only to find them on the lawn again in just a few hours. Now we do regular stone collections and transfer them to the suburban veg plot to create paths between the raised beds - which also serves to keep down the weeds.
As well as the reawakening of the suburban veg plot blog, the garden itself is reawakening in the recent mild weather. Wild birds are returning, blue tits and blackbirds mainly, enticed in by peanuts, fatballs and saucers of mealworms. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that blue tits will settle in the nest box on the fence as a couple of them have shown something of an interest in it.
The strongest signs of new plant growth (aside from the snowdrops and crocuses) are the buds on the blueberry bushes (one Jersey and one Ozark Blue). These were new acquisitions in the autumn of 2010 and so this year will be the first harvest from them. They're in large pots on the patio, as the soil in the suburban veg plot is too alkaline, though they may be moved into the front garden if space becomes tight. As ever, my plans would fit an allotment rather than a suburban garden!