Tail end of 2015

As 2015 draws to a close, I guess it’s time to take stock of how the year is ending. I will save the proper review of the year for another post; but having visited yesterday; it struck me just how different the plot looks now compared to the height of summer.

Above, we have a view of the plot from yesterday. Something of a dreary and really very drab landscape. I did a spot of pottering yesterday, as there were a few things that needed tidying. Sadly, I had to take up two threes. The rochester peach and the sylvia cherry trees have both died a death. In the case of the peach tree, it had not even formed a root system, and didn’t take much digging out. I have yet to consider my victoria plum tree. Looking in a rather sad state, this is a tree that has rather confused me. The tree flowered, having formed foliage in the spring. There was lovely blossom. However, as time went on; the foliage turned copper; much like it was all aflame and started to die off. The one or two fruit on the tree didn’t last very long either. My plan was to dig it up as it is most likely diseased; I just didn’t get that far yesterday. Glad tidings however, a belated santa claus session means that I will be replacing both the peach and cherry tree, and looking at another Victoria Plum.

Another cause for much sadness were the full season raspberries. These have had little or no success this year. The raspberries that I did manage to harvest were actually from slightly confused autumn canes. The full season canes are going to be replaced, thankfully the supplier was very understanding. This will happen next year now, as I have pulled up the cane that again were very twiggy and no bigger than they had been when they were first planted. I am not going to blame my clay soil as this doesn’t appear to bother the other things on the plot.

You can see between the two galleries the difference that a few months can make. Only yesterday did I finally take down the bean frames and tidy up the now very much ex-sunflowers. I say tidy up the sunflowers, as I haven’t taken them down. I have left them in situ, least of all because they will naturally bio-degrade. They are probably still helping support the wildlife, if not being eaten; the now very skeletal flowers are probably playing host and home to critters. Tidying up was necessary, as it was all looking a bit post-apocalyptic and very mad max and the thunderdome.

Having a space between Christmas and New Years is good opportunity to reflect and sort through your seed stash. In the past, just after Boxing day; I would sow my chillies. I haven’t got that far yet! I have however, sorted the seeds from one seed box to the work in progress seedbox. Can’t remember what I did with my Cayenne seeds- I bought a fresh packet!-but I do have something of  a vast and diverse range anyway. Have yet to get any compost though, I was going positively twitchy at not having any; so will remedy that in the coming week or so. In my experience, I have used an electric propagator and also used an unheated windowsill one. I think I am now leaning towards the latter, not just because of how mild it is. That method has produced healthier, more robust seedlings in the past and been effective for cultivation.