Well things are coming along nicely at Newlands Manor. The beautifully still weather was the perfect opportunity to get out into the yard and tidy up a few things that have been nagging me.

But first! A small success. Our first crop.

Grass. Rye grass to be specific. The intention is to let this grow until it’s time to put in the garlic crop, at which time I’ll turn this all under, add a boatload more compost, and put in the bulbs. This was an idea followed up specifically for the beginner’s garden. The upper garden will be sewn with mustard seed and lupin. Am looking forward to it.

I also decided to do something with these.

Cthulu monsters, not so scarey after all.

These spuds were more or less sitting around in a bag in the cupboard and had gone to seed. So, I thought that there was nothing to lose putting them under the ground. The first thing to do was to leave them out in the soil for a week to toughen up, then I dug them under at about 5cm, and only about 50cm apart. Way too close, but I’m sceptical these will do anything. There’s a small chance they’ll have some kind of virus (not so good…), and a much larger chance they’ll just rot under the ground, which is actually not really a problem.

But I tried it just because we don’t really get frosts up here (too windy), and, because of this little success:

The old potato in a bucket trick. These will definitely be ready in a couple of months, as long as the wind or cold doesn’t get them first. Awesome – and happy to explain how to if need be.

And that’s pretty much all that I had planned. Look at the grass, put the spuds under, complete my Statistics assignment, hang out with the family. But… at the Riverside markets yesterday this guy was selling cheap pittosporums and I thought, well, there is a hole in the hedge between us and the neighbour. So, I bought this little feller:

The hope was that he’d grow into something like this guy:

a medium-sized pittosporum that really needs pruning and some TLC

The trouble is that the neighbour from the other side dropped by and says, “I’ve got a chainsaw you know…”, and so the wee bit of pruning and planting I intended turned into this:

not as much pruning as these poor macrocarpa tho...

And, this:

That’s a hell of a lot of matter to try and mulch down. In fact, too much. But it was worth it to clear out this heap of dead wood (most of which was strangled by a very lovely clematis), some some trees that had been pruned back once or twice too many times. The fact of the matter was that they needed to be taken out, and with prejudice.

And besides! Now those neighbours can see this:

A very beautiful sunset taken with a very average camera.

Not too bad a weekend really.