What HAVE you been doing: an update

First of all, a profound sorry for being such a bad blog host recently. During the week I mostly just crash after coming home and then I put in some hours for chores and lesson planning and then I watch some senseless TV and then I crash again.

I also need to apologise to the people whose mail i still have here, all ready to go if only I could drag my ass to the post office…

School’s crazy right now. We were closed for a week on short notice, kids going missing, kids being found again, spending hours on the phone, exams, tests, colleagues collapsing in the staff room (it’s that time of the year. For some reason, that colleague always collapses in late spring, but is unable to just stay the fuck at home and call a doctor)… And now we get a week of break for pentecost and then  all kids are coming back and we all hate it.

At the weekends Mr and I have been very busy in the garden, which is my current delight, or would be, if the weather wasn’t what it is. It’s currently 7°C and raining, and it has been like this for weeks and it’s supposed to last for at least another two weeks. The cats tail is having a party… So yeah, I’m not a fun person right now…

Anyway, at least we finished the big project and I could now start the planting if I wasn’t at risk of drowning on dry land. But I’m really proud of what we built and it will look great once I do manage to plant stuff.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

That’s the whole slope finished, still with the plastic bags on top of the last row so it won’t wash away the concrete. The thing on the left is our to be torn down garage, I just hope they won’t completely ruin the garden when they do (in a couple of years). Those three windows you see at the top are my office, btw, so all your posts are coming from there.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

That’s just the top part. The lower terrace is already prepared for planting, by doing a good dig and mixing our sandy soil with (peat free) planting soil. The top part is still trampled flat. No wonder the cats tail is having a party: Nutrition poor compressed soil and the two weathers of “it’s raining” and “it’s about to rain”. I also did some first planting. The two top terraces will be a three sisters planting. The corn is ready and my mum promised me some more squash.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Here’s a view downwards. Just for scale: each stone is about 20cm high, so you can get an idea about the height difference. Of all the squash I already planted only three survived and only one survived well..

I did manage to finish one small resin project. The problem is that it’s still too cold to work with epoxy, and it’s too light to work with the UV resin, as it cures before I can use it.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

A little fairy garden. And I made some new friends:

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Let’s just hope that summer will come, even though spring got cancelled and we can spend some time in the pool with them…



  1. Jazzlet says

    The terracing is looking fantastic, truly impressive. I’d be putting in a “you damage you get penalised clause” when it comes time for the garage to come down.

    And yeah, the rain really is getting a lot much. It’s been doing the same rain or about to rain thing here with the odd taunt of a couple of hours of sunshine and blue sky, before suddenly pouring down. Again.

  2. says

    Yup, the spring here is delayed too this year. Some trees outdoors did not start growing yet. When it does not rain, then wind blows and vice versa, so I cannot get any work outdoors done.

    Fingers crossed for your garden. A cheaper option to make your soil lighter might be simply to collect in the fall a few bags of dry tree leaves (best would be beech, not recommended is walnut) and mixing them directly with the soil. And/or shredded wood/wood chips (not sawdust). You might also consider buying a big bag of pearlite (it can cost as low as 20€ for ca 20 l) and mix it in there. And charcoal, if the pieces are not too big (it can be crushed, but commercial charcoal from hardwoods is difficult to crush).

    You can also mix eggshells directly into the soil to raise pH, but whether that helps depends on your local geology, which I do not know.

    For other materials, it is better to compost them before adding them to the soil, but above mentioned can be added directly without adverse effects and they do help to prevent the soil from compacting overmuch.

  3. voyager says

    Spring was slow here but has finally arrived. I’m looking forward to seeing your garden and hope you can plant it soon. The terracing looks fabulous. You guys did a fabulous job.
    I’m sending a wave to you through your office window. That’s going to be a fine view.

  4. says

    We’re setting up a new compost heap, on which the degu woodchips will go, too, so for next year, we should have a lot of nice soil to mix with the sand. The current one was a “no clue, need a composter” buy, which we then put in the wrong place so the smells will gently drift towards the outdoor dining area…

  5. lumipuna says

    Up here the spring isn’t much delayed, but the rain and constantly wet soil probably does cause trouble for farmers trying to plant their crops. I see lots of frog tadpoles growing in puddles; if they survive, it should be a boon to the local frog population.

    Yesterday was Lilac Day. As I mentioned previously, we don’t usually get lilac flowers here this early, but bird cherries are blooming magnificently. Traditionally, bird cherry blossom is associated with the ending of school semester at the end of May, but in this warming climate it’s starting to often go past too early in southern Finland.

  6. avalus says

    I get some serious garden envy there ;) Hope it will turn out a bountyfull harvest!
    We just added *another* 120 L of soil* to our balcony boxes and wait for summer to arrive.

    *Found it amazing, how many “bio” soils contain peat. As well as one “Peat free”, that was not. (swearwords were said then)

Leave a Reply