Veg Patch

To read the story of my Veg Patch in chronological order use the links in the Blog Archive

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Hoarding for the Spring

Winter hasn't even got going yet but its certainly on the way. My twitter timeline has pictures of snow covered french swimming pools and the three squirrels currently occupying my garden are hiding acorns all over the place. 

This last couple of weeks there has been very little opportunity to do anything outside, mostly caused by the constant heavy rain, so my mind has been occupied with making plans for next spring. 

I wrote a couple of posts ago, about a wonderful new Hoe I had bought from Sneeboer called the Royal Dutch. In my quest for more wonderful tools, I set about looking for a new pair of secateurs. I made enquiries with gardening friends and the consensus was that the pair to own were the Okatsune, made by a Japanese company called Niwake. The website is fascinating with amazing garden tools. 

So one of the rainy days last week saw me place an order for the Okatsune. They arrived quickly in a typically Japanese package luckily with an english language translation sticker on them .. 

They are  a very simple looking tool. But thats the point, they just do what they are supposed to, nothing else. The weight of them is perfect for me, even with my small hands

So finally yesterday afternoon, after another adventure that I will write about a bit further on in this blog, I got the chance to try them. I have been saving two woody old bushes to test them on

The Okatsune performed brilliantly - Lovely action and so very sharp they could cut through branches I would previously have taken a saw too. 

In no time at all they job was done and the secateurs were cleaned and back in the box. I do wonder how long  will have the patience to look after them properly, but I am going to try. 

And just to show you that they are very sharp.. I managed to stab myself in the palm whilst putting them away

It may only be tiny but it didn't arf hurt... 

Anyway, moving on, I alluded to an adventure.. well not really that adventurous, but it was a lovely morning out. I am luck enough to live within easy driving distance of Common Farm Flowers  and so a couple of weeks ago went to a workshop, which I wrote about . On that day Georgie mentioned, when we were walking around the farm, that she was going to get rid of a lot of her Dahlias. 

Ever one to see an opportunity, I filed this conversation away in the back of my brain for future reference. Now earlier this week, Georgie tweeted that she was digging up the said dahlia's and a memory worm snuck to the front of my brain.. Blimey, here is an opportunity it said, to get some beautiful perfectly good plants for next spring.. So emails were exchanged and it left me driving, yesterday morning in glorious sunshine, to the farm in Somerset.

After a chat over coffee, a look at her lovely new polytunnel and some beautiful plants she had just had delivered from Swines Meadow Nursery I loaded the car up with Dahlia tubers and headed back to the seaside. 

Once home, I decided the best place to store them over winter was in the summer house. So a couple of trips up the garden with the barrow and they were safely tucked up, like the squirrels acorns, for winter. 

In the spring, I shall split each of the tubers and then plant them in pots. I plan to grow them for cutting flowers and some of the pots I shall stand in the garden beds for late summer colour.. 

And thats about all the gardening I have done since my last post. There are still things growing though. 

The Brussel Sprouts are ready to be picked

Courgettes continue to grow, but slowly now

And I still have flowers

Gibson is also settling in for the winter, he is spending a lot of time sleeping

Thats it for now, but if you know a gardener and want to buy them a nice christmas present, that they will really enjoy,  have a look at this video by Mark, also known as the 10 Minute Gardener. He has brought together things that are affordable and useful to gardeners.


  1. We were lucky with the weather this week and have managed to get to the allotment quite a lot as well as the garden lawn having it's fnal cut of the year and the pond filter being cleaned out

  2. You've been busy, you dahlia opportunist, you! What a fantastic haul! I should try the Niwaki shears, but don't really have sufficient reason to bench my trusty Felcos, maybe I'll have to see what Father Christmas brings. I can almost imagine the sharp, snippiness of them - bit of a sucker for shiny and sharp things! By the way, you have my wheelbarrow's twin there!

  3. many thanks for sharing Lorraine only news this end is all glass in my greenhouse now and the blue berry bush looks like it coming back to life again was going to throw it and buy another one have a good week

  4. A healthy and colorful haul! :)

  5. Wow!! wgat a gardener you are. Tell Gibson to get up and come outside. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  6. The garden in your header is lovely! Your new pruners look like quality tools that will get the job done!

    1. The garden has come on a lot since that picture was taken. I have changed it a couple of times but it never looks as nice so that one always goes back :)

  7. Nice to catch up with the activities of another gardener. My dahlias are still in the ground, although a heavy frost has hit and fall is in full swing now. those cutters look wonderful, nothing like a good pruner to make the job easy, sorry you cut yourself !

    1. I am really looking forward to seeing those Dahlias in my garden next year. If you look at Georgies website or facebook page you can see the beautiful flowers in her posies, and know some of those exact plants will be in my garden next summer :)

  8. I enjoyed reading your post. Your blog title and photo remind me of the British comedy, The Good Life" in the US it's called The Good Neighbors. They're running it again on one of the PBS stations.Do you remember the program? Oh, and if you need some practice with your new secateurs, you're welcome to come over to my garden. :)

    1. Hi Babs. I love the show and it was the inspiration for the title of my blog. The Maybe bit was because I had only just started the garden and had no idea if it was going to be a good life.. 2 years on I can say, it truly is . My hens are called Margot, Babs and Geri after the shows characters..

  9. Such pretty flowers. And the dog looks tired, too! It takes a bit of work for a great garden, but it's always worth it.