Manchester Drive Forest Garden Project

The purpose of this blog is to document the development of the forest garden project that I have been setting up at Manchester Drive allotment site in Leigh on Sea, Essex, as well as any other random permacultural (or not) rambling thoughts that might happen to stray from my brain. I hope you enjoy it or better still, feel inspired to start your own edible food forest!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Impulse buying

Confessions of a consumer junky... Went into town today today to buy some printer ink plus paint for the kids bedroom, and ended up making 3 'impulse' purchases. Am I the ideal happy shopper or what?

Anyway, what i bought was,

1) Picked up an Acoustic Ladyland CD half price in the MVC closing down sale. Despite the very dodgy cover which looks more like it belongs on some late 70s/early 80s rock/new wave album like The Cars or The Knack or something, its on the esteemed Babel Label (who often package their releases with artwork by the brilliant Gee Vaucher, whose been turning in some of her best stuff since those classic CRASS covers and posters). I also saw Acoustic ladyland on the Jools Holland show and was well impressed, and have also seen Seb Rochford play at the local Jazz Club and been knocked out not just by his mad hair but also his stunning drumming. I've only played a bit of the CD, but it sounded like a nice blend of punk and jazz energies...

2) a fab little multitool from QD's that cost me £1.50. Its got a saw, a blade, a bottle opener, plyers, wire cutters, a 'lanyard' (whatever that is...), a great little torch and a 'Philips' screwdriver, but is only about 2 inches long when folded up. It also has its own little cool black pouch and fits unobtrusively into your trouser or jacket pocket without any trouble. I must say that most of my practical needs are met by my ever present 'Camper' Swiss Army Knife, but this seemd like a real bargain and a miracle of modern engineering, even if it is no doubt the product of some Taiwanese sweat shop... I'm afraid I can't resist a multitool, one of my guilty pleasures is having the odd peek at the Victoronix website to see which Swiss Army Knives I totally can't do without. The 'Swiss Memory' with its built in USB data storage utility seems particularly cool, but I know I'll never do anything about actually buying one...

3) (Actually relevant to this Blog!) Went into Homebase to buy the paint and ended up purchasing a Sunset apple tree for a tenner.

Sunset apple is very similar to Cox but much easier to grow. An excellent garden substitute for Cox particularly for regions where Cox can not be grown successfully.
Use: Dessert
Season of Use: Oct-Dec
Colour: Flushed
Flavour: Aromatic
Origin: Kent UK 1918
Pollination Group: C
Self-fertility: Self Fertile

They also had damsons and other apple varieties including 'Discovery' which, I believe, is an old Essex variety, so maybe I'll try and pick up a couple more trees before planting season ends. Not quite in keeping with buying from small and local nurseries I know, but, hey, carriage charges are crippling and at least its 3 or 4 trees taht wouldn't have gotten planted otherwise.

I've got a WLCS committee meeting first thing in the morning (well, 10 o'clock, which to me is 'first thing' when its a sunday...), after that I'll try and get down to manchester Drive and get this apple planted, and maybe even put the mini-multi-tool through its paces and see if it warrants the quid fifty spent on it...


At 11:38 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pest control in the perennial garden
If you have any good tips please post trhem on my blog

One of the many advantages of growing perennials is the ability of these beautiful flowers to return to full bloom season after season. While this ability to bloom repeatedly is one of the things that makes perennials so special, it also introduces a number of important factors into your gardening plan. One of the most important of these is a proper pest control regimen.

While a garden full of annuals starts each season as a blank slate, the perennial garden is essentially a work in progress. The fact that the plants stay in the ground through winter makes things like proper pruning, disease management and pest control very important. If the garden bed is not prepared properly after the current growing season, chances are the quality of the blooms will suffer when the next season rolls around.

One of the most important factors to a successful perennial pest control regimen is the attention and vigilance of the gardener. As the gardener, you are in the best position to notice any changes in the garden, such as spots on the leaves, holes in the leaves, or damage to the stems. Any one of these could indicate a problem such as pest infestation or a disease outbreak.

It is important to nip any such problem in the bud, since a disease outbreak or pest infestation can easily spread to take over an entire garden. Fortunately for the gardener, there are a number of effective methods for controlling both common pests and frequently seen plant diseases.

Some of these methods are chemical in nature, such as insecticides and fungicides, while others are more natural, like using beneficial insects to control harmful ones. While both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, many gardeners prefer to try the natural approach first, both for the health of the garden and the environment.

There is an additional benefit of the natural approach that many gardeners are unaware of. These days, it is very popular to combine a koi pond with a garden, for a soothing, relaxing environment. If you do plan to incorporate some type of fish pond into your garden landscape, it is critical to avoid using any type of insecticide or fungicide near the pond, since it could seep into the water and poison the fish. Fish are extremely sensitive to chemicals in the environment, especially with a closed environment like a pond.

As with any health issue, for people or plants, prevention is the best strategy to disease control and pest control alike. The best defense for the gardener is to grow a garden full of the healthiest, most vigorous plants possible. Whenever possible, varieties of plants bred to be disease or pest resistant should be used. There are a number of perennials that, through selective breeding, are quite resistant to the most common plant diseases, so it is a good idea to seek them out.

Happy gardening,

At 5:32 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I was out bloigging and found your site. It certainlhy got my attention and interest. I was looking for Table information and even though this isn't a perfect match I enjoyed your site. Thanks for the read!


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