Making things in May

I have been busy again in and around the garden in the last few days.  I have been tackling those beach balls as promised but with mixed results.  I still haven’t finished yet, so I’ll save the big reveal for when I’m done.  But just to say things aren’t as easy as they look on the internet!  I suspect my attempts will be less than perfect!  Wait and see!

Beach balls
The beach ball project started off so optimistically!

In the spirit of making things I took some time to make a soil sieve.  I used to have a plastic one, but its life span in a heavy use garden isn’t very long and it fell apart.  I have been making do with some mesh I found about the place that I cable tied to the bottom of a plant pot tray with a wide open bottom.  It was useful for what it was, however, the long skinny shape wasn’t practical.  I’d kept my eye out for something to replace the broken plastic one but never really saw anything I was prepared to spend my money on.

Soil Sieve
I’m very pleased with how this soil sieve turned out – given there were no plans or measurements – just a vision that had rattled around in my head for quite some time.

Rummaging about the place I found Hubby the Un-Gardener had a stash of plastic mesh, so I liberated it for my own purposes.  I did ask but to be honest, he didn’t really have a choice.  We have also acquired a lot of leftover bits of wood and I’ve become a bit of a wood hoarder.  I think I got it from my dad as he would never throw out a good bit of wood.  We once sat around a bonfire and he wouldn’t left us toss half of the firewood into the flames proclaiming, ‘don’t burn that, it could come in handy one day.’

So with my collection of wood, my pilfered mesh and my fabulous drop saw that I picked up from a recycle centre for a mere $24 dollars and a spot of imagination I ‘whipped up’ a rather cool soil sieve – if I must say so myself.

Soil sieve in action
I never expected to be using the soil sieve so soon but it does a great job

I only really built it because I wanted to, rather than having a need, but it is strange the way life works, as Hubby the Un-Gardener and I continued working on our fire area nook and we have been trying to get rid of the Kikuyu grass so we can create a beachy feel around the fire that in summer, we can dig our toes into sun or fire warmed sand.  In the winter we are so rugged up as the bits not directly exposed to the flames can get rather chilly and can dampen the experience.    But this work meant digging over the sand down to a certain level – about a spades depth to remove roots.  And in perfect timing my sieve was called into action to return the sand to the nook, minus any plant material.   It couldn’t have worked better.  I’m so pleased with my efforts.

Hedge trees
These trees will make a rather lovely hedge and will soften the nook.

We’ve also been tree shopping and bought some trees to create a hedge for the nook to make it feel cosy.  We have had to change out design a little as originally were only going to put them down one side of the nook, but once we placed the trees it looked a little out of balance.  This means going back to the nursery…  Self-control will be required!

However, the highlight of the weekend so far was my visit to Chelsea Flower Show.  I’ve always meant to go.  A few years back it was a new year’s resolution to go the following year, but then we decided to move a house and all plans of travel went out the window.   This whole global pandemic has been a dreadful situation.  But even in the face of such a horrendous time, there are glimmers to goodness that allow for moments of joy and happiness.  One of the events to be affected is the Chelsea Flower Show. While it is incredibly disappointing that the Flower Show has been cancelled, especially considering the amount of effort that goes into it many, many months before hand, it has become more accessible this year to keen gardeners like me in far flung places.

Virtual Chelsea Flower Show
It is a pleasure to be able to indulge in the Virtual Chelsea flower show. Although one day I’ll see the real thing.

The Royal Horticultural Society have created a virtual Chelsea Flower Show that can be viewed on You Tube.  There is something for everyone – tours of designer gardens, hints and tips from seasoned gardeners, Q&A sessions, and fabulous nursery folk extolling the virtues of their best plants and so much more.  There is even a message from the Queen.  As much as it is a lovely way to spend a chilly almost winter evening, it has made me all the more determined to get to the real one, one day.

Come again soon – hopefully, there will be a beach ball reveal sooner rather than later.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)


7 thoughts on “Making things in May

  1. I’ve been to Chelsea Flower Show once, but I actually like Hampton Court Flower Show better. Have been enjoying the Virtual experience this year, and no crowds to block your view! I need to make a sieve like yours for my compost! I have wood bits, just need some hardware cloth or netting.

    1. This is always such a conundrum – as we live so far away it isn’t economic to attend both – certainly not in the same year or even for several years. I think my leanings would be towards Hampton Court but there is something about Chelsea…. I might need to put them both on the bucket list. I really enjoyed watching all the online footage I could find – it was like having a one on one with a designer or expert. Fabulous way to spend a wet weekend. All the best with your sieve. Such a handy piece of kit. : o)

  2. Ooh I will look up the Chelsea Flower show. My mum (now in her late seventies) used to do flower arranging and won a gold at Chelsea a proud moment 😊She has been self isolating for months now…
    Now you have your vegetable garden established Sarah it looks like you are working on landscaping projects around your home? Isn’t it great to be able to get to the garden centres again we have been so lucky here in NZ compared to the UK 😥

    1. I really enjoyed my weekend of all things Chelsea. The weather turned to much needed rain so it was perfect.
      It has also been good to look beyond the veggie patch to other projects that will stretch and challenge me well into the future. I have missed being able to pop along to pick up what I want. Although I’m trying to pace myself so I don’t bankrupt myself getting supplies for all the ideas! : o)

  3. What is with the Chelsea Garden Show? Who is this ‘queen’, and what makes her an expert of horticulture? It can not be any more interesting than your own garden.

    1. Have you never heard of the Chelsea Flower Show in England? It is the most prestigious garden event – been going for over 100 years! I’ve always wanted to go but it was nice to be able to see the virtual coverage over the internet. Check it out. : o)

      1. Oh, I have heard of it. I just do not understand the allure, or the prestige. It is all for show. I think that it is interesting and educational, but is not something to be worshiped, any more than the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show. I exhibited there in 2009, and it was great, but that was about all. So many of the more famous ‘gardening’ celebrities are no more into horticulture than anyone else. They just happen to look good on camera. I am a professional career horticulturist, but do not happen to be presented so well. I know a lot more about horticulture than the Queen does.

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