Fife Neophyte

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Endie
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Fife Neophyte

Post: # 177354Post Endie
Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:26 pm

I've found a lot of the advice on here really helpful, but it's about time I was able to ask questions, so enough lurking!

I bought a house in Fife towards the tail-end of last year, renovated it and moved in in April. During the renovations I was able to take some time out to try and rescue some of the garden. The house is set in almost an acre of walled garden, with 12-foot-high walls, on a south-facing hillside and with the ground having been worked for decades. No excuses there! However, the old feller who'd owned it before had been finding it a bit much for a few years, and I just had to cover half my chosen vegetable plot with carpets and liners and concentrate on getting the other half going for this year. I've lifted dozens of metres of tree-roots and am thinking seriously about taking down the sycamores (and I'll certainly take down the dreaded Leylandii!) and replacing them with a natural hedge of rowan and hawthorn.

I've tried to attach a pic from a couple of months ago on the half I got going on, so about five or six months in. Just behind me I even have a little stream running through the middle of the vegetable plot, which is nice on a summer's day.

I'm a complete newbie, but it's good rugby training so at least I've put the work in. It was covered in thistles, nettles and (worst of all) creeping buttercup, which I have grown to hate as it extends across the whole garden and seems to grow at a foot a week or so. So I've been hoeing several times a week for months and it's still not completely died down! Still, I've been eating my own tatties since the first earlies (best I've ever tasted!), and shouldn't run out for a while yet (four sacks in all). The onions were great, the beetroots wonderful (especially the white ones), and you may all be used to being able to eat raw sweetcorn off the cob but for me it was a revelation! I'm definitely planting a lot more next year. The strawberries and rasps were a bit sparse, even before the birds took their bit (not to self: finish building fruit cage!) and nothing much at all off the rest, but the place has fifteen or sixteen fruit trees, to which I've added more pears and an almond on the south-facing wall, so I've got about 40 gallons of various wines and ciders going :shock:

The big failure was the cauliflowers, which have been devastated by birds and pests despite attempts with cloches and netting. And it's frustrating having all that asparagus, horseradish etc that I can't harvest this year!

Anyway, now that the harvest is pretty much done on all but the brassicas, salsify, swedes and the like, my Dad and i are working on getting an old rotivator going that we found in a shed: stripped it down and rebuilt it, and it just needs a new throttle cable now before we try to start it up. Once that's going I'll open up the second half that's been under cover for a year.

Plans for next year: more of all the stuff I tried out, especially tomatoes. I kept tasting stuff, being amazed and realising I needed to plant four times as much!
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Last edited by Endie on Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Milims
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Re: Fife Neophyte

Post: # 177356Post Milims
Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:29 pm

Hi there and welcome :wave:
Let us be lovely
And let us be kind
Let us be silly and free
It won't make us famous
It won't make us rich
But damn it how happy we'll be!
Edward Monkton


Member of the Ish Weight Loss Club since 10/1/11 Started at 12st 8 and have lost 8lb so far!

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Re: Fife Neophyte

Post: # 177359Post Martina
Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:31 pm

Sounds like you've been up to a lot Endie. Your place, despite it's challenges, sounds really lovely. Hopefully, you will be able to post pictures soon.

Martina
You can see my photos at------
http://www.flickr.com/photos/40007483@N05/

Endie
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Re: Fife Neophyte

Post: # 177360Post Endie
Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:32 pm

Martina wrote:Sounds like you've been up to a lot Endie. Your place, despite it's challenges, sounds really lovely. Hopefully, you will be able to post pictures soon.

Martina
Yeah I fixed the picture: needed shrunk a bit to be uploaded.

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Re: Fife Neophyte

Post: # 177365Post Millymollymandy
Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:54 pm

Hi and welcome - you have been a busy bee! I would LOVE a walled garden, you lucky thing!
boboff wrote:Oh and just for MMM, :hugish: (thanks)
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Re: Fife Neophyte

Post: # 177375Post red
Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:02 pm

welcome :flower:
Red

I like like minded people... a bit like minded anyway.. well people with bits of their minds that are like the bits of my mind that I like...

my website: colour it green

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Re: Fife Neophyte

Post: # 177537Post MuddyWitch
Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:17 pm

Welcome to ISH :flower:

Your soil looks good & you've got walls!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Look forward to more updates.

MW
If it isn't a Greyhound, it's just a dog!

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Re: Fife Neophyte

Post: # 177598Post Mullein
Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:40 pm

Hi Endie,

lucky you!! - walled garden - drool...

one tiny point - before you decide to take out the sycamores...

It may be that your property was an Inn, historically. The number of trees outside an Inn was an indication of the types of services provided...

ale
food
bed
women
etc...

it is my understanding that Sycamores were the trees used.

I could be completely wrong but please do check out the historic significance of your property before you make any drastic changes. Even if you decide to take them out - record that they were there...

becks77
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Re: Fife Neophyte

Post: # 177635Post becks77
Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:14 am

Hello :wave:
Your place looks fab.
Becks
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Re: Fife Neophyte

Post: # 177666Post Green Aura
Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:50 am

Hi and welcome. :wave:

Your garden looks good and I am envious of your walls too (wall envy :mrgreen: ) and it sounds like you've had a busy time of it.
It may be that your property was an Inn, historically. The number of trees outside an Inn was an indication of the types of services provided...

ale
food
bed
women
etc...

it is my understanding that Sycamores were the trees used.
That's very interesting - the only problem is that Sycamore's proliferate like mad. I'm not sure there'd be any way of telling how many were originally planted and how many are offspring. But I think it's worth checking out anyway, purely for interest.

I'm sure your neighbours will be glad to see them gone - we were forever digging out sycamore saplings in spring, from just one tree in a neighbour's garden!
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

Endie
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Re: Fife Neophyte

Post: # 177733Post Endie
Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:58 pm

Mullein wrote:Hi Endie,
lucky you!! - walled garden - drool...
one tiny point - before you decide to take out the sycamores...

It may be that your property was an Inn, historically. The number of trees outside an Inn was an indication of the types of services provided...

ale
food
bed
women
etc...
Heh... Presumably that would see all inns increasing their range of services expanding rapidly, given the behaviour of sycamores!

In any case, what I've got definitely wasn't an inn: it's the gardener's cottage from the big house a hundred and fifty yards away, and the nearest main roads are each half a mile away. So I shall feel perfectly happy taking out the tree that you can see merrily overshadowing the plot at the right of the picture, and threatening the huge out-building you can see (used for poultry, so imagine the rich soil on the forty square metres of earth floor inside!) that I'm working out what to do with. All suggestions welcome!

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Re: Fife Neophyte

Post: # 177880Post pumpy
Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:55 pm

Hi Endie, whereaboot in Fife are you? I used to live in Buckhaven. As regards the sycamore tree, if you'll take my advice, then get rid of the ruddy thing or you'll be forever clearing leaves in autumn & seedlings in spring (which you don't really want on your veggie patch!). Good luck.
it's either one or the other, or neither of the two.

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Re: Fife Neophyte

Post: # 177883Post fruitcake
Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:11 pm

Welcome - your place sounds totally fab! I agree with the others re the sycamore - off with its head! - sycamore are non native and a bit of a pest - i have warmed to them slightly however after a friend informed me that they are good for the bees.
pumpy wrote:Hi Endie, whereaboot in Fife are you? I used to live in Buckhaven.
and I was brought/dragged up in Cupar
:thumbright:

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Re: Fife Neophyte

Post: # 177885Post spitfire
Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:16 pm

hello from california :sunny: and welcome :wave: your veggie garden looks lovely :thumbright: wish mine looked as good :mrgreen:
WHEN MY IRISH EYES ARE SMILING I'M USUALLY UP TO SOMETHING!!!
NEVER REGRET THAT WHICH ONCE MADE YOU SMILE.

Endie
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Re: Fife Neophyte

Post: # 177976Post Endie
Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:37 pm

pumpy wrote:Hi Endie, whereaboot in Fife are you? I used to live in Buckhaven. As regards the sycamore tree, if you'll take my advice, then get rid of the ruddy thing or you'll be forever clearing leaves in autumn & seedlings in spring (which you don't really want on your veggie patch!). Good luck.
Hey there, I'm just four or five miles east of Buckhaven: just along the coast between Upper Largo and Kilconquhar.

And I'd not thought of the seedlings when I looked at the leaves and thought "well, at least it's a mulch"! Despite having to lift about ten saplings when I cleared the ground.

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