Bosch Garden Makeover competition

Rotak 34I am sooo excited, I have been chosen out of throngs of green fingered bloggers to take part in the Bosch Lawn & Garden’s Summer Makeover Competition.

What does this mean? Well a hell of a lot of hard work in all honesty BUT Bosch asked me to choose something from their Garden Tools range up to £100 to assist me in this makeover and I’m going for one article only, the Rotak 34 seen here to the right, isn’t she a beauty? She’s ever so incy wincely above their limit but check this out ‘the new ‘Ergoflex system’ enables better steering and a better body position’ so I figured watching The Man Of The House going up and down would be a much prettier sight if his posture was correct, right?

Why did I choose this? Well our current lawnmower doesn’t collect the cut grass so the girls drag it in gradually and leave it all over the house which is really annoying. So even if I don’t win the competition (which I will) at least my floors will be cleaner from now on.

Next up are these guys Green Thumb who have a really fun site (leave the animation on as it’s so funny!) but more interestingly can help getting our lawn looking well like an English lawn and not like a mass of weeds and moss that it is currently. I clicked for info and have discovered a whole new vocabulary; scarification, sub surface thatch and soil compaction! These guys offer treatments and services. In fact it is on my To Do list to call them up and see what our best option is. In fact I had a quick peek at the list of garden weeds and am happy to announce we have them all! So it will be interesting to see how their treatments react on our patch.

Last up is Best 4 Plants an online company who offer everything to make your garden beautiful. Not only that, what caught my eye was their Making Great Gardens Affordable page as let’s face it we haven’t got a ton of money to pile into our garden so any advice, tips and inside knowledge on how to get ‘the look’ will be truly valuable. I shall be looking to them for all the help I can get to achieve the look I have in my mind. I’d love a Japanese Acer plant but will it work? We’ll let them be the judge.

Mari’s World is up against another ten bloggers in this competition and the prize is a day with leading garden expert Helen Yemm who writes for the Daily Telegraph plus two tickets to the RHS Chelsea Flower show which has been on my Want list for a long long time. 

And just in case you’re not familiar with Pinterest yet, there’s a ‘ Gardening board‘ I’ve been putting together this past week in the hope of being selected and to have a couple of ideas to put forward. The pretty photos above are taken from that board. What do you think? Achievable?

The not so Secret Garden

Garden shot form the top

A garden in need of TLC

It is time for a gardening update as the last you saw it was looking very good, partly because I chose not to photograph the bad bits and just focus on the pretty bits but now it’s time to fess up!

Although the size is excellent for playing it does mean it’s quite a handful to look after and three weeks away certainly allowed ample time for the weeds to take root and overtake my pretty flower patches. It took me three days to dig them all up and with the heavy rainfall we’ve been having they are coming back with a vengeance. I have a whole herd of snails all over the place, who knew they could travel so fast? They’ve attacked my courgettes leaving me to cut them really small so at least I can say I have eaten some of my own produce and my tomatoes…well no one told me you had to pinch them whilst they grew and so mine are looking quite stragley to say the least. However there are some beautiful tomatoes growing and all I need now is some sunshine to ripen them up. I followed Peter Seabrook’s advice and cut back some foliage to allow the rays to reach the fruit and it has poured down ever since.

Garden jobs that need doing

Each photo represents a job to be done

So, here’s the big news…I have been contacted by a PR company who have thrown Mari’s World a new challenge, a battle of mummy gardeners up and down the country. Now I can’t go into it too much right now as we are all still waiting for the final details to come through BUT I do know I have two months to turn my patch around and I DO know I need help in order to win – in it to win it and all that!

Are you a landscape gardener who can help me plan my garden and how to grow it over the next few years? Are you a professional veggie plotter who can advise how to place and grow my veg which I seem to have failed at this year? Please contact me with some useful tips and ideas.

playdough in the gardenI’d love to turn my garden into ‘rooms’ one for the girls toys, one for veg and fruit trees and one for sunbathing (Becaue the sun WILL shine again!) and relaxing or course the patio will remain the patio but could do with a facelift too.

While we’re on the subject of gardening have a look at my grow bag frame that was sent backl a while ago, I think you will agree it is doing very well. Here are my mistakes,

  1. I put four tomatoes in the bag as I had so many of them and they are too many, three is definitely better
  2. I have been slack on watering them (hence the yellow leaves, I have noticed though a good drowning can turn the leaves around ::
  3. I should have ‘pinched’ them as they grew and that would ahve made them sturdier plants with larger fruit

So next year I’ll have a better go at them, in the meantime send me sunshine to ripen my tommys up please :)

Climbing Frames for kids

On completion of assembling our climbing frame we were left with all these screws, washers, lockers and bolts…did I forget something? Yikes!

Climbing frame leftover screws

With the girls turning three we decided to buy a climbing frame for them for their birthday rather than lots of little toys to add to the mess they already are very capable of making. As they are large items and therefore expensive we asked family to chip in rather than buy separate presents and it worked well, they weren’t inundated with too many toys but had a select few beauties to open and then a big present from everyone.

I started to look around the usual retailers but was dismayed to see nothing under £500 which we really couldn’t stretch to so when I peeked on Climbing Frames one day and saw the Andorra discounted by almost 50% I jumped at the bargain of £279.00. It had two swings (need two for twins) a slide, area for sand pit and a den to climb up into. Perfect.

I ordered it, putting it on my credit card (gaining at least a month before settling the bill) and waited to hear about delivery options.

I was sent an email explaining one man delivery was no extra cost, two man delivery would be an extra £30. My logical thinking was – if it was flat packed I would be able to assist the delivery and therefore with fingers crossed I went for one man delivery. I was told I’d receive a phone call between 7 – 9am giving me an estimated time of delivery. I didn’t.

In fact I was in all day and even then the guy left the packages with my neighbour (weird?)

climbing frame assemblyAnyway, come the weekend it was time to start the assembly. One long, big box and one slide had been delivered. On opening the cardboard box it was full of wooden pieces and more packets of screws than you could shake a stick at and of course the very important instruction book, yes a book of how to put it all together.

Paul and I spent 7 hours on Saturday, to start off with there were a few swear words, a bit of arguing but once we found a happy medium we fell into place, me reading the instructions and getting all the bits ready and him using his tools to screw, twist, turn and squeeze everything into place. Was it completed Saturday evening? No.

constructing a climbing frameSunday saw us up bright and early again and back in the garden, thank goodness for a rain free weekend and another 4-5 hours were spent finishing off our climbing frame, the girls didn’t even wait for it to be finished before they started to climb the ‘rock’ wall and using the slide and since it’s been up the trampoline hasn’t got a look in. Although I really don’t think it is facing retirement just yet :)

Would I advise you to get one? Yes. If your garden has the space it is an excellent piece of equipment which I foresee them using for many years yet. On days where the weather is variable and going to the park cannot be done, this will make life so much easier.

I think it’s very important to a child’s overall health some good old fresh air  every day and with that movement, it works up an appetite, colours up those little cheeks and allows them to run off any unconsumed energy that could latter be used indoors and creating havoc.

My advice is to hunt around for a bargain, like I did and get family to chip in as alternatives to birthday presents.

climbing frame picnic

This is not a sponsored post just one happy customer!

My Backyard

The Gallery prompt this week is my backyard and as I’m off on my hols tomorrow I literally took a shot first thing this morning of just that – my back yard as I see it in the morning. Like all other areas of the house this needs more work too but a garden is a work in progress, we moved in and it was overgrown to the left which we have cut right back and there was nothing down the right side which I have been working on slowly this year. I’m curious to see how it will develop year by year. From this to country garden? That sounds like hard work for sure but watch this space.

If I don’t get back to commenting this week it’s because I’m not here so I apologise in advance. Have a great time all and see you at Cybermummy!

Vegetable Plot