About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Cultivating plants: Roses

Considering the time of year, I was surprised to find I had a choice of plants to feature this week. With a bit of brighter weather, I did some moving around of plants - various plants. However, the roses in question have not been moved, but strung up.

There was a pyracantha growing against the wall in what I've now labelled Veg patch A. You can see it in the second photo of this post. It didn't contribute much to the garden, apart from providing a hiding place for bindweed roots. I decided to get rid of it, to increase potato-growing space, so earlier this week I did just that. The task was made slightly more difficult by the presence of roses growing through it. This wouldn't matter if I wanted to take them all out, but I like roses so I was cutting one thorny plant into small pieces while trying not to get scratched by another thorny plant that I had to avoid cutting.

Once I'd got rid of the pyracantha, I was left with great long rose stalks waving about trying to catch me if I went near them. Fixing them to the wall seemed like a good idea if I wanted to regain that growing space. I went out and bought some rings for screwing into the wall, then came home and had a good look at what I had, and realised I didn't need any fixings. I already had two sturdy posts, one holding up a handrail and another that must have been put in for the purpose of holding up plants. They're a bit further apart than I'd ideally want, but much easier than putting up new fixings. I simply tied a few strands of indestructible string between them and wound the roses round them.

The strings are most visible but I assure you, there are roses there too.

I'm not sure what variety these roses are, as I've never really noticed them in amongst the pyracantha. They might be wild dog roses - I'd be quite happy with that - or they might be something more cultivated. I'll have to wait and see.

Other gardening this week
Apart from the above-mentioned removal of the pyracantha, I have been mostly clearing leaves from paths this week. I've also done a bit of work on the terrace, moving soil and plants there. The trouble with freshly sifted soil is that it's very attractive to a cat. Not all the plants I put in are still there.

Also harvesting this week
Hairy bittercress

Also eating
Crab apple jelly, both plain and with rosemary
Rosehip vinegar
Fir cone vinegar
Xmas pudding
Crab apple and rosehip toffees
Honeysuckle ale (in stew)
Sloes pretending to be olives

Also drinking
Beech leaf wine
Oak leaf wine
Blackberry wine

Cultivated plants challenge summary page here.

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