The excitement…

.. of getting new bits of kit! After finding out that we actually had a bin full of usable compost a few weeks back, I ordered a new compost bin and while I was at it, a water butt. The water butt we acquired with the house is a re-used blue plastic barrel with no tap, and while it does a good job of collecting rainwater from the shed roof, it’s awkward and a bit of a faff dunking the watering can in from the top, and the water tends to harbour leaves and mosquitoes.

Both were delivered last Sunday, and today was our first chance to get them set up. The compost bin was easy – we have cleared a bit of space at the end of the garden, moved the old compost bin over a bit and put the new one where the old one was. It came with a base plate which should let worms in but keep small furries out – but as we have stopped putting anything like peelings in, that should be less of a problem. Our council collects food waste, so even the raw veg bits and teabags don’t go in the compost any more.

The water butt was a bit more complicated to set up but turned out to be less hassle than we first thought. It’s a fairly small one – 100 litres – but I’m hoping that by getting it up and running now, we’ll get the benefit next year. Assuming we have a wet winter, anyway. It came with a stand and all the bits to connect to the downpipe, and the most nerve-wracking part of the enterprise was cutting a chunk of downpipe away to attach the connector. Let’s face it, that’s only going to end one way – success, or the walk of shame to the DIY shop to get a new piece of downpipe.

Once we’d got it all set up, we didn’t feel much like doing anything else in the garden so instead we went to the garden centre in search of a few things. I had started weeding and tidying at the front this morning and was finding more bare patches than expected, and we discovered as well that one of the pairs of secateurs was broken, so we had all the excuse we needed. Came back with two pairs of secateurs, a big bag of mealworms and some suet cakes for the bird feeder, some pansies, violets, hebes and hardy rudbeckias that were on offer, and a reduced callistemon because it needed a home and I’ve never had one. Now I just need to work out where to put it.

There will be more gardening tomorrow so probably some photos then. Some things have suffered this year, it’s been a year of slugs and snails despite our earlier success with nematodes, but I will try them again next year and keep up the dosage better than I did this year.

And handily, it has just rained. So let’s hope the new water butt is filling up nicely.

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