The broad beans have started to germinate. It's amazing that these plants can grow in the cold and low light levels. As with last year, I'm giving them help by starting them off in the greenhouse where they get some protection, but I have successfully germinated broad beans directly in the soil outside. Tough plants.
I have been top dressing the front lawn which is a side project of mine. I'm trying to make it into the perfect lawn and spend some time (too much?) in looking after it. Last year I added lawn dressing which I bought from a garden centre. It's a fairly large lawn so the dressing cost around £20. This time I've gone for the cheaper option and have made my own dressing from cheap multi-purpose compost (4 x 75 litres for £10 from Wickes) that I mixed with equal amounts of sharp sand. I just spread it over the lawn and brush it in. I'll have some spare compost left over and I'll be using that for next spring's seed sowing. I got the idea of lawn dressing from Recycle now that suggested using your home made compost as a lawn dressing. The trouble with that is home made compost is full of weed seeds and I'm trying to grow grass not weeds. I'm very good at growing weeds anyway.
Talking of recycling, I was disappointed to read here that the UK does not have the capacity to recycle all its own paper and that some of it gets shipped abroad to the Far East where it can be processed. So there was I thinking I was saving the planet but no, the paper gets shipped half way round the world. How much carbon dioxide does that generate? It's all about money after all.
Another rant I have is about the government's initiative to provide 50% discounts for loft insulation. I reckon I can do this myself for a lot cheaper. I do have some existing insulation but it needs to be thicker. Then I learn that the government is still claiming the VAT, albeit at 5%, which seems rather cynical to me. There is a petition that I have signed (and you can too) to request that the VAT be waivered for loft insulation materials. If the prime minister wants to make tax cuts then this one would be helpful don't you think?
Great gardens, great cake
5 hours ago