A ring for Jonno

I recently made this ring for a friend.  He asked for a hammered silver ring with an orange stone, so I got this sunstone which is orange with speckles  of white.  Not a brilliant picture of it but here it is….

silver hammered sunstone ring
silver hammered sunstone ring

A Container Gardening Course at Offshoots

Last Wednesday I attended a short container gardening course at offshoots. We learned a little about the advantages of container gardening and what is required to achieve a flourishing container garden.

A container could be a pot, an old belfast sink or even a plastic grow bag.  There good for growing potatoes, Bonsai, herbs, fruit trees, lavender, shrubs and more.  One advantage of planting in containers is that it restricts the growth of a plants roots.   Restricting root growth can be useful for stopping invasive plants from spreading, also restricting the roots can restrict the growth of the plant, this can be useful when making miniatures, such as bonsai .  Another major advantage is that containers can be moved easily.  This is beneficial because plants can be moved into the shade in intense heat and can be relocated indoors in a frost.    Container plants can also be used for screening and containers also offer some protection against pests.  Containers can be easily placed on top of concrete  in urban areas.  Earlier in the year offshoots assisted groundwork with a display at Hampton court and Tatum Park to show how containers and raised beds can be used to reinvigorate urban areas, but I’ll talk about that in another post.

A disadvantage of planting in containers is that the restricted volume of soil can become dry making frequent watering necessary.  The problem then is that intensive watering can wash vital nutrients from the soil.  For this reason good quality compost is required for containers.  Compost must retain moisture but must be well aerated and well drained.  A good container compost should contain vermiculite, bark or coir fiber or some other moisture retainer – but not peat! this is permaculture gardening!  An organic fertilizer, rich in potassium and nitrogen can replenish lost nutrients.

After learning a bit about container planting we then went on to plant our own container.  First we planted minature tete-a-tete and canaliculatus daffodil bulbs and covered them with compost then we planted either carex bronzeta – a type of sedge, or Santolina chamaecyparissus as a center piece, and placed pansies, heather and ivy around the center piece.

container gardening

container gardening course

carex bronzeta
carex bronzeta

container planting

Heritage and Woodland day at Towneley Park

heritage & woodland