tger greenhaddock: April 2005

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Hedging my bets

The weather forcast today was for a hot muggy day, and for once they got it right. Tomorrow is forcast to be even hotter.

It was an early start to a Saturday, for a trip to the Caldern Garden Centre with our neighbours (Martin & Sabine) to select the bushes required for our informal hedge.

The staff at the Garden centre were very helpful and informative. We left a while later, with a lot of plants and considerably lighter wallets.

We planted the bushes in the afternoon in a staggered pattern. The result of which can be seen here. Naturally a team photo was required.

The bushes planted were, Buddleia davidii, Kerria Japonica 'Pleniflora', Forsythia, Philadelphus coronarius & Prunus laur. Herbergii.

On a sad note............Bayern Munich won the Bundesliga championship today...............I will have to wear a black armband for a few days.

Being totally knackered, the rest of the day was spent relaxing with ice cold Veltins Beer.

Friday, April 29, 2005

A length too far

The whole family went to the Aquamar swimming pool today as it was a wet, miserable, rainy day – no chance to get into the garden.

It was also the first round of the Haddock Family Swimming challenge, to see who can swim the furthest. I bottled out at 30 lengths, so Mrs Haddock and Haddock Juniorette make it to the final. It’s humiliating to be beaten by a 6 year old.

For me 30 lengths (30 x 25m = 750m) is perhaps a bit much for one no longer at the peak of physical condition. On returning home I had to lie down on the sofa for a little while. I awoke 3 hours later.

Thursday, April 28, 2005


Today was a pleasant spring day, so Mrs Haddock & I removed some more turf from the flower/veggie bed, and then made a quick trip to OBI (DIY and Garden Centre). There we bought some Marigolds (yellow), Paprika (Bell Pepper) & Cucumber plants. We then raced home and planted the lot.

Yesterday with a neighbour, we went to the local sawmill and bought a lot of wood (off cuts) for the Kamin. We store it in the wood room of the cellar (Der Bunker), and should help to keep us nice and toasty this winter.

The House Martins finally arrived albeit 3 weeks later than last year. Thats Phenology for you

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Exploding Frogs

Last night Mrs. Haddock had a nice evening attending a Nigel Kennedy concert at the Marburg Stadthalle, whilst I settled down to a relaxing evening with a fridge full of Veltins. I was alarmed by a TV news report of exploding frogs near Hamburg. Imagine my disappointment when I realised that they were on about amphibians and not of our near European neighbours!

Recently I read on the Horticultural Blog about some demon beasties that have it in for your Goose-Gogs. I checked my Gooseberry bush which is growing in a pot on the patio and so far, all appears beastie free.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

It's Friday for me

Last day of work and then 4 days off…..and back into the garden if the weather allows. Think I may buy a couple of Katze Verpiss Dich plants (literally translated – Cats Piss Off!) and plant them in the flower/veggie bed. Mickey our slightly of the wall Tomcat likes to eat young plants (He’s just had the top of one of the Gladiola), and perhaps these plants will deter him…….and if not……Well, I just like the name of the plants!

As I don’t have to get up at crack of sparrows in the morning (and yes, the dawn chorus was really nice this morning, if not a touch loud), I hope Mrs Haddock will have stocked the fridge with my favourite beer at the moment. Cheers!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Rain again

It rained heavily overnight but thoughtfully stopped before I had to go to work. The good news is that the rain water tank is full again. I read on over the weekend that when you zap your water with either UV or a type of ozone, then it kills all bacteria to make it fit for human consumption. Personally I would have thought that rain water from the roof would have been cleaner than the stuff out of the tap. Incidently Germans don’t seem to drink tap water, only bottled water. I used to drink tap water myself, but I now just drink bottled water as well. Why I don’t know…..probably just herd mentality ……Moo!

Also found a web site for a UK firm that sells Rain water systems. It seems to be quaintly referred to as Rain Harvesting.

On a more possitive note, after much research, over many years, I can now officially announce that German Beer is safe to drink. Needless to say further testing and evaluation is being carried out.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

It's Sun Day

We live in a new housing area (I hate the word estate) consisting of about 80 houses, of which at least 50% have some type of Solar Panel array fitted to south facing roofs. Even the local church and supermarket are Solar powered.

Unfortunately our roof is Solar-less. The costs of building the house started to escalate (bloody builders!) and we had to make some cutbacks, so Solar got the chop.

In retrospect it would have been wise to have the wiring & plumbing put in place for the Solar Electricity & Solar Water Heating and made cutbacks else where, as the panels can always be added later. But to put the wiring & plumbing in at a later date, will be difficult and a lot more costly.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

My Trees – Part 2 – The Sticks

Had to scrape the frost of the windscreen this morning for the journey to the train station. There was a lovely full moon, and clear sky. Another sunny day in the making.

Managed to nearly fill up the compost bin yesterday with all the grass cuttings, but I followed the advice from the compost page at, and interleaved it with scrunched up newspaper. Haven’t decided yet whether to add the urine as recommended……….but it is organic!

Here are the pictures of my sticks that are trying there very best to look like trees. The Full Moon Maple looks the best, but the Plum, Apple and Mirabelle look a bit on the twiggy side. But I am sure they will improve with time.

Friday, April 22, 2005


It was frosty start to the day, but it turned into a lovely sunny, cloudless day……..just the sort of day for cutting the grass…..oh what fun.

Later we removed some more turf from our experimental flower/veggie bed, and planted the Tomatoes (cherry type), Strawberries (Ostara), Mint & Hydrangea that we bought the other day.

I am now totally knackered from being in the sun all day, and to make matters worse I have to be up at 4am to go to work. I think a need a beer.

I almost forgot!.......This afternoon a Crow crapped on my head, from a very great height - It wasn't pretty.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Last night was the Kindergarten Parent Stammtisch at the local Hotel. This involves discussing Kindergarten topics and drinking beer. It was all German to me, so I made hay with the latter. Hence the jobs that were assigned to be done in the garden today were not even attempted.

Instead we went shopping in a horticultural sort of way. I purchased a Compost Box, and Mrs Haddock purchased a Seed Propagator, some herb seeds, and 2 plants that scare off mosquito’s (as recommended by Bärbel my sister-in-law).

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Noah & Nellie

It has just rained continuosly for 24hrs in Marburg. This is rare as it normally only rains for a few hours at a time. But this was like English rain! – non stop!

This was good news for the garden and also for my underground rainwater tank. It’s now full, which means we have 4500L for flushing toilets, washing clothes, and watering the Garden. The rainwater system is automated and switches to drinking water in drought conditions (Which means we can still flush the toilets!)

Had to take the Octavia (Yes….it’s a Skoda) to the Garage in Wetzler to have the brakes serviced, so we went to our favourite Garden Centre, and came away some Cherry Tomatoe plants, Paprika (Bell Pepper) plants, Thyme plants, Peppermint plants, and a Hydrangea (to remind me of my home town back in dear old blighty)

All we need to do now is wait for the garden to dry out a bit and go and plant the stuff. Mrs Haddock bought a couple of books on Herbs and composting (In German). Think I’ll wait for the translated summary.

My Trees

Under the conditions we bought the land to build our house, we have to plant 4 trees on our property. this we have done this spring.

First to be planted was the Mirabelle (Cherry Plum) followed by the Jonagold Apple tree.

Last week the Victoria Plum tree and the Gold Full Moon Maple were also planted.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Welcome to my Blog

Welcome to the Blog site of Green Haddock. This is my first blog so I will be experimenting with format , content etc. But essentially it will be a Blog about life as an Englishman in Germany, focussing on gardening, our house and German village life.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Veggies grown 2005

Below is a summary of the vegetables and fruits grown in the Haddock Garden during 2005

Strawberry - Ostara Fruiting season is long, but fruits lack taste.

Tomatoe - Cherry These tomatoes were very sucessful

Bell Pepper - Yellow Suprisingly good

Chilli - Very hot. A major success

Cucumber - Currently dying! DEAD Complete failure!

Peas - Wunder von Kelvedon Tasty easy to grow peas

Lettuce - Iceberg Good taste

Gooseberry - Mucurines Can be quite sour if picked a bit early

Blackcurrant - Titania Not as sweet as expected

Raspberry - Glen Ample A failure. A crop of 3 raspberries.

Blueberry - Bluecrop Quite large tasty fruits

Aubergine - Madonna F1 Very sucessful.

Zucchini - Yellow A lot tastier than the green variety

Cabbage - Lennox Planted too late in the season

Birds seen in the Garden