JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Started on the second vegetable bed.

This week I started on a second vegetable bed. That way, I can start preparing for autumn and winter crops.

Monday 11 July

We are now in the midst of the summer, and we got a vacation from working on the house. We don't have a vacation from our jobs, though, so we are not entirely free.

In the morning, a wild duck mom came walking with four ducklings. They tried our pond, then strolled around on our property for a while. I think they had a rest under the sea container, although I don't think this is the place for their nest. Where they came from is a little mystery to me. We have neighbors with larger ponds; perhaps they have a next there. I do think ducks feed on slugs; that is good.

In the afternoon, DW went on a three-day journey to Paris for her work. It became emptier in the house. Mondays are work-from-home days, but since DW went to the station in the afternoon, I brought her to the train station. Then I could go to work from there since it is close to the train station.

I made a pasta salad with salad from our salad bed for the evening meal. It is lovely to harvest our own salad.

Being alone with DS in the house without DW got me thinking. How would that be? It was not a pleasant thought. This time it was just for three days so we will cope.

Tuesday 12 July

This day I worked from the office the whole day. I brought with me the rest of the salad to have for lunch.

This evening I had decided that we would eat salad again, but the central part of the meal would be a Pizza that we still had in the freezer. When I finished the salad, I discovered that DS had already eaten the pizza as lunch. I solved this problem by going and buying a replacement pizza. DS had pizza two times the same day, and I did not care.

Wednesday 13 July

In the morning, when I ate breakfast, I was accompanied by a house sparrow. He sat in our garden on a bench for at least twenty minutes. When I drove to work, he was still sitting there.

I worked half a day today. I could spend the other half as I desired, and I went with the small trailer to the recycling center. We filled the trailer over a week ago with thistles. It was completely full when I closed the lid. When I opened the lid at the recycling center, the trailer's contents had transformed. The content had shrunk to half the trailer, and a couple of inch thick fluffy layer of thistle seeds had formed. When I opened the hatch, the seeds started spreading! It looked fabulous.

The rest of the afternoon, I worked on plant projects. I took a detour to a garden center. There I bought seeds for Radish, Chervil, and Dill to sow in the empty spaces of the salad bed.

The summer is not over just yet, and there is room for more stuff so let us try this. First, I brought more soil to the bed because it had shrunk considerably. I used a mix of the shop's garden soil and compost we bought on 19 November 2020. Then I prepared lines for the seeds; this time, I made the lines 10 centimeters apart. I put Dill at one end of line 10. I gave up on using line 13 because the bed has shrunk so much that my vertical bar has become visible. At first, it was covered in soil, but that is not the case anymore. I sowed Radish on 13.5, 14, 14.5, and 15. The lines became shorter towards the end because some carrots were still growing there. From 15.5, I made 4 short lines with Chervil.

I understand that for most readers, it is redundant information on what line I sowed what, but it is handy for me. I will return to this information and contemplate how I did things in the garden.

I noticed that the house sparrow had left a message on the garden bench. Poor guy, he sat there because he had constipation. I do understand it takes time to process that; it is enormous! House sparrows also eat slugs. That is great!

We got a message from the municipality that the sewer system will need to be redesigned. This is not only for us but for all our neighbors in the whole region. It is a large operation. For now, we have what we got, and it works well. It will be okay in the end; go with the flow.

Thursday 14 July

This was a work-from-home day.

Friday 15 July

Today the ventilation specialist was supposed to come. He has got sick, so he will come next week instead. Having proper ventilation will be good; I look forward to that. Now it is not bad, but sometimes, when smells hang around for longer, I wish we had the ventilation.

It was a busy work day. I continued working until 7 in the evening. Luckily I could finish the task, so that was an excellent way of starting the weekend. After work, I made a salad, and we ate it with pizza. It was the second time I had pizza this week.

Saturday 16 July

We had a tremendously slow morning with tea in bed. DW had prepared a new soap I could use for the morning shower. She knitted a bag for the soap with wool yarn and decorated it with a pattern. I think this soap was beautiful! Long ago, she had her own blog about her creations. She stopped blogging, which is a pity because she is doing beautiful things. Perhaps it will come back when we are more settled in the new house.

The first task for today was to move the sheep to a new area. While working on this, I discovered a cinnabar moth. It will develop into a red butterfly. It is a spectacular photo with the blue sky, the bright yellow Saint Johns Wort, and the caterpillar.

This summer will not last forever; there will come an end to it. I have been thinking about what plants can continue to grow into the autumn and early winter. I got two salad types that are capable of growing into the autumn. They are ending, but I believe we can sow another round of them and enjoy more of them this year. You can see that the pumpkin we received on 18 May is doing fine!

Now that I understand how to grow salads, I feel it would be nice to have another sowing bed. I consider making one next to the salad bed I had already made. First, I figured out what material I needed for the project. We still got a stack of the house exterior that had too many issues to be used for the house. Those planks are fantastic for this purpose.

I made the bucket a little different this time. I made the stabilization upright in the previous sowing bed, but that is not handy when the material is getting more compact. In this bed, the stabilization planks are horizontal and at the bottom of the bed. That way, they will not be in the way when the content is shrinking.

Then I moved the construction to the place next to the existing bed so there could be a path between the two beds. Then I gathered compost from our compost heap. I had to dig down to start finding material that had been slightly composted. I filled the bucket with this, then went to the end of the driveway and collected material that the sheep had left while eating hay during the winter.

I could not finish the bed this evening. That was annoying because it will take time before I can work on it again. Perhaps next week on Wednesday is the next opportunity. Hot days are predicted for next week, so I am unsure how I will feel about working in the garden.

Sunday 17 July

In the morning, DW laid out onions to dry on the scaffold. The onions are her project this season. The idea is that the onions should dry, and the stem is supposed to fall over, but it is not happening. The onions just get bigger and bigger. Now she harvested some of the onions so there would be room for other crops.

Today we had neighbors for a visit. That was nice. They have a similar size property, and they are also self-builders. We got to show the progress of the house IRL.

After this visit, we went to DWs parents and helped in the garden. Her mother had a beautiful red Crocosmia. It looked fabulous against a dark background. In some places in the US, it is considered invasive, but I am not sure how bad it is in Europe.

She also had a Madonna lily. It was over one meter tall with large flowers all around.

DWs mother gave me all her painting equipment. Now I got acrylic paint things for full time painting the rest of my life. There was so much paint. It was good quality paint so I will use it when I paint. I really feel like I would like to paint in august when we are celebrating a real holiday. More about that later.

I had hoped we could go to a garden center on the way home from DWs parents, but we were too late. It had been nice to buy the seeds for the autumn and winter project.

When we came home I noticed that the bell pepper is doing fine. Flowers are coming. It would be nice if there was some fruit, even if it was just small things. I worked a little on weeding the reed plants along the road. It is not a fun project.

Here ends this week's blog. Since the ventilation specialist got sick, the ventilation is not finished. It does not matter much because the house is ready and we can always open a window during the summer if we need fresh air.

I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.

Here on this site I let you see my creations.

I create, that is my hobby.