Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Smaller Positions within the Portfolio ...

Not for the first time, I've been looking at some of the components that make up the very lowest weightings of my combined portfolio. 

I've mentioned the prospect of 'consolidation' in several quarterly reviews over the years.  However, apart from the absolute dog that is Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL.L, formerly DekelOil), and the well-documented freefall down the weightings by WPCT.L, I can't see any good reason to sell out of these other positions, however small they may now be in the grand scheme of things.

Based on the latest published September 2019 Review, there are eight holdings of less than 2% of the total portfolio valuation, including the two I've mentioned above.  These others were all bought some time ago, when the portfolio value was smaller and their relative weightings were therefore much higher.

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Building a Garden Composter ...

This year, as is fairly typical, we've bought in excess of 700 litres of multi-purpose compost for the garden, usually when there were 3-for-2 or other special offers on large bags at the DIY chains or garden centres.  Even on offer, the costs add up over the year for such a large quantity. 

If 700 litres seems a lot, then to put it into perspective I've just started off next year's garlic crop, with each seed clove in its own 2-litre pot until the spring, and there's 25 of them so there's 50 litres for a start ...

So we use the compost for starting off seeds, filling tubs & planters for flowers, shrubs & trees (generally mixed with topsoil and or / grit and pearlite) and for the tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers and aubergines etc which we grow in large pots in the greenhouses.  When the greenhouse crops are finished in the autumn, we empty the compost from these pots onto the beds and borders as a mulch and to improve the soil structure.  The bed at the front of the garden sits on particularly heavy clay, and so every year we try to add more organic material.

But every year, we also need to dispose of large quantities of green and brown garden waste in the form of grass cuttings, hedge clippings, prunings, deadheaded flowers, fallen leaves and other dead plant material from all the vegetables and annuals.   We already have a small, upright plastic compost bin which can contain a couple of hundred litres of material, but it's certainly not sufficient for a season's worth of waste.

So, we decided to build a new two-bay composter in front of the large shed.

After looking over the location and producing an outline drawing, the first job was to lift some of the paving stones in this area into which the composter could be placed.   These are 450 x 450 mm flags, and we removed eight of them and cut another four almost in half to create a sunken composter base area of around 1,800 x 1,100 mm.

paving slabs lifted ....

Friday, 1 November 2019

Garden Layout

This is an orientation plan showing the latest layout of our garden.   I originally drew this up shortly after we moved in here, and it's been updated every time we've added or relocated a garden building, or made significant changes to the landscaping. 

click on the image for an enlarged view ...

The combined footprint of the house and garden is around 650 square metres in total.