At the beginning of March we woke to a world of white. We were snowed in for four days. It was glorious.
It was mid March before we could get going on the garden. We went to work on the beds, the weeds, and anything else that needed to be uprooted. We sowed tender seeds in the propagator and the more hardy ones in the greenhouse. Not all of them made it but those that did are looking fab. Now the polytunnel is packed –tomatoes in a row, peppers and aubergines in big pots and lots of mange tout, red onions, and Cinnamon Basil ( these are supposed to be a good protection for the tomatoes). I failed a few years ago but I’m having another go at growing Florence fennel. Touch wood and whistle, they’re still young, but looking promising.
Three different types of beetroots went into one bed red, white, and striped pink. And, in for the long run, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and Stonehead cabbages. I’ve just spotted the multi-colour scheme. We have green and yellow French beans.. Mustn’t forget the broad beans, and the leeks. Our shallots are falling over. Something tells me they might be ready to harvest. Our ever so bushy fig tree has a grand total of seven figs on it. Lets hope they make it to the drooping ripe stage and we can enjoy them.
I think the hard winter followed by the wet spring and now the glorious summer could be good for the plants. And perhaps bad for the slugs. I don’t feel that we are besieged by them as we did last year. So far, anyway).
My climbing beans haven’t done much climbing. In fact of the eighteen seeds I sowed, only five have made a timid appearance. So, I have now stuck my cabbages in there, and surrounded them with a wall of peas.
I think we will be harvesting the first of my three types of potatoes next week. They have come into flower and the blossoms look amazing. I have never had much luck with carrots. I don’t know why. But this year they are looking great.
We tried sowing cumin and coriander seeds. After five weeks I have to conclude they ain’t coming. But wait, I did get one coriander to germinate. Blame the seeds.
The best word to describe my two comfrey plants is rampant. Though I’m Never quite sure how best to use them. So with the first lot I laid out whole stems of it between the potatoes and covered them with grass clippings, and dumped the rest in my composter.
The fruit cage is now paying its way. Gooseberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, strawberries, and even our first tayberries, they are all arriving at the same time.It’s supposed to be bird-proof but every few days we have to go in and coax a few frantic sparrows and great tits back out into the open world. I think I shall hang my strawberry plants in baskets as too many of them have been nibbled at. At the back of the house we have the grapevine trying to take out the Priest Closet.
Our gorgeous delphiniums came back for a third year. Their flowering stems grew taller than ever. Soon we will cut them back and hope for a second flowering later in the year. Sadly my Red Hot Pokers have yet to deliver a flower. There is a lovely white flower which neither of us can identify. It has popped up in a couple of places and we love it. If anybody can tell us what it is we would be grateful.
I bought three varieties of sweet pea at the smallholders show. One didn’t germinate at all but the other two are blossoming in white and red, and smelling lovely. We saw a great show of Dusty Millers at a garden in Hay and Wye last year. We fell in love with them, found some seed and planted them out over the last month. Now we watch and wait for the splashes of colour to arrive.
Then there is the not-quite finished patio outside the Priest Closet. This has been my gym for the last few weeks. Sadly, or luckily, I have run out of sand right now so I can take a few days break. There is still a lot to do. The area behind the polytunnel is a mess, as Muiread keeps reminding me. Next on the list – painting the shed.