Sunday, 21 April 2013

Springing into action

Well folks that's what happens when the sun appears - suddenly it's all go in the garden and lotty and I forget to write about it!

The last couple of weeks have seen us planting out spuds, broad beans and strawberries up the lotty.

T'other half took this photo once the spuds went in :)

Pruning gooseberries - a bit late but well they have two choices and they're spiky little devils! Clearing and preparing beds for beans, roots and brassicas.

A bit Heath Robinson but this should support the broadies as they grow
We've been potting on tomatoes, lettuces, brussels and overwintered herbs plus sowing basil, rocket, courgettes, peas, winter squash and pumpkins. We've taken stock of the winter losses - several thymes in the garden and at least one of the lotty rosemaries have succumbed to the prolonged wet and cold so I'll be hunting down replacements and looking for ways to protect them next year.

And yesterday I watched as the blue tits twitted in and out of the bird box, a peacock butterfly warmed its wings and a bumblebee buzzed around the hellebores and the first cowslips. MMM Sunshine :)

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Mea Culpa

I'm sorry - the fact that it's 4th April and we've got snowy hail in the Midlands, again, is all my fault. This week I'm on gardening leave - and no I didn't do anything dreadful at work - I thought I'd extend the Easter holiday and knock the lotty in to shape. After all, its April isn't it? You know mid-Spring, that wonderful month of yellow daffodils and fluffy white lambs and yes okay I'll accept showers, but of the lightly warm, gently watering the land sort not of the sharp, biting, cruel icy variety.  They belong to February or at a push early March.

So after a lovely long weekend catching up with family my plans for today have been adjusted slightly. March was a lot darker and colder than expected which means that despite a heated propagator most of our poor little tomato seedlings have keeled over and given up the ghost. Cue a morning of pot shuffling and re-sowing - Salt Spring Sunrise, Roma, Garden Pearl and Moneymaker popped in fresh pots with fresh compost and a lot of hope.

Whilst I had the compost - Vital Earth peat free of course - and pots to hand I also made a start on sowing my birthday flowers. Now we have trays full of Sweet Peas "Perfume Delight"; Sunflowers -"Earthwalker" & "Valentine"; Candytuft and Scabiosa " Tall Crown" all jockeying for space in the conservatory and on windowsills.  In a few months these are destined to be filling jugs and pots all round the house with sweet smelling home grown posies.

Dreaming of home-grown flowers

After a quick check on the wonderful Higgledygarden website I also popped my Cerinthe seeds in a little pot of tepid water to soak - evidently they have quite a hard shell and germinate better with a bit of softening so that's tomorrow's gardening sorted :)

I think the squashes better wait for a few more weeks, don't you?