Sunday, March 25, 2007

British Summer Time

What a beautiful day! Sunshine and mild weather drew me out into the garden. I've neglected the garden a bit for the past few weeks, so spent nearly four hours this afternoon doing some tidying up. Lots of weeding, and cutting down herbaceous perennials ready for the new year's growth.

It was wonderful to spend a little time looking more closely at some of the plants. The jonquils have a beautiful scent, once you get down to their level. Forget-me-nots are starting to flower, but I've had to be rather ruthless and pull up many of the seeded plants from around the front garden.

I also sowed more seeds - red cabbage, rudbeckia, snapdragons and some lettuce and carrots in containers.

It's wonderful to have the extra hour of light in the evening. Blackbirds, wrens and thrushes are singing. Glorious.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

More photos from the weekend...

Some photos of my re-digging of beds down the allotment. A great many handfuls of marestail roots, couch grass roots and dandelion roots were pulled out...

I planted some 'Lady Christl' second early potatoes in part of the lower bed.

I'm digging up the grass paths I've left between beds - there's just too much chance of yet more couch grass spreading from the paths. I've ordered some weed suppression menbrane and may put that down in the paths, and cover it.

Next job is to weed the strawberry bed as it's looking a bit bedraggled.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Running out of room already!

More sowing and potting on today.
  • Cosmos bipinnatus'Candy Stripe'
  • Two types of bedding dahlia
  • Marigolds (for the allotment)
  • Rudbeckia 'Rustic Dwarf' (grow every year)
  • Ricinus 'Impala'
  • Leek 'Jaune de Poitou' (yellow leaved, early)
  • Leek 'Bleu de Solaise' (blue leaved, late - withstands frosts well)

What's coming up:

  • radishes
  • dahlia seeds sown last week
  • Swiss Chard
  • second sowing of red peppers

What's been potted on:

  • Cabbage 'Primo'
  • Brussels Sprout 'Trafalgar'

Weather: around 12degC, overcast this afternoon.

No trips down the allotment this weekend, as we went to visit Dad. He gave us a beautiful orchid plant, which is currently sitting on the dining room table. I'm going to have to get to grips with orchids, as this is the second we have now. My sister in law has a wonderful way with them, including unusual and difficult to grow ones. A new challenge!

Coming out in the garden:

  • large daffodils
  • both camellias are now in flower
  • the Kerria planted last year is just starting to flower.

Next weekend, I'll have to get the early potatoes planted doen on the plot. A busy time of year!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Lighter nights!

The increased light in the evening has meant that I've been able to do a bit of gardening after work today.

I've pricked out and potted on the Tigerella and Orange Banana tomatoes which I sowed 10 days ago. I'm too soft when it comes ot pricking out, as I feel guilty about not using every single plant and just throwing those I don't need onto the compost heap. Consequently, I've now got 15 Tigerella plants and 25 Orange Banana. That's not counting the 12 Tumblers which are growing in small pots, although I will be potting some of these up and giving them to Dad. Three more peppers have germinated, but I've kept these in the heated propagator, in the hope that some more will germinate, given time.

With some room made in the propagator, I've sown some 'Cayenne' chillis which I got free last year, and some mixed bedding dahlia seeds.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Ness again...

We are 'Friends of Ness Gardens', which means free entry to the gardens all year, for a membership (for two) of around £30.

So, we went this morning, although the sky was looking rather grey. Unfortunately, it was only around 10 mins into the visit that the heavens opened. SomeBeans managed to get some photos of the camellias and hellebores before we had to admit defeat and withdraw to the cafe for coffee and cake.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

A good afternoon's work

Down the allotment today, with sunny and warm weather meaning that I was working in a T-shirt.
The warm winter means that weeds are growing well. I've had to fork through a bed to remove yet more couch grass roots - I'll gradually make my way through the other beds again over the next few weeks.

Just because I'm over-keen, I also planted some seeds:
  • Carrot 'Early Nantes' (free from a magazine) - 1 row
  • Spring Onion 'White Lisbon'
  • Leek 'Autumn King' (?)
  • Parsnip 'Avonresister', planted with radishes
  • a few broad bean plants which were over-wintered in the greenhouse.
  • Calendula 'Sherbert Fizz'
  • Nigella (seeds harvested from the front garden)

Progress on plants in the greenhouse:

  • the red-flowered broad beans are up, and a second sowing done
  • tomato 'Tumbler' are up
  • tomato 'Orange Banana' are up
  • several types of salad leaves have germinated
  • Rudbeckia have germinated
  • Cabbage 'Primo' is starting to germinate.

Spring has sprung!

It was also nice to chat to another lady down the allotment - she has been there for 8-9 years, and has 2 plots (one shared with her daughter) and has just taken on a very overgrown allotment next to them. She said that there is a vixen which omes to see her, for marmite sandwiches.

No photos of the plot, as I forgot to take the camera down. We may have some photos of hellebores to put up tomorrow, as we're off to Ness Botanic Gardens in the morning if the weather is OK.