Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Time for lunch

Feeling even more spring-like today. I've spent most of the morning in the garden. I bought half a dozen tiny Lavender Hidcote plants in the autumn with the intention of ultimately planting them to form a low hedge circling the base of our cherry tree. Suddenly it seemed like time to get them in the ground. Must have been all the weeds forming around the tree that reminded me!
As ever, one job turned into a bit of a mini project but it is all done now. The lavender doesn't look much yet but let's wait for summer before we pass judgement.
So: Dog walked. Lawn cut. Edges done (probably for the first and last time this year). Lavender planted. Time for lunch. I think I may even have earned a little bit of chocolate.

Monday, 27 February 2012


Our first visit to Belton House this year has really brought home to me the reality of the drought that this region, at least, has been in since last summer.
I have never seen the lake at Belton looking like this before. The water level normally extends to pretty much the point from which this photo was taken. The lake is, quite simply, half empty whilst at the lottie this morning it felt more like walking on sand because the topsoil is so totally dry.
The water situation is starting to feel serious. At least at home I have water butts to capture whatever rain we do get, and the means to recycle bath water once they run empty. Keeping the lottie watered will be a whole lot harder.
Back in the garden I have been unable to resist getting started. Trays of salad leaves, coriander, kohl rabi and mange tout are awaiting germination in the greenhouse, and I have also started off 2 trays of onion setts. I have always planted them straight into the ground before, but am trying it this way on the basis that I can at least keep them regularly watered here.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

February sun

Lunch in the garden with a sun-bathing dog. Pruning, tidying and getting ready for spring.
The auto-vent has opened on the greenhouse and I have been in to water and open the windows. It is that warm!
This beautiful day is marred only slightly by clattering and banging from a team of workmen putting scaffolding up on the house behind. Never mind: they have at least stopped for lunch.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Bees, Butterflies and Blooms

I am all fired up about pollinators! Inspired by BBC2's Bees, Butterflies and Blooms, which talked about not just annuals but perennials too, I intend to grow more insect-friendly wildflowers not just at the lottie but also in the difficult, narrow areas around our patio. Poor soil, full sun...sounds just right.
I will have to remove the chipped bark from the borders which is, of course, not a welcoming environment for tiny little flower seed. But that is no great problem: it is wearing pretty thin and has been scattered about by our resident blackbirds anyway. I will have a look at what seed mixes I already have. I know there are a few.
Him Indoors won't be impressed as I don't think he regards such planting as sufficiently "tidy". Never mind. If he doesn't read this he won't find out until it is too late!
Tonight's programme also showed a border with flowers interspersed with runner beans. Not sure how practical that would be in term of physically getting to the beans to pick them - but I wonder if that could work in the front garden?

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Almost planting time

I know it is not Spring yet but it is starting to feel like planting time. I have enough common sense to know that temperatures are still too low for outside planting, but the greenhouse is calling...! I had reasonable success growing carrots in containers last year, as you can see, so my thoughts have turned to what else might be worth a try.

I had intended to plant a few of my potato surplus from last year in an old compost bag inside the greenhouse, in the hope of an early crop. They were just desperate to grow. Even in the gloom of our garage the remaining tates had produced masses of shoots, so I had put half a dozen into the greenhouse to chit in the light. After last weekend's incredibly low temperatures, however, the shoots were black and the tubers had softened and were oozing slightly. Not nice at all. So those have gone in the compost bin.

But never seed potatoes arrived yesterday: 10 tubers each of 6 varieties. So instead of last year's rotting surplus I have planted 3 nice shiny new Rocket seed potatoes, described by the producer as "Easy to grow and quick to produce 'baby new potatoes'... particularly well suited to growing in containers and potato bags". Sounds ideal doesn't it? And much more likely to succeed.

Reading other people's advice online it is clear that I will need to remember to water them lots and give them a regular feed. Last year's remaining tomato feed should do the trick, me thinks...and the remaining 57 tubers of varying types will be planted on the lottie when things warm up a bit.

Lincolnshire Sky

Lincolnshire Sky