Friday, 27 April 2012

Plant Swop May 20th

I have been busy sowing seeds in the greenhouse this month. Amongst other things I have borage, red cabbage, purple sprouting broccoli, hollyhocks, salads, spring onions, raddish, sweet peas, runner and dwarf beans, carrots, lovage and meadow sweet all doing well.
Any surplus I have will be coming with me to the Plant Sale or Swop which my friend is arranging (Claypole Village Hall on May 20th if anyone is interested). Seems like a great idea to me!
It is probably a bit cool yet for some of the other things I want to try like aubergine and peppers so they can wait a while.
In the meantime the 40 borage plants which I potted on are playing "in, out, in, out, trundle all about" on their little trolley as I move them outside and back in again in the awful weather this week.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Now where did I put that spinach soup recipe?

I've heard people say that farmers are never happy - always complaining that it is too wet, too dry, too hot or too cold. Well I am starting to know how they feel. I have been stockpiling any and all containers which could be used to get water down to the lottie and have installed 2 more water butts because of the drought. Currently, however, the butts and containers are all chock full of water, it has been raining for a fortnight and the garden is too wet to walk on.
I nipped down to the lottie this afternoon, not intending to do much but wanting to check nothing major had been flooded away. I suspect the 3 rows of carrot, beetroot and spring onion seed I sowed last week are probably half way to the Wash by now. Certainly nothing has germinated but that's hardly surprising.
I wasn't really dressed for lottie work...but then again how do you dress for the allotment when it sunny one minute, pouring with rain the next, and is rounded off with a good battering of hail stones? Whilst I really did not want to walk on the soil too much conditions were just right for weeding. I couldn't resist pulling some up and chucking them on the compost heap, although as you can see the dandelions behind the spinach escaped my attentions. Must make a mental note to charge up the strimmer and take it down when it dries out a bit.
Last year's perpetual spinach is loving the current conditions and is growing like mad. I cut a large carrier bag's worth and figure today would be a good day to dig out the biggest pan we have and whizz up some spinach soup. That should see us right.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Bugger the manicure: just get over this rock

We have had a bit of a break from the lottie, garden, greenhouse and dog this week as we spent Easter visiting my parents in Devon.
On Easter Sunday Him Indoors and I left the girls torturing their grandparents and went to walk a beautiful section of the Devon Coastal Path between Beer and Branscombe. I have done this many, many times, usually taking the cliff path. This time on the way back we took the lower path and eventually dropped down to the beach where we enjoyed a lovely few minutes of peaceful sunshine.
The tide was exceptionally low and I recalled a vague memory of being able to get all the way back to Beer along the beach. Well clearly, as you are reading this you have already guessed that we made it, but it got a bit hairy (for which read slippery, scary, scrambly and toes-almost-in-the-water) at times.
There were one or two points at which I really did think: "Bugger the manicure - I have no choice but to haul myself by the finger tips over these rocks." It was much further, and took much longer than anticipated.
Happily the initials RNLI are not involved in the telling of this tale, and Him Indoors has graciously refrained from pointing out that it wasn't his silly idea but mine.
The photo marks the rock archway through which we could finally see Beer. To my immense and eternal relief.

Monday, 9 April 2012

So that's what they mean...

I have read and noted what the gardening books say about putting support in place for flowers and shrubs to grow through, rather than trying to prop them up after they have flopped over.
I have also thought what a good idea it is to use your own autumn and early spring prunings to provide such support, rather than buy over-priced green plastic stuff which will never really blend in. It is local, sustainable and saves working out what else to do with such garden "waste".
But whenever I have attempted to put such good ideas into practice my own efforts have never really worked out.
Now, however, I have seen the light. Or rather, I have seen the exemplar display in the cutting garden at Belton House. Everything about the size and range of these supports shows me where I have been going wrong. No mere pea sticks, these: they are great sections of branches, positioned and overlayed for the flowers and shrubs to grow through.
Thank you Belton House for providing inspiration once again.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

First tates (fingers crossed)

I planted some tates in the greenhouse 6 weeks or so ago. I have been earthing them up, feeding and watering them and as you can see they seem to be growing happily enough.
In theory these could be ready by 30th April. This is just the early taster. I have four more rows planted "properly" i.e. in the ground, at the lottie. They will require rather more effort I am sure.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Make every day like this one. Please...?

What a lovely day. I've had a lie in (since Sunday is my turn), brunch, and then we all took the dog for a walk. Unfortunately our planned route along the River Witham didn't work out thanks to some unhelpful local farmers. But when we turned our backs on the "Footpath Closed" sign we did get this lovely view.
I thought I would post this photo as it is a bit more interesting than a row of potatoes which have only just been planted...for that is how I spent an hour or so this afternoon. The rest of the tates (Pink Fir and Rooster) are all planted. I also prepared some space for onions to go in any day now, and am now back in the sun at home with a glass of chilled white wine. Him Indoors has some lamb on the barbie which smells fabulous and will be great with couscous and spinach just picked from the lottie. I'm physically tired from planting and hoeing, and my manicure is history. But life feels pretty good right now.

Lincolnshire Sky

Lincolnshire Sky