Sunday, 20 May 2012

The race is on.

I've set my dwarf French beans a challenge this year.  Which ones will do better - the ones started off in pots in the propagator, or the ones direct sown at the allotment today?  I guess it will depend on the weather.  The soil at the plot seems to be pretty good for sowing at the moment, and sunshine is forecast next week, so hope that will get everything going.

The peas that I set the other week are still not showing through, but the parsnips, beetroot and perpetual spinach seem to be on the move now, as are the weeds....

The plot is much more respectable these days - it's amazing what getting the bottom third into cultivation has done for its appearance.  Still got to get plenty of bindweed out of it, but at least we're heading in the right direction.  Extra hands make a huge difference - the difference between perpetually weeding, and being able to plant the ground you've managed to clear.

Things have greened up no end and I love the view as you walk down the path with all the lollipop shaped trees.

Friday, 18 May 2012

And still it rains

Was hoping to get out into the garden today, but it is STILL raining.  We've had this weather for weeks now.  The good news is - things are germinating after a dry spring.  The bad news - it's so cold seedlings are hardly coming along now they've got their heads out of the soil.

Roll on sunshine.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Have spent today planting out the small pots of cosmos, lupins, zinnias, eryngiums and 10 week stocks that have been filling the cold frame.  It may be a bit of a gamble, but I desperately need the plant pots for the next batch of seedlings coming along, and the space.

Have been shoving them in to any gaps I can see in the borders, and should probably rip out loads more of the forget-me-nots which will rapidly self seed all over the place. My ruthlessness will wait until the first signs of black manky leaves appear, because at least these dainty blue lovelies  are easier on the eye than bare soil.  By then I'll need the border space for this year's summer superstars (whatever they may yet prove to be) - but for the moment the blue of the forget-me-nots is a great foil to other bolder plants at the moment.  Even better is the brunnera, Jack Frost, which not only has gorgeous tiny blue flowers, but brilliant silvery leaves as well, which really brighten up the dull shady border under the apple tree.

Brunnera 'Jack Frost', lysimachia ciliata 'Firecracker' (dark leaf) and astrantia (I think).

with tulip 'Queen of the Night'

with honesty and heuchera 'Greenfinch' - who says green flowers are a waste of time?

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Growing a wall

I now have a  waterbutt supporting wall growing slowly next to the shed.  Laid the footings weeks ago (new skill!) but have been either rained off or frantically planting seeds during my gardening time so nothing more happened - until dad came to visit this week.  Dads are very useful things.

Next part of the project is to get it finished, backfilled with some of the rubble that needs shifting from the patio work, and then laying the slabs on top, along with the path which leads to that corner.  Another longstanding job will then be ticked off the groundworks list.  Roll on. Then I can concentrate on plants again.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Boing time

The garden is starting to come into its own now - am determined to keep it going this year.  In the last couple of years, it has been great in early summer and then peters out after July.  I love this time when all the greens are so bright - especially with lots of clashing tulips - a flower I once thought I would never have success with.

Anyhow - here are some of the latest snaps

Filling out nicely!
Short orange tulips are 'Princess Irene', tall orange lily-flowered ones are 'Ballerina' and mad pink ones are 'Dolls Minuet'.  Purple ones are 'Passionale'.

I love the look of this mustard and it's really tasty in salads too - 'Red Frills' - seeds prolifically so really easy to keep stocks up year after year from just a single plant.  Dead easy and so gorgeous...

Honesty seems to grow anywhere and makes a really good cottagey cut flower.

Here it is again, under the Japanese maple - what a colour combination!

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it colour scheme fascists!!!

No room at the inn

The cold frame is now officially full.  Just need some drier weather to get some of the inmates moved out into the garden borders.  The cease fire agreed with the rainclouds this morning at least allowed me to plant out the crimson flowered broad beans which were getting fatter and juicier in their pots.

Seems weird that an earlier post worried about rain after a month of constant downpours and more forecast in the next weeks...

The sweetcorn plants have now been ousted to the greenhouse.  Hope they don't get sat on by my smaller cat who seems to have adopted seed trays full of delicate plantlets as comfy beds to bask in. Grrrrrr.