Wednesday, 31 March 2010

OH dear ! I only went in for some eggs !

I honestly did only go in the local nursery for my fresh free range eggs. I even had the right money in my pocket. I should have left my purse at home because I came out with these lovelies as well as the eggs (of course !)

Dianthus 'Indian Pink'

Everlasting Sweet Peas

I tried to germinate some of these given to me by a friend, but had no luck with the seeds.

I just loved this Hydranga, and it was in a small pot for £4.99, so I took it home and re-potted it into a much larger pot with some ericasious compost that I had. Later on I will put it outdoors.

But for now, I wrapped the pot in pink tissue, put some lovely wide ribbon around it and tied that with some twine, and it looks just beautiful in the hall.

I can't wait to plant the new Dahlia and the Gladiolas now.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Germination is slow

---this year, all seeds that I've sown seem to have taken ages. Has anyone else found this as well or is it me ? I bought some multi-purpose compost from a local, very good nursery, but I haven't used this brand before and it seems to have lots of bits and pieces in it like woody or twiggy bits. I wouldn't ever use it again for seeds, in my view John Innes seed compost is hard to beat.

I went to the 'Country Living' Fair in London on saturday so I was away from Friday until Sunday. I had a brilliant time and have posted about it on my Craft Blog but being away meant that I was unable to get anything done at the lottie. I had a nice surprise on my return though as my Zinnia, Dahlia, and Cosmos seeds had all grown fast in those few days. The peppers, tomatoes. and chillies seem to be having a very slow start, in fact the chillies are just starting to peep through today.

It's been raining all day today, so that put paid to my going to the plot to sow the parsnips, spinach, carrots, and leeks which will be sown straight into the ground. So I'm hoping tomorrow will be better.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

A hard days work

Well I finally got to do some hard graft on the plot, and I am so glad I made the effort as it's now raining really hard I can hear it as I am typing this post. I am having a nice glass of red wine to chill out after all the work I did today. I got so carried away with the joys of spring that I didn't even have any lunch ( I forgot to take anything with me !) so I enjoyed the lamb casserole I made this evening.

I planted the broad beans and as you can see the roots were amazing in the 'root trainer' planters. If you haven't already tried growing in these I can recommend them, they are brilliant for anything that has deep roots, like the broad beans, sweet peas, runner, and french beans etc. I bought them a year or so ago and they wash up a treat and should last a long time, so well worth the initial cost.

I also planted the cabbages that were overwintered in the greenhouse, they look better than the ones planted out in the autumn. I have probably planted them too close together, but I can always pull some when they are small and leave the others to grow on.

I dug over a few beds after clearing away the brussel sprout plants that never really came to much this year. I only had a small picking of Purple Sprouting Broccoli and that was out of 5 big plants. They were ruined by the severe winter. I found about 8 parsnips still growing well, which was a nice surprise.

I also dug up the perpetual spinach. It looked like it was going to give off more leaves, but a neighbouring plot holder said she always digs hers up each year and grows fresh plants, and as she is a very good veg grower I decided to take her lead, so up they come and as I removed them white fly billowed out in their hundreds, so much for the cold winter.

I did a good 4 hours non stop and felt much better for it. It wasn't hard digging or anything, more gentle planting and tidying, so I didn't come home too tired.

Broad beans in the 'root trainers' that they were planted in from seed.

All planted up in the raised bed.

Fabulous Hellebore given to me last year from another plot holder

Garlic and leeks doing well

Cabbages, on the left planted last autumn, on the right over wintered in the greenhouse

And that's the end of my update, tired but happy and enjoying my glass of wine.

I'm excited the sun is shining, i'm off to the lottie.

It's a perfect day today, sun, warmth, everything that's favourable for working on the plot. SO I'm off to put in the broad beans, check on the asparagus and dig a few beds.
Watch this space for an update this evening. I have been busy on rainy days too, check out my craft blog, the link is in the right hand column of the blog.

Ooohh I am so excited, seeds are up on the windowsills, I am going to have more cutting flowers galore this year, and I just did a garden inspection and tulip bulbs I bought last year are up, 'Red Orach' seeds collected from last years plants and scattered about last week have germinated. That means the earth is lovely and warm.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

A good start to the season.

I got to the plot yesterday to do some serious work and ended up staying there for four and a half hours. I dug another trench for the asparagus, that was hard work in itself, but then I had to fill wheelbarrow loads of manure and tip it into the trench with some compost and sharp sand. I planted the 'Conovers Colossal' that I'm trialing for 'Victoriana Nursery' I also bought 4 crowns of 'Pacific Purple' asparagus from a farm shop, which is why I had to dig another trench, I just fancied trying this purple one as well.

I pulled back the black plastic that I had covered some beds with over winter, it was great to see NO weeds. I have to work out where the potatoes and the Broad Beans are going, as both are ready to be planted soon.

Broad beans and Sweet Peas, photo taken 7 days ago

This photo taken today, they have grown very tall in 7 days

Onions, Red and White growing nicely and being hardened off each day, I have 3 more trays as well as these

Tomatoes growing in their little light box. These are 'Gardeners Delight' ( on the left) and just one so far has germinated of the 'Abraham Lincoln' but I'm hoping more will pop up soon of those as I am trialing those for Victoriana Nurseries. I have about another three more varieties that I'm going to sow next week. I want to try something different to the tomatoes I usually grow, and more varieties as well.

Needless to say I am aching everywhere to day, muscles I had forgotten I had. I will never learn that it's best to do little and often rather than long stints on the allotment. Ah well ! at least the sun was shining and I did achieve what I set out to do, so a very satisfying start to the season.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Happy Mothers Day

I haven't had a lot of time to do a post this week I am still busy doing Nurse duties, and having to do everything at home on my own until the hubby is back on his feet after his operation on his foot.
I thought I would just do this short post to wish all the Mothers out there a very happy and restful Mothers Day on Sunday. I am going to my son's and being treated to lunch, so I am looking forward to that. Anyway have a great day yourselves and I hope you all get spoilt, let's face it girls 'we're worth it '

A flower for you all, my favourite ranunculus. This was the last survivor from my little bouquet of spring flowers.

Friday, 5 March 2010

I think it's Spring at last !!

It's been the lovliest day today. The sun was shining, birds singing and it was warm enough to be in the garden without a jacket . I had a great day sowing some tomatoes seeds, Red Orach seeds, and I also potted the 11 Cerinthe seedlings on into individual pots (now where am I going to put them !!) and I managed to put most of the Dahlia tubers that I dug up and saved from last year into pots of compost, to get them growing. I can't wait to see the 'Pink Giraffe' growing again, it's my favourite dahlia and from one plant bought about 5 years ago I now have dozens.

Dahlia 'Pink Giraffe'

I have been looking through last years photo's from the allotment, and I was amazed at how productive the plot had been, just look at this haul that I had and it was dated 31st August. It made me feel excited and I can't wait to get growing again YEAH !


Crochet update

I crocheted together the rest of the squares I had completed for Florence's throw (see my other blog here) it's growing slowly and I still have many more sqaures to make yet.

Have a lovely weekend and I hope you all have good weather and get lot's of sowing done. xx