Friday, 30 May 2008
Thursday, 29 May 2008
I spent quite a while yesterday sorting plants from the greenhouse into their final pots. All the courgettes and patty pans are now planted up; it will be interesting to see how Cavil do. This is a quote from the Thompson and Morgan Website "Unique parthenocarpic habit (ability to set fruit without pollination), therefore adverse weather, poor light levels and a lack of pollinating insects does not affect cropping performance!" By the way, they appear to still have their half price seed sale on at the moment, if anyone out there is interested.
The potatoes bines are trying to take over the world, and many are coming into flower, which is supposed to be a sign the tubers are forming underground. I have found in the past it is best to give them a bit longer if you want a decent crop, but as usual I am dying of curiosity to see how we have done this year. Homegrown new potatoes, yum!!
Flowers wise, the climbing rose took a battering from the storms, but is still covered with lovely scented blooms. I need to get the secateurs out and deadhead for repeat flowers. Vicky's Ice Cream rose is a bit later this year, as a lot of the early growth died off for some reason, but is finally showing small buds. I've planted up the fuchsias and geraniums, together with the free scented begonias sent from Thompson and Morgan. I am pleased I didn't pay for them though, only 4 out of 6 grew! I've pushed the boat out and ordered some half price double petunias, which I adore, and some patio growing bags, which have handles so they are easy to move around. I was wondering if they would be big enough to put some of the dwarf peas into.
Sunday, 25 May 2008
If you ignore the mess in the garden, you can see the amount of rain we've had overnight, I now have a river instead of a path!
Yesterday the ground was so dry, but I had used up all the water in the butts again, and as I was keeping my cat it, carrying water through the house, or setting up the hosepipe, was not really an option. As you can see, I think all the plants are now getting a good drink.
I had planted my courgettes into their final pots, and had them dotted around the garden, but the wind blew up so strongly last night that one snapped right through. Dan moved the others back into the greenhouse for me overnight.
Amazingly, my radishes have been successful this year, I wonder if it was because I have planted them in a more open space, my 'garage garden', as I call it. Some people have questioned the wisdom of using the space for edible crops, but if anyone helps themsleves, well they do, and at least it's given me more space and opportunities. The slugs have got in a few nibbles of the radishes, but as you can see, they are still reasonable. I've also been harvesting lettuce and watercress regularly.
The rhododendron, which I have in a large pot, is looking a bit bedraggled today, but I took this picture last week. Considering it was a rescue plant, found by my sons dumped at the roadside around 6 years ago and carried home to me, because they were sure I wouldn't want it to die, I am very pleased with the show.
Thursday, 15 May 2008
Saturday, 10 May 2008
Anyway, back in time to last weekend. Fed up with the persistent puddle in the corner of the greenhouse, and unable to place the tomatoes properly without them sitting in it, I invested in a gravel flooring. I have made it about 4 inches deep, to the top of the greenhouse base. Hopefully it will retain the moisture in summer to help with humidity, and warm things up in winter. I still have the flagstone up the middle, so there is a stable path.
I planted out some of my runner beans, and the French climbers. Miraculously they have all survived, no slug damage at all. I also potted up the cucumbers and courgette plants. Why is it when you plant extras they all grow, but if you plant just what you need, they don't? I now have 8 strong courgettes and 4 healthy looking cucumbers, as well as my peppers and chillies to find space for. I counted up that I really need at least an extra 6 large pots, although if we eat the lettuce quicker some of those will be vacant. But wait, what about the small ones coming along? Sigh!
I was trying to work out where my later sowing of broad beans should go, there's no space at all! I thought of putting them up the fence, under the fan trained cherry, but then realised the feathery foliage was the free anemonies I had planted last month! I've still got 30 celeriac plants to find homes for too. Daniel told me it was hopeless when I asked him how I could re-arrange the pots so I could get my comfy chair outside next week while I am recovering from a minor (I hope) operation!
You won't believe, after all the rain we've had, how quickly the garden is drying out. With so many pots I have already emptied both water butts, so now it will be back to tap or recycled water. With the outside tap at the front of the house, and being in the middle of a terrace, watering is not easy. I won't be able to fill up cans and carry them next week, so I had to buy a new hose pipe today. It is on a reel, and the idea is to connect it to the front tap, run the hose through the kitchen window, and out of the back door. That way we shouldn't get any drips of water in the house itself. I always seem to slop it out of the watering can when I carry it through anyway. The other idea is to save all the shower water in the bath, then siphon it out to the water butts. We did that the year before last, when we had the drought. The only problem is that the bathroom is actually in the middle of the house, so the pipe has to go through the back bedroom window and down the conservatory roof to get to the patio! Still everything did well that year, even the camellias, so well worth it.
I'm really pleased that we've finally had useful amounts of salad stuff from the garden. Barbeques 2 days running have been supplemented by home grown lettuce (red and green), as well as watercress. I also sacrificed a couple of the weedier looking garlic plants to make some garlic bread. They looked rather like spring onions, but chopped and blended with the butter in the food processor they made a green speckled paste that worked well with the french bread.
Tomorrow I hope to get most stuff planted into the bigger pots so they are easier to care for and earth up the potatoes for the last time. They need plenty of water in the heat we've been having.