Spring Weather…

We are in the middle of half term here in the UK and we’ve just returned from a trip to Yorkshire (where I am from and most of my family still live).  Before heading off I took a picture of some spring flowers I’d picked from the cutting patch.

I am definitely missing some green in the garden for putting with cut flowers, I’d normally have Euphorbia Oblongata but I moved it all last autumn, there is some in the borders but I am too lazy to sear the stems to stop the milky sap from oozing out as you are supposed to do.  I am also missing Cerinthe Major Purpurascens (common name Honeywort) with it’s lovely purple bells that go so well with other spring flowers, this is the second year I’ve forgotten to sow them in autumn, for spring flowering and I’m rather cross with myself.

Replacing the anemones last autumn with new corms was a great move, the original ones planted 4 years ago were getting rather worn out and I am a bit in love with the new red ones.  As well as the original Mr Fokker & Sylphide that I always grow I  have some white (The Bride), but they were a bit nibbled by rabbits that got into the cutting patch and aren’t producing quite so many flowers.  I should say, sadly, that none of the ranunculus planted have survived, I have really bad luck with these in general and all of the mixed fritillaria meleagris that I planted in the lawn, under the trees, have been eaten just as they were about to look beautiful.  I am not a fan of the rabbits in our garden.

Before heading off on our holiday, I took a day to tidy up the vegetable patch.  As part of this I designated one of the raised beds (which needs the wood replacing really, as you can see) as a ‘dump’ space for now.  I have a terrible habit of grabbing empty buckets to do a quick weed but not tidying them away, partly as the recycle bins are always full and there is no other spot to put them.  I hope to get his lot cleaned away before I need to bed for cut flowers, but at least the rest of the patch looks tidy.

We arrived in Yorkshire to a compete change in the weather, gone was the early summer sun and instead there were gales and snow.  This photo is of Grimwith Reservoir, on a long walk I did one day, as you can see the snow was melting, but I kept climbing stiles to find myself faced with 4 foot high snow drifts on the other side to try and navigate my way over.  It was quite surreal after the sunny weather we’d been having in Kent.

We returned to proper spring weather on Monday, a mix of sunshine and showers.  The garden is so grateful for the rain, before we left the poor trees in our borders were looking very sorry for themselves but have perked up nicely now.  I have set up a planting station on the decking outside the kitchen door so I can dash out between showers and get things potted up but also be able to hear the boys.  The rubber gloves are so I can run inside and act as referee when needed without having to wash my hands first, otherwise I’d normally quite like getting my fingers into the soil.

So far I have potted up (from the jiffy 7’s that they were sown indoors):

Tomatoes, Peppers & Chillies

These are now in the (unheated) greenhouse in small pots under long cloches and I’ll be keeping an eye on night time temperatures.  I’ve also moved the cucumbers outside, they went very lanky whilst we were away and I fear wont survive so I’ve planted some more seed indoors to replace them, if needed.

In pots, in the kitchen I have planted:

Sweetcorn ‘Lapwing’ x 16

Melon ‘Edonis’ x 4

And direct, in the garden, I have replanted the Peas ‘Ronda’, the originals have disappeared, I am thinking into the mouths of mice….I’ve also put in all my remaining French Bean ‘Blue Lake Climbing’ in a large pot in the greenhouse, they didn’t germinate last year so I figured I may as well put all the rest of the beans in, see what happens and buy new next year.

There’s so much more to get into the garden over coming weeks, April is always the busiest month, but I plan to take it slowly and do a bit each day.  Ah there’s a break in the rain so I’d better make the most and get back out there.

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