Cutting Patch 2013…

I have spent most of my spare time this weekend in the garden, the weather is glorious and we are all soaking up the sunshine, whilst it lasts.  I’ve mostly been power-hosing down the wood; the garden table and chairs, staging from the greenhouse and decking, in preparation of a good feed with oil.  Although I find the miracle of watching the nasty green sludge disappear (it is so satisfying) my back now hurts and I’m not overly excited about hours of painting on oil, but it does (desperately) need doing.

As a reward, I planted up one of the raised beds with flowers for cutting.  I’ve missed having cut flower beds this past year, so I’m really excited about making space for them again.  I’m trying, for the moment, to use up any seed I have left as most is really very old now and bearing this in mind, I’ve been very generous with how much I’ve put in, often tipping all the remaining seed into the soil.

I’ve given a whole bed up at the moment (I will probably add a second) and it contains:

  • Antirrhinum/Snapdragon – whatever was growing in my greenhouse floor that I transplanted!
  • Calendula Officinalis/MarigoldIndian Prince
  • Nigella Damascena/Love-in-a-mistDeep Blue
  • Nigella Hispanica/Love-in-a-mist
  • Tithonia Rotundifolia/Mexican Sunflower
  • Salvia Viridis – Blue Clary
  • Moluccella Laevis/Bells of Ireland
  • Zinnia – Sprite

So in photos ( all taken from big seed sellers like Thompson & Morgan, sites like BBC Gardening, or they are my own photos……it’s so insanely hard to find images on-line I feel comfortable using!! I must make a mental note to do some simple photos of the flower blooms this year, especially for this purpose):

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DSC_0237imgres-12797imgres-2imagesimgres-35231_7I really like growing both the Nigellas so I can have their seed heads for floral arrangements,

dsc_0257in this image, from 2009, you can see how beautiful they are (the seeds on the right are Sweet Pea seeds, I should mention my attempt at growing them this year has been dismal so far).

All the seeds sown today are now watered in and have cloches on top to keep the soil nice and warm. The forecast is promising, but I might still be a little keen considering how cold is has been recently, I guess time will tell.

There is more to add, I have Ammi Majus and Dill to grow next to my peas in a vegetable bed and I’d like to squeeze in some Cleome, some Centaurea Cyanus/Cornflower and I HAVE to find space for the hefty collection of Cosmos seeds that I have.

Apologies if I mix up common and latin names, I am a bit rubbish in this area, in that I just know what I call them and it could be either so you get what you get I’m afraid.  Also, I can’t spell, but you probably know that by now 🙂

 

April vegetable planting lists 2013…

Here’s how the veg planting lists are looking at the moment:

February & March

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Chillies
  • Aubergines
  • Broad Beans
  • Beetroot
  • Shallots
  • Potatoes (start chitting)
  • Peas
  • Radish

I think the only thing I haven’t already mentioned are the Broad Beans, Peas, Beetroot and Radish.  All of these were planted direct, quite recently, when the weather has warmed up and in most cases under cloches.  I am pretty sure the mice will steal the peas, but I can live in hope.

So, that means I am way behind, essentially all those things I would normally plant in March, have been pushed into the April list:

April

  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Courgettes
  • Spring Onions
  • Lettuce
  • Turnip
  • Pak Choi
  • Herbs
  • Melons
  • Squash
  • Chard (new batch to replace the old ‘Bright Lights’)
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • French Beans
  • Barlotto Beans
  • Sweetcorn
  • Spinach (NOT perpetual/beet, which I already have growing)
  • Salad
  • Herbs (any not already planted)

Quite a list really but it can’t be helped, what with the cold start to the year.

I have yet to make up my wooden trough, I keep putting it off but it needs doing, I was also desperately disappointed to find this beauty on-line:

raised_planter_kitchen_garden_living_larderIt’s a ‘Large Larder Raised Planter’ by Sparrow & Finch (their photo) and is almost exactly the kind of thing I was looking for when I bought my cheaper raised planter.  Although it is quite expensive (in terms of my garden budget, that is), it is also rather beautiful and I might well have paid the difference, had I seen it sooner.  Rats.  Never mind, I hope to get mine assembled this weekend, ready for some herbs or salad crops.

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If money were no object, I would so buy their ‘Ivy’ bird table.  A girl can dream 🙂

 

Spring is here….we hope!

What a difference some sunshine makes.  We returned from a very short break to find the garden finally in spring mode.  The work earlier in the side border is paying off as I see Muscari ‘Golden Fragrance’ and some very pretty Fritillaria that I bought on a whim last year looking lovely.  There is also much promise of the future flora here, lots of things growing well, I’d love to take some photos for you, but sadly, the situation looks like this

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still rabbit proofed and it’ll have to stay that way for a while longer as those pesky furry critters are killing my top border eating anything in site, so I can only see the pretties when I go and look over the side of the fence.  I’m thinking about attempting to rabbit proof the whole garden again, maybe, or turning all Mr McGregor and taking a liking to rabbit pie.

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I’ve mostly been tidying and weeding in the garden and enjoying seeing what has survived the winter.  Last year I threw some unknown seeds into the large pots to see what happened, they turned out to be Kale ‘Red Russian’ which I’ve thinned out.  They look a bit scrappy at the moment but I’m impressed that they have germinated at all, considering our dreadful weather.

There are also some Purple Sprouting Broccoli plants in various stages, this would be because I planted different varieties to span the season, but sadly I can’t remember which is which!  I’ve cut out the main tip, to force the side shoots to grow and I’m most excited about eating them with some nice anchovy and caper butter.  The everlasting Spinach ‘Perpetual’ is growing well as are Chard ‘Bright Lights’, Alpine Strawberries and there is hope for my Wild Garlic this year plus the Garlic and Shallots planted earlier are growing well.

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I wanted to post this photo of some shallots, abandoned in the greenhouse last autumn.  They are still in great condition, firm and very edible just left unprotected and in full daylight, which considering the ones brought indoors are long gone, mainly from being eaten but some went a bit nasty and had to be thrown out.  It makes me think I might just store them in the greenhouse in future.

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I hope to move my indoor seedlings outside this week (into the unheated greenhouse) and get the next batch sown.  I’ve just prepped this pepper for my tea tonight (the good old halved pepper, tomatoes, garlic, basil and chopped up anchovy, ready to roast for 30mins – yummy!) and it made me quite excited about home grown salad crops, let’s just hope this sunshine and warmer weather lasts 🙂