19.01.2024 - 15:00 / clairesallotment.com
Another Sunday, another day in the garden, what more could I want. As usual when I came home from ringing I went out into the garden to check on everything in the greenhouses and gave them a little water. I need to do more pricking out and tidying in the greenhouses, but the outside needs my attention first. The Easter weekend I am planning on spending as much of it as possible in the garden so hopefully I will be able to get everything up to date then. I decided I would work Good Friday, but have the Monday off, the perks of being self employed you can decide. Mark is away from Friday to late Sunday, and Easter is very low key for us at home, so we’ll have a special meal on the Monday when we’re all together again.
The first job for today was to weed. The large beds have little Sycamore seedlings growing all over them, our neighbours have a tree and the little helicopters (that’s what my sister and I used to call the seed pods) flutter down into my garden. It’s not a problem, but you just have to remove them sooner rather than later.
The first bed was where the potatoes, parsnips and a row of garlic is growing. Once weeded, I watered the parsnips and the garlic and then moved on to the next bed.
Apart from a little bit of weeding I dug up the remainder of last years Spring Onions. They’re quite chunky, but grew really well. I’ll use them over the next couple of days and hopefully this years one’s I’ll sow next weekend. Once this bed was all weeded and tidy it was time to call Mark and Kai so we could move the brassica cage from the bed behind. Emily bless her was unable to help as she had her appendix removed only a few days before and isn’t allowed to lift anything heavy for 6-8 weeks apparently, so a heavy brassica cage
AS SHE OFTEN DOES, naturalist and nature writer Nancy Lawson—perhaps known better to some of you as the Humane Gardener after the title of her first book—caught my attention the other day.
In 2024, design is taking a turn away from pastels and towards the boldness of jewel tones.
This year, when gardeners look at plant and seed catalogs, I think they will be inclined to go for the safe and familiar. After all, even optimists need a sense of security. It will probably be a banner year for roses of all kinds, with reds selling well. The ongoing vogue for cottage flowers will probably continue to be strong. In fact, the wildest thing many people will invest in come spring will be a few of the more bizarre coleus cultivars.
Tender climbing perennial plants which are free flowering and suitable for growing in pots in the greenhouse, or for planting out of doors. They are closely related to the Snapdragon (Antirrhinum), to whose family, Scrophulariaceae, they belong.
How to Grow and Care for Ironweed (Vernonia) Vernonia spp.
Some people get their kicks from designer labels, others from rummaging through flea shops, or collecting obscure Japanese comics, vintage tractors, handbags, dolls, beer-mats, Star Wars merchandise or whatever else. Me, I get mine from ordering seeds.
After several years of sowing at different time, I’ve come to the conclusion that the perfect time for me to sow my Runner and French Bean seeds in the greenhouse is on 1st May. That way they have exactly one month to grow and be the perfect size to be planted outside on 1st June. I live in the South East of the UK so all worries of frost have gone from that area by the beginning of June. If you live further north or south of where I am, then you know your frost dates and can adjust your timings.
Two lots of pressies in one week, I felt totally spoilt today. The previous week had been immensely busy (no change there really), and Saturday was full of household chores and shopping. Sunday was Mother’s Day and the weather was going to be a little “meh” in the morning but brightening up in the afternoon, but I was planning on being in the garden/greenhouses for as much of it as I could. The kids bought me in a cup of tea and my presents.
This weekend has been beautiful, much improved from last weekend. I hope when the latest load of storms blew through you didn’t lose anything. I’ve seen on various gardening and allotment Facebook pages that lots of people lost greenhouses. If you can, and I know it’s tricky to on an allotment site screw your greenhouse to a solid base of either concrete or slabs. For those who lost precious items I hope you are able to put them back together. We were very lucky and all I found was a slate roof tile on the gravel at the front of our house, but I couldn’t find exactly on the roof where it came from. Opposite lost 6 ridge tiles and 1 is clinging on for dear life so maybe the slate tile flew off from their roof. Oh but when Eunice blew through on that Friday we did lose electricity just before 3pm and finally returned a little after 11pm. But no biggy, we had fish and chips by fake candle light and then were in bed by about 6.30pm.
I did pop out in the garden first thing on the Saturday morning but that was just for Mark to take a quick photo of me and my Rhubarb. The first Saturday in May is Naked Gardening Day, yes it’s a thing, and the only thing you’re supposed to wear is a smile, so here’s my contribution.
About 10 days ago I had another 5 bags of top soil arrive. This is usually an annual thing, I like to get it in before the end of the financial year as it’s an expense for work. The soil in the raised beds always drops slightly during the year, it’s just something that it does, but eventually I won’t need to get any more. Each bag weighs about a ton, so that’s a lot of soil for one person to move on their own. George is at university so got away with it this year, but with Mark and I shovelling into the barrow, Emily wheeling the barrow and then with the help of Kai tipping the soil into the bed and then Kai raking it about we were working like a very well oiled machine. We got the first 2 bags done within about half an hour, and then sat down for a little light refreshment, and then did the last 3 bags. We started at 10.30am and were finished by just gone noon. I didn’t think that we’d get them all done by lunchtime, I was hoping to get about 3 done, so that was brilliant. Well done team Woodside Barn!!