Somehow I just haven’t been going to the allotment. Weather, travelling for work, just not feeling in the mood etc etc….
I finally got there to discover my sprouting broccoli had gone to seed, and I’d grown an excellent crop of fat slugs and healthy weeds 😦 .
Also my netting had split, and the rhubarb has taken over (aka Day of the Triffids).
So I’m starting again. Loving my raised beds which are easy to weed and already warming up. The main clay soil is still wet and heavy so I’m thinking of investing in some more raised beds.
I’m also upgrading the paths with wood chips – it turns out there is a free pile so I’m putting the chips on top of last year’s weed suppressing fabric.
I’ve “sewn” my netting back together and harvested some of the (quite sharp) rhubarb for a compote. I’ve planted some more broad beans as not all my autumn batch have germinated.
Meanwhile the seeds are coming along at home. It’s nice to be moving again.
Ok so I continue to plant seeds in the face of changeable weather…. I am loving my greenhouse though! Things germinate so much faster – or maybe that’s just because it’s later in the season? Anyway:
Poppies – Falling in Love / Black Beauty / Candy Floss
Cornflower – Black Ball
Calendula Touch of Red Mix
Ping Pong Scabious & Tall Double Mix
Rudbeckia hirta Sahara & Cherry Brandy
Snapdragon Night and Day
Cosmos – Click Cranberries / Daydream/ Peppermint Rock/Purity/ Candy Floss
Morning Glory – Choice Mixed
Sunflower Velvet Queen & Giant Mongolian / Harlequin
Dahlia – Bishops Children
Love in a Puff
Cucumber Marketmore (I had good success with this last year)
Sweetcorn Snobaby (these didn’t really work but trying again) / Rising Sun
Pumpkin Jack O’Lantern / Rouge Vif D’Etampes / Marina Di Chioggia
Savoy Cabbage Ormskirk
Courgette – Striato di Napoli
Purple Spouting Brocoli Cardinal
Climbing French Bean – mixed – Carminat / Monte Cristo / Monte Gusto
Dwarf French Bean – Safari
Dwarf Borlotto di Vigevano Nano
So, needing a little trip on my own I went south to Sarah Raven’s Open Day. Spring is a bit mad here this year. It’s been so cold that the flowers have just been waiting for a bit of warmth before coming out – and now the sun is here so is spring and everything is out all together – cheery trees, narcissi and daffs, tulips, and I even saw bluebells on the way down. I can’t remember a year like it.
A few shots to brighten the day:
I have finally started planting seeds – SO LATE!
The greenhouse is still not built as the weather has been very unfriendly. Easter was basically a wash out, although we have made some progress on the slab base – more on that soon… In the meantime I have taken to setting up a seed table in the house to get going.
So here’s my first seed list of 2018 🙂 Sweet Peas, Peas, and Mange Tout, as follows:
Sweet: Blue Velvet / Almost Black / Harlequin Mix (Lord Nelson/ Matucana/ Prince Edward of York)/ Opal Mix (Anniversary/ Mrs Collier/ Painted Lady/ Turquoise Lagoon/ Wiltshire Ripple / Hi-Scent
Pea: Tendrilla / Sugar Ann/ Douce Provence
Mange Tout: Carouby de Maussane (my favourite) / Shiraz / Golden Sweet / Oregon
So happy to have begun 🙂
The snow came. And the cold. -10.2 – I’ve never known it so cold here in the south of England. It was like being in Norway – so cold and dry and bright and beautiful. It was exhilarating just to be out in it. This was the lull after the first couple of days. A lovely sunny day. I walked over to the allotment to check all was ok. The snow was melting quite quickly – but then it snowed even more. As a nation we are not great at snow, it come too infrequently for us to even get the hang of it. But I love it. Here are a few pics from my walk.
At the end of January, I followed the small amount of sunlight to Scotney. It’s really old – c. 1378. Even the “new” castle is old around 1843. Lots of people were out walking; a bit of fresh air goes a long way at this time of year. A robin came and hung out with me for a while, and a few flowers starting to bring a bit of colour into the garden.
It was muddy. I always forget this until my walking shoes are coated and it’s too late (or I am too lazy) to go back for my wellies.
This time I found the icehouse – where they used to refrigerate things before refrigerators – it was surprisingly deep, although the exterior was small. It was strangely atmospheric, and must have been quite an undertaking when it was excavated.
Also a little spring, almost forgotten at the very edge of the property. It must have been prized in it’s day, as it was surrounded by stones. A little addition to my walks here in the future.
A couple of weekends ago, it was snowing at home but not laying, so in the bid for fresh air and the real stuff I went to Ightham which is about 350 ft higher up the hill. Just enough for a little tiny bit of laying snow….and a bit of a blizzard.
Ah, it makes me happy to be in the snow. The woods were virtually deserted – just the odd hardy dog walker. It was lovely and atmospheric. Just how I like it! A few Catkins to prove that Spring might come, eventually. But for now the depths of winter….