Wednesday, 28 April 2010

It's a beautiful day

My often cynical son ( yes it is possible at seven years of age) woke up marvelling at the world- at the things that weren't here a hundred years ago. He smiled the most beautiful smile and talked about how amazing electricity is and the way it comes into being. The garden makes me feel that way.
Here are some photos of the Fritillaria imperialis I mentioned in my last entry. ..

..and the Fritillaria meleagris. The heads of these flowers start to appear when the plants has hardly pushed it's way out of the ground. The petals are an anaemic version to begin with, gradually darkening to the colour here. The checked pattern is so unexpected on a flower.

The plum tree blossomed really well this year. The petals are now fading. This picture was taken last week. Frost killed most of the blossoms last year and there were hardly any plums. Hopefully the bees have done their work already and we'll have more fruit.

Following an Alan Titmarsh tip, I put forget- me-nots (free from the allotment) with tulips. I think the idea is that they hide the dying foliage of the tulip. They also look good together. I've run out of space in the garden so my tulips are mainly in pots which I think works well.

I put a line of parsnips in at the allotment. I made holes with a big dibber and filled it with multipurpose compost and sowed three seeds into each hole. I dented the top of the compost to mark the position of the hole as I went along so that I would know where to sow. I lifted and separated the strawberries as they had made lots of babies that were huddled too close together. Think I should have done it earlier but I am hoping better late than never. At the allotment we get free deliveries of the compost made from the green waste that is collected from each household. It's ok apart from it sometimes has bits of glass and plastic bags in it. Still lots more to do but I am concentrating on one particular job each time I visit.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Allotment and garden

Hubby was available for digging so I took full advantage. He dug three trenches like this one. We covered the potatoes with a generous helping of well rotted stable manure and then backfilled the trench with soil.

The following day I dug two more so now we have five rows of potatoes. I'm growing Desiree (maincrop) and Charlotte (second earlies). They are both waxy potatoes as I love that kind.

The forsythia in our garden seems brighter this year or it is just all the sunshine it is reflecting. I didn't bother trimming off the shoots from the trunk and it looks much better messier. Quivering stems shooting up and down.

Ribes has a scent of currants. These flowers will be over soon but I have some delicate tulips underneath to take over the show.

Chinodoxa I believe.

The hellebores are still flowering quietly, heads down like they do.
Finally I've managed to get fritillaria to grow in my garden- pictures soon hopefully. I have the delicate snake skin ones that have a checked pattern on them as well as the Fritillaria Imperialis which has regally raised its grand crowned head but the orange flowers have not quite opened yet.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Gardening in the rain

It was a glorious day yesterday but I didn't make it to the allotment. Today threatened rain any time we tried to make a move to take the kids out. In the end I shook my fist at the weather and set off to the allotment. To start with there was a whipping wind but no rain. My right arm has felt a bit weird so I decided not to do anything heavy. I've planted rows of onions and am putting rows of carrots amongst them as I believe the smell of onions confuses the carrot flies and keeps them away. Well it worked last year! (Not that I did an exhaustive trial but the carrots were unaffected until the onions were harvested.)
I made holes in the ground with a giant dipper, filled them with multipurpose compost and added a couple of carrot seeds to each filled hole. We have clay soil at the allotment and carrots love loose soil hence the multipurpose compost to give them a head start. Half way through, the rain started falling and a fellow allotmenteer stopped over on his way out and said, 'It takes a certain kind of person to have an allotment.' I am that person -come rain or sun.
Back at home- one lot of leek seeds haven't made it. I kept the plastic cover on too long after they had germinated. They ended up getting too damp and died. The other tray is doing fine thank goodness.