Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Week 10

Monday, 5th March 2007

Got some OKRA, Chicory Leaf and Musselburgh leek seeds sown. The granadilla plants have come up as well. Will need to keep an eye on them and pot them on soon.
Also managed to put another sweet potato into water to see if I can get some slips off it. Fingers crossed!

Friday, 9th March 2007

The daffodils out the front that I planted last autumn have really come up nicely and really cheer on up when you look at them - although the King Edwards are still not all up yet. The Clematis Armandi is also starting to flower and you can faintly smell that wonderful Vanilla smell. I remember last year when it flowered the smell wafted all the way around to the back garden.

When I popped in for a quick visit to the greenhouse I noticed that the pea seeds that I planted on 28 Feb have just started poking their little heads up from the soil (only 10 days to germinate!) – I seem to have conned the mouse with my nifty contraption that strung the guttering off floor level.

It would seem that I have eventually managed to get green peppers to germinate – only hope that I can bring them to full adulthood and get some fruit off them. The chillis I planted in late January are still not even poking their heads out – don’t think the seed was viable even though I dried it in the garlic container – maybe it was too dry and killed the chilli? Anyway have had a little scratch around and maybe something pops its head out. Will give it another couple of days.
After returning from the hospital and some shopping as ASDA found out that Gardeners World was not on thanks to Crufts. Hhhph!!

Well all was not lost, I spent the rest of the evening finally pricking out the rest of the hellebore orientalis and ex Ballard varieties – it is amazing how big and tough the root system is for such small seedlings. I now have tons of seedlings and Paul (the chap who gave the seed), says that there might be some doubles in the pack. He also said to look out for darker stems which would indicate darker flowers – so far I could only see a couple. Also managed to repot the yarrow for later planting on the allotment as I have read that it is a good tonic plant as are Foxgloves - so I will have to keep my eyes open for any self seeded babies in the garden which I can transplant onto the lottie. They say the Victorians planted them under fruit trees as it improved the storing power of them.

Finally brought the cactus dahlia bulbs (Cerise Pink) and the begonia tubers in from the shed – they don’t seem to have suffered too much and have come through the winter quite well, although I did have my doubts as when I got back in January and checked them there was a slight mould on the dahlias – I just sprinkled some Sulphur powder on them and it seemed to do the trick. I think next winter I must put them into the garage rather. They are now all potted up in damp compost in plastic on top of fridge in kitchen. Must remember to check them occasionally.

The cactus dahlias (cerise Pink) will be planted on the lottie in the flower bed together with the stunning spider Chrysanthemums named – Froggy (lime green), ? and ? (all in shades of pink through green) that I ordered through Gardeners World magazine special – the order is three of each plant so I have decided that I will be splitting them and planting some in the back garden and the rest on the Lottie with the dahlias in the flower garden patch. I also read that the Chrysanthemums are good companion plants on the lottie as they have natural pest-killing properties. They will also give me a good selection of cutting flowers for the house for the entire Summer whilst the folks are here. Hoping to have vases and vases full of lowers. Got some lovely pots of Phlox (pink) and Forget Me Not from the Jigsaw Appeal table in the foyer, at the hospital, for a £1 each, which I will pop, into the back garden for a little extra summer colour. The Okra seeds have already started popping up – gosh they’re in a hurry!

Saturday, 10th March 2007

Spent a lovely day on the lottie – the weather was absolutely lovely and got quite hot at times. Arrived there about 9:30 and Ron later brought me an English breakfast sandwich before going to work. Only got home at about 17:00 – so a good days work done despite the muscles being a bit stiff and achy – had a lovely hot shower and eventually had a cup a soup and toast for dinner. Terrence was not impressed!

The mystery bulbs turned out to be daffodils after all – it was really lovely turning up at the lottie and seeing their cheery faces bobbing in the wind. I also have a lovely cannas coming up which needs to be moved as it is in the middle of the new path besides the potato patch. Will put it into a large pot so that I can move it around to where I need extra colour. Holding my breath to see what kind it is – at the minute it looks like a bog standard as the leaves don’t look variegated. Will lift it next weekend and give it a bit of T&C.

All in all a good day as I managed to get the onion bed weeded – again!! Must get Gerrard to get me some mulch – must also check the leaf compost bin as there might be some compost there that I can spread on the onion patch and save a bit on the weeding. The onions are looking good though!!

Also managed to plant out the Feltham First peas and erect their peas sticks (from pruned raspberry plants. I then surrounded the whole thing with Pea netting and despite trying to put up some fleece and taking up kite flying in the process – eventually gave it up as a bad job. I will just have to watch the weather forecasts and dash down to the lottie to put some fleece on if frost is forecast.

Also put in the first sweet peas wigwam and planted some companion seeds and planted out the last of the broad beans. Eventually found the Giant Pascal Celery seeds and got them in the propagator. Also put some Thunderbergia ‘Salmon Shades’, Morning Glory ‘Grandpa Otts’ and sunflower seeds potted up for a bit of extra colour on the lottie and maybe a couple of the trellis’ at home. The Sarah Raven seeds I ordered have still not come – only hope they get here in time for me to sow them – especially the Brandywine tomato seeds.

Sunday, 11th March 2007

Lent Phil’s trailer – but had to empty it first – the tip was an absolute madhouse. The boys (Ron and Terrence) came to the lottie with me bright and early and we removed all the old carpets that we have lifted and all the wood prunings from the fruit trees. The lottie is now looking much better with all the piles of rubble gone.

After getting back from the dump and having a late brunch with the boys, Terrence and I went back to the lottie and managed to get one row of the first early potatoes, Epicure in so should be able to garden the first row 10th June. Or thereabouts. Ron was working the late shift so did not come back with us. Also managed to weed and dig over half of the root bed and planted 1 x row Student parsnips (pre-germinated – this is a mew method to me and I will see what the outcome is) – as catch crops planted 1 x row Tom Thumbs Lettuce and 1 x row Wild Rocket with the parnips, 1 x row ?, 1 x row White Lisbon spring onions, 1 x row Early Nantes carrots, 1 x row Boltardy Beetroot – also planted companion rows amongst the sowings.

Terrence sorted out the wooded border for the new asparagus bed and erected the arch over the front gate. I got the grape vine in and attached to the arch (with cable ties) so hopefully that will keep the grapevine and the trellis from being blown away in the wind. I popped the Jasmine that Geraldine gave me on the opposite side. So fingers crossed, we should get a lovely show this summer, not to mention the wonderful smell.

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