welcome to my little suburban oasis, filled with flowers,fruit trees and vegetables

Sunday, 31 January 2010

picked this week

slight snow fall overnight and freezing again this morning. picked some brussels sprouts earlier in the week and, cold permitting, will pick some more for dinner.

Friday, 29 January 2010

more sowing

sowing seeds again today - sweetpeas, red rodeo cabbage, white charmant cabbage and all year round cauliflower.

indoor gardening

I was wandering round the garden earlier (it's been a sunny spring-like sort of day) and lifting the front cover of the stenhouse to let some air and light in, when I remembered the bulbs planted in autumn - they've been a bit 'out of sight, out of mind'. the daffodils aren't really through yet but crocuses are showing so i brought them into the house.

THEN, I remembered the hyacinth bulbs hidden in a cupboard, being 'forced' for early flowering. these should have been brought into the light a bit sooner - they're quite advanced with flower buds clearly showing but very, very pale due to lack of light. should recover on a windowsill though and there'll be flowers in a few days.
Meanwhile, I have some indoor colour as the small cyclamens are still flowering.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

sun and seeds

a bright sunny morning. sowing more seed - onions and italian yellow peppers. it's a while since we last tried growing onions rather than spring onions but these Kelsae seed were on sale very cheaply at the Works last week so we thought we'd give them a go.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

tomatoes, chillies

setting seed today . 2 sorts of tomatoes - big boy, a beef steak type and moneymaker - and cayenne pepper chillies. in the propagator, in the airing cupboard, to keep warm and get them started.

Thursday, 21 January 2010


a mild day, impossible to believe that there was still snow and ice a week ago - other areas have had snow this week but not here. walked to the wood today - hazel catkins are opening and the large pussy willow is in flower, not as early as last year but I'm surprised how advanced they are.
a pair of blue tits have been checking out one of the garden birdboxes and a pair of doves sitting in the sycamore tree, cooing.
sowing another batch of broad beans - bunyard's exhibition - to replace those set in autumn that don't look likely to survive

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

could spring be on the way?

not a lot to be seen but if you look very carefully the first signs of spring are there. snowdrops starting to appear and buds on more of the polyanthus

Monday, 18 January 2010

winter crops

broad beans looking shattered but still alive. winter peas not looking too bad and brussels looking very well indeed.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

surviving the snow

snow is starting to thaw so I've been pottering around, looking for snowdrops, checking what has survived and such like. very surprised to see the alpine strawberry still flowering - but even more so when I found fruit on it! can't imagine it will ripen but here it is - a strawberry in the middle of winter.

also discovered a geranium that should have been taken indoors months ago - don't know how come that's alive at all!

meanwhile, in the greenhouse things are now wrapped up nice and warm - bubblewrap on the ceiling and then the plastic greenhouse tucked inside. the watering can was still frozen though this morning.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

snowing again!!

we've had two days of thaw and some of the snow was starting to disappear- main roads were clear, road out front clearing but some snow still left on garden and on the fields towards Morley and Smalley- BUT last night turned really cold and all the slush turned to ice making the drive like a skating rink, then today we've had a constant drizzly snow - not heavy, but persistent and the roads and garden are covered again - except for the patio which appears to have under floor heating.
anyway, in between the snow I've been out and checked on the plants in the greenhouse - all seem to be doing well in their triple protective environment- and the stenhouse where things are drier and much colder -I decided to move the over-wintering cauliflowers into the greenhouse as the soil in the seed tray was completely frozen. there are still radishes in the cold frame though I don't know if they'll actually be fit to eat, certainly surprised that these aren't frozen off.
lettuce seedlings are through in their pots in the kitchen - the Winter Density grew a little faster than the red Salad Bowl.
the cold weather is bringing a lot of unusual birds into the garden. we've had long-tailed tits, redwings and a fieldfare in addition to the usual visitors. have put out extra feeders on the big apple tree in the veg patch.
I was tempted yesterday at the garden centre by displays of purple and yellow polyanthus - I'm glad I resisted, they wouldn't flower for long outside at the moment. will wait for those already in the garden to flower( some were in bud before the cold spell) and for snowdrops.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

continuing snow

more snow again today. the ground's been covered now for a week -since New Year's Day. we've had an increasing number of birds coming for food including rather shy redwings. unfortunately, the almost resident blackbird doesn't approve of the extra visitors so in an attempt to feed them we've made another, temporary, birdtable from a seed tray fastened to a fencing post. hopefully the birds will approve.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

first sowings of the year

the lettuce and spinach in the greenhouse are looking a bit healthier now, inside their propagators, inside the plastic greenhouse, inside the glass greenhouse but I think it's going to be a long while before there's and amount of lettuce to pick. I don't want to bring the seedtrays inside from the greenhouse in case the heat wakens pests that were dormant out in the cold so, in an attempt to get some early salad stuff, I've set some lettuce - winter density and red salad bowl - in a couple of plant pots on the kitchen windowsill. It ought to grow quicker than that outside but might be a bit "leggy".

under snow

hard frosts came back just after New Year then, two days ago, snow fell on top of it. Although yesterday and today were sunny, it's still very cold and the snow looks like it's here to stay for a while.

Monday, 4 January 2010

double greenhouse

yesterday the temperature barely got above freezing and last night was a second night of heavy frost - even the plants in the greenhouse are starting to look in a bad way. they were already under propagator lids but have decided to try rigging the plastic greenhouse inside the glass one to keep them warmer.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

last of the pumpkins

started the last of the pumpkins for yesterday's lunch. this one weighs about 9lb so we're expecting it to last for a while


snow again. broad beans covered again and closed the stenhouse up.

Friday, 1 January 2010

new year garden - flowers

not the best time of year to find lots of flowers in the garden but have managed to find some

buds on polyanthus

bergenia flowers - a bit worse for the frost

even one flower on the alpine strawberries

honesty seed heads

new year garden - things that are doing well

not everything is suffering so much from the weather.
lettuce seedlings and small spinach plants are growing in the greenhouse

the young spring cabbage plants were protected from the worst of the cold in their plastic collars.

both leeks and broccoli have recovered well

new year garden - not doing well

neither peas nor broad beans are looking very healthy after the long spell of frost we've had.