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

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A green sort of day at the allotment

Had a busy day at the allotment today with lots of digging - but the sun shone, the robin and frogs hopped about and I picked a handful of land cress for lunch.
 Assisted as always by our dog - maybe he's measuring the length of the row?

It wasn't very kind to my green fingernails though :)

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Picked this week and the return of winter 24th February 2013

After a brief interval of sunshine and warmth at the beginning of the week, the weather's turned icy again. Temperatures are barely above 3 or 4 degrees by afternoon and scrappy snow is trying to fall - the good side is that none has settled yet!
At the beginning of the week, we moved some strawberry plants from home to the allotment and planted out some brassica seedlings - a mix of kale, cabbage and cauliflower. I'm hoping these will be ok now the weather's so much colder.
The only lifted crop this week was a couple of leeks from the garden and sadly they were badly damaged by leek beetles.
We've now moved on to our last sack of stored potatoes so could ideally do with a few more this coming year - though as we've bought lots of reduced-price seed this week, that shouldn't be a problem.

Friday, 22 February 2013


We've been out buying proper seed potatoes this week but meanwhile some of last years crop have been quietly sprouting. I know a lot of people don't recommend trying to grow these but I've put them in a potato bag, covered with soil and for now left them in the greenhouse. After all, they weren't fit to eat and I may get a few potatoes at least.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Picked this week 17th February 2013

No kale this week - still not recovered from being treated as snack bar by pigeons. No leeks. But did pick some land cress which is starting to grow again.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Another snow day!

 Just as I thought Spring might be arriving - another day of snow comes along instead! It fell steadily all day yesterday (13th February) but then disappeared magically overnight to be followed by a lovely sunny day.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Groundhog and snow

Nine days ago, Groundhog Day or Candlemas dawned bright and fair - and stayed that way all day. According to tradition this means that winter will return.
Overnight it did. Not with the heavy disruptive snow that was forecast but enough to cover ground and roads and decorate the trees.

By ;lunchtime the snowdrops were peeping through again - till the next fall, expected on Wednesday.

Monday, 4 February 2013

February flowers

 Snowdrops are the big stars at the moment - just starting to come into flower but there are others around here and there and Spring feels just around the corner.
polyanthus in a sheltered spot


 bergenias in bud

even flowers on the alpine strawberries
 winter jasmine looking a bit bedraggled now but still adding some colour just outside the kitchen window

daffodil buds just visible inside the leaves
...and, ok not a flower, but the strange first signs of rhubarb pushing through.

Picked this week - 3rd February 2013

Picked some of the usual old kale and leeks but I was most excited and surprised to visit the allotment after the snow and find lettuce still alive in the cold frame - so brought some for my lunch along with American land cress which seems to keep growing no matter what the weather!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Pretending Spring has arrived.

Almost magically, overnight, the snow melted and this week was mostly lovely and sunny - though with a very chill wind at times. I decided to at last get round to pricking out the straggly spring onions into a larger tray.

 I also thought it was time to start sowing seed - some Bedfordshire Champion onions and Winter Salad leaves that were free with a gardening magazine, and the delicate sorts of plants - tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and chillies - that take forever to grow.
Down at the allotment, I set some radish and carrots in the polytunnel greenhouse, hoping they'll grow and crop before it's needed for cucumbers and such.