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

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Picked this week - 28th April 2013

 First radishes!!  These were from the allotment poly-greenhouse and I found a few more in the glass greenhouse at home later in the week.

This mix of salad leaves was from the allotment too - some Sioux lettuce which has overwintered in a cold frame and some mixed 'early' leaves grown in the poly greenhouse.

Another salad leaf mix- this time from the garden; land cress, small spinach leaves from the greenhouse and chives.

Brassic bits - mainly brussels running to flower with the last kale leaves. I've now lifted these plants which cropped from Autumn through most of winter and have seedlings lined up to replace them.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Colour clash - and a new addition

There's a strange clash of colour in the garden at the moment.

The forsythia and honesty don't normally flower at the same time - but this year's late Spring has brought them out together.

The colour on these photos isn't the best and the dark purple honesty clashes with the yellow more than this.

Hiding behind the forsythia is something new - call it a pyramid, wigwam or obelisk, made from the old trellising, it's there to train the rambling rose upwards instead of spreading out.

More rescuing...

A quick trip to the garden centre for compost ended up with more plant rescuing!

Firstly some half price anemone corms. I've had bad luck with these in the past, which is why I wouldn't buy them at full price. They've grown for one season, not flowered well but then not appeared at all the next year. The planting guide says set April to May so it isn't late to be putting them in the garden - I just hoping it's actually warm enough!

Secondly something I spotted on offer a week or so ago and left because it requires special ericaceous compost. £1.99 isn't a lot to pay for a blueberry bush but an extra £6 -7 for the compost stopped it being cheap. This week we were intending buying the compost anyway to infill a hole where an older blueberry has been moved into the garden, so seeing these tiny thing on offer still, I brought it home. It was strangely packed not in a pot but in a clump of soil wrapped in some cling-film like wrapping. First thing was to soak it in water to loosen the roots and now it's been potted up and left in the greenhouse for a few days to give it a good start.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Picked this week - 21st April 2013

After a long 'hungry gap' with nothing at all available to pick, we seem to have had a bumper week.

First some salad leaves for lunch

then some over-sprouting brussels

...then more cabbagey bits and pieces....

.....and the last of the leeks.

Hoping for rhubarb and radishes soon - but not together.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

A Sunny Saturday

A beautiful sunny day with forsythia and daffodils in full flower, the first dwarf tulips appearing and some muscaria and hyacinths

As well as a lot of hours at the allotment, we've been pottering about in the garden this week, moving bricks and slabs.The re-design is going well. Brick dividers to mark 'flower' and 'veg' zones are now in place and the plants moved last year starting to show signs of life.

I'm particularly pleased to see these two forsythias coming into flower. Both were split from the old one in the middle of the garden. This one is intended to hide the back fence..
...and I hope this one will hide the compost bin in a year or so.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Home grown seed

Over summer and autumn, I went round all sorts of plants collecting seed. I've regularly done this for flowers such as sweet peas and nasturtiums, and for beans and peas, but I'm now trying to save money by collecting other veg seed as well. I was a bit doubtful about how well this would work but it has!

These are kale seedlings and those below are early purple sprouting broccoli. I'm really pleased with the success rate from them. I set too many expecting some to fail but I don't think I needed to worry.

I have more harvested seed to try - radish and perpetual spinach among them - so I'm hoping those grow as well as these have.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Colourful veg

 Part of my garden redesign involves having vegetables that are productive AND decorative. With this in mind last year I tried growing blue podded peas, climbing red podded borlotto beans and some climbing french beans, cobra, which although plain green outside have black beans inside!

This year I'm adding some new varieties  - the most exciting being Marvel of Venice climbing Italian beans which have a yellow pod and some purple beans - a cosse violette.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Spring Seed Sowing

 Spring is at last looking like it's here. Daffodils and crocus are flowering at last, the sun is putting in a hazy appearance so it seems like time to get out and do some gardening.

 I've quite a hoard of free packets of seeds that how been waiting a while to be sown so today I've cleared and raked ground and sprinkled the seed liberally about. Tomorrow's rain should get them off to a good start and next week's forecast is for really warm weather.

I just hope my little helper hasn't eaten all the seeds before they start to grow!

To the rescue!

I always hunt round the sale items at garden centres in the hope of finding a bargain  - and look what I spotted this time! 6 polyanthus for 50p!!  They're a bit ragged but a little care and attention should have them perking up in no time at all.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Last potatoes...

The last remaining few of our home grown potatoes.
They've lasted well considering the dreadful weather of last summer. This time hopefully there'll be
better weather and enough extra to see us right through the year.