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

Thursday, 27 February 2014

New greenhouse

 Another sunny day meant there was time for me to go to the allotment and see our new greenhouse. Well, when I say new what I really mean is extra. It belonged to another allotmenteer and like our first allotment greenhouse was damaged by the gales before Christmas - so much so that the owner has had enough and  is swapping to a poly-greenhouse, and giving this one away. Lots of the glass is broken but by joining the two together we're hoping to save on glass in the linking 'wall'. For now there's no glass in either - ours was damaged too and we decided to 'de-glaze' it till Spring. I don't imagine we'll be growing more tomatoes, peppers, aubergines etc just able to grow them all inside. Now all we need is some lovely Spring weather.

Meanwhile this is the state of the brussels sprouts - they've completely sprouted so I'm just using them as small spring greens.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Snowdrops, snowdrops everywhere

front flower bed
Spring must be on the way because the garden is filled with snowdrops

I started with a small clump when we moved here and they've just spread and spread
under the front window

small bed by front door

a new patch by the seat
in pots

trying to encircle the back lawn

...and another pot

solitary flower in old veg patch
crocus for variety

Monday, 24 February 2014

Picked this week - 23rd February 2014

Not a lot to be picked this week

some short stubby leeks

and bits of spinach and brussels

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Picked this week 16th February 2014

This is it!

I haven't been down to the allotment this week although Hubby and the dog went digging. I'd been hoping for more dry days but the weather had other ideas.
So, nothing picked from there and just the merest handful of spinach, rocket and land cress leaves, two tiny spring onions and the first shoots of chives from home.

Friday, 14 February 2014

A bit of added encouragement

 I've now got so many rhubarb roots that I thought I'd have a go at forcing some for an early crop. Of course, I haven't got a proper forcing pot but I do have some broken terracotta plant-pots, which turned upside down should work almost as well. (I hope) If the rhubarb grows too tall, I shall swap the plant-pot for the old chimney pot just visible at the back of the photo, but first it has to grow.

Up till recently the weather's been quite mild and  last year's nasturtiums are still clinging on to life in this wall basket. As it's dropped a bit colder now, I thought I'd protect them with bubble wrap. It seems such a shame to lose them this close to Spring. Hopefully this will give them that little bit of warmth that could make all the difference.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Picked this week - 9th February 2014

There's a lot of brassicas in various guises this week.

 Two tiny cabbages that weren't going to grow any more. Barely enough for one person on either though.

A heap of brussels sprouts, some a bit too open but edible even so.

Lots of kale - probably more than we'll eat - and tiny broccoli spears
A bit more unusual - red kale which was grown last year as an early salad leaf in the poly greenhouse and just somehow got left there.
Spinach off course - a bit dirty and nibbled so careful picking through needed.
Another winter staple - leeks, again.
and various radishes - these are from a B+Q cheap packet labelled 'mixed radish' and they certainly are, but I'm still glad to have fresh radish at this time of year. As a general rule, the whiter they are, the hotter they taste.

and these rather fat and weird radish were found in the garden while I was weeding and clearing. I new there were lots of tops and leaves but never expected to find radish when I pulled them up.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

A week of contrasts

Despite sunny weather over the weekend, and a bright ill-omened Groundhog Day, this was the appalling sight that met us at the allotment on Monday. Fortunately once we'd diverted round by another path, our plot was comparatively dry. Hubby got a little digging done and set some Sparkler radish under a cold frame while I went round picking broccoli, brussels, spinach and radishes. As we were leaving, I spotted some rhubarb roots being offered free to good homes, so we now have two more. Can't have too much rhubarb!
At home, in Tuesday's sunshine, I started to clear the garden - lots of dead stalks needed to be tidied up to let the snowdrops through and a small area of the veg patch dug and weeded ready for sowing, though that probably won't be till next month.
After that the weather turned wet though I did manage some brief pottering around on Friday which was cold but dry. Clearing up at home has had to stop for a while as the compost bin is full again! When it's decomposed for a while, I'll carry on with the weeding.

Nearly here....

 I happened to notice today that the snowdrops are very nearly flowering,
so hopefully another day of sunshine and they'll all burst open.
There are even daffodils in bud!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

February in the garden - veg

I don't have so many veg in the garden these days - most of it is grown down at the allotment but there are still some bits and pieces, mainly salad crops which at this time of year means spinach....


and american land cress

As the veg patch is now supposed to be as decorative as useful, there are a few cabbages and kale around to keep the garden looking 'used' over winter instead of bare.


and of course it's the time of year to have summer's crops starting life in the greenhouse - cabbages

a couple of lettuce (the rest eaten by slugs and snails)

and broad beans under the holly which should keep the mice at bay.

February in the garden - flowers

At first glance the garden isn't looking to exciting this month but look closely and the signs of Spring are there.

Snowdrops are waiting to burst into flower any day now with some more sunshine.

The first crocus are peeping through the weeds

The polyanthus have flowered well for most of winter

though something, possibly birds though could be mice, has been eating this pink one.

another all-winter flowerer, the winter jasmine is starting to look bedraggled

as is the hollyhock. I'm hoping this will survive any cold weather still to come and grow to the upstairs windows in summer.

and the oriental poppy is trying, again!, to flower.

More usual signs of Spring are the first flowers on the bergenia
buds on wallflowers

and a solitary pansy

Spring definitely feels like it's on the way - though Groundhog Day/ Candlemas was sunny bright so we should be in for more wintery weather yet.