Friday, 17 April 2009

mid April


A lot has been happening over the last week or two. Last weekend we planted the potatoes, at Easter as tradition dictates: Arran Pilot (first early), Charlotte (second early), Pink Fir Apple (maincrop). We also planted a couple of rows of samples given to us by Emma: eight Ratte, five Belle de Fontenay, and six Rooster. All these went into the new bed in the field between the raspberry rows where there will eventually be rhubarb, and in the new lower half of the cutting bed where there will eventually be flowers.

The first sowing of broad beans, peas and mangetout are coming along well in the greenhouse and will soon need to be planted out. I have also sown carrots (just showing today), celeriac (no sign) and beetroot (up and growing strongly). Yesterday I sowed chard and a couple of days ago two sorts of cabbage, Greyhound and Calibos. A couple of weeks ago I sowed some Little Gem lettuce and some mixed salad leaves and they are growing quite strongly.

Ian has sowed more tomatoes this week, together with cucumber and courgettes. So far there is very little outside except for the garlic and onions, all growing well.

I need to weed and rake the slice of the cutting garden which will have to take root veg. There is just no room in the kitchen garden.

Side garden

I have planted out the three fennel plants that I grew from our own seed, sown in October of last year and overwintered in the greenhouse. They are in the sunnier of the two beds in the side garden. I also planted out seven dianthus, also grown from seed and looking a bit sad and straggly having been in the coldframe for a couple of months, three pulsatilla and three more white foxgloves. Into there also went a phlomis from Great Dixter and three eremurus.

In the shady bed went the other three eremurus, three smyrnium perfoliatum , five arum creticum (these last two also from Great Dixter) and the other three pulsatilla. I know the eremurus really like full sun, but there is sun for a fair part of the day and just not enough room in the other bed for all of them.

The side garden is starting to look a bit more garden like now, although still with patches of bare soil. All these plants sound great but they are tiny! Once the alchemilla and the hardy geraniums have filled out it will be better. The grass seed on the resown lawn is a bit hopeless. Perhaps it will need to be done again.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

The side garden

Further progress on the side garden today. I planted out 12 white foxgloves and lifted and moved 8 alchemilla mollis from the gravel in front of the house to the edges of the new bed. I also planted out two new hardy geraniums from Crug Farm Plants. Shamefacedly I have to admit that I don't know the varieties as I have had these in pots for about a year and have lost the labels.

The side garden is still looking empty but not quite as desolate as last month. I still have some potted tulips to plant out and some eremurus later in April. I suspect the eremurus will be happier in the other bed. This one is likely to be too shady but I have so many I will give it a go. It is a pain to plant things out in here at the moment. The soil as always here is stony and shallow. I wonder how much of what has gone in will survive.
In the greenhouse I sowed Clary and Orlaya Grandiflora, both hardy annuals. I also sowed some carrots and celeriac in guttering which, perhaps surprisingly, worked well last year.