So to Part 2 . . .
Where March was an incredibly dry month here, April has been wetter and warm so the water butts are full again and everything is growing like stink. The squash family has gone crazy in the tunnel so I’ve been hardening them off outside for several days in preparation for planting (one of this afternoon’s jobs). We shouldn’t have any more frosts here now, hope that’s not famous last words!
I’ve cleared the whole heavily-mucked-and-composted patch in front of the tunnel ready for two yellow ‘Goldena’ courgettes and three green ‘Latino’ – yes, I realise that will be way too many courgettes for two people but I never learn – also ‘Bonbon’, ‘Crown Prince’ and ‘Sweet Dumpling’ squashes. In a separate patch I’m going to plant ‘Stripetti’ and ‘Golden Nugget’ squashes (the ‘Uchiki Kuri’ didn’t germinate but somehow I don’t think we’re going to be short), along with a couple of ‘Jogger’ outdoor cucumbers. I’ve put up three wigwams for climbing beans, a pretty speckled borlotti ‘Lingua di Fuoco’ (love that name!) and purple ‘Cosse Violette’, also on today’s planting list.
We’re eating several varieties of salad leaves from the tunnel, the mizuna is riddled with leaf beetle perforations but otherwise there’s a plentiful supply. Borage and calendula – obviously thinking it’s summer – have been flowering for several weeks, so their petals add a splash of colour.
There’s plenty of salad following on outside: the ‘Mixed Salad Bowl’ and ‘Little Gem’ lettuce are going well between the garlic rows
and new plantings of rocket and rainbow chard germinated in days.
No sign of the ‘Plate d’Egypte’ beetroot yet but the French turnip ‘Rouge Plat Hâtif’ are through and I’m hoping for more success with them this year (along with swedes and several summer brassicas, they were a complete disaster last year).
On the subject of brassicas, I really must clear the patch of old plants ready for new things. I’ve been reluctant to pull up the kale plants as the flowers are full of bees but they have to go. The ‘Pixie’ spring cabbages are hearting up with no great enthusiasm so I think it’s time to just eat them as spring greens. We’re still eating purple sprouting broccoli but probably for not much longer!
The pots of strawberries by the front door are putting on a good show of flowers and I spy tiny fruits forming . . . mmm, can’t wait for them.
There has been a good show of flowers in the veg patch, too: the ‘formal’ border of tulips has been very pretty and despite my preference for wilder plantings, I’ve found myself quite liking it as a colourful backdrop.
There’s colour coming in the (informal) flower garden, which is full of orange-bottomed bumble bees.
It’s full of weeds, too, and I really must spend some time sorting it out before they get the upper hand, especially as I need some space for tomatoes very soon. The problem is I think gardens should be enjoyed as much as they are worked in (on this subject, if you’ve never read Donald Norfolk’s The Therapeutic Garden, I strongly recommend it) so here’s a clue as to what I’ve been doing instead . . .
Oh well, where the weeding’s concerned, there’s always tomorrow. 🙂