Category Archives: The Garden

Spring Glow

Are we nearly there yet?

‘Depending upon which definition you use, there are actually two different dates that the mark the first day of spring.’

1 March 2018 is the first day of the meteorological spring

20 March 2018 is the first day of the astronomical spring

The skies are still mostly grey and dismal, the temperature outside is still cold but spring is officially here!

However, it‚Äôs a joy to see my garden and allotment begin to wake up after winter. The spring bulbs and fruit trees are blossoming…that ‘Spring glow’ is everywhere.

The daffodils are looking stunning!20180414_1228521478062419.jpg

The willow is sprouting nicely.

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The rhubarb has already contributed to a delicious apple and rhubarb crumble.

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The perennial Kale tastes delicious and continues to add a ‘punch’ to dinner.

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The broad beans and garlic are growing nicely too!

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Spring is the busiest time on the allotment and in the garden, so I’m trying my best, despite the weather, to get on with the jobs but I’m still behind in my planting!

The potatoes are still chitting, a second batch of broad beans have just sprouted along with a sowing of ‘Moonlight’ runner beans.

I’ve managed to plant three ‘Gardeners Delight’ tomato plants in the new greenhouse raised bed. Fingers crossed they’ll be ok – no luxury heating in my greenhouse :-/

Tomato plants are looking strong…doing my bit for recycling too by using old labels found in my seed box!

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Some of my favourites in the garden at the moment are Honeyberry flowers, Cowslips, Hidcote Pink comfrey, Night Scented Phlox, Anacylus and the gorgeous blue Lithodora (Heavenly Blue)

 

Hopefully you’re enjoying the ‘spring glow’ and managing to potter on with the planting, despite the gloomy skies ūüôā

 

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Seeds of Promise

Late February / early March brings the opportunity to start the growing season – indoors only – my garden is still far too cold and wet!  I did check using the ‘squeeze test’ and, yep, the soil forms a soggy mud ball in my hand!

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I’ve invested in a windowsill propagator so I’m hoping that the seeds will be kept warm and moist – perfect for germination!

I’m only sowing a few to begin with…sweet peas and tomatoes.  Sowing now should allow the plants to reach a decent size before planting out after the last frost, which should be around the end of April in my area of Wales.

  • Sweet Peas ‘Spanish Dancer’ – highly fragranced and an unusual tri-colour plus a packet of mixed tall sweet peas that were free on the front of a gardening magazine ūüôā
  • Rosella tomatoes – part of James Wong’s collection (Sutton Seeds).  I grew them last year and I can honestly say that they were the sweetest tomatoes I’ve ever tasted!  I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to grow this tasty fruit however because they’re a hybrid. In my experience hybrids tend to be offered by seed growers for a few years, then disappear ūüė¶

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Early sowing of peas, broad beans and runner beans are next on my list but I think that’ll try to wait another week ūüôā

 

 

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Gardd Mamgu (Grandma’s Garden)

‘At the bottom of the garden there lives a little gnome’

I love my garden.¬†¬† I’ve always appreciated the beauty of a lovely garden buzzing with wildlife and I hope that I’ve managed to pass on that love of nature to my¬†children.¬†However as a grandparent I’m taking ‘gardening’ to another level by trying to create a little magic…

There’s a little gnome house in the old tree stump:-)

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‘Tiddler A’¬†loves stories about fairies and gnomes.¬†A few¬†strategically placed items seem to¬†light up¬†her imagination and keep her interested in the garden as a whole.

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I truly believe that we shouldn’t be precious about our gardens…so what if it’s kitsch?!

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I always¬†have watering cans ‘dotted’ about the place and ‘Tiddler A’ regularly fills up¬†from the garden tap before helping¬† me with the watering – she¬†knows how plants grow.¬† ‘Tiddler A’ has planted seeds of most vegetables and nurtured her chosen flowers seedlings with joy but sadly she is the only child in her class that understands the process of gardening.¬† None of the other children had ever sown a seed, watered a flower, dug up a home-grown potato or even made rose petal perfume! Sad, very sad!!

My garden is the perfect and most natural place for¬†the ‘Tiddlers’¬†to play and learn.¬† Why, oh why, is gardening¬†generally ‘discovered’ later in life?!¬† We have a responsibility to be sharing gardening skills with our grandchildren…if necessary with a little sprinkle of fairy dust!

‘What we sow in their minds today will reap a priceless harvest tomorrow.’