APRIL: DIVIDED INTO TWO PARTS
In early April things were starting out. Seedlings were small, bulbs just showing, allotment looking bare. But give it a few weeks and you get this….
Part 1. Escape to the greenhouse
I’ve been spending lots of time in my favorite place, the greenhouse. It maybe small by it serves me well considering that it supplies my allotment with hundreds of young plants. This year I’m creating a cut-flower border at the veggie plot. Many of the annuals will be sown straight in the ground, but I’ve started off delphiniums, larkspur, Sea Holly, Verbascun, cosmos and Aquilegia in the heated propagators. I’ve never grown flowers at the allotment, apart from companions like marigolds, so this will be a new challenge.
My recycled cardboard tubes are filled with a perennial sweet pea and they also fit neatly into a handsome tin container. Sunflowers, annual sweet peas, blackball cornflower are all popping up without the aid of heat. Marigolds have been pricked out too. Meanwhile Broccoli, cauliflower, onions, garlic, celeriac and tomatoes are coming on nicely. But I need to clear more space for the next wave of sowing such as sweet corn and courgettes.
My living wreath has thrived in the green house too and has been a nice centerpiece during the winter months. I’ve started carefully watering it, and already the sedums are taking on more colour. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all grows together over the summer.
At the allotment I have prepared the cut flower bed and adjacent mange tout bed. I have ordered Delikata as these promise to be delicious as young mange tout and if left to mature, excellent podded peas. I have the first collection of seeds already sown. Lupins, lavatera, penstemon and cornflower are for the cut flower border. It has been a bit chilly so I have sheltered the sowings under fleece plus I need more netting as the muntjacs and rabbits are still a nuisance. Rhubarb is looking great at the plot and I still have leeks and chard growing.
Bulbs are looking beautiful; the miniature daffodils are still in bloom but the best success is nine white hyacinths just by the front door. Their aroma greets you as you approach the door and is so intoxicating is really is a treat to come home.
More photos coming soon as Spring swings into action!
April has been so busy I’ve got more news..
I had two projects that needed finishing fast. One was my potting bench and the other was to pay attention to the border that the builders thoughtfully remodelled.
No room in the green house and potting-on jobs to do meant a little bit of creative thinking about adding extra work-space. My target was a bookcase that I had been using as a log store as it is exactly the right height for the counter-top. Its two abandoned shelves were ripe for re-use again. I used one shelf to extend the counter top and the other as an eyelevel shelf. I painted it in two shades of grey and added some slats to hang tools from.The best bit was ‘dressing’ the potting bench by adding a vintage pediment carving from an old wardrobe, shells, pots that could hang from the slats, and old chopping board to work on. Lastly a bit of bunting finished it all off. For details on how I made it go to POTTING AROUND IN STYLE at the top of this sitePositioned next to the greenhouse, its maiden voyage was a great success, as I could happily pot-on young plants with everything to hand.
The next job was to tackle my shady border with its fence looking so bare. I moved the bamboo to the back before the fern starts growing. The rockery needed rebuilding and skimmias planting. Recycled mirrors that had been outside for years needed a splash to paint and once on the fence brighten the whole area. All I need to do now it is to decide on which climbers will be best here.
Pots of tulips are bursting into bloom on the sunny side of the garden. The orange ones hovering over a batch of wall flowers are stunning. Pots of purple, yellow and pink ones are all looking promising and my renovated Lutyens bench brings a spot of class to the whole area.