MAY 2013


Magnificent! My Japanese acers have survived the never-ending winter and are putting on a spectacular display. Acer palmatum ‘Osakazuki’ has developed an abundance of pretty dark-pink flowers in addition to the bronze-tipped leaves. I needn’t have spent all winter fearing the worst as the red palmatum Bloodgood has put on at least twenty-five per cent growth when I checked last years photos. Also here’s ‘before’ a photo of this border a few years back after the builders had gone.

Trellis wall before

Rhododendrons were a bargain at the garden centre with a two-for-one offer. They are just starting to flower and the purple tulips where definitely worth the effort last January. As a loyalty-card queen, I managed to get all my plants for summer pots at half price and with another twenty per cent off too. Clematis Early Sensation with an everlasting sweet pea are a recent buy and look good in a pot.

Everyone needs bunting in their lives.
Everyone needs bunting in their lives.

The green house is bursting at the seams. What a happy sight and worthy of some bunting. Thriving are courgettes, tomatoes, chillies, brussels, red cabbage, two sorts of cauliflower, sweet corn, lettuce, butternut squash and a pumpkin called ‘jack of all trades’. Queuing to be potted on are sweet peppers, although not pot-bound, look a bit starved in seed compost and need more organic matter.

Nothing is ever what you expect. Peas didn’t want to know in the greenhouse but happily popped up in over-dry cracked soil at the allotment. Also, French beans are being shy, and I’m being impatient, so I’ll have to start off some more.

Germinated at the plot are parsnips and carrots. Previous sowings of spring onions were a no-show, but the green manure bed looks good. Other sowings that I am hoping for a peak at are ‘Chioggia’ beetroot and Salsify ‘Sandwich Island’.

Bargain. A sack of potatoes for 50pence
Bargain. A sack of potatoes for 50pence

Another bargain was a packet of second-early Orla potatoes for 50p. Lots of healthy shoots meant that they went straight into the trenches. I’ve also invested in a border fork, smaller that a normal one and lighter too. It means a bulky-dig with a standard sized fork, is followed by going over with the border fork for a better cultivated soil, with less back ache.

Marigolds and fire pit
My future lunch area.

More importantly, a fire-pit style barbeque is installed at the plot and to celebrate I’ve planted some firery marigolds leading up to it. Half a packet of seeds produced 120 plants, I’ve still got another seventy to go out, but that’s OK you can never have enough marigolds amongst your veggies.

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A blog about my gardening exploits to inspire, even if its looking like its all about go wrong. (Which it does, alot)

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