18 May 2019

Dorset Garden Diary - The Pain is Worth It...Almost!


The start of this blog is similar to the start of the previous one - I've hurt my back gardening! This time it was watering the plants. I know I should've used the hose and taken it easy, but I decided to use the water butts and the watering cans. Result??? I've put my back out again. The problem is my head doesn't realise my body is twenty years older than it thinks it is!!

I've been out there for a couple of hours today putting in the French beans, weeding, watching the sparrows bathe in the bird bath and being serenaded by blackbirds. I have taken it easy...honestly.

The veg beds are coming on - garlic, assorted onions, lettuce, edamame beans, radishes, kale, carrots and dill
 
Peas, kale, beetroot, radishes, courgettes and dwarf French beans plus marigolds to keep the black fly away (hopefully)
 
The courgette I'm growing in a pot is already producing, it's way ahead of the two in the veg bed - I thought it would be the other way round.


And the spuds (early charlottes and pentland javelin) have put on a spurt - it's amazing how much they've grown since my previous blog.

All of the above are doing well because I've been watering them as we've not had any significant rain for over a week so, in a way, I've suffered for my art!

The sweet potatoes (beaureguard) arrived
these are now potted up and hardening off. It's the first time I've grown them.

And the rest is colour in the garden, starting with the red and white azaleas which need to be re-potted this year as they're looking a bit sorry for themselves


The For Your Eyes Only rose has flowered (him indoors' favourite)

In the cottage garden we have poppies in the making

and a delphinium that I know I haven't planted, but I'm glad it's here
the gladioli are looking a treat, as always

another of him indoors' favourites is the Ena Harkness rambling rose

The irises took me by surprise as they were hiding behind the lilac tree
and the dwarf lilac is looking good this year, this will also need re-potting for next year - pretty

The geums are doing better this year (they didn't like last year's drought conditions)

The antirrhiniums are, quite frankly, stunning

And finally, the pond. I've trimmed back the grass as it was dragging in the water.
It looks like the new fencing is working regarding the heron and it does look better than the netting. I've noticed the tadpoles have changed shape, they still have their tails but their bodies have developed and they look bigger than last year.

Well that's it for this week, the weather for the week ahead looks dry and warmish. Hopefully next time I blog I will be ailment free. Enjoy your gardening.






6 May 2019

Dorset Garden Diary - A Lot Can Happen in Two Weeks

Since all that gardening over the Easter weekend, my back is telling me I am at the age where I can't do that anymore. Over the past couple of weeks (whilst we were on holiday) I've been able to sit, I've been able to walk, but going from sitting to standing up straight, well, that's been a bit of a problem. It's easing now, so today I've been careful.

When we came back from holiday, the cucumbers and the tomatoes had nearly tripled in size


and the orchid that had a flower open now has four

We've had cooler days this last week and cold nights so I've been covering the peas and the courgettes overnight to protect them from potential frost

I'm hardening off the outdoor tomatoes before I plant them out


The lettuce are doing well


The potatoes I planted at Easter (I suspect these are the culprits regarding my back - all that bending down) are coming through


and talking of potatoes, I opened the composter this afternoon and there are potatoes growing inside it!

The clematis over the arch is now in full flower

and growing amongst it is wisteria. We've been here six years, it was planted by the previous owners and it's hardly grown let alone flower, until now, and the flowers are a gorgeous purple and white
 

The fruit trees have now shed all their blossom. It looks like it's going to be a bumper crop for the birds on the sour cherry tree

I thought I'd over-pruned the pear tree but there are some fruit starting to appear

and there's plenty on the plum tree again this year, fingers crossed we don't have another early drought and lose most of them again

I also gave the apple tree a good pruning and a good talking to as it hasn't produced any apples since we've been here. Well...it appears to have worked because there are actually fruits starting to show!!

Elsewhere, the geums are flowering well, they didn't like last year's dry weather
 
We have two white tulips that I haven't put in but most welcome

The antirrhinums are growing in abundance and wherever they feel like it

Yellow irises, they're a mystery as well, but also welcome

And today whilst I was weeding (carefully) I came across quite a few plants growing that I don't remember seeing last year, so I'll have to wait for them to flower to see what they are.

I planted more carrots, spring onions and radishes and thinned and re-planted the beetroot. I've re-potted the apricot seedling which has grown over six inches since Easter

and I also re-potted three avocados that have sprouted, an almond and another walnut...isn't nature wonderful!

Well, that's it for this week. Looks like it's going to warm up slightly during the week before getting cold again but we are expecting rain midweek which saves on the watering. Have a good gardening week and catch up soon.

21 April 2019

Dorset Garden Diary - The Perfect Weather for Gardening

Well, we've certainly been spoilt this Easter weekend with the weather. Gone is the cold wind, the sharp showers and the fog to be replaced by a taste of summer - cloudless sky and temperatures rising to 21C 70F and above, the birds are busy and the fish are swimming lazily near the surface - perfection.

Temperature in the greenhouse at 11.30am today

Finally it's warm enough to plant out the kale and courgettes

and the peas plus I've sowed more directly into the soil

I also planted out the kale and little gem lettuce. In the greenhouse the tomatoes have been transferred into grow bags

 
the cucumbers into pots

and also the peppers


The edamame and dwarf runner beans are starting to appear


the razzmatazz chillies will need potting on soon

a pot of salad leaves are coming on outside in the cold frame

I've probably sown too many organic corn leaves in this pot but they look good
 
 
and the apricot has grown about three inches in a week
 

The flowers are also putting on a good show





Him indoors has also been busy mowing the lawn and repairing the doors to the small shed. He's also made adjustments to the pond surround. For the past couple of years we've had netting over it to protect the fish from the heron. There was a gap underneath for the frogs to get in and out but I noticed that the dragonflies were trying to get to the water as well so we came up with this design which allows the dragonflies and other insects access to the water, the frogs can still get in and out but the heron can't get to the fish (fingers crossed!).

It's all looking pretty good even though I say so myself


And one last thing - this is the first time in four years the orchid has flowered. I moved it from the lounge to the kitchen windowsill and this is what happened

That's it for this week. Looks like it's going to get cooler in the coming week and hopefully some rain. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a good gardening week.

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