30 April 2017

Dorset Garden Diary - A Frosty Start Then Much Needed Rain

Evening everyone,

It's been a strange week and no doubt confusing for the plants - warm by day and frosty at night in the middle of the week, but thankfully everything has survived.

Monday - colder today and windy. A frost was forecast overnight and a chilly day tomorrow so I moved the charlotte potatoes, freesias, radishes, spinach and the jasmine into the greenhouse
and covered the other potatoes, carrots and peas with protective fleece

There was a speckled wood butterfly in the greenhouse, I've no idea how it got in there as the door was closed. I put out my hand catch it and it flew onto my finger and let me carry it outside, then sat there for a few seconds before flying off.

Tuesday - there was no frost overnight but this morning it was only just above freezing and very windy. I sowed more spring onions, beetroot and radish and potted on the previous sowing of radishes and the opera runner beans. I checked the fleeces were still intact. We had a short shower this evening, about two minutes worth that didn't even soak the concrete let alone the garden.

Wednesday - woke up to frost this morning. There was a lot of bird activity in the garden and the blue tits were in and out of their nesting box for most of the morning. I potted on beetroot and spring onion seedlings. The parsnips are starting to sprout, they are always slow to germinate
and also the black cornflowers, I'm looking forward to seeing these in flower
Whilst I was watering the potatoes, peas, carrot and the small pots I saw an orange tipped butterfly - not the best of days to choose to fly around.

Thursday - a stunning sunrise and frost again this morning. The blue tits were active again, I'm wondering if the chicks have hatched. I cleaned and refreshed the bird table and adapted the hanging bird feeder so the birds (hopefully) can't throw the seed everywhere...we'll see. The perennials I'd ordered arrived at lunchtime, twelve each of poppy 'ladybird', lavender 'munstead', geum 'mrs J bradshaw' and Echinacea 'pink parasol'.
I left the fleeces on again today and overnight just in case there is more frost.
Friday - cloudy but warmer today. I moved the lodgers out of the greenhouse back into the garden and removed the protective fleeces. I potted up the poppies and the geums. Despite the frost, the yellow alyssum is brightening up the garden
and the first of the yellow poppies
Saturday - cloudy, windy and warm when the sun decided to come out. I potted on the lavender and echinacea then put the next batch of peas in and sowed more
potted up the chillies (left) and put them in the greenhouse next to the peppers
and the iceberg lettuce. Deadheaded the daffs, weeded a couple of the beds and earthed up the duke of york potatoes

The charlotte potatoes are flourishing after their spell in the greenhouse
the Hestia beans are nearly ready to be planted out
as are the courgettes
there is fruit developing on the blackcurrant bush (although they look like tiny gooseberries at the moment). I'll have to cover it with netting next week to stop the blackbirds eating them

the cucumbers are finally growing
as are the second batch of carrots
and the white azalea is on the verge of flowering
Sunday - and I caught the tail end of the sunrise before the cloud took over. And, joy of joys, it's raining properly for the first time in a month. It's dull and dark and delightfully wet...very happy (sorry holidaymakers). And it's rained for most of the day so I've had a duvet day!  I watched Countryfile this evening and there is more rain forecast overnight and on and off tomorrow then it gets drier and warmer from Tuesday here in the west.
That's it for this week and I'm pleased that everything is coming along nicely and the water butts are being topped up. Have a good gardening week and catch up next weekend.
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