Happy Easter...I've had a delightful chocolate day! Another productive week in the garden even though I was away for a few days. The weather is starting to warm up and we've had some much needed rain - actually quite a lot over the past couple of days.
We were away from Sunday to Wednesday on an amazing family reunion in the New Forest. The weather stayed kind to us, chilly at night but sunny and dry during the day. When we arrived back on Wednesday, before unpacking it was straight out into the garden to check all was ok, which it was. The bird feeders and bird table needed replenishing and the fish were waiting to be fed. We now have a few different varieties of daffodils/narcissus in the garden
More polyanthus are in flower, these are so pretty
and in the greenhouse the freesias are closer to flowering
We then went to buy some bags of compost and a couple of growbags. Next on the agenda was next door to collect the seedlings my neighbours have been watering while we were away - and they did a good job:
Thursday - the clear night was followed by a crisp, clear morning (46F 8C) and the full moon was still visible. Unfortunately the weather soon deteriorated and the rain came in. Today was preparation day for sowing over Easter. But first, I happened to look out one of the back windows and saw the heron standing in next door's pond (hope you can see it).
Friday - 46F 7C clear and sunny and stayed dry and sunny all day...it was definitely t-shirt weather - and probably shorts as well but I didn't want to scare off the sparrows! Today was big outdoor sowing day! But before I started, there were a couple of indoor jobs to do: I split the coriander plant into two pots, sowed the rest of the sweet peas and some tomato Super Sweet 100 seeds that came free with a magazine. Prior to starting on the outside sowing I drew up a plan of the veg beds and where to plant everything a) for crop rotation to stop disease and b) so I would remember what I've planted and where (always a problem with me!). First to go in were the mixed onions, then the first sowings of: peas (Hurst Green Shaft), chard (Bright Lights), spinach beet, parsnip (Countess F1), beetroot (Detroit 2), carrot (large...honestly, that's what it says on the packet!) and lettuce little gem. I also planted out the broccoli from the greenhouse. I have covered the seeds with perforated polythene a) just in case we have a frost and b) to keep the birds off. Around the edge of one of the veg beds I planted a seed tape of flower that, once grown, are supposed to repel slugs...we'll see. I've left the rest of the veg bed covered in plastic sheeting to keep the soil warm.
Whilst out in the garden the sparrows, blue tits and blackbirds were still feeding and the fish were sunbathing.
Saturday - 50F 10C and rain, lots of it. I had to work today and a few minutes before I was due to leave I heard a screeching commotion from the seagulls, looking out I could see them dive bombing the heron which appeared totally unperturbed and still landed in next door's pond. I was a bit concerned it might try and get to our fish and was reluctant to leave for work.
Sunday - dawned bright and sunny and within half an hour it was torrential rain. 45F 7C. Actually, the day wasn't as bad as was forecast, we had quite a few dry spells. First thing this morning I checked the pond, the netting is still in place and the fish have eaten the food although I haven't seen them. Him indoors is back from Berlin today (football trip!)...his to-do list is getting longer!!
I sowed outdoor cucumber/gherkin seeds and cucumber (Passandra F1) greenhouse seeds in the propagator, leeks and beetroot (rainbow beet) in a seed tray in the greenhouse and carrot (Amsterdam 2 amice) in a small trough which I put in the greenhouse. It feels like I'm playing catch-up with the clocks having gone forward. After all this activity the shed has become very untidy and we're only at the start of the season.
This week I harvested the first radishes and there are plenty more ready to pick
Went out late this afternoon to close the greenhouse door and the freesias have started to open
and the 'For Your Eyes Only' rose has new growth.
I watched Countryfile this evening and we have storm Katie coming in overnight and tomorrow, then it looks like a promising week ahead so hopefully I can make more progress in the garden. I hope you all have a good week, it's going to be nice having the extra hour of light in the evenings.
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