29 April 2018

Dorset Garden Diary - In Just One Week...

Hi everyone,

I've been away all week and Mr & Mrs Digga senior have been in charge. They've had a lovely sunny week apart from Friday so there was plenty of watering to be done..

The garden has filled out since last weekend, the most notable thing being that most of the blossom on the fruit trees has been replaced by leaves and everything is looking greener and fresher

Early clematis is flowering over the arch and on the back fence

the quince tree has buds
the lilac is in flower
hazelnut leaves
the lupin has doubled in size

the yellow alyssum under the apple tree has also doubled in size and flowered

the lilies have survived the squirrel rooting around in their pots over the winter

the names of these escapes me - pretty though

 and the sedum

In the greenhouse the unknowns are coming along nicely
and so are the tomatoes, chillies and peppers

Today it's been cold and cloudy. I've been out put in the carrot and spring onions seed tapes, sowed radish white icicle, coriander, mustard and cress and more sunflowers velvet queen as the snails have been at them. I also planted out the maris piper main crop...I've put half in a bag and half in the garden so we'll see which grows and crops the best.

Whilst I was digging over the soil for the carrots and spring onions I came across a couple of the walnuts the squirrel buried in the autumn and two of them have started to sprout a root and grow so I've put them in pots and fingers crossed...

Well that's it for this week. To quote the weatherman 'the week gets off to a horrible start but improves as it goes on'...couldn't have put it better myself. At least it's going to warm up in a few days, it could be close to freezing this evening!

Have a good gardening week and catch up next Sunday.



Follow me on Twitter @daisydigga

22 April 2018

Dorset Garden Diary - Heatwave and Cherry Blossom

Hi everyone,

It's been a record breaking week for April temperatures, reaching over 22C 72F and in the greenhouse on Friday at 6pm it was 36C 98F and that's with the sun diffuser covers on the roof. Late last night there was thunder rumbling around and flashes of lightning. I wanted it to rain hard as the soil has dried out this week but we only had ten minutes or so that didn't really do much good.

This week the blue tit has still been head-butting the greenhouse. I really don't know why it's doing it or what I can do to stop it because it's quite distressing seeing it. I've emailed the RSPB and still waiting for a reply.

I've moved the last of the pots out of the greenhouse into the sunshine, top-dressed them and gave them a good watering along with the other pots as the unexpected hot weather is drying everything out quickly. But it has brought more colour to the garden - we have an assortment of daffodils

and one tulip!
In the front garden the alyssum is looking splendid
and the rockery is filling out

On Thursday some of the fish made an appearance, basking in the unusually high temperature. I fed them and it was a while before they moved but they did eat eventually. The pond is still rippling with tadpoles.

On Friday I planted the Pentland Javelin potatoes in the garden and the second early Charlottes in the green bags. I still have the Maris Piper main crop to put out. Yesterday I planted out some of the kale in between the onions so hopefully the pigeons won't eat them and also beetroot and radishes and surrounded them with organic slug deterrent. Saw this little beetle (?) on one of the plants by the side of the greenhouse

I sowed dwarf bean Stanley, dwarf runner bean Hestia, dwarf French bean opera, pea Ambassador, courgette Black Forest F1 hybrid and physalis alkekengi (Chinese lantern). I've put them in pots in the greenhouse as I am away next week and Mr and Mrs Digga senior will be looking after the garden and it's easier for watering.

The garden has been full of sparrows, blackbirds, robins, the blue tits, pigeons and a pair of collared doves. And talking of the collared doves, I went up the garden to take some photos and this little fella took absolutely no notice of me, walked past within inches, stopped, looked at me then just carried on. It looks like a chick
This morning woke up to fog and it didn't clear until mid afternoon.

The cherry tree is now in bloom
as is the ornamental cherry at the top of the garden
the acer leaves have stared sprouting over the last couple of days
and in the greenhouse, some of the unknown seeds I've sown have started to grow so watch this space

Well that's it for another week. According to the Countryfile weather it's going to be cooler this week but mainly dry although there could be a passing shower on Thursday - I hope so as the garden needs it. Have a good week and happy gardening.



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15 April 2018

Dorset Garden Diary - Tidying Up and Having a Clear Out

Hi everyone,

I've managed to get out in the garden a couple of times this week on the rare days we had some sun and I spent most of yesterday out there as well because was forecast for today was a washout - oh so true.

The couple afternoons during the week I pottered, one of the blue tits was calling continually for hours, I think it might be one of the young from last year's brood. And one morning, whilst I was having breakfast, the blue tits, sparrows and blackbirds were busy insect hunting and I also saw a pair of robins, one of which came up close to the conservatory. Late afternoons the sparrows have been congregating on one of the veg beds I dug over and having dirt baths.

I potted up the razzmatazz chillies, padron and king peppers and tomatoes gardener's delight
they're in the greenhouse for now but next week I'll start hardening them off.

Him indoors gave the lawn it's first haircut of the year and it's looking good apart from a few sparse patches where the birds have been digging for insects.

He also tidied up out the back and cut back more of the blackberry bushes so we can get to the compost bin easily; put out our new solar lights in the shape of dragonflies; erected the trellis for the sweet peas which also helps keep the greenhouse in part shade and put the shades on the roof to deflect direct sun - assuming we have some, of course!

I top-dressed most of the pots and put more bark on top as the birds keep throwing it off - this is the lemon and the olive, after pruning, I took out of the greenhouse
I tidied the gravel bed next to the greenhouse
then cracked on and finished weeding and mulching the cottage garden. The sparrows were lined up on the branches of nearby trees watching me as they wanted to get to the bird feeder close by.

I was searching amongst the clutter in the pottering shed for something and decided that I'm hoarding too much so I had a long awaited clear out - spot the glass of wine!

The kale, spinach beet, salad leaves and rocket are coming on, I think I'll leave them in the pots as I will be picking the leaves whilst still young

The aubretia is looking stunning bordering the cottage garden

plum blossom

and the pond grass (name unknown) has put on a spurt and is developing small bulrush-type heads

Yesterday we went to the garden centre for bags of peat free compost, extra strength weed killer and seaweed concentrate. But of course, there's no way we were going to come away with just that!

After nearly two years of looking we finally found a clock for the outside by the back door
A pagoda half price in the sale (couldn't resist it)
and a small spinner which we've put near the cauldron pond

Well that's it for this week. The weather forecast is looking good...sunny spells, milder temperatures and so far no more rain. Have a good gardening week and catch up next Sunday.



Follow me on Twitter @daisydigga

8 April 2018

Dorset Garden Diary - Spring is Taking a Hold

Hi everyone,

It's been a wet couple of weeks here in Dorset. Easter was a washout except for Easter Sunday when we managed to get out in the garden for a few hours. Him indoors erected the temporary cold frames
and we both cleared (finally!) the side of the pottering shed
There was plenty to go to the recycling centre and I mulched more of the flower beds with the compost from the bins - it does make the garden look nicer and of course, it's good for the plants and keeps the weeds at bay.

I don't really do much with the shady side of the garden as it mainly looks after itself but it was looking a bit tatty
so I pulled out the dead leaves and it looks much better now. I didn't pull out too much in case there were insects still using the plants as cover.

This week I cleared the path next to the cottage garden where we'd left the dead leaves from the grasses - before

and after
plus I weeded and mulched two sections of the cottage garden
Also this week the tadpoles escaped from the spawn and the pond is full of them wriggling around
I've moved the veg seedlings and the sweet peas from the greenhouse into one of the cold frames
And...talking of sweet peas, I found this one growing in the lawn - it's survived all that snow and ice!

We also found what we think is one of the apple saplings that I grew from seed, it was growing in  the gravel bed by the patio. Him indoors pulled it out and I've potted it up...we'll see what transpires.

The sparrows have had voracious appetites this week so I've been topping up the feeder every other day plus the black birds are constantly on the bird table and the blue tits have been in and out of their box every day with nesting materials.

The daffodils are starting  to die off now so I deadheaded those yesterday. We still have plenty of colour from the aubretia and the grape hyacinths (although not really keen on the latter to be honest) and the primroses

plus there are yellow ones and purple ones with yellow middles. The forsythia is in full bloom (planted last year)
The lupins in the cottage garden have broken through
The first of the apple blossom - hopefully we might finally get some apples this year!

Pussy willow (that's what we used to call it when I was younger - a long time ago!)
 and leaves emerging on the patio hydrangea

I spent a couple of hours in the garden yesterday and there were numerous bumble bees and honey bees enjoying the spring sunshine together with peacock and brimstone butterflies. The fish haven't surfaced but I saw them lurking below the surface...probably preying on tadpoles!

That's it for this week. According to the weather forecast it's going to be milder this week with rain now and again so I should be able to get some gardening done. Have a good week and catch up next weekend.



Follow me on Twitter @daisydigga