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.

Follow me on Twitter @daisydigga

7 April 2019

Dorset Garden Diary - April Showers and Seedlings

Two weeks ago it felt like summer during the day and winter at night. One afternoon the temperature in the greenhouse was 90F/32C and the next morning it was only40F/4C. Then it turned cold with rain and winds and this weekend it's warmed up again. In the past week I've worn my sun hat and my woolly hat. Crazy.

I decided to take the netting cover off the pond so that the insects and dragonflies can get to the water. A few days later I saw the heron standing on the path. I panicked and shooed it away before realising I should've taken a photo first as it was framed nicely in the arch...I'm still kicking myself. Since then I haven't seen the fish. I'm hoping it's just scared them and they've retreated to the bottom of the pond.

The blue tits are in and out of the nesting box, it's such a relief after last year when we lost one. The sparrows, blue tits and robins are voraciously feeding from the feeders and the blackbirds have eaten the home-made coconut cake I put on the bird table - it couldn't have been that bad!

In the last few days the weather has been warm enough to start hardening off the seedlings.
Kale, salad leaves, little gem, leeks, lupins and stocks.

In the greenhouse we have cucumbers, peas, tomatoes, peppers and lemongrass
razzmatazz chillies, marigolds and echinacea

Today I sowed perpetual spinach, coriander, edamame beans, dwarf beans Ferrari and dwarf beans Stanley.

Also in the greenhouse the jasmine has flowered (gorgeous waxy blooms) and the smell is intoxicating

In the garden the mixed onions and garlic are coming along

Next to the garlic (front) I've sown carrots together with spring onions and dill to hopefully discourage carrot fly.

The daffodils are going over now but there is plenty of colour in the garden. The fruit trees are all in bloom although the pear tree is looking a bit sparse, I think I may have been rather over-enthusiastic with the pruning. The aubretia in one of the beds near the greenhouse is looking colourful

The small beds underneath the fruit tress have blossomed in the last week

and I had to put this in because it's got such a cute face - it looks like it's dozing.

the honeysuckle is thriving - I haven't seen it grow this rapidly before

and the lilac tree is blossoming

As you know I like to plant seeds and stones from fruit and nuts to see if they'll grow. Well...one of the apricots has sprouted

as has an avocado

And the delight of the week is...
my orchid that hasn't flowered for nearly four years. I thought it had died but I've persevered with it and this is how it's repaid me...thank you!

The lawn needs mowing and the cold frame needs assembling which him indoors will do this week (plus other jobs) and we need to devise something for the pond that allows the frogs, toads, insects and dragonflies in and out and stops the heron getting to the fish...I have an idea.

Well that's it for this week.  Mixed forecast as to whether we're going to get rain or later or not so I'll water the pots and veg beds just in case. Have a good gardening week.

Follow me on twitter @daisydigga