First Daffodil

I noticed in the back garden a Daffodil in flower. The yellow colour is so cheerful and gives me hope for the year.

Pulled up some overwintering carrots in the boxes on the garden patio. They look good. If my back and my cold and head weren’t getting me down, I might have ventured to the allotment to sow some carrots under the cloches, and pick the Mooli type things.

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Happy peas and sad brassicas

Peas are ready down the plot. However, the brassicas I was leaving to plant out this week (brussels, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli) have either died in their rootrainers or gone blind. Still, more room down the plot for the summer sowing chinese vegetables and salads, and more room for more sowings of peas and beans which are doing nicely. Root veg also dismal.

Why do I bother growing lettuce when hubby bought some from the supermarket last night. My lettuce have harvestable leaves at present. Also, the herbs we have growing – basils, mints, etc, don’t seem to get used – he buys them from the supermarket as well. Maybe I should just give up and grow flowers, things that can’t be consumed or vegetables that the supermarkets don’t stock.

mid-June summary

Neglecting blogs & messageboards again.

One meagre mushroom was harvested last week, still no sign of a party of mushrooms though although we had a twosome at the start.

Strawberries are ripening, well just a couple of them. I still have the plants from last year's special offer with T&M (can't remember the variety) which this year I transplanted into a terracotta planter (herb style one I think). I bought some plants from Baytree Garden Centre just outside Spalding, choosing different varieties which I planted out in a strawberry planter (?) and filled the rest of the gaps with Ostara strawberries bought from Wilkos. Yesterday, I shared one red Eros strawberry with my son – wow, the flavour was awesome. There was another strawberry half-red, but I haven't checked it today.  

Currant bushes are laden, as are a couple of the gooseberry bushes (Whinham's Industry & Red Hinnomaki) but there are no berries on Pax (the plant took a bit of a beating with sawfly last year). Raspberries growing nicely (I had chopped them down to the ground after fruiting last year) – that's my son happy then!

I have in the back garden, the HSL varieties. I spied some pods on the surviving Prince of Prussia plants, which I have replaced their fallen comrades with a second sowing of the variety (I was a good girl last year saving seed). Hutterite Dwarf Bean, however, has fallen victim to those blasted molluscs. I should have been more pro-active. Some of Ernie's Big Eye has also taken an eating, but I have now put a jagged-cut section of bottle around the few remaining plants. These protection measures have been employed with sunflower seedlings (a late sowing to compensate for earlier mollusc destruction). Black Magic runner beans have overcome some damage and are winding their way up some canes. Keeping them company are Cherokee Trail of Tears, a climbing French Bean. On their own down the side of the house are Laxton's Exquisite peas.

Plot wise, Horsehead dwarf french beans look a bit pathetic. I didn't provide protection and think we had a touch of frost towards the end of last month.

Cabbage – one of the plants is looking cabbage-y already, balling up.

Some potatoes have flowers on – that means that there are potatoes. Should take the flowers off, but am not growing them as a maincrop this year (although bought plenty at Potato Day, just haven't got round to planting all of them, then weather turned, etc…. excuses, excuses)

Had to pull up Arno garlic – the leaves were mostly yellow and some leaves had even died off totally on the plants. Small bulbs, more like a small onion, but no sign of rot or anything else wrong.

Must get round to planting Czar runner beans down the plot soon. I hope to leave most of the beans for drying as a "butter bean" type. These were yummy last year.

Peppers on the living room windowsill are in flower, keeping company one flowering geranium started from seed in February – Hollywood Star. I gave my mother a geranium started at the same time – White Orbit and that is also out in flower. Many thanks to T&M for those as part of World's Top Six geraniums.

I Ache

Been to the allotment today as the weather was lovely: blue sky, sunshine, though there was a biting wind later in the afternoon.

Have redug a little section and sowed some parsnips, carrots, onions, peas, broad beans, beetroot, onion sets, garlic, shallots, turnips and radish. I think that covers it.

Sowed more seed indoors this week. Tomatoes growing nicely, coriander I neglected but saved, parsley, and other things are growing nicely on the windowsill. The gerbera I bought last year is flowering nicely cheering up the windowsill with its lovely orange colour.

I ache! Hubby gone to pub to watch the rugby games. I might have a soak in the bath when he gets back (so he can occupy the small person).

Organic Gardening Magazine

Managed to track down Organic Gardening Magazine (OG. I had subscribed but let the subscription run out. Found I was reading more avidly when it was a quest to buy the mag. However, it is even more difficult now as Grow Your Own has taken OG’s place on many newsagent shelves. I don’t like the format of GYO, much prefer OG. Have even stopped buying Kitchen Garden Magazine (had subscription to that as well).

Seeds are germinating. Still got room on windowsills as well for more seeds! Been a bit on the chilly side to go to the allotment and do some gardening. Crocuses are still flowering in the front garden, and the daffodils are coming up nicely. Think there may even be the odd daisy in flower in the so-called lawn.

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