I have seen one or two beautiful things this week and I thought I would share them with you.
The first thing is a sight I look forward to every Spring…the sight of the a Magnolia tree in flower. This tree belongs to one of our neighbours and the photograph was taken from my daughters bedroom. We have quite a small garden but we are very lucky not to be overlooked by other people’s houses.
I also noticed this week that the Bergenia plant in my garden is flowering nicely too. It seems to like the shade from our fence.
And at my allotment the bees and butterflies are taking advantage of the sun when it is out:
One thing I found this week shows how amazing plants can be…I found this self seeded Primrose growing next to our old shed door in a ‘crack’ in our wall and it is so pretty. I couldn’t bring myself to disturb it, so I have left it there:
Last weekend, Mr Thrift and I dismantled the old swing in our garden at home. I must admit I did get a bit sentimental about it, as I have lots of lovely memories of my girls playing on it. But time passes quickly and my 14 and 16 year olds just do not want it anymore and it’s also quite an embarressment for them when their friends come around.
You can see the swing at the bottom of our garden, in this old photograph below:
The swing wasn’t really good enough to pass on to someone else, so I decided to move it to my allotment.
Those who have been reading my blog for a while, may remember that I also used to have a swing for my girls at the allotment too. Last year I also moved this over my path and I planted a Clematis to grow over it and I also grew some Sweet peas up the sides:
So I decided to do the same with the swing from my garden and I have put the swings together. I am hoping that the plants will cover the top and create a sort of tunnel over the path to walk through:
So this week I have given the swing a quick lick of brown paint and next week I will attach some chicken wire for plants to grow up….and then I need to decide what to grow over it to compliment the Clematis.
Back in the middle of Febuary, I planted my shallots in modules to start them off early. This week at my allotment I decided to plant them all out.
I started by preparing the soil by raking in some Blood, Fish and Bone fertiliser over the area. I then planted my shallots.
Please note, Blood, Fish and Bone is really best applied two weeks before you plant into it, but unfortunately I didn’t get around to it then.
You can see from the photograph below that the roots on the the shallots are not too congested, but there is enough root structure to plant them:
I then prepared the soil in another bed exactly the same and planted some onion sets. Onion sets are planted so the ‘head and shoulders’ of the bulbs are poking out of the soil, but you must check them every few days as birds will sometimes pull them out of the ground thinking they are worms. If this happens, you just need to pop them back in.
We have had some lovely things to eat from the allotment this week.
I have been trying to use the kale up and I have really enjoyed eating this, as it’s one of my favourite vegetables:
My youngest daughter was happy as we had our first purple sprouting broccoli of the year and this is her favourite vegetable:
And we had a lovely little salad picked from the allotment this week, with red veined sorrel, mizuna, corn salad and the first chives of the year:
At home I have been ‘pricking’ out the seedlings that I sowed last week (annual lavertera, dhalia’s, marigolds, cosmos etc):
I am very glad I have a greenhouse:
When I was in town a few weeks ago, I found some seed trays in the ‘pound shop’ that I thought I would give a try. I must say they are really easy to fill with compost and to use but I’m not sure I would buy them again, because I don’t think I can reuse them as they look like they would be difficult to wash (though I will try).
My friend gave me a stack of plastic trays a few years ago (the type that bedding plants come in) and I have washed them and re-used them time and time again. In fact you can see some of them in the photos above as I find them great for putting my flower seedlings into.
The photographs below show the ‘Pound shop’ trays I bought:
Finally, this week I have sown some dwarf peas.
I have tried different ways of sowing my peas, but over the years I have found it best to start them off in my greenhouse at home, in small lengths of guttering. This way I get a better germination rate than I do when I sow them direct into the ground at my allotment.
I use small pieces of guttering (approximately 70cm in length) as I find the compost slides out easier from the smaller pieces than the long lengths of guttering. I seal each end of the guttering with a piece of ‘Duct tape’, to stop the compost falling out:
I fill the guttering with compost and sow my peas into it:
My guttering will sit in my heated greenhouse until I just see them poking through the compost and then I will move them into my coldframe.
Below is a picture of the peas when they germinated last year:
When the peas are fully hardened off I plant them out, but I will show you how I do this another time.
Well I think that’s enough for today, except I just wanted to show you one last thing. The photo below shows the mixed salad leaves that I sowed on the 6th March. I used an old grocers wooden box with an opened compost bag filled with compost and they are doing fine. They sit in my greenhouse where the temperature falls no lower than 10C at night and they are growing well. It just shows you can grow salad leaves in just about anything:
Thank you for reading my blog today.
I will be back on Monday at my usual time.