Monday, March 10, 2008

Early Spring activity

We’ve been busy in the garden this weekend. Fortunately, the weather held!

The Builder has dug over the “herbaceous” border, which was very, very overgrown with grass and weeds. While he was doing that, I weeded the two flower beds. I’ve taken out all the wild strawberries in the top bed – they had ambitions which would have put the most ruthless of world dictators to shame! I’ve planted the hellebore which Penny and Steve gave us by the diagonal plant in the top bed, and sown black cornflower seed and black sunflower seeds in there. The crocuses are up and looking very cheerful. The tulips won’t be long. That bed will be, more or less, a black/purple/pink bed. I sowed wildflower seeds in the lower bed and hedgerow and verge seeds in the newly dug over bed, which is looking more like a shrubbery at the moment than a herbaceous border!

Then The Builder made up some more double wooden boxes for me. I planted purple haze carrots in the first one and covered it with a pane of class I found lying about in company with about a dozen other panes of glass. In one of the single boxes, I planted some lettuce, red lettuce, spring onion and spinach seeds, also now covered with glass. A second double one has been filled with soil, now under glass, to warm up ready for parsnip and radish seeds.

In the kitchen garden, The Builder over the winter dug a bed down along the East fence and planted loads of those little lavender bushes in it. He also moved the tayberry. Over the weekend we bought a cranberry and a thornless blackberry which are also in there. I’m thinking of trying a kiwi vine as well and seeing how that gets on. Yesterday we weeded all the vegetable beds and have now covered them with compost, manure and/or ash, depending on what we’re planning to plant in them. I put a long row of early onward peas in the runner bean bed, some Canoe peas (about 20) in the bed with the autumn sowing of peas (which are not looking all that happy) and some Emperor broad beans in the bottom bed by the volcano.
The gardens are all looking rather better now, for a general tidy up, though more tidying needs to be done. Oh, and The Builder has begun dismantling the fist compost heap we put in when we first moved in. The first one is gone, dug over and the contents distributed. We’ll do the rest of it another time.

I’ve ordered some asparagus for the first bit of the asparagus bed which is now ready. I’ll get some more for the autumn, when I hope the rest of the bed will be ready.

I hope all the seeds survive – it’s been wet and windy since about 19:00 last night!

The Builder has begun new digging on the allotment, starting at the bottom this time. I’m planning to plant potatoes down there. I’ve begun weeding at the top, and the greenhouses are ready for later in the spring. There’s a “new” greenhouse coming. Clarissa and Mike had decided to replace theirs with a wooden one. We are going to get the rejected one at Easter.

And I’ve started sowing the seeds. It crossed my mind that the lounge room window sill faces south, gets lots of sunshine and is pleasantly warm and would make an excellent “heated cold frame” for the heat loving plants. I’ve got pots of seeds sat in there as from yesterday. It was lovely – I sat outside in the sunshine while I did the potting. So, we’ve got: two types of tomatoes (must buy some cherry tomatoes, though – they can grow outside), chocolate capsicum, yellow capsicum, pointed capsicum, Veronica calabrese, and cape gooseberries. I’ve also got some sweet potato slips coming. It’s all very exciting!

Fingers crossed for some good digging weather at weekends between now and Easter, and in the week after Easter when The Builder will have gardening time during the week as well

This is how the kitchen garden and the allotment look today

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