As I mentioned last week, No.27 has really come to life in the last few weeks and I have been itching to tell you all about what’s been happening – now I finally can.
I think it’s the crazy combination of rain and sun, which has meant that everything; seeds, weeds and all, have kicked in to action.
New growth forming on my fig tree, blossom on Lily and Billy, the dwarf apple trees and new shoots on the raspberry canes. It’s all new life which feels like magic every year and also shows how important it is to feed the soil with manure or green manure over the winter.
It may look like nothing is happening on the surface during the colder months but underneath, within the soil, the roots of all our perennial favourites are drawing in the nutrients getting ready to re-charge at the sight of a little sunshine.
Whilst the veg has had a slight delay compared to last year, the flowers aren’t holding back which fills me with smiles until the lettuce, beetroot, peas and other delights are ready.
Last year I planted around 5 different varieties of Alliums, varying in colour from ‘Purple Sensations’ we all know and love to blue, yellow and white more unusual types. I really do love Alliums, it’s their shape, detail and colour – everything about them is so delicate and divine.
The ‘Purple Sensations’ have been first to bloom and what a stunning vision they create aside my wildlife pond.
It’s not just the Alliums either that are bringing colour to the plot, my self seeding poached egg flowers are just coming to life this week as well. I do love these cheery ground covering plants and so does the wildlife and garden itself. Limnanthes douglasii is their fancy name, but I prefer ‘Poached Egg’ every time; they attract hoverflies to your space which will eat aphids and the plants themselves improve soil fertility. They are a true winner as long as you don’t mind their self seeding escapades.
Flowering fruits are upping their growing game now too, including my new strawberry bed for this year and my three blueberry plants which are just coming into year two on the plot. I have gone from about 4 strawberry plants to over 25 this year; thanks to potting up my own runners last year, a great habit to get in to every year – it’s free plants and super easy! My plot neighbour also gave me another 10 runners when she recently took on her 2nd plot which was pretty much a strawberry field gone wild.
Whilst I am certainly behind in the veg growing stakes, I am starting to see progress.
My first ever Rhubarb is ready for harvesting after a year of being left alone to settle in – wow I have cetainly learned patience! The Sweet Potato plug plants which Suttons very kindly sent me last week are now potted on and under cover with the seedlings. I am hoping to get these planted out of the pots in a few weeks when they are bigger and stronger plants.
My first salad leaves and radishes are nearly ready for harvesting. Broad Beans are beginning to flower even though they were hit by the recent frost; it was such a great relief to see them fighting back. All my recent sowings have germinated and are coming in to their own too, including my Beetroot, Hurst Greenshaft Peas, Edamame Beans, Cosmos, Collard (Cabbage) and two varieties of Kale – White and Black Magic.
My peppers and two varieties of tomatoes; Rosella and Tumbling Bella are also ready for planting in their final positions within the shed conservatory as soon as I get time.
Not forgetting my two varieties of courgette; Sunstripe F1 and Midnight F1 which were sown at the weekend, alongside a couple of Honey Boat Squash. Hopefully with a week or so in the heated propagator these will all germinate and be ready to go outside in no time at all.
I still have Brussel Sprouts, Carrots and Broccoli amongst many others still be to sown but I am not panicking, not just yet anyway. We still have plenty of time!
Think I have covered everything that is going on at No.27, there is a lot as you can see and it is all super exciting!
How are your gardens or allotments coming along? Are you trying anything new this year? The sweet potatoes are my new experiment for 2018 so I’m hoping for a hot and long Summer.
Have a fantastic week x