I last posted just as April was arriving, but here we are just about to bid her farewell .. what's been happening in between? A lot of rain, and some very high winds (but then you knew that, right, if you're in the UK?!!) and a lot of growing!
All the wet has really exacerbated my problems with the little munchers who have been wreaking havoc in my growhouse .. this week I finally decided to bring in the peas, beans, sunflowers and courgette plants that had been seriously gnawed and were more hole than leaf :-( They are all perking up considerably back behind glass on the sunny recovery windowsill.
Here are some in the coldframe, which seems to have fared better in terms of the illicit munchers. Also baby dill and marigold plants. And the start of a box of salad (against all the odds!)
They are a wonderful tomato, pretty little yellow plum-shaped cherry size fruits and really heavily laden plants. You can put them in hanging baskets or grow them up canes. I hope I will be able to find them all good homes to go to. Meanwhile, my 'proper' tomatoes, which I sowed in February, are busy flowering, would you believe .. a bit of regular nettle infusion has done wonders!
Also flowering at the moment are the strawberry plants outside, and we'll soon have the lovely chive blossoms too.
I've done better with the sweetpeas this year, soaking them helped and getting them enough light quickly enough and pinching them out at the right time (thanks to my wonderful neighbour who is expert at these things and doesn't mind a bumbling novice's barrage of questions!) Previous years they've been really leggy, so I'm quite pleased that I'm starting to get the hang of it. Won't risk these outside till the weather sorts itself out condsiderably.
April showers are magical .. every year it amazes me just how much everything GROWS in just a few weeks! Usually in March I look at the herb garden and think there's lots of gaps and I'll need a few more plants to pop in here and there. Then by the end of April everything is burgeoning. And although I love to see the flowers, there is something super special in April about all that lush bright green growth, unsullied and full of promise and newness and freshness. Every day this month I've stood by the back door looking out at the garden in the rain and its kind of visibly grown in front of my eyes. Fantastic!
Sunday, 29 April 2012
Sunday, 1 April 2012
Everything's flowering! Really feels like Eastertime .. went for a little nature ramble today, just a little footpath near our house. Am slowly learning. Love the process of finding out! Interesting to see the difference in the plants growing in full sun and on the other side of the footpath in full shade.
Examined the blackthorn closely .. pure white buds opening directly onto dark twigs, no greenery or leaf in sight. And those really are big old thorns! See how it gets its name.
On the other side, in the sunshine, a full hedge with leaves unfurling too, much further ahead. (Those are the boys, hand-in-hand in the sunshine!)
No, darling, that's not buttercups, its ... aconite? no, celandine! Leaves look wrong, the dark heart-shaped leaves must have been buried low down with just the flowers peeping through.
Got this one right... love speedwell, its so tiny that I'd have missed it if I hadn't been walking with purpose and looking. Could really imagine fairies living in speedwell (and, as a rule, I'm not one for fairies!)
Also seen today white deadnettle, though not much, not enough to collect. And masses of nettles, of course, though all in the dog-pee zone either side of the path, so not gathered. Ladybirds everywhere.
Seeing the baby leaves bursting out on all the brambles helped show me that they are members of the rose family (which I have been reading about here) because they look a lot like new strawberry leaves. When everything is new and fresh things are somehow easier to see.
Lots and lots of vibrant highly scented something we hadn't come across before (no photo, sorry folks!).. very distinctive, looked it up when we got back and delighted to find that its Alexanders:
widespread and locally common near coasts.. yellowish flowers seen March to June[Collins Complete Guide to British Wildlife]
Masses of it and its in its prime now, so shall look into uses.. please share your knowledge and recipes here, if you know Alexanders?
OK, great starting place here