Monday, July 16, 2012

Diggin Deep... Dirt Flyin! Seed sowing begins...

Im delighted by the weather.
However as I write, it has changed drastically, the wind is blowing furiously out there and Im picking there will be rain to follow. But today was gorgeous... Oh wait, Ive sent Mr 12 out to check. No - no wet stuff, very cold though, and bright skies...It has to clear up quick cos the past couple of days have been awesome.
Blue Borage
Heading back into the garden has meant weeding ensued everywhere. Ive dug, weeded and shovelled, composted, weeded some more, and been covered from head to foot with goodness knows what - and I loved it :)
I can barely walk for sore muscles, of course, but its done.
Starting off... 

The final dose of horse poo has gone into the compost, the raggle-taggle ends of the spent tansy, echinacea (*Magnus*), stevia, borage costmary and anise hyssop are cut back, and Ive seen the first Spring bulbs burst into flower. Theyre brave. Im sure there will be a back-lash of cold stuff still to come, say mid September - lots of wet weather - is that Spring showers maybe?

Last year we had a couple of drops of snow about then too, didnt we? I cant remember exactly, but I know once I mention the seeds Ive sprinkled, the weather will hone in...

The lettuces will grow through the year and this year I have lots -  I have a mix of  Ice King, Canasta, Frilled Cos, Buttercrunch and Danyelle - oh and a red one - Red Flame.
I cant wait for the mesculun to spring up again. Missy cant wait for the new carrot seeds to arrive. Ive dug out all of our last years varieties (St Valery, Nutri Red and Paris Ball), and the onions (Purplette, Borettana and a bunching onion) will follow tomorrow.
*Pams Choice*

Ive found so many precious little sprigs of this and that throughout the garden. 
I sprinkled foxglove seed last year - *Pams Choice* and they have only now made themselves known. Theres red opium poppies self-sown everywhere, but thats hardly surprising given the number we had last year and they have a lot of seed per head, the bumblebees love them! and Im delighted that the Echinacea has successfully split into five parts, so I will encourage the honey bees everywhere with some pretty pink shows. I would like to add more blue borage to that, some orange and yellow calendulas that self seed, red french marigold for companion gardening, and ... oh so many other plants. I want drifts of colour this year. I worked on the vegetable garden last year, this year Im encouraging the flowers for bees, but also for picking.
Calendula - Pot Marigold
Berry Berry Nice... Oranges & lemons...
Lots of strawberries have self-sown, jumping from clump to clump as they do. Im quite fond of them, as there doesnt seem to be a lot to weed around them. We have some nodules on the sticks that are rumoured to be black currant bushes so I think thats great news...
We have three of those, and four blue berries. A couple of red currants and a zillion boysenberries and raspberries... Im cutting back some of the canes, so I can hand them on to others to enjoy and we can avoid looking like a bramble farm. The boysenberries take no prisoners. I keep reminding myself its the berries I want, so I have to bear with the scratches,  and boy they do scratch!
Hazelnut trees with buds!

I think the most astonishing thing Ive seen, is under cover, the mandarin fruits have coloured up, making a pretty show. We got 12 off one, and have about another 7 to come off another tree. Theyre rather small, but taste ok. Success :) The oranges are still small, and rather hard, and Im going to remove them so the goodness can go back into the plants. The lemons have got through the winter so far, so good, and Im pleased to say, theyre fruiting well. I have seen flowers on two of them. Yahoo!
Have a whole new pile of firewood to chop. Im sure thats what I have children for, no?
Oddly enough, theyre all busy when I mention firewood, so Im getting a man in to do it *evil grin*.
He may or may not know about it yet. Ok, so he will know once he reads this.

Ive had a big crop of swedes this year, although I wasnt sure what it was that I was growing. Im not sure Im going to be so successful giving them away, as noone likes them. To some, theyre cattle fodder, to others, they have bad memories of how they were given swedes as a child - usually the method of cooking them was what was awful. Its a shame, the humble swede is a good base for stew or soup. Handy to have IF YOU LIKE THEM, not so easy to give away if you dont :)
The lesson there is - Grow what you will use. Got that. Tick!

Well thats about it from me for now...
Im going to go out and see if I can find my washing. Im picking it will be about three blocks away now with that wind.

Love to You
E Butterfly

The History of Carrots
- The carrot museum... Yes, theres a museum :)

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