Tuesday, January 29, 2013
The wild flowers have self seeded,and should grow strongly i hope.I have added no manure or fertiliser.It is the same building soil that was here before.
I just watched the One Show and saw Monty Don.He has a new series starting on Friday night about French gardens.He says that Long meadow (his own garden and where they film Gardeners World) is a mud bath.He says its too early to start panicking about the weather.We need to wait and see what the weather brings this year.
I want to clear the sunken border tomorrow of Teasels,and weeds to see whats growing.I want to split my Echinops and clear the debris of bird seed under the static feeder.The big job will be to trim the Ceanothus back into a lollipop shape that is under control.It is much too big for its allotted space.The Buddleja will also be trimmed back.I think that the Sambuca Nigra needs to be moved because the Dicentra is looking vigorous already at its base.I might get some Winter Primulas tomorrow to start dotting colour around the garden.January is a lean time for colour.My Primulas are flowering away but only in two colours.They seem to be able to survive year after year,despite being swamped in the summer by other plants.They wait under the dead plants,snow and ice,before flowering in December/January.The gardens torch bearers of a new growing season and early signs that winter will end soon.
I get a feeling every year that makes me go outside into the garden to start preparing again for a new growing season.Maybe its something to do with the light,warmer day,or an internal gardener alarm.
The poor year last year has made me more determined that this year will be a great one.Seeing the Baby Frog was a real buzz.I love seeing wildlife so close the the house,in an urban housing estate.
It started pouring down with heavy rain at about four pm,and the wind is blowing the rain against the conservatory as i write this.
Monday, January 28, 2013
The weather has been bad fluctuating between snow and ice, and now torrential rain and strong gusting winds.Its been too inclement for any gardening or allotment clearing today.
Mine has been ripped to shreds by the wind,drenched with the rain,and misshapen by the snow.It is more of a colander than a greenhouse.I have been clearing the debris that has been damaged by the water getting inside it.When it drys up and is not windy I will put on the new cover.My money this year will be going on a New Zealand air ticket,so the glass greenhouse will have to wait.I want to start growing Vegetable seeds,Tomatoes,Chilli's,and grow on plug plants in here this year.It will be the power house for the garden and allotment.
Looking at the garden there is growth of Daffodils,Tulips,Crocus,and Iris.The Iris were squashed when the man laid the greenhouse concrete base,but have survived and are growing by the doorway.The Chinese Tree Peony,and Dicentra are growing up from the soil, hopefully bigger and better than last year.
The Ceanothus needs a good trim to make it fit in its allotted space.It is about eight feet high and five feet wide now.Not bad for a plant that was in a 2litre pot to begin with.The birds love flying into the leaf covered branches to chill.
The Butterfly bush also needs a good trimming.It is very vigerous plant though and takes hard pruning in its stride.
I hope the weather improves so I can start the spring clean up soon.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
The results will be available in March.It will be interesting to see if the terrible wet 2012 has effected bird numbers.The birds are like friendly garden spirits.When its too snowy and icy watching them outside is therapeutic.I saw a tiny bird this morning hopping along the Butterfly Bush branches,and feeding on the fat balls.I had to goto the RSPB website to identify it..It was a juvenile Goldcrest.The first time I have ever seen one..
The first program looked at Danish Scurvy Grass,Bluebells,and Lichen.Danish Scurvy Grass is a coastal plant that is growing along the motorway verges now miles from the seaside.The salt spread on the roads to stop it from freezing gets sprayed into the verges.The seeds get drawn along by fast cars,which is why it is called the fastest Plant in Britain.
The British Bluebell was looked at with its extremely complex scent,and compared to the non native but spreading all over Spanish Bluebell.The problem is the two species are producing hybrids,and they are worried the Native British Bluebells will die out.I cant wait for March/April to find a Bluebell wood.The scent from all the flowers is what people remember.I will be close to the Bluebells sniffing them when they flower.
The book was sent free for me to read,and it is beautifully photographed and written.It makes you want to walk outside and see what wild plants are growing.A wild plant growing in your garden is a weed!The natural world is alien to a whole generation of people.I hope this inspires more people to look at whats growing around us.I love the three new presenters and hope they get a chance to do longer more in depth programs in the future.I remember David Bellamy was the first person who got excited by Botany.If you can read the book I would.
The other program was on BBC1 and was called Allotment Wars and showed the darker side of allotments.Terrible petty committees trying to evict plot holders, sabotage of prize vegetables and peoples sheds, arguments between plot holders that lasted years..
It painted a grim picture,but probably not reflective of most allotments.Generally people are willing to help their plot neighbours,sharing tips,plants,and equipment.Most Vegetable competitions are good natured but competitive.
Councils are also reducing the size of plots,and increasing the number of plot holders which can only increase tensions.You need to hope you get on with your neighbours who are around you.Councils sold off large amounts of land before allotments become fashionable so now there are horribly long waiting lists before you can even put your spade or fork into the soil.
There is a big movement now to grow your own food,to know where your food comes from,and what chemicals have been applied to it.If you love cooking then growing your own fresh ingredients is a big draw.I have seen several top end restaurants that have kitchen gardens near them for the chefs to harvest and cook from what is in season.
I think that gardening,and growing your own will bring people together generally.An allotment is like a small organic village with many people striving towards the same aim.Growing Vegetables,and Fruit.
Gardening is one of the few activities that can cross class boundaries,and geography.Anyone can garden from massive country estates,down to small window boxes or pots on the windowsill.The activity is stress relieving,therapeutic,and deeply satisfying.I think people have got the kick ever since they planted the first seeds and saw their plants growing.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
I have perused the flower books and will order some Foxgloves,Night Phlox,Nemesia,Delphinium, and Hanging basket plants.I will concentrate on growing the vegetables this year.The Perennials will hopefully give a sea of colour in the sunken border.
Monday, January 14, 2013
I got a leaflet from the Spring Flower Show in Harrogate.That is on the 23rd April 2013.We needed a cold spell to kick start the garden.Its part of the cycle of seasons here to have a cold spell.
I spent yesterday and today poring over seed catalogues.From Marshall's,Thompson Morgan,and Mr Fothergills.There was too much choice really.
I will grow Grapes,Tomatoes,and Chillies in the greenhouse.The Allotment will see me move away from traditional crops, and mixing them with new trendy foods.I have ordered small amounts of heirloom Potatoes to grow just for eating.The raised beds and covered paths will hopefully make it easier to maintain the over grown plot.I just need to finish clearing it up.2012 was a year of Royal Celebrations,and Sporting Success, but was detrimental to the allotment and garden.2013 will be an outdoorsy year for me,away from the TV!
I have also ordered today more Strawberries.The French Mara De Bois which I think Michael Roux Junior said were his favourites.They are a cross between wild Strawberries and the plump English Ones.
I'm hoping that my Fruit Trees will be productive this year.I want a Bramley Apple or two, and some Pears.I do not know if the Cherry Tree will be under attack again from black aphids and ants.It looks very distorted where it grew.
I want to go to New Zealand this year to see my Sister,and Nephew.I bet I can find some plants and flowers to blog about from there.
The RHS flower shows and Great Yorkshire Show are some of my future blog posts too.Attracting wildlife will feature too this year.
Here's to a productive 2013 for growing flowers,vegetables,fruit,and writing regular blog posts!