Saturday, April 30, 2016

Four seasons in a day.

A spring bouquet.
Normally you would have to go traveling to experience four seasons in a day, but not this year, most days of last week  gave us a variety of seasons. From warm, at times quite hot, t-shirt type weather to hail or even snow showers an hour or so later, plus some rain thrown in for good measure, no wonder the garden doesn't know what the season is. Asparagus has given us a couple of spears then frost stopped growth and we had to recover the plants with crop cover.
Strawberries in bloom in the tunnel for the past two months, and only now have we ripening fruit, a month later than we would normally have our first pickings,
but the broad beans are looking good and also the early tunnel potatoes.
 The Camellias which should have flowered February/March are only now flowering. We just hope that the weather becomes a little more stable so the plants can get on with growing.
The daffodil season has been very extended this year, we had the first ones out on the 24th January and we still have some just in bud,
this might be partly due to so many different varieties that we have growing,
well over twenty different ones, a lot of them are perfumed.
I love these daffs, called Twinkling Yellow, the blooms are only the size of my thumb nail.
They have been spectacular this year.
Not too much slug damage to the leaves.
The other plants that have done very well are the Trout lilies, they have multiplied from last year which is fine, I just love them.
The weeds on the pathway are parley.

Things are coming on well in the tunnel including the weeds,
I now count parsley as a weed as it has self-seeded and the pathways are covered with seedlings.
The peach tree has a reasonable amount of fruit set on it, but not too much, so we wont need to thin out the fruitlets.
Another favourite Daff, and it's perfumed.
I don't know where the time goes, it seems to fly by, it's hard to believe that we are nearly half way through the year, maybe gardening makes the time fly, everything does seem to revolve around what is ready for harvesting or what needs planting out.
All the hens and ducks are laying well, we now have a glut of eggs, well over what we need for our customers so we are freezing quite a lot of these eggs, beaten and then frozen they will be good for a year.
I have also made some lemon curd, I will do another batch in the next few days.
We have now just about come to the end of the winter veg,
Last of the parsnips, this years have already germinated.
we've had our last parsnip and have now used our last onion but the ones in the tunnel should be ready by the end of May. We still have carrots plenty of chard and the first of this years spinach will be ready in a few days, so not too big a hungry gap.
A few more photos of the Daffodils.

And a couple of photos of the garden.


Wild Violets.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A day of spring.

First of the Tulips.
To say the weather has been variable might be an understatement, we did manage ten continuous days without rain during the middle of March, enabling gardening work to get done, such as potato planting, but since then we have had rain just about every day. Today however was an exception, it was spring! Long may it last. We took the opportunity to have a trip out to our favourite woods expecting to find Wood Anemones out but not a sign,
but there were some early Bluebells,
Our favourite Bluebell wood.
another week or so and this wood will be a carpet of blue, why the Anemones should be late is another question
as we found another wood,
Such a beautiful flower.
a new one to us which is carpeted in white, and although there are the leaves of bluebells showing none were in flower yet.
So far it has been a strange year for plants and flowers, we had our first daffodils out on the 24th January and there are still lots of daffs. to come. We grow a lot of different varieties at least twenty different ones which probably explains the long flowering period. Fruit and veg wise things are slow this year,
Lots of bloom but no fruit yet.
 strawberries in the tunnel have been blooming for two month now but no fruit has yet set, for us that is late, we have a variety that normally will give us fruit the first week of April, yet the Rhubarb was very early we had our fist picking the second week in February.
 Even the potatoes in the tunnel have been very slow but they are at last making headway,
likewise the broad beans, but they have at last formed flowers.
Spinach seedlings.
Spinach has been sown and has germinated well
and cauliflower seedlings have also been transplanted into the tunnel. We seem to have seed trays and modules everywhere, waiting to be planted out or potted on, thankfully we have the green house so our window ledges don't become littered with seedlings.
The garden is looking lovely, it is now four years old and is showing some maturity,
the rockery also is looking lovely, although we should have given a little more though on it's construction, it's very hard to get to the back of it to weed as it up against a fence.
We have put some Muscovy duck eggs into the incubator they should be hatching the first week of may, Muscovy eggs are notoriously hard to hatch in an incubator, we normally manage a reasonable hatch, it remains to be seen how well we do this year. We will also be getting some Hubbard day old chicks, probably early in May, depending on how good or bad the weather is by then.
Another beautiful sunset.