The glorious sunny weather over the past few days really helped to warm the soil, I took full advantage by sowing more radish and the first of the beets (boltardy) covering the rows with a tunnel cloche which will help to keep the soil warm. I’m trying a different variety of radish called ‘Bright Lights’ (colour mix) alongside the usual varieties that I like, it will be interesting to see the different colours produced. I have been busy building a few more raised beds for the vegetable garden and taken my first harvest of rhubarb.
So, what else has been happening in the garden smallholding this month? Well, I planted Charlotte potatoes, raspberry canes and strawbs raised from runners, I’ve also been sowing broad beans, peas, mange tout, red cabbage, brussels sprouts and purple sprouting broccoli as well as annuals and perennials to add a splash of colour, encouraging beneficial insects to the veg garden plots. Speaking of wildlife, a pair of blue tits are currently setting up home in one of our bird boxes which is very exciting to watch, another pair have decided to use the eaves of our house.
The greenhouse that I have saved long and hard for is currently being installed, I can’t wait to get inside it later and start sowing. I feel like a big kid!
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on March 28, 2011
Chickens and fragile flowers, hmmm, sadly not a great mix. Even though our back garden is fairly well groomed for chicken owners, we are reluctant to plant any new and unestablished perennials, or, dare we say, flimsy annuals for that matter. Gulp. They just would not last 5 minutes with chickens on the hunt for bugs and slugs. So, our front garden has been our focus for being daring and bold with colourful perennials, at least here they are safe from over enthusiastic chicken feet.
Our choice of planting have been those that add colour and drama, that give that punchy wow factor such as giant foxgloves, lupins, titan sunflowers and echinacea. Perhaps a little cottage like in the choice but they have always been my kind of thing. Oh, and I have thrown a couple of shrubs into the mix. Much to my mums horror I have included hydrangeas, you know, the big mop head in your face type. Some may argue (like my mum) that they are old fashioned blah blah blah but I really love them! I have never seen a pink turn blue in the past, mainly due to the wrong soil conditions, but, I have a sneaky inkling that the soil here may be slightly acidic, so, if we also have aluminum present in the soil already, we might get lucky. Even just a flush of blue would be nice.
Our choice of flowers will hopefully keep the bees, butterflies and other nectar collecting insects happy as well as passers by. We want people to be drawn to the planting arrangement and colour, to be given a ‘lift’, to place a smile upon the faces of folk as they pass by whilst walking their dog or taking their children to school. Many gardens that I pass by each day make me feel exactly this way. I must look like a crazy person in this day and age society, smiling away at flowers, sometimes running my hands over luscious foliage that’s crying out to be touched. Oh, and I’m not only talking about my own plants either, maybe one of these days someone will be a little concerned for my well being and make that call, I will be carted off by the people in white coats for acting strangely outside peoples front gardens. Whoops. Seriously though, perhaps I’m just an old fuddy duddy stuck in a younger persons body, I don’t know, but I do know what I like.
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on May 19, 2009