Dreaming of flowers

We are finally getting some colour in the garden! Wasn’t that a long and dreary winter?! We are still seeing plenty of rain and it’s quite chilly, but at least there’s some sunshine in between!
Tulips and daffsSome of my seeds that I planted a few weeks ago are showing through, brave little things that they are! There are some sunflowers (variety ‘Shock-o-lat’), peas and sweet peas showing so far. The peas already have some slight slug damage, so I will have to keep a closer eye on them and remove any little visitors when I see them. I decided that I would sow some more seeds yesterday, so two types of Scabious went in, mixed Dahlia’s and some Rubeckia started. I suddenly realised that for all the allotment space we have this year, I’ve sown very little in the way of veg! I must be very excited at the prospect of having lots of flowers at the allotment and home, but the plan was to grow vegetables! So I popped a few Kale (‘Curly Scarlet), Tomato (Black Opal) and Cauliflower (Romanesco) seeds into pots. Most of what I planted yesterday has come inside to live on the kitchen windowsill for a few weeks as it’s still a bit chilly out there. We really need a more suitable solution for starting seeds, we may have to go back to one of those plastic covered shelving things to keep at home.

 

seedlingssunflower seedlings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t wait for some more colour in the garden, I have some very old double poppy seeds which I think I’ll pop in the back garden border just to see what happens. They might not germinate, but you never know! Need to get started on the several packs of wildflower mixes we have too. I feel some Guerilla gardening coming on…

 

Brilliant Bees, Fabulous Flowers

Whilst the main aim of having an allotment (for me) is to grow more vegetables than I could possibly squeeze into my tiny little garden, I would also like to grow some flowers there. For one thing, I just like flowers and secondly, the more food for the bees the better really! I am in the pesticide free, #savethebees camp although I don’t think I do nearly enough about it. In an effort to do more, I treated myself to these seeds today – Rudbeckia and two types of Scabious. I bought a small Scabious plant a few¬†years ago and was amazed at how many bees would scramble all over this little plant every single day. And for a very small plant, it provided¬†copious amounts of flowers over a long season. I managed to keep this little plant going for about 2 years before it faded to nothing. I also have a Rudbeckia plant, but would love more and buying them as plants is an expensive way of doing it so thought I’d try the seeds. Both are recommended as good plants for attracting bees and other pollinators, which is obviously great on an allotment! We already have several lavender plants dotted around the allotment, one of my favourite plants alongside Scabious, another fabulous plant for bees and other insects.

Bee friendly seeds

I’d love to be proficient enough a gardener to grow a huge variety of flowers for cutting, but my current gardening skills and dedication does push me more towards growing simple to care for, but effective plants! Bushy plants that I just dead head, then cut back and protect over winter seem to work well for me – and it’s a good job we live in the relatively mild climate of North Cornwall as I regularly neglect to protect plants over winter! Good job we haven’t really seen much in the way of frost this year!

Unfortunately, as mentioned in my previous post, the poly tunnel didn’t survive the winter on the allotment (it gets pretty windy there) and we haven’t sorted a replacement yet. So starting seeds will have to be done at home. The trouble with this is space and a lack of protection, but we will just have to try and see what happens!