The last few days here in Cornwall have been fab! The sun has shone, I feel like I’ve got plenty done and the rate of seedling demise seems to have slowed. The alliums in the garden have started flowering, I’m definitely planting some on the allotment next year – the bees can’t get enough!
I have plans for making more rhubarb jam this week (hopefully I won’t burn it this time!) and have seen a recipe for a rhubarb cordial that I’d like to try.
On the allotment, the peas we put in at the weekend have so far avoided any significant damage from birds and we found a birds nest above our potting bench – the chicks are now big enough to peek out of the nest:
Yesterday, Ashley and I collected some carpeting from a local marquee company that was to be dumped or burned – we are going to use it to mulch our paths and other areas for the next year in the hope of really getting on top of the weeds. I’m hoping for another good weekend so we can get some more work done – although it’s a bank holiday in Cornwall which practically guarantees rain!
I’ve spent loads of time this week sat out in the garden potting on seedlings, sorting and clearing pots that have been emptied by the slugs and re-jigging plants to hopefully have some colourful flowers in the garden in a few weeks time.
Hope you’re all enjoying some sunshine too!
After some lovely weather this week, this weekend is predictably dreary! So today was an ideal day for some baking and jam making.
As you can see, the cake isn’t lasting long! My excuse is that it’ll be much better fresh!
During the week, I pulled some fairly sizeable stalks of rhubarb and have been wanting to try some rhubarb and ginger jam from a preserves book I got for my birthday last year. It seems to have set, but I think I may have burnt it a little. We haven’t tried it yet, so I’m just hoping it doesn’t taste too bad!
I’m so pleased that I managed to get to the allotment during the week when the sun was shining. I managed to weed most of the beds – the ‘crop’ of fat hen that self seeds all across our plot have sprung up in the warmer weather.
As you can see, there was a fair covering of weeds before I started. I planted some runner beans and sweet peas, cleared the kale and cabbage that hadn’t done very well and had gone to seed, and removed the netting that was protecting the kale etc from the pigeons and used it to cover the frame over the raspberries. I also sowed some carrot, beetroot, pak choi and fennel seeds. Ashley and I tried bulb fennel for the first time last year and really liked it so I’m pretty keen to try and grow it myself. I was enormously happy to see the potatoes, onions and garlic finally showing.
There’s still plenty of weeding, clearing, planting and covering to do. At home, the cauliflower seedlings are doing well and some of the sunflowers are really coming on. Unfortunately, most of my tomato seedlings have died off (I have no idea why!) and a lot of other things seem to really be struggling. It’s quite depressing seeing all my seedlings suffer and die when I’ve spent so many weeks tending to them daily. I’m really hoping to start seeing some good progress soon! And I mustn’t give up – I’m terrible for giving up when I’m not seeing the results that I want.
Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Hi there! How was your Bank holiday Monday? Ours wasn’t quite as productive as it might have been, but enjoyable nonetheless.
After a dreary and damp morning and the weather not looking likely to pick up any time soon, I decided to brave the elements and go outside to pot on some seedlings. The leeks (Sultan F1), tomatoes (Garden Pearl) and cauliflower (Romanesco) all got new pots and I sowed some radish (a black variety) and red spring onions into a couple of larger pots. Once this was done, the sun did actually shine for the rest of the afternoon!
Later in the day, Ashley and I went for a little walk around a friends woodland. There is a sizeable Ash tree that came down in bad weather a few weeks ago and Ashley has been given permission to cut up and take as much as he’d like – we are hoping it will be enough to fill our wood store for next autumn and winter. We are down to our last few basketfuls of logs now! Apparently, Ash is considered a really good wood for burning as it has a very low moisture content even when freshly cut. So a summer of it drying in our wood store should be adequate. The woodland floor was carpeted in Wild Garlic (or Ramsons) which were looking particularly beautiful in the early evening sunlight. Every year for the past few years, I have intended to make something from wild garlic but have never got round to it. I WILL look up some recipes this week and go and collect some!
This week, I find myself without a car as it died a death on Monday! It has been particularly frustrating as there are jobs to be done at the allotment (aren’t there always?!) and buses/walking isn’t an option around here. Our small covered planter that is being used as a ‘greenhouse’ at the moment is bursting at the seams, as are the kitchen windowsill and dining table! I can’t wait to get things planted out but they aren’t really big enough and even if they were, it just feels too cold at the moment (even in Cornwall, which is supposed to be mild!).
We don’t have a covered area outside for planting and sitting outside today would have meant dodging several hail storms and generally being very cold, so I turned my living room floor into a planting area today with the help of a dust sheet! It worked very well and once I was done planting, I simply scooped up the sheet and shook it off outside. Today I separated and potted up some Rudbeckia (Marmalade) seedlings – When I originally sowed the seeds, I put quite a lot into a small pot. I don’t think I was expecting many to germinate for some reason, but they all have! I have also potted on some Pea (Hurst Green Shaft) and a few various sunflower seedlings. I have sown some seeds too: Cosmos – Seashells Mixed, Leek – Northern Lights, Pepper – Cayenne, Sunflower – Vanilla Ice. I’m really rather excited at sowing the Leek seeds. I’ve been looking forward to it since seeing a picture in a gardening magazine and deciding that I needed to grow this variety – I’m sure it isn’t normal to get this excited about leeks!
The allotment will have to wait until the weekend – here’s hoping that the weather picks up!
Thanks for reading, have a great day!
In the absence of a greenhouse or poly tunnel at the moment, my kitchen is turning out to be a reasonable substitute. The windowsill is full of tomato, herb and scabious seedlings whilst the dining table is the current home of the spinach, Dahlia, leeks and some peas and sunflowers. I spent yesterday afternoon potting on the Dahlia, pea, sweet pea and tomato (black opal) seedlings. The temperature outside has really dropped again in the last 2 days so I’m grateful of Ashley’s homemade cover for my seedlings. I’m desperately hoping that this isn’t going to be another cool, damp summer…
Last week, I spent an afternoon at a garden centre with my Grandma and bought some plant packs. They were being sold off for £3 for a pack of 6 plants – 50p each, I can’t resist that! I don’t even know what all the plants are, I just know I like them! After potting them up and organising my ‘verticle grower’ (Ashley made it for me a few years ago from scrap pieces of wood – a bit cheaper than the £100+ being asked in the shops!) so it looked pretty, Penny discovered that she could climb it to eat the pretty pansy’s and other flowers…. I wasn’t happy. And of course, once she started, nothing we did to try and deter her would work. So the chickens have temporarily lost access to that part of the garden whilst we work on a solution. Unfortunately, the solution so far seems to be getting rid of the chickens. We have been considering this for quite some time now; as I’ve said before, we often feel that we don’t give the chickens enough room and it’s not a stimulating enough environment for them. Friends of ours (who give us the land for our allotment) have kindly said that they can take them in, they have lots of chickens already and have plenty of space for them.
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!
Some 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.
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…