Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Cherries Waiting for Summer Sun

Cherry Tree Summer Sun
Spring blossom has come late to our garden after the extended cold, cold winter this year. Cherry trees of Colney, Merton Glory, Stella, and Vega, are still in full bloom. Others, like summer sun to the (left) and Sunburst have dropped their petals and have the first tantalising signs of tiny green cherries.

Spring has been very changeable so far with warm sunny days, strong gusty winds, sudden rains and even a bit of hail, just to mix it up a bit. Cherry blossom probably doesn't appreciate this kind of weather, but the tiny green fruitlets are giving me hope that the summer will bring me more cherries than I can safely eat.

Soon enough, it will  be time to put up the "pop-up" fruit cage to protect the potted trees and to carry out the strange mummification of the Sunburst cherry tree that stands at the bottom entrance to the garden. It never works, but I try it every year. Below is last year's crazy effort to keep some of the harvest away from the blackbirds. Yes, that is a clothes peg. And not one, but two kinds of netting. At least the blackbirds didn't see fit to get themselves trapped inside.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Darwin - Mendil Beach

Mendil Beach - Darwin

I've been lucky enough to work in Australia for a few weeks. The heat and humidity was a bit of a shock, as was seeing what I think of as house plants growing as 30ft trees. The pictures is of Mendil Beach in Darwin - 35C and 90% humidity, but beautiful nonetheless.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Queen of the Night

Beautiful despite the snow, hail, wind and rain...

Hellebore, Queen of the Night

Saturday, 2 February 2013

At last, a little bit of sunshine at the weekend! I've managed to get outside and start some weeding and tidying. After cutting back Hellebore leaves I found a dozen tiny Hellebore seedlings! It'll probably be a few years before they flower and I find out what colour they are. Still, I'm very pleased to have some self-sown seedlings.

After all the heavy rain and snow the garden's not looking it's best, but there are a few things adding some winter cheer. Bright, crazy-haired grasses and red stemmed dogwoods are catching the low winter sun.
Winter grass in some welcome sunshine

Thursday, 31 January 2013

What to sow in February

I've been sowing "sprouting" peas indoors every couple of weeks for fresh pea shoots to bring some early spring to my winter salads.

Chase Organic Pea Shoots - snip and add to salads
Later this month I'll sow Onions in modules. I'll leave them in a warm spot untilt they germinate, then they'll be off the the cold frame so that they don't get too warm.
The overwintered broad beans are doing well, and this year I think I'll sow some indoors in deep pots for a sweet treat that's really easy to grow. They'll need to be hardened off carefully before planting out.
I'll wait until mid February to sow sweet peppers and the hotter chilli peppers as these need a long growing season. They'll start off on the kitchen windowsill.
I'll hold off on sowing tomatoes or they'll be leggy before the weather is warm enough for them to be happy in the conservatory.
I didn't sow autumn sweet peas so I'll start some this month and keep them cool if I can.

waiting, waiting

for the rain

Pink Hellebore