Activity levels in the garden are starting to hot up. I wish I could say the same about the weather, but Mother Nature is teasing us. She gives us a brief touch of the warm summer sunshine that is to come, and then cruelly snatches it back again out of sight. Oh no, not yet, you can only have a little taste. Just when you consider loosing a layer of clothing, an arctic wind blows in, and its back on with the jumper. Doh.
But the flowers are seemingly undeterred. They push on regardless.
The hellebores, with their heads hanging down, are coyly attracting the bees with their irresistible vibes.
It’s a shame the flowers hang down, but it’s also a delight to lift one up to the sun to admire it’s full beauty.
On the allotment, the broad beans that were sown last autumn are now in full flower. I really started them too early in an unexpected Indian Summer, and they grew way too big and fast before winter set in. So I keep feeling pessimistically, that a late frost will finish them off, but so far they’re proving me wrong and maybe, just maybe, I’ll get some extra early beans and I can claim to have planned it perfectly all along! Gardening is a bit like that sometimes. You take a few risks and most of them fail, but the odd one that pays off you take full glory in, and claim all the credit, when in truth it’s mostly just luck. But hey, who’s to know?
Going back to the subject of the weather, it felt warm enough to start potato planting at the weekend, and my first earlies are raring to go. Do I, don’t I? I checked the internet for minimum soil temp for potatoes and there was a general consensus on a min 45F or around 7-8ºc. I took my trusty soil thermometer down to the plot and pushed it into the soil. It read 6ºc. How annoying.
I know lots of people have started planting theirs out, and I’m sure they’ll be fine, but I decided to play safe and wait a little longer. So the shed got a clear out and new roofing felt instead. More on that to come, it’s overdue a lick of paint too.
The cold frame is filling out. Chillies, kale, brussels and cabbages have all been pricked out and are doing very well, but I have no show on the tomatoes so far. They were new seed, so I’m a bit gutted, but I may have to start again. It’s that agonising ‘do I wait a bit longer, am I being impatient, or do I go ahead and re-sow?’ It’s been 2 weeks, they should have come up by now. I also had to resow some sweetpeas. I’d left them on the shed windowsill for a bit of extra warmth, but had forgotten about the resident mouse, who I assume was the culprit for my non-existent peas that I know where just starting to shoot.
I’ve also been driven to using organic slug pellets on the inside of my cold frame. I lost way too many tender young seedlings last spring, and I’m not providing a running buffet for the slug hotel this time round.
The gardening battles have begun.