Monday, 30 March 2009

Small but perfectly formed

I planted my leeks a bit late last year, being my first attempt at growing from seed I transplated them in August. Yesterday I decided to harvest some of my baby leeks. They may not be as big as the commercially grown variety but baby leeks are just the thing these days! I plan to start some more from seed today and have a different variety to try this year Blue Green Autumn Neptune (Suttons) and have prepared a spot just for them! They smell wonderful when you lift them and they taste good too!

Sunday, 29 March 2009

On Saturday 28th March I visited Yalding Organic Gardens just outside of Maidstone with my sister. We arrived just before 11am and waited for our host to take us on a tour of the gardens. Just as we did the heavens opened and we walked around for an hour in the rain. The gardens are really well designed as formal gardens, woodlands and vegetable gardens. They show you how to compost, how vegetables were grown during the war effort and offer lots of friendly advice.

The huge bowl of home made minestroni soup was very welcoming and warmed us up! You can visit all year and the normal entrance price is £6.50 which gives you a pass for the whole year. I think you can visit the shop and cafe for free.

We then headed back to the Potted Garden in Bearstead to look for some plants trying to dodge the heavy showers. And then finally back to my house for tea and cakes!

Today I plan to plant my new rhubarb plant somewhere suitable in the garden. I hope to use the rhubarb in a chutney recipe. Although my sister has already requested rhubarb jam!

Friday, 27 March 2009

sweet peas and peas

My sweet peas and peas survived being blow over on Monday night in the wind! I got home to find my plastic greenhouse on its side by the back door. Thankfully because I planted them in toilet rolls they survived. They are now safe in the warm dining room and some have germinated! Yippee. I've added a picture to show you what they look like growing in toilet rolls. I'll keep you updated on their progress!

As the weather forecast is terrible for this weekend I might not get anything actually done in the garden. But I plan to do some more seeds this Sunday. On Saturday I will be visiting the Yalding Organic Garden as part of the Kents Big Day Out. I will be taking my sister Danielle and hopefully have some lunch there

Anyway enjoy your weekend whatever you are planning. Amanda

Saturday, 14 March 2009

I think Spring could be here

I visited the church this morning as I will be making a flower arrangement for the PC for the Bianual Flower Festival at the end of June. I have chosen The Sower and have lots of ideas jotted down on a pad. I plan to use the lovely garden trug my sister bought me for Christmas as its perfect. I wont give too much away now but I will grow my own flowers and veg for my display so it can all be used/recycled later. I'll post pictures at the end of June when its completed!

On the way back I popped into see Anne for a cuppa. We exchanged home made chilli jam (wicked and hot) for my tomatoe chutney. We chatted and Anne kindly gave me four pepper plants that she had grown. Anne - they made it home ok and I have put them in the dining room in front of the door to get the sun all day! I've just found the Celeriac seeds in my journal!

I checked my seeds sown on the 21 Feb and the following have emerged (yipee) Radish Scarlet Globe, Carrots and the Shallots have some green shoots. I am now going to pop back out there to sow some more Radish as I plan to keep them going as I may need them for my display at the end of June. I have posted a picture of my new bug bought from Pastimes. As you can see my spinach is still doing really well despite all the snow we had. Must eat some more before the insects do!

Enjoy your gardens today and make the most of the sunshine!

Sunday, 8 March 2009

I checked my recently sown seeds this morning and the raddishes have decided to make an appearance. It was so windy last night that my plastic cloche decided to end up half way down the garden so I will have to peg it back a bit better this time. Today I plan to cut back some of the perpetial spinach and do a little digging over. Hopefully some of my compost will be ready and I can dig some of that in.

I also need to measure the area to work out how much wood I need for the new raised bed at the back of my small veggie patch. Ian has offered to do this in March for me. It will be good to get this done so that I can get it started off before the main growing season kicks in.

My late sown leeks are still ok, although smaller than I had hoped. I may take one out today to add to my casserole! The red robin bushes at the back of the garden look great with all their cheerful red tips. I also noticed that the alliums I planted last year are showing through the gravel. They seem to do really well in that area, I guess because the have a nice layer of gravel to keep them warm. Hopefully they should look spectacular in May/June. And I must buy some more this year as they attract the bees to the veggie plot.

Yesterday I helped my friend Paula in her garden for a while. It was nice to have a chat and look out how things are doing in her garden. We also pulled her portable greenhouse into place so that she can get sowing all her seeds. I gave her a packet of leeks as last year I bought her a pack of seedlings and she has just eaten the last ones out of her patch.

Enjoy your garden and the sunshine today.