Wednesday, 2 May 2012

May Day

The first of May, and the weather was absolutely fantastic - clear blue skies, nice and warm - the sort of day that makes it a pleasure to be working outside - another 6 months like today and I could cope with another wet and dreary winter.
Given that it was nice and dry and warm, it was out with the Glyphosate and on with the knapsack sprayer. After spraying off the small "horse prep area" at the back of the stables for Jen, I started in the garden, spraying off the paths and under the hedges, round the greenhouse area, the veg bed and just kept on going ! It is after all, a very large area and most is yet to be taken under cultivation.
After this, I dug over and raked level another section of the veg bed and sowed 5 rows of carrots "Early Nantes 5".
I then moved on to sowing some Sunflower laetifolious - this is a perennial sunflower which has a rhizomatous root system so it will not be used as a "dot" plant but will be a permanent addition to the borders.

Then I potted on the cauliflower and perpetual spinach seedlings from their cells into 3" pots. I also removed the remaining chard plants from the greenhouse beds, and gave the soil in both beds a heavy soaking to bring them back to life. In the tomato bed, I plan on growing the tomatoes through bottomless containers. I'm using Morrisons flower buckets with the bottoms cut out. The idea is to plant the tomatoes in a prepared growing medium in these buckets and eventually the roots will reach the actual soil bed  and get a further boost. I also sowed the smaller bed with a CCA salad mix.

The next job was to plant out some more of the perennials and sweet peas that have been grown on in the greenhouse. So the last three Rudbeckia, three Echinacea purpurea, five Echinops all went into the borders, along with nine Echinaces "White Swan". The sweet peas were of two assorted packs - those from Unwins Arrangers Blend were planted in the same border as the cordon sweet peas but against the wall where they will be allowed to scramble up through the varios roses and Chaenomeles, and the Thompson & Morgan Fragrantissima Mix are against the wall in the long border - again these will be allowed to scramble up through the roses and will also be trained up the cherry trees until they get going themselves. I also checked the cherry trees again for Blackfly - not a sign of it. Hopefully we'll avoid it this year.

We have some more tulips out - and I think that maybe there has been a bit of guerilla gardening going on as I don't remember planting any of the tulips that are coming up in the lower of the two long borders, and Sally can't remember buying or bein given the bulbs, but they're there and that's where they'll stay.

Other tulips that I did plant are now flowering in the top border......

And those planted in the bed by the summerhouse are starting to put on a show

Not to be outdone, the apple blossom is just starting to open - this is on a very large tree against the wall at the bottom of the fruit bed that was quite severely attacked with the chainsaw last year as it was way way too large and was badly cankered - it has made a remarkable recovery and is in the rudest of health

There was a lot of bird activity in the garden this week and I spotted this in one of the recesses in the archway of the potting shed. I think it might be a wren, but a female chaffinch seemed to forever waiting about for me to stop wandering in and out all day. There is nothing in it and I can anly hope that my comings and goings don't put the birdie off using this .....

And finally here is this weeks pic of the borders from the potting shed - hard to tell but it won't be too long before we have some proper colour to beak up the green,

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