Cheerfully bright and looking very yellow in the sunshine, my first tulip of the year has arrived. It is the aptly named ‘World Friendship’. A virtual high five to that! I’ve spent the week being very virtual – virtual meetings, virtual events, virtual exercise and virtual language classes but I have also spent more time in the garden. Here are six things that caught my eye.
The aforementioned World Friendship. New to the garden last year and standing strong again this year. Long may it last
Narcissus ‘Bridal Crown’. A few years back, when I was new to this garden, I squeezed a few of these into the border. No real idea why and no particular plan. They deserve to have had more consideration, either more of them or some other plants to work with. On the ‘to do’ list.
The first of the plum blossom is opening out. This tree was in a bad way three years ago. Oozing from a large split in the trunk. The split is gradually healing and the oozing has stopped but last year the leaves withered, you can just make them out in the background. I’m giving it one more season to see if it can pull through. I’ve lovingly fed it with bonemeal once a quarter and my fingers are crossed. While it flowers like this there is hope.
The tomato plants have been potted on. I keep meaning to sow a few more seeds – some cherry tomatoes and some yellow ones. That’s a job for the weekend then.
During my morning fast walk round the garden I spotted a drop of pink under the rose bush. Closer inspection revealed the first flower of geranium sanguineum var. striatum. This seems very early and it is a little darker than usual, but hey, who’s complaining.
The online gardening community is doing a great job of keeping us all going. Thanks to Mr P for hosting the links to all the SOS posts. I’d also like to give a thumbs up to twitter gardener @GardeningGent who is organising a Sow a Sunflower event. I was very pleased to finally locate some seeds so that I can take part. Sow seeds on April 1st – no joke- and post a weekly photo of progress. I’ll be there.
Here’s hoping your gardening activities are helping you to spread seeds of happiness. Cold weather forecast but I think it may be time to take the plunge and prune the hydrangeas.
The high points of my gardening year are the June riot of colour and the September harvests. In truth we have been enjoying raspberries, figs and blackberries for a few weeks now. The erratic early summer weather did for one of my cucumber plants but the survivor put out enough cukes to keep the salad bowl well supplied. There is colour in the garden thanks to the roses and phlox but this week is mainly a veg and fruit focus.
Dwarf French beans. These are Safari. This is the first time I have grown a dwarf variety and so far so good. They have cropped well enough for me and taste good. They don’t seem as squeaky as other French beans. I’m freezing those that are surplus to requirements. They are perhaps slightly fiddlier to pick than climbers from a wig-wam but I won’t have to untangle all that twine at the end of the season. I sowed a second round a few weeks ago which I hope will give me a crop in October.
Tomatoes in the greenhouse. My greenhouse is in partial shade and the windows need a clean but temperatures still climb. They have only just started to ripen in the last week or two. There are plenty of tomatoes but will they all ripen? These are San Marzano 2 and Tigerella. I also grew Green Zebra, Golden Sunrise and Alicante.
Onions, small but good enough. The onions did better this year due to the higher rainfall. I don’t plant many because I never have much luck with stored onions. I am sure these will be used up before they start sprouting. The variety is Sturon and I will grow these again next year. The red onions were even more diminutive and were used up very quickly. They were growing in the rain shadow of one of the apple trees. I will try to do better with the red onions – time to start the winter Japanese varieties now.
The large fig tree has cropped well this year and for some reason I didn’t see the squirrels stealing the fruits. Perhaps the wasps put them off. Picking the figs had to be carried out with great care. This tree is going to get the big trim over winter and it is much needed. On Friday I watched the wind blow through the leaves with some trepidation. I’m hoping we don’t get a big winter storm this year.
It is apple picking weekend here. This is because the next few weekends are taken up with other plans so it is now or never. All the apples will be picked and taken off for juicing. In a week or so I will collect the results. I finally got round to buying a telescopic apple picker which I hope will mean less teetering on the ladder.
There is one flower for the week. This stray sunflower has been brightening up a corner of the garden. It is like a lighthouse shining through the dark, calling to the butterflies and bees. I didn’t plant it and can only think that it came from the sunflower seeds in the bird feeder. For which I am very grateful!
Apart from the great apple harvesting that has to be done this weekend I am hoping to make a start on some bulb planting. I’ve not placed a big order yet but I have some crocuses and Tete a Tete daffodils to ease me in. Planning for Spring has started.
Mr P hosts the Six On Saturday meme and all the links to other posts can be found in the comments section. September on show from gardens around the world. Lovely.