Some photos from the weekend (which Mom took) and from today, that i took of the garden (behind the cut as per usual)…

me, demonstrating plantsMom took some photos of me inside the Greenhouse, doing my best me, hard at workGardener’s World impression (and yes, the top is rather low-cut – what can i say, it was a hot day!).. but she also took some photos of Jess being cute. Of course. The obligatoryness of Jess-love obviously runs in the family. 🙂 She was ever so happy to see Mom and Dad, she loves the attention she gets from them, and i have never seen a dog beg so Jess taking her easeshamelessly when Dad picked up the biscuit tin. LOL. On sunday, when i took Jess for her evening walk, we saw – to my utter amazement – a couple of
horses! they went by from the ashton old road past the flowering blackcurrant – the one i like, whatever its called) to the bridge, where they dismounted and led the horses under the bridge. Never seen horses round here before – well, i have, but they were police horses, these weren’t. They were ridden by youngish girls and their feet were almost like shire horses, with long hair. Beautiful glossy black creatures they were. Fortunately i saw them in the distance (from back by the old people’s home) so i grabbed Jess by the collar and kept her quiet, didn’t want her barking to disturb the horses and make them rear up (there were teenagers hanging around by the bridge too).

Jess was so inquisitive, watching intently, ruffing a little, quietly, but she seemed to sense that barking was a bad idea, and i kept her sitting too, standing over her, stroking her head with my other hand, and she was fine. Once they were out of sight we carried on walking but when we got to the place where the horses had walked over, she dragged me to the tracks and was rubbing her nose in the grass, not just sniffing it, rubbing her nose in it (not the pooh, just the smell) then rolling in it, with every evidence of
delight. few more steps and the same thing, right up to the point where we left the track and i had to drag her away. She obviously loves the smell of horses!

The plant Mom LikedIn addition, when Mom and I walked down to Aldi the day they were here, Mom saw a beautiful, huge shrub covered in white flowers. She didn’t know what it was, only that the flower was rose-like, but the Plant mom liked - closeupleaves weren’t, but she did admire it and took a couple of cuttings (and showed me how to do it too, so that when i get some rooting powder i can grow some shrubs for the right price). She asked me to get a couple of photos of the plant, so here they are. Gorgeous, aren’t they? She later told me its called Rubus “tridel”, and its a relative of the blackberry and the rose.

Cornflowers planted outI did some work on the garden today. First of all i planted out the cornflowers, they were wilting in the heat of the greenhouse (it was 30*C when i went out there today, but it was rather windy so i couldn’t have thermometer in the greenhousethe door open as much as i would’ve liked, i just had it undone at the bottom) so i gave them a good water then planted them out next to my little bay tree. Hopefully they’ll thrive there (if not, then i have plenty of other ones coming through). They look a bit pathetic there at the moment (three each side of the bay), i do hope they perk up a lil.

SweetcornThen i got a bit carried away and wanted to plant something else. So i grabbed the sweetcorn and planted those out, under cloches: i’d checked the long-range weather forecast for the next month and the azores high is going to stay over the UK for most of may, so by the time its passed, all threat of frost should also have passed. The fact that i’m in the city and the cloches should also help them survive the rest of it, although it is technically a bit early. A bit of a gamble, we’ll see if it pays off.

First attempt at cutting the grassThen i came in and talked to Sarah a bit on MSN, then decided to go cut the grass. Or some of it. Cutting the grass with the strimmer proved to be harder work than i anticipated: not only the weight of the strimmer but having to hold the power button closed. I got some done – you can see the difference in the photo, the right side of the tree is “done”, the left side isn’t – but there’s still a lot to do.

Tomato - moneymaker plantInside the greenhouse, my seedlings are coming on well. It really won’t be gardener’s delight plantlong now till the tomatoes go out – i need to start hardening them off to the outside over the next couple of days, certainly the Moneymaker and Gardener’s delight varieties. They’re growing through the bottom of the pots and that’s not a good sign. Fortunately i’m picking up some hosepipe tomorrow and i hope to get some more pots from the takeout place to make some up soon, but in the mean time i’ll get a few into growbags i think, very soon. tumbling tom on the other hand is very small tumbling tom tomato plantcompared to these two – okay, they were planted about 3/4 weeks apart, but even so. The size difference is quite considerable. I can only think that tumbling tom is meant to be smaller.

courgette plantsthe courgettes are growing too, although i lost another one – the stem snapped – so i just hope the others survive. won’t be long, too, before they’ll need to go outside. The biggest problem is that they keep falling over, even though i support them. I might have to look up whether they need staking or not. the cucumbers are also in the greenhouse now, on their second set of cucumber planttrue leaves. I’ll need to get them into a growbag soon, and get the canes set up to support the fruits. They definetly need staking, i know this already. I’m growing telegraph improved.

aubergine plantsThe aubergines are doing well. They’re beginning to develop their first true leaves, but there are two to a pot, so they’ll need seperating and potting on very soon, i think. I hope they grow fairly quickly, or i won’t stand much chance of getting any fruits from them.

chilli plantthe Peppers and chillis are romping away now. both these and the aubergines are now in the greenhouse permanently, although Pepper plantthey’ve been covered with fleece at night to give them that extra protection. i don’t know when i can expect to get any fruits. The stems need properly shoring up, and i think they’ll need potting on very soon – will have to buy some bigger pots.

basil and coriander seedlingsThe basil and coriander i planted a week or so ago is sprouting now, hopefully they’ll do better than the last lot i planted. I’m getting fed up with buying coriander, and i use so much of it in flowerscooking that it’d save me a bit. Next to it is the cardboard box of flowers i sowed – the cardboard is rather soggy but its holding its shape okay for now (i wouldn’t want to pick it up though!) – i think when i take it out to repot the seedlings i’ll pull it forward off the shelf onto a tray and do it that way, because if i just try to pick it up by the sides it’ll collapse. I’m thinking in terms of turning the side patch of garden into something like a meadow – letting the grass deliberately grow tall, and planting things like cornflowers in with the grass as well. It’ll be a habitat for wild creatures, a sorely needed one in the city. The big problem with that will be the housing association – whether they’ll see that its deliberately done that way, with the flowers, as opposed to neglect? i hope they will.

beans - climbing and dwarfback in the greenhouse: the beans i sowed in toilet roll tubes are growing well – both dwarf and climbing – and it won’t be long before they’re ready to go out. I’m thinking of taking the polytunnel off permanently soon – will have to harden off the things inside it, perhaps on wednesday when the wind is scheduled to die down a bit – by taking it off during the day and replacing it at night for a few days, then removing it altogether. The sugarsnap peas at one end of the polytunnel will need tying into a wigwam before long, so the polytunnel will have to come off then.

lettuce and rocketThe lettuce and rocket i planted up has also grown – the rocket, very much so! I will have to spend time pricking those out and planting them before very long, into the bed next to the sweetcorn. It will be nice to have something in that bed – its been almost empty for so long. the lettuce i am going to try leaving in that tray and harvesting rather small, as the lettuce i sowed in bed 1 is struggling to get going beyond the seedling stage. I also have to successional sow some radishes – Sarah’s harvested her first radishes, and mine are still puny!!! (*gets all competitive*).

ChivesThe chives i split about a month ago are doing well. They’re developing flowers, which is – i think – a good sign (it could also be a sign of stress, but i’m thinking positive). I’m keeping one for Sarah for when she comes to visit – i just hope it makes it back with her on the train.

celeriac seedlingsFinally, a picture of my celeriac seedlings (which have been quietly gathering strength and growing away in the corner of the greenhouse, quite unnoticed, apart from being watered) – they’re doing so well! It won’t be very long before they and the leek seedlings will be ready to be planted in bed 3, so i need to get going on finishing up that and getting it filled with compost. *sighs*. so much to do out there. Still. I’ll get there. little and often is the way. 🙂