I tend to ramble on which makes my posts rather long so I only put small pictures on. If you'd like to see a bit more just click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I have a jungle!

Well, here we are, another two weeks gone and goodness, what have we here! The sun room's resembling a jungle!

Three of the four beans in this pot have reached the top of the canes, the fourth one was a late addition, planted a couple of weeks ago and is about half way up.

The tomatoes are now 3' high and all have two or three trusses on, one truss even has flowers. We were putting them out in the daytime to harden off and bringing them in at night but last week, despite the most glorious sunshine, the wind was very cold and it affected some of the leaves so we're keeping them inside for now.

The three red pepper plants on the window sill have now been repotted into their final large pots and are looking very happy. In front of them, on the little bench (we bought two shoe racks from Asda, £5 each, perfect for putting the trays on!) there are, in the black tray, two cherry tomato seedlings I've grown waiting to go into their permanent pots, the poppy seedlings we've kept inside for now (the ones we planted out are doing OK), plus five leek seedlings I've grown (one didn't make it) waiting to be potted on. To the right, on the small green trays, are the African marigolds I've grown from seed, very healthy but again got a bit of "wind burn" when we tried to harden them off last week. They're fine and we'll plant them out in the next week or two. In front of those, in the two black trays, are the petunia, verbena and nepeta plug plants we bought from the garden centre last week. They're waiting to go outside into their pots but again it's still a little early. We also have some begonia and trailing lobelia bought yesterday ready to go out into tubs.

There's plenty going on outside. The primroses have now finished flowering and are obviously very happy from the amount of fresh new leaf growth.

My little azalea (Mother's Day present last year) is in full bloom and looking gorgeous!

The two hostas have come on a bundle in a fortnight:

It's quite surprising that they're almost at the same stage as normally the one in the top photo is quite a bit later than the other.

The rhubarb's doing well but as Paul split the crowns this year we can only pull two or three sticks, we must wait until next year before we can harvest it properly - that's really sad as Paul was looking forward to rhubarb crumble!

The paeony's doing well, as is the tall lobelia behind, and the bluebells in the pot started to flower a few days ago.

Miraculously the arum lily seems to be recovering well from the frost damage, not sure if it will give us such a good show as last year but at least it's still alive! Lesson learned - protect from frost if we have another winter as bad as this one.

You can just about make out the two red sprout seedlings I planted out this week. Apparently they prefer a shady spot and in front of the fence is the shadiest place in the garden.

The potatoes have been working hard and I've had to earth them up every few days. Today I earthed them up for the last time and as the soil's at the top of the pot I can now leave them to just grow.

Parsnips and carrots in these two tubs. The tub in the top picture had seeds directly sown into it a couple of weeks ago. The tub in the second picture has parsnip seedlings grown on in the sun room and carrot seeds planted directly this week.

I managed to catch Paul while he was clearing out the fence planters, he's taken out the daffodil bulbs and we can get them ready for summer planting. I'm not good at balancing on the little wall to reach the planters, it was hard enough for him!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What a difference two weeks makes

Well, here we are, just two weeks after the last post and what a growth spurt!

Here are the tomatoes and runner beans. The tomatoes are now about 2'6" high, they've grown another 15" in a fortnight. The runner beans are also roughly 2'6" tall which is amazing as they had only just broken through the soil in their small pots two weeks ago. The nights are still a bit too cool for them to be outside but the days are warming up nicely, time for them to be hardened off so they'll be going outside in the daytime and coming back into the sun room at night for the next couple of weeks.

At the back there are the three red peppers, they've also grown considerably and are looking good. Leeks and parsnips are in the tray in front of the peppers, only at first leaf stage so early days but alive and kicking! The beautiful paeony type poppies and a couple of cherry tomatoes are also in this tray. Some poppies have already gone outside and I'm holding on to these inside for a while in case the other seedlings don't make it. The cherry tomatoes are doing well but still too small to pot on.

The African marigolds are coming along nicely, very strong and I'm tempted to put them out but I should really wait a couple more weeks. Also in this tray are two pots each with a healthy red brussel sprout seedling.

On the right, in front of the tomatoes, are a few pots of aptenia seeds which Paul planted yesterday, fingers crossed these germinate as this is the plant we first saw in Oz. Also some pots with penstemmon seedlings, the seeds were planted at the same time as all the veggie and poppy seeds but they seem to be very slow growing although healthy enough.

In the black tray at the front are some trailing verbena, nepeta and some trailing double petunias which we bought yesterday. These I've potted on today and will keep in the sun room until we're ready to plant up the big pots and urns outside.

These are Rooster potatoes which I planted two weeks ago, growing nicely through the compost so today I've earthed them up for the first time.

My all time favourite, proper wild primroses (bought from a garden centre a few years ago and brought with us to this house, not dug up from their natural habitat) and they are thriving under the camelia. It's the shadiest part of the garden so the soil doesn't dry out as much here and it seems to be the perfect place for them. These are doing better than the others which are in a drier and sunnier spot. I'm really pleased with the way these have settled down in this spot.

Last but not least the rhubarb is doing well. This is a very dry part of the garden which gets the sun all day so regular watering is a must.

I've planted some carrots, parsnips and salad leaf seeds straight into outside tubs. Our carrots last year were very successful and it's lovely to pick them fresh whenever you want them, the taste is so much better than what you get from the supermarket. I shall continue to plant more seeds every few weeks to ensure we get a continuous crop which should take us right through the winter.