Freedom

Brrrrrr. It remains cold out there so there’s not a lot of change to see in the garden. However, the days are certainly getting lighter and the Spring flowers are starting to put on a show. The wind has damaged quite a few plants and the covers keep blowing off but it has simply taught me to choose hardier plants this year.

March Garden

The kittens are now 6 months old and this weekend they went outside for the first time. They have bells on their collars to give the birds fair warning that they’re around and after much encouragement they slowly made their way to the Kitchen Garden. Milo may be the bigger cat but he’s a scaredy cat! I haven’t got any clear photos of him as he kept close to the hedge line and darted everywhere – the best I could manage was the wet paw prints he left behind. He loved playing on the walls and was particularly interested in the hessian covering the asparagus. Bella who is not so reserved, happily climbed, sniffed and explored. The fur on her side is growing back now – they’ve both recovered really well (in fact it was me who was traumatised!).

Bella outside

We’ve not introduced them to the cat flap yet as I want them to get used to being outside first. We have four days off work at Easter in so it will probably happen then when we can give them lots of time and attention.

Tired Cats

I’ve sown the first seeds at last – carrots, beetroot, chard, kale, broad beans and spinach all directly in the beds. Others such as tomatoes, aubergine, squash, sweetcorn and chillies have been brought indoors where they can get a cosier start. The only problem is where to keep the plant pots as the cats love soil and plants and the utility room is now their bedroom. I decided to put them on top of the oak beams in the garden room… I just hope they don’t fall on anyone’s head!

Looking Forward to April Showers

What a busy month March has been – where has it gone?!? It has been unseasonably warm and the pyjamas were swapped for shorts last week. Unfortunately, the down side of this is that the reservoirs are low and there are many parts of the country that already have water restrictions and hose pipe bans! Thankfully we’re unaffected at the moment but it’s only a matter of time I suppose.

The seed trays and plants were making it difficult to get into the utility room so we bought a cheap plastic greenhouse which has been invaluable! It doesn’t look very pretty, and once we have saved some money, we’ll be getting a wooden framed greenhouse but unfortunately this isn’t near the top of our essential list yet!

The good news is that our rabbit friends have stopped getting into the kitchen garden… the “Keep Out” sign obviously worked wonders (…the perimeter fencing may have helped a little too!).

This month I’m looking forward to April showers, Easter and fetching some new chickens… I’m loving the new garden and catch myself smiling for no other reason apart from being outside with the plants and seeds :-)

 

March Already!

I’ve planted some “Golden Gourmet” shallots but unfortunately couldn’t find the string to mark a nice straight line so I did it free hand. The result will probably cause palpitations in many gardeners but to me it’s perfectly imperfect! I buried the shallots so that just the stems were poking out and then covered them with a cloche to stop the birds from pulling them out.

Shallots, Pulmonaria Officinalis, Beetroot & Strawberries

I was happy to see that the Lungwort (pulmonaria officinalis) was in flower. This pretty little herb has pink flowers that turn soon turn blue with age. Long ago most herbs were classified by the way they looked and Lungwort was thought to have leaves that looked like the thin, elastic tissue of the lungs. Remarkably, modern scientists have indeed confirmed that Lungwort has beneficial properties for the  lungs especially for the treatment of bronchitis!

I need to tidy the strawberries up as they’ve been sadly neglected in the shed all winter and the first signs of growth are there from early beetroot Red Ace. The seed packet states that they can be sown with protection from February but I’ve never sown beetroot that early before. I’ll give it a go as I’m sowing little batches every couple of weeks anyway and if it all goes wrong I can eat the leaves!

Crocus, Herbs & HebeThere’s not a lot of the usual yellow in the garden at the moment as the daffodils are still in bud but there are a lot of restful blues, pinks and purples. The crocus are particularly lovely this year and there’s already been a huge bumble bee checking them out!

CyclamenI’m looking forward to the weekend but the weather report is rain, rain, rain. How typical is that? It always seems to be perfect gardening weather when I’m at work or is that just my imagination :-) 

 

Daffodils Aren’t Herbs

The old lady who lived in the house before us absolutely loved daffodils. She planted them throughout the garden and hedgerows and looked forward each winter to seeing them in Spring. I wanted to continue this tradition, especially as we had to unceremoniously uproot many bulbs during the building work, so I have re-planted some in the Kitchen Garden. The Victorians believed that daffodils were a symbol of regard so this somehow seems appropriate.

Narcissus Tete a Tete

Flowers and vegetables have always loved working together to encourage the bees and butterflies but I’m always careful to keep daffodils and other toxic plants away from edible produce…. if someone poisons me I want to know it was deliberate!!