The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...


Friday, April 30, 2010

Know Your Onions

Almost overnight the trees around us have come into leaf. Everything is starting to go mad in the garden so time for a progress report.

I have been doing daily inspections of the raised planters to check on progress of both the seeds and the vole. Luckily the vole appears to have been inactive of late. But today the onions have made their debut have the carrots.

The lettuces are still coming through but don't seem to be growing quickly. Or am I just very impatient? Should check when I am supposed to thin them...

Similarly for the spinach and rocket...

On the potato front my old second earlies are well on their way, almost all now having come through. The main crop are also beginning to sprout above ground amidst the thousands of weed seedlings. Still no sign of the first earlies. There was a set back with the far corner where Jen decided she wanted to dig a hole...

I planted the first of my runner beans and French beans into pots on Wednesday and they are now sitting in propagators on the sunroom windowsill. I have decided it is still a little too cold for the peas, but hopefully when I get back from Malta mid-May.

I had a trip to Lamberton nursery on Tuesday. I had mentioned to Anne a while back that I would be going sometime soon and I would let her know when if she wanted to come. I wasn't expecting James to come along too - Paul's car was in the garage so he had to squeeze into the back of mine. No list with me - I had free rein:

Sedum pachyclados - a few straggly bits that I pulled off the main plant and have put in various cracks and crannies in th path. May take...
Antennaria 'Alex Duguid'
Dianthus Pikes Pink - a double
Primula juliae
Daphne mezereum 'Bowles White'
Paeonia veitchii
Bellevalia ciliata - a member of the hyacinth family. I had enough bulbs to split into 6 small clumps
Saxifrage hostii
Rhododendron 'Arctic Tern'/'Shamrock'/'Patty Bee'

and my star buy -Salix nakamurana yezoalpina. A big name for a small plant. I'm not sure the photo does it justice - the leaves are so tactile. It shouldn't get much taller but will spread horizontally to a couple of feet or more.

All got planted except for the rhodos amidst light spots of rain in the late afternoon.

It was back to LB9 yesterday. I started at the bottom, digging out the clay and placing the cobbles and worked my way up towards the middle. The previously placed stepping stones were removed as they were not up to the job and Paul helped me get a new one in that I had managed to shuffle across but could not lift on my own. Then back to the top and working my way down. Another day or two to finish it I reckon, but Paul is away playing bridge this weekend and there is no way I can get the next two earmarked rocks in place on my own...

I occasionally wonder why I am doing all this and then I see how good what I have already done is looking and my heart lifts...

Last year's Edrom nursery plants are all doing well. Having survived this winter they should be able to cope with anything.

In the last few days as I have noticed the most divine perfume as I have been working. I have tracked it down to this daphne that is knee high to a grass hopper, currently about two inches tall. Another variety I bought last year has grown considerably and is covered with buds.

The snakeshead fritillarias that I planted in the autumn are also now starting to flower.

And not to be outdone, the viola that Jean gave me is putting on a show.

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