Monday, 30 April 2012
End Of Month View ~ April 2012
"Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote
The droghte of March has perced to the roote"
~ from the Prologue To The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer, c1343 - 1400
This snippet remembered from many moons ago study, has floated through my thoughts almost daily this past month. Luckily we are not in a drought area but still welcomed the rain that arrived after such a dry March but you can have too much of a good thing! No doubt we will be hearing more about the April temperature and rain statistics for 2012 for some time to come. Ironically after yesterday's biblical deluge the month is ending on a sunnier and warmer note - in fact there is a good impersonation of a spring day going on out there.
As far as the allotment progress has been painfully slow as I am a fair weather allotmenteer. Just negotiating the path to my plot and remaining upright whilst doing so involves great skill, as the main path is a slippery quagmire. Himself has put up a membrane around the perimeter fencing which seems to have thwarted the rabbits. I came up with the brilliant idea of putting cut off plastic bottles around the necks of the shallots that had been nibbled in case they suffered any more damage. I then made the error of leaving them on too long so now the new growth got rather squashed to say the least but hopefully will recover. I have got my potatoes in - 'Anya' and 'Lady Christl'. We have been eating sparse but delicious purple sprouting broccoli and rhubarb. The exciting news for our allotment community that I hoped that I might be able to reveal this month is still on hold.
The most pleasing event in the garden has to be the sight of our willow tree slowly sending out new growth. At the start of the month I began to despair that it would grow again, I was almost beside myself when I first saw a sign of green and since then there has been a daily inspection - well apart from yesterday. Regular readers may remember my dismay when this huge old tree had to be severely pruned after a storm at the beginning of the year. 'Thanks to all those who reassured me that it would grow again. The newly planted pear tree has blossomed well but her companion has not sent out any flowers. This together with the difficult conditions for pollinating creatures to be out on the wing is making me wonder whether there will be any pears this year. So now we are tip - toeing into May, my favourite month of the year and along with it some of my favourite flowers ~
The greenhouse is filling up nicely but it has been difficult to start to harden plants off and I'm already behind with sowing and pricking out. The occupants of the greenhouse are mainly destined for the allotment. Tomatoes, peppers, peas, beetroot, red onions are all growing away nicely.The peas and broad beans which have been braving the outdoor world are crying out to get in the ground. I have sown the basils, courgettes, squashes and cucumbers but hope to get more in this week. On the flower side sunflowers, nicotianas, cosmos 'White Purity', dahlia 'Bishops's Children', tithonia 'Torch', cobaea scandens alba have now all germinated whilst there other seeds hopefully still to germinate. Some non germinations - some freebie alpine strawberry seeds and cobaea scandens purpurea - possibly old seed. The other non - show which I am rally peeved about is what looks like a delectable aquilegia 'Miss 'M.I.Huish'. I feel a letter coming on. I still have more annuals to sow - again another job for this week along with sweetcorn, French beans and runner beans. Any surpluses will be heading to the plant sale in May at our local gardening club. A couple of us plot holders are having a plant stall and are hoping to raise funds for the allotment association.
Again with admirable self restraint I've kept plant purchases to a minimum this month. Joining the throngs to be planted in my cold frame are erythronium 'Pagoda', ranunculus ficaria 'Brazen Hussy' and dicentra formosa 'Bacchanal', all purchased from the local Country Market. I was hoping to attend my first plant sale of the year yesterday but the atrocious weather decided that it was a day best spent indoors. Now next month fingers crossed, I'm hoping to report on rather more substantial activity in the retail therapy department!
The end of the month view is most kindly hosted by 'The Patient Gardener's Weblog' - many thanks as usual Helen for encouraging us to press the pause button and "stand and stare".