Monday, 6 April 2009
Bring Out The Oil Can
'A really long day of weeding is a restful experience, and quite changes the current of thought. For some people it is more efficient than a rest cure'
~ so writes Anna Lee Merritt in an extract on 'Weeders and Diggers' from
'The Virago Book of Women Gardeners'.
Just who is this woman kidding ? Having spent four hours or so in arm to arm combat with some of the tenacious weeds at my allotment, I would definitely not call the experience a 'rest cure'. I am creaking - I can only echo the
'Tin Man's' plea to bring out the oil can. However it was most satisfying tussling with yard long hanks of marestail in the spring sunshine, slinging them with gay abandon into a pile, which was carefully removed at the end of the session. This was my my main gardening activity over the weekend, as we had the first night of the year away in the campervan on Saturday. The forecast for the forthcoming week is not promising reading - rain and more rain but then on balance we probably need it, so I may have to content myself to being restricted to greenhouse activities.
We have enjoyed some pleasant spring weather during the past week, especially in the afternoons so it has been a good week for gardening activities. The greenhouse is slowly filling up and is now home to various lettuces and salad mixes, beetroot 'Bulls Blood', chard' Rainbow Lights' (poor germination), leeks' Bleu Solaise', celeriac 'Monarch' , peas Feltham First (poor germination) sweet pepper 'Sweet Orange Baby' and tomatoes' Ildi','Czech's Excellent Yellow', 'Marmande' and 'Japanese Black Trifele'. Only just sown and not showing yet are sweet pepper 'Corno di toro', carrots 'Parmex', peas 'Kelvedon Wonder', courgettes 'Defender','Romanesco' and 'Soleil', summer squash 'Sunburst', cucumber 'Burpless Tasty Green' and artichoke 'Violet de Provence'. I managed to missed the latter off my seed order list but good fortune dictated a free packet with the last edition of 'Gardens Illustrated'. More sowings to be made this week.
On the flower front there are sweet peas 'Matucana' and 'Pathfinder',perennial white stock, cosmos 'Purity', sunflower 'Vanilla Ice' and nicotiana mutablis.
Himself has earned his laurels this week, by shifting three tons of improved soil conditioner which was delivered here, down to the allotment. It is going some way to filling up the three new raised beds.
Arriving in the post this week a ticket to a summer propagation workshop to be held in June at Lodge Lane Nursery which is my favourite local nursery. There is a spring workshop later this month but the tickets were all booked. Himself is taking to the nursery later this week to buy me an Easter plant or two - not as fattening as a chocolate egg.
Mystery of the week is where has my Japanese Painted Fern gone - here it is last year:
Not a sign of it coming through so far and I am sure that it was through the ground by this time last year. Maybe it is a victim of the cold winter. I do hope not as it is/was one of my favourite plants. It looks as if I may really have a gap but I going to heed VP's recent cautionary advice and play the waiting game a bit longer.
Star of the garden this week a double primrose of long lost label status, but which I am reasonably sure goes by the name of 'Quakers Bonnet'. I thought that a photo of this flower would be more attractive than a mugshot of the dreaded marestail. You can see that I am behind with the gardening tasks otherwise I would have cleared away the leaves on the ground by now !