Monday, 14 March 2011

Lurking With Intent



Spring has definitely been lurking with intent for some time but this weekend I felt that it is definitely knocking loudly on the door. The snowdrops are now going over and hellebores, irises, little daffs, pulmonarias and primroses are now stealing the show. The ducks are paddling and quacking on the little surface water stream that borders the side of the garden. I have spied bee and ladybird. At long last the autumn flowering cherry ~ prunus subhirtella autumnalis has a sprinkling of flowers. This has never failed before to blossom both in autumn and then again in the following spring. This autumn ~ zilch! The bitter early cold snap in November cruelly frosted the flowers just as they were emerging, so they are even more of a welcome sight than usual.

I had my first proper session of the year at the allotment. I know that it's nearly the middle of March but I must confess to being a fair weather allotmenteer. The site lacks basic facilities which I can put up with during the summer months but not in the depths of winter. Hopefully this situation might be rectified in the future, as the allotment association intends to apply for funding to install a composting toilet. With a growing number of women and young families with children on the site achieving this has become an important priority. My first task was to do some much needed tidying up. Hopefully I will return later in the week to plant my garlic which I have started of in modules at home and also to plant shallots. The perimeter fencing is still to be completed. Although I am not keen on its appearance it has dawned on me that it has potential as support for climbing plants which could be a blessing in disguise.

This year I am making a deliberate effort to try to reduce the volume of seeds that I grow. I do not really need thirty plus tomato plants. So far tomatoes, sweet peppers, nicotiana mutablis and dahlia 'Bishops Children' have germinated. These firstlings are now spending their days outside in the greenhouse but are stil resident in the house at night. I have sown broad beans, 'Kelvedon Wonder' peas and beetroot in modules in the greenhouse. I plan to sow leeks, parsnips, chard and spinach later this week and something else which escapes my memory.

I have been fiddling about with my blog this week and would welcome feedback about the size of photos. Are they now too big? I am undecided.

Finally a big  thank you to everyone for their ideas and hints on looking after my reptilian like hands. There were some excellent suggestions, which I think that I will try to knit together in a separate post at some time in the future. I was surprised to find out how many of you are fellow eczema sufferers so I would like relate this information back to you.

9 comments:

  1. That is a beautiful photo Anna and the perfect size I would say.

    Good to hear that spring has sprung in your neck of the woods and you were able to spend pleasurable time at the allotment.

    It's amazing what some warm sunshine can do. I'm eager to really get going now!

    Jeanne
    x

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  2. The photos are good. What I hate are blogs where the photos are such large files, that they load in stripes, like painting a wall.

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  3. I hadn't thought of starting peas indoors. Maybe that is why I have never had success with them!

    Although I have lots of little daffodils, my Clematis armandii (which usually flowers in February) hasn't got very far yet. Haven't looked today but yesterday its buds were still shut.

    Your blog - I think it looks very nice and professional . . . but I had got used to your old atmosphere. I like it when blogs aren't too 'glossy' On the other hand, it's nice that you are including big pictures - they don't all need to be big though; it depends on the content.

    It's fun fiddling with design, isn't it? I'm astonished what variety arises from the same source.

    Esther

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  4. Hi Anna! The photo is a lovely size. Bigger the better I say!

    Your allotment sounds like ours and it is a problem when I'm there and one needs the loo...Would love a shed too to make a brew in.

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  5. I like the size of photo, no problem downloading. I noticed last night that your blog was looking different, I like the tabs at the top and wish wordpress would do a theme similar so I could organise my blog better.

    My hands suffer terribly with contact with the soil and compost. I wear gloves some times but not when I'm sowing and pricking out and my skin is so sore today.

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  6. The picture is lovely.

    I too suffer with my hands but I hate wearing gloves. I like to feel what I am doing so will be interested to read what you find out.
    Mary

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  7. Hi Anna,

    I think the photo size is fine, do you have photoshop or similar programme? I ask because you can save your images to the web, what this does is reduce the quality to 72dpi (which is what the internet works on) so it means you can have large images but tiny file sizes, without causing problems for people viewing/downloading your blog.

    I'm glad to see your Autumn Cherry is flowering now, I've just been taking photos of mine ready for GBBD tomorrow :)

    Hope you manage to get better facilities on your allotment soon, I hadn't even considered things like toilets but it does make a lot of sense especially as allotments are growing in popularity with young families.

    Hope you have a good week! :D

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  8. Hi Anna, good to hear you will be getting composting loos at the allotment site, apparently we are getting a loo block at some stage, though I suspect I will have to carry on carefully balancing fluid intake and the time it takes to get home at a reasonably sedate pace for the rest of the year... I really like the larger photos, as Liz says, if you save them at a lower resolution they shouldn't prodice the paint effect Diana described. Your tomato seedling comments gave me a wry smile - I haven't reached a rational balance yet, and am over run. I am hoping to sow parsnips next week too.

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  9. The photos are a lovely size and I love the blossom!

    I saw first daffodils in bloom up here yesterday, along a sunny wall base at an Industrial Estate! We're always a bit later.

    Seeds used to be a great temptation for me, and without a greenhouse, just didn't work!! Getting an allotment, I'll have to think of a way.

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.