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".

15 comments:

  1. Gosh you have been busy. Pigs about the aquilegia no show, how come it's always the ones we most want that fail? I've had to resort to bringing lots of my seedlings into the house from the greenhouse as it was too cold in there for them to do anything - they've perked up now they're in the conservatory!

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  2. I think I may be in the same position with my pears. I was really hoping for fruit this year (it will be a 4 year old tree this year) but it seems most of the blossom has been blown off. The cherry, apple and plums are covered in blossom so I may be lucky - and yesterday, as I was clearing bolted sprouts from the garden, I heard a buzzing from the flowers: a black bee busy collecting nectar! All is not lost!! No plant sales for me yet this year but I did bring back a few herbs from my day trip to Jekka's herb farm. Too hard to resist .... !

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  3. You never know what you will see out of the window till you look at present. As soon as you have grown accustomed to the garden being pressure hosed from the heavens, you find the sun has come out and everything is joyful. We had a bracing bit of autumn this morning, had lunch in a summer garden and now are experiencing a November deluge. No boredom. Hope your plants survive.

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  4. May is my favourite month too, so I'm hoping for some nice weather so I can appreciate it. Well you can hope. I haven't been able to do too much at the allotment because of the cold and wet but have continued my seed sowing frenzy. Every available sunny window sill is full, along with my cold frames. Hoping for some dry weather this week so I can plant up some peas and beans and free up some cold frame space. It's all getting a bit crowded here!! The warm sunshine today after a cold start was much appreciated. Lets hope for some more.

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  5. Lets hope May's weather brings sunshine. April was 'rained off' here too. I think it's a record breaker too, so much rain and many degrees cooler than last year which was at the other end of the spectrum.

    I'd love to see how you get on with the cobaea, an update later in the summer perhaps?

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  6. We had snow here this past Tuesday, so much so that I feared the shade cloth would collapse at the garden centre. Today was the first rain we have seen in weeks - one of the driest April's on record for us. Here's hoping that May brings warmer weather and sunshine so that we can both get caught up or at least in pace with the chores surrounding the gardening season!

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  7. Sympathy for the absent aquilegia. That reminds me, I have some aquilegia seed scarifying in the fridge which needs sowing now. Another variety that I sowed a couple of months ago in the greenhouse has a couple of small seedlings showing which I'm watching carefully.
    Sara

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  8. Good to know that your willow is sending out new growth and perhaps also enjoying the the extra waters we've been receiving from heavens up above. April has been a generally wet month, washout even, but the plants seems to be enjoying it. Thankfully it never floods in our garden (if it did the town will be in trouble as we're up a hill!). As you've said, on a cheerful note at least the last day of April was bright, warm, and sunny and nearly all of us had a break from the previous weekend's deluge.

    Looking forward to your garden progress!

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  9. Yesterday was a lovely break from all the rain we've been having, sadly, it's a grey, drizzly day again today. Glad to hear that your willow is springing back to life, I'm sure it will be looking healthy again in no time. There's very little growing in my allotment yet, which I'm quite glad about as it's like a bog down there, but my greenhouse is groaning under the pressure of everything waiting to go out. Surely May can't be as bad as April's been.

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  10. Oh I have Braven Hussey, bought it on my birthday couple of years back at Ashwood Nurseries. I had read about it in Christopher Lloyds book and had coverted for a while.

    I had some alpine strawberry seeds that didnt germinate and they werent old seeds. I have never complained about non-germination as I always assume its my fault!! Hopefully it will dry out soon and you can get things moving out of the greenhouse

    Thanks for joining in again this month

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  11. Thank you for sharing your end of month view. April has certainly been a funny old month, we are in the drought area yet my garden is waterlogged. I need to get out at the weekend and spike the lawn. Your greenhouse is really bursting, hopefully when you write your May EMOV they will have found their way out into the big wide world of your garden.

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  12. Erythronium 'Pagoda' is a star - large showy flowers and increases quickly too. I am also a fairweather gardener. Watering the greenhouse is the only thing I am doing until this rain stops. Trouble is the greenhouse is full of things waiting to go outside. I do hope the weather improves soon.

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  13. Progress seems to be slow on everything no flowers yet on aquilegias, this time last year the lilac was flowering - so I reckon we are all in the same boat - a boat is exactly what we need come to think of it.

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  14. April was cold and hot with little rain, but May seems to bring the rain. It has been a strange year for weather. Summer will probably be very interesting.

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  15. What a strange April it was, first of all drought, now water everywhere and still more to come, I hope that wasn't our summer in March! A few branches have come down from our willow and a few more need tidying after the gales. My aquilegias are way behind last year, just starting to show buds now and meconopsis were flowering at the beginning of April last year, my first one opened today!

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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.