Sunday, 4 May 2014

End Of Month View ~ April 2014


A slightly delayed EOMV post mainly because I was away from home and garden for a couple of days or so at the end of the month, during which time everything seemed to have grown with indecent haste. This time a phrase for the month rather than a single word - the phrase being 'ENGAGE BRAIN BEFORE ENTERING THE GREENHOUSE'. The latter was scheduled for a thorough winter top and tailing but the saga of the nose put pay to this, so it became more of a quick lick and polish when I was feeling up to it. At this point I removed last year's detritus with gay abandon and at one stage knocked a poppy seedhead into the compost bin. I fished it out immediately but too late the damage was done. The consequence was that some early sowings sprouted zillions of unwanted seedlings which I've spent ages extracting. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr! Why I took the seeds into the greenhouse into the first place is beyond memory but the greenhouse will be strictly out of bounds when I'm saving seeds later this year.

It was a busy month mainly with sowing, the inevitable pricking out and starting to harden stuff out. I sowed a second batch of tomatoes which were more successful than the first I'm pleased to say. The first have been pricked out whilst the second await that pleasure. 'Box Car Willy', 'Banana Leggs', Ananas Noire', 'Cream Sausage' have been joined by 'Gardener's Delight,' 'Sungold', 'Noire De Crimée, 'Black Cherry' and 'Aunt Ruby's German Green Cherry'. Cucumber 'La Diva' has germinated along with courgettes 'Romanesco and 'Floridor'. Germination of courgette Brice' has been disappointing so another batch will be sown this weekend, or maybe I will try another round green courgette. Pumpkin 'Black Futsu' and 'We B Little' were also sown. By the end of the month the greenhouse also contained beetroot and chard seedlings, basil - 'Mrs Burn's Lemon', 'Purple Leaf' and 'Lettuce Leaf', sunflowers 'Red Velvet', 'Vanilla Ice', more sweet peas, gaura lindheimeri and cosmos bipinnatus 'Purity'. I think that I may have already mentioned that for various reasons I'm sowing less this year. It's been difficult to restrain myself but I'm just about winning at the moment. Elsewhere a few overwintering plants lurked. One or two of the dahlias started to sprout even before they had their first drink of the year, a couple of lemon verbena teased me with their dried up twiggy state (will they ever green?) and the pensetmon cuttings shuttled in and out of the greenhouse.


At the allotment shallots and red onions were planted along with broad beans and peas. Unfortunately the last two crops are already showing signs of serious nibbling. I will be putting more peas in later but just hope that the broad beans recover as I will not be sowing more. Much time has been spent weeding and tidying but much more hard graft remains. My early potatoes went in on Easter Saturday. Early days yet but it looks as if it is going to be a good year for goosegogs, white currants and strawberries. I've been enjoyed some delicious purple sprouting broccoli so must remember to sow it again.

In the garden the plants that gave me greatest pleasure in April were daffodils - all variations on a whiter shade of pale including 'Thalia', 'Elka', 'Topolino', 'Jenny', 'WP Milner', 'Minnow' and 'Pueblo', pulmonarias and brunneras. The pear blossom was a treat but it still remains to be seen whether fruit will flower this year. The candidate for the most miserable specimens of the month were without a doubt tulips but perhaps that's a subject for another post.

There were several April plant purchases some via mail order, some from a garden centre trip and others from a plant fair but rather than 'fess up all at once I will introduce them in coming posts. The one reveal is auricula 'Late Romantic'. I feel that this may be the start of a slippery slope to another fatal addiction.

Unexpected pleasant surprise of the month was to be the lucky recipient of a copy of Louise Curley's (aka Wellywoman) book 'The Cut Flower Patch'. This came about through entering a giveaway organised by the lovely Caro over at 'An Urban Veg Patch'. You can't imagine how delighted I was be so fortunate especially in view of my self imposed embargo on new book purchases this year. My resolve had been in serious danger of cracking! I'm looking forward to a good browse through this book soon. Thanks again Caro and thanks also as usual to Helen over at 'The Patient Gardener's Weblog' who came up with the idea of an end of month view. I'm off later to catch up with what everyone else got up to in April.

11 comments:

  1. Those pesky seeds, eh!! Lesson learned there me thinks Anna. You've been incredibly busy - it's at this time of the year I'm kind of glad I don't grow my own.
    I'll bet you a pound to a penny that the Auricula purchase is indeed a slippery slope!

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  2. April is certainly a busy month, but I fear that May will be just as busy if this weekend is anything to go by. I've been making the most of having some spare time and I've got lots done at the allotment and on the seed sowing and potting on front at home. I love auriculas, though I don't grow them myself, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if you develop an addiction.

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  3. Thank you, I now feel much more modest with my tomato sowing ;-) lots of good things growing away for you by the sound of it. Look forward to meeting the new additions. I visited an NGS garden today and came back with a few plants. TNG was not impressed as I have so many to plant already, but hey, it was for charity...

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  4. Goodness that is a load of tomato plants you have there - I have just stuck to three types this year as I had tomato overload last year. It's a space thing isn't it - shuffling everything about - I am getting desperately short of it. I found some old seeds that I had saved goodness knows when so I scattered them willy nilly thinking they would never germinate, and of course they all did! Sounds like you are having a busy old time - but then, aren't we all at this time of year.

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  5. I am very impressed with your veg list, Anna - you make it sound so easy and worthwhile but I reached the conclusion that my heart is not really in growing veg although I wonder how much of that is due to lack of success in the past? I daren't show close ups of my tomato seedlings this year either - certainly no point sowing them in February.... You will be finding poppies in all sorts of places in due course - no doubt they will look very pretty!

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  6. You have been busy again Anna, and you say you are sowing less this year! I wonder what poppies look like flowering next to tomatoes...
    I have heard that Auriculas are apparently highly addictive, and look forward to seeing why you love yours so much. I haven't been able to warm to them so far, so I must be missing out on something!

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  7. What a lovely end of month review Anna. You are ahead of me in the greenhouse - I am planning to sow courgettes, pumpkins, sweetcorn & beans this week. I am also sowing less veg than last year - I find I enjoy using my space for cut flowers and these do not seem to suffer so much from all the wildlife threats - I do hope your broad beans recover! The Cut Flower Patch is a lovely book - I really admire your resolve to stop purchasing books this year.

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  8. I love your writing and your voice, Anna. You're such a delight to read. I can just see that poppy seed head dropping into the compost. :) And what followed, that frustration, I know it well. Despite those little moments, gardening is so much fun. And it's hard to believe you're scaling back on your seed sowing given how much you have done already. Good for you!

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  9. Really enjoyed reading your round up, Anna. Your poppy problem did make me chuckle... sorry! It's just good to know I'm not the only one who does things like that. ;) I'm envious of all those tomatoes. I'm growing 'Indigo Rose' this year and I'm tempted by more but space is a problem at the moment. I might see if I can find a few plug plants somewhere and squeeze a few extras in. I know I shouldn't but I think I have some compulsive plant problem. :0 I'm so pleased to hear you won a copy of the book. I really hope you like it but there isn't time for reading at the moment, too many plants to look after. ;) Have a lovely weekend.

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  10. Well, someone has been seriously busy! Look forward to seeing all these plants develop. Our Rudolf is keeping his distance so far so no serious nibbling. I planted far too many tomatoes, couldn't resist their tempting names and look forward to eating them :)

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  11. Oh thank you for taking the time to read this post in what is such a busy time of the year and for all your kind comments :) xxx

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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.