The veg garden is finally getting going and I’ve harvested my first few salads of the year – better late than never! Alongside the more usual fare, including my favourite yellow-podded mangetout ‘Golden Sweet’, I’ve finally gotten around to trying a few of my more unusual seed packets. Tomatillos (Physalis philadelphica – first image), Amaranth (third image), quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa), cucamelons (Melothria scabra) and litchi tomatoes (Solanum sisymbriifolium - last image above). The latter is covered in fairly brutal spines which caught me a few times when I was planting them out. I’m not sure if they’ll fruit, given the late start, but they’re a fairly spectacular and different member of Solanaceae (the tomato family).
The above are pictures of two new denizens of my newly created little shade borderlet. Alongside my compost heaps there was a small spot which doesn’t get sun except in the morning. I’d had my Hostas and Solomon’s seal sitting there ready for planting and, since they looked rather nice, I decided they could stay… once I’d tidied all of the elder branches away. I also added in a Primula vialli which I’d gotten at Gardening Scotland and am now trying to decide on whether to add something for ground cover. The poor Primula was blown over at some point in the week after I got it and I didn’t notice until the following weekend when I had time to plant it – hence the wibbly flower and stalk. I also finally got around to planting my small Eucalyptus gunii. It’s gone into the damp spot at the lowest point in the garden, in the hope that it’ll absorb some of the moisture there and thrive. I intend to keep it coppiced for young foliage, but it’s a bit young yet for cutting back.
Sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus), Achillea millefolium, and nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus), shown above, have started to show off, giving the garden a little more colour. The cornflowers and marigolds shouldn’t be far behind them. This year things feel a little patchy. In the old garden I’d started to gain some density of planting due to self sowings and perennials and, hopefully, it won’t be too long until I get that again. This weekend I’m determined to sow some perennial / biennial traditional plants (lupins, foxgloves, delphiniums and snapdragons) to fill some of the gaps and to lay out the new beds and begin to raw up shopping lists ready for getting in some bigger shrubs come autumn. Handily, the plastic greenhouse is now empty of everything but the cucamelons, so there’s space for next years plants.