Gardening Season is Hotting Up

Just about everything in the garden seems to be shooting up in size and flourishing. I ate my first radish, though only because I accidentally pulled it out a bit early!  Our windows, too, are filling up with various heat-loving seedlings and plants.

The potato plants are getting big – I’ve had to earth them up twice already – though I had a bit of a scare with some wilted leaves.  I thought they might be blighted, but fortunately it looks as though it might just have been that the unseasonal heat – or maybe a mineral deficiency.

I planted a lot of things last week – as the plantfeed in the side bar will attest – hostas, tomatillos, foxgloves, new cultivars of radish and beans, a different salad mix, and some buddleja has gone into the fridge for cold stratification.  I put cauliflower, some of the mint, some more onions and a couple of the bigger alpine strawberries out into the garden, too. The beans and salad mix are seeds I got from this years BBC Dig In campaign.  I didn’t take part in last years as I didn’t have a garden, then, but I’m glad I can have a go this year.  I think it’s a great idea, with so many people getting the gardening bug but not knowing where to start =)

When we were at Homebase for some DIY supplies I grabbed some more strawberries.  Come on, who can say no to a tray for 99p?  It’s silly, really, given the sheer number of strawberries I already have but it means I won’t feel so guilty about letting a few plants flower and fruit this year whilst letting others establish themselves better before fruiting.  I still have to figure out where I’ll put them, though…

Another plant which seems to be doing well is the conglomerate fruit bushes up the back of the garden.  Unfortunately, the one plant we really wanted to grow, the raspberry, never came to anything – the buds just dried up and fell off.  The gooseberries and blackcurrants seem to be doing fine, though – they’ve pretty much exploded with leafyness.

The one garden task I keep putting off has been mowing.  I wanted to give the grass a chance to bounce back after the harsh weather and let it gain a little ground on the moss.  I love moss lawns, but I like the deeper green of grass, so I’m going to try to get them to play together.  The other reason is that, in amongst all of the grass, there seem to be a tonne of bulbs!  Since this is our first spring / summer here, I didn’t know any of these plants even existed so it’s been a pleasant surprise.  I’m not sure exactly what they are, but they look like something in the hyacinth / bluebell family.

This bit of ground, next to our front door, is going to be my project for next year, and where I hope to put some of the foxgloves and hostas.  It’s in shade pretty much all day, and at the base of a tree as well as having random bits of privet  at the sides- so dry at the edges as well as shady.  Talk about a tough spot for plants!  It’s an eyesore to me, though, and I want to see if I can make something of it.  Wondering if a shade-loving clematis would like to crawl over that eyesore of a privet.  Don’t get me wrong – I actually like privet, though a lot of people seem to see it as unfashionable, but it’s not really in  the right place, and it’s been cut into a weird shape.  Hmm, maybe I can topiary-ize it ;)!

With all this gardening going on, I think I’d forgotten to mention I’ve been tracking it all on Folia.  It’s a really cool site and allows me to note which plants I’ve put where, when I’ve sown, transplanted, harvested, etc. and is choc full of helpful people to go to for advice!

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