May Miscellany

Having hayfever is a real pain when you love gardening – especially this year where we seem to have a record number of big, heavy blossoms all over the place and even earlier than usual to.  It hasn’t stopped me getting out there, antihistamines in hand, and doing the many things the garden seems to want at the moment – like watering!  I can’t believe I had to take the hose to the garden twice a week in April! This doesn’t feel like the Scotland I grew up in – where April meant sudden downpours several times a day for a whole, long, miserable month.  I suppose that may be coloured by my coming from the wet and windy west coast, but surely this is still unseasonably dry for the east, too?

Now that we’re into May, we’re beginning to hit the peak of the seed and seedling season – although there are many things planted before and after May, I’ve found that I have the most seeds and seedlings on the go in this month – many of the warmth loving varieties can be started and the cooler one are getting ready to go outside but are not quite there yet.  The mini greenhouses are packed with life!  The cat is sulking, because the windowsill where he likes to sit has also been taken over in the name of gardening and is currently the home for my tomatoes and chilli plants as they still need to come inside at night.

A new addition has sprouted in the garden as a result of my war against the ants.  I pulled up all of the edging slabs to expose their nest and hoed the soil for a few days until they just gave up and went elsewhere – a nice organic way of getting rid of a pest which isn’t directly bad for the garden.  Once the soil was exposed, however, I couldn’t help but think ‘oooh more growing space!’ ;) I also remembered something I’d seen on Beechgrove Garden – that long-thin gardens often look better when split into sections and figured I could take advantage of the space created to grow a living screen.  The poles on the right side are split in the middle so that I still have access to the veggie bed on that side and, because of the way the sun comes into the garden, there will be very little of the garden shaded by these despite them being as tall as the surrounding fence.

The bamboo canes went in at the weekend, but today I got around to planting a few beans in them – namely the Mrs Fortunes climbing beans kindly given to me by matron.  Four of them have been added to the left hand side, along with some cosmos and calendula I’ve grown from seed for some visual interest below the beans.

I mentioned last time I talked about my potatoes that they were growing a mile a minute – the picture on the left was taken two weeks ago and the right one today.  The other earlies are growing just as fast – though the maincrop tatties are still mostly just peeping up over the soil, still.

Elsewhere around the garden things are growing pretty well – below are strawberries (comparison of standard type with an alpine flower), chives, boston squash, forellenschloss and really red deer’s tongue lettuces.


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